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Harris Health System Board of Trustees Approves New Medical School Agreements

HOUSTON, Texas (Feb. 28, 2020) — The Harris Health System Board of Trustees Thursday approved two separate affiliation agreements with Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) for the provision of medical services to patients of Harris Health which take effect July 1, 2020.

“We are excited to continue this decades long partnership with the medical schools that will result in some of the best physicians in the nation, who work and train at these schools, taking care of Harris Health patients,” said Anne Clutterbuck, chair, Harris Health System Board of Trustees.

Previously, the two medical schools contracted with Harris Health through a joint coordinating entity, Affiliated Medical Services (AMS), to provide physician staffing at Ben Taub and Lyndon B. Johnson hospitals as well as 46 other clinical locations.

“We’ve been operating with the schools under a framework that was developed more than 25 years ago, and healthcare has changed dramatically during that time,” said George V. Masi, president and CEO, Harris Health System. “The new contracts reflect the realities of today’s medical landscape and provide the flexibility required to address the changing needs of our community.”

Although each agreement is for a term of 15 years, all parties have ensured the agreements prioritize continuous improvement in the quality of care that Harris Health patients receive.

“This is a tremendous step forward for Harris Health and will benefit the patients we serve for years to come,” added Masi, who retires Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. “I am pleased to have this work completed, and look forward to seeing Harris Health and our medical staff partners flourish under these agreements.”

“The agreement between Baylor College of Medicine and Harris Health is significant for a number of reasons,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean of the College. “The Harris Health system and Ben Taub Hospital are important to all areas of Baylor’s mission – providing excellent patient care, offering the latest in research advances and overseeing the education and training of physicians by highly talented faculty members. We are honored to continue to care for the residents of Harris County through this long-standing partnership.”

“UTHealth faculty and trainees have provided exceptional, high-quality medical care to patients at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital and affiliated clinics for three decades. We are pleased to continue serving the community and closely collaborating with our partners at Harris Health System,” said Dr. Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, president of UTHealth. “We would also like to thank George Masi for five years of leadership, and look forward to continuing our institutions’ strong and productive relationship with Dr. Esmaeil Porsa.”

The agreement with UTHealth requires subsequent approval by The University of Texas Board of Regents at their next meeting in May.