LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The City of Jacksonville filled a big community need with the opening of Unity Health Jacksonville on Thursday, giving neighbors more options for healthcare in an that's been without a hospital for four years.
"We knew that Jacksonville was severely underserved," Unity Health Jacksonville Administrator Kevin Burton said.
According to Burton, that's why Unity Health decided to open a location in Jacksonville.
The new Unity Health Jacksonville building used to house North Metro Medical Center, which closed its doors suddenly back in 2019.
Now that the city has a hospital again, Burton said people won't have to travel as far for healthcare.
"There's fantastic care available in Sherwood and North Little Rock, those are great facilities," Burton said. "But if you live in Jacksonville, and you're in a true emergency, those 10 minutes can make all the difference in the positive and less than positive outcome."
Jacksonville Mayor Jeff Elmore agreed and is excited to have an emergency room in the city again.
"Having the ER here will be great," Elmore said. "Our closest ER really that most people used was Spring Hill."
The mayor expects people from outside the city to use the hospital too, especially because of the mental health services it offers.
"That's going to be a much-needed tool or resource for our area because there has not been a lot of mental health offerings north of the river," Elmore said. "This will be really good."
The hospital has 13 beds in the emergency department and 24 in the behavioral health unit.
"We have full-service radiology, we have CT, MRI, we have 3D mammography, we have ultrasound," Burton said.
Patients have already started using those services since it opened on March 16.
"They're so excited to have us here," Burton said. "We had 200 or 300 people at our grand opening... it was like a pep rally."
The hospital has also created more jobs in the city.
"Thus far we've hired... I want to say we're up to 150 people now," Burton said.
Unity Health Jacksonville is working to hire nurses, laboratory technicians, a respiratory therapist, mammography technician, ultrasound technician and more CT technicians.
If interested in applying, visit the career tab on Unity Health's website.