• 75°

Christus unveils new community-centered care

Health System to invest $10M to expand outpatient services

Christus Health Southeast Texas unveiled a new community-centered plan Monday afternoon — at an initial invest of $10 million — to deliver more access points to outpatient health centers in nine counties.

The new patient-centered model aims to provide access to care beyond the traditional hospital setting or Emergency Room — a transformation beginning with the company’s re-branding of all existing 27 locations across the region under a new name, Christus Southeast Texas Health System.

“This is about growth. We’re moving away from being hospital centric and toward a more community-centric approach,” Paul Trevino, CEO of Christus Southeast Texas Health System, said Monday in Port Arthur. “It’s an exciting day for us and the future of our system.”

The plan for Port Arthur and Mid-County services calls for:

• A reconfiguration of services at St. Mary Hospital, effective Sept. 1, transforming the current facility into a center for outpatient chemotherapy and infusion services, a short-stay inpatient and outpatient surgical center, and Emergency Room

• The creation of a new outpatient facility in Port Arthur at FM 365 and Ninth Avenue by January 2015 to serve as an imaging and diagnostics center, as well as a free-standing Emergency Room for Mid- and South County residents

• The construction of a Micro Hospital off FM 365 in Mid-County by 2018 to meet the needs of Mid- and South County, providing emergency, outpatient and physician services at a lower cost with limited beds

Trevino said the plan will expand the Christus Southeast Texas Health System from its existing 27 locations to more than 40 service sites region-wide, addressing access to urgent care centers, outpatient clinics, primary care practices and state-of-the-art special care by 2018.

CHRISTUS LogoRoy Steinhagen, chairman of the Christus Southeast Texas Health System Board of Directors, said the patient and community-centered approach is the organization’s response to a growing trend in outpatient care.

“The big picture is to bring the facilities where the people are and to increase access to care. We want to reduce the wait times and give them more options,” Steinhagen said. “Outpatient care truly is 95 to 98 percent of what we do now. That speaks volumes about the quality of our health care, and we want to provide even better care to more residents.”

Trevino said an initial investment of $10 million will launch Christus Southeast Texas Health System’s plan to bring new healthcare locations to communities including Port Arthur, Mid-County, Beaumont, Silsbee and Orange.

“We’re looking to open our new Mid-County outpatient center in January 2015,” he said. “The demand for inpatient services continues to decline while the demand for outpatient care continues to explode. Over 98 percent of the care we provide at St. Mary Hospital today is outpatient care, outpatient services.

“Our current services on Texas 73 will be relocated to the new outpatient center. We’ll expand our outpatient physicians rooms, our imaging services and laboratory services — it’s all about making access to health care convenient for each of our communities.”

Trevino said Gulf Coast Health Care will take over the current Christus Southeast Texas Outpatient Center at Texas 73 and Ninth Avenue.

The two organizations will work closely together 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.

Trevino stressed St. Mary Hospital will not close, but many of its services will move to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont. Beginning Sept. 1, obstetrics, neonatal intensive care, pediatric, cardiovascular and general medicine inpatient services will transfer to St. Elizabeth.

St. Mary will continue to provide outpatient chemotherapy and infusion services, emergency room, radiology, laboratory services, and the inpatient and outpatient short-stay surgical capabilities to Mid- and South County residents.

Twitter: @crhenderson90