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A look inside new Cox hospital in Monett opening Friday

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 6:55 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2021 at 7:14 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -

At six o’clock on Friday night Cox Hospital in Monett will begin moving patients into its new $42 million facility along U.S. Highway 60 right on the eastern edge of town.

The new hospital replaces Cox’s old facility that was built in 1953.

“Medicine has changed dramatically since those days,” said Cox Monett Hospital President Darren Bass.

And the world has also changed a lot since construction began on the new hospital in May, 2019.

It turns out it’s not so easy to build a hospital during a pandemic.

“We did have our workforce get sick which caused some delays,” Bass recalled. “But we also had businesses close down. Businesses we were relying on to get equipment here on-time closed and that caused some delays.”

But the 100,000 square-foot facility is now set to open on Friday and although it’s smaller in size than the old building, it will have the latest in technology and better amenities including emergency care, surgery, radiology and a unique baby delivery area known as an LDRP room.

“That’s where you labor, deliver, recover and postpartum without having to leave your room,” Bass explained.

“The baby will never need to leave the mom’s sight now,” added Dr. Elizabeth Lucore, the Cox Monett Chief of Staff. “We can do all vaccinations, bathing, weighing and caring right there with mom. And that’s something I’ve never seen with any other hospital.”

Cox Monett will also be doing joint-replacement surgeries and offering full-time OB/GYN services that have not always been available in the past.

The hospital’s 25 inpatient beds are the same as the old hospital because of federal regulations.

“We are critical access,” Bass said. “Critical access is a federal designation and part of that designation means you can’t have more than 25 inpatient beds. But what it allows us to do is grow on the outpatient side.”

CoxHealth is doing that by moving all three of its Monett primary care clinics to this new facility where 35,000 outpatients will now be served in one place. The clinic has 42 exam rooms.

“For patients it means we’re in a single location where they have direct access to the hospital,” said Kaley Thigpen, Cox Monett Clinic Administrator. “If they need to be admitted (to the hospital) we’re on campus so they don’t have to drive across town or check in the clinic and then check in somewhere else.”

A new hospital in a rural town is a rarity these days as many smaller hospitals have closed their doors. This particular facility was made possible thanks to community support and its affiliation with a bigger provider.

“If we were a stand-alone hospital we wouldn’t be able to do that,” Bass said of the new digs. “That’s my number one message across the state and across the country. If you value your local health care, you need to use them.”

Bass also pointed out that the building is constructed in such a way that expansion can be done easily in the future if needed.

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