Permian Strategic Partnership speaks about MCH, MMH ‘relocation’ discussions

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 8:22 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - The possibility of moving Medical Center Hospital and Midland Memorial Hospital is on the table, but so are numerous other ideas.

“There is no need to be concerned,” said Tracee Bentley, President & CEO of the Permian Strategic Partnership (PSP). “It’s still very much in the investigatory and studying phase.”

The PSP is a coalition of 17 energy companies in West Texas that looks for ways to improve transportation, education, and healthcare in the region. It’s taking a major role in a years-long assessment of healthcare in the Permian. It’s also working with other organizations, like the Scharbauer Foundation, Texas Tech University Health Sciences system, and the University of Texas system.

“We’re two-and-a-half years in, and it’s still not complete,” Bentley said.

The rapid economic and population growth of the Permian Basin requires a review of local specialty healthcare, which she says falls behind other similarly sized areas of Texas.

Possible solutions include establishing a medical research and academic center that would benefit from having everything in close proximity, but that doesn’t mean that’s the best option.

“We are investigating if that would be a good fit for the Permian Basin, and maybe it’s not. But then at least we’ll be able to answer the question that it doesn’t fit here for a number of reasons and what those reasons are,” Bentley said.

Bentley says PSP research shows that 45% of Permian Basin residents leave the region to seek specialty healthcare. One of the primary goals of the assessment is to provide higher-quality specialty care.

The PSP is also working on expanding behavioral health and telehealth services.

“Investigating all of these things must lead to something that the community wants, embraces, and enhances healthcare,” Bentley said. “If it doesn’t do that, then, quite frankly, it’s not going to be considered.”

Any change would take at least a decade, probably more. But it’s on the table, however likely or unlikely it is to happen.

“This is the moonshot.”

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