Methodist Health Care System, Houston, has opened a 64-bed community hospital in the city's growing Willowbrook area. Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, which cost $79.4 million, is the second in the system's community hospital network, which was launched with the 1998 opening of Methodist Health Center-Sugar Land. The new facility features surgical services, an intensive-care unit, birthing center and a 139,000-square-foot medical office building.
Bayfront Medical Center, St. Petersburg, Fla., has officially exited from BayCare Health System after a lawsuit accused the hospital of violating the constitutional separation of church and state. The city of St. Petersburg sued 268-bed Bayfront in March because the hospital stopped performing elective abortions in deference to its Roman Catholic partners in BayCare, an alliance of eight hospitals. The city's lawsuit against Bayfront is pending. A Bayfront spokeswoman said the hospital has resumed offering elective abortions.
Hampton Regional Medical Center, Varnville, S.C., said it plans to build a $23 million replacement facility to be opened in spring 2003. The new 34-bed facility will be built directly behind Hampton's current facility. It will offer maternity and pediatric services, which aren't now available at Hampton. The hospital plans to file a certificate-of-need application with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control this spring.
Triad Hospitals, Dallas, will buy Hillcrest Healthcare System's 50% share of Southcrest Hospital, Tulsa, Okla., for approximately $44 million. Triad said the purchase price matches Hillcrest's investment in 119-bed Southcrest, which opened in May 1999 as a joint venture between Hillcrest and Triad. The deal is expected to be completed later this month. Hillcrest is executing a turnaround plan after losing $99 million in its latest fiscal year.
Hallmark Health, Malden, Mass., said it would announce early this month a plan for its future and, in particular, the future of two of its four hospitals, Malden Medical Center and Whidden Memorial Hospital, Everett. The Boston-area system, with a total of 460 beds, has been struggling with a debt burden of $106 million.