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Reeves County Hospital District History

History of Reeves County Hospital District

Reeves County Hospital District is located in Pecos, Texas, the County seat of Reeves County. Reeves County topography varies from flat in the northern and central parts to mountainous in the southern part, and contains some 2,626 square miles. It is bordered on the southwest by Jeff Davis County, on the southeast by Pecos County, on the west by Culberson County, and on the northeast by Loving and Ward Counties. The Pecos River forms this northeast boundary. The elevation ranges from 2,400 to 5,000 feet above sea level. The Reeves County Hospital District service area encompasses most of Reeves County and extends into Ward, Loving, Culberson, Pecos, Jeff Davis, and presidio Counties.

Reeves County was established in 1884, and it was named for Confederate Colonel George R. Reeves who was Speaker of the Texas House of Representative in 1881. Colonel Reeves was born January 3, 1826 and died September 5, 1882.

Reeves County is blessed with an excellent transportation system. Interstate highway I-20 and U.S. Highway 80 run east-west from the east coast to El Paso and the west coast. U.S. Highway 285 runs north-south through Ft. Stockton and Carlsbad, N.M. The Texas & Pacific Railroad from Fort Worth to El Paso came through Pecos in 1881, and the Pecos Valley Southern Railway from Pecos to Toyahvale began operations in 1911. The Pecos Municipal Airport serves many planes each day.

The City of Pecos had its beginning on the east side of the River. It is safe to presume that it started as a camping spot for the cattle drives coming up the river. The town shifted to the west side of the river sometime in 1883 or 1884 and a plat filed. Somehow this plat was lost when Reeves County was formed. After quite a bit of building was done on this location it was discovered that there was a flaw in the title and clear title to the town property was unavailable. In August of 1885, the town moved "lock, stock, and barrel" from the west bank of the river to its present location.

The first white men to settle in this part of the state were cattlemen, who first utilized the Davis Mountain for pasture land in 1875. Grazing was started along the Pecos River in 1879. In 1888, the first pasture fence of Reeves County was built in the Davis Mountains. Since about 1950 farming assumed a spot ranking with ranching as the number one industry. Cotton, alfalfa, cantaloupes, carrots, onions, wheat, barley, safflower, sunflower, and a few other crops are grown commercially.

The first hospital in Pecos was opened by Doctor Jim Camp in his home at 601 South Hickory, prior to 1920. Doctor Jim Camp was born in White County, Tennessee on November 7, 1877. He graduated third in a class of eighty medical students, from the University of Tennessee Medical School, Nashville, Tennessee, from the class of 1900, and immediately moved to Pecos where he opened his practice. Later on Doctor Camp moved the hospital to the old redstone building on the corner of 6th and Eddy. Still later, he moved the hospital to the old jail building in east Pecos. On December 1, 1929, Doctor Camp and his son Doctor Hillard Camp opened their newly constructed hospital which was located at 1613 West 5th Street. This hospital had ten single rooms, four wards, a maternity ward, a modern operating room, doctor offices, a reception area and a laundry. Doctor Camp retained an active practice until he died on January 12, 1964.

The first County Hospital was proposed when the County Commissioners' Court passed a resolution on September 16, 1927 calling for an election to approve a $40,000 hospital bond proposal. The election was held on December 10, 1927, and the bond issue was not approved. The next action on this issue took place when the County Commissioners met on March 18, 1953 and called for an election to be held on April 4, 1953, for the purpose of approving or disapproving the issue of $400,000 in bonds for the purpose of "providing additional hospital facilities for the County of Reeves". The bond issue passed and the formal opening of the new hospital, located at 700 Daggett was held on December 12, 1954. This first County Hospital had a capacity of 33 beds, complete surgical department, maternity ward, nursery, laboratory, radiology, and all support areas. Dudley Cooksey was County Judge; Halla H. Bryan, Dorothy Moore Kelly, Tom J. Cargill and Tatum Eisenwine were County Commissioners; Milton Ramsour was Hospital Administrator, Mrs. Maude Cooze was Director of Nurses; Doctor Ed Schmidt was Chief of the Medical Staff and J.T. LaBaume was President of the Hospital Board of Managers. The first patient in the hospital was Emmett Champion who was admitted by Doctor John Paul Dunn. The first baby born in the hospital was Juanita Anchondo who was delivered by Doctor Harold Lindley.

