The Mississippi Senate approved legislation Thursday that would allow a new 100 bed hospital to be built in the City of Olive Branch. Governor Haley Barbour called legislators into a Special Session to consider the measure that will bypass the Department of Health’s certificate of need process. The bill was adopted on 35 to 10 vote in the Senate, and now must be approved by the House of Representatives.

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Inc. has committed to building the 100-bed hospital, which would be a $151 million initial construction investment. Economic studies show the project would yield 536 full time employees with an annual payroll of $319 million.

Senator Merle Flowers (R-Olive Branch) who authored the bill in the Senate, said, “I’m very pleased my colleagues recognized our need for more access to healthcare and the positive economic benefits Methodist hospital will generate. We’re on the verge of having another huge, new, stable economic engine for DeSoto County. Let’s hope and pray the House of Representatives agree with us.”

Olive Branch Mayor Sam Rikard said, “This process has gone on for nearly ten years, and all of the data is clear there is a big need for this new hospital in this fast-growing part of our state. I appreciate the Lt. Governor and Senators who supported this legislation, and I’ll continue working our entire legislative delegation from DeSoto County to push for approval in the House.”

Senator Merle Flowers Press Release