OLNEY (KFDX/KJTL) — The oldest operating rural hospital in the State of Texas is right here in Texoma.

As we continue honoring our healthcare heroes, we travel to Olney Hamilton Hospital, where the healthcare system is thriving and has been for 115 years.

Olney Family Physician Dr. Chantel Taylor is a long way from home, hailing from New Jersey.”

“It’s not that I don’t like cities or don’t like the country but the medicine I want to practice is out here,” Taylor, MD, said.

Yet, she’s found a new home in Olney.

“The wind blew me this way so here I am,” Taylor said. “We actually moved my parents here, so they live down the street from the hospital and I’m actually engaged to a local guy, so I’m an Olney-ite now.”

Taylor chose to practice rural healthcare in Olney because she knows the impact.

“I love that its family, I know we call it family medicine but you don’t necessarily feel that in other places, but here, the community you’re living in it, you’re taking care of people that are coming from an hour away and they’re appreciative and it’s a nice warm feeling,” Taylor said.

Olney Hamilton Hospital CEO Michael Huff said there’s really nothing like what they’ve got going there in Young County.

“They are here for a reason, patient care is always at the top of their list and we have a very low turnover rate, people come here and they stay, they like working here,” Huff said. “Basically 20% of our employees drive past another hospital to come work here.”

The list is long as for what Olney Hamilton has to offer, but there is no shortage of dedicated staff and caring nurses, like Chief Nursing Officer Samantha Webb.

She can’t help but brag about her staff and the services people travel from big cities to use.

“We’re one of the very few critical access hospitals that still deliver babies, the next hospital is 45 minutes away for those moms to have that delivery so we also offer a swing bed program, and we have a very good wound clinic,” Webb said. “Our goal is to keep our patients local in the community so they don’t have to drive to other places to get their care.”

Besides the wound care clinic, allergy clinic, sleep lab and physical/occupational/speech therapy, the hospital also offers pain management.

“We do over 800 procedures a year and we get referrals from all over the state to come here and get pain management services,” Huff said.

Webb is proud, too, to work in the place she’s always called home.

“One thing I feel like in our small facility is we give that personal touch, you’re not just another number or another person,” Webb said. “We probably know you, we know your family, we know your kids, we know what’s going on.”

Right across the street from the hospital, residents will find Olney’s new state-of-the-art EMS station. They’ve added two new ambulances in the past four years.

This new facility has everything from dorms and a huge living space to a conference room where training is the name of the game.

“We’re spoiled, there’s not many rural services that have this quality of station,” Director of EMS Thomas Wright said.

“It’s great to have a community that’s representing us and also we feel like they’re behind us 100% and so you always want to work harder for people that work hard for you and this community is a prime example of that, the hospital is a prime example of that,” Wright said.

Wright said his ambulances run because the community needs them to.

“The State of Texas doesn’t have a law that requires EMS, society pretty much requires EMS and our rural facilities rely on us for a lot of things,” Wright said. “The citizens rely on EMS pretty much for their first contact for healthcare, especially in an emergency.”

Right next door is the Olney Family Clinic and Rehab/Wellness Center. Family Nurse Practitioner Megan Hammonds said here, they’re treating their own.

“We get to see moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas, the whole family so that’s one of the things I like about it most,” Hammonds, FNP-C, said.

Taylor delivers babies and sees patients from womb to tomb she said, which is something she couldn’t necessarily do in a bigger setting.

“I feel like people just assume that we’re a small hospital, we don’t have the big facilities like places in a city, but that’s the point, we’re here because if we weren’t, there would be nothing,” Taylor said. “So I appreciate that we serve that role.”

“I call it the three-legged stool, you have to have good churches, you have to have good schools and you have to have good healthcare and if you have those things your community will thrive and survive,” Huff added. “If you’re missing one or two of those things, you’re going to struggle.”

Huff said Olney has all three and they’re pleased to be one of the legs that keeps this community standing.

Huff said Olney is one of the few rural hospitals in the state, maybe the nation, that’s received three national quality awards.

Most recently, being pegged as one of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the nation.