BUILDING A LEGACY
The history of Yoakum Community Hospital began in 1922, when the people of Yoakum, TX., decided that the community needed a hospital. With that impetus and a donation of land and cash by the late John Huth, construction began. Initially, the hospital was owned by the City of Yoakum and was operated by lay people. After only a short period of time, the economy began to decline. The hospital also began to decline and was no longer able to support itself. With little income, it became a detriment to the City.
Mr. C. C. Crutchfield, the Yoakum City Manager at the time, decided that the best hope for the future of the hospital was to change its management. He and the City Commissioners agreed to ask the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament of Victoria to take over the management of the institution, which occurred in 1933.
A short time later the hospital needed new paint and furniture, but there was no money. It was for this reason that the ladies of Yoakum organized an Auxiliary. There were approximately 200 members who paid $1.00 in annual dues annually. The money was used to buy oxygen equipment, instruments and various hospital supplies. The ladies would visit the hospital two or three times a week to help make sponges, cotton balls, and all hospital supplies. The YCH Auxiliary has been, and continues to be, a strong part of our hospital since its earliest day.
In the next decade, the hospital grew in stature and reputation, adding services and personnel, and providing a wonderful service to the community of Yoakum. By 1949, the hospital was felt to be too small to accommodate its increasing load of patient and plans for enlarging it were undertaken.
By the 1960s, there was the need for more space, more patient rooms, and new ancillary facilities, and construction was completed on the second expansion in 1966. This included an all-new X-ray department, emergency room and lab facilities, plus modern rooms with the latest in patient care. The architects for that project were O’Connell and Probst from Austin, the same firm who prepared the plans for our new hospital.
The 1980s brought additional hardships to hospitals with a major change to the government reimbursement for Medicare patients, which constituted a major portion of the business. In early 1984, the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament sisters determined that they could no longer own and manage the facility. Consultations between the Hospital Board, the City Council, and members of the Medical Staff were held. The decision was made to seek another sponsor for the facility. This sponsor turned out to be the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of San Antonio. An extensive renovation was carried out to modernize and update the facility.
In February of 1996 the Yoakum Hospital District assumed responsibility from the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in order to proceed with building a new facility. The community of Yoakum passed a $7 million bond for the construction of a new facility that would have fewer inpatient beds but larger out-patient services.
July 1997 marked the completion of the new 53,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility. With the continued support of the community all new patient furnishings were purchased along with new ICU wireless telemetry equipment.
In September of 1998, the Hospital District officially leased the Hospital to Community Hospital Corporation, a not-for-profit based in Plano, Texas. CHC then contracted with the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System to provide management services to the hospital.
With changes in the Medicare reimbursement system, Yoakum Community Hospital again found itself changing with the times. The critical need for rural hospitals to meet the healthcare needs of individuals within their communities was emphasized by a Medicare program increasing the reimbursement for services to rural hospitals that are considered critical for access to healthcare. On January 1, 2004, Yoakum Community Hospital achieved the designation of a Critical Access Hospital. With this designation, the hospital began receiving payment for services that are in line with costs to treat the patients.
In January, 2006, the management of the hospital reverted from Memorial Herman Healthcare system to Community Hospital Corporation, now having the management capabilities it did not have as a new corporation in 1998.
In 2014, approximately 21,000 square feet was added to the hospital for the addition of the Medical Office Building. The construction of the MOB marked a major milestone for our hospital and now houses Physical Therapy, a therapy pool, Yoakum Discount Pharmacy, New Horizons Geriatric Counselling Program, and our Yoakum Family Practice Clinic.
As healthcare continues to evolve, Yoakum Community Hospital continually searches for innovative opportunities to serve our communities. As we make our way through this new century, Yoakum Community Hospital does indeed have a proud past and a promising future.