By JESSIE HORTON
Tones from the newly repaired courthouse clock marked the start of Erath County Commissioners Court Monday. And to start off the meeting, commissioners heard from Dr. Keith Argenbright of the Moncrief Cancer Center, who informed the court of a new project the center is working on that will provide some healthcare benefits for Erath County residents who are under insured or uninsured.
“There are not very many places in the country doing this right now,” Argenbright said. “It’s considered a very innovative way to bring healthcare to residents of your communities.”
The project, a mobile cancer survivorship clinic including two exam rooms, an exercise area and space for meeting with patients, will include a full staff to help participating residents. Argenbright said the mobile clinic will service nine counties surrounding Fort Worth and Tarrant County. He informed the court that Moncrief hopes to have the clinic in Stephenville and Erath County twice a month.
“This project includes a full staff including doctors, nurses, a nutritionist, an exercise therapist and more. It even has the ability to video conference with any specialist or anyone we need to from right there in the mobile facility,” Argenbright said. “I’m here this morning to inform you, the commissioners, of our plans to include your county in this project and to thank you for your continued support of the Moncrief Center through the years.”
The most exciting part of the project for residents of Erath County will be the state-of-the-art clinic offered to under insured and uninsured residents free of charge. Arengbright said the clinic would be made available to everyone, but is meant to help those without insurance coverage.
“If you have BlueCross-BlueShield and you come see us, the clinic will bill your insurance to cover the cost,” he said Monday. “But if your insurance doesn’t cover the services our clinic provides or you have an extremely high deductible or no insurance at all, the staff will not turn you away and we won’t bill that insurance for our services.”
The Moncrief Center is working to outfit the mobile clinic and select the staff. Argenbright said they plan to have the clinic up and running and visiting communities by March. He said before they come, Moncrief representatives will meet with local officials to designate a location and times for the clinic.
“We aren’t here to take business away from the wonderful doctors and facilities you have here in Erath County,” Argenbright told the court. “We’ve worked very closely with doctors and hospitals here before and are hoping to do the same again. We think this will be a very beneficial program for everyone in the community and we’re very much looking forward to helping.”