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Arkansas Methodist Medical Center

Arkansas Methodist Medical Center (AMMC) in Paragould (Greene County) provides healthcare for residents of northeast Arkansas and southeast Missouri. As of 2009, AMMC has more than eighty active and courtesy physicians from family practice to multiple specialties. A total staff of nearly 700 healthcare professionals works in a 400,000-square-foot facility. Salaries alone have an annual economic impact of more than $26 million.

By the 1930s, Dickson Memorial Hospital in Paragould was past its prime. With combined support from citizens and the Paragould City Council, a donation of land by Joseph Bertig, and federal assistance from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), construction on a new hospital began in 1941. The new facility was seventy-five percent completed when the beginning of World War II and the end of the WPA halted construction for five years.

In 1947, residents rallied to finish the hospital, donating their time and money. Community Methodist Hospital opened its doors in 1949, with the Methodist church as a partner, as reflected in the hospital’s name. For the next ten years, many community organizations held fundraisers to help keep the hospital operating.

Over the years, as admissions grew, so did the need for expansion. In 1981, Community Methodist Hospital became Arkansas Methodist Hospital, reflecting the hospital’s reach to patients from many different communities. Massive construction projects in the 1990s brought a state-of-the-art critical care unit and a new emergency department. By 1999, a 50,000-square-foot professional office building was completed to house physician offices, an auditorium, and a wellness center. In 2000, Arkansas Methodist also added 70,000 square feet of new and expanded service areas. In 2005, Arkansas Methodist Hospital became Arkansas Methodist Medical Center, reflecting the facility’s growth in providing wide-ranging specialized services.

In 2007, in partnership with Mission Outreach of Northeast Arkansas, AMMC helped establish a charitable clinic to help meet the healthcare needs of those in the community who are least able to afford even the most basic healthcare services. In 2008, AMMC provided more than $8 million in uncompensated patient care; this rose to $11 million at the end of 2009.

By 2009, the 129-bed medical center was in the midst of a $2.5 million capital improvements program. In addition, by late 2009, construction was slated to begin on the first phase of an all-encompassing retirement community for residents of northeast Arkansas and southeast Missouri. In October 2011, an AMMC assisted living facility, Chateau on the Ridge, opened. It has the capacity to house fifty-nine residents.

For additional information:
Arkansas Methodist Medical Center. http://www.arkansasmethodist.org/ (accessed June 2, 2009).

Greene County Arkansas History and Families. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Company, 2001.

Shane Carter
Arkansas Methodist Medical Center

Last Updated 11/1/2012

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