Big Spring State Hospital, a 200-bed psychiatric hospital located on State Highway 87 two miles northwest of Big Spring, serves a 58-county area in West Texas and the Texas South Plains, where more than 2.1 million people live. The hospital, which was established in the late 1930s, treats adults 18 and older with psychiatric illnesses and is managed by the Department of State Health Services. The facility is financed through the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation and accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and Medicare. Big Spring State Hospital works in partnership with local mental health community centers that have employees who prescreen and refer people for admission to Big Spring State Hospital.
The facility houses more than 640 employees, which include physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, direct care workers, social workers and nutritionists. Originally eight buildings when the hospital began admitting patients in June of 1939, the complex grew to include 43 buildings during an expansion in 1990, according to the Texas State Historical Association. The complex includes an all-faith chapel, a school building, an outpatient clinic, a workshop, an enclosed swimming pool, a gymnasium, a four-building work village, a rehabilitation therapy building, a central kitchen, and a volunteer building. For visiting loved ones, the hospital has the Family Visitation Center and the Don and Marilyn Newsom Family Lodge.
Once housing a maximum of 1,100 patients, Big Spring State Hospital now averages 324 patients, with approximately 1,800 admissions and discharges occurring each year, according to the Texas State Historical Association. The average length of stay is between 30 and 90 days. Treatments include a full range of rehabilitation therapies, education, individual and group psychotherapy, and family intervention, in addition to medication.
Scenic Mountain Medical Center, a 150-bed hospital equipped with an Emergency Room open 24 hours a day, is also accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and Medicare. In addition, SMMC possesses Nutrition and Diabetes Self-Management Program Accreditation. The medical center’s emergency department is a Level IV trauma center, making it a facility that has demonstrated an ability to provide Advanced Trauma Life Support® prior to transferring patients to a Level V trauma center, the highest level of trauma center rankings. Level IV trauma centers provide evaluation, stabilization, and diagnostic capabilities for injured patients.
In addition to Scenic Mountain Medical Center’s emergency services, the facility offers a cornucopia of women’s services, including labor and delivery, gynecology and gynecological surgery, digital mammography, breast MRIs, bone density and ultrasound imaging and a Healthy Woman Program. Other services offered at SMMC are cardiology, diabetes education, family medicine, hematology, internal medicine, oncology, orthopedics, pain management, pediatrics, pediatric dentistry, podiatry, pulmonology, radiology, sleep medicine, and urology. Twenty-three physicians are active at SMMC and 19 are courtesy.
The George H. O’Brien, Jr. Veterans Affairs Medical Center, better known as the West Texas VA Health Care System, is located in town on Veterans Boulevard. The facility serves 17,000 veterans in a 33-county area spanning 53,000 square miles in Texas and New Mexico. Within that service area there reside more than 56,000 veterans, approximately 17,000 or 30 percent of which receive care from the West Texas VA Health Care System. Annually, the health care system hosts an average of 170,000 outpatient visits, according to a statement by the VA.
Services offered by the VA medical center include audiology, a caregiver support program, Compensated Work Therapy (CWT), dentistry, diagnostic imaging, Primary Care (PC), Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC), nutrition and food services, ophthalmology, a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) program, a Substance Abuse Treatment Program (SATP), a suicide prevention program and a women’s health program.
Big Spring State Hospital
1901 N. Highway 87
Scenic Mountain Medical Center
1601 W. 11th Place
George H. O’Brien, Jr. VA Medical Center
300 Veterans Blvd.
Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Texas State Veterans Home
1809 N. Highway 87
West Texas Centers
319 Runnels St.
Dora Roberts Rehabilitation Center
306 W. Third St.