BRISTOW, Okla. — It’s been six months since the Bristow Medical Center closed.
It closed on the first of this year when there was a change in operations and the previous operators took the license they owned.
The new operators, Carrus Health, started working to get the necessary licenses in June of last year, but the hospital needs upgrades and that has been the hold up.
Recently the company received approval for waivers to operate the facility with stipulations to receiving the full licenses.
With a three year waiver, the company will begin work to complete capital improvement to meet the simulations in the waiver and open the facility.
Some of the capital improvements include addressing some structural changes, heating, air, ventilation as well as, "utilization of sinks, ability to access electrical outlets, headboards, size of rooms those sorts of things,” said Beth Ann Childs the attorney for the Bristow Hospital Authority and the city.
She says going through this process hasn’t been easy and there’s been more back and forth with the state than they anticipated.
“Unfortunately its not as simple as just turning in an application," Childs said. "In this particular case, we had to have our architect address some of the mechanical issues, address the layout and submit it. The state would provide comments and then they would send it back to the architect so there really was a lot of back and forth.”
While it’s going to cost them to do the improvements, Childs says the Bristow Hospital Authority has approximately a million dollars to go toward them.
“You know making it a newer, cleaner, attractive place for people to go. The cost associated with that is really deminimis.”
A new hospital will be built in the future with money from a voter approved tax which might have some wondering why pour money into fixing the current one. The hospital authority’s attorney says investing in the current hospital is important.
“While it seems like a lot of money to put into a facility you are not going to use, it will provide a benefit in the long run to the residents because without the improvements you can’t operate the facility,” she said.
An urgent care opened during the closure. The goal with that is to provide residents with urgent medical access but also to provide employment to the hospital staff.
Although there were hurdles to getting the facility back open, “I think everyone is hopeful and optimistic that it’s all going to work out,” Childs said.
The Bristow Hospital Authority is meeting Tuesday night to discuss addressing the capital improvements and hopefully create a timeline to reopening the facility.
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