Gary Marks, whose family took Glen Rose's hospital from a small-town facility to a modern medical center, plans to retire as chief executive officer of GRMC this November, the Reporter has learned.

Marks, who is 62, said he submitted his notice on May 6 to the county Hospital Authority Board. His last day will be Nov. 6.

“It was time to retire,” Marks said when the Reporter called for confirmation of the news.

“I've spent 38 years in this position and it's time to retire and spent more time with my family.”

Marks has four grown children and nine grandchildren, including twins recently born.

“I feel like the time was right for me and for this organization,” Marks added. “There are a lot of stable forces that been put in place with the board, the administrative staff and the department directors. There is a lot of work to be done and a lot of things to benefit this hospital.”

Marks said he delivered the news to GRMC's department directors this morning. Many were shocked at the quickness of the decision, he said.

“I thought I'd wait until 65 until retire, but someone said you'll always know when the time comes to retire and this is the time,” Marks said.

Marks' father, Dr. Roger E. Marks, also spent 38 years with the hospital and his mother devoted 10 years.

“So we have got 86 years in it,” Marks said.

Mark's father arrived in Glen Rose in 1949 carrying a black bag. He drove back roads and made house calls, often being paid with a sack of corn or a side of beef.

Dr. Marks put much of his life savings into a new hospital. His son has carried on his legacy, becoming the medical center's CEO in 1974.

The Marks Health Care Foundation, a non-profit that supports GRMC's programs and projects, was established in 2006 to receive and allocate gifts for the benefit and growth of GRMC and its nursing and rehab center.

When the hospital ran into financial problems, Somervell County stepped up and agreed to take over GRMC and create a Hospital Authority Board to oversee the center. The move was controversial as many in the community didn't want their tax dollars going to a facility that was deep in the red.

Many others, however, wanted to retain a modern medical facility in Glen Rose so residents didn't have to go out of town for medical care. In the year-and-a-half that the county board has assumed oversight, losses have improved, but the hospital faces more challenges.

Proposed federal and state cuts in Medicaid and Medicare spending could further cripple the hospital and nursing home financially if more people seek treatment in the emergency room, which is the most expensive form of care, and families cannot afford to pay for nursing home care, hospital officials have said.

On the positive side, the medical center has continued to modernize. Recently, it installed a new IT system, renovated its lobby, upgraded its emergency room and invested in new technology, including a 3-D CAT scan and digital mammography equipment. It also has aligned with Baylor Health Care to provide patients access to specialists in Glen Rose and has added a full-time general surgeon.

“I think this town should be extremely proud of what we're put together here,” Marks said.

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