OKLAHOMA CITY-Hillcrest Health Center, an osteopathic hospital, has agreed to merge with SSM Health Care System, a 24-facility system based in St. Louis. The merger, which will be a noncash transaction, is set to be completed by June 30. Hillcrest will become a member of SSM's Oklahoma network, which includes St. Anthony Hospital and Bone and Joint Hospital in Oklahoma City and Mission Hill Memorial Hospital in Shawnee, Okla.
HOUSTON-Columbia Sun Belt Medical Center will begin construction this fall on a $31 million renovation and expansion project that will be completed in late 1997. The 273-bed hospital will renovate and expand the emergency department from seven to 15 beds. It also will expand the ExpressCare area for patients with minor injuries or illnesses. The hospital is adding a six-bed pediatric unit and a women's center with 22 private rooms, 10 labor and delivery areas, and 18 nursery bassinets. Sun Belt is one of 19 Houston-area hospitals owned by Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.
KANSAS CITY, Mo.-The Missouri Department of Insurance has certified a new hospital-sponsored HMO in the Kansas City area. Family Health Partners is a joint venture of Children's Mercy Hospital and Truman Medical Center, the hospital that provides indigent care in Jackson County, Mo. The certificate allows the HMO to bid on competitive contracts. The state is expected to request bids shortly for its Medicaid managed-care program, which Family Health Partners will bid on.
EL PASO, Texas-Sierra Providence Health Network and its parent company, Tenet Healthcare Corp., have endowed a new fund at the University of Texas at El Paso to assist with border healthcare needs. The $300,000 endowment was funded equally by Tenet, a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company, and Sierra Providence, a two-hospital for-profit system in El Paso. Income from the fund will finance university outreach programs such as community health fairs, health education classes, primary-care services and education of community volunteers who travel door-to-door to educate neighbors about nutrition and disease prevention. Much of the effort will be directed at colonias in rural Texas, which are underdeveloped settlements that lack basic services such as potable water and sewage facilities.
AUSTIN, Texas-Lester Smith, board chairman of Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo, Texas, since 1981, will take office as chairman of the Texas Hospital Association at its annual convention this week. Chairman-elect will be Donald Stewart, president of the south Texas division of Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. Vice chairman will be Mark Wallace, executive director/chief executive officer of Texas Children's Hospital, Houston. In addition, Angleton-Danbury General Hospital in Angleton, Texas, will be the first recipient of the association's Excellence in Community Service Award. Angleton is being honored for its extensive involvement in the community, which ranged from training more than 3,000 individuals in cardiopulmonary resuscitation to its operation of a wellness bus that provides health screenings and information