WHARTON – When the Gulf Coast Medical Center in Wharton closed its doors in November 2016, the sign on the front door directed people to a hospital 20 minutes away.
That can seem like an eternity if the patient is in pain or in need of urgent medical care. After a long and sometimes bumpy ride, OakBend Medical Center took on the challenge to establish a hospital in the building that formerly housed Gulf Coast Medical Center and bring emergency and medical services back to Wharton.
Eight weeks after opening OakBend Medical Center Wharton, the hospital is exceeding expectations. From the opening on June 4 through July 30, the hospital’s signature No Wait Hospital Emergency Room has seen more than 1,500 patients. The radiology department has been busy as well, handling more than 1,300 patients with its CT, ultrasound and x-ray services.
When the hospital first opened services offered included the emergency, imaging, inpatient and observation (for short stays).
Since that time, the hospital has added telemetry services to assist the nurses in monitoring inpatients’ vital signs and on July 11, OakBend began doing endoscopic procedures such as colonoscopy and upper gastrointestinal studies. In the near future, outpatient surgical services such as eye, orthopedic, hernia repair, gall bladder removal, foot procedures will also be available in Wharton.
And, there is more to come as OakBend works on providing other types of inpatient physician services that will enable us to treat more complex conditions.
The hospital’s medical group, OakBend Medical Group, has several of its doctors working part time in Wharton to serve the community. Dr. Long Cao, cardiologist; Dr. Amber Dobyne, OB/GYN and Dr. Sadia Durrani, OB/GYN work every Thursday afternoon and Dr. Fred Speck, orthopedics, works every Tuesday afternoon at 10119 US Highway 59 in Wharton in the offices of Mark Marconi, D.O. Appointments can be made by calling 281-238-7870.
OakBend has been fortunate to have some of its cardiologists provide classes to the EMS (ambulance) departments of Austin County, East Bernard, El Campo and Wharton. It was an opportunity to not only introduce OakBend to the area EMS departments, but to also begin a long term relationship.
“OakBend Medical Center was eager to open its doors in Wharton,” said Joe Freudenberger, CEO of OakBend Medical Center, “We believed that the community deserved exceptional healthcare and we are making that happen. We are proud to include Wharton as part of our family and we look forward to a long lasting partnership.