Phoebe Sumter asking people to give to Tornado-stricken Missouri hospital

Photo by J.D. Sumner

Photo by J.D. Sumner

AMERICUS, Ga.: It's a long way from Joplin, Missouri to Americus, Ga., but for many, the terror and hardships experienced this week by the midwesterners devastated by a strong tornado are fostering an instant connection.

Tuesday, officials with Phoebe-Sumter, the hospital that has arisen from the rubble of the hospital that was destroyed by a March 1, 2007 tornado, began asking the Americus community to give money in support of recovery and relief operations in Joplin, Missouri where St. John's Hospital was hit by a strong tornado that killed more than 116 people.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Joplin, and of course to our fellow healthcare workers at St. John's Medical Center," said Marcus Johnson, Marketing & PR Director at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center. "There have been so many storms and devastation for the past few months, but when another hospital took a direct hit that instantly brought back memories and we wanted to support them like so many people and organizations supported us and continue to support us in our time of need."

"If anyone can relate to the people at St. John's and Joplin, it is us and the people in this community," said Johnson. "It has been four years and we are close to realizing our dream of opening a brand new hospital in December, but it wouldn't have happened if not for the prayers and support from so many people, including many we have never even met. We want to extend that same type of assistance to St. John's Medical Center, to let them know that things are dark now but like us they can also come back stronger and better than ever."