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City of Corpus Christi optimistic about forming separate health district

Posted at 6:13 PM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 01:12:50-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District split has been a topic of interest amongst Corpus Christi and Nueces County residents the past week.

Corpus Christi city council members and Mayor Paulette Guajardo said they hope to reassure Corpus Christi residents that transitioning to a city-run health department will be a smooth one.

“We are partners with the county," Guajardo said. "We are partners with them."

Guajardo said she sees the split as a positive thing because it will help the city create a new and updated business model.

“We are a $1.2 billion organization," she said. "A 40-year-old business model doesn’t go with that."

District 3 council member Roland Barrera said chief executives from one of the hospital systems already have reached out to be partners with the city.

“I’m really excited about all the enthusiasm that the community has already reached out indicating that 'Hey, we believe there’s a better model and we want to help you put it together',” he said.

District 4 councilman Greg Smith said he’s been hearing nothing but positive reactions from Corpus Christi residents.

“They’re more comfortable knowing that the services will still be provided in the city, by the city, so there’s a comfort level there,” he said.

Amanda Stuckenberg, who works for the Women’s and Men’s Health Services of the Coastal Bend, said they’re offering support for a separate city department.

“By replacing an unworkable joint structure, you’ll be better able to define through a clearer business model who’s responsible for what services and to hold them accountable,” she said.