When Josie Goeres came to Midland Memorial Hospital (MMH) in Texas last month for a doctor’s appointment with her husband Chuck, the two parked their RV in a parking lot nearby so they could stay in it for the night instead of paying for a hotel.
But, according to a report by the Midland Reporter Telegram, when security approached her and asked if they would be there for a few days, Goeres said she at first thought she was in trouble and would have to leave. Not at all, the guard told her. Instead, the hospital wanted to offer her a more convenient place to park — in the northeast parking lot with water and electricity hookups courtesy of MMH.
“We live in the RV so this is our home,” she said. The Anchorage, Alaska, native travels the country selling stickers. “It was such a blessing.”
Eight days ago, Goeres said she and her husband were traveling in from Pecos for another appointment in Midland when her husband needed immediate care. In Monahans, he was taken by helicopter to MMH for pneumonia in his lungs and has been in the intensive care unit since.
She parked her RV in the same spot as last time and said the location near the hospital is convenient.
“I like to be here closer to the hospital,” she said.
While the hospital has offered the service for the past decade, the number of available hookups increased from two to five with the recent completion of a new garage. And this week, every space was used.
“We have patients who are from out of town or the region and would like to be close by the hospital to be able to visit their loved ones as often as possible. Instead of staying in a hotel, they have a place to stay, sleep and cook with all the convenient amenities right at their fingertips,” Vice President of Support Services Cory Edmondson said.
The hospital doesn’t charge for electricity or water and provides a dumpsite on campus for sewage and waste disposal. Patients staying at the oncology unit are sometimes there for days or even months. Hospital staff said they wanted to provide the convenience of parking an RV near the hospital.
Providing RV hookups isn’t new, Edmondson said. Hospitals around the country also provide the same service.
The lot was at capacity this week, which the hospital expects to will continue as the institution grows, especially with the new patient tower, Edmondson said. There are no plans to add more spaces.
Security monitors the RV area. People who use the hookups must check in first with the hospital and admissions to be validated.
“There’s many who have written us thank-you letters telling us they appreciate (the RV parking lot). It’s a nice customer service and convenient thing for them and helps to save a lot of money so they don’t have to drive back and forth from, say, Fort Stockton. They won’t be spending that money on gas, hotel or energy on a daily basis,” Edmondson said.