A new clinic is now open inside Bowie Memorial Hospital. The Internal Medicine and Endocrinology Clinic opened September 10 after many months of planning.
The opening comes just months before the November election, where the hospital will seek to become a tax district. The fate of the hospital will be left Bowie residents. If residents vote “no” the hospital will close, including the newly opened clinic.
Even with the possibility of closing, hospital officials said they remain optimistic about their future in Bowie. They said the new additions will add value to the facility and might give residents another reason to support the November ballot.
“If you want to increase your business you need to have additional physicians in your community,” said Ernie Parisi, Interim CEO at Bowie Memorial Hospital.
That's exactly what Parisi said the hospital is hoping this will do. That's why they spent about $8,000 to turn what used to be administrative offices into a new clinic.
“Time is money, so we anticipate that the district will pass so we are planning for the future,” said Parisi.
It’s a future that will include Doctor James Dunn. Dunn practiced in Bowie before moving to Fort Worth and Abilene. Now Dunn is back and is excited to serve those familiar faces in the Bowie community.
But the new venture doesn't come without risks
“Dr. Dunn certainly knows the risk,” said Parisi. “The district might fail in November and he would be in a private practice in a sense, but he certainly hasn't been concerned about that, nor are we.”
He said Dr. Dunn is already pulling patients back to the hospital that have left to seek treatment elsewhere.
“We're optimistic,” said Dunn. “I wouldn't be here if I thought it wouldn't succeed. On the other hand if it doesn't succeed, the medical needs of the community are still here.”
Hospital officials said its new hospital features and expanded care might help make divided residents vote in support of a new tax district that would tack on 17 cents to current tax rates.
“I'm very confident with the plan that the hospital has laid out, and I'm happy to be a part of it, said Dunn”
If residents vote “no” to the tax district in November the hospital along with the new clinic will be forced to close its doors.