Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need a new hospital?
The current facility is more than 70 years old with electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems that cannot be readily repaired or replaced. In some cases, parts can no longer be found to fix certain issues. This creates a less-than-comfortable environment for patients and staff and makes adding new or updated medical equipment and technology much more difficult, or even impossible.
Why can’t the current hospital be renovated?
Much of the current facility was constructed in such a way that replacing critical infrastructure simply cannot be done, short of demolition. The costs and disruption in renovating the existing buildings make a new facility, in a new location, a much better option for our community.
What are the biggest problems with the current facility?
Most patients and staff would likely say climate control is the biggest frustration. Several areas do not have adequate heating and cooling, which combined with excessive moisture and condensation creates significant problems. There are other issues with plumbing and electrical systems that are simply not sustainable.
What is the current financial status of the hospital?
The hospital has been profitable each year for the past decade, in large part due to prudent financial management and participation in a number of cooperative programs that support the community and other caregivers, such as senior living facilities. This solid financial standing is a key factor in securing bond funding at attractive interest rates to support construction of the new hospital and clinic.
How many residents are treated annually in the current hospital’s emergency room, and where do they come from?
From 2018 through 2020, the ER averaged just over 8,700 visits each year. For that time period about 42% of patients had Liberty addresses and 31% were from Dayton and 16% in the district, but outside Liberty and Dayton. Only about 12% of patients were from addresses outside of the district’s boundaries.
How is the current emergency department staffed?
The ER is staffed by board-certified physicians, through a medical group under contract with the hospital. The department will continue to be staffed by physicians in the new hospital.
What will the new hospital cost?
The District’s construction budget for the new, 51,000-square-foot hospital is just over $39 million. The referendum also proposes a new medical clinic in Dayton, with a construction budget of more than $3 million, making the total construction costs almost $43 million.
Tell me about the proposed clinic in Dayton.
The new clinic would be a 4,700-square-foot facility offering medical exams, imaging, lab testing and similar diagnostic services with extended hours throughout the week as well as on weekends. With a convenient location just north of downtown, the Dayton clinic will offer a much-needed alternative for medical care in the Dayton area.
How many residents are using the Clinic annually, and where do they come from?
From 2018 through 2020, the current clinic saw an average of 5,275 patients each year. For that time period about 49% were from Liberty addresses, while 20% reported Dayton addresses and 19% in the district, but outside Liberty and Dayton. Similar to ER volumes, about 12% of patients seen were from addresses outside of the district’s boundaries.
Why wasn’t the new hospital planned to be built in Dayton?
A key reason for that decision was that the district was seeking a highly accessible, large tract of land in a central location, and hired a professional site selection firm to evaluate sites in the Dayton and Liberty areas. Despite numerous attempts and working with several realtors, the district could not find a suitable tract of land large enough in the immediate Dayton area that was within the hospital district boundaries. The best Dayton site was a 7-acre piece of property that was found to have some potentially significant construction problems and environmental issues, along with difficulties with access and other surrounding land uses. While this process was ongoing, a 35-acre tract for the new hospital was donated and that site became the ultimate recommendation.
How much will this add to my taxes?
The referendum calls for an additional nine cents ($0.09) per $100 property tax valuation, a rate that remains one of the lowest for hospital districts in our state. These facilities can become a reality and with your support we can enjoy an expanded, higher level of healthcare services at two highly visible and convenient locations. The implications for taxpayers are modest, but the benefits are great.
Where does most of the district’s tax revenue come from?
Revenues from the Liberty area amount to about 35% percent of the total, with the Dayton area generating about 33%. Other areas of funding come from Hardin at 14%, Hull-Daisetta at 10% and Devers at 7%.
How does that compare with tax rates of other hospital Districts?
The combined 18-cent District tax rate would remain one of the lowest in our state, based on comparable services.
Where would the new hospital be located?
The District has received a donation of a 35-acre tract to allow for the new hospital and future expansion, so there are no land acquisition costs. The property is located at the intersection of TX Hwy 146 and FM 1011, offering greater accessibility, visibility and opportunities for future growth compared to the current location.
