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Letter to the editor; Nov. 20

To the Editor,

Eighty-two percent of Alabama’s counties are rural, and we can all agree that Escambia County,

Alabama, falls into this category. In our community, we have friendly neighbors always willing to lend a hand, the Annual Alabama Blueberry Festival, and D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital, one of Alabama’s 51 rural hospitals. On November 21’\ people across the country will take a moment to celebrate

National Rural Health Day and honor the important role hospitals play in our daily lives.

Our hospital provides care for your families, neighbors, and friends close to home. Nearly two million patients were treated in one of Alabama’s rural hospitals in 2016. Annually, DWM sees 13,000 patients in the emergency room, births over 259 babies and has over 34,000 outpatient registrations. In

addition, DWM also treats over 1,500,admitted patients. In an emergency, every second counts.

Without rural hospitals, many Alabam)ans would lose access to essential frontline services. Our team of 250 dedicated employees is always there and ready to care, treating patients locally when it matters most. We take pride in providing access to quality health care and are committed to delivering it to our citizens because rural hospitals matter.

This month we celebrate National Rural Health Day. This is the perfect opportunity to say thank you for your support. We have grown together through good times and bad over the past 60 years. We care about Escambia County, Alabama, and those that call it home and look forward to caring for you in the future.

Thank you,

Rick Owens, Administrator

D. W. McMillan Memorial Hospital