On Wednesday, Feb. 28th, 2018, Scenic Mountain Medical Center held a ribbon cutting ceremony and an open house of their new Behavioral Health Unit. The facility was a joint idea from Emma Krabill, SMMC CEO, and Shelley Smith, West Texas Centers CEO, who worked together over the years to see this come to fruition with the help of others.
In June of 2014 Landon Sturdivant, Chief Operating Officer at WTC, wrote a Needs Assessment Capacity Grant to purchase local beds, which resulted in WTC begin granted just under $5 million dollars. According to Sturdivant, this was an opportunity that the Health and Human Services Commission and the State of Texas had put out to try to address the lack of psychiatric beds across the state.
Tom Miller, CEO and President of Quorum Health, was thanked by Krabill and Smith, as well as Mayor Larry McLellan for his significantly large contribution of capital to help bring the BHU to fruition. According to Mayor McLellan, Miller saw the benefit that the new unit would provide to the local community and approved the $5 million investment to continue the project. As a token of appreciation on behalf of the Mayor and the City of Big Spring, Miller was presented with a key to the city.
“The Key to the City is a symbolic gift from the city’s administration. The Key to the City is a gesture of thanks, honoring a person that has been significant in giving to the community. The Key symbolizes the freedom of the recipient to enter and leave the city at will as a trusted friend of city residents,” stated Mayor McLellan.
When asked how he felt about receiving the Key to the City, Miller stated that he was surprised. Also stating that a little over a year ago, he was approached by Sheriff Stan Parker, Mayor McLellan, and representatives of the county who convinced him that a partnership was already in place between the county, community, and hospital; and it was that day that he committed to help fund the unit. Miller went on to say that he was excited to receive a key to the city for something that makes great sense for the community. He went on to say that he was glad that SMMC could be a part of meeting the needs of the community.