Hospital Board Holds Elections, Crowson Stays, McCreight In

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY –    The Houston County Hospital District (HCHD) board held its elections for two open seats May 6, 2023. There were four open positions in all, with incumbents Debbie Kelly (position three) and Carol Dawson (position nine) running for re-election unopposed. 


Incumbent in position one and current Board President Barbara Crowson faced two challengers, business owners “Buddy” Clonts and Kim Spellman. All three participated recently at the candidate forum held by The Messenger and the Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce. Crowson highlighted the HCHD recent agreement to bring a new hospital operator to the county, while Clonts noted he would be a better steward of taxpayer money and Spellman promised to bring more unity and due diligence to the board. 

Early voting in the race, released shortly after voting ended, had Crowson with 428 votes, Clonts with 158 and Spellman with 191. Those percentages held once the race was called with Crowson being re-elected with the final count of 686 for Crowson, 340 for Spellman and 276 for Clonts. 


In position five, incumbent Roy Langford was challenged by local health care professional Tami English McCreight. At the candidate forum, Langford spoke about his experience and knowledge of contract negotiations, while McCreight said her work as a nurse would give her insight into making sure contracts were linked to real world needs. 

McCreight ended up defeating Langford with a final vote of 677-588. 

The new hospital operator, MidCoast Health System, which took over operations May 1, had been silent about plans and operations until just before press time when they released the following statement:

“MidCoast Health System (“MCHS”) has partnered with Houston County Hospital District adding MidCoast Medical Center – Crockett (previously known as Crockett Medical Center) located in Crockett, TX, to their expanding health care system dedicated to patient care throughout the state of Texas.

MidCoast Medical Center – Crockett is excited to continue serving residents in Crockett, TX through its full-service hospital offering emergency medical services, in-patient care, lab and imaging services, primary care through MidCoast Medical Clinic – Crockett, and therapy services.

MCHS started out as a regional healthcare provider for the Texas Gulf Coast region, but now has expanded throughout the state of Texas to enhance and improve rural health care. MCHS currently operates hospital facilities throughout the state of Texas in El Campo, Palacios, Llano, Bellville, & Trinity along with 20 WellCare Clinics. 

“We are excited for the expansion of our healthcare services in Crockett and plan to be a part of the Crockett community for several years to come.” said Nathan Tudor, FACHE, CEO of Mid Coast Health System.

The MidCoast Health System model has been recognized for its achievements and innovative methods to improve rural healthcare. With the addition of Crockett, MCHS plans to expand clinical & surgical services along with providing the upmost patient care.

A recent HCHD board meeting had to be cancelled due to a lack of quorum and The Messenger learned three of the board members were in the hospital parking lot and refused to attend the meeting. Sources told The Messenger the board members said they wanted to make a “statement” by boycotting the meeting. 

As of press time, it is unclear what that statement might have been. 

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected] 

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