At their meeting on February 24, 1975, the County Commissioners called for an election for the authorization of $3,500,000 in bonds to be used to construct a new County Hospital. Said election was held on March 22, 1975 and the results were approved on March 25, 1975, finding that the bond issue was approved. The formal dedication of the new hospital, located at 2323 Texas, was held on Sunday, February 5, 1978, and the hospital was occupied on March 6, 1978. This new hospital had a capacity of 62 beds, complete surgical and maternity services, nursery, Intensive Care Unit, laboratory, radiology, pharmacy, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, dietary, reception area, gift shop, and all other support services. There were 40 private rooms, 10 semi-private rooms, and 2 Intensive/Coronary Care beds. H.D. (Darrell) Glover was County Judge when this project was started and W.O. (Bill) Pigman was County Judge when the hospital was dedicated. Marcos Martinez, Jr., Wendell Faulkner, Dale Toone, Ismael L. Carrasco, and Cecil Cothrun were County Commissioners. Joel Daniel was Chairman of the Hospital Board of Managers and other members were George Vasquez, Mike Starkly, Jesse Bush, Dick Patillo and Jim Rankin. J.E. Langloys was Hospital Administrator, Daniel Judkins, RN, was Director of Nursing Services, and Doctor Bruce Hay was President of the Medical Staff. Other physicians on the medical staff were Doctors W.J. Bang, A.C. Briere, J.M. Chuong, C.S. Lee, Harold Lindley and Ed Schmidt. Dentists on the medical staff were Doctors W.V. Clendenon and David Lovett. The first patient admitted in the new hospital was Aurelia Martinez was admitted by Doctor C.S. Lee. The first baby born in the new Hospital was Johnny Joe Barbosa who was delivered by Doctor J.M. Chung on March 6, 1978.

The hospital was leased to and managed by the Southwest Adventists Health Services from its opening on March 6, 1978 until March 31, 1987 when the lease was terminated by mutual agreement between the Adventist System and the County Commissioners. After considering several options, the County Commissioners voted to enter into a three year full service management contract with Hospital Corporation of America Management Company, Nashville Tennessee. Mr. Mike Maloy, Administrator of the Pecos County Memorial Hospital in Ft. Stockton served as Acting Administrator until Mr. Ralph K. Neff, FACHE Administrator of the Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital in Sweetwater arrived on June 21 to serve as Interim Administrator.

Ron Patterson arrived in August, 1987 to serve as the full time administrator for HCA. Soon after his arrival the County Commissioners began discussing closing the hospital due to the financial strain on the County. Patterson and the hospital employees led the way to the hospital becoming a hospital district - a political subdivision of the State of Texas. An election was held on November 4, 1989 and on November 13, 1989 Reeves County Hospital became Reeves County Hospital District supported by the taxpayers of Reeves County. HCA changed to Quorum in 1991 and the contract with Quorum ended in November, 1995. On November 27, 1995 Methodist (Covenant) took over the management of the Hospital District until October of 2000.

From October, 2000 until April 2003 the Hospital District was managed by CRM. Robert Vernor served as Administrator from May 1, 2001 until July 2, 2004 during which time the CRM contract was cancelled and Vernor was hired directly by the Hospital District's Board of Directors. It was during this time that the Board of Directors voted to move forward with an 8 million dollar expansion and renovation project which included a new and much needed larger Emergency Department and the relocation of the Pecos Valley Rural Health Clinic, Specialty Clinic, and Physical Therapy Department. It also included a new state of the art 15 station renal dialysis facility. The grand opening ceremony was held on April 15, 2004.

January of 2007 brought a another new Administrator/CEO to the Hospital District - Albert LaRochelle. To maintain the financial integrity of the Hospital District several management goals were quickly established, prioritized, and set in motion starting with recruiting qualified healthcare professionals. When LaRochelle arrived he found the Hospital District in a critical physician shortage. Of the four primary care physicians that had been in the community, two had relocated to metropolitan areas and a third had just been diagnosed with cancer leaving only one full time Internal Medicine physician and one Physician Assistant carrying the load for all of Reeves County and adjacent West Texas communities. In September of 2007, the Nephrologist that had been in place for the renal dialysis facility since it opened three years earlier had to leave due to family visa issues.

