Health officials respond to rumors of MCH relocation

Recordings of the CBS7 News at 6 broadcast.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 9:03 AM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - It’s a topic that has residents of Ector and Midland County on edge: could its hospitals be moving?

“Repurpose and relocation,” said Medical Center Health System President & CEO Russell Tippin. “Those are very scary words.”

In an exclusive interview with CBS7 on Wednesday, Tippin attempted to quell the growing concern.

“It would be a monumental shift in the Permian Basin. I don’t think you can put a level of seriousness on it,” Tippin said. “I don’t think we even know what it would take to do that. I don’t think anyone knows what it would take to do that.”

While Tippin reiterated the practicality of staying downtown, Don Hallmark with the Ector County Hospital District was more direct.

“No one at Medical Center Hospital, no one inside of Medical Center Hospital, and no one a part of Medical Center Hospital has made any push whatsoever to move our hospital,” Hallmark said.

Although there are concerns about what moving MCH would do to downtown, there are even more significant concerns about access, including nearly halving the number of available hospital beds and longer commutes.

“The bigger problems are how many people are going to die trying to get to the Hospital from West Odessa or East Midland?” Hallmark asked.

“I think those people’s concerns in West Odessa are absolutely correct,” Tippin said. “Can you imagine driving another 30 miles or another 15 miles when you have a stroke or a heart attack? I get it.”

Hallmark added that this isn’t the first time moving hospitals has been brought up, only for them to be shelved after discussion. But both Hallmark and Tippin said MCHS is happy at its current location.

“Our hospital is in the right place,” Hallmark stated.

“Downtown Odessa is our home, and there’s no place like home,” Tippin said.

NOTE: CBS7 reached out to Midland Memorial Hospital multiple times over multiple days for this story. MMH declined to take part, saying they “had nothing to add.”

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