About Us

Our RGH History

In the late 1940's, in a response to a call from concerned citizens following World War II, plans were developed to build a hospital in Roosevelt County, located in Portales, New Mexico. Completed in 1950, "Roosevelt General Hospital," operated under county control. The hospital's services included inpatient and outpatient services in general medicine and surgery, intensive care, and obstetrics. It staffed an emergency department, Laboratory, X-ray, Physical Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, and eventually a Long-term Care Unit. After operating for years as a county hospital, the hospital was purchased by Presbyterian Healthcare Services in 1993, which also owned and operated a sister facility located 19 miles to the northeast of Portales. Roosevelt General Hospital was renamed "Plains Regional Medical Center-Portales" accommodated 30 beds and continued to maintain facilities and staffing for inpatient and outpatient services for general medicine and surgery, intensive care, and obstetrics. It also continued to provide an emergency department, Physical Therapy, Respiratory Therapy and home care, essentially providing the same level of services as that of the county hospital. However, in 1997, Presbyterian Healthcare Services implemented phased plans for scaling back the hospital's acute care operation and, to the displeasure of local citizens, the hospital was closed in October, 1998.

The citizens of Roosevelt County, accustomed to having their own local hospital, faced the realities of losing a hospital, as well as local physicians, and being forced to utilize a neighboring facility and emergency services 19 miles away. For some communities in Roosevelt County, the distance to the closest healthcare facility became 60 miles. Backed by a groundswell of support from concerned citizens, a Special Hospital District was organized to study the hospital issue and make recommendations to the citizens of Roosevelt County. The Special Hospital District Board of Directors submitted a recommendation for the construction of a 20 bed facility adjoining a 7 physician clinic, contingent on a proposed increase in the gross receipts tax to be voted on in June of 1999, as well as funding from New Mexico Housing Authority, Roosevelt County, City of Portales, 0% interest RUS Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant and private donations.

The tax election was held to build the new hospital in Roosevelt County, passing by over 6 to1, and the other funding sources were utilized. In what can best be described as a "massive grassroots movement," the citizens of Roosevelt County, determined to rebuild their local hospital, took up the cause in a monumental way, including a community fund drive that exceeded $750,000. Local businesses and professionals donated their time, furnishings and equipment. With the help of New Mexico's senators, equipment was transferred from Cannon Air Force Base, whose hospital had closed. The Groundbreaking Ceremony was held on January 27, 2000 and construction of the hospital officially started in April of 2000. In March of 2001, the Medical Office was occupied by an independent medical group, and the first outpatients were seen in the hospital in June of 2001.

In September 2005, RGH employed its first clinic physician, and in February of 2007 acquired the assets of the medical practice that occupied the attached Medical Office Building, hired many of its physicians as employees and began the process of obtaining the designation of a Rural Health Clinic, a federally designated status to provide rural health care for medically underserved areas. Receiving federal medical payments at a cost-basis reimbursement rate allows Rural Health Clinics to afford operating in disadvantaged rural areas. That designation was obtained in 2009, and the clinic continues to function as a Rural Health Clinic.

The hospital has continued to purchase and upgrade equipment in both the clinic and the hospital; RGH has established an agressive physician recruitment program, and continues to seek ways to better serve Roosevelt County residents.