The residence program for doctors at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Sulphur Springs is ongoing, but its current setup will be ended once the two current students finish their residencies at the end of December. However, medical residents will still see and serve patients in Sulphur Springs, according to information received from CHRISTUS Health. The residence program was established by Hopkins County Memorial Hospital prior to the sale of 51% of the hospital to CHRISTUS.
Currently there are two residents in the program but the three year commitment that had been made to the students will not continue after December of this year. The change created changes in plans for the students. KSST News has spoken to one student, who had completed his first year of residency in Tyler, was house-hunting in Sulphur Springs for the two years of his residency and had hopes of continuing on locally after completing the program. However, his search for a house ended when notified that the program would not continue. The current configuration of the program was call unsustainable by CHRISTUS. However, a residence program will be available, according to CHRISTUS officials.
CHRISTUS Mother Frances Sulphur Springs will now work in tandem with CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System and UT Health Northeast to continue the rotation of medical school residents at the facility here, according to Paul Harvey, President and Chief Executive Officer of the local hospital. He states the hospital will continue participating in family residencies requiring rural health experience. With the resources now at the disposal of the local hospital through CHRISTUS Health, the capability to recruit providers from all over the nation and providing patient access to specialists and providers within the network has expanded beyond what had been available.
Harvey said, “One of the core values of CHRISTUS Health is stewardship, and after thorough review, we determined that the program was not effectively able to achieve its intended goals. However, those goals – providing improved access to care, bringing new providers to the area – remain just as crucial.”
Harvey noted that in the past year alone, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System has added dozens of physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants for hospitals and clinics all across the region. He stated CHRISTUS has been actively recruiting specialists and primary care providers for Sulphur Springs, and hope to make some announcements in that area very soon.
Harvey said, “By revamping the residency program and leveraging our new resources we will improve patient access and build the primary care base here in Sulphur Springs. There are many health care needs in this area, and we will keep working to ensure that we are meeting those needs in a way that serves the best interest of our patients, that supports the community that has supported us, and that and aligns with our core values and our mission to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”