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Bristow hospital to reopen after shutting down close to 2 years ago

Carrus Lakeside Hospital (Bristow)
Carrus Lakeside Hospital (Bristow)
Carrus Lakeside Hospital
Carrus Lakeside Hospital (Bristow)
Posted at 6:55 AM, Sep 07, 2023

BRISTOW, Okla. — The small town of Bristow is about to have a local hospital once again.

It's been closed for a year and nine months now, and I have been following the story since a few days before it closed.

You might remember it shut down on January 1, 2022, at midnight when there was a change in operations.

The previous operators owned the licenses needed to run the hospital, leaving the new operators, Carrus Health, to get new ones.

The issue was the building needed major upgrades to be up to code to get them.

The hospital used to be a red brick building known as the Bristow Medical Center before it shut down, but now it's a white building with major upgrades and renovations known as the Carrus Lakeside Hospital.

The new operators told 2 News they have passed all inspections, received all licenses, and will open the doors by the end of this month, if not sooner.

Jordyn Case with Carrus Health said the building took a lot more work than they realized and planned for.

Although, she's happy to share the news that Bristow will once again have a local hospital.

She said they will open it in phases. The first phase will have four in-patient beds available. That's because the other 21 in-patient beds are now under construction.

However, the hospital will still operate as normal with exam rooms, a trauma room, labs, imaging, and a kitchen that will be open to the public.

They are fully staffed and putting the final touches in place to open the doors, which Case said is a breath of fresh air because they've run into every issue possible.

"We said we were going to start with a small renovation just to get it up to code, and then once we started getting into everything, the plumbing has all been replaced, the electrical has been replaced. There's very little of this building that's original to what it was," Case told 2 News. "It's basically a brand-new facility and we are so excited to be able to open it and utilize it now."

She said they are also looking to expand their services and bring in specialists like a cardiologist and pulmonologist.

The one thing Case explained they won't have the ability to do is surgery.

So, in an instance like that, she said doctors will stabilize a patient before transferring them to a hospital that can meet those needs.

Creek County Ambulance Assistant Director Thomas 'Boomer' Riter said the reopening of the hospital will have a big impact on the small rural town.

"I think that the people of Bristow experience a lot of acute medical incidences that could be solved at the Bristow hospital, and I think having that resource available to them keeps it in town, keeps it in their own hospital," he said. "If they need stitches, x-rays, something of acute care, they could get that done right down the street and then get back home and stay in their community."

Jordyn Case agrees this will have a big impact on helping residents.

"We have the urgent care next door, and we have to send an ambulance out on a very frequent basis. So now, instead of having to send those out to go to Tulsa or the nearest hospital, we'll be able to treat those in-house, and sometimes a 30-minute drive can make the difference in saving a life," she said.

Carrus Health is working hard to put the final touches in place, and their goal is to open the building on September 18, 2023.

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