Greenwood Leflore Hospital will delay resuming inpatient operations even after clean-up efforts related to a sewage leak have been completed, hospital officials announced Thursday.

Officials cited the hospital’s precarious financial position as the cause of the shutdown. 

“The hospital continues to be on diversion and is temporarily delaying the re-opening of inpatient services,” the press release stated. “Further analysis is required to determine with labor shortages and higher labor costs how we can continue to operate while remaining viable until a lease is finalized.”

Questions about the number of employees affected by the shutdown of inpatient services were not immediately answered by hospital officials. 

The hospital said it had received approval by the Mississippi State Department of Health for the repairs to the underground crawl space the sewage had seeped into earlier this week, and that it is now safe to resume normal operations. 

The clinics inside the hospital are reopening and outpatient services, including surgeries, laboratory and radiological testing have resumed. 

On Monday, clogged manholes forced sewage into the crawl space below the hospital. As a result, at least 17 patients were transferred to six other hospitals across Mississippi and one hospital in Arkansas. At least 16 patients were discharged. 

Despite the sewage problem, the hospital has continued to operate its labor and delivery unit, emergency department and the clinics located outside of the main hospital building. 

The hospital, which is jointly owned by Leflore County and the city of Greenwood, laid off 30 people in May to offset losses during the pandemic. It announced in June that it is in talks with the University of Mississippi Medical Center on a joint operation agreement. 

“GLH began the process of seeking affiliation partners as the hospital emerged from the Delta and Omicron waves of the pandemic,” the hospital said in a June press release. “Affiliation, particularly with a larger system like UMMC, the state’s only academic medical center and largest hospital, can result in cost efficiencies that are necessary to attain sustainable operations over the long term.”

UMMC declined to comment on the potential lease agreement.

The 208-bed facility is one of the largest employers in Leflore County with 770 employees.


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Will Stribling covers healthcare and breaking news for Mississippi Today.