• 45°

Med campus looks to be turning point

When the proverbial history books are written about Ironton and Lawrence County, the authors may point to July 2012 as a turning point for the community.

That is when Lawrence County got its hospital back.

St. Mary’s Medical Center officials may be hesitant to call the Ironton campus a hospital but that is essentially what it is.

As we approach the one-year anniversary this month of the multimillion dollar facility — a move that also heralded a significant partnership with the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization — it is impossible to look at the progress the city has made and the potential that lies just beyond the horizon and not think the St. Mary’s facility was integral to that.

Although Lawrence County has other health care providers that have strong presences here -– all of which are important –- the return of a facility closer to a full-fledged hospital was a significant step in rebuilding the city’s morale and pride, two things which took a big hit when River Valley Health Systems close its doors.

Health care is a competitive industry right now, but competition is ultimately good for the consumer. In this case, it is good for patients.

Ironton and Lawrence County are very fortunate to have the options that it does, and St. Mary’s Medical Center’s Ironton campus is a big part of that.