Sumter hospital gets two positives

March 13, 2007

Americus -- President Jimmy Carter stopped Tuesday in Americus to inspect the clean up efforts and tour the heavily damaged Sumter Regional Hospital.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter toured the temporary hospital set up across the street from Sumter Regional. Mr. Carter was briefed on the hospital's status before he met with hospital staff, toured the lab, and made a visit to patient rooms. The President who once served on the hospital authority said the direct hit to the hospital is devastating to the community.

"It's a very great sorrow for us to see the devastation that's been suffered here in Americus," Carter said. "We have been equally proud of the response not only from the community itself, but people from all over the state, and from other states who have come in here and volunteered and helped for days at the time."

Mr. Carter also toured the heavily damaged Sumter Regional Hospital where he once had physical therapy sessions.

In addition to a presidential visit, the Sumter Regional Hospital Foundation also received a sizable donation to help with the clean up effort.

The Wachovia Foundation presented the hospital President and CEO David Seagraves with a $50,000 check. Bank leaders say it's part of the Wachovia Foundations four goals, one of which is furthering health care in communities.

"Because of where we want to go with the community, you really have to have an outstanding health care system in place to really make a community grow and we want to be a part of that," said Wachovia President Scott Rossman.

"We didn't have a specific purpose for this sum at this point in time, but we know we'll have significant needs as everybody can tell from looking at the building and equipment that we'll have to address," said SRH President and CEO David Seagraves

Seagraves expect to have additional clean up costs that the hospital's insurance will not cover. A decision on what will be done with the hospital building hasn't been made. Hospital employees have been put to work at the temporary hospital and other community medical facilities.