This time it looks like the real deal as in a matter days new life should return to parts of Pauls Valley's closed hospital building with the official opening of an urgent care center.
Officials with the Southern Plains Medical Group have been working for some time to not only get the urgent care services going but bring a fully functioning hospital back to PV.
The first step is an urgent care center now set to open for business on Thursday, Jan. 2.
Southern Plains' CEO Len Lacefield is the one who announced that opening date for what will be called the SPMG Pauls Valley Urgent Care and Diagnostic Center.
Lacefield says it's a really big deal to get this center open as he's also projecting a full hospital facility later in 2020.
“As the CEO of the SPMG Health System, I consider the activity and restoration of healthcare in Pauls Valley and Garvin County one of the most meaningful and profound accomplishments I’ve been blessed to be a part of,” Lacefield said in a statement released to the PV Democrat.
“Entering my 36th year of healthcare, this is a top-tier moment. The effort and resources our team has and is putting forth to accomplish this remarkable task is nothing short of amazing, remarkable and against great odds both politically and functionally.
“I am proud of the success and growth we’ve experienced in the past five years,” he said about Southern Plains, which operates two primary care health clinics in PV – Valley Family Clinic and SPMC PV with Dr. Tammy Jarvis.
“Yet the reopening of a closed healthcare facility of this magnitude, first as an urgent care and diagnostic center, then projecting in quarter number two of 2020, a full service hospital, well it’s unheard of in today’s healthcare industry with more and more facilities in Oklahoma and across the U.S. shutting their doors.”
The urgent care center, once it arrives on Jan. 2, will be open 12 hours a day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week inside the hospital's former emergency room area.
Lacefield says 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 alternative has been to send those samples to Oklahoma City or sometimes even out of state to places like Dallas, Texas, he said.
Also available will be radiology and imaging services, such as MRI and CT scans, digital X-ray and ultrasound.
Hal Brock, vice president of business development, says no special ceremonies have been planned as the focus in recent weeks was to get the urgent care center open for patients.
“January is really about getting us open and operating,” Brock said.
“We want to start with the team operating and functioning smoothly. We just want to get in there and get the urgent care going.”
He adds plans also call for Dr. Jarvis to move her local practice over to the urgent care facility.
Southern Plains also has clinics in Chickasha, Maysville and Anadarko.
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 in October 2018 renewed by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA).