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Ramsey talks about hospital, Hempstead Hall

By Stephanie Harris Smith, 01/21/20 5:15 PM

“ It wasn’t an “I” thing, it was a “we” thing,” Former Hope Mayor Dennis Ramsey said about efforts made on maintaining two important locations for Hope citizens , the close by emergency room,  and the outlet for which Hope houses first class entertainment and all types of important community activities and speakers. Wadley Hospital and Hempstead Hall have two very different purposes, but remain important to Hope and the goings on of the city and county. 

  Ramsey was a key player in the actions that took place to keep a hospital within the city walls of Hope. Although Ramsey isn’t a person to take credit, one who lingers very long in business circles in Hope will undoubtedly  hear his name associated with things that have helped prosper the area, as with many others, in Hope, through the years. Ramsey said he has been personally involved in these efforts to maintain quality of life in the community  because “ of forefathers, of say Hope, that worked to make Hope what it is today. ”

 “ Our forefathers worked to make Hope a better place to live and raise your family. It’s incumbent on us to pay to pay it back,” he said. Ramsey included Hope’s own George Frazier, when he talked of forefathers, saying that Frazier  was “ his mentor.”

The hospital in Hope has changed names and owners more than once over the years, but before it became a subsidiary of Wadley, the medical facility got so near to closing that the hospital workers came to work with no pay for a significant few weeks. Because, according to Ramsey, they had to keep the hospital operating in order to keep it from being completely shut down. The workers continuing to come to work to care for the patients kept the place in its entirety from becoming yet another empty, closed down, wasted work-space. The reason why the hospital had become an unstable institution was a result of crooked ownership. “ You could write a book about that deal,” Ramsey said.

“ It was a stressful, six months, not only to us, but for the staff as well.”

 But Ramsey’s involvement in meeting the many obstacles coming into play because of the bad ownership were not just for healthcare,but also, for economic reasons. He said the hospital is an important tool when new industry looks at coming to Hope.

“ I love Hope. Hope is home. When I graduated from college and got out of the Army, this is the place where my wife and I were coming,” Ramsey said. Where both institutions are concerned, Ramsey said, it was a collaborative effort that would not have been possible without other influential people such as Ned Ray Purtle, Chuck Welch, Chris Thomason, Jerry Pruden, and Jack Spencer. Where Hempstead Hall is concerned, Ramsey said, “People are proud of it. It is one of the best investments the people of Hempstead County ever made.”