CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — An up to $45 million investment in indigent care may be on the horizon in the Coastal Bend.
On Wednesday, Nueces County Commissioners unanimously approved the publication of a notice to seek certificates of obligation in an amount not to exceed $45 million.
That request, previously approved by the board of directors at the Nueces County Hospital District, calls for an expansion of the Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center — from one building to three — at the site of the former Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial.
"With the (Memorial) hospital coming down, Christus (Spohn) has come to us and shared their needs in expanding the clinic," John Valls, NCHD board chairman said. "When the ribbon was cut it was already too small."
Valls said the expansion is needed to help expand overburdened services such as the pharmacy department, which currently fills 15,000 prescriptions a month.
Dominic Dominguez, Chief Executive Officer of Christus Spohn echoed the need for expansion in the areas of pharmacy, as well as additional rooms to see urgent and non-urgent patients.
Commissioners were also briefed on expansion plans Wednesday, which include moving the pharmacy, educational services and urgent care into a new 20,000-square-foot building.
A second building would house NCHD administrative and enrollment staff and a conference room.
The pharmacy will also feature a two-lane drive-through for easy access, Valls said.
"I mean just think about, you know, your own health care and whether you go to a Walgreens, a CVS, an HEB just to pick up a prescription and you have to walk in and usually there's a line there," he said. "So you can imagine filling 15,000 prescriptions in one month. Primarily you have to walk in, or had one lane of access, now we're going to create two lanes of access. It's going to create greater efficiencies. And the main goal is to obviously make sure that the patients in that system can get easy and quick access to their medication."
The hospital district is required to publish two notices that it seeks to utilize certificates of obligation. The NCHD board is set to vote on those obligations on June 20, and then would have to be approved by commissioners.
The ultimate impact to the tax bill, per $100,000 in valuation, is $6.72 annually, if the full $45 million is utilized.