Looking Back- Thinking Forward: Blackwell Hospital Part II

by Dale McGaha


I fell honored to be able to express my personal feelings about our local hospital, of special note is the fact that all of the doctors, nurses, and support personnel have our best interests at heart.
I also believe that Blackwell’s future is at a cross road and that we should be taking some issues very seriously. I’m also sure that our city leaders want to see our hospital progress.
We need every business, every industry, every church and others to step up to show their support for our hospital’s plan to improve their facility. The future success of BRH is not just for us, but for future generations! (Proverbs 29-18)
Here are some facts to consider.
BRH has provided more than $265K in charity care (Financial Assistance) in 2018.
BRH participates and sponsors our schools and other local organizations within our community.
BRH provides those who have an emergency healthcare need timely advanced life saving measures. There are not currently any paramedics on Tonkawa and Blackwell fire departments. Ambulance personnel can only provide basic care at this time. If someone is dying of a heart attack, driving to Ponca could be a matter of life and death.
Urgent cares are privately owned businesses and are not regulated by the government like hospitals. They can set their own prices. Hospitals are price takers, not price makers.
There are good portions of the community that do not have transportation to and from Ponca for emergency or regular medical care.
Recruiting family physicians to the community will be harder without a hospital.
If there is no hospital in Blackwell, families will move away, it will be harder to recruit new businesses. Economic development will suffer.
Top three things business look for in a community before the decide to open are medical care, police/fire departments and educational institutions.
Without a hospital, patients will have to be transferred out for extended care to SMC, OKC, Tulsa, etc. It will be harder for families to visit loved ones that are in the hospital
Extending the current healthcare tax will ensure the hospital remains in Blackwell. There is not increase to the healthcare sales tax; just an extension.