By JACK WEATHERLY
Merit Health Madison announced Monday that it will build a $9 million, 35,000-square-foot medical offices building adjacent to the 67-bed hospital in Canton.
The construction, which will start in a couple of weeks, is expected to be completed by the end of the year or in early 2017, Merit Health Madison Chief Executive Brit Phelps said in an interview.
The six Merit Health hospitals in central Mississippi network as a unit, but they are part of a 12-hospital chain across the state.
And the Mississippi hospitals are owned by Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, which has 196 hospitals with 30,000 beds in 29 states, according to the corporate website.
Community Health is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Its shares closed at $22.91 on Monday, down five cents.
It is the second-largest hospital chain in the nation.
But Phelps said that the six Merit Health hospitals in central Mississippi operate closely with each other.
The decision to construct the office building was made at the local level, Phelps said.
There will be clinics for primary care, orthopedics, obstetrics/gynecology and other specialties, Phelps said.
“We’re working out the leases, so I can’t share the other specialties,” Phelps said.
There will be outpatient physical rehabilitation and speech therapy, he said.
The Madison County Business League and Foundation and the Madison County Economic Development Authority recently awarded the Canton hospital a 2015 Vision Award.
“A lot of major players have won that award in the past, so it just shows we’re headed in the right direction,” Phelps said.