A ribbon cutting and blessing for the new Ruth & Jack Gillis Women’s Center was held Tuesday evening, Oct. 27, 2020 at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs. Officially unveiled to the community was the new new living Donor wall. It recognizes those who have made contributions to Hopkins County Health Care Foundation over the years.
Special thanks were offered to Judy Gillis and Janet Jordan, whose contribution the Health Care Foundation was largely responsible for the renovation of the hospital area now named in honor of their parents Ruth & Jack Gillis. Thanks was also offered to Joe Bob and Linda Burgin, Paul and Jill Harvey and Cross Country Cowboy Church for helping to make the center possible.
The ICU waiting area was updated thanks to the generosity of Bob, Peggy and Preston Weaver. The OB waiting area also was updated thanks to the generosity of Markeda Price Fisher and Kayla Price Mitchell.
The idea for the Gillis Women’s Center began with a goal of raising $500,000 for the Health Care Foundation for a new 3-D Mammography machine. The project took off from there, with many people involved in the funding process, including director the Health Care Foundation, Board members and campaign chairs.
The Women’s Center offers a private waiting area with refreshments and private dressing area, breast ultrasound for screening, guided biopsy, diagnostic testing and guided cyst aspiration; 3-D mammography with very low x-ray energy during screening, which allows doctors to examine one layer of breast tissue at a time; and dual-energy X-ray Absorptiomety (DXA) that uses low-dose radiation to more safely and painlessly measure bone mineral density and produce fast T-Score results.
Interventional radiologists are onsite on Thursdays to perform various minimally invasive procedures using medical imaging guidance. The new equipment and services offered at the Gillis Women’s Center provide women in the community an option to have testing performed in Sulphur Springs. Previously a trip out of town to facilities in areas such as Tyler and Dallas was required.
A new Foundation Donor Recognition Wall was unveiled during the event as well. The Recognition Wall was constructed in a way that it can be updated to reflect additional financial contributors, includes inserts with recent news and updates at the hospital. Columns near the wall reflect donors of more than $100 to the Health Care Foundation.
Hospital district board members, foundation board members, and hospital supporters were invited to attend the blessing and ribbon cutting.
Andy Navarro, vice president of mission integration for CHRISTUS Health, Father Daniel Oghenerukevwe, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances priest/chaplain, Sisters Rose Marikudi and Micheala Tomkowiak from Tyler were involved in the blessing and dedication ceremony.
Navarro noted that the Women’s Center and updates are in keeping with CHRISTUS’ mission to extend the health ministry of Jesus Christ. As Jesus commanded His Disciples to heal the sick and care for the poor. The Women’s Center is another sign of CHRISTUS’ fidelity to that command.
Father Daniel provided introductory rites, offering prayer for God’s blessing on all who will be patients at the center and all who will devote themselves to the caring for the sick.
Matthew 4:23-25, which describes Jesus’ teaching, proclaiming of the gospel and curing of disease and illness. Prayer was offered for Jesus to pour favor on the Ruth and Jack Gillis Women’s Center for care and protection and strength for those who care for patients, a deepening of compassion to see and love all who are suffering, especially the poor and vulnerable. Father Daniel also offered concluding rites.
Scott Fossey, vice president of philanthropy for CHRISTUS Health Northeast Texas, Louisiana and Southeast Texas, provided the welcome and closing comments. CMFH-SS and Winnsboro President/CEO Paul Harvey provided a message on the Sulphur Springs CHRISTUS ministry. Special guests were introduced by Hopkins County Health Care Foundation Director of Development Shannon Barker and former HCHCF director and current CHRISTUS Sulphur Springs Program and Patient Experience Director Meredith Caddell.
Following the blessing and dedication ceremony, Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce conducted a ribbon cutting signaling the official opening of the Gillis Women’s Center, Judy Gillis and Janet Jordan asked to do the cutting, and other special guests standing by for a photo. Tours of the Gillis Women’s Center, as well as updated waiting areas, were offered afterward.