AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Panhandle families will soon be able to take their children to a specialized pediatric center here in Amarillo.
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center received a generous donation of $6 million to begin construction of a new pediatric building.
Children's Miracle Network donated the funds with a simple goal in mind, to keep families with sick children closer to home.
"We were spending so much money on travel grants to have families go away from Amarillo for medical care that we just decided to take a hard look at the problem and see what we could do to fix it rather than just bandaging it and sending families away," Director of CMN Jodi Reid said.
Officials agree that the need for specialized pediatric care is high in our area.
They said the lack of this care forces families to travel to bigger cities and even out of state, to keep up with their child's medical care.
"It's so hard on families when they have a sick child, mom and dad have to take time off of work," Reid said. "They're not getting paid, they're in a strange city, they have to pay so much money for food and lodging and gas and it is just so very stressful on the family."
The new care will benefit many and officials said the state of the art facility will also help recruit more doctors.
"The stand alone pediatric sub-specialty facility is letting us be able to show people 'hey we have this state of the art infrastructure that's going to be able to allow those sub-specialty physicians we recruit to really be able to offer that optimal care for to the kids'," TTUHSC Chairmen of Pediatrics Todd Bell said.
Bell said officials in the TTUHSC pediatric department regularly deal with shortage problems.
"We are really short on space, short on rooms and we have physicians who have to share our offices," Bell said. "Sometimes we have scheduling issues with being to able to get all the children seen because we don't have the space for them. The new facility will allow our physicians to be able to work and to deliver the health care that they want to deliver."
The ground breaking for the new specialized pediatric facility is projected for summer 2017.