Parker County Hospital Board – Springtown
Texas Healthcare Trustees presents the Advocate of the Year Award to hospital board member who displays outstanding advocacy efforts on behalf of a hospital or health system.
Melvin Woody, of Springtown, Texas, was a dedicated member on the Board of the Parker County Hospital District (PCHD) for 27 years, serving from May 1994 to June 2021.
In his time on the Board, Woody played an integral part in the evolution of a rural hospital that not only survived but thrived as the result of some very creative and innovative thinking by the Board. Campbell Health System, the local hospital in Weatherford, Texas, was owned and operated by the PCHD. Woody was one of the key leaders on the Board of Directors of the struggling rural hospital that went through some very tough times before the Board made a very strategic decision in 2006 to lease the hospital to a third party.
The hospital was leased by PCHD to Community Health Systems and became Weatherford Regional Health System and was later leased to HCA, becoming Medical City Weatherford. Woody is regarded for his immense efforts to advocate for the transition PCHD from an independent hospital to the current partnership with HCA, as well as numerous other PCHD issues.
“Mr. Woody is most deserving of the Advocate of the Year Award as he has been an unwavering advocate for our local hospital’s initiatives,” said Randy Bascus, CEO of PCHD. “He has always maintained the integrity of the hospital and his commitment to our community.”
In 2019, PCHD decided that employing physicians directly would be beneficial for the District and the Parker County community. Unfortunately, the state law allowing hospital districts to employ physicians did not apply to Parker County because the county population exceeded the maximum allowed under that law.
Woody suggested that PCHD file its own bill in the Texas Legislature and amend its enabling legislation so that PCHD could employ physicians directly. While passing a bill in the Texas Legislature is never easy, Woody helped spearhead the team that convinced the Texas House and Senate to pass a bill as PCHD requested. Governor Abbot signed it into law and PCHD now has its own legislation allowing them to directly employ physicians.
Even more recently, in 2021 and in the midst of the pandemic, Woody and the PCHD Board were briefed on efforts to pass a state law that protected health care providers, schools, and private businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits.
Woody wholeheartedly supported this legislation and was instrumental in PCHD’s decision to send one of their EMT employees to Austin to testify in front of the Texas House in support of this bill. The testimony was well received, and the COVID-19 protection bill was passed into law. These efforts successfully protected health care workers during an extraordinary time for hospitals.
Through decades of work with PCHD, Woody has proven to be a valued advocate for health care in the Parker County community.