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Christus Health Southeast Texas Unveils New Strategic Direction To Significantly Expand Access To Care June 29, 2016

Today, CHRISTUS announced a new path forward for CHRISTUS Health Southeast Texas. This path will include a new strategic direction that will transform how CHRISTUS Health Southeast Texas delivers healthcare to the nine counties it serves as well as a new patient-centered model to provide access to care beyond the traditional hospital setting or through an Emergency Room.

The transformation will begin by uniting and re-branding all of CHRISTUS Health Southeast Texas’ existing 27 locations across the region under one name: CHRISTUS SOUTHEAST TEXAS Health System. This new brand reflects the fact that CHRISTUS SOUTHEAST TEXAS Health System is no longer just hospitals but an integrated delivery system.

"The Southeast Texas community is following a national trend of shifting healthcare from inpatient to outpatient services. Last year alone at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas, 95 percent of the patients we treated were on an outpatient basis," said Paul Trevino, CEO of CHRISTUS SOUTHEAST TEXAS Health System. "Our communities and our patients are demanding more convenient, lower-cost options so we are leading the way to better health with a new model that will provide more locations to access care throughout our neighborhoods and our communities. Our new model will provide better access to important care such as disease management, wellness and prevention, and other tools to keep our community healthy."

By 2018, CHRISTUS SOUTHEAST TEXAS Health System will increase its service offerings from an existing 27 to more than 40 locations region-wide, adding access to urgent care centers, outpatient clinics, primary care practices and state-of-the-art specialty care.

New sites for care have been secured to begin this process immediately starting with a new outpatient facility in Mid County at Highway 365 and 9th Avenue that is expected to open before the end of 2015 as well as a new imaging/diagnostics center and a free-standing ER. An initial investment of $10 million will launch CHRISTUS’ plans to bring new healthcare locations to many communities including Beaumont, Orange, Bridge City, Port Arthur/Mid County and Silsbee.

As the new outpatient facility in Mid County is completed, CHRISTUS will move out of the existing CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Outpatient Center (OPC) at Highway 73 and 9th Avenue, and relocate those services to the new facility. CHRISTUS plans to provide the space to the Gulf Coast Health Center and work closely with the organization to meet the Port Arthur community need for primary care, chronic disease management and expand health education opportunities at the CHRISTUS SOUTHEAST TEXAS Center for Health Management Clinic St. Mary. The existing medical office building will remain part of the CHRISTUS system.

"We are excited about the opportunity to partner and work with CHRISTUS," said Marsha Thigpen, MD, Executive Director of Gulf Coast Health Center. "This collaborative effort will allow us to not only continue our service to our community, but elevate the level of care for our patients in Port Arthur through expanded facilities and more advanced technology."

Each phase of the CHRISTUS transformation will continue to expand the CHRISTUS primary care network. The approved plan will increase the CHRISTUS Physician Group (CPG) Primary Care Clinics from an existing 8 today to 15 within the next three years, with over 40 primary care providers.

CHRISTUS SOUTHEAST TEXAS Jasper Memorial will anchor the region’s rural market strategy that includes more primary care, specialty services and telemedicine.

The transformation will touch every part of the CHRISTUS ministry including the existing hospitals. Beginning September 1, 2015, CHRISTUS SOUTHEAST TEXAS St. Mary will lead the way and transition to a short-stay surgical inpatient hospital focusing on more outpatient care and less inpatient services. Last year alone at St. Mary, 98 percent of the care provided was on an outpatient basis. As a part of this transition, St. Mary will consolidate the following inpatient services to CHRISTUS SOUTHEAST TEXAS St. Elizabeth: Obstetrics, Neonatal Intensive Care, Pediatric, Cardiovascular and General Medicine inpatient services. Services that will remain at the existing St. Mary campus include Outpatient Chemotherapy and Infusion Services, Emergency Room, Radiology, Laboratory Services as well as the inpatient and outpatient short-stay surgical capabilities.

St. Elizabeth will continue as the primary acute care hospital for the Southeast Texas community. CHRISTUS is committed to new investments at St. Elizabeth including a proposed $2.1 million renovation of the NICU upgrading it to the highest level of care in Southeast Texas. CHRISTUS has also begun to pursue upgrades in emergency services at St. Elizabeth to a "Level 2" trauma center, the highest level of emergency care available between Houston and Baton Rouge.

The changes at St. Mary will affect some Associates. Every effort will be made to preserve every job possible and CHRISTUS will offer Associates the ability to transfer within the system. Approximately 251 St. Mary Associates will be retained to operate the new short-stay surgical inpatient facility. The remaining 162 Associates will be offered opportunities within the Southeast Texas region, where 144 positions are available today. Additionally, other opportunities within CHRISTUS include over 1,000 open positions system-wide. All of the CHRISTUS Associates will be treated according to the ministry’s Core Values, especially the values of Dignity and Compassion.

"As we look to the future and monitor the evolving needs of our community, we will continue to address changes needed to stay on the forefront of healthcare," said Trevino. "In 2018, our current plans call for a new micro-hospital in Mid County that will match the demand for outpatient care and community-driven inpatient care."

Since 1898, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of Houston and San Antonio and now CHRISTUS have answered the call to serve the community with the very best healthcare. CHRISTUS SOUTHEAST TEXAS Health System will continue to offer the community the very best in healthcare that will provide more access to high quality, lower cost care for generations to come.

Setting the standard for progressive health care in Southeast Texas, CHRISTUS SOUTHEAST TEXAS Health System, is a Catholic, not-for-profit health care system has been serving the needs of its communities for more than 117 years. The fully integrated healthcare delivery system including 3 in-patient hospitals and 27 additional points of access ranging from outpatient care to long term facilities, are recognized as the regional leader in outpatient services, cardiology, oncology, neurology, orthopedics, sports medicine, pediatrics, general surgery, birthing, neonatal care, cardiac rehabilitation, imaging, and emergency services, while CHRISTUS SOUTHEAST TEXAS St. Elizabeth is designated as the area’s only Level III Trauma Center. The system continues to adapt and change to meet the needs of the community, following the values and mission of the founding Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of Houston and San Antonio– to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.