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the panhandle of Oklahoma.

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Pratt Regional Medical Center Celebrates 65 Years

Pratt Regional Medical Center is the largest employer in Pratt County. Last year, PRMC celebrated their 65th year of providing healthcare for Pratt County and the surrounding area.

The original idea for a city hospital dates back to 1930. It was an often discussed subject and was even placed before the citizens of Pratt for a vote, but the shortage of funds and various other reasons prevented the construction.

Following World War II, building materials were almost unavailable and a significant increase in the projected costs changed the focus from a city hospital to a county hospital. The county hospital proposition carried on April 22, 1947. A grant of $187,500 from the federal Hill Burton Act and $70,000 in pledges from the community for equipment and the furnishing of patient rooms paved the way for the ground breaking ceremony on November 15, 1948.

On August 6, 1950, the Pratt County Hospital was dedicated, “That the health of the community be safeguarded and the capacity for happiness of its people thereby enlarged.” The first patient was admitted on September 11, 1950.

It seems as if history has repeated itself for healthcare in Pratt County. On August 7, 2012, by over 60%, voters passed a ¾ cent sales tax proposition to help support the renovation and addition to the existing 60 plus year old hospital. (Only after a 1 cent sales tax proposal failed at the polls on April 6, 2010.)

A groundbreaking ceremony took place at Pratt Regional Medical Center on Monday, March 18, 2013, and PRMC has been under construction ever since.

The current ¾ cent sales tax is being used to pay a portion of the annual bond payments. Bonds were issued in 2012 to fund the hospital building project. To date, sales tax collections have exceeded initial projections.

Sometimes, there are inquiries about the ability of PRMC to use excess funds for other purposes. The answer is: this sales tax can ONLY be used to help retire the bond indebtedness on this project. If sales tax collections continue to be strong over the next several years, the hospital could potentially be able to pay off the bonds early and sunset the sales tax earlier than planned.

PRMC also is helping pay off the bonds for this project. Currently, PRMC’s payment is a little over $1 million dollars a year, and progressively increases each year until the bonds are retired. PRMC has never received tax support to operate the hospital. The County Hospital Board, which is appointed by the County Commission, receives 1.128 mils per year. (This levy generates approximately $165,000 per year.) These funds are held by the County Hospital Board and are to be used exclusively for building and grounds upkeep and repairs, since the County owns the buildings and grounds.

“We are very thankful to be on the tail end of a multi-phased renovation and expansion project,” PRMC President and CEO, Susan Page said. “By the end of this summer, we should have a complete, beautiful and functional hospital. We are so very proud of our evolving campus in place to continue to care for the citizens of Pratt and the surrounding region for another 65 years.”


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