Hometown Pride Tour: Wilbarger General Hospital

Hometown Pride Tour: Wilbarger General

VERNON, TX (KAUZ) - Health care is important to any community... We've seen small rural hospitals closing in Texoma. Some are opening back up. Wilbarger General Hospital is doing just fine. As a matter of fact, they are growing. We went straight to the top, and sat down with the CEO to get the "skinny" on how Wilbarger General is in the business of fixing people. Maybe more importantly, helping people stay healthy. 
"It's easier to stay well, than it is to get well," says Wilbarger General CEO Claudia Eisenmann. She is heading up changes at the hospital.  
 "Most rural hospitals now have at least some employed physicians, so we are aggressively pursuing people who are going to be the right fit. Physicians who want to be in a small town kind of atmosphere, want this sort of culture, want this type of practice style. We want them to come in a work for us. That's so we can expand our clinic availability and access to people in the community. We want to be able to open our doors for health care, for primary care and particularly preventative services for anybody and everybody that needs us so the best way for us to achieve that is for us to grow in the physician area," says Eisenmann.
By getting a family practice doctor, the hospital is hoping to allow more services. But, their walk in clinic will allow for more family practice type of care after hours.
"If you have a child and that child gets home from school and is kind of feeling achy and not doing good and maybe the physician practices have closed, you can come into our walk in clinic and you can see a nurse practitioner in there who focuses on family medicine, and your child can be taken care of. So, we're doing some of those things to meet the community needs," said Eisenmann. 
That is not all the hospital is doing to help those who need it.
"We're growing in the rehab service area. We often find that cardiac disease is a big issue in our part of the country and it is all over the United States anymore. Somebody goes to Wichita Falls, or even the Metroplex, and gets a stint or a heart cath or whatever, they need to be on a rehab program that's specialized when they come back so we're opening our cardiac rehab program to accommodate those individuals so that they don't have to travel for those things. We opened up a pediatric speech therapy and really advanced that this last year," Eisenmann told us. 
There is also the new fitness trail that is just outside of the hospital. It's there to help people get and stay healthy. 
"Our fitness trail and that type of thing are really designed around wellness in our community and trying to move people in a different direction about being focused on their own health, rather than waiting for them to get sick and show up in the hospital and ask somebody to cure them," said Eisenmann.
With things like the walk in clinic and more rehab possibilities Wilbarger General is doing what hospitals are known for, that is to take care of you. But, they are also looking to make it so that you don't need them as often. 
"We're glad we are here when people are sick, but guess what? I'd rather make sure that we're here to keep people healthy," Eisenmann said.
The fitness trail is pretty cool. The hospital itself has competitions for employees on it. Claudia Eisenmann told us, there are a lot of people who use it from kids to people in their 80s on a daily basis. It's just another way that health care, really all across the country, is changing. Wilbarger General is right along with the national trend.

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