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CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System Continues Transformation to Meet Community’s Health Care Needs June 03, 2019

(Port Arthur, TX) – Today, CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System announced the next season in its legacy of delivering health care services to the entire Southeast Texas region.

For more than 10 years, CHRISTUS Southeast Texas leadership has been closely studying community preferences and points of access for health care to determine the ways people want and need their health care delivered now and into the future.

In that time, CHRISTUS has invested more than $10 million in the new CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Outpatient Center Mid County, $2.5 million in the region's only Level III NICU at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth, added 3D mammography technology and expanded surgeries to CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Jasper Memorial, and converted CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Mary into a short stay surgical hospital.

This new strategy in our healing ministry includes an emphasis on outpatient settings, as many residents choose clinics and outpatient centers for their care. As medicine and technology advance, many of the procedures that once required being admitted into the hospital for long stays have shifted to outpatient procedures, offering shorter recovery times and no hospital stays. To meet the needs and preferences of patients, CHRISTUS Southeast Texas will transition services from St. Mary hospital, located on Gates Blvd., as we focus our ministry of services where patients are already choosing to receive their care.

“Over the last decade, there has been a major shift of patients moving their care from inpatient to outpatient settings, and as we grow our ministry, we intend to answer that call and continue to deliver high-quality, compassionate and convenient health care,” said Paul Trevino, President and CEO of CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System.

Nearly 90 years ago, the Sisters ministering in Beaumont answered the call of Port Arthur City leaders and Mary Gates Hospital to establish and maintain a new hospital there. In 1930, St. Mary hospital opened its doors to serve Port Arthur residents, and became a compassionate part of the fabric of the community and families’ lives for decades. Unfortunately, in recent years the hospital has seen a sharp decline in volume as populations shift to surrounding areas and patients choose to receive their care at other CHRISTUS Southeast Texas facilities.

“For many years now St. Mary has experienced decreasing demand for inpatient care, with 98% of our care being provided on an outpatient basis,” said Ryan Miller, President, Ambulatory Services and St. Mary hospital. “This continues to be the case today as we average around one admitted patient per day.”

Many area residents now utilize outpatient services at the new Outpatient Center in Mid County, which features a 24/7 emergency center, laboratory, imaging, hyperbaric and wound care, therapies, infusion services and more. The opening of the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Outpatient Center Mid County paved the way to meet the needs of our Port Arthur, Nederland, Groves and Port Neches communities. Further, to honor the legacy of St. Mary, we will be renaming this center to incorporate the St. Mary name so that it lives on as we continue to serve patients at this location, now and into the future.

Since 2015, when CHRISTUS Southeast Texas unveiled its new strategic direction in its mission to deliver care, and began work on a patient-centered transformation project, St. Mary hospital has been used primarily for emergency services and as a short stay surgical facility for outpatient procedures or those requiring less than a three-day hospital stay. This followed the area’s physician base migration toward Mid-County.

“The dynamics of health care continue to change, even in just the three short years since we announced our new journey and transformation as a health system to provide care beyond the traditional hospital setting,” Trevino added. “As we move into the next season of our ministry, we acknowledge our legacy, we are hopeful for the future ahead and we are truly ready to meet the needs of today.”

Closure of the St. Mary campus will occur over the next 45 days, and the changes will affect some Associates. As a large, health system ministry with dozens of care locations, every effort will be made to offer as many Associates as possible the opportunity to transfer to other positions. We currently estimate that 70-75 comparable positions are open within the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System ministry into which we will seek to find placement for our impacted Associates. Additionally, we will provide information on CHRISTUS positions in adjacent markets and throughout our multi-state system to our impacted Associates. All of the CHRISTUS Associates will be treated according to the ministry’s core values, especially the values of dignity and compassion.

"We are proud of the work and truly compassionate care our Associates and physicians at St. Mary hospital provide each and every day. It is because of this level of care, St. Mary consistently remains in the Top 10 percent nationwide for patient satisfaction,” said Ryan Miller. “Our community can trust that the same high level of care and attention to each patient’s experience will continue over the next 45 days at our St. Mary campus and at our Mid County Outpatient Center location today, and into the future.”

The CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Maternity and Women’s Center, CHRISTUS Center for Health Management Clinic, and Community Health Worker services currently located on the St. Mary campus will be relocated and remain available to serve those in Port Arthur.

As CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System continues to transform, the community can continue to rely on the distinguishable, excellent quality it has provided its patients for more than 120 years, and its mission to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. The system has received numerous heart and stroke awards from the American Heart Association and Texas Joint Commission and was awarded the National Research Corporation Consumer Preference Award several years in a row.

“The future of CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System relies on providing high quality, and compassionate care in an ever-changing health care landscape to meet the needs and preferences of the patients we are privileged to serve,” Trevino added. “We are grateful for our history in this community and look ahead to the next century of service.”