Under the Hat: Health Care Down on the Farm - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Under the Hat: Health Care Down on the Farm

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Some are calling it risky, a gamble with the future.

Others are calling it a miracle.

Either way, a brand new hospital opens in Corry this week.

This is a project 10 years in the making but it is not the best of times for large scale endeavors.

Credit still isn't plentiful and at a time when larger fish are eating the smaller ones the landscape isn't ideal for a bold stand alone adventure.

But despite those odds the ribbon cutting went on and visitors were able to wander the hallways of a small, modern building looking to continue a Corry Memorial tradition some 117 years in the making.

The advantage to a brand new building is brand new equipment, including digital imaging as good as you'd find in larger hospitals.

The drawback is access to specialists, but technology is closing that gap, like for instance stroke consultations with experts by video conference from the Cleveland Clinic.

But not everyone is happy.

Some nurses I spoke with are upset that the hospital will perform normal deliveries but will ship many riskier neo-natal babies to Erie.

It led one of them to scoff that what Corry is really getting is a "very expensive first aid station."

Health care down on the farm.

This nearly 40 million dollar project came together, believe it or not, thanks to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Yes, it seems the same people who inspect your hamburgers and pork chops also have a program that provides low interest loans for projects that enhance the quality of life in rural communities.

Once the Corry hospital project met those criteria, the financing was finally in place.

An efficient modern hospital provides more than medicine; it provides jobs, raises the status of a place and makes a community more attractive for business looking to locate.

The trick now is convincing people in southeast Erie County that for many procedures they can get the same level of care as the big city without the travel.

Corry's new hospital is seen as a big step there.

Ultimately it will be up to the people of Corry to decide, if it is a wise one.

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