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FAQ on Baylor, CHI non-profit joint venture

What kind of agreement did BCM enter with CHI?

Baylor College of Medicine and CHI St. Luke’s Health (formerly St. Luke’s Health System), owned by Catholic Health Initiatives, are co-owners and 50-50 governing members in a non-profit joint venture that will run a hospital and oversee related properties in the Texas Medical Center, including the long-standing St. Luke’s Hospital building on Bertner Avenue and the new hospital building Baylor built on its McNair Campus.

What is the name of the joint venture hospital?

CHI is renaming the St. Luke’s Health System “CHI St. Luke’s Health” for all of its system hospitals. The joint venture hospital will be called Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and the individual campuses will be called Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center Texas Medical Center, and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center McNair Campus. Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is part of CHI St. Luke’s Health. The name change is effective immediately.

Why is this important to Baylor?

This arrangement gives Baylor partial ownership and joint control of a private, adult hospital, which greatly expands the College’s clinical care mission. Baylor has had, and will continue to have, extremely important affiliations with Texas Children’s, the VA, Harris Health and other hospitals, but this new venture, in a unique way, will align the interests of the College and Baylor St. Luke’s, giving the College direct involvement in charting the future.

Is this a typical arrangement in academic medicine?

No. A jointly-owned hospital with shared governance is a first-of-its-kind model in academic medicine. It will provide patients with cost-effective, high quality care. Baylor and CHI will share both the rewards and the risks.

How will this benefit patients and the community?

This new relationship will give patients access to the most cost effective, high quality care, and leading edge treatments and translational research will be enhanced through this novel approach to academic medicine.

What physicians will staff Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center?

The medical staff will include, as it does today, full-time Baylor faculty members as well as community physicians. We believe community physicians are very important to the future of Baylor St. Luke’s and the College is committed to maintaining an environment in which community physicians are comfortable practicing medicine and playing an active role in the medical affairs of the hospital.

What else is included in the joint venture?

Along with the existing hospital in the TMC and the new hospital on the McNair Campus, several other services are included. CHI St. Luke’s ambulatory surgery services, emergency services and cancer services, including those located on Holcombe and on Kirby/South Braeswood near the Texas Medical Center, San Felipe in the Galleria area, and Pearland, are included, as well as the O’Quinn Tower building and additional properties on Main Street and Dryden Street. Starting in 2015, Baylor’s ambulatory surgery services at the Jamail Specialty Care Center will be part of the joint venture.

What about Baylor’s other missions?

Baylor’s research and education missions, as well as its physicians and faculty group practice, are not included. This expanded clinical platform, however, will provide for additional learning sites for Baylor students in all of our schools, residents and fellows and will enhance the College's clinical research efforts dramatically.

Will research be conducted in the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center?

Baylor-initiated clinical research is conducted at all of Baylor’s affiliated hospitals.  Baylor St. Luke’s will continue to be a site for such research.

Is this considered a merger?

No. Baylor remains an independent Texas non-profit corporation operating in furtherance of its missions of education, research and health care services. This joint venture reflects an investment by the College into an existing hospital -- Baylor and CHI St. Luke’s Health are now joint owners of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center.

CHI bought the whole St. Luke’s system. How does this fit in?

CHI bought the entire St. Luke’s Health System in 2013. All of the hospitals, including those in the outlying areas of Houston, will be under the CHI St. Luke’s Health umbrella. In contrast to those other hospitals in the CHI St. Luke’s Health system, which are owned 100% by a CHI affiliate, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is owned partly by Baylor and partly by CHI St. Luke’s Health, with both parties sharing governance 50/50.

Will Baylor play a role in those other CHI St. Luke’s facilities?

Baylor and CHI also have agreed to an enhanced academic affiliation which will give Baylor clinicians, scientists and learners the opportunity to access all of the CHI St. Luke’s Health locations in the region.

Who will lead Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center?

Wayne Keathley, a long-time health care executive who served as president and COO of Mount Sinai Hospital has been appointed president of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. Under his leadership, Mount Sinai Hospital became a U.S. News and World Report Honor Roll hospital. He was recruited to Baylor a year ago to oversee development of the College’s McNair Campus hospital strategy. He will answer to a governing board with equal representation from Baylor and CHI St. Luke’s Health.

