Tag Archives: BSA Hospital

St. Anthony’s Hospital campus might get new life

As much progress that has occurred in Amarillo, Texas, in recent years, there remains much work to do to restore, revive and rejuvenate historic landmarks.

To that end, a former hospital campus on Amarillo Boulevard and Polk Street just might become the next big triumph in the city’s long-term redevelopment strategy.

Or … it might not. I will hope for the best.

A newly formed non-profit group has taken possession of the old St. Anthony ‘s Hospital complex. The hospital closed many years ago when St. Anthony’s merged with High Plains Baptist Hospital to create Baptist-St. Anthony’s Hospital in the midst of the city’s growing medical complex along Coulter Street in far west Amarillo.

It has fallen, dare I say it, into serious disrepair. I got a first-hand look at it just a couple of years ago while writing a feature story for KFDA NewsChannel 10’s website. The then-owner walked us through the campus and, to point it candidly, it wasn’t a pretty sight. The place is crumbling.

The non-profit organization, St. Anthony’s Legacy and Redevelopment Corp., is led by Mary Emeny, who comes from a family with a long history of commitment and dedication to the community. Emeny issued a statement that declared, in part, “It is a privilege to begin the work of bringing new opportunities and resources to the surrounding communities through this iconic property.”

That statement might need a bit of translation, given the rather broad and nebulous nature of its content. Emeny’s organization hasn’t yet revealed any details of what it intends for the old campus, or how it proposes to pay for whatever it will do.

I have known Mary Emeny for a number of years and I fully understand and appreciate her love of Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle. I am never going to doubt her ability to achieve whatever she seeks to do.

The Amarillo Globe-News named her its Woman of the Year some years back. I do not believe her energy and her commitment have abated one bit.

I wish my friend well. That old campus needs a lot of work. I have faith Mary Emeny will deliver the goods.

Glad to be enrolled in VA health care system


Count me as one red-blooded American military veteran who’s glad to be enrolled in the health care system the federal government provides for us.

I had another remarkably positive experience this morning in that regard. I thought I’d share it here.

The medical staff at the Thomas Creek Veterans Medical Center here in Amarillo had asked me to seek an abdominal ultrasound; the purpose is to look for any sign of an aneurysm in my gut.

So, I signed up with an insurance provider that contracts with the VA and made the appointment at Baptist St. Anthony’s Hospital, one of two acute care hospitals in the city.

My appointment was set for 9:15 a.m. They told me to report to the front desk at 8:45, get registered and then wait for my turn.

I got there at 8:35, reported to the front desk. They took my info down, told me to go to a waiting room … and wait.

I waited all of about six minutes. A young woman came out, asked me for my date of birth and Social Security number and led me back to the lab area.

I waited there for, oh, maybe 10 minutes. Out came a lab tech named Chris, who took me to the treatment room.

He asked me to lie down on the table. He left the room and returned about two minutes later. He then ran the ultrasound machine over my abdomen.

Twelve minutes later? I was done.

I looked at my watch: 9:20 a.m. That’s five minutes after my visit was scheduled to begin.

I’m not yet sure what the VA had to do with the promptness and efficiency of this visit, but I’ll give the agency some measure of credit. It might be, although I likely cannot prove it, that BSA staffers give VA patients a little higher priority … maybe?

Whatever. There’s something quite positive to be said for this pre-paid health care benefit.

Ebola has not arrived

We can stop making Ebola quips, jokes and puns now.

For several hours this afternoon and evening, thousands of Amarillo-area residents were on the edge of their seats awaiting word about a patient who had checked into the emergency room at one of the city’s two acute-care hospitals.

The word went out that the ER at Baptist-St. Anthony’s Hospital had locked down. Why? Medical personnel thought they might be treating someone who had shown symptoms of the deadly disease that is originating in West Africa.


It’s been confirmed that the patient does not have Ebola, nor had even been in Africa.

The lockdown has been lifted; ER personnel have been allowed to leave. The patient, I presume, is going to recover fully from whatever it is that caused all the uproar.

These stories tend to drive me just a tiny bit insane. My first reaction when I heard the news was unkind toward the TV stations that were blabbing that someone exhibiting Ebola-like symptoms had shown up at BSA. “If this story is bogus and doesn’t pan out, the stations should be ashamed,” I blurted out to someone at work.

Then my more cautious angel began whispering into my ear. “Yes, but the ER was locked down and that, by itself, is news,” the angel told me. “The media had an obligation to explain the reason for the lockdown,” the angel said.

OK, I get it now. I’m a media guy myself and I understand the rules of the game.

We’d better prepare ourselves for more of this type of mini-hysteria until someone finds a way to stop this disease’s deadly path of destruction.

I’m guessing there’ll be more of these kinds of cases.

So let’s stop cracking wise about Ebola. None of it is funny.