Building a Community…one brick at a time!

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, the Medical Center League House is the signature project that the Junior League of Amarillo elected to plan and develop. Its purpose is to serve as a home away from home for adult patients and their families who have traveled to Amarillo to receive medical treatment. It will provide not only a safe place for these people to stay but also an opportunity to receive social support from people who are facing similar circumstances. It will be located in the Medical Center and will complement the mission of the Ronald McDonald House.

Thus fan the plans for the two story facility comprise of 30 guest rooms, a kitchen area, a family/ gathering area, an exercise room, and a prayer garden. There is the option of adding more rooms in the future. The total cost for the project is estimated at 2.8 million which includes the construction and furnishings. As this is being written, a total of $l .8 million in pledges has been given. This includes the generous donation of Dick Rathgeber, an Austin businessman who has contributed to seven hospitality houses in the Southwest area, and The Junior League of Amarillo. Along with these pledges, Harrington Regional Medical Center has agreed to donate the land. Baptist Community Services and Harrington Regional Medical Center Inc. will take over the ownership of the building after its built. The Medical Center League House will be its own 50l (c)3 and a nine member board was created to keep it functioning.

The development of the Medical Center League House is the joint responsibility of three local, non-profit organizations: Baptist Community Services, Harrington Regional Medical Center, and the Junior of League of Amarillo. Baptist Community Services evolved from the merger of High Plains Baptist Hospital and St. Anthony‘s Hospital in l996. High Plains Baptist Hospital was envisioned by local men and women in the late l950s and early l960s, and became a major medical center on the western edge of Amarillo.

As the medical services industry grew and the population of the surrounding area aged, the need retirement and long—term care facilities began to make itself known. HPBH’s first step towards meeting these needs was the creation of Park Place Towers in l986, and further commitments towards meeting these needs were taken with the purchase of the Continental Retirement Center (l99l), the construction of the Ware Memorial and Assisted Living Center (l993), the Harrington Assisted Living Center (2002), the creation of the Talmage and Plemons Court housing for senior adults (2003), and The Arbors nursing home facility (2004). In addition to meeting the needs of the region’s senior population, HPBH also purchased and managed the Amarillo Town Club — a wellness club – for the benefit of families in the Amarillo area; the oversight for this organization, as for all of the others listed above, was transferred to Baptist Community Services during the 1996 hospitals merger.