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Editorial: BHCS governing bodies should keep students informed on the decisions

Jan. 21, 1997


Baylor Health Care

BHCS governing bodies should keep students informed on the decisions

The issue:

The Baylor Board of Regents and BHCS Board deciding the health care system's future.

Our view:

The two boards should keep the public informed. Should they decide to sell, the campus should receive money for improvements.

Health care competition has brought Baylor Health Care system to a crossroad. The Baylor Board of Regents and the trustees of the BHCS presented the different avenues facing the system.

The expert they hired presented six options: do nothing, network with other non-profits, buy other health care facilities, enter into a joint venture with a for-profit organization, consolidate with other non-profits or sell the BHCS to a for-profit.

Nursing majors, calm down. The last thing anyone needs are nervous people with needles. The Baylor School of Nursing will be preserved.

However, now the governing bodies must decide which path to take. All the student body can really ask here is to be kept informed. The regents will only consider two of the four options: consolidation or sale.

What they didn't want to consider is just as important. Among the options was to do nothing. Thank goodness they passed on that choice. Too many people do that already. In a market increasingly filled with giants, a system holding still would suffocate.

Choosing not to enter a venture with a for-profit organization ensures more freedom for the University. Worrying about the bottom line would become more important than caring for the patients. Enough health care systems are already suffering from that malady.

Boone Powell Jr., president and CEO of BHCS, expressed no interest in selling the system. Nobody gets to make a move unless his board of trustees agrees with the decision.

However, survival may demand the sale of the facilities. Two or three entities may control the whole health care system for Dallas in the future, said Dr. Stan Madden, vice president for university marketing.

Should the governing bodies decide to sell, the University could receive a shot on the arm financially.

On the chance of such a windfall, here's a little wish list. Take the money and drop into the endowment fund. Better yet, drop some of that cold hard cash and make improvements to facilities such as the science buildings and the libraries.

What would be the cost of selling the program? Should the University distance itself from a program which has gained it international attention? Not only do patients and the medical profession gain form the BHCS, the good reputation the University gains is an incredible bonus.

This decision must be weighed carefully. No matter the boards' choice, an association which has lasted since 1921 deserves much thought before changing or ending it.

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