Extending its footprint: Wise Regional’s Parkway hospital nears opening on I-35 in Fort Worth

By Bob Buckel | Published Saturday, February 1, 2014
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The announcement was made in August 2012, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held that fall.

Wise Regional Health System’s board has been approving equipment orders for more than a year.

The WRHS website even touts it – “Opening in 2014!”

Big Cath Lab

BIG CATH LAB – Folks get a tour of the cath lab at Parkway Hospital, off I-35 in Fort Worth. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

But until you step through the doors of Parkway Surgical and Cardiovascular Hospital, located off Interstate 35 at North Tarrant Parkway, you don’t fully grasp that the Decatur-based health care system will soon be operating a state-of-the-art surgery center outside of Wise County.

The new Parkway Hospital is in Tarrant County, one exit north of the intersection of U.S. 81/287 and I-35. It is designed to serve the booming Alliance area, the focus of much of the Metroplex’s growth over the last decade.

But it will certainly boost medical care in Wise County, too.

For one, it should be a profit center, with a higher percentage of private-pay patients that will help WRHS continue to provide care in Decatur, Bridgeport and throughout its service area.

The facility will also allow WRHS physicians to perform procedures they can’t currently offer in Decatur – a benefit for doctors and patients.

Delicate Operation

DELICATE OPERATION – A worker makes his way through the post-op area at Wise Regional’s Parkway surgical hospital, which is slated to open this spring. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The nearly 30,000-square-foot hospital has four operating rooms, two procedure rooms including a cavernous cath lab and 12 inpatient beds. It also has a kitchen, pharmacy, laboratory, radiology and preoperative services as well as an emergency room.

Denise Scurlock, administrative director for the new facility, just came over from Baylor Jan. 2. She is excited about the hospital.

READY TO OPEN – Denise Scarlock, administration director, is excited about the new hospital’s opening this spring. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“It’s beautiful,” she said on a tour this week. “I’m very impressed with the work and the detail they’ve put into this.”

The building is getting the final touches now – most of the equipment is either in place or sitting in boxes awaiting installation as workers drop in ceiling tiles, check plumbing and get various other systems up and running. After the punch-list and site work are completed, Wise Regional will get the keys and work for a few more weeks before opening to the public sometime in March or April.

“I’m very impressed with all they’ve done,” Scurlock said. “It’s amazing.”

The Parkway hospital will provide surgical services in spine, orthopedic, cardiology, plastic surgery, pain and gastroenterology. It’s built to be expandable – three more ORs and 12 more patient rooms could be added quickly if the expected growth materializes. And while Wise Regional is leasing the building to start, they have an option to buy it within three years.

Scurlock said the facility is designed around patients.

“It’s patient-centered to make sure it flows in a way that’s best for the patients and the physicians and what they’re really ultimately here to do,” she said. “The primary focus is on that.”

Families will find the patient rooms noticeably bigger than in most hospitals, and the appointments are first-class. But it’s a doctor’s dream, too.

“Any cardiac physician would come into that cath lab and their jaw would drop,” Scurlock said, noting the size, the lighting, equipment for anesthesiology and X-ray.

“This is equipment that not a lot of cath labs have in this area,” she said. “This is an upgrade even from what they’re able to do at Wise Regional in Decatur.”

But, she pointed out, it’s the same hospital, operating under the same license with the same staff.

“They’ll also be putting in devices, pacemakers, also diagnostic heart caths, stent placements – there’s a plan to grow this entire hospital as time goes on.”

The hospital will also offer minimally invasive spine, pain surgery, plastic surgery, vascular surgery, bariatric surgery, orthopedics and podiatry.

Also under construction on the site are several physicians’ office buildings – including space for a Fit-N-Wise fitness center and therapy location.

Parkway Surgical Hospital, which was projected to cost $12.8 million, is expected to employ 35 full-time people and account for more than 800 outpatient surgical procedures in its first nine months of operation in 2014.

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