Local News

Franklinton, Youngsville Consider Legal Options for Hospital Relocation

Posted September 19, 2007 1:53 p.m. EDT
Updated September 19, 2007 11:45 p.m. EDT

— Officials from Franklinton and Youngsville held a meeting Wednesday night to discuss their legal options about a hospital's relocation request.

Administrators from Franklin Regional Medical Center want to move their facility from Louisburg to Youngsville, but the State Division of Facility Services turned down their request in July. The new facility would have been built on a 50-acre parcel near U.S. Highway 1 and N.C. Highway 96.

Hospital administrators said the move is necessary to update their facilities and to take care of the growing population in Youngsville. Franklinton officials have said they support Youngsville's efforts to get the hospital.

“Location, location, location. We are seeing an expansion of Wake County into Franklin County, and it's following the natural growth of the major highway,” Franklinton Mayor Jenny Edwards said.

Louisburg officials had wanted to keep the facility in town, saying the move would decrease the quality of medical care there.

“We not only have to look at folks that have better income that are Wake County folks or have access to them, but you have to look at folks in the northern part of the county that are poorer and have less access,” said Louisburg Mayor Pro Tem Boyd Sturges.

The issue has even divided the nursing community.

“It's already 20 to 30 minutes for them to get to Louisburg. You move them up to Youngsville, it's an hour, an hour and a half before they get medical attention,” said medical provider Chasity Lundberg.

“We can't do anything there. There's no room to expand. We can't do any of the specialties,” said Sandie Rosenthal, a nurse at Franklin Regional Hospital.

Edwards said officials from both sides decided Wednesday night to hire an attorney to represent the interest of the hospital and file an intervention suit. That means Franklin Regional Medical Center will file a certificate of need case against the Department of Health and Human Services.