An official groundbreaking for the state-of-the-art Roy H. Laird Regional Medical Health Sciences Education Center was held May 3 with hundreds of local city, county and college officials present.
This first-of-its-kind community college health sciences facility will be unique, serving patients of Kilgore and surrounding East Texas communities in an environment that utilizes clinical students from nursing, physical therapy assistant, occupational therapy assistant, and medical imaging programs.
CHRISTUS Good Shepherd, the Roy H. Laird Memorial Hospital Foundation, the City of Kilgore and Kilgore College are collaborating on the development, to be called the Roy H. Laird Medical Center. The project includes new teaching and lab space for the college, as well as a potential expansion of CHRISTUS Good Shepherd’s footprint near the existing Emergency Center.
Construction of the Center will be funded in part by a $2.5 million Economic Development Assistance Grant, revenues from the Center, and funding from the Hospital Foundation. The original hospital building opened more than 70 years ago and served the Kilgore area until 2007. Since then, the campus has hosted a variety of tenants.
“Once completed, this state-of-the art facility will greatly impact not only our healthcare students, but the medical community as a whole,” said Dr. Kays, KC president. “We are thankful for the partnerships with CHRISTUS, the Laird Foundation and the City of Kilgore to elevate the future of healthcare in our region to a new level.”
“This expanded facility will establish a graduate ‘pipeline’ to help address the nationwide, ongoing challenge of finding and recruiting qualified health science professionals,” said Jim Gaton, Vice President – Operations, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System. “The Center will also provide a location for continuing education for staff members at CHRISTUS facilities and CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic locations in Northeast Texas.”
“We are excited about this facility and the potential it holds for the patients of this area and the students at Kilgore College to provide a phenomenal, integrated health care campus in the heart of Kilgore,” said Todd Hancock, President and Chief Executive Officer, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System. “We are thrilled about the possibilities this presents for training the next generation of health care professionals, expanding access to care and rebuilding a new state of the art facility.”