After only a few years in its new building, Texoma Medical Center has outgrown its finished space. On Wednesday, the Denison hospital announced that construction is under way to finish out the seventh floor, which will add 38 beds and mean 100 new jobs.
“Only by God’s grace are we where we are,” TMC CEO Ron Seal told a crowd gathered in the lobby for the announcement.
The hospital opened its new building at U.S. Highway 75 and FM 691 in 2009. The eight-level structure was built with only the bottom six floors ready for patients. The top two floors were essentially a shell that could be completed to accommodate future growth.
Early last year, the hospital leadership began exploring a possible expansion. “The ultimate issue is there are more patients coming to this facility,” Seal said in a 2012 interview with the Herald Democrat. “As a result of that, we want to anticipate and be proactive, ensuring that we have the bed capacity to meet the health needs rather than to be reactive and have to scrounge and figure out what you’re going to do or turn away patients.”
On Wednesday he said the hospital is drawing patients from a 50-mile radius. Seal said the expansion onto the seventh floor is an $8 million investment. Additionally, the hospital has spent an estimated $7 million in capital investment in other areas of the hospital this year. Once finished the seventh floor will house a new pediatric unit and additional medical surgical patient rooms.
Seal promised those at the announcement that if the hospital’s growth continues, once the seventh floor is opened in December, crews will move on to the eighth floor. Completion of the eighth floor would bring the hospital’s bed total to 326.
TMC began as a community hospital in 1965 until it was acquired by Universal Health Services in 2007. The acquisition came with the caveat that UHS build a new facility. “You’re taking the dream that we had (for TMC) and making it a reality,” Denison Development Alliance Board Chairman and former Denison Mayor Robert Brady said at Wednesday’s announcement.
Current Mayor Jared Johnson, who is also an employee of TMC, pointed out that the hospital and its continued growth is a major economic driver for the community. He said since the new facility was opened, the hospital has invested $170 million and spent enough money in the local economy to generate $1.8 million in sales tax.
Not only does that generate revenue for the city, he said, that is also money that is being spent at local businesses.
Since moving into the new hospital facility, TMC has not stopped growing. Last year the hospital expanded it parking lot, and Seal said another expansion is planned for next year. In August, the hospital opened a Breast Care Center. Seal said, over the past year emergency room activity has grown by 18 percent and operating room activity by 12 percent.
Chief Operating Officer Justin Kendrick said activity in the obstetrics area of the hospital has doubled over the past two years. Finally, in addition to the seventh floor expansion, the hospital announced Wednesday that it will open two additional labor and delivery suites in September.
“Our plans are to continue to grow with the communities,” Seal said.