CHI, Baylor to open new hospital on medical school's Houston campus

January 15, 2014

Catholic Health Initiatives and the Baylor College of Medicine announced Jan. 7 plans to open a joint venture, acute care hospital on the medical school's McNair Campus in Houston. Financial details were not disclosed.

The nonprofit hospital will be called Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, and it will be jointly owned and governed by CHI and Baylor. The first phase of the project, a 250-bed adult inpatient facility, is expected to open by spring 2015. The second phase, adding up to 400 additional acute care beds, is expected to be completed in 2018. The new hospital site is about two miles from the existing CHI St. Luke's hospital on the Texas Medical Center campus. The existing CHI St. Luke's has been renamed the Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, Texas Medical Center effective immediately.

Englewood, Colo.-based CHI purchased St. Luke's Episcopal Health System, a six-hospital system in the Houston region, in a deal that closed in May, marking CHI's entry into the Texas market. CHI is renaming the entire Texas health system CHI St. Luke's Health.

In announcing plans for the new academic medical center, Kevin Lofton, CHI president and chief executive, said, "When we acquired St. Luke's back in the spring, we knew coming in we'd have to build a replacement facility. That was part of our plan. What we didn't know was where, how and with whom." The new hospital eventually will replace the existing 850-bed St. Luke's Medical Center, which is located on the Texas Medical Center Campus in Houston, but the time line for doing so is still being developed. The new hospital and related agreements also will allow CHI to expand on existing partnerships St. Luke's has in the region, Lofton said.

St. Luke's and Baylor have been affiliated since 1961, and Baylor and St. Luke's have close ties to the Texas Heart Institute. CHI St. Luke's Health, Baylor and the Texas Heart Institute will develop a cardiovascular program on the campus of the new hospital that aims to be a leader in regenerative medicine and next-generation medical devices. Additionally, CHI has strengthened its affiliation with the Texas Heart Institute with a commitment to make a 10-year investment to expand education and research into cardiovascular diseases.

CHI St. Luke's Health and Baylor also have signed an academic affiliation for cooperative educational and research initiatives. They will develop a comprehensive cancer center on the campus of the new hospital, with plans calling for community cancer centers around the region.

CHI and Baylor College of Medicine will each appoint half of the governing board members to Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, and the board will include physicians from independent practice, Lofton said.

Wayne Keathley was named president of Baylor St. Luke's. Keathley took on responsibility for clinical expansion efforts at the McNair Campus in February, when he left a top leadership post at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City to become president of the Baylor College of Medicine Medical Center and Health Network.

Keathley, who became a CHI executive through the new position, said CHI is committed to creating clinically integrated networks across the continuum of care. "One of the most exciting aspects of this relationship for the Texas Medical Center and for the Houston community is that CHI brings the infrastructure and the critical mass to be able to build that kind of a program and system in Houston, which really does not exist here now. By combining that with the intellectual capital from an academic medical school, a top-ranked medical school, plus the infrastructure they have to offer, I think we all agree that there's the potential to really transform health care in this community and use this really as a model for the rest of the nation."

Lofton said the new hospital will follow the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.


Copyright © 2014 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Copyright © 2014 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.