When Dr. Bill Kinzie arrived in Ennis, he was one of six doctors and the old Ennis Regional Medical Center was the “new” facility with state of the art equipment. A lot has changed since his arrival in 1964, but the way he cares for the community has not.
Kinzie moved to Ennis with his family from Washington State, but grew up in east Texas. It was a coincidence that led him to decide to move here but the people in the community that has kept him here ever since.
“I had a friend that had a relative in Ennis and when we were traveling from east Texas to go to take out state board exams in Fort Worth, we would stop in and visit. I grew to like the community and learned that their was a need for more doctors, so after I was certified my family and I moved here but the people in the community are behind the reason why we have stayed so long. They accepted us and made us feel welcome right from the start and have grown from patients to friends,” Kinzie said.
Kinzie recalls that he was busy right from the start seeing five patients on his first day of work.
“For the first few weeks my wife worked in the office to help me until I could hire someone and while we were driving to the office on the first day she told me she had prayed that the sick in the community would come see me and be open to a new doctor in town. About three weeks into the practice I told her she could stop praying,” he said with a laugh.
Over the time he has been in Ennis, he has seen many physicians come and go and has actively recruited others. Even when others moved on, he did not consider the same option.
“When I started my practice here in Ennis, I was not recruited, I chose Ennis and I chose to stay here. My family was raised here and now some of my grandchildren are being raised here. Ennis has always been what we considered home and we even brought my father to live here when he needed constant care. We will always be here,” he said.
Throughout his career he has seen the many changes the medical field has taken as well as the hospital. He was a member of the team when the hospital was new and also around for a dark time in the city’s medical history when the hospital was closed. Despite hard times, he says the community remained dedicated to having their own health care facility and that is part of the reason why the new hospital has been such a success.
“Through all the change the city and the medical field has gone through, the community has always kept their confidence in the medical professionals that treat them. They agreed to the bond proposal two years ago and are instrumental in the reason why the new facility has been such a success. The community is appreciative of the care they receive and have shown that by helping to build a new facility that will help care for them in new ways,” he said.
Loyalty and friendship of the people in the community is something he feels is very important and continues to work toward. Despite being retired, many of his former patients still get house calls.
“I have a lot of former patients that I consider friends who I check in on a regular basis. Just because someone retires doesn’t mean that they quit caring about the community or the people in it,” Kinzie said.
Retirement has not slowed his activities down much. He is an active member of many boards and committees in the community and spends a lot of time lending his expertise at the new ERMC facility. When he does take time off, he likes to go fishing and spend as much time as he can with his family but still contributes to the community that he chose more than 40 years ago.
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