GRAFORD – In an era of medical facility shutdowns in rural Texas, the opposite happened in Palo Pinto County on Friday.
“We’re opening a clinic here,” said Megan Hudson, Marketing Director of Palo Pinto General Hospital, amid about 90 people in a cave-like emergency vehicle bay attached to the 3,000-square-foot Possum Kingdom Family Health Clinic.
“There was a great need for that in the community,” she says. “It was tough when someone had a heart attack and had to wait more than 40 minutes for an ambulance. And it’s growing fast out here. And they have accessible availability. So if someone is injured at the lake, they can come in. “
The clinic may open on November 30th, once the finishing touches are completed, and will be manned by Nurse Josh West, a nurse and receptionist.
The clinic was built through a partnership between the hospital, the county, and the No. 1 emergency service district and will provide the closest basic care to residents of the growing maritime community.
Located south of Park Road 36 on FM 2353, it will also house an ESD 1 ambulance crew on 5,000 square feet that will include the 5 meter high two-vehicle bay, kitchen, and bedrooms.
“The entire lake area is happy – especially for the clinic,” said architect Timothy Hopkins when the visitors arrived before a brief ceremony.
District Judge Shane Long, who grew up in the Kingdom of Possum and follows at least three generations in that community, praised the partnership that produced the $ 1.9 million establishment.
“I couldn’t be happier with the collaboration that has taken place here, now and in the past,” he told the group. “It’s a prime location, a prime place. I’m looking forward to the life-saving skills in this place that are here. “
Hospital boss Ross Korkmas said the clinic is now filling a niche and will meet demand in the future.
“This building is going to save lives,” he said. “The lake community is growing. Mineral Wells is growing, Palo Pinto County is growing. … I am very excited to see what this will bring to our community. “
And Tye Jackson, President of the ESD 1 Board of Directors, noted it was a “long process” to get the building a reality.
“With the growth out here, it’s very strategic to put it here,” he said.