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Hospital Looking Toward The Future

October 20, 2017

There comes a point when every business or company that has been in operation for over 40 years has to take a look at its infrastructure and see what changes may, or may not, need to be made for it to remain viable in the future. That point is now for the administration and board of directors of the Wilbarger General Hospital.

When the current hospital building was built in 1969 it was a state-of-the-art facility and while there have been some renovations and upgrades over the last 48 years, the structure is starting to show its age and its limitations when it comes to adapting to the every-changing world of health care.

“How health care is delivered has undergone dramatic changes over the years. Those changes have been largely fueled by stunning advances in science and in rapidly evolving technologies. Thus, much of what we consider to be modern today will be antiquated and perhaps even obsolete just 10 years from now,” said WGH Chief Executive Officer Claudia Eisenmann. “The strategic question our board needs to ask is ‘How does WGH position itself for that future?’”

Part of any decisions on the future has to include a discussion of all of the hospital’s resources, including equipment, personnel, service lines, property and building, in order to determine the best use of all of those resources from a future health care delivery perspective.

At the September meeting of the board of directors, Eisenmann explained it was going to take at least $11 million over the course of the next five years to maintain the current facility. She said while that could be done, a new facility could be built for approximately $25 to $28 million.

“We don’t know the answer to the future when it comes to our facility,” she said. “We don’t know whether we should renovate our current building, build a new building, or just replace parts of our current building that are in need of immediate attention.

“That is why we are going to bring in a facilitator to help guide us through this process,” Eisenmann continued. “We want our board members to have all of the information they need in order for them to make the best decisions, and the right decisions, when it comes to providing health care in the future for the people we serve in Wilbarger County and the surrounding communities.”

Eisenmann went on to say, “It’s an exciting time at Wilbarger General. Now, instead of asking how we are going to survive, we are asking how we are going to grow. This is the best possible position for our Board to be in and I am confident that our Trustees will make the best decision for the future of this vital community resource.”