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Health care facilities to create new jobs

After successfully enlisting the help of local government, Haywood Regional Medical Center and Maggie Valley Health Investors are chasing state grants to fund two new medical facilities in Haywood County.

Haywood County commissioners agreed to apply on HRMC’s behalf to help pay for a new hospice center.

Meanwhile, the Town of Maggie Valley partnered with Maggie Valley Health Investors to apply for a grant to fund a nursing home planned in Maggie.

Both companies had to recruit government support since grants from the North Carolina Rural Center are only open to local governments and governmental agencies. The grants reward companies that are planning expansions or new construction with $12,000 for each new job created.

The Rural Center received just finished up a round of grant applications for its Rural Health Initiative this week. A total of 15 grant applicants will be competing for a pool of $2 million.


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Plans for Maggie Valley nursing home

The Town of Maggie Valley agreed to sponsor Maggie Valley Health Investors’ application for a $480,000 grant to build a 114-bed single-story nursing home in town.

Though the skilled nursing facility will create approximately 80 new full-time jobs, the Rural Center grants reach a maximum of $480,000 for 40 new jobs.

Board members voted unanimously to lend their support to the 40,000-square-foot project, which is estimated to cost $12.5 million. The facility will bring rehabilitation services, Alzheimer’s management and respite care to the area.

While the Town of Maggie Valley will not directly funnel any money into the project, town staff will spend time administering the grant.

Maggie Valley Health Investors already operates the Canton Christian Convalescent Center. Its Virginia-based parent company, Smith/Packett Med Com, is building another assisted living facility in Jackson County.


Hospice in Haywood

HRMC hopes to score a $132,000 grant for the 11 new jobs it will initially create by building a six-bed in-patient hospice center, The Homestead of HRMC.

HRMC is also planning an End-of-Life Outreach Center.

It will also include space for counseling services and bereavement therapy, a reference library and a community education center.

So far, the hospital foundation has raised $2.4 million of its $5 million goal.

HRMC plans to complete construction by July 2011.

Haywood County will be required to provide about $4,000 in matching funds if the grant is approved. County commissioners unanimously agreed to sponsor the grant application.

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