Crenshaw Community Hospital hires Greenville general surgeon part time

Published 2:32 pm Monday, July 10, 2017

Dr.Gary Harrington (left) introduced himself to the Crenshaw community at the Luverne Rotary Club. He is pictured with LeAnne Montgomery (middle) and fomer Rotary president Danny Rolling Journal Photo/Shayla Terry

By: Shayla Terry

In a time of financial stuggles for small town hospitals, Crenshaw Community hospital made a necessary leap by hiring Dr. Gary Harrington, a general surgeon, to see patients in Luverne.

Harrington is a native of Baltimore. He completed his undergraduate degree at Howard University, and received his doctorate of medicine from the Washington University School of Medicine. His internship and residency was completed at the Medical College of Virginia. He has been practicing medicine for more than 19 years.

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“I love the big city; that’s where I grew up,” Harrington said. “I made a decision and commitment to work for small towns because that is where help is really needed. The big city has surgeons a dime a dozen; they can get what they need when they need it. I never realized how much is needed for a small town.”

Harrington decided for that reason he could live and work in a small town and practice his passion, medicine.

“I don’t think of it as going to work every day, because I really do love what I do,” he said. “To be able to do that and give back to the communities that need my help is very satisfying to me.”

Harrington specialized in microscopic surgery, the use of small instruments to perform surgeries while looking at a tv monitor. He will be in the area initially to do outpatient procedures.

“If you need a colonoscopy or have your gall bladder removed, those are the procedures that we will offer here,” he said. “We will do procedures that can be done in a day. A lot of people think you need to go to the big facilities, but we can perform that for you all here.”

LeAnne Montgomery, CEO of Crenshaw Community Hospital, quoted statistics at the last Luverne Rotary club meeting that say one rural hospital a month has been closing since 2010.

“That’s a startling fact,” she said. “The more and more changes we see in health care that we need to be current on. It is important to our lives and our community.”

The Crenshaw Community hospital provides 206 jobs, 113 full-time, between the hospital and clinic. The payroll for the facility is $8.1 million dollars yearly, of which $6.8 million is paid by the hospital.

Montgomery says the hospital is financially getting stronger.

“Since 2015, we have grown business 33 percent, and increased the volume 33 percent,” she said.

Montgomery says she is trying to do a better job with making residents knowledgeable of services that are available at the hospital.

“It takes some time to turn things around,” she said. “We’ve lost serveral physicans before I came, and that really affects things. We have two great primary physicans in Dr. Thompkins and Dr. Walker and I am recruiting for a third physician currently for our clinic.”

Harrington will see patients in Luverne on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Appointment can be made through his Greenville office by calling 334-382-1237.

The hospital will also welcome Dr. Robert Liljeberg, and orthopedic surgeon from Troy, on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. Appointments with Liljeberg can be made by contacting his Troy office at 334-670-5475.