Crockett Medical Center Hopes to be in Place July 1

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – During a Tuesday, April 10 called meeting of the Houston County Hospital District (HCHD) Board of Directors, the board approved terminating several agreements with CHRISTUS pertaining to the medical office lease agreement, community benefit agreement and the letter of agreement with CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic.

After the opening prayer, HCHD President Deborah Blackwell said there were three items on the agenda, of which two would be postponed until their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, April 17.

“We probably want to approve the medical office building and residential housing lease, along with the indigent care agreement, during our regular meeting next Tuesday (April 17,)” Blackwell said.

“However,” she continued, “we are going to go into executive session. We’re going to contact the attorney. We are going to over the termination of the medical office lease agreement, the community benefit agreement and letter agreement with Trinity Clinic, dba (doing business as) CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic. Then, I anticipate coming back in and approving that. At this time we are going to adjourn and go into executive session.”

When the directors emerged from behind closed doors, a motion was made, seconded and approved to terminate the agreements.

After the meeting was adjourned, Blackwell explained the reason to approve the agreement terminations at this time was “… they required 90-days’ notice under the original lease and the new doctors want to take over the clinic. It’s not set in stone, but they are hoping to open by July 1.”

Regarding a payment of $400,000 – known as a Community Benefit payment – Blackwell said the HCHD will still be required to make the expenditure.

“When we first started talking, it was $25,000 a month. They asked us to front end load it because they would have a lot of expenses. Then it would go to $250,000 and $250,000 because it was a three year lease. According to all their pro formas, they would have been profitable in six months,” she explained.

Blackwell added CHRISTUS and the HCHD had agreed to postpone the payment until January of 2019, “… so we have a little more time to make it up.”

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.