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In partnership with West Texas Centers, Scenic Mountain Medical Center will be opening a Behavioral Health Unit on the 4th floor of the hospital. The 20-bed unit will serve Big Spring and 23 other surrounding counties. According to SMMC Marketing Manager Amanda Duforat, “The 20 beds will most likely be full from opening day, and from what I hear, will be a continuous rotation of keeping them full.”

Duforat told KBest News that the majority of the beds at Big Spring State Hospital are forensic beds, which is actually a common occurrence across the state of Texas. Since this doesn’t free up a lot of space for the general population who are needing behavioral health services, the new 20-bed unit Behavioral Health Unit will be available to the general public to use for those services.

It should be noted that Shelley Smith, CEO of West Texas Centers, had approached SMMC CEO Emma Krabill when she when was still an interim in 2014 with this idea.

When asked why SMMC felt that this was something that they should have a hand in helping with, Duforat stated that this is just one more project that goes to show that in this community, as there is in every rural community, there is a gap in health care. “In each community it’s gonna be different, there’s gonna be different things that the community’s are lacking but one of them here is behavioral [health]."

"So the way we all think at Scenic Mountain is - we are the community hospital. It’s not the employees’ hospital, not the administration’s hospital, this is Big Spring’s hospital," continued Duforat. "All the service lines that we bring on and service providers that we bring in are to serve the needs of the community. This is just one of those needs that was brought to her attention and there was something we could do to fill that gap, as I had mentioned, so we figured that this was a really good partnership to fill that need and that gap in the community.”

A job fair that is focused, specifically, on finding the staff for the Behavioral Health Unit will take place on January 12th and the grand opening will take place on February 28th.


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