Last Thursday, November 19, was National Rural Health Day.

As we observe the day, we cannot ignore how the healthcare landscape has changed since last year. Who could have imagined we would be in the midst of a global pandemic, fighting a deadly virus that has changed the way we live?

The reality of our new normal has taught us many things, but one thing we have learned for certain is that now, more than ever, it is vitally important that we acknowledge the necessity, the importance and the power of rural hospitals.

Alabama’s rural hospitals are the backbone of our healthcare system, showing their power by steadfastly providing care as a pandemic ravages the country. We’ve kept our doors open and continued to care for residents in and around Marshall County throughout the COVID crisis and will continue to be here in the months and years ahead.

Marshall Medical Centers provides care for local families, neighbors and friends close to home. With more than 60,000 ER visits a year to our two-hospital system, 8,500 patient discharges a year plus $2.6 million in renovations and improvements in 2019-2020, it’s clear that Marshall Medical is vital to this community’s economic health as well as its physical health.

During a pandemic, just like any emergency, every day counts, and, without rural hospitals, many Alabamians would lose access to essential frontline services. Our team of 1,564 dedicated employees continues to be here, ready to care, treating patients locally when it matters most. We understand that our hospitals play a vital role as a cornerstone of this community, and we take this role very seriously.

Marshall Medical Centers takes pride in providing access to quality healthcare, and we are committed to delivering it to our citizens for years to come.

Our hospitals are thankful to be part of the Marshall County community and are honored to have cared for families close to home throughout this crisis. We also want to thank the community for its tremendous support during this time. Your support of our hospitals is critical all of the time, but has been especially meaningful during the pandemic. While we all hope for a better outlook for 2021, no matter what, we will be here to care for you.

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