The mission of Great Plains Regional Medical Center is to distinguish itself as the leader in western Oklahoma and the eastern Texas Panhandle for comprehensive, cost-effective, high-quality healthcare.
Believe it or not, the concept of managed healthcare has been around at least since the Depression. Michael Shadid, M.D., of Elk City, Oklahoma, created one of the earliest managed care systems in this country in 1929. For years, the doctor had been haunted by the fact that hundreds of farm families scattered throughout the Great Plains country were not getting adequate medical attention. He saw firsthand the tragedies among medically forgotten rural Oklahoma and Texas – farmers dying of ruptured appendixes, their wives and children defenseless against the ravages of pneumonia, diabetes and tuberculosis. Shadid knew that the only solution to this bitter problem was prepaid group medicine, offering hospital facilities and medical treatment at a price that these none-too-prosperous farmers could afford. In the truest sense, Shadid was a pioneer, for nowhere in America was there a model to guide him in his experiment.
Today, the board of directors, medical staff, administration and employees of Great Plains Regional Medical Center still believe it is imperative to the well-being of the families in western Oklahoma that we carry on the mission started by Dr. Shadid. Great Plains Regional is positioned for a strong future as the comprehensive healthcare provider for the people of our area. Our commitment is, and will continue to be, to provide modern, state-of-the-art medical care while retaining the warmth and compassion of the community hospital that will forever be remembered as the first “cooperative” hospital in the nation. On May 11, 2007 – under a warm, brilliant blue western Oklahoma sky – a groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new 62-bed replacement hospital scheduled for completion in July 2009. At 151,030 square feet, it will be an increase in size of nearly 50 percent over the present facility and should greatly improve the delivery of services and increase the comfort level of our patients and guests. It will also easily allow for a future expansion of up to 25 beds.
In the spring of 2007, we purchased a 64-slice CT scanner and can now offer cardiac calcium scoring. Cardiac calcium scoring is used to check for heart disease in its early stages and to determine its severity. Also, a new linear accelerator with Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) capability was recently purchased for our cancer center. The greatest advantage of this machine is that normal tissues surrounding a tumor get minimal doses of radiation while the tumor gets a higher and more effective dose. IMRT gives the patient fewer side effects when compared to traditional radiation therapy. The 64-slice CT scanner and the IMRT linear accelerator are the latest in a series of purchases by our hospital to make sure we continue to have the most technologically advanced equipment to better serve our patients. It’s just one of many improvements we will be making as we begin construction on the new hospital.
No hospital can thrive and grow without the support of the medical staff. We are so fortunate to have the number of physicians we have here, providing a level of care almost unheard of in a rural community and offering such a variety of specialties. One of the many advantages of living in a smaller community is the fact that doctors become such an integral part of the community. We see them at school functions, we sit next to them at church, we pass them in the aisles of the local stores: We are privy to a level of familiarity with our doctors that is almost nonexistent in big cities. They are quite literally our neighbors and friends. I’m very pleased to announce that a number of new physicians have recently relocated here, and I hope you will join us in welcoming them to Elk City and help them become a part of our community.
• Dennis DeJesus, M.D., is our new full-time radiologist. His office is located within the hospital.
• Isabel Vega, M.D., practices internal medicine and has a subspecialty in rheumatology. She has joined Dr. Anwar in his practice located at 2406 Bell Ave.
• Bradley Whinery, M.D., family practice/OB, began accepting patients last August. His office is located in Suite A of the recently completed medical office building located at 1900 W. Second St.
• George Robie, Jr., M.D., OB/GYN, also began accepting patients last August. Prior to his arrival here, he was in practice at Ada for 4 years. His office is at 1900 W. Second St. in Suite D.
• Terry Jones, D.O., family practice, is another recent addition to our medical staff. He sees patients at the Burns Flat Health Clinic. Although he came here from Hobbs, New Mexico, he is originally from western Oklahoma and still has strong family ties here.
• Gregory Rogers, D.O., whose name will be recognized by some, is returning to Elk City. Dr. Rogers was a full-time ER physician at GPRMC several years ago before deciding to move to eastern Oklahoma to go into family practice. Effective September 1, 2008, he again joined our team of full-time ER physicians.
The hospitalist program is now in full swing. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the program, we’ve hired physicians who work with your family doctor when you’re admitted to the hospital. This way you always have a physician available in the hospital to monitor your care. Remember, the hospitalist doesn’t replace your family doctor; the hospitalist is just an added member of your care team.
Three years in a row (2006-2008), Great Plains Regional Medical Center has been named one of the “Best Places to Work in Oklahoma.” In 2006, we were the highest-ranked hospital on the list and the only rural company to make the list. Of the rating needed to achieve this honor, 30 percent is based on the benefit package we offer, and 70 percent is based on what our employees say about the organization in a survey. Given the fact that the survey is anonymous and participation is voluntary, we are quite pleased and proud of those results.
At GPRMC, we actively practice the Disney philosophy of customer service. We’ve had such noticeable success with this – especially in our patient satisfaction scores - that other hospitals, schools and businesses throughout the state have invited us to make presentations to their employees. Quality patient care continues to be our focus at GPRMC. It’s a team effort in which there are many participants.
Because we have the support of the community and people in this area favor us with the opportunity to meet their healthcare needs, we have been able to grow at a time when many hospitals in Oklahoma do not have the cash on hand to meet their next payroll and are struggling just to survive. However, we don’t intend to rest on our past achievements, and we truly believe our best days are ahead of us. If you are a past patron of our hospital, thank you for honoring us with the privilege of caring for you and your family members. If you are considering us for your healthcare needs, we would truly appreciate the opportunity to exceed your expectations.
Editorial provided by Great Plains Regional Medical Center