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Medical Center Moves

Texas Medical Center giants join forces to create new state-of-the-art hospital

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Baylor St. Luke's MeMcNair Campus with Texas Medical Center January 2014
Baylor College of Medicine and Catholic Health Initiatives are joining forces on a new hospital in the Texas Medical Center. Courtesy rendering
Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center McNair Campus January 2014
The new facility, pictured above, will be on the TMC McNair Campus, in a hospital building that Baylor previously built. Courtesy rendering
Baylor St. Luke's MeMcNair Campus with Texas Medical Center January 2014
Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center McNair Campus January 2014

Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) will join forces to create a state-of-the-art medical facility in the Texas Medical Center, which could open as early as next year. 

The new hospital will be located in an existing structure on Baylor's McNair campus, where it will be operated jointly by both institutions.

The announcement comes nearly eight months after the Colorado-based Catholic Health Initiatives beat out the Memorial-Hermann Health System and the Methodist Hospital System to acquire St. Luke's Episcopal Health System for $2 billion.

 The initial phase of the project — a 250-bed inpatient facility — is slated to open in spring 2015, while a second phase adding 400 acute-care beds will be complete in 2018. 

The initial phase of the project — a 250-bed inpatient facility — is slated to open in spring 2015, while a second phase adding 400 acute-care beds will be complete in 2018. Wayne Keathley, former president of the BCM Medical Center, will serve as president of both the current and forthcoming hospitals.

Baylor had started construction of the building on a 35-acre tract adjacent to the DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in 2007, with plans to operate its own hospital after an acrimonious split with the Methodist Hospital System a few years earlier. Baylor also had entered into a partnership with St. Luke's after its breakup with Methodist, but the three-year contract was not renewed in 2006.

Baylor's plans for the new facility foundered, however, and the interior of the hospital was left unfinished, except for an outpatient clinic.

Baylor College of Medicine CEO Dr. Paul Klotman says the school's partnership with CHI is unique in the world of academic medicine.

"Medical schools usually receive support through academic affiliation agreements with their hospital affiliates," he explains in a Tuesday statement. "This is completely different in that we are part owners. We will be in this together, with joint governance, sharing the rewards and the risks. It is a novel approach to create an alignment that brings in the most cost-effective, high quality care."

The joint-venture also includes a partnership the Texas Heart Institute, which will work with BCM and CHI to create a new cardiovascular program at the new hospital concentrating on regenerative medicine and the development of next-generation medical technology.

The new hospital, which will be called Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, McNair Campus, could eventually replace the current 850-bed St. Luke's Hospital in the heart of the Texas Medical Center, Catholic Health CEO Kevin Lofton said at a Tuesday morning press conference, but no firm plans have been decided. The former St. Luke's is now officially known as Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, TMC. 

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