By: Sarah Snyder
REEVES COUNTY - Finding doctors for a small town is no easy task, but a vital role in any community. Over in Reeves County, they hit the jackpot. Six new physicians are headed for Pecos.
About 80% of all the patients who come to the Reeves County Hospital go to the emergency room. And because that's so expensive, hospital officials decided to build a new rural healthcare clinic right across the street on five acres of land.
"The Rural Healthcare Clinic is going to provide a service that Pecos hasn't had before," Pecos Mayor, Richard Alligood, said. "Where we've had to send everyone to the emergency room, taking up office staff, the doctors will have office facilities, lab facilities, everything right there for them instead of having to tie up the hospital facilities, it will be in the clinic."
Reeves County hospital says adding the new 20,000 square foot clinic takes the strain off the Emergency Room.
"We would like to see people stop using the emergency room as their primary physician which is not good for the patient," Reeves County Hospital CEO, Albery LaRochelle, said. "It's not healthy. It's not financially feasible."
Not only will the hospital have a new clinic, but new cat-scan technology and computer systems, all holding a $5 million price-tag.
"We went to the taxpayers last May from a bond standpoint and that helped us get ready to go ahead and move forward with," LaRochelle said.
"That was a pretty positive vote," Mayor Alligood, said. "If they passed it, they wanted it."
The additions bring their total to three family practitioners, two surgeons, three internal medicine doctors, and two physicians assistants.
"Having a rural Healthcare Clinic in an area that is medically under served, we can receive additional monies from Medicare and Medicaid to provide access, because quite frankly, physicians won't come here unless there is adequate compensation for them in the long run," LaRochelle said.