About Walker County Hospital District
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Walker County Facts
Walker County has an estimated population of 69,789 (2014 est). The county encompasses a total area of 802 square miles, and the county’s largest cities include Huntsville, New Waverly and Riverside. The county serves as home to Sam Houston State University, as well as the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, located in Huntsville. For additional facts on Walker County, please visit the county’s website:
Walker County History
Walker County is the home of General Sam Houston, hero of the Texas Revolution, governor of Texas, US Senator, and first president of the Republic of Texas. Walker County was a cradle of learning and education in early Texas. Sam Houston State University was founded in 1879. The County is also home to the second oldest newspaper in Texas, the Huntsville Item. For additional information on the history of Walker County, please visit:
Huntsville Memorial Hospital
Huntsville Memorial Hospital, chartered in 1927, is a Joint Commission-accredited, not-for-profit acute care community hospital. The fourth-largest employer in Walker County, the hospital continues to set the standard for community-focused quality care. For additional information on the hospital, please visit the hospital’s website:
Letter to the Editor - Huntsville Item
WALKER COUNTY HOSPITAL DISTRICT
August 22, 2019
The Huntsville Item
Letter to the Editor
The public has a right to know.
Imagine this scenario: You have serious chest pains but there is no hospital for 30 miles because Huntsville Memorial Hospital has closed. For the past two years, Walker County Hospital District Managers have been working with consultants, legal counsel, and, most important, the local community to do everything possible to prevent this scenario from becoming a reality for county residents by keeping the hospital open.
The good news is that the District is close to entering a transaction with a new operator in order to save our hospital. The District’s challenge is that Walker County Hospital Corporation, a totally separate organization from the District, is in dire financial straits and the District is working tirelessly to keep the hospital doors open.
I agree with your editorial “The public has a right to know (August 18).” It is important that the public understand several important facts about the distinction between actions by the District and actions by the Hospital Corporation.
The District was established in 1975 to create and maintain a hospital in Walker County. The District has had one primary goal: to maintain our hospital to provide healthcare for the benefit of our community.
The Hospital Corporation is a separate entity from the District and operates Huntsville Memorial Hospital independently through a lease with the District. The District was not responsible for the decisions of the Hospital Corporation that led to its current financial condition.
District Managers have spent the past 18 months attempting to stabilize the financial condition of the Hospital Corporation until a new operator or partner is found. A year ago, The District and Hospital Corporation participated in an auction process to try to sell the Hospital. Unfortunately, after a thorough and robust auction process, no viable buyer was found. The District has been exploring alternative arrangements, such as a management agreement. After careful consideration, District Managers concluded that during and after the auction process, the best use of taxpayer dollars was to provide subsidies to continue hospital operations to prevent closure of the hospital. These subsidies were for a period of three months and were necessary to keep the hospital from closing almost a year ago.
Nineteen hospitals in Texas have closed since 2010, the most of any state. The healthcare reimbursement system for community hospitals has been challenging for a long time. It will take cooperation between the District and the new operator to overcome the Hospital’s current financial difficulties.
District Managers are optimistic that we have found a hospital operator that can improve our Hospital. The District is still working with its consultant to determine the District’s ability to provide the appropriate financial support for the Hospital. We anticipate that, if all goes as expected and the District obtains appropriate financial support, the transaction will be completed by the end of the year.
Regarding transparency, the District has held regular meetings open to the public. When attorney-client confidential information or potential transaction confidential information was discussed, the District held a limited number of closed sessions consistent with Texas law. It is simply not appropriate to release the draft work product of our legal consultants.
I also agree with your statement that “The hospital and healthcare options are extremely important to this community.” The District will continue to meet its commitment to maintain a hospital for our community with diligence and dedication. Board Managers understand that, to be successful, we must operate with transparency in order to obtain the understanding and support of the community.
Notice of Public Hearings on Tax Increase
Certification of Unopposed Candidates
Notice of Sealed Bid Sale - Ella Smither Geriatric Center
WALKER COUNTY HOSPITAL DISTRICT, a body politic and corporate and a subdivision of The State of Texas (herein described as “Seller” or “District”) will be conducting a Sealed Bid sale of the real estate and all improvements located at 1115 Avenue O, Huntsville, Texas 77340, containing 6.324 acres out of Blocks 104 and 104B, Huntsville Townsite, City of Huntsville, Walker County, Texas, commonly known as the Old Huntsville Memorial Hospital, and recently known as the Ella Smither Geriatric Center, with additional frontage on 11th Street and on the north side of 12th Street and on the west side of Avenue N, and the southeast corner of Avenue O and 12th Street, with additional frontage on the north side of 13th Street and being further described on Exhibit “A” in the Bid Package. The bids will be opened on Thursday, the 1st day of August, 2019 in the administrative offices of the District, at 4:00 p.m. C.S.T. The District reserves the right to reject any and all bids. All submission of bids must be in conformity with the Bid Instructions as set forth in the “Bid Package”and the “Bid Documents” as defined in the Bid Instructions.
This Property will be conveyed on an “AS IS” basis, with any and all latent and patent defects and that there is no warranty by Seller that the Property is fit for a particular purpose. Bidders acknowledge that they are not relying upon any representation, statement or other assertion by Seller with respect to the Property condition, but are relying upon their own, independent examination of the Property. The successful bidder shall take the Property under the express understanding that there are no express or implied warranties (except for limited warranties of title which shall be set forth in the closing documents).
Notice of Asbestos Disclaimer
There exists an Asbestos Testing Report dated December 9, 2016, related to the former Huntsville Memorial Hospital building only. Based on this Report, the former hospital building includes asbestos containing materials. That Report will be provided to interested persons at the District’s office. After sale, no responsibility is assumed by the District for any such environmental conditions, either known or unknown, including items such as asbestos, lead-based paint, mold, mildew, etc., or for any expertise or engineering required to detect, discover, or remediate them as this property is being sold “AS IS.”
Interested persons may obtain copies of the Bid Package, including instructions, requirements, Asbestos Testing Report, and Bid Form at: The District’s office at 1300 11th Street, Suite #515, Huntsville, Texas 77340.
Sealed bids submitted after 4:00 p.m. C.S.T. on the 1st day of August, 2019 will not be considered.
WALKER COUNTY HOSPITAL DISTRICT
Anne Woodard, Chairman
Board of Managers