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September 1, 1999






Hillcrest Medical Center
seeks changes with BGCT

___By Ken Camp
___Texas Baptist Communications
___DALLAS--At the request of Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center's board of trustees, the Human Welfare Coordinating Board is recommending that the Baptist General Convention of Texas approve an agreement allowing the Waco-based health care center to include a minority of non-Baptists on its governing board.
___At its Aug. 20 meeting in Dallas, the coordinating board unanimously voted to present to the BGCT annual session in El Paso, Nov. 8-9, a recommended relationship agreement proposed by Hillcrest trustees.
___The new relationship agreement would allow the medical center to broaden its base of support locally by including some non-Baptist community leaders and physicians on its board of trustees.
___Baptists elected by the BGCT would continue to hold a simple majority on the board. The remainder would be appointed by Hillcrest Health System.
___Hillcrest Health System and Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center both are not-for-profit, tax-exempt corporations. The health system coordinates operations and services other than the medical center and hospital functions, including an HMO, clinics and the development corporation that owns the clinics' land and buildings.
___The medical center would continue to send reports to the BGCT, and at least one of the BGCT-elected trustees would serve on the health system's board. In case of dissolution of the institution, remaining assets would be pledged to the BGCT.
___The Hillcrest request follows a recent pattern of Baptist hospitals seeking new forms of governance, both in Texas and across the nation.
___"The situation that exists today in the health care industry is critical for many hospitals, including Baptist ones," said Ed Rogers, director of the Human Welfare Coordinating Board. "The Balanced Budget Act of last year along with many other pressures has put these institutions in a fight for their lives.
___"Recognizing these factors and that hospitals are essentially local institutions, ... the Human Welfare Coordinating Board is attempting to assist in developing the type of relationships to the BGCT that will allow each of them to continue to be strong and viable as health care entities as well as continue to be partners with the BGCT in ministry."

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