MARBLE FALLS, Texas -- The first medical specialty clinic in Marble Falls is now open. Scott & White and other health care systems have provided primary care services in Marble Falls for years. However, Scott & White's new clinic will provide the specialists that doctors, city leaders and residents say are desperately needed.
Some Marble Falls residents say they had a hard time waiting for the Scott & White specialty clinic to be built.
"We drive by all the time," said Allison Cozby, a Marble Falls resident.
Allison and Tac Cozby live just down the road. Until now, to get their son Hunter to the specialists he needs, they had to travel a different and more difficult road.
"Sometimes for specialty appointments we have to go all the way to Temple," said Allison.
The Cozbys say those lengthy trips have been costly -- both financially and emotionally.
"We've had to take him twice to rush him into the emergency room," said Allison. "We had to drive all the way to Round Rock, and I had to watch him the whole time to make sure he didn't stop breathing. Now that it's (the clinic) five seconds down the road, it makes me very happy."
They're not the only ones. City leaders are happy too. Marble Falls Mayor George Russell says the City did a study more than a decade ago.
"One of the things that popped to the very top of it was medical care and a hospital," said Russell. "Since that time we've been working on getting a facility. Scott & White stepped up."
"This will actually provide more comprehensive care because doctors and the other parts of the health care armamentarium can communicate and talk to one another," said Randall Grimshaw, M.D., the chief medical officer for Scott & White's Hill Country region. "That brings costs down while bringing quality and consistency up."
"It's going to be a real game changer for us," said Bill Rives, the executive director of the Marble Falls Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce. "About two months ago a lady called and said, 'My husband I are thinking about relocating. We're retiring. What's the health care situation down there?' I was happy to have that in my response."
City leaders say the clinic and eventual hospital will serve as a driving economic indicator for growth. The Cozbys are just glad their drive to get Hunter the health care he needs has gotten a lot shorter.
The Scott & White hospital in Marble Falls opens in the fall of 2014. It'll start off with 46 beds with plans of expanding to more than 80.
Click here for more information on the Scott & White facility in Marble Falls.