By Don Bolding
Killeen Daily Herald
Killeen will have a new medical clinic on the west side of town about the first of August if Scott & White Health System's plans stay on schedule.
Brent Blumenthal of Temple, Scott & White's executive director for regional clinics, said the clinic at 1002 Wales Drive will open with one family-practice physician, Dr. Michael Kirkpatrick, and a physician's assistant, but will have space for five doctors. Dr. Kirkpatrick, who will be the clinic's medical director, is now one of 20 family-practice doctors at the Scott & White Killeen clinic on Scott & White Drive in east Killeen.
"How fast the new facility grows depends on the response of the community," Blumenthal said, "but everything about Killeen is booming housing starts, school district growth, retail trade. We may need more space than we'd planned for."
The 6,100-square-foot space was formerly occupied by a call center in a strip shopping center that also contains a bar and grill and a barber shop, he said. The clinic will have 17 examination rooms, a treatment room and a laboratory, plus offices. Patients needing other services such as X-rays will be referred to Scott & White's other clinic or Metroplex Hospital facilities.
The existing Killeen clinic has been seeing 90,000 patient visits a year, according to a news release from Scott & White.
The clinic opened in 1980 and has expanded several times, with the largest project being a 29,000-square-foot addition in 2000 that brought the facility to its current size of 46,500 square feet.
"Killeen is one of our busiest regional clinics," said Scott & White President and CEO Dr. Alfred Knight. "Killeen West will extend our services in Bell County and offer more convenience to patients from Copperas Cove and Lampasas."
Blumenthal also noted the new location is near the Willow Springs Road exit from U.S. Highway 190 is also near one Fort Hood exit.
Scott & White also has regional clinics at Bellmead, Belton, Cedar Park, College Station, Florence, Gatesville, Georgetown, Hewitt, Moody, Taylor and Waco besides two in its home city of Temple.
Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce President John Crutchfield noted that the Scott & White announcement comes in the wake of the opening of Metroplex Hospital's expansion into a five-story tower, much of it dedicated to intensive care, and the expansion of Darnall Army Community Hospital at Fort Hood into Darnall Army Medical Center.
"My take is that we are a growing community with growing demands for medical service, and it's fortunate that our providers are willing to provide it. Some rural areas in the state have been unable to grow because the lack of adequate medical care is causing an out-migration of their population," Crutchfield said.
"Medical care is a key component to community development. All of this bodes well for our community's future."
Contact Don Bolding at email@example.com