St. John Hospital now part of Houston Methodist

3-1 StWith the transfer of majority ownership now complete, both St. John Hospital and Christus St. Catherine Hospital officially joined Houston Methodist Feb. 3. Under this new agreement, the Nassau Bay hospital will continue providing comprehensive care to the greater Clear Lake area.

Houston Methodist St. Catherine soon will be repurposed to a long term acute care hospital to complement the services Houston Methodist already offers the West Houston/Katy community. Under this agreement, Houston Methodist has retained Christus Continuing Care, a division of Christus Health, to manage Houston Methodist St. Catherine Hospital.

“I cannot emphasize enough what a good fit the two organizations are for each other,” said Marc Boom, M.D., president and CEO of Houston Methodist. “This brings together two faith based organizations that share common missions and values. We are especially excited about the opportunity to expand our services to the Clear Lake area, and to work with Christus to open our first continuing care facility.”

Houston Methodist has 15,000 employees caring for patients in seven hospitals, stand-alone emergency departments, imaging centers, physical therapy clinics and a top ranked research institute. Houston Methodist Hospital is consistently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s “Best Hospitals” and is ranked No. 1 in Texas. Fortune has listed Houston Methodist as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America for nine consecutive years.

“We are delighted that St. Catherine and St. John will continue providing high quality, compassionate care to the Katy and Clear Lake communities as part of a faith-based system,” said Ernie Sadau, president and CEO of Christus Health. “This completed transition creates a new, innovative partnership, and ensures that Gulf Coast residents will have access to a full continuum of care right in their own backyard.”

The partners will work together to find new opportunities to serve, innovate and enhance the health care provided throughout the Gulf Coast area. In addition, the Christus Foundation for Healthcare will continue serving the Houston community through its clinics, school-based centers and services for the poor and underserved, which are not part of the transition.

“We welcome the Christus employees to the Houston Methodist family,” Boom said. “Through this business process it became very clear: Christus employees are wholeheartedly dedicated to their patients and their care. This partnership will be a benefit to the entire community.”

The Nassau Bay medical facility’s history actually dates back four decades.

In 1972, Space Center Memorial Hospital opened outside of Houston to serve the 55,000 community members who lived near the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center “to return to the people of our country the benefits in the form of health service dividends produced from space exploration.”

Unfortunately, the facility was closed in September 1974, only 13 months after it opened, by the Federal Housing Administration because the hospital was behind in mortgage payments. It was unoccupied until the federal government took it over and it became a U.S. Public Health Service Hospital.

In 1981, Congress passed an administration bill — part of President Reagan’s budget-cutting proposals — that closed eight Public Health Service hospitals in the United States. The Houston-based Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word Health Care Systems was selected by the federal government to assume control of the Nassau Bay facility. The government chose the Sisters of Charity because of their reputation for providing quality care. The Sisters purchased the facility for $1.

On Dec. 9, 1981, Christus St. John Hospital treated its first patient. The founding sisters of the hospital — Sister Clare Marie, Sister Frances Therese and Sister Edwin Berry — worked night and day to build St. John Hospital into the quality health care facility it is today. The hospital opened to serve the needs of the community, merchant marines and workers for the Department of Defense, as well as Vietnamese and American shrimpers.

In 1982, the hospital was one of the first hospitals to have a layman, rather than a member of the congregation, as administrator. Over the years, Christus St. John Hospital, located across from Johnson Space Center, has been under contract with NASA for provision of the medication kits for the Space Shuttle and for physiological testing for the space program.

A $9 million expansion that was completed in 1989 introduced the concept of suites in the Center for New Life, enlarged the emergency department and improved diagnostic imaging capabilities.

On Jan. 23, 1998, the hospital unveiled its new street name and address. Hospital Boulevard was renamed St. John Drive in an official proclamation from the mayor. The hospital’s founding sisters were forever memorialized in the new street address, since the “3” in 18300 was chosen to represent the three sisters.

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