Harrington Regional Medical Center

By: H. Allen Anderson

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: September 1, 1995

The medical center in Amarillo, the first specifically designated city hospital district in Texas, was the culmination of a project instigated by the Potter-Randall Citizens Health Council, a private citizens' volunteer group organized to study the growing health needs of the community. Early in 1958 the council was incorporated into the Amarillo Area Foundation as the Hospital Committee. Five foundation board members were named to serve on the committee; twenty other committee members represented the hospitals, medical staffs, various businesses, and city and county government entities. The committee set up the Medical Center as a continuing planning program, to be financed by the foundation's newly-established trust fund. Passage of the Texas Hospital District Law in 1956 resulted in the acquisition of a 355-acre tract in the city's northwestern portion on which to locate the complex, part of which was already occupied by the Veterans Administration Hospital of Amarillo, built in 1939. The Medical Center was formally dedicated on January 27, 1965. Access roads to the site were improved, and the mile-long Wallace Boulevard, named for Mayor F. V. Wallace, first chairman of the hospital committee and a leading booster of the project, was built through the grounds. From the beginning, the medical center was planned to include health care, the training of doctors and nurses, and medical research programs. In November of 1989, the name was changed to the Don and Sybil Harrington Regional Medical Center at Amarillo, Incorporated, to recognize the considerable generosity and concern of Mrs. Sybil Harrington for quality health care in the region. In 1993 the Harrington Regional Medical Center had 410 acre campus and was supported by the Don and Sybil Harrington Regional Medical Center at Amarillo, Incorporated, a tax-exempt corporation responsible for the establishment, support, and maintenance of programs and facilities that pertain to patient care, education, and research. The medical center in 1993 had twenty-two resident facilities, five acute care units (High Plains Baptist Hospital, Northwest Texas Hospital, Psychiatric Pavilion, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Texas Panhandle Mental Health Authority-Crisis Stabilization Unit), three long-term care units (Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Rehabilitation Amarillo State Center, Bivins Memorial Nursing Home, and Texas Panhandle Mental Health Authority-Outpatient Facility), four education and research units (Don Harrington Discovery Center, Texas A&M Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Texas A&M Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, and Amarillo Garden Center), six medical and health related units (Coffee Memorial Blood Center, Amarillo Speech, Hearing and Language Center, Children's Rehabilitation Center, and Potter/Randall County Medical Society, Ronald McDonald House, and Medical Center Park), three combination patient care, medical research, and medical education units (Texas Tech University Regional Academic Health Sciences Center, Texas Tech Clinic, and Don and Sybil Harrington Cancer Center), and one medical center support facility (child care facility for children of employees). In 1992 Harrington Regional Medical Center employed 4,174 persons and had an operating budget of $232,842,265. In 1993 the medical center provided 1,298 acute care beds, 75 pediatric beds, and 380 licensed nursing home beds for the residents of Northwest Texas and the surrounding four state region.

Amarillo Globe-Times, June 26, 1987. Amarillo Sunday News-Globe, January 18, 1976. Clara Thornhill Hammond, comp., Amarillo (Amarillo: Autry, 1971; 2d ed., Austin: Best Printing, 1974). Della Tyler Key, In the Cattle Country: History of Potter County, 1887–1966 (Amarillo: Tyler-Berkley, 1961; 2d ed., Wichita Falls: Nortex, 1972).
  • Health and Medicine
  • Hospitals, Clinics, and Medical Centers

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

H. Allen Anderson, “Harrington Regional Medical Center,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 15, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/harrington-regional-medical-center.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 1, 1995

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