(Olive Branch, MS) “This is the sign we’ve all been waiting for,” former Olive Branch Mayor Sam Rikard said as he held up a Methodist Hospital sign to a cheering crowd.
It took almost 20 years to happen, but Olive Branch and East DeSoto now have their very own hospital.
Methodist Healthcare cut the ribbon on its new five-story, 100-bed hospital Wednesday morning.
You could see the joy and excitement on the thousands of people who braved the Mid-South heat and huge traffic jams to get there.
They wanted to witness history that would forever change Olive Branch.
“I think you’ll see another small, little city out this-a-way, just because of Methodist being here,” said current mayor Scott Phillips.
This hospital won’t only change Olive Branch.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said it signals a change in the way the state looks at healthcare, which he calls a growth business.
He wants to make it easier to build facilities like this, not harder.
“I want to say it’s been 25 years since the last time we built one. We hope to be able to get that under control so that there are not only hospitals and healthcare providers but manufacturers.”
He says the new Methodist Hospital alone will create a $173 million economic impact.
If Bryant gets his way, you’ll see little medical centers pop up throughout Mississippi, with hospitals, specialty doctors and medical manufacturers all within blocks of each other.
He said he hopes it will be a source for high paying jobs and create an exciting and stable economic future for Mississippi.