The CEO of CHRISTUS Health System is holding out an olive branch to the University of Texas if it wants to participate in the new Children's Hospital of San Antonio, but Pat Carrier tells 1200 WOAI news CHRISTUS is committed to it's relationship with the Baylor College of Medicine and plans to 'stay the course,' 1200 WOAI news reports.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia had been discussing partnering with the University of Texas Health Science Center and Nashville-based Vanguard Health, which is the owner of the Baptist Health System hospitals and clinics, on a second children's hospital, to be built in land owned by the Medical Center Foundation in the Medical Center.
But the Philadelphia hospital has pulled out of it's relationship with the UT Health Science Center, and Vanguard's recent acquisition by Tenet Health Care Group of Texas places Vanguard's participation in the project in doubt. That essentially leaves the University of Texas as the only active participant in the second children's hospital, and unlike CHRISTUS, which has a fully functioning facility in place, the Medical Center proposal is not even in the architectural review stage.
"We stay the course, we are not changing anything that we have been doing," Carrier said.
CHRISTUS converted the Santa Rosa Hospital downtown into Children's Hospital of San Antonio last year, and earlier this year CHRISTUS entered into an agreement with Baylor College of Medicine to provide faculty physicians for the pediatric practice.
"We are very committed to our Baylor relationship," Carrier said. "We began that relationship in June, and we now have more than forty Baylor faculty located in San Antonio."
Just this month, CHRISTUS announced that Bartlett Cocke Construction had been hired to conduct the $135 million reconstruction of the downtown facility, adding pediatric emergency facilities and operating suites, to finish the conversion to the region's Tier One pediatric hospital, complete with a full range of children's health specialties.
Carrier says there currently is a relationship with the University of Texas and he is open to seeing that relationship continue.
"We still have UT physicians working at our hospital," he said. "There are certain areas where they may work for over a year and even beyond that."
Celebrated pediatric heart surgeon Dr. John Calhoon, who is a member of the faculty at the UT Health Science Center, performed a high profile heart procedure on a Honduran boy at Children’s Hospital of San Antonio in June.
Carrier says the bottom line, is the best way to serve the patients and patients, and to hold down costs and duplication, is for there to be one Children's Hospital serving all the children of south Texas and northern Mexico, and he says Children's Hospital of San Antonio is well positioned to fulfill that mission.