Winston Medical Center is Mississippi Hospital Association’s 2017 Outstanding Small Rural Hospital.

“It’s just a testament to all the hard work that the employees and everyone related to Winston Medical Center does,” says CEO Paul Black.

The Mississippi Hospital Association presented the award, saying Winston Medical couldn’t be more deserving, after being destroyed by a tornado and still providing quality health care.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” says Lacey Vowell, senior care services. “I cried during the whole presentation. That can tell you how I feel about today. It’s very emotional.”

Emotional because patients and employees were inside the hospital when an EF-4 tornado ripped through.

“Walking out and seeing my building just looking like Niagara Falls coming through the roof and knowing we had 114 residents in the nursing home we had to get safe,” says Vowell.

And now three years later, a brand new hospital sparks a new beginning.

“There never was a question that we wouldn’t be back here,” says Black. “We just didn’t know what it was going to look like.”

The Outstanding Small Rural Hospital award is given to a hospital that goes above and beyond the call of duty. Community members celebrating agree that health care in Winston County never drops below outstanding.

“It’s the same type of stuff they do every day,” says Black. “It’s very nice to be recognized for what you do every day of the week.”