Hospital plans critical expansion project for community

$25 million project could begin as early as mid-summerOver the last two years, nearly 25 percent of rural communities in Texas have seen the closure of their local hospitals. Despite these changes and ongoing challenges in the healthcare industry, Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital (RPMH) in Sweetwater has seen incredible growth and expansion.Since 2009, RPMH has responded to the growing medical needs in Nolan County with much-needed renovations to their med/surg facilities, erected a new physician office building, and is now slated to open the doors to a new cardiac rehabilitation and wellness center.“The renovations and expansion at RPMH over the last few years have allowed area residents to take comfort in knowing they have access to a wealth of medical care — right in their own backyard,” explained Donna Boatright, administrator of RPMH. “This is an extreme privilege because the growth we’re experiencing is not common in most rural communities across Texas.”Boatright explained that the hospital is now planning another much-needed development — a 26,000-square-foot expansion and renovation project. The development will include new labor and delivery rooms, renovations to the hospital’s operating rooms, including an additional OR suite and a new intensive care unit. Also included will be a new MRI and outpatient dialysis unit. In addition, updates will be made to the main entrance of the hospital to make the facilities more handicapped accessible and an expansion of the laboratory, and several other patient care related improvements.Although past projects have been paid for through grants, savings from equipment upgrades, and the hospital’s cash reserves, the new estimated $25.2 million renovation project is expected to be paid for through general obligation bonds.“We’ve been very fortunate to experience our growth with little impact to changes in local funding,” Boatright said. “However, it’s not always possible to fund important projects like this on our own. As a community hospital, we need to reach out and ask for further support to ensure that local healthcare is available with the services and facilities we need now and in the future.”If the important and critical bond package is passed, construction on the project could begin as early as mid-summer.McKinstry, a full service design and construction firm, has been selected to oversee the renovation project. The company has been resourced for three other expansion projects at RPMH over recent years, including the recently opened physician office building on the hospital campus.Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital provides healthcare for those in the communities they serve. Founded in 1976, Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital offers a wealth of medical services including: 24 hour emergency care, advanced radiology services including CT scanning and MRIs, outpatient lab, physical therapy, surgical services, swing bed services, patient education, home health and assistive services, and more. For additional information, please visit