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Seton, LHP begin laying groundwork for hospital

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Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:13 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

Members of Seton Family Hospitals and LHP Hospital Group talked more Monday about a new 83-bed facility for the area - Seton Medical Center Harker Heights.

LHP will manage the day-to-day operations of the hospital, while Seton will manage the care contracts within the market, said Thomas Gallagher, Seton Family Hospitals senior vice president of business development, on Monday.

By being part of Seton Family of Hospitals, the new facility will be able to offer its patrons the services provided at other Seton hospitals, Gallagher said. Seton also will be able to share and support the Harker Heights facility's principals and quality of care.

The facility, which will be constructed on 22 acres along Central Texas Expressway in Harker Heights, will be an 83-bed facility with 24-7 emergency care; women's services; obstetrics; cardiology; surgery; oncology; neurosurgery; orthopedics; imaging and diagnostic services; general medical and surgical services; and intensive and critical care.

Two boards will operate the facility, one that will consist of both Seton and LHP members, and another to consist of community leaders and the physicians who work in the hospital.

"Kind of our mantra is while Seton and LHP own the bricks and mortar, it really belongs to the people," Gallagher said.

The process of selecting this board hasn't started yet, but it is one of the next steps, LHP CEO Dan Moen said. The process up until now has been working on preliminary deals to place the facility in the area.

"While health care is a big business nationally, we really do believe the best decisions are made locally," Moen said.

Area physicians have supported this project since its inception, and there is no reason that shouldn't continue, Moen said.

"We are building this hospital primarily because of the good demographic in the market," Moen said. "One of the other reasons we are involved here is because a lot of physicians wanted us in this market."

The hospital's campus also will feature a 60,000-square-foot medical office building. Services provided at the office building will include family practice, internal medicine, cardiology, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, gastroenterology, otolaryngology, nephrology, neurology, oncology, rheumatology and urology.

While LHP has planned building this facility since June, Seton isn't a stranger to the area.

Seton explored entering the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood area about two years ago when it tried to acquire the old Kings Daughter's Hospital. After the facility didn't workout for Seton, the organization continued to look for opportunities to enter the market, Gallagher said.

Contact Mason W. Canales at mcanales@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7554. Follow him on Twitter at KDHheights.

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