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‘Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center’ Will Be Newest Adult Hospital In The Medical Center

Baylor College of Medicine is joining together with St. Luke's to open a new adult hospital in the Texas Medical Center. The two healthcare giants will be co-owners of the new hospital.

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Last year St. Luke’s was acquired by a Colorado-based hospital chain, Catholic Health Initiatives or CHI.

CHI is keeping the local St. Luke’s name and brand, but has been looking for ways to grow in Houston.

By partnering with Baylor, it gains the prestige of a medical school and also a co-investor.

Kevin Lofton is CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives.

“Together our organizations possess a virtually unprecedented combination of expertise.”

The partners will take a Baylor outpatient building located near the DeBakey VA, and turn it into a 250-bed hospital.

Later, they may add on a new wing with hundreds of additional beds.

Dr. Paul Klotman  is Baylor’s president.

“It’s a perfect fit.”

Klotman declined to reveal dollar figures on the deal, but says Baylor will be a minority owner of the hospital, and will share the governance 50/50.

Baylor had flirted with other Houston hospitals after breaking away from Methodist Hospital in 2004.

But Klotman says this partnership is solid and will last. The two have signed a 25-year agreement.

“We don’t have any easy outs. As we’ve said, this is a marriage, it would have to be a really ugly divorce. But you know, it’s tough to get divorced in the Catholic church.”

The new hospital will eventually replace the historic St. Luke’s hospital in the medical center.

That building is aging and would be expensive to renovate.  

It’s unclear if CHI will tear it down, sell it, or use it for another purpose.

Texas Heart Institute is also part of the deal, and will open a cardiovascular center in the new hospital.

Klotman says it could eventually become a nationally ranked adult hospital, like the Mayo Clinic.

Houston doesn’t have that yet, he says.

“There’s a fabulous cancer hospital, there’s a fabulous children’s hospital, there’s a great VA, with one of the best public hospitals, but we don’t have a top 15 “honor roll” adult hospital. And we don’t have a top ten medical school. We’re the top medical school in Texas but we should be one of the top in the country, and we should have a hospital that’s one of the top in the nation.”

The new hospital will be called “Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center” and should open sometime in 2015. 

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