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      Memorial Hospital in Carthage opens its doors

      Carthage, Ill.-- It was a day of jubilee,celebration, and honor, as the new Memorial Hospital opened its doors. While the old facility held 25 bed, this one holds only 18. It's desginated as a critical needs facility, which means it has state of the art technology.

      "The first facility was very well designed and built for in-patient care, because people had very long lengths of in contemporary medicine are very different. We don't need to keep people in a bed as long as we used to," said CEO of Memorial Hospital, Ada Bair.

      "Right now our department is not as patient friendly. We have to move around a lot of equipment to make room for the patient to get in and get the testing done. In this new facility, everything has its own place. There will be better testing and a better environment for the patient so we can give the best care we can," said Nancy Krekel, Director of Cardio Pulmonary.

      The hospital has more space, which includes two big operating rooms, several pre-operating rooms and more O-B rooms, and equipment. Not only does the state of the art technology make this hospital unique, but the fact that a small rural community came together to tackle the challenge of raising money for a new hospital. Members of the community like Haletta Folkerts who remembers fundraising efforts for the first hospital in Carthage.

      Q:What's it like now 60 years later, we're in a cornfield at the edge of town, we've got the new facility, what does that mean to you?

      Folkerts says,"It means it's here for all those that I love. The children that are not born yet, will be, all my family and all my loved ones and my friends."

      "I spent many years with a doctor and I learned to appreciate vitalness of updated equipment and this is spectacular," said Brenda Wetzel-Sage, another Carthage resident.

      And so the hospital which was built to honor veterans 60 years ago in a cornfield, which took 14 months to build opens a new chapter, but this one is all too familiar. This new building too, developed out of a cornfield on the edge of town, took 14 months to build, and continues to honor the past, while looking on to the future.

      Patients won't be officially admitted yet. The hospital is waiting for certification from the state. They hope to move in by mid-August. The old hospital will be used to store records and supplies.