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OZH, City of WP close part of 8th St. citing patient safety


In cooperation with the city of West Plains, Ozarks Healthcare is permanently rerouting a portion of Eighth Street in front of its Emergency Department and Women’s Center starting this week, citing concerns for the safety of patients seeking emergency care.

While access to all parking lots will remain the same, as of Monday, through traffic is being routed away from patrons seeking care at the emergency room and Women’s Center, said officials. 

A map provided by Ozarks Healthcare officials shows the closure of Eighth Street west of the intersection with Alaska Avenue, directly in front of the Women’s Center. Eighth Street will remain open from the emergency room west beyond Kentucky Avenue.

“This change will provide a safer environment for patients, visitors and staff who are seeking emergency care through our Women’s Center and Emergency Department,” said Jo Wagner, hospital compliance officer. “The health and safety of our patients are always our number one priority. With the increase in patients accessing these services, cross traffic has become a barrier. We are thankful that the community is welcoming this change.”

Construction to the street will take about three weeks, officials estimate. Once the construction is complete, Ozarks Healthcare will place large wayfinding signs around its campus to help patients find parking and entrance locations, officials added. 

“Ozarks Healthcare and the City of West Plains continue to partner to provide necessary resources to the community,” said City Administrator Sam Anselm. “While this is yet another change, this decision was vetted through city officials, community members and roadway experts.”

To access the map around the campus online, visit www.ozarkshealthcare.com and click the link in the orange bar at the top of the browser.