Stinnett losing medical clinic; Lighthouse-Borger kicks off this week

A rural health clinic in Stinnett is shutting down at the end of the month while the Golden Plains Community Hospital is launching a new program for people 55 and over with Medicare. (Drew Powell ABC 7 News)

People living in Stinnett are having to find a new place to go for medical healthcare treatment. For four years, the Stinnett Medical Clinic provided care for people like Jode Mills, Sarah Webb and others. Starting Dec. 1st the clinic will no longer be open.

“I was pretty disappointed,” said Sarah Webb, a Hutchinson County resident.

“I was disappointed because it’s been a great place to go,” said Jode Mills, a Hutchinson County resident.

The Golden Plains Community Hospital (GPCH) has two rural health clinics which are considered a satellite of the hospital. The second one in Fritch is remaining, open citing a higher number of patients who frequent the clinic.

“I’m not sure where we go from here,” said Mills. “We will probably go back to our original doctor’s office so will probably go back there and hope for the best.”

“It’s just kind of sad but that’s what kind of happens in this community,” said Webb. “They have a hard time keeping good places open for health care.”

On average, the clinic was drawing around 8 to 20 patients a week but needed around 40 patients to keep it viable to stay open. The GPCH is opening on Tuesday a new behavioral health intensive outpatient program for adults 55 and over. The new program called Lighthouse-Borger is for Medicare patients only. The program will offer therapy for people struggling with mental illness.

“They will be able to see a psychiatrist,” said Terry Briscoe, Director of Gero-Psychiatric Services. “They will have a formal discharge plan so when they leave they will have follow up care and hopefully they can stay healthy and happy.”

The decision to start Lighthouse-Borger helps address a serious shortfall of psychiatrist needed in the Texas Panhandle. People in the Lighthouse-Borger program will use what is called “Tele-Med” where they will communicate with a doctor using a camera and a computer.

“It features our doctor out of Sugarland, Texas,” said Briscoe. “The patient will sit down in front of the computer and visit with the doctor.”

Lighthouse-Borger will be available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch and transportation will be available. For more information contact Terry Briscoe at (806) 467-5860.

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