By Geena Martinez
SANDERSON - Imagine this, you're feeling sick but the nearest clinic isn't open and the closest doctor is more than 60 miles away. That's what the community of Sanderson has dealt with in the past.
But they're celebrating the grand opening of a health clinic.
It's out with the old and in with the new in Sanderson. The clinic is a joint venture between Pecos County Memorial Hospital and Terrell County.
There's only about 1,000 residents here but hospital CEO Jim Horton said he's happy Pecos County could help this small frontier town.
"You realize the needs they have and the challenges they face and I'm just excited to be able to come in and fill some of those gaps," Horton said.
We're told residents can get primary care services for five days a week versus only four days in the past.
And there's another change for the patients who can't make it in because of work.
"We will have extended hours a couple days a week, open until 7 p.m." Horton said.
"That's something that's very well received by the community," Alan Lewis said.
Lewis is the on-site Physician's Assistant in Sanderson. He said the clinic wants to help the community any way they can.
"You have a community so far removed, we wanted to make sports physicals for instance free of charge for the students," Lewis said.
They're doing the same for school bus drivers.
The clinic has other ideas in mind to keep patients from making the 60-plus mile trip to Fort Stockton.
"A van that will go back and forth everyday and pick patients up for their medical appointments," Horton said. "For us to be able to bring that to them and keep them off the road is important."
Officials said the well being of the community is top priority and they're glad they have a hand in that.
"You're able to save a life, you're able to provide medical care, take the burden off of someone and you know, that's the golden ticket," Lewis said.