By Bruce Harper Karnes Countywide staff

KARNES COUNTY – As of Monday, July 15, Karnes County has a new doctor accepting patients. His name is Nathan Borgfeld.

Otto Kaiser Memorial Hospital has opened a new Rural Health Clinic within the Kaiser Medical Center. Office hours will be 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to start.

“We will begin with the regular office hours, but it may change as we see the need and the number of patients we have coming into the clinic,” said Otto Kaiser CEO David Lee.

Dr. Borgfeld is specializing in family medicine and is from the South Texas area. He is a 2006 graduate of Goliad High School and married a high school classmate, Debra Ramirez, almost 10 years ago. The two have purchased some land and are building their home near Stockdale.

“God willing, we will stay here forever,” Borgfeld said.

He was raised in the small town of Weesatche and went to grade school through high school in Goliad. Borgfeld began his college career at Victoria College.

“I had some great professors at Victoria who really pushed me,” Borgfeld said.

“They told me I could be something special.”

He is the first in his immediate family to go to college. Borgfeld finished his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas  Pan American in Edinburg with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. He graduated Summa Cum Laude.

“It was close. I almost decided on doing organic chemistry research instead of medicine. I really enjoyed it. But, I got into the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and then did my residency at University of Texas Northeast at Tyler,” the doctor said.

“One of my first rotations was in trauma surgery and I came home and told my wife that was what I wanted to do.  But, I found out, among doctors it has the highest rate of divorce and I was lucky a later rotation was in family medicine.  I truly loved it. It was awesome.”

Borgfeld liked the idea of building relationships with his patients.

“It provides a continuity of care that is special,” he said. “You see a little of everything. 

“I am really excited to be coming back.  I know there is a shortage of doctors in our area and not many graduates come back to their homes once they graduate.”

The hospital’s board was looking for a physician to fill the spot and used a search firm to help with the recruiting.

“By the grace of God, I got an email from the recruiter and I applied. I was really impressed by all the board members’ interest  in having a successful community program,” Borgfeld said.

“I like the idea of being a trailblazer in something new and then watching it grow.” 

The clinic has six staff members including Laura Brown, a nurse practitioner. Karnes County is currently classified medically underserved area by  the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The county has not had a new medical office open in years.

There are two doctors in service at the Kaiser Medical Center building, Dr. Roberto Ramirez and Dr. Joel Saldana. Both have been serving the county for more than 30 years. 

The Rural Health Clinic will not change the Karnes County classification with the HRSA, but will bring help to many of county residents seeking local medical service there.