Local News

Rex Joins Effort to Move Franklin Hospital

Posted November 16, 2007 1:44 p.m. EST

Franklin Regional Hospital

— Rex Healthcare on Friday announced its intention to work with the owners of Franklin Regional Medical Center to build a new hospital in Youngsville.

State regulators in July turned down an attempt by Health Management Associates Inc., which operates Franklin Regional, to move the hospital from Louisburg to a site near the intersection of U.S. Highway 1 and N.C. Highway 96 in Youngsville.

The application filed with the state by Rex and HMA describes a slightly larger facility than the one already rejected by the state Division of Health Service Regulation. The $103 million hospital being proposed would include 188,000 square feet of space and provide 70 acute-care beds and three operating rooms.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for health care in Franklin County,” Franklin Regional Chief Executive Brian Gwyn said in a statement. “A partnership with Rex Healthcare allows Franklin Regional Medical Center to continue to grow to meet the demand for quality medical care in Franklin County for years to come. It’s an investment into the community to provide better health care and job opportunities for a healthier community.”

“Our announcement ... to join Health Management Associates in this request demonstrates our continued commitment to bring superior health care to all our patients, and it highlights our desire to establish a solid regional health care network that provides needed medical benefits to all citizens,” Rex President David Strong said.

Hospital administrators have said the move is necessary to update and expand their facilities – the existing eight-acre site in Louisburg is built out – and to take care of the growing population in the southern part of the county.

Louisburg and Franklin County officials have maintained the quality of and access to health care in the central and northern sections of the county would decline if the hospital were to move.

Gwyn said a new hospital would help attract physicians to Franklin County and would allow HMA to locate other activities and programs at the Louisburg site.