Will the existing St. Luke’s Hospital on Bertner be replaced by the new building on the McNair Campus?

The existing building on Bertner will continue as-is for the near future, with the new name, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, TMC. Any movement of programs to the McNair Campus will occur pursuant to a to-be-developed master plan and on a timeline adopted by the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center leadership. It is expected that some programs could move to the McNair Campus as early as 2015.

Will the new building on the McNair Campus include both Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and Baylor’s outpatient clinics?

Yes. The building was designed to include both a hospital with inpatient beds, surgery, including ambulatory surgery, and other hospital-based services, as well as outpatient clinics and faculty offices. The area of the building housing the faculty group practice offices and outpatient clinics will continue to be owned by the College and is not part of Baylor St. Luke’s.

Will Baylor continue to move outpatient clinics into the new building on the McNair Campus?

Yes. Other physician services currently at the Baylor Clinic on Main Street will join the first four clinical services that opened in the fall in a phased approach as build-out of clinic space continues. These clinics are not part of the Baylor St. Luke’s joint venture. The outpatient clinics and faculty offices on both buildings of the McNair Campus will be the home of the faculty group practice.

How many hospital beds are planned for Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center on the McNair Campus?

When Baylor constructed the building, the plan was for about 250 inpatient beds in the initial phase, with an option to add an additional bed tower.  As part of the master planning process, Baylor St. Luke’s leadership will decide when to add additional beds. CHI has expressed an interest in adding up to 400 beds to the initial 250.

Does CHI conduct research?

CHI established CHI Institute for Research and Innovation (CIRI) in 2007 as an independent research company to foster partnerships with private, government and corporate partners. CIRI is a partnering organization that connects CHI’s hospitals with system wide initiatives; research programs; and private, government and industry partners dedicated to research and innovation.

Does the joint venture impact BCM’s relationship with its affiliated hospitals?

Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center will not affect the College’s other hospital affiliations, all of which remain critical to the College’s education, research and clinical care missions. The College will maintain strong relationships with its primary academic affiliates Texas Children’s Hospital, Harris Health System (including Ben Taub Hospital), the DeBakey VA Medical Center, Menninger Clinic, TIRR Memorial Hermann and Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.

Will obstetrics and pediatric patients be seen at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center?

No. Baylor will continue to work with our affiliates Texas Children’s Hospital, Harris Health and Children’s Hospital of San Antonio on providing the best in pediatric and obstetric care at those facilities.

Is this a new relationship for Baylor?

CHI is new to the Texas Medical Center but Baylor and St. Luke’s have been affiliated since 1961, working together to provide excellent patient care and medical training to students and residents.

What effect will Catholic policies have on this new joint venture?

The hospital will comply with CHI policies as they relate to ethical and religious directives (ERDs). CHI St. Luke’s already has several policies that complement Catholic health care principles and practices. It also honors advance directives and living wills. St. Luke’s has a reputation for patient-focused care that emphasizes genuine respect, understanding and compassion. For the most part, current services will remain unchanged.

Is Texas Heart Institute part of this?

Texas Heart Institute does not have an ownership or governance role in Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, but Texas Heart just signed a long-term agreement with CHI providing for CHI’s support of Texas Heart’s research and education missions. Baylor has long had a close relationship with Texas Heart, and expects that the joint venture coupled with Texas Heart’s new agreement with CHI will provide for many more opportunities for collaboration in the future. 

Is there a plan for a heart center on the new campus?

There is a shared vision by Baylor, Texas Heart Institute and CHI St. Luke’s to develop a cardiovascular center of excellence on the McNair Campus. With the strengths we all bring to this collaboration, there is no doubt that this center would be an outstanding place for cardiovascular care, research and education. We will all work together toward this goal. It is an exciting vision that again shows the benefit to the community of collaboration in the Texas Medical Center. 

Will there be other centers of excellence?

Yes. We intend to create additional centers of excellence, including achieving comprehensive status for our cancer center and a center for precision medicine, among others that will be planned in the future. 

What are Baylor’s goals?

Quite simply, we strive to be a U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll hospital and a U.S. News & World Report Top 10 medical school. Both of these are measures that are commonly used to show the best of the best. We know that our patients, our faculty, our trainees, our staff and our supporters in the community want us in that elite group and we will continue to work towards that. This unique relationship will definitely give us a boost in our adult clinical care mission.