FORT HOOD — Around 50 people were at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood on Thursday for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new children’s waiting room.

The waiting room was made possible through an agreement with the Armed Services YMCA. Bill French, the president and CEO of the Armed Services YMCA, spoke to guests during the ribbon cutting ceremony.

“We’ve been working with the Army here in Fort Hood for the last 18 months to establish a children’s waiting room,” French said.

The waiting room gives military members and their families a place for their kids to stay while they go to a medical appointment, according to French. The waiting room provides up to two hours of child care for active-duty soldiers and their family members, according to a press release from Fort Hood.

This is the third location in Central Texas that the Armed Services YMCA have opened a children’s waiting room. One is in Harker Heights, one is in Copperas Cove and now one is located at the main hospital on Fort Hood.

“Well, today is important to us because we are really looking at opportunities to increase the access to care. Access to care improves the health of our soldiers and our family members,” said Col. David Gibson, the Darnall commander.

The medical center currently sees about a 5% to 8% no-show rate, where individuals are not showing up for their appointments. The hospital does not charge a fee for missing appointments but the 5 to 8% no-show rate equates to about $500,000 a month cost for the hospital. By opening the children’s waiting room, the hospital hopes to see around a 30% to 40% drop in the no-show rate, according to Gibson.

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