Baylor Scott & White Medical Center at Waxahachie President Jay Fox has been promoted and will be leaving Waxahachie this fall.

The announcement was made by Edwin Farrar during Thursday’s Waxahachie Rotary Club meeting as he introduced Fox, as he provided Rotarians with an update on the progress of the new hospital.

Fox has served as the president of the Waxahachie hospital for the past seven years. In addition to leading the hospital to receive multiple national honors, he has also been responsible for overseeing the planning and development of the new hospital being constructed at the intersection of Interstate Highway 35E and U.S. Highway 287 Bypass. The new hospital campus is scheduled to open Dec. 6.

In his introduction, Farrar said Fox has been promoted to oversee several hospitals in the Baylor Scott & White system in central Texas and will be relocating to Austin this fall.

“Jay has done an outstanding job as our hospital’s top administrator during his tenure in Waxahachie. Through his leadership, he has helped Baylor Waxahachie earn accreditation in multiple areas, as well as help our hospital staff earn several national health care awards. Of course, he has also played an instrumental role in helping Waxahachie land the new hospital that’s going up across the road from the civic center, which is what he’s here to talk about today,” said Farrar, who in addition to serving with the Waxahachie Rotary Club also serves as a member of the hospital’s board of directors.

“We’re excited for Jay and congratulate him on his promotion, but we’re sure going to miss him in Waxahachie,” Farrar added.

Saying he has enjoyed his time in Waxahachie and praised the community for their support, Fox immediately began his presentation on the new hospital, which will include a state-of-the-art cancer center, imaging center, women’s health center, six operating rooms, a 42-bed emergency room, cardiac rehab center, diabetes center and sleep center, to name but a few from the list of services the new medical campus will provide.

Fox said in addition to the 129-bed, six-story hospital wing and stand-alone cancer center, the campus will also include a 75,000 square feet medical office building.

“A few years ago we built a 50,000 square feet medical office building next to our current hospital. When we began planning for the new hospital, we knew the hospital was going to grow and we decided to go ahead and build 75,000 square feet, knowing that we would eventually grow into,” Fox said.

“Today, I want to tell you that we’re still six months from opening the new hospital and our new medical office is already filled,” he added. “We’re now in the process of planning for a second office building.”

With the expansion of services at the new hospital, Fox said Baylor Scott & White has been on a major recruiting effort for the past year in order to have the medical specialists onboard the day the new hospital opens.

“Right now we have contracts for 90 percent of our open positions and we will have the remaining 10 percent of contracts filled by Dec. 6 when the new hospital opens,” he said.

With slides being projected onto a screen in the Crape Myrtle Room of the civic center, Fox used the photographs to illustrate the many features of the hospital, especially the grounds.

“We’ve done a lot of research, both nationally and internationally, on every aspect of this building. Research has shown that water elements have a calming, healing effect,” Fox said. “One of the things you will find at the new hospital is several water features, each with a fountain. The water features and fountains are more than just a pleasing landscaping element, they are being incorporated for purpose.”

The new hospital will also be a LEED certified facility for its energy-efficiency and environmental features.

Fox said native plants and trees will be used throughout the campus.

“Other than around the entrances, our campus will not have the type of landscaping that you are used to seeing at corporate facilities, such as the well-manicured lawns and flowers,” he said. “Most of the campus is going to have a native, natural look with native plants ands trees that require less water — which helps us gain our LEED certification.”

He added there is a paved walking trail around the campus, and the community will be encouraged to use the trail for exercise and relaxation.

“In every regard, this is a community hospital,” he said.

Showing illustrations of the various features of the new hospital, Fox said a lot of effort was put into making the new hospital warm, friendly and inviting.

“When you walk in, it’s going to look more like a hotel than a hospital,” he said. “We want people to feel comfortable because research has shown that these subtle facility design elements play a role in promoting health and increasing recovery time.”

Fox also talked about the new technology being used in the hospital, which will feature digital boards in every patient’s room. Currently, hospitals use whiteboards in the rooms to write down physician orders for the staff. The new hospital will use a digital screen that will be interactive with the patient’s electronic health records. Every time a doctor or nurse writes on the patient’s board, that information will automatically be filed in their electronic patient records.

The Waxahachie hospital will be the first in the world to use this technology, Fox said, adding the software was written specifically for this project and Baylor Scott & White is currently filing for a patient on software.

He also praised the community for its philanthropy, noting donations for the new hospital currently stand at $2.1 million, and he predicts that total will reach $3 million by December.

“This community has been extremely generous with its dollars and its support,” Fox said. “I also want to make it clear than none of the dollars raised through our fundraising drive will be used for brick and mortar. All of the donations received for this project will be used for programs and equipment,” he said, showing a slide listing a number of diagnostic equipment that will available when the hospital opens.

“Another area that is being funded by the donations is our patient navigator service,” he said, explaining that each patient will receive a personal navigator to help them through care, be it scheduling doctors appointments, therapy, surgery, counseling, etc.

If you are diagnosed with a chronic illness or have surgery and require follow-up care and surgery, Fox said it can be a scary process navigating your way through the health care system.

“I’m very proud that our new hospital is going to have this feature to make that stressful situation a lot less scary and lot easier. We are only able to provide this service because of the donations received and the generosity of the community,” he said.

He also thanked the Rotary Club for its generosity. Each year the club pledges a donation to aid the hospital, be it to purchase equipment or expand services.

Fox closed his presentation by saying the hospital will open on Dec. 6 at its current location, and by the end of the day, all patients, staff and operations will be transferred to the new facility by the end of the day.

“We’ve built new hospitals before, but this is the first time our system has ever opened a hospital in one location and closed it in another on the same day,” he said. “If you aren’t doing anything on Dec. 6, come on by and give us a hand.”

For more information about the hospital visit their web site at http://www.baylorhealth.com/PhysiciansLocations/Waxahachie/Pages/Default.aspx .

For more information about the Rotary Club of Waxahachie where we believe in Service Above Self and doing things as a club we cannot do alone, visit the club web site at www.waxahachierotary.org . You can find American flag subscription and bike ride forms on the web site.

Neal White is the Publisher and Editor of Waxahachie Newspapers Inc., and a member of the Waxahachie Rotary Club. Contact Neal at neal.white@waxahachietx.com or 469-517-1457. Follow Neal on Facebook at Neal White – Waxahachie Newspapers Inc., or on Twitter at wni_nwhite.