WESLACO – In an effort to provide communities of the mid-Valley with enhanced access to nationally recognized and award-winning healthcare, Valley Baptist Health System has turned to a model of healthcare delivery new to the Rio Grande Valley.
The new facility, which opened on January 6 and is dubbed the Valley Baptist Micro-Hospital – Weslaco, is best described as a community hospital that delivers acute care on a smaller scale than its larger counterparts, said Valley Baptist Health System Chief Strategy Officer Jennifer Bartnesky-Smith.
“Micro-hospitals are relatively new care models that truly focus on treating low-acuity patients and providing both ambulatory and emergency services, leaving more complex service lines to the larger hospitals in the area,” she said. “Many health systems throughout the country are pursuing the micro-hospital model now because of the industry’s focus on providing care at the right time in the appropriate setting.”
The new state-of-the-art facility includes a 14-bed emergency department including two trauma bays, one procedure room, eight inpatient beds, and is staffed by specially trained physicians, nurses and techs. The Valley Baptist Micro-Hospital – Weslaco also features outpatient laboratory and imaging services for patients who receive outpatient orders for specific tests from their physicians.
While local residents are likely familiar with free-standing emergency rooms that dot the landscape throughout the Valley, the Valley Baptist Micro-Hospital – Weslaco provides a higher level of healthcare by offering an inpatient component to care, meaning that should a patient need to be admitted for additional treatment, they can receive that care closer to home at this new location.
“Free-standing emergency rooms can only treat and release. If a patient needs additional testing or treatment that requires hospitalization, they would have to be transferred to a larger facility to receive care,” said Ronda Lewis, RN, BSN, BHM, and Valley Baptist Micro-Hospital – Weslaco administrator. “This is not the case with our micro-hospital. We can simply admit those patients who require additional care to an inpatient bed in our facility, and because we are a small hospital, we can offer that personal attention that patients expect and deserve.”
Receiving such inpatient care close to home can help alleviate burdens on a patient’s family and support system and can often aid in the recovery process, Lewis said.
“Having the Valley Baptist Micro-Hospital – Weslaco close to home can decrease the financial and emotional burden that families often face when traveling daily to see hospitalized loved ones,” she said. “It also allows patients to have the support needed when it comes to making decisions during their treatment. Many times this can contribute to a faster recovery.”
While the micro-hospital model is a new concept for the Valley, the goal is to provide the same high-quality healthcare that families have received at Valley Baptist Health System for nearly a century.
“The overarching goal of the micro-hospital is to be able to offer the same Valley Baptist care that the community has grown to trust over generations directly to the Mid-Valley community, so folks can receive this level of care a little closer to home,” Bartnesky-Smith said. “This project is truly a labor of love for our community. We recognize that no one wants to be in a hospital, but when those times do come, we want to be able to offer the very best to our community as close to home as possible. This project is simply a manifestation of our steadfast commitment to truly serve our entire Valley community. ”
Valley Baptist Micro-Hospital – Weslaco
1021 West Interstate 2
Weslaco, Texas 78596
Services offered include:
14-bed emergency department (two trauma bays)
One procedure room
Eight inpatient beds
Imaging services (including outpatient) featuring X-ray, ultrasound, and 64-slice CT scans
Laboratory services (including outpatient)