On December 4, 2019, Texas Health Hospital Rockwall celebrated the beginning of a $91 million expansion project with a groundbreaking ceremony that included representatives from Perkins; Will Architects, Rogers-O’brien Construction, elected officials, community leaders, patrons, hospital management and caregivers.
Leading the event, Alma Williams Howard, former Rockwall Mayor and current member of the Board of Managers, reflected on the hospital’s twelve year history. She passionately commented on the mission and culture of the hospital saying, “We’re going to be there for each and every one of you and we’re going to take care of you for as long as we can. We love the community. This hospital is dedicated to the highest possible standard of excellence in everything we do, but the number one thing is the care about you as a person and your entire family. So we welcome you with open arms when you’re here.”
Among those recognized at the event were several people who played important roles in the planning and the ultimate approval for the expansion. Acknowledging Representative John Ratcliffe’s office, Ms. Howard addressed Jamie Baker, Director of Public Policy, thanking him and Representative Ratcliffe for their assistance at the federal level as the hospital navigated the requirements and protocols for seeking expansion.
Laryssa Bonacquisti, representing State Senator Bob Hall’s office, introduced by her father Gary Bonacquisti, MD, a founding member of the hospital medical staff and Chief Medical Officer reflected on her experiences with the hospital. Having grown up around the hospital, Ms. Bonacquisti shared fond memories beginning with an open field of land. Now serving as District Representative, Ms. Bonacquisti presented a certificate in honor of the groundbreaking event and coming expansion.
Addressing the attendees, Rockwall Mayor Jim Pruitt spoke about the importance of access to quality healthcare, as well as strong growth and development; and shared comments from community members who say ”the reason they like it here is because of that access to healthcare.” Mayor Pruitt went on to highlight the businesses that have grown around the hospital corridor and the positive impact that has had on the community as a whole.
During the ceremonial groundbreaking, Dr. Bonacquisti highlighted key areas of growth over the past twelve years and the new services that would be coming as result of expansion. Kirk King,Executive Vice President/Hospital Channel Chief Operating Officer, expanded on the work leading up to expansion and the commitment of the hospital leadership and physician partners. “It’s remarkable to see most people would have stood down when it came to trying to overcome a humongous legislative and regulatory barrier – a barrier to expand the hospital. But this team didn’t do that. They stayed with it. We have a terrific hospital here. One that we were proud to put the Texas Health brand on and one as the mayor pointed out has truly been a magnet attracting other healthcare providers who contribute to the care of the community abroad.”
The event concluded with remarks from Cindy Perrin, FACHE, hospital President, and Jason Linscott, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Both thanked the attendees, hospital caregivers and especially the community for the support shown the hospital.