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30 new health care jobs coming

Investors, hospital adminstration, Mayor Earl Johnson, and Chamber members participated in Wednesday’s announcement.| Kendra Bolling/Star-News

At least 30 new health care jobs will be coming to Andalusia in the coming months, officials said Wednesday.

Gamma HealthCare, a group based out of Poplar Bluff, Mo., announced the construction of a new state of the art clinical laboratory located inside the new Physicians Park building being built across from Andalusia Regional Hospital.

Mayor Earl Johnson called the announcement “very exciting.”

“This will be a tremendous asset for this community,” he said. “It will provide many opportunities for the city. Andalusia is very interested in this.”

The 12,000 square foot building is being constructed by Olan Harden, Marc McIntyre and Dr. Tim Day of the HDM Group LLC, which will also house the offices of Dr. Day, Dr. Tara Harden and Dr. Ashton Wells, all local surgeons.

“We are excited to have Gamma HealthCare Inc. as a laboratory provider for our community,” Olan Harden said. “They will be able to provide high quality health care services to the local physicians and the citizens of the communities we serve.”

Jerry Murphy, chairman and owner of Gamma HealthCare, said the company is grateful to become involved in the community.

The new facility will allow the company to expand its clinical laboratory services to the state of Alabama and the entire Southeast, Murphy said.

“This project will provide the City of Andalusia and the surrounding areas with a choice for their laboratory testing needs,” he said.

Murphy said the company provides services such as X-rays in nursing homes, medical waste disposal services, phlebotomy services, health and wellness testing and drug screening, among other services.

Murphy said that Andalusia was a draw for his company because it was the type of market they were looking for and its central location.

“Andalusia will be a vital part of our growth strategy in the Southeast,” he said. “We will be able to service Southern Missi-ssippi, Alabama, Western Georgia and Nort-hwest Florida from this location.”

McI-ntyre said the building is expected to take about five months to complete.

“Andalusia is the most business friendly city I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” he said.

The exact time line for when hiring will begin isn’t known; however, one may visit gammahealthcare.com to see job openings.