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Vote passes to build new hospital

MMH, Idabel, OK - On Tuesday, November 8, the voters in McCurtain County overwhelmingly said "Yes!" to increase the counties current lodging tax by 2% to help in funding a new Hospital. McCurtain Memorial Hospital CEO, Brian Whitfield, released the following statement:

For Immediate Release Tuesday, November 8, 2022

From CEO, Brian Whitfield

Tonight, 65% of the voters in this county said “Yes!” to the proposition to increase the lodging tax by 2% to fund the building of a new Hospital. Whether you voted for or against, all county residents won. For more than 50 years, MMH has been providing healthcare to the people of this county and tonight’s vote guaranteed that we can continue doing so for another 50 years, and beyond. When a community has a strong Hospital, everyone wins. So, we pray that you can join with us in celebrating this victory knowing that while we may have differed on how we would do it, we can no focus on getting a new Hospital built and hopefully, through this process, come together even more as a community and do what is best for all of us.

The real work now begins. As we move forward, we intend to be as transparent as possible and to keep the public informed. In the coming days, I intend to dedicate a portion of our website to public announcements. We will utilize our local media channels to broadcast information and continue the path we started when my Administration took over in March of transparency. I want to take an opportunity to thank some of most fierce critics: you know who you are. I genuinely mean this because now, looking back, I have nothing but respect for the passion displayed by you and the determination to be heard. I do hope that now, we can find a common ground as we move forward and somehow, work together.

A special “Thank-you,” to Stone Scoggins. Stone supported this Hospital fiercely and donated two billboards to promote the proposition -as well as paid for the prints. I cannot express my “thanks” adequately. To Billy Honey, for the rallying you have done to get this measure passed – the entire Hospital team thanks you and we hope you will stay along for the journey ahead.

To Steve Carter, thank you also for the constant promotion of this measure and your support of this Hospital.

To the Board of County Commissioners, thank you for if not for you and your faith in this new Administration, this measure would not have even made it on the ballot. We thank you for everything you have done, attending Town Hall meetings, talking to residents and helping us along the way. We are also extremely grateful for our Hospital Authority Board for their support and help in getting this measure passed tonight.

Last, but certainly not least, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my Board and my employees. Kendra Gross, our Board President, has spent countless hours working both in front and behind the scenes to promote this measure. From her weekly columns published in the newspaper to her on-site support, you are absolutely amazing and this Hospital is grateful for your service. As the Administrator, I have counted it a privilege to work for this Board and my team.

The employees at McCurtain Memorial Hospital are stellar. These are some of the most compassionate people in healthcare that I have ever worked with. Their hearts are in serving you and tonight, you told them loud and clear that you appreciate them.

In closing, thank-you again McCurtain County. This community suffered devastation recently and you still set aside time to go vote. It has been a pleasure not only seeing my own team help within this community, but watching the community come together as a whole. We will all work together to build/rebuild and I am confident that God will bless our hands. Our future is bright.

May God Bless you and McCurtain County. Brian Whitfield, Chief Executive Officer

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