The Washington County Regional Medical Center has seen a lot of changes over the last year. That’s when the county gave the hospital $15 million in bond money in hopes of saving it.

And the hospital authority says they’ve been working hard ever since to do just that, and some residents in Sandersville say they can see the difference.

“It’s getting better and better," patient Mesa King said.

“This is life-saving right here,” mother Roseanne Rogers said.

Earlier this year, hospital officials brought in physicians from Augusta University.

Chairman for the WCRMC Hospital Authority, Jim Croome, says now that they have the clinical side under control, it’s time to focus on the business side. That’s why they laid off 27 employees Tuesday in an attempt to cut their budget, in part of a new contract with ER Hospitals, a company that manages rural hospital.

“Revenue has declined, honestly, for a number of years and you just have to right size any business," Croome said. "You have to have the right number of employees for the revenue that you have, and so it just came to the point that we had to make an adjustment.”

Croome says this contract gives them access to be able to share hospital staff from the other locations ERH manages, eventually saving WCRMC between $2-3 million a year.

“They have a 3-year plan that we’re trying to pretty much get to a break-even point and that’s our goal right now and we think in a couple of years we’ll be pretty close to that," Croome said. "We hope we’ll be there in 3 years.”

And the residents in Sandersville say they hope the hospital reaches that goal too.

“I really hope that they get better and that they keep getting better,” King said,

Croome says the hospital has only used about 26% of the bond money the county gave them last year.