East Texas hospital joining forces with local hospital system

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

Released by Christine Rutherford with ETMC:

HENDERSON, TX - Officials with Henderson Memorial Hospital and the East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System have announced that an agreement has been finalized for the Henderson hospital to affiliate with the ETMC system and become ETMC Henderson.

Representatives of both entities participated in a signing ceremony at the Henderson hospital this morning, with ETMC officials welcoming the Henderson hospital to East Texas' largest healthcare system. Fifteen regional community hospitals now compose the not-for-profit ETMC system, with the corporate headquarters in Tyler.

"To the wonderful people of Henderson and Rusk County, we are proud to be a part of your community," said Elmer G. Ellis, president/CEO of the ETMC Regional Healthcare System. "Your local hospital is your lifeline, it is a source of comfort and healing and it is vital to the area's economic health. I pledge to you that ETMC will apply its experience and resources to advance healthcare in this community to the highest level possible. "

He added that the affiliation of the Henderson hospital is not about joining the Tyler hospital, but about being part of a regional network of care, with all of ETMC's facilities working together to serve East Texans.

"The board of directors worked intensively for the past year-and-a-half toward securing a bright healthcare future for Rusk County," explained Ron Franks, chairman of the Henderson Memorial Hospital board of directors. "After meeting with several organizations and reviewing multiple potential opportunities for our hospital, we ultimately reached the unanimous decision that the best partner for Henderson Memorial Hospital - and the best choice for our community - is ETMC."

Today's signing is the fruition of many months' effort, which became public in January of this year when the two entities announced they had signed a letter of intent for the Henderson hospital to affiliate with the ETMC system. It is also the culmination of a comprehensive process that began in January 2008 by the Henderson Memorial Hospital board of directors to assure the health needs of Rusk County would be best served in the future.

"The residents of Henderson and Rusk County can remain confident that the hospital will not only survive but will thrive during the coming years. Of the many health systems considered, the ETMC Regional Healthcare System was determined to be best prepared and most interested in preserving high quality care for our patients," said Mark Leitner, ETMC Henderson's administrator.

In the affiliation agreement, ETMC has pledged to make significant facility upgrades to ETMC Henderson, as well as clinical equipment and information technology enhancements. A long-term, comprehensive facility plan will be developed to prioritize the hospital's physical plant needs.

ETMC Henderson will benefit from community participation through a local hospital board consisting of community members and ETMC officials.

Based on its past experience of hospital affiliations, the ETMC system is planning a highly positive transition of the Henderson Memorial Hospital employees to ETMC's programs of employee retention, compensation and benefits. Representatives from the corporate human resources department will begin detailed meetings with the Henderson employees on May 27 to outline personnel policies and benefits plans.

ETMC Henderson is a 96-bed full-service community hospital that has served East Texans since 1928. More than 200 employees provide a full range of advanced inpatient and outpatient healthcare services, including 24-hour physician-staffed emergency services, a variety of surgical services, obstetrics, cardiac clinic, an intensive care unit, physical therapy, sleep disorders services, primary healthcare clinics and community wellness. ETMC Henderson has been designated a Level 4 trauma center by the Texas Department of State Health Services. It is served by a medical staff of 25 physicians.

The East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System is East Texas' largest healthcare system. ETMC facilities include hospitals in Athens, Carthage, Clarksville, Crockett, Fairfield, Gilmer, Jacksonville, Mount Vernon, Pittsburg, Quitman, Trinity and Tyler, in addition to the ETMC Rehabilitation Hospital and ETMC Specialty Hospital.

ETMC is a not-for-profit organization committed to improving the quality of life in communities throughout East Texas. For more information, please visit on the web at www.etmc.org.