McAlester Regional Health Center’s reveal of expansion plans sound like an organization determined to grow access to quality healthcare to as many people as possible.

That’s a very positive sign of the future of healthcare in and around McAlester.

MRHC Chief Executive Officer David Keith told Pittsburg County Commissioners of the hospital’s plan to expand downtown and at a proposed retail center on U.S. 69.

Keith said MRHC has plans to offer retail services in downtown McAlester in the Million Building. Keith said plans could include retail medical businesses with offices for a plastic surgeon and chiropractor.

MRHC may add offices in the downtown Regional Diagnostic Imaging Building on South Third Street. Those could include physician’s offices.

The hospital could build an office in the Shops at McAlester, a retail and dining center proposed for 14th Street on U.S. 69.

All of these are positive developments for healthcare in McAlester.

More offices and more physicians will provide greater access to healthcare for more people.

Patients won’t have to travel far to see a physician after all the new offices are opened.

McAlester is a healthcare hub for the surrounding area.

The nearest hospital to MRHC is approximately an hour away. The Choctaw tribal clinic is 10 years old. The Warren Clinic is right next door to MRHC, too.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs also has a clinic at MRHC.

Access to quality healthcare is part of the battle. We must do our part, too. Living a healthy lifestyle is critical to a longer, quality lifespan. Growing more fit and maintaining fitness will help now and in the future. It can cut down on health costs and make it less likely to become a hospital patient.

The McAlester Regional Wellness Center is a quality alternative to help prevent the need to go to a doctor. The Choctaw Wellness Center provides the same alternative for tribal members.

Keith’s discussion with county commissioners provided insight into MRHC’s plans for the future.

It was an encouraging sign for healthcare in our community.

Patients from around the area will have additional access and choices when MRHC’s expansion plans come to fruition.

We applaud the plans.