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Attorney general+s letter expresses BHCS concern

March 26, 1997

Attorney general's letter expresses BHCS concern

By Lisa Zapata

Lariat Staff Writer

Although a joint study committee set-up of both University regents and Health Care System officials has been established to review all options concerning the Baylor Health Care System (BHCS), some Dallas-area residents still fear that a sale is in the future.

The Texas state attorney general is listening to this fear. Attorney General Dan Morales sent a letter Monday to University President Robert B. Sloan Jr. and to Randy Fields, chairman of the University Board of Regents.

If the study committee decides to sell the Health Care System, Morales wrote, 'my office would insist that the full value of the Dallas community's investment in these entities' charitable assets remain directed toward the charitable public health objectives originally set forth in the Articles of Incorporation.'

In interviews earlier this year, Sloan has said that the first evaluation of the Health Care System came from the BHCS representatives themselves. They were considering options for the BHCS that would allow them to keep up with the changing health care system nationwide.

A sale is only one of the many options the study committee is reviewing, Sloan said. He stressed his belief that the committee will come to a conclusion beneficial for both the Health Care System and the University.

However, Morales is not taking any chances. In his letter to Sloan and Fields, he quoted the Articles of Incorporation from the Texas Baptist Memorial Sanitarium, which was created in 1903. The Articles said that all assets generated from the Sanitarium would benefit charity patients and expenditures of the Sanitarium, but in no way would financially benefit the incorporators or directors at any point in time, Morales' letter said.

The Sanitarium became a part of Baylor University and changed its name to Baylor Hospital, the letter said. In 1981, the hospital was incorporated into the Baylor Health Care System and Baylor University Medical Center.

Throughout history, the articles have not changed and apply to the entire Health Care System. Morales stated in his letter that his office is 'obligated to intervene on behalf of the public interest when charitable institutions gray from or abandon their stated charitable purposes.'

He added that the sale of the Health Care System would, in his mind, be a diversion from the initial charitable purposes of the institutions.

A study committee meeting was scheduled Tuesday, but no information was available late Tuesday about what was discussed at the meeting.

Dr. Stan Madden, vice president for University marketing,

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