Sunday afternoon people came out to tour the redesigned rooms at Marion General Hospital in an open house event that marked the first time the public was able to get a glance at the new look.
From the floors to the ceilings to the wall art it all looks different. Forrest Health financed the updates to the hospital in hopes that, if the hospital looks better, Marion County residents will feel better about it - and use it more. In the last decades the hospital has struggled to attract patients who began to bypass the local facility to more renowned hospitals in Hattiesburg.
New Marion General Administrator Bryan Maxie says that the hospital is just as capable as those facilities when it comes to quite a few basic needs including many surgeries and treating and diagnosing symptoms from chest pain to the flu.
"Peoples' perception is the first thing that brings people here. I mean if you come here to a facility and the image is bad, the perception is bad, you're more than likely not going to utilize that facility," says Maxie. "If you come into a facility that gives you a warm caring feeling, that's going to help the healing process and we just felt that that was the important thing to do first - come in and dress the place up, offer that feeling to start with and then the patients I think it'll be more inviting for them."
The hospital has also hired new certified doctors and addressed complaints from patients about the emergency room wait time.