© 2023 KASU
Your Connection to Music, News, Arts and Views for 65 Years
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kennett Health Care Providers Scramble to Provide Services as Hospital Closure Looms


Health professionals are scrambling in Kennett, Missouri to provide services for residents after the recent announcement of the closing of the city’s medical center.  

A consolidation is taking place between Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center Kennett and the Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center.  As early as this week, the hospital in Kennett will cease to provide obstetric and gynecologic physician coverage.  Over the next few weeks, the medical center in Kennett is expected to lose inpatient and outpatient services.  The emergency room will be closed by June 30th.  Area doctors gathered in Kennett last week to assure citizens that Kennett would have obstetric services, and an urgent care would be open in Kennett before Twin Rivers closes.  Medic One Administrator Colton Kimber was at last week’s meeting and said the ambulance service would continue to run in Kennett.  He says one concern he has heard is the long distance Kennett is away from a hospital.

"Kennett is actually in a good location because there are 12 hospitals in a 99-mile radius of Kennett," says Kibler.  "On the back of our ambulance it is like a mobile emergency room, so we can provide the same kind of care that you would get in the ER.  Length of distance to a hospital is not a problem because we have the technology to be able to provide needed care during such an occurrence."  

The medical center employed 300 people and there has been concern about those who are losing their jobs, as well as the ripple effects from what is expected to be a loss of sales tax in the future.  

Johnathan Reaves is the News Director for KASU Public Radio. As part of an Air Force Family, he moved to Arkansas from Minot, North Dakota in 1986. He was first bitten by the radio bug after he graduated from Gosnell High School in 1992. While working on his undergraduate degree, he worked at KOSE, a small 1,000 watt AM commercial station in Osceola, Arkansas. Upon graduation from Arkansas State University in 1996 with a degree in Radio-Television Broadcast News, he decided that he wanted to stay in radio news. He moved to Stuttgart, Arkansas and worked for East Arkansas Broadcasters as news director and was there for 16 years.