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Medical Center infrastructure moving forward

By Dawn Burleigh

In a commitment to meeting standards for drainage, Orange Economic Development (EDC) approved an amendment to add survey easement preparation and engineering services related to regional storm water detention facilities in addition to the design of roadway drainage facilities at Eagle Point Parkway and Medical Center Drive.

“This is to redesign along the parkway and a retention pond,” City of Orange Economic Development Director Jay Trahan said. “This requires additional engineering. This does not change the amount the EDC has committed to the project.”

The current agreement is $123,000 and the change would add $36,200 for a total cost of $159,500.

The total project budget is $1,325,00. The funds are $1,075,000 from the City of Orange EDC and $250,000 from Houseman.

“This would reduce the amount available for the construction stage,” Trahan added. “Gisela has verbally committed to worth foundations she has contacts with if we are short on construction funds.”

In September 2019, Orange City Council accepted a donation of land under the agreement to use it strictly to develop the future Gisela Houseman Medical Complex.

Orange Campus of Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas discontinued emergency services at the location on January 12, 2017. It is now an outpatient facility.

A petition circulated requesting an election for the citizens to vote on the formation of a Hospital District. The election showed an overwhelming number of voters electing no to the district at the time.

In-patient services stopped at Baptist Orange Hospital effective June 1, 2015.

According to information in a previous published article in The Orange Leader, Baptist Orange Hospital, which opened in 1957, had experienced a continued decline in patient demand for more than a decade with an average of eight beds of the 112 licensed beds available being used on a daily basis.

With low patient demand, the hospital has dealt with a lack of medical specialists as many physicians have either relocated to other areas or closed altogether.

The hospital discontinued its obstetric services in 2013 because of the loss of disproportionate share funding which helped offset costs.