Where would the Dayton clinic be located?
The proposed clinic would be conveniently located on Cleveland Street, near downtown Dayton and just six blocks north of US Hwy 90.
What is the distance between the proposed clinic and hospital sites?
Approximately 11 miles.
Will the projects generate new jobs?
In addition to short-term construction jobs, the new facilities are projected to increase the hospital’s full-time workforce by as much as 25 percent.
Will a new hospital attract more doctors?
The new facilities and services will attract additional physicians, while the new location allows for expansion that may include a professional office building and other health services in the future.
What services would the new hospital offer?
Plans for the new hospital call for:
A total of 10 private and semi-private inpatient beds
That includes three private rooms for transitional care, known as “swing beds”
Three private observation beds
Emergency Services with eight exam rooms and one trauma room
Two surgical suites for general and ambulatory needs (one for future use)
An inpatient pharmacy and lab
A clinic with eight exam rooms
Rehab services with a gym and 3 exam rooms
Conference room available for community meetings
A full range of imaging services including CT, ultrasound, X-ray and MRI.
The site will also allow for future expansion of patient care units, emergency services, the clinic, rehabilitation services, and professional offices.
What type of surgeries will be performed at the new hospital?
Initially the plans call for a general surgery program, which would include minimally invasive procedures for orthopedic and gastro-intestinal issues.
Will the new hospital and clinic continue to accept all forms of insurance?
Yes, the hospital district will continue its obligations to accept governmental and private insurance plans, and continue its programs of charitable and indigent care.
What accommodations have been made for future pandemics or large-scale community disruptions?
The new hospital has been planned and designed with the capability to quickly convert beds to handle a higher number of inpatients, with rooms that provide negative pressure systems when the need exists. Emergency power systems will also be available in both the hospital and clinic, allowing for ongoing needs without interruption.
Why not go ahead and build out the areas that are designated for future expansion on the site plan?
Those future expansion areas will allow the hospital to provide new or additional services when the need arises and provides flexibility in deciding how those areas might be configured for the future. Any expansion in those areas can be funded through other sources and will not require additional tax revenue.
What would happen to the old hospital facility?
There are a range of possibilities for the future use of that property, but nothing has been decided.
Was a needs assessment conducted in considering a new hospital and clinic?
Thorough market and financial assessments were conducted, as well as a space analysis based on current use and future projections of patient volume. The proposed site was carefully studied by an experienced healthcare architectural firm based on factors such as access, topography, helipad location, zoning, building orientation, parking, site amenities, neighborhood issues and environmental issues.
How long will construction take?
Current plans call for the Dayton clinic to open in mid-2023 after seven months of construction. The new hospital is expected to require 15 months of construction, and open in late 2023.
What happens if this referendum is not approved?
The current hospital facility cannot be expected to meet the needs and expectations of the community for an extended period. In addition, the anticipation of expanded medical services and convenience that the hospital would bring would be lost. That's why it is critical that we pass propositions A and B on November 2.
Is the referendum all or nothing – covering both the new hospital and clinic?
Yes, the referendum combines funding for both facilities as a practical matter to assure better access to healthcare across the region.
Can those who live outside the District boundaries vote in this election?
Only registered voters within the District may vote, following the boundaries established more than 20 years ago. However, anyone is welcome to use the medical services of the hospital or the clinic.
Why should I support this if I don’t use the hospital?
The medical care provided for our growing communities should be considered in the same light as police, fire, schools, parks, public infrastructure and other essential services that are supported by tax dollars. Even if you don’t personally use such services, they are necessary, valuable and worthy of your support.
When is early voting?
The early voting period is October 18 through October 29.
When is election day?
Tuesday, November 2.
How will the new facilities be staffed?
The recruitment of physicians and other healthcare professionals is the key to a successful relationship with our patients. A number of providers and services have reacted positively to the plans for the new facilities, and approval of the propositions will attract a highly qualified team at every level.
How do I know if my property is located in the district?
If you are a registered voter, your voter card will show SBE 7. Also you can check a previous year’s county tax bill, which would show Liberty County Hospital District NO 1 as a jurisdiction.