The El Campo Medical Foundation announced its intention to launch a capital campaign to renovate and expand the emergency room of El Campo Memorial Hospital.

"We need to keep our local hospital," said Melvin Parker, former El Campo Memorial Hospital board president and El Campo Medical Foundation board member, in a news release. "The only way to do this is to expand, renovate and keep it up-to-date with technology and equipment."

During the last several years, the foundation's board of directors has received nominal grants for equipment purchases and minor renovations.

More substantial capital is required to complete the emergency room renovation and expansion.

In addition to community fundraising events, the board plans to hire a professional grant writer to assist with the project.

"We are excited to get this project started because we all want to see our local hospital grow to meet the needs of our community," said Becky VonDerAu, El Campo Medical Foundation board member and West Wharton County Hospital District board president.

Since 1974, the El Campo Medical Foundation has helped maintain and improve El Campo Memorial Hospital, according to the news release.

Members of the foundation's board include L.G. Raun, Michael Appling, Becky VonDerAu, Randy Clapp, Ronny Collins, Diane Bueltel, Edmund Weinheimer, Richard Young, Melvin Parker and Joyce Henderson.

"Now, we just have to keep on track, continue to improve our hospital facility, attract new doctors and keep up with health care technology," Parker said.

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