WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Wilbarger General Hospital is now headed by a man who said he loves working with hospitals in rural communities to make a difference.
Tom Siemers said one of the reasons he took on this role is because he likes hospitals in communities that have a tough challenge ahead of them.
Siemers is a man with a plan who said as CEO, one of his strategies moving forward is to treat Wilbarger General Hospital as he would people.
“You have to feed them, they have to grow and that means new services, new providers, new ways of looking how we adapt to fill the gaps in care that are in our community,” Siemers said.
Siemers said once those are identified, coming up with and executing a plan is the next step.
He said he is aware of the financial difficulties the hospital has faced over the years and says it’s no secret that rural hospitals have a much tougher challenge.
“One hundred and twenty rural hospitals have closed over the last 10 years: 19 closed just last year in 2019,” Siemers said.
Siemers said Texas had the most hospitals closed in that 10 year period yet he is hopeful and so is Chairperson of the Board of Trustees Melanie Milner.
Milner said with the help of willing staff and a physician who just returned to Vernon to serve as hospitalist, the hospital is able to better serve their patients.
“To provide a higher level of care to the patients that we used to lose due to not having the resources,” Milner said.
By keeping patients at Wilbarger General, this will in turn address the financial concerns the hospital faces.
“We’re currently in the process of the very early stages of strategic planning with the board members and several community leaders and leadership at the hospital to see what our community does need to look at a five year and 10-year plan to see where we can go from here,” Milner said.
Both Siemers and Milner said they are excited to see the growth especially in a very challenging time of healthcare.
Just a small progress report, renovations on the ER should begin in a few weeks and work on a Wound Care Clinic with a hyperbaric chamber that should begin shortly after that is complete.
They also just finished renovations on the ICU.