The availability of good healthcare is critical to a community's success.

For a relatively small community, Jefferson County offers a respectable range of healthcare services.

The opening of the new King's Daughters' Hospital on Madison's hilltop will further enhance those services.

The hospital opened its doors to the public for the first time Sunday with an open house, and officially opens on Saturday.

The downtown hospital will close on Saturday after patients are transferred to the hilltop, but the KDH cancer center and several physicians will remain downtown as will the King's Daughters' Health business operations. The cancer center eventually will relocate to the hilltop.

More than 2,500 people toured the new hospital Sunday and, from what we saw and heard, they were impressed with the facility ... as were we.

The 212,000-square foot hospital is filled with state-of-the-art technology. The building is efficient and attractive.

From private patient rooms to a warm and welcoming maternity ward to large operating rooms, it is clear that a great deal of thought went into efforts to make the hospital experience as stress-free as possible.

Of course, the most beautiful hospital in the world is only as good as the doctors, nurses and staff serving the public.

What we saw Sunday were staff members proud to show off their new workplace. At every stop on the tour visitors were greeted by staffers who answered questions about their departments. Their enthusiasm was apparent.

We congratulate the Bethany Circle of King's Daughters' and the hospital's administration for bringing this project to a successful conclusion.

This new hospital and all it offers is yet another reason for each of us to be proud of our community.