Securing a new hospital in Kennett, Missouri proved to be a difficult task. The city has been without a hospital since 2018.
Democratic Delta Dunklin File
KENNETT, Mo. – Representatives from Platinum Neighbors, the new owners of Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center – which closed in June 2018 – recently met with the hospital group and city leaders to present and share information about the proposed hospital.
Melissa Upshaw, left, and Corey Countryman, representatives of Platinum Neighbors, the new owners of Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center in Kennett, Missouri, recently held a question-and-answer session with the hospital group and city leaders.
Jeff Dorris ~ Delta Dunklin Democrat
“We have purchased the Kennett Hospital and will be making upgrades and modernizations to the physical facility and associated hospital grounds,” said Melissa Upshaw.
Upshaw provided more information about the company itself.
“The Platinum Team organization is the parent company,” she said. “There are nine entities under Platinum Team and one is medical.”
Upshaw continued: “Platinum Neighbors, which is the medical entity, has been in business for approximately four years and has many years of combined experience in its leadership ranks. Several types of entities fall under Platinum Neighbors – hospitals, clinics , pharmacies, medical spas, laboratories and diagnostic, assisted living and memory care facility.”
Upshaw also provided more information on funding sources.
“We have equity investors,” Upshaw said. “We have traditional financing and we have a portfolio of our own, both liquid and durable assets.”
Upshaw said the company has nine hospitals at some level of operation, from fully functional through development.
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She also explained the origin of the purchase of the Twin Rivers property.
“Through a contact in one of our other projects, a member of the Kennett community reached out to this opportunity,” Upshaw explained. “One of our strengths is to go into a medical wilderness and create a medical community. That’s what we want to do.”
Cory Countryman, president of Platinum Healthcare, then informed about the new hospital project.
“Rural hospitals these days are going through a tough time,” he said. “We really want to involve the community and make them proud of their local hospital.”
Countryman continued: “We will be meeting with doctors, local leaders and the people of Dunklin County over the next few months to get an exact idea of what this community needs and can support. We will be here often to have transparent meetings. what we are doing regarding construction, renovation, recruitment and community events.”
Questions were then asked about the proposed use of the existing property.
“It’s a big building,” Upshaw said. “It really is. The expense is much higher for new construction. The bones of the existing building are good. We like to renovate buildings. We like to bring things up to code.”
She continued, “Especially with a building like this, which has been in the community for so long. It will also be retrofitted for seismic standards. The architects have already had several conversations with the state and they have created a comprehensive plan .”
Countryman then shared on the topic of hospital staffing.
“One of the first things we’re going to do is start recruiting,” he said. “There’s a good quality of life here that we think will make people want to live and work in the Kennett area.”
Countryman said: “I think there will be a big buzz there once people find out it’s going to reopen and you’ll be surprised how many people want to work here.
“That said, staffing is tough, across the country, whether it’s San Francisco or Kennett. We’ll have to do what we need to do to staff the facility.”
“Staffing will depend on the services we open with,” Countryman said. “Usually a hospital doesn’t do the whole first month. You open the emergency room, medical surgery beds, lab, pharmacy and radiology etc. You will have basic staff for those and you grow from there.”
Countryman then added, “Telehealth has also grown tremendously, especially in rural areas. A doctor could be at the medical center across the country and work with a patient in Kennett, Missouri.”
The Q&A session ended with inquiries about ancillary services that are being discussed for the new hospital.
“Everything from cardiac catheterization labs, to mammography, to bone density, to rehabilitation,” Countryman said. “It will meet the needs of the community. It will be in addition to what the local population can support.”
No timeline was given for the project.
“We look forward to the services we can provide to you,” Upshaw said.