By Rebecca Rose

Killeen Daily Herald

HARKER HEIGHTS - Seton Medical Center Harker Heights hosted an informal town hall meeting Wednesday. Representatives of the hospital, scheduled to open in fall 2012, were on hand to answer questions from the audience and explain what types of services and programs Seton will feature.

Matthew Maxfield, Seton CEO, discussed highlights of the facility's services, as well as a preliminary timetable for hiring.

Maxfield said the first step was putting together the human resources team, starting first by hiring a department director.

"We are working with a national search firm, and they are beginning that search now," Maxfield said.

Maxfield said the hospital would employ about 30 people by January and approximately 50 by April.

Maxfield said the hospital would start hiring for positions in November, for a January start.

"After April and May, that's when the real hiring process starts," he said.

He has received 50 inquiries about jobs already, and gets about three per day from people interested in working at the new hospital. Most are people from the area who work in places like Waco or Austin and want to find more local opportunities.

Maxfield said eight physicians had already been recruited, and he projected between 60 and 80 doctors actively working on staff the day the facility opens.

He said they are expecting between 30 and 35 physicians recruited who will relocate to the Killeen/Harker Heights area, within the first two years.

In his presentation, Maxfield described the facility as a 192,400-square-foot, three-story, acute-care hospital. Seton will have 83 beds at start up, with 138 at total capacity.

The adjacent medical pavilion will be a 60,000-square-foot, three-story complex with specialists, family practice and internal medicine physicians. The pavilion also will feature a sleep lab, Maxfield said.

Seton will be a paperless hospital; featuring iPads for doctors, electronic health records, wireless telemetry and wireless phones for nurses and ancillary staff.

A women's center, with a dedicated entrance and lobby, also will be part of the center.

Specialities include acute care, internal medicine, intensive and critical care, cardiology, nephrology, plastic surgery, neurology and gastroenterology, among others.

Maxfield described the overall aesthetic goal for the facility as a "healing environment."

Questions posed to the Seton representative ranged from inquiries about electronic records to availability of educational links for area high school students interested in pursuing medical careers.

One audience member asked Maxfield about psychiatric services at Seton. Maxfield said that the hospital currently had "no plans" to offer behavioral services, calling it "a different game."

Maxfield also answered a question about insurance, explaining that Seton does not offer any of its own managed care or health insurance products.

According to a report commissioned by the city of Harker Heights, Seton Hospital's estimated economic impact on the region is $1.5 billion over the next 10 years.

Wednesday's event was held St. Paul Hasang Church in Harker Heights. Members of the Harker Heights City Council and several city department heads attended the meeting.

For more information on employment or progress of the construction, go to

Contact Rebecca Rose at or (254) 501-7548.

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