The Baylor Scott and White Medical Center — Waxahachie Auxiliary Board held its annual meeting Tuesday to hear updates about the campus and celebrate volunteered hours.

In the lifetime of the Auxiliary Board, volunteers have dedicated a total of 213,782 hours, with 15,169 of those fulfilled since January. Members with the most hours include Ruby Hays with 18,306 and Margret Burton with 12,199. Fourteen new members were also recognized Tuesday.

During the morning meeting, Will Turner, president of Baylor Scott and White Medical Center — Waxahachie, communicated updates about the campus and answered questions from auxiliary members.

"At the end of the day, we are going to have an electronic system that unites your hospital records with your primary care's records with a number of the specialists in town that work under Baylor," Turner began.

Turner said there was tentative approval that will allow partnership with a heart hospital in Dallas. Turner expressed that he hoped the Waxahachie campus could offer advanced heart care by 2020.

Turner also expects the NICU to expand with after 1,000 babies were born in the hospital. In time, a neonatal unit will be added to alleviate travel time for local parents.

Several new physicians have also signed on with the Waxahachie team, which includes two new gastroenterologists as well as the first endocrinologist that will begin in September.

The midway clinic, located off U.S. Highway 287 Frontage Road near the Whataburger, is also weeks away from a groundbreaking. The 25,000-square-foot building will house up to 12 primary care doctors is expected to open next summer. The facility will include an endocrinologist and a new imaging center.

The Red Oak clinic will soon double in size, which will expand primary care offerings and include an urgent care aspect.

"Our goal is to eventually be able to offer — again some people want this more than others — we are hoping to have four primary care locations effectively and four urgent cares at each of those sites," Turner elaborated.

Turner noted the most significant shortage — and greatest need — position in specialized medicine is the rheumatologist. Turner was proud to announce a rheumatologist was recently hired and now offices in Red Oak.

Tuner shared that, despite the considerable expense, the Waxahachie campus is at the top of the list to receive a medical office building.

"That's kind of the next big thing in our future as well," Turner shared.

Turner reported that patient satisfaction scores were in the top seven percent of hospitals in the country, while surgical services were in the top two percent.

The Waxahachie campus was recently designated as a Level IV trauma center by the Texas Department of State Health Services, which is one of two Level IV trauma centers in Ellis County. The hospital hired its first trauma surgeon, who started Monday.

One auxiliary member asked for an update on the sale of the old hospital building. Turner shared that Veterans Affairs is currently interested in the Garland facility, which is a "package deal" that includes the old Waxahachie hospital.

"I think there is high interest and a good chance there, but we continue to look for opportunities to redevelop that," Turner explained. "Within the next year, we will have a solution; if not the VA then somebody else."

Wrapping things up, Turner shared how impressed he was with the work put into the thrift shop located on North College Street, along with the various efforts exhibited throughout the hospital.

"We would not be where we are today without you," Turner emphasized. "I just can't thank you enough; I know our team is so appreciative of everything that you do," Turner expressed. "Please keep us honest; tell us when things are too spicy — I know you see things from a different perspective."

Concluding the meeting was the installation of new officers that included Billie McCullough as president, Joan Powell as first vice president, Don Goodenough as second vice president, Nancy Ross as recording secretary, Pat Redding as corresponding secretary, and Linda Harris as treasurer.

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450