by Victor Lopez
ODESSA-- When the doors first opened in 1975, they were called Odessa Women's and Children's Hospital. 34 years and 2 name changes later, a new expansion to the neo-natal intensive care unit means they can treat more patients and keep them a little closer to home.
"Most likely they would have to go to Dallas. We pretty much do everything that nearby facilities can do," Dr. Sanjay Patel, the NICU Medical Director for ORMC, said.
In his five years as Medical Director, Dr. Patel has seen the facilty grow to what it's become today. The addition of new space and 8 more beds means they can help more than just babies.
"Whenever they are born, if they are sick, you are not just taking care of neo-natal. You are taking care of parents, grandparents, and whole families. When they have to go out of town, the whole family may end up moving there, which is very stressful for the family," Patel said.
Crystal and Michael Moya, from Kermit, learned that lesson first hand when 3-year-old triplets Ava, Carly and Bryn, were born at just 26 weeks.
"If we weren't there, the nurses took great care of them and we knew they were taken care of and didn't feel bad for anything," Crystal said.
"From good news to bad news, they were there for everything. They never left our side for anything. The nurses, the doctors, they were just excellent," Michael added.
ORMC has received a 5 star rating for hospital care, for it's neonatal services. According to Dr. Patel, that's reason enough for the expansion, "Why not expand here and provide the highest quality care in the community and help more families and patients?"
Patel says, next on his list for the hospital, bring in a pediatric surgeon and establish a pediatric intesive care unit.