What happens when a rural community loses a hospital? Jobs disappear. Hopes for economic development fade. Residents look for a new route to the nearest hospital. Georgia has seen three rural hospitals close this year: Charlton Memorial Hospital in Folkston; Stewart-Webster Hospital in Richland; and Calhoun Memorial in Arlington.
Calhoun Memorial Hospital, a small southwest Georgia facility, closed its doors Feb. 1. It collapsed under the cost of caring for patients who couldn’t pay. Some rural hospital advocates worry other small facilities face a similar fate in Georgia.