BONHAM, TX-A Fannin county hospital will now be run by the community and that means they are now eligible to get millions of dollars in government funding.
The federal government is investing more than $20 billion to help improve health care in rural Texas and Fannin County could be one of the first in our area to benefit.
Fannin county commissioners voted 4-1 Monday agreeing to turn the Red River Regional Hospital into a hospital authority, which means the facility can compete to receive state and federal funding.
Monday, residents tell us what they think of the decision.
Janette Bird is a patient at Red River Regional Hospital and she said they need help.
"I think they do need the money. It's an older building and they're doing a great job and they really do need the help," she said.
Another patient, Paula Clackum, agrees.
"We need a local hospital because TMC and Wilson N. Jones are great hospitals but that's a long distance for people who have emergencies to have to go," she said.
Monday, Fannin County Commissioners voted to turn the privately owned Red River Regional into a public hospital authority,
it will now be run by a board of directors appointed by county officials.
County judge Spanky Carter said being a hospital authority will allow the hospital to compete for a piece of the federal government's $29 billion grant awarded to the state of Texas. Carter said the hospital could receive $8 million to $25 million in funding, which Commissioner Joe Strong said would help them add programs.
"They may end up being able to expand the services. One of the things we hear is like wellness programs and things of that nature that they'll be able to apply funds for," he said.
Strong said even though the hospital is now a political subdivision, taxes will not be raised.
"There will be no taxes, they're not a taxing entity by being an authority. If they were a district they will be eligible for taxing but as being an authority, they're not eligible for taxing," he said.
"You know, no extra taxes. But also just bringing in more money is gonna bring more business, it's gonna bring more patients, it's gonna bring in more people, more nurses, more doctors, more everything," said Bird.
"We're hoping that this is a positive thing that the hospital will be able to expand the wellness services and provide those to the residents of the county," said Strong.
Judge Carter said the process of becoming a hospital authority will take three to four months. The hospital authority's board of directors will meet for the first time on Thursday to discuss what to do with the grant which they will submit to the federal government.
No one from Red River Regional Hospital was available for comment.