A Look Inside: Hendrick Medical Plaza
By Rebecca Hargus
Photography by Doug Hodel
Walking into the lobby of Hendrick Medical Center’s newest facility on the south side of Abilene, patients are greeted with a postmodern metal sculpture and abstract birds that seem to be gliding overhead. Park benches and pots overflowing with plants are strategically placed, inviting patients to sit as clouds pass by the large lobby windows. The apertures let in enough light on a sunny day that the lobby feels more like a pleasant park than a waiting room. Wandering through the facility, patients will experience tasteful artwork, soothing color combinations, and, most importantly for residents on the south side of Abilene, more convenient access to physicians and medical technologies.
Construction of Hendrick Medical Center’s expansion to the south side began in the summer of 2014 and opened to the public in August 2015. The new Hendrick Medical Plaza is located at 5302 Buffalo Gap Road. The facility covers 38,000 square feet and is home to Hendrick Internal Medicine, Hendrick Rheumatology, a branch of the Professional Association for Pediatrics, a radiology facility, a laboratory, and a branch of the Meek Blood Center. Paige Gollihar of Parkhill, Smith & Cooper was the design architect for the medical plaza, and Imperial Construction of Weatherford was the contracting firm.
Duane L. Martin, director of architectural/engineering service at Hendrick Medical Center was in charge of overseeing the project.
“Our emphasis is on internal medicine and family practice,” Martin said. “For years we’ve had people say that they would really like to be at Hendrick Medical Center, so we are trying to get more doctors out here. We are providing lab and x-ray and are trying to provide for most of their medical needs right here [on the south side].”
The south branch of the Professional Association for Pediatrics opened in September, and there are enough exam rooms for three physicians to treat patients. The doctors visit patients on the north and south side locations on a rotating basis, and patients can call to find out when their doctor will be on the south campus. The office also has two waiting rooms: the main waiting room and a sub-waiting room for well patients.
The radiology clinic opened in August and provides patients with diagnostic x-ray services, ultrasound services, and state of the art Caring Suite CT services that help patients overcome anxiety during a scan. In the CT room, an overhead screen with relaxing images of a waterfall caressing water-rounded rocks is seen overhead and soothing music plays.
“The patient is given an iPad, and they can select what kind of background they want, and it also adjusts the music and the lighting so they can be more relaxed and comfortable,” says Rose Shirmer, radiologic technologist. “We can preview it for them so they can decide what they want before [the procedure begins].” Patients can also bring their own iPads and music, even movies.
The Meek Blood Center branch opened August 31 and holds four draw stations. The Alyx Component Collection System can be found at the main branch and will be available at the plaza shortly. The Alyx system utilizes automated technology to collect twice the amount of red blood cells as a regular whole blood donation. Plasma and saline are given back to the donor.
“There is a large group of consistent blood donors who all live on this side of town, so for them this is great,” said Lynne Bruton, director of public relations. “It’s exciting to have something like this on this side of town. The Blood Center is going to remain on the north side. The draw stations are an outreach.”
And what about the future development of the south side facility?
“This facility was designed to grow,” Martin said. “In the future I know we will be adding onto this building.”
Hendrick Radiology Services
Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. –5 p.m.
Walk-in X-ray and same-day CT and ultrasound are available. For more information, call 325-307-6325.
To make an appointment, call 325-670-4270.
Hendrick Regional Laboratory
Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. –5 p.m.
Meek Blood Center
Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
To schedule a blood drive, call 325-670-2799.
For donor eligibility questions, call 325-670-2880.
Mariela Agosto-Rivera, MD
Jeffrey Edwards, MD
Santhi Penmetsa, MD
Professional Association for Pediatrics
For more information, visit http://ehendrick.org/Main/Medical-Plaza.aspx