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Serving the Community for 70+ Years

Medical Center Hospital (MCH) has provided care to the Permian Basin for more than 70 years. Opening December 5th, 1949 as an 85-bed community hospital, MCH met an important need for Odessa. Through the years, MCH has expanded and added services and technology to meet the community's growing needs. Today, MCH has grown into a 402-bed Level III Trauma Center with more than 2,000 employees and more than 450 providers.

A Hospital is Born

In 1948, there were three hospitals in Odessa. Dr. Elbert Thorton owned a six-bed hospital, Dr. Emmett Headlee owned the Headlee Hospital, which is now the Ector County Library, and Dr. J.K. Wood owned a 34-bed facility called Wood Hospital.
Due to the need for more healthcare services, Dr. Wood gathered a group of citizens who met with Ector County Commissioners to propose a new Odessa hospital. The commissioners recognized the need, and C.C. Gibson was soon hired as the hospital administrator.
After nearly two years of construction, the Ector County Hospital was dedicated on November 27, 1949. The doors were opened for patients on December 5, 1949. This 85-bed community hospital, which cost $838,946 to build, would later be called Medical Center Hospital.
The hospital served about 6,000 patients annually in the early years. As the number of patients grew, so did the hospital. To accommodate this growth, a three-story addition was created, followed by a seven story tower, and then another seven-story tower. “It was only three floors when it started,” says Betty Johnson, a former Auxiliary member. “It’s gone up now, and several new buildings have been added on.”

Creation of ECHD

MCH has a history of growth and quality, but it still faced some challenging times. During the 1980s, Medical Center Hospital experienced financial difficulties. After some failed financial recovery attempts by private management companies, Odessa rallied to rescue the hospital and voted to create the Ector County Hospital District in 1989. “It was terrible trying to keep the hospital going,” remembers Dr. Life Barnard, who was Chief of Staff at the time. “You almost had to beg for money for Kleenex. The creation of the board was a great asset to the hospital and the community. It has made it possible for all the expansion.”

From a Hospital to a Health System

Medical Center Hospital has become more than a 402-bed facility by opening multiple clinics throughout Odessa. These include the Family Health Clinic on Clements and West University, the ProCare Walk-in Clinic, and the Center for Health & Wellness on Faudree and Highway 191. Because of MCH’s growth outside the four walls of the hospital, Medical Center Health System (MCHS) was introduced in October 2010.

At the same time that Medical Center Health System was introduced, the Center for Health & Wellness opened its doors at East Highway 191 and Faudree Road. This center includes Mission Fitness, ProCare Internal Medicine, ProCare Family Medicine, Laboratory and Radiology.

Since 2010, MCHS has continued to open clinics at various locations to make healthcare more accessible. In 2014, MCHS opened the Center for Primary Care – JBS Parkway and the Center for Primary Care – West University that include Urgent Care clinics and pediatric services. MCHS operates three Urgent Care clinics, one ProCare Walk-in Clinic, and two Family Health Clinic locations.

The future is bright for MCHS with continued expansion, renovation, and progress. Whenever you need us, wherever you are, Medical Center Health System has your family covered. We’re your one source for health.