Greenwood Leflore Hospital is reopening some of its inpatient operations as of Wednesday, but its intensive care unit remains closed. 

The 208-bed hospital suspended inpatient services last week following a sewage leak that caused patients to be transferred to other facilities and clinics to be shut down for three days. 

Twelve of the hospital’s medical and surgical beds will be reopened. They will be utilized by post-surgery patients, medical admissions and patients who require less than 24 hours of medical supervision. 

Hospital officials said that the beds will be staffed by employees of the hospital, not contract laborers. 

“The hospital has committed to continuing service availability without the use of contract labor,” hospital officials said in a press release. 

The hospital is continuing to analyze inpatient services it has closed, including its intensive care unit. Its labor and delivery unit is currently staffed at the minimum level required by federal law for providing emergency medical treatment. 

“This analysis was required to determine, with labor shortages and higher labor costs, how the hospital can continue to operate inpatient services while covering the cost of providing those services,” the press release stated.

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. 

Hospital officials have not answered questions about the number of employees affected by the changes in services. 

Last week, 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. 

After the sewage problem was resolved, the hospital resumed all outpatient services and reopened the clinics located outside of the main hospital building. 

The hospital 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.