ADA — In 1986, Valley View outgrew its original home on Arlington and a new facility was built east of town on 34 acres of land. The “new” Valley View hospital was the beginning of a new era for health care in Pontotoc County and the surrounding areas.

The “old” Valley View Hospital, began in 1938 as a small, 50-bed, community hospital, and was intended only to serve the Ada community and small surrounding towns. Though the “old” Valley View did eventually grow to a 166-bed hospital, there was no room for expansion in services and technology additions.

“Moving from the old hospital to the “new” Valley View gave many of us mixed emotions,” said Denise Zimmerman, employee health nurse and 30 year Valley View employee.

“While we were anxious to have a new facility, the old one had very special memories. We packed and moved by truck and private autos. Everyone helping everyone, I remember lots of laughter as well as a few tears. Doing that final walk through was difficult, but getting into the new building was very exciting for us all,” Zimmerman said.

“Yes, the move was tremendously exciting,” said Belinda Runnells, Valley View director of educational services, and 30-year employee. “However, I have never been so exhausted in my life.”

Valley View Open House was hosted on a Friday and Saturday. Residents from Ada and surrounding areas poured through the front doors to get a glimpse of Ada’s future in health care.

“I gave countless tours of the new facility, the upgraded equipment was exciting for all to see,” Runnells said. “But the employees were most excited about the beautiful new cafeteria!”

The “new” hospital began as a 200-bed acute care facility. The health care advancements for the “new” hospital, in 1986, greatly exceeded the comfy new booths of the gourmet cafeteria.

“In the early modern era of surgery, the operating room was simple, uncluttered space, the old hospital was very accommodating for these simple requirements,” notes Jackye Ward, Valley View vice president of patient care services/chief nursing officer and 26-year Valley View employee.

“Advances in surgical technique and technology have placed unprecedented space and capacity demands on today's ORs,” Ward said. “The new hospital not only provided the space needed for O.R. advancements, it also included purchases of new technologies — we were very excited about the design of the new operating rooms.”

Now, 20 years later, Valley View is still in the business of adding new technologies, renovating spaces, and providing the highest level of care sponsors say. Valley View is registered for 167 beds, serves a nine county area, and is well on its way to becoming the primary regional referral center for south central Oklahoma. Valley View employs more than 700 personnel, offers close to thirty physician specialties, and brings many “big city” hospital amenities right to Ada’s front door.

Much of the hospital’s growth has happened within recent years sponsors said. Twenty new physicians have been added to its medical staff in the past two years, and with these physicians come new specialties and treatments previously not offered at even larger metro hospitals, sponsors said.

New services added within the last five years include a Sleep Center, Wound Healing Center, outpatient physical therapy facility, and the radiology advancements of the Open MRI and mobile PET/CT.

The new Endoscopy Center, on the second floor east wing, is near completion and will contain a special endoscopy family waiting room, a prep area that will have space for multiple patients, a sterilization room, and two over flow waiting areas for patients that must wait after their procedure for further tests. The new center will have two procedure rooms with the staff and equipment to potentially carry out two procedures at once.

The two most recent additions to the Valley View medical staff are Dr. Jose Alverez and Dr. Leandrita Ortega.

Dr. Jose Alverez is an ear, nose, and throat specialist. He comes to Valley View from Puerto Rico. He offers all general ear, nose, and throat services, but especially enjoys relieving patients of nose and paranasal sinuses’ symptoms, such as those that can be caused by Oklahoma’s many allergens. Alverez will begin practice early November.

Also, joining Valley View’s medical staff is Dr. Leandrita Ortega, family medicine. She will be opening her practice “Abundant Life Family Medicine” within the next months. Ortega comes to Valley View from New Mexico. She offers all family medicine services, but is interested in women and children’s health with some obstetrics offerings. She will also be spending a half a day each week in the Valley View Wound Healing Center as a wound care specialist.