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Rep. Sam Johnson, Stephen Mansfield and Bob Townsend listen to Ken Hutchenrider, Jr.
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas), from left, Stephen Mansfield, Methodist president and CEO, and Richardson Mayor Bob Townsend listen as Ken Hutchenrider Jr., Methodist Richardson president, addresses the audience during the Methodist Richardson Bush/Renner expansion groundbreaking ceremony.

Regional News/South: Methodist Health breaks ground on new Texas Medical Center, and other news

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: October 6, 2012 - 12:01 am ET

RICHARDSON, Texas—Dallas-based Methodist Health System broke ground Sept. 27 on Methodist Richardson Medical Center-Bush/Renner, a $120 million outpatient hospital in Richardson. The new facility will be an expansion of the health system's existing 147-bed acute-care hospital, Methodist Richardson Medical Center, five miles away. The four-story outpatient hospital will include a cancer center, diagnostic imaging, an 18-bed emergency department and a diabetes self-management program, according to Methodist Health. “Our Methodist Richardson expansion fully reflects future patterns of healthcare delivery, concentrating specialty acute inpatient and most outpatient services at the Bush/Renner location, while consolidating post-acute-care services such as rehabilitation at the Campbell Road campus,” Stephen Mansfield, Methodist Health System's president and CEO, said in a news release.

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MARKS, Miss.—Quitman County Hospital became the second hospital in as many months to file a petition with the CMS to switch to an in-state organ-procurement organization. Like Tri-Lakes Medical Center in Batesville, Miss., Quitman is seeking to work with the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency, Flowood, rather than the Mid-South Transplant Foundation, Memphis, Tenn. Quitman, which has 33 beds, does not perform transplants but, like all hospitals, it is assigned to a local organ-procurement agency to identify potential donors. Steve Nichols, interim CEO at Quitman, noted that a number of local hospital CEOs have discussed trying to keep more donated organs in the state. “We should be supporting the Mississippi organizations,” he said, noting that many of the hospital's patients are on state-funded Medicaid. Tri-Lakes Medical Center, owned by Health Management Associates, filed its petition in August and also said it was seeking to keep more organ donations in the state. Tri-Lakes also said the move would help support its partnership with the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, the only facility in the state that performs transplants. The waivers come after a separate request from Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Memphis, petitioning to switch organ procurement agencies from Mid-South to Tennessee Donor Services, Nashville. Methodist, which does perform transplants, has argued that Mid-South does not procure enough organs to support its program. Mid-South has responded that it is working to increase donations and says it has one of the highest donation rates in the country.

FRANKLIN, Tenn.—Williamson Medical Center submitted a proposal to build a three-story pediatrics tower that reflects its recent affiliation with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville. The plans also call for renovating and expanding its surgical suites. The pediatrics tower will be named the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Williamson Medical Center; Vanderbilt's children's hospital carries the same name. The expansion of the 185-bed hospital still requires approval from the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency. A news release described the project as a multiphase, multiyear undertaking that will mark Williamson's first expansion in eight years. The investment in the project was not disclosed. The tower will include access to a dedicated children's emergency department and will save space for a future expansion of the labor and delivery department. The surgical suites expansion will add two operating rooms, bringing the total number to 12, and reconfigure six existing rooms.

NEW ORLEANS—The Housing and Urban Development Department issued a commitment to insure a $96.7 million mortgage loan for the construction of New Orleans East Hospital, a public hospital being built on the site of a hospital closed by Hurricane Katrina, according to an announcement from New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. The commitment, made under Federal Housing Administration's Section 242 Hospital Mortgage Insurance program, means that funding for the $130 million project is set, according to a Landrieu news release. The hospital is being built on the grounds of the former Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital, which the local hospital district purchased in 2010 from Universal Health Services, King of Prussia, Pa., for $16.3 million. The deal came shortly after Landrieu took control of the hospital board under a newly passed law, removing six of the 13 members at the time. The city has arranged for Daughters of Charity and Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady to operate the hospital with a $2 million commitment from the Daughters of Charity Foundation. Other funding sources include $8.4 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Grant funds, $7 million in Louisiana State Capital Outlay bill funds and $1 million from the New Orleans Charitable Health Fund.

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