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Article claims BHCS split will be beneficial

April 11, 1997

By Lisa Zapata

Lariat Staff Writer

The University is to become the new beneficiary of $51 million from the Baylor Health Care System (BHCS), according to an article in Thursday's Waco Tribune-Herald.

The article reported that the University is set to receive the multi-million dollar payment over a period of 15 years in exchange for the autonomy the University has given Baylor Health Care System trustees.

However, Baylor Health Care System trustees would not comment on the specific dollar amount of the transaction.

'I am unable to confirm the dollar amount,' said Jennifer Coleman, vice president of public affairs at the Baylor Health Care System. 'Only the study committee has the facts, and they will make an official announcement on their own time.'

Outrage followed when the University announced it would consider selling the health care system along with other options, and tensions were high between the parties involved.

The study committee, comprised of both University and BHCS officials, was first established to review options concerning the BHCS's future in the growing health care system, including a sale.

Last week, the study committee recommended releasing governance of the BHCS trustees from the University.

Prior to this, the University Regents chose regents for the BHCS board.

Although officials from neither the University nor the BHCS are commenting on the arrangement, the nursing school is pleased that the University and the BHCS have agreed to maintain a relationship, whatever that may be, said Dr. Phyllis Karns, dean of the University's nursing school.

According to the Tribune-Herald article, $1 million would be payed each year for 15 years to the Nursing School and would be divided between scholarships and the program.

'We are delighted with the potential arrangement [although nothing has been verified or approved],' Karns said. 'Any money that goes into our endowment will strengthen the program, and I know that the nursing school is one priority [in the Baylor/BHCS arrangement].'

Students who have been keeping up with the changing nature of the BHCS/University relationship

agree that the money coming into the nursing school would be a benefit.

If BHCS trustees were to ever sell the hospital, students worry that the ethics of the nursing school may be compromised due to buyers who may not hold the same principals as the current establishment does, said Laura Newton, an Arlington sophomore who will be attending the nursing school in the Spring of 1998.

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