Seton Medical Center Harker Heights celebrated its first anniversary Tuesday afternoon with a special celebration.
The only Catholic facility in Bell County, Seton expanded to Harker Heights in June 2012. It now employs about 450 people and treats twice as many patients as it did the first month, CEO Matt Maxfield said.
On the first day, “we were expecting 20 patients, and we had 50-something show up,” said Melissa Purl, director of marketing. “So we were like, ‘Goodness, gracious, this is crazy.’”
So far, the hospital has admitted 3,000 inpatients, delivered 550 babies, performed 2,000 surgeries, treated 37,000 emergency room visitors and 30,000 outpatient cases, Maxfield said. In May, the hospital admitted 300 patients and delivered 72 babies, compared with 125 admissions and 30 deliveries in July 2012.
Seton accepts patients regardless of their ability to pay, said James Davis, Seton consultant for mission and ethics. The “preferential option for the poor” is in place for those who “by the nature of their needs, have a claim on the resources in the community,” Davis said.
Seton Harker Heights paid out of pocket for about 15 percent of patient care during the past year, Maxfield said.
“It’s great to be part of an institution and culture that really is patient-centric; it’s transparent, and the focus is really on quality,” said Dr. Charles Day, chief of staff. “I stand here very humble, and very proud, very happy and very grateful. It’s been a wonderful year and I anticipate many more good years.”
While Catholic affiliation might separate Seton from other area hospitals, all care centers work in unison, Purl said.
“We share patients constantly,” she said. “They needed us and we need them.”