In many ways, the quality of a hospital is like a healthy body. It should be kept clean on the inside and outside, it should be steadily growing, there should be different facets designated to different work and, lastly, each part should work together to achieve the best conditions possible.
A Hospital with Experience
Memorial Hospital of Carbondale (MHC) is one of those healthy hospitals. Though it has celebrated more than half a century of health practice, the MHC’s stamina is anything but elderly. Like a healthy growing child, the MHC has expanded and grown to better meet the health care needs of Southern Illinois. And with all 132 beds, MHC has been known for doing just that. Expecting mommies-to-be appreciate the fact that MHC has Southern Illinois’ largest birthing center. To achieve maximum safety and comfort for mother and child, the center is complete with private birthing suites, private and semi-private “mother/baby” suites, an experienced Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a team of seasoned doctors and nurse midwives.
The MHC also has an acclaimed Center for Cardiac Care. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois selected the hospital as one of 400 nationwide hospitals with a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care. Such a distinction involves hospitals that perform more than 125 surgical procedures annually, have an experienced cardiac team, help keep a quality facility and management program as well as produce low complication and mortality rates.
Furthermore, in 2009, Healthgrades.com ranked MHC among 12 Illinois hospitals that received the highest grades in outstanding patient experience. Though it only recently obtained national attention for its exemplary patient satisfaction, it is no secret to Carbondale locals that the MHC is a hospital worth having.
The Road to Recovery
The road to recovery is far less bumpy for Carbondale residents thanks to the Center for Comprehensive Services (CCS). An after-hospital program, CCS provides rehabilitation for people who have experienced traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries and strives for a complete recovery in all of their patients. CCS is closely aligned with Southern Illinois University, particularly the Rehabilitation Institute.
Each year, CCS hosts several interns and paid assistantships, and many students gain valuable experience here. It also employs nearly 400 people in Carbondale and another 52 in Tampa, Fla.
Caring for the Community
Carbondale’s free health care facility, the Abundant Health Resource Clinic, exists because of the town’s evident concern for the uninsured and continuing support from the medical, governmental and civic communities. The clinic operates on a budget of about $100,000 a year, all of which comes from contributions, and has one full-time staff member. A volunteer staff of 30 – which includes 12 physicians – provides health-care services.
Hospitals in the area have agreed to allow the clinic to use their labs to perform tests and diagnostic procedures. Pharmaceutical companies have also pitched in, donating $15,000 worth of supplies and medications. Transportation was an early issue for clinic patients, many of whom did not have cars. However, religious leaders and local churches volunteer van transportation for patients who need it.
Anyone can find a hospital that cares for patients, but few can find a community that cares for patients just as much. Whether through volunteering or through giving support, whether through a career as a doctor or as a government official, the people that make up the town of Carbondale make up a community that embraces the ill with great care and compassion.
Check out more on what it's like to live in Carbondale, IL.