It's a green light for care center

This old emergency room sign at Pauls Valley's closed hospital will soon get a makeover as plans are to open an urgent care center there starting Thursday, Jan. 2. (PV Democrat photo)

All indications are it's a go, a green light, for an urgent care center to open on schedule in a portion of Pauls Valley's closed hospital.

In these parts that's a pretty big deal since the building has been locked up tight since the local hospital shut down its operations back in October 2018.

The silent treatment for the building is about to change, at least in the former emergency room area, as the Southern Plains Medical Group still has plans to open an urgent care center right there after the 2020 year gets started.

Southern Plains officials announced last week their plan is to open the care center on Thursday, Jan. 2.

Hal Brock, vice president of business development, said this week that target date is still go-time as the center's first day of offering services to the public.

“Everything is on schedule and we plan on being there early on the 2nd to open at 7 a.m.,” Brock said.

The facility's full name will be the SPMG Pauls Valley Urgent Care and Diagnostic Center.

Other Southern Plains officials, like CEO Len Lacefield, have been pretty clear for some time about their intention to first open an urgent care facility in that same hospital building and then go for the bigger prize – having a fully functional hospital in PV once again.

As for the urgent care center, once open it will be available 12 hours a day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

Lacefield has said the plan is to have two physicians, along with mid-level providers, to staff the center.

Southern Plains also plans to reopen the hospital's laboratory to offer all local providers with a centralized location to have blood and urine samples read.

The recent alternative has been to send those samples to Oklahoma City or sometimes even out of state to places like Dallas, Texas.

Also available will be radiology and imaging services, such as MRI and CT scans, digital X-ray and ultrasound.

As for a full hospital returning to Pauls Valley, work has been ongoing for months to get its acute care license at the time of closure renewed by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

Lacefield stated last week he's projecting a full hospital to make a return later in 2020.

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