Hospital cancer center closing its doors

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 4:32 PM CST
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BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - Cancer care in Mississippi County is no more after the Great River Cancer Center in Blytheville announced they will be shutting down in March leaving some people with nowhere to go.

Jean Cole is a patient at Great River who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and didn’t think twice about staying close to home for treatment and said losing the center is detrimental to the community.

“We just found out they were closing the center and the little lady was crying she said I can’t even get people to take me to Blytheville let alone Jonesboro, what am I going to do just die,” Cole said.

Hospital CEO Chris Raymer said it’s not that simple and stressed they have been struggling with funding for a while.

“It was a tough hard decision,” Raymer said. “Sadly, though with the low volume your cost is much higher per patient.”

Raymer said last year they had 51 patients and with the cost of goods skyrocketing they just could not afford it anymore. He made sure to stress they are making arrangements for all their patients and have already made progress.

“We have 72 total infusion patients right now, or at the beginning of the year, and right now already we have placed 55% somewhere else,” Raymer said.

That somewhere else is either Jonesboro, Dyersburg, or West Memphis depending on where the patient lives but Jean Cole she wants to do more.

“I just couldn’t let it go so we started the petition right now and we have about online we have about 500,” Cole said.

Dale hopes the petition makes the hospital reconsider and look at possible grants to stay afloat.