El Reno will seek proposals from health-care organizations that have expressed interest in possibly providing services for the community.

Mayor and Acting City Manager Matt White has scheduled a press conference for 1 p.m. Thursday to discuss the action and field questions.

The conference will be held at the Municipal Building, 101 N. Choctaw.

Last month, Mercy Health notified the city it would not renew its contract to manage and operate the municipal-owned hospital.

Mercy has offered to build an urgent care clinic to replace the hospital and would keep the hospital open until the new building is up and running.

City council members chose not to sign off on the Mercy proposal at the November meeting and instead authorized White to investigate other options that might be available.

White said he and some members of the city staff have met with “several other providers” about El Reno's health-care needs. He said judging from the response, El Reno should “expect to see multiple proposals.

“We’re very excited about the possibilities,” White said Monday. “A new facility will be built here.”

White said a time line has been established and is part of the Request for Proposals sent out by the city. Those entities receiving the RFPs have a Dec. 17 deadline to submit written questions. The deadline for Receipt of Completed Proposals is 4 p.m. Jan. 2. Notification of a decision will be made at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 8. And contracts are to be completed March 1.

White said proposals must include three areas of service. Ambulance service can either be a separate proposal or attached to a comprehensive plan. Also, the proposal must include a plan to provide 24-hour emergency care services, and finally, the proposal must include a plan to provide health-related services such as home health as well as a physicians clinic.

“We want a long-term commitment to health care for El Reno,” White said.

“We have cash on hand to participate as well. We’re not like other communities. We have a growing market that can support health-care services.”