Where lies the future of Paris’ hospital?
The Paris News
Published January 27, 2008
It’s been a long time coming — and it may very well be quite some time before we actually see it happen — but Paris Regional Medical Center recently announced that it was another step closer to what it calls “campus consolidation.”
Chris Dux, the hospital’s CEO, told employees a couple of weeks ago that the hospital had purchased two new heart catheterization labs and a 64-slice CT scanner. One of the labs and the CT scanner were destined to be installed within two months at the hospital’s North Campus, the former McCuistion Regional Medical Center. The new equipment is to be part of the hospital’s planned Cardiac Center of Excellence, a facility dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, providing a level of care previously only available in larger metropolitan hospitals.
As exciting as news of the advancement of the cardiac center is, the announcement that the hospital was another step further along in its long-range plans for the North Campus was just as exciting to the community at large.
As far back as the merger of Christus St. Joseph’s and McCuistion, Paris’ two long-time independent hospitals, into a single provider, hospital officials began to formulate long-range plans to make greater use of the facilities on the North Loop, expanding services offered there and building new structures on the open ground surrounding the main structure.
“Our long-term goal remains for Christus St. Joseph’s to relocate all services to the North Campus," said Monty McLaurin, chief executive officer of CSJ, as reported in an Aug. 8, 2002, story in The Paris News. The remark was part of a report on short-term relocation of services to the South Campus, a move designed to improve cash flow for the hospital.
When Essent Healthcare bought the hospital soon after, Essent officials went on record that they, too, saw the wisdom in eventually making greater use of the North Campus, with its open acreage and fewer busy city streets cutting through the grounds.
Dux told hospital staff at the meeting recently that the new equipment was “the first step in our campus consolidation.” He also announced that Essent had hired the nation’s largest designer and builder of healthcare facilities to assist the hospital with “a clear long-term plan for future expansion and growth of the North Campus.”
Such an announcement can’t help but make the people of Paris optimistic that Essent is prepared to do what it takes to make PRMC a first-rate medical facility. The hospital’s willingness to go forward with plans that will make best use of all available facilities should be encouraging to those of us who have watched the hospitals with a wary eye these past few years. We hope we are witnessing the first steps in returning Paris to its standing as a strong, stable center of regional medicine for Northeast Texas and Southeast Oklahoma.
Personally, I'll believe it when I see it- but if it happens, it can't be soon enough. The south campus is landlocked, and I don't believe Brookshire's is going to close its doors any time soon, so expansion there is out of the question. --anonymous
My take is: status quo. There are some minimum upgrades needed for the cath lab...minimum to staying open. Putting in a 64-slice CT at the North campus might be just to appease Dr Hashmi...it becomes as unwieldy as the MRI when needed for a South Campus patient. By the time it would start to be utilized fully, it will be as outdated as the one it replaces....frank