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Kimble Hospital and its team of medical providers and caring staff have served Kimble and surrounding counties for over 60 years, providing essential inpatient and outpatient health care services to community residents.
In 2018, the National Rural Health Association identified Kimble Hospital one of the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals in the U.S. The selection was based on eight indices of strength including quality, outcomes, patient satisfaction, inpatient market share, outpatient market share, costs, charges and financial stability.
Kimble Hospital was also recognized with the 2018 TMF Gold Award for Hospital Quality Improvement given to only 51 of the 745 hospitals in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, that demonstrated improved performance on specific national quality measures the outstanding performance of Kimble Hospital across quality indicators monitored by Medicare was also recognized in August 2016 in MBQIP Monthly, an e-newsletter that provides Critical Access Hospitals with information and support for quality improvement.
Federally designated as a Critical Access Hospital in 2000, Kimble is licensed for 15 acute care beds, all of which may be used as "swing beds" or skilled nursing beds for Medicare patients who need extra time to heal and strengthen following an acute care stay. As a result, the hospital can care for many inpatients with acute or chronic medical conditions such as heart attacks, congestive heart failure, pneumonia and influenza, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes. The hospital also provides end-of-life care in rooms designed for the comfort of patients and their families.
As a Level IV Trauma Center, the Emergency Department at Kimble Hospital serves as the first responder for injured and ill patients living or visiting in the area, or traveling on I-10. The quality of care at the hospital and in the emergency department is enhanced through the use of telemedicine services which bring virtual specialists to assist with diagnosis and treatment plans.
Other hospital services supporting both inpatient and outpatient care include: CT scanning, general x-ray and ultrasound; physical therapy and cardiac rehabilitation; and laboratory testing. The hospital also offers outpatient diagnostic GI procedures and senior mental health services.
Junction Medical Clinic, a federally designated Rural Health Clinic, is staffed with a team of medical providers who manage outpatient, inpatient and emergency care. The clinic is located adjacent to the hospital and is connected to the hospital by a covered walkway.
Accessible health services are of particular concern to the senior residents of Kimble County who are the heaviest users of health care services, but may have problems with mobility and/or transportation. Availability of the hospital and clinic improves their access to timely emergency care as well as more routine hospital and physician services.
Community Support is the Foundation of Kimble Hospital
The history of Kimble Hospital is one of determination by the residents of Kimble County who were committed to the provision of health care close to home. The story began in 1957, when a $125,000 bond issue approved by voters in Kimble County to finance the construction of a hospital in Junction.
Completed in 1958, the new county facility included the same number of licensed beds as the current facility, as well as many of the same outpatient services, but within a much smaller footprint.
In a letter to The Junction Eagle honoring the 25th anniversary of Kimble Hospital, Wm. Keaton Blackburn, Mayor of the City of Junction, commented:
"As Kimble Hospital nears its twenty-fifth year of existence, it is timely that we pause to say ‘thank you’ for a job well done.
Many rural communities, such as ours, have no healthcare facilities, and the adequate medical capabilities of our hospital make us especially appreciative of our good fortune in having comprehensive medical services available to those of us who live in or near Junction.
The impact of the services provided in our community by Kimble Hospital has been manifold. The consolation of having loved ones and friends near us during times of illness cannot be measured. The availability of medical aid at crucial times has, no doubt, saved countless number of lives. Last, but not least, Kimble Hospital has provided employment for many of our local residents.
We are aware we owe a debt of gratitude to the doctors, board members, staff and employees of Kimble Hospital, who have labored through the years to offer a helping hand and improve our quality of life.
On behalf of the members of the City Council and the citizens of our city, I want to extend our heartiest congratulations and express our deepest appreciation to Kimble Hospital."
Almost 50 years later, the Kimble County Hospital District Board initiated a formal evaluation of the original hospital and clinic buildings, and began to explore options for the renovation and/or replacement of these facilities. After many months of study, the Board concluded that continued spending on 50-year-old structures an old building with inadequate space that could never be brought up to code was not the best use of community resources.
In 2009, county voters approved a $16.9 million bond election to fund a new 30,500-square-foot hospital and 7,300-square-foot clinic.
Long-time resident, Mrs. Helen Yarbrough donated to the District a 5.75 acre site located northwest of the original facility to accommodate the new hospital and clinic. The land was located at the southern boundary of a ranch owned by the Yarborough family. The Amy Shelton McNutt Charitable Foundation also made a generous donation in honor of Bill McNutt help the District provide a modern radiology suite within the new hospital for the community.
Local churches in Junction worked with the Kimble Hospital Foundation to raise funds to help furnish the chapel located in the new hospital with an altar, pews and custom stained glass. The Kimble Hospital Foundation also worked on a special fundraising campaign selling engraved brick pavers that were installed in the Healing Garden located between the hospital and clinic.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new state-of-the-art hospital and clinic was held October 2011, and staff and patients moved in shortly after.
Hospital District Partnership with Preferred Establishes Strong Foundation
The original Kimble Hospital was operated as a county facility. It closed for a period in the late 1960s, due to financial distress, but reopened as a county hospital in 1969. Operation of the hospital was transferred to the Kimble County Hospital District in 1971. The District successfully guided the hospital and clinic for over 35 years.
In 2008, the District Board entered into a long-term lease agreement with Preferred Hospital Leasing Junction Inc. (PHLJ), to assume operational responsibility and financial risk for the hospital and clinic. PHLJ is an affiliate of Preferred Management Corporation, with a 30-year track record of successful operation of Critical Access Hospitals and Rural Health Clinics.
Building on this partnership, Preferred continues to invest the resources necessary to recruit and retain quality healthcare professionals, develop and enhance services and implement sound financial management practices.