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Crenshaw County hospital launches meet and greet

By: Shayla Terry

With two new specialists added to its services, Crenshaw Community Hospital will hold a meet and greet on Thursday, Aug. 10 to introduce the doctors to the community.

Dr. Gary Harrington, a general surgeon, and Dr. Robert Liljeberg, an orthopedic surgeon, will join urologist Dr. Alfred Newman and general surgeon Dr. Santinderjit Gill to roll out the welcome mat.

“We’re excited for them to come on board,” said hospital CEO LeeAnne Montgomery. “We have found that our community isn’t always aware of the services that we provide. This is a time for them to have that personal introduction and get to know the physicians and develop a level of comfort with who may be doing their surgeries.”

Physicians that are already employed with the hospital will also be in attendance at the Thursday night event.

“The other physicians greatly support the new surgeons,” Montgomery said. “It’s just a really excited time for the hospital as a whole.”

Patients who previously needed the services that were not available at the hospital were being referred to other locations to meet their needs. Montgomery believes that prior to her 2014 employment a few surgeons left the hospital and were never replaced until now.

“Looking at community needs was one of the first assessments I did,” Montgomery said. “I thought about what are we not providing our community with that they are having to go somewhere else for what we can do here. Granted we are not going to be doing heart surgeries, but the services we can provide we need to do that for our community.”

Montgomery says she also looked at the community’s physical means to make the commute to other physicians.

“Not everyone has the physical means to get to Montgomery or to another location, or the financial means to get what they need. So, a lot of times they just go without the service,” she said. “Those are things we want to reach out to the community and make known that we can provide services here. We’re excited about bringing back what was so vital that has been gone.”

With one community hospital closing a month throughout the United States, the additional services will also help to put money back into the hospital so that it can remain open for years to come.

“It’s not just about making the hospital successful; we all know there is a struggle with keeping small hospital open,” Montgomery said. “We’re looking to grow, and in doing so meeting the needs of this community.”

The meet and greet with be the first of its kind for the hospital. Yet, with new renovations on the way for the hospital’s clinic, Montgomery says she looks to hold more meet and greets in the future. When the renovations are completed, the physical therapy services will be in connection with the clinic.

“When we have those things completed we will be able to host another open house for the community,” she said.

The meet and great is free to the public, and will begin at 5 p.m. on Aug. 10.