Supporters of an Olive Branch hospital are well aware of continued obstacles to their long-held battle but they also celebrate how far they’ve come.
“Folks,” Rep. Tommy Woods (R-Byhalia) told the Chamber of Commerce members assembled for the lunch meeting Wednesday, “we’re so close to a hospital right here, we’re closer than we’ve ever been. Now we are here right on the brink, right on the verge.”
Rep. Forrest Hamilton (R-Olive Branch), a pharmacist, also spoke. He believed in the dream of a hospital in the 1960s and bought land with others for a medical complex. As a legislator, he’s collected friends to support the dream, shared by Sen. Merle Flowers (R-Southaven).
Flowers said some people have asked him what is the big deal about a hospital in Olive Branch. Though a boost to the local economy is expected, Flowers said he thinks beyond cold numbers.
He thinks about the important events that happen in hospitals: Births, prayers for the sick, spiritual renewal, and he thinks of his own experience, holding his dying mother’s hand.
Olive Branch is a thriving community, Flowers said, because of its infrastructure, good schools and public safety.
“I submit to you,” he told the 200 people at the lunch, “the final piece of this puzzle is health care.”