MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Collins Chapel Hospital has a rich history in Memphis.
Found by the Martin brothers in 1910, it was once the only hospital for African Americans in the city. For years it served the community but was eventually closed in 1980 due to declining patients and staff.
Now it's being renovated for a grand reopening.
"We trust in the next three to six months we will have a completed quality health care institution," said Bishop Henry M. Williamson.
The new Collins Chapel Health and Rehabilitation Center will continue the hospital's legacy of training and preparing young African Americans interested in careers in medicine.
"The only place that black doctors and nurses and health care professionals could practice was all black hospitals around the nation."
Bishop Williamson said the facility will serve those who have been treated in larger facilities but still need ongoing care.
"They'll need a place for long term care and our 28 bed facility with excellent occupational and rehab services will be available."
It will also be a place for people to learn about and receive preventative care for diseases like diabetes.
"We know that Memphis is the most obese city in the nation. What can we do in preventative measures?"
Money is still being raised for the project. Already, organizers said they are halfway to their goal.
"We hope to, with the help of government, public and private sector and people who care, to reach our $5 million goal in the next six months."
And it's none too soon, as Bishop Williamson said there's a health care crisis in the country.
"That's why the Collins Chapel Hospital project being renovated is so much needed. Quality, affordable health care that is accessible to all people."
The rehab center is located on the hospital's original site in the growing medical district and in a community that is ready for transformation.