Lockdown Lifted at Oklahoma Hospital

McCurtain Memorial Hospital was placed under a strict lockdown after threats were made against the facility.

By Mackenna Moralez, Associate Editor

McCurtain Memorial Hospital (MMH) in Idabel, Oklahoma lifted its lockdown on Friday after numerous threats were made against the facility. 

In a social media post, the hospital announced it was lifting its lockdown measures “effective immediately,” but will continue to use various security measures, including:  

  • Having patients and visitors who enter through the emergency room and registration entrance to walk through a metal detector 
  • Prohibiting bags and purses 
  • Sign in with an ID and log their time in and time out. 
  • Only two visitors per patient per day 

Earlier this month the hospital was placed on a strict lockdown after a shooting threat was made against staff, according to a press release posted to the facility’s Facebook page.  

The threats reportedly came an inmate from McCurtain County Jail claimed the hospital refused to medically treat him. The claim was heard by nearby protestors, prompting calls as to why the hospital was refusing to treat the inmate. The calls eventually escalated to threatening the hospital.  

“McCurtain Memorial Hospital has been providing healthcare to the residents of Southeastern Oklahoma for more than fifty years,” Brian Whitfield, CEO of MMH said in a press release. “At no time for more than half a century have we decided who would or who would not receive treatment, nor have we ever denied medical treatment to anyone.” 

Prior to the shooting threats, the hospital was evacuated after two bomb threats were placed against the facility. Patients were reportedly evacuated to an offsite location, where staff joined them. Staff remained with patients while law enforcement searched the hospital.  

" McCurtain Memorial Hospital is a small, rural hospital and our resources are limited,” Whitfield said in a press release. “These disruptions in service to our community has a significant impact on us financially and also results in unavailable services to patients seeking outpatient services like lab, radiology and therapy. So many suffer as the result of such selfish acts and attempts to disrupt. We will recover and we will rise above these challenges but please, consider the impact on our patients and this community.”  

Mackenna Moralez is the associate editor for the facilities market. 

May 11, 2023

Topic Area: Safety

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