KILLEEN — The West Killeen Medical Home opened its doors to give beneficiaries a sneak peak into their facility Friday afternoon. The community-based facility started patient care on Monday.
“This is our fourth community-based medical home and we opened it to help bring care closer to the Army families that live in these communities,” said Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Hospital commander Col. David R. Gibson. “It is much more convenient for a lot of people that live out here and don’t have to go on post anymore.”
The West Killeen Medical Home is located at 5200 Bunny Trail and is expected to support nearly 8,500 family members and retirees.
Due to the closing of the Fort Hood Medical home located at the Old Women’s Clinic on post, the new facility expects a quick grow in enrollments. Darnall beneficiaries can contact Tricare or the beneficiary services directly at the West Killeen Medical Home to switch their treatment plan to the new location.
“We are here to provide primary care and family medicine, so we see patients from the age of two months up to 65 years,” said Kathleen Bybel, D.O., family medicine doctor and medical director at the West Killeen Medical Center.
The facility started its practices with six providers, but gives its team room to grow since the beneficiary population is expected to grow.
Besides various exam rooms, the medical home is equipped with two treatment rooms to perform minor procedures on sight.
“All of the medical equipment is state-of-the-art technology,” said licensed vocational nurse Holly Bird. “I am most excited about the new vital monitor that can measure your blood pressure in only twelve seconds.”
The medical center is designed to fulfill all medical standards as well as optimize patient care and safety. It will operate under the same patient-centered principles as its sister clinics in Killeen, Copperas Cove and Harker Heights.
Especially, its location within the community makes it attractive for beneficiaries and easily accessible for last-minute appointments.
“This is a great opportunity for us to do care in the neighborhood,” said David Danny, group practice manager at the West Killeen Medical Center. “We are located in the middle of a variety of housing areas and all of these schools. You don’t have to go a long distance from the school to be seen.”
Due to the convenient location, school-age children don’t have to miss whole school days for routine visits.
“The schools are right here so they can get right back to class and not be missing so much,” Bybel said.
Janet Green from Killeen visited the open house at the West Killeen Medical Center with her 6-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter.
“This is much more convenient than going on post,” she said. “I will call Tricare to get us transferred to see a provider here.”
But the new medical facility has more to offer than a convenient location.
“We have a pharmacy, we have a lab, we have everything that you need to come and be taken care of, so hopefully everybody will see this as an opportunity to have care closer to their home,” Danny said.
According to Gibson, the Darnall management is planning to evolve the pharmacy on sight into a refill pharmacy. Currently, the only refill pharmacy is located in the Main PX on Clear Creek Road on post.
“At this point you can only get your refill … on the installation. But in the future, we are looking to bring some of these over here,” Gibson said.
The team hopes to make receiving refills more convenient for beneficiaries. Although patients need to request refills in advance, long wait times are often not preventable at the moment.