Borger to get new hospital - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Borger to get new hospital

By Sarah Seeley
NewsChannel 10

Borger, Texas - Five years after residents voted down a $25 million bond election for a new hospital, Borger residents will now get what they wanted, without extra taxes.

The new Great Plains Community Hospital in Borger may have less square feet, but the 25-bed hospital will have more room for patients and doctors.

The current ER waiting room at GPCH only has a handful of chairs and hospital administrators say that's not enough for Borger or the surrounding towns.

One doctor says residents shouldn't have to drive all the way to Amarillo to get proper care.

"This will upgrade the healthcare of the entire eastern section of the panhandle, all the way up to Perryton, Canadian, and Spearman," said Dr. William Richardson.

In 1938, the hospital was built for patients to recover long-term after simple procedures, which isn't standard care in 2009.

"It was designed at the time for an inpatient hospital," said CEO Dennis Jack.  "Everything was done inpatient and the outpatient was an after thought and that was one of the biggest components of the new hospital."

The hospital has already recruited specialty doctors to treat area patients, though more are planned as construction progresses.

"We need to get a couple more sub-specialties like a gastroenteritis [and] a urologist," said Jack. "[We want] some of the specialties that people drive all the way to Amarillo and get them to come here and provide some of those services one [or] two days a week."

Jack says community hospitals should provide between 50-60% of healthcare needs for a community.

"BSA and Northwest hospital are vital to the life of our community, but there's a lot of things that we can do here that could be done there," said Jack. "But we can do just as well."

Jack says the community voiced a strong opinion about wanting an updated hospital, but they weren't willing to raise taxes to get it.

"The delivery of healthcare has changed drastically since this hospital initially started in construction in 1938," said Jack.   "We've not been able to keep up with some of those changes because of the age of the building, the shape of the building, [or] the layout of the building."

The hospital's new location will be on 20 acres of donated land next to Frank Phillips College.

Administrators and board members received word this week that they will be receiving $27 million in stimulus money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's rural development division and a loan from a local bank.

The details of the loan are in still the final stages.

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