Basic health care is one of the most important things a community can have. Yet for the last 6 months, folks in Grandfield and the Big Pasture area haven't had access to it. But that is soon to change.
When the only family care clinic in the Big Pasture area closed down this spring, people were worried. Residents in Grandfield were often turning to pharmacist Cory Fikes for help.
"People were coming to me saying, 'What am I going to do? Where am I going to go?' We were having to try to get people in to see a doctors 20 and 30 minutes away," he said.
Fikes and 3 others in town formed a committee and were able to contact Variety Care, a large company out of Oklahoma City. They were just the right fit to bring a clinic to town.
"It was a group effort on our part, trying to get healthcare brought back in to Grandfield," Fikes said.
Now, starting tomorrow morning, the Big Pasture Health Center at Grandfield is open for business -- in the same place as the previous clinic. It boasts three exam rooms, and a staff that can perform lab services, acute care, and other family care issues. Nurse Practitioner Kenda Dean says people in town have told her about their excitement.
"You don't know what you didn't have until it was gone, and when the clinic closed, it was really a gap in access for care and for them to be able to just stop in to the clinic to get those everyday things taken care of," she said.
Care will be provided for the insured, the uninsured, and even has a care program for migrant farm workers in the area. Fikes says the center is something really special for Grandfield.
"To have a clinic and a pharmacy is a huge asset which most small towns don't have anymore," he said.
"We're just excited to get open and we're ready to take care of people in the entire big pasture area," Dean said.
The Big Pasture Health Center opens tomorrow at 8 am, with a regular Monday through Thursday schedule. The next big piece of equipment will be a digital x-ray machine that's headed to the center in a month or two.