FORNEY - A new era in healthcare arrived last Thursday in Forney, Texas with the grand opening of Forney Medical Plaza, the first, large-scale comprehensive medical complex in the Dallas suburb.

Forney Mayor Darrell Grooms and officials with PM Realty Group (PMRG), a national commercial real estate firm that is an investor and developer of the project, hosted an official open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony for phase one of the project – a 54,000-square-foot medical office building located at 763 East U.S. Highway 80.

“Forney is a growing community with big-city needs,” Grooms said. “Our population has doubled since 2000, and thus, so have our healthcare needs. The opening of Forney Medical Plaza now gives our residents convenient access to quality healthcare facilities and physicians right in their backyard.”

Forney Medical Plaza is now home to physicians from a variety of specialties, including cardiology, family practice, orthopedics, obstetrics and gynecology, pain management, pathology, IV infusion and imaging services. Several of these physicians also hosted open houses today in their respective suites, including Les Sandknop, D.O. (family practice) and Charles Mangum, M.D. (pathology).

As part of the grand opening festivities, PMRG announced the debut of a new student art contest – the Forney Junior Artist of the Year Awards. Hosted by PMRG, the contest encourages students to use their creative abilities to produce a piece of art that promotes healthy, happy living.

The contest is open to K through 12th-grade students within Forney Independent School District. Students will submit pieces of art that address the theme of “Be Happy…Be Healthy.” Deadline for entries is Oct. 30.

On Nov. 13, one winner from each of the following groups: grades K-4, grades 5-8, grades 9-12 will be announced. Winners will each receive a $500 prize from PMRG and City Bank, presented by Mayor Grooms, to be used toward higher education funding, and teachers of the winning students will receive $250 in art supplies from Wal-Mart. In addition, winning entries will be put on display in the lobby of Forney Medical Plaza.

“Young people have such enthusiasm,” said PMRG Executive Vice President Glen Perkins. “This contest is our way of celebrating that enthusiasm and recognizing the tremendous young artistic talent in our midst. We are certain their art will inspire all who visit Forney Medical Plaza.”

Valued at $45 million, Forney Medical Plaza is being developed in three phases. Phase one was celebrated today. Phase two is a 15,000-square-foot ambulatory surgery center and 28,000-square-foot diagnostic center; and phase three is the 20- to 60-bed hospital. The entire project is a joint venture with developer PMRG and 10 physician groups. In addition to acting as developer, PMRG is responsible for construction management, leasing and property management.

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