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Coast hospital set to begin major renovations

BAY ST. LOUIS — Hancock Medical Center hopes to get started in two months on its $24-million face-lift.

Hospital spokesman Tom Carlton tells The Sun Herald that bids went out last month for the renovation project. He said hospital services will not be interrupted by the construction.

The project will take about three years to complete.

“The construction phase will take some time, but when all is complete, Hancock County will have a brand new hospital,” said hospital administrator Hal Leftwich.

Funding for the work comes from FEMA and insurance, Carlton said.

Though inundated by Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge, the hospital remained open.

In the aftermath of Katrina, hospital employees helped clean, paint, drywall and reopen the hospital “while tending to their own shattered homes,” Carlton said.

The hospital moved to its current location in 1987 and the facility expanded in 1995 and 1998.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Hancock Medical as a county-owned facility, Carlton said. In 1960, Hancock County took over ownership of the hospital from Kings Daughters Hospital, which had operated since the 1920s.

Hancock Medical also has offices in Kiln, the Port Bienville Industrial Park and in Diamondhead.

About 400 employees, including about 100 physicians, are employed in the Hancock Medical system.

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