Nocona General Hospital close to renovations

Nocona General Hospital close to renovations

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Renovations have been in the works for years at Nocona General Hospital, but they are now expected to come sooner than expected.
The hospital is able to move forward with the project after an increase of patients led to more money.
Bowie Memorial Hospital closed their doors one year ago, leaving Nocona General the only hospital in
Montague County.
Officials are working hard to break ground on renovations.
The hospital is no stranger to improvements.
Two separate expansion projects have been made in the last 22-years.
But Lance Meekins, C.E.O. of Nocona General Hospital, said it is time to address the original structure.
    "I think we have to continue to modernize our facility to stay up in the game," Meekins said. "And that's where this all led from. We can't just sit back and let things age."
Modernize is exactly what they are doing, with plans to make semi -private rooms private, updating the rooms and expanding the nursing station.
    "On any given shift we are going to have approximately seven to eight people trying to utilize the same space," Corrie Holcomb, the Chief Nursing Officer said. "Work flow, sometimes, is a little bit difficult."
Dr. Len Dingler, the Chief Medical Officer, sees benefits of bringing in modern technology.
    "One of the things that is hard to do is recruit physicians to rural areas," Dr. Dingler said. "So this will allow us to be in a better position to recruit more physicians to come to Nocona to be able to provide them with a state of the art facility to practice in."
Meekins believes it is vital to keep rural hospitals strong.
    "If your having to travel an extra 30 minutes, that could be the difference between life and death," Meekins said. "And having community hospitals are vitally important to the community. Not only from a healthcare and life saving standpoint, but from an economic standpoint as well."
The project is expected to cost anywhere from $2.5 to $3 million dollars.
Meekins said those numbers are still tentative and they will know more in the coming weeks.
Meekins hopes they begin work in the summer and expects construction to last 12 to 18 months.
Newschannel 6 reached out to the Hashmi group and Bowie Memorial Hospital about when they expect to open. However, they have not responded.

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