BMH gives medical center to Colerain

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 1, 2005

COLERAIN – Despite snow and freezing temperatures here Dec. 20, town officials gathered on the steps of the former Colerain branch of the Cashie Medical Center (CMC) to officially accept the key to the building.

In a symbolic gesture, Jeff Sackrison, president of Bertie Memorial and Chowan hospitals, handed over a giant key to mark Bertie Memorial Hospital’s (BMH) special Christmas gift to the town of Colerain.

In partnership with hospital, the RBC Centura bank of Colerain, which owned the property the double-wide trailer sits on, also donated the land to the town.

&uot;This valuable property is centrally located in downtown Colerain,&uot; said Sackrison, &uot;and we felt that now we have closed our clinic there, it should go to the town to determine the best use for it.&uot;

The BMH clinic closed last March in order to avoid competing with two other clinics in nearby Powellsville and Harrellsville.

Since that time, however, town officials have decided to reopen a small private facility in order to keep immediate basic medical services in the area.

&uot;This proposed facility is primarily to serve people who don’t have the means to travel far from home,&uot; said Colerain Mayor Burney Baker.

&uot;And for those who might need immediate medical attention.&uot;

Sackrison said that the town has BMH’s full support.

&uot;By granting Colerain this building, we want to show that we back the town’s decision to do what it feels is best for its citizens,&uot; he said.

Baker said that he sees the future clinic as complementing the services of the area’s two sister hospitals – Bertie Memorial Hospital and Roanoke Chowan Hospital, both owned by University Health Systems of Eastern North Carolina, which also administers Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville.

&uot;For more complicated cases or more extensive services, two excellent hospitals are within a 25-mile radius to serve the public,&uot; said Baker.

Sackrison agreed, stating, &uot;We see this facility not as competition but as part of a medical family all working together to meet the needs of local residents.&uot;