For the following two and one-half years an intensive recruitment effort took place resulting in six physicians being recruited including three Family Practice with obstetrics, two Internal Medicine, and one Nephrologist. Another Physician Assistant, two physical therapists, an ultrasound technician, and a dietitian were also recruited. As of 2012 an additional 2 Physician Assistants, an OB/GYN physician, and 2 additional physical therapists have been added to the staff.

Obtaining designation as a Critical Access Hospital was another immediate goal. Since the inception of DRGs (diagnosis related groupings) in the early 1980s which regulated the amount of reimbursement a hospital would receive per admission the Hospital's daily census dropped significantly from as high as 44 patients per day to below 10. In order to maximize the amount of reimbursement it was receiving the Hospital District became a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) on September 19, 2007 whereas the Hospital District began receiving 101% reimbursement of allowable costs from its proportion of Medicare and Medicaid patients versus the lesser reimbursement under DRGs As a CAH, the number of licensed beds had to be decreased from 49 to 25.

Additional management goals that have been met include reducing accounts receivable to 60 days or less, preventive maintenance program, and setting staff levels based on patient needs.

Three goals that were a priority were met through the passage of a bond election held on May 9, 2009. For the first time in its history, the Hospital District requested a bond election and received the support of the voters to fund 5.64 million comprising of $4,700,000 for a 20,417 square foot rural health clinic to house up to 12 providers, $403,000 for a new 16 phase CT machine, and $537,000.00 for a new computer system complete with electronic medical records (EMRs).

Another goal that was accomplished was obtaining a new telephone system that has the capability to serve both the Hospital and the Pecos Valley Rural Health Clinic on the same system.

Other goals include making the dialysis department more cost effective either on or off campus, securing land around the hospital for future expansion needs, decreasing non tax supported debt, creating programs for mammography services and for decreasing non-emergency care in the Emergency Department, and obtaining a new roof for the original Hospital.

Reeves County Hospital District is located in a designated rural and frontier county and is also designated as a Medically Underserved Area (MUA) and a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). As we are a very rural community with a high indigent population, providing more healthcare services and providers at the local level greatly reduces the burden of travel for many of our residents who otherwise might not receive the care they need.

In July of 2011 the new Pecos Valley Rural Health Clinic opened its doors. The rural health clinic accommodates all healthcare providers employed under the umbrella of the Hospital District in one location has ultimately increased the community's access to quality primary healthcare at a price the community can afford by maximizing reimbursement, streamlining costs, providing community health education, as well as recruiting and retaining qualified healthcare providers.

As of the end of 2013 the rural health clinic houses 12 providers: 4 Family Practice/OB, 1 Surgeon, 1 Nephrologist, 1 OB/GYN, 2 Physician Assistants, and 3 Nurse Practitioners. In 2014 a Certified Diabetes Educator was also added to the rural health clinic to implement a diabetes education program.

The end of 2013 also brought about another new service to the Hospital District - MAMMOGRAPHY! A new state of the art mammography machine was bought, a new mammography technician was recruited, and the program was certified in December of 2013.

Current Administration and Goals

January 2016 brought new leadership to Reeves County Hospital District with Brenda McKinney becoming the new CEO/Administrator! Home grown, born and bred in Pecos McKinney brings a fresh perspective to the Hospital District and the delivery of healthcare. Knowing the residents of Reeves County and their families first hand McKinney has a unique insight into providing the personal touch to their healthcare.

"The citizens of Reeves County are our priority and we want Reeves County Hospital District to be the "Hospital of Choice" for the individuals entrusted to our care," stated McKinney.

"Through the years we have helped generation after generation reach better health. Our organization has been striving to serve the needs of our region since we were established. At Reeves County Hospital District we are loyal to our community and will continue to strive for excellence in healthcare."

McKinney shares "Being part of this community and giving back to it has always been an important goal to me personally and now I have an opportunity to give back in yet another way. With the help and loyalty of our wonderful community we can continue to provide healthcare services at Reeves County Hospital that you can depend on."