COOK CO., GA (WALB) - The fate of the Cook County Medical Center is up in the air and has some residents concerned.
Just a few weeks ago hospital authorities announced the Cook County emergency room would be closing.
February 10, officials with Cook County Medical Center met with Hahira city officials to discuss the possibility of relocating the hospital there.
The biggest concern for Cook County residents is time. If the hospital closes all together, the nearest hospital would be roughly 20 miles away.
"I'm actually completely shocked. Not having a hospital at all in Cook County is absurd," said Blaine Warren, a nurse practitioner in Cook County.
It's a feeling echoing through the Cook County community after officials met to talk about moving the Cook County Medical Center to Hahira.
"That's shocking that they're talking about completely taking away any kind of medical assistance in all of Cook County. That's shocking," Blaine asserted.
"It doesn't make sense," echoed his wife, Heather Warren, RN.
The news comes just weeks after learning the Cook County ER would be closing its doors at the end of the month.
Folks with the Hahira Development Authority said the City is growing. Because of that, they believe it's an ideal spot to have the Cook Medical Center relocate to.
"The hospital needs to be put where the people are. This is the fastest growing area around. It just seems like it would be ideal. We certainly have the place, the will, and desire, to have them," explained Ted Raker, Chairman of the Hahira Downtown Development Authority.
Community members in Hahira agree.
"Hahira has grown a lot population wise and there's more and more people moving out this way," said Leilani Futch, a Hahira business owner.
But Cook County leaders said they aren't throwing in the towel. They hope to keep the hospital doors open in Cook County.
"Its the centerpiece of the community. It's the heart of the community. It's the place people can always depend on to have their healthcare needs fulfilled," said Jerry Connell, Adel-Cook County Chamber CEO.
In a statement to WALB Cook Medical Center CEO Michael Purvis said they are still exploring all avenues.
Hospital officials haven't said when a decision will be made.