a new view
June 29, 2014

Before doing this internship, I honestly had a bad view on my “Podunk” hometown of Pampa, Tx. Growing up, I always told myself I couldn’t wait to get out of here. Ogallala Commons opened my eyes with a new perspective. This is a community with a population of 18,332 as of 2012. Not as small as I imagined when I was only 4’7”. Ogallala Commons has done something for me that I never even considered possible. I now have looked around and seen how precious this town is. The people. The houses. The community. Each has its own place and role. Among the 12 commonwealth assets, I was able to identify, surprisingly with ease, an example of each asset. For example, T. Boone Pickens planned to build the world’s largest wind farm called the Pampa Wind Project. This is to stretch to the east, spanning 400,000-acres in five counties providing enough power for 1.5 million average homes. These turbines can be seen on the main highway leaving Pampa, Tx. Sadly, according to Renewable Energy Insights, Pickens has cancelled the plan due to the declining price of natural gas. But none the less, the Panhandle area is provided with limited access to the current wind farm with the hopes of it growing. Also, being in the healthcare world, I couldn’t help but focus my mind around the current health assets Pampa has. When most people think about “health,” their mind is drawn to “hospitals.” Well, yes. But not only do hospitals provide health, but individual owned pharmacies, dentist offices, women’s health clinics, and leisure activities! Pampa has a variety of these business that provide health to our community. The leisure activities are health related? How so, you ask? Parks. There are trails throughout pampa that encourage physical activity, sports groups for kids such as The Optimist Club, and a waterpark located in the center of town! I wasn’t thinking on this path at first, now? Health assets are everywhere. Looking at these assets, I can educate and encourage my patients to get active and have fun! Unfortunately, Pampa doesn’t have a very good example of “Foodshed” asset. We don’t have a farmers market to buy fresh foods. The majority of the town get there food from the local supermarkets, United or Walmart. Unless they grow what they can in their home, which most don’t even think to do. Furthermore, I would like to introduce to you Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. This hospital has started something I was very interested in. This nonprofit hospital hired a resident farmer and opened a 1,500-square-foot greenhouse to grow organic produce for patients. “Experts say that 80 percent of chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer, can be prevented, or conditions can be improved, through better diet and exercise.” Not only is it better for the patients, it’s cheaper for the hospital. This is not the only hospital that provides such food. And as for Pampa, I think it would be a wonderful investment for this community to put forth the effort in creating a farmers market and/or a greenhouse for our local hospital. This was eye opening and encouraging. My love for this town has grown and I would be delighted to spend the rest of my life here and raise a wonderful, thankful family.

Pampa High School turf football field with track.
Pampa High School turf football field with track.
H20 Pampa Aquatics waterpark.
H20 Pampa Aquatics waterpark.
Wind farm outside of Pampa Tx.
Wind farm outside of Pampa Tx.