By: Sarah Snyder
The doors opened and the crowds poured in. The Springboard Center is the only private-non-profit drug and alcohol treatment center in our area where patients can stay until they get better.
"It has been crazy since we opened up in March," Tim Baker, President/COO Springboard Center, said.
It's an 18-bed, $4 million facility, working with patients struggling with drug and alcohol addiciton. Since they opened just three months ago, they've been packed.
"They didn't have any place to go," Baker said. "If you went to our emergency room, you wound up getting sent to San Angelo, TX."
Center officials estimate that every year around 2,000 people in Midland and Odessa travel outside the area to get help.
"It speaks to a major medical problem we have in the United States and right here in this community," Baker said. "This is a place where Midlanders said - we need to deal with this."
The two physicians and team of nurses and counselors at Springboard work with Midland Memorial Hospital each day any time a patient is facing substance abuse.
"We can reduce the amount of time they need to stay in the emergency department," Bob Dent, VP of Nursing at Midland Memorial said. "It's a win-win for Springboard, for the hospital, for the patients, and for our community that they have a place here locally they can stay."
The center owns about 9 acres and they're already looking at an expansion.
"The need is there," Baker said. "Actually, we've almost outgrown this building in 90 days, but we're going to make it work for awhile."
And there's no government money involved. Springboard is supported by 500 private Midland donors along with the Meadows Foundation.