The future of emergency medical care for Aransas County residents is evolving quicker than Code3ER’s unexpected shuttering of its operations the morning of April 2 - five days after the initial “Stay at Home” order was issued at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Only Allegiance EMS has provided emergency medical services since April 2.

In the Wednesday, Oct. 7 edition of The Rockport Pilot it was reported residents of Rockport and the surrounding area will once again soon have access to emergency-trained staff, laboratory services, and diagnostic imaging, provided by Corpus Christi Medical Center (CCMC), which will include streamlined admission to CCMC hospitals, if needed.

CCMC plans to open ER 24/7 Rockport, a freestanding emergency center, this winter at 400 Enterprise Blvd. in Rockport.

It will occupy the same space used by Code3ER.

The lease with CCMC was between CCMC and Aransas County Medical Services, Inc. (ACMSI), which owns the property on which the building is located, as well as three other buildings, which house other healthcare-related offices.

A major difference between CCMC’s set up, and the operations of Code3ER and an earlier stand-alone ER that failed, is that this new ER is directly connected to a hospital, and will therefore be able to accept ambulances, government medical insurance, etc.

ACMSI Executive Director Patricia Arnold said, “The ACMSI (a 501C-3 Non-Profit Corporation) was the first to bring high quality medical care to this community and have made it our mission to continue this legacy.

“The ACMSI board of directors established a committee (after Code3ER abruptly shut its doors) to find the best prospect for our residents. We are excited that CCMC will be opening the emergency room at the Enterprise Medical Complex.

“The reopening of a 24-hour ER is consistent with our mission to further strengthen the medical care and support in our region and improve the level and quality of services available to our hometown. It will provide critical care when time is of the essence, reduce overcrowding of hospital ER’s, giving our emergency services (EMS) an avenue to stop and stabilize and be back in service quickly, and give our scholarship recipients a place to work in their hometown.

“ACMSI has been in the forefront of bringing high quality care to our residents and visitors, and we welcome this partnership creating a supportive environment.

“Thank you, CCMC, for seeing a need here and reopening the 24 /7 emergency room.”

The Enterprise Medical Complex is a medical campus that will now include CCMC’s ER 24/7 room (building A); Allegiance EMS and Texas Department of State Health Services Immunization Department (building B), the Dr. G.M. Patillo Memorial Heliport, Harbor Hospice of Gulf Coast (building C and E), Stan Haun, D.O. and Earnest “Kit” Alsop M.D.  family practice (building D, Suite 1), and Victoria Allergy and Asthma, along with South Texas Dermatology (building D, Suite 2). 

“We are blessed to have such a strong medical community,” said Arnold. 

What does this mean for Prop C on the Nov. 3 ballot?

Aransas County officials have received “official” notice from the Texas General Land Office (GLO) about the $10.4 million grant award to help build medical facilities in the community.

(Note: The county, prior to placing Proposition C on the ballot, unofficially were told the grant would be awarded, but just recently received “official” notice.)

County staff is evaluating options for constructing medical facilities in Rockport. Under the process, the county will proceed with a Request for Proposals (RFP) to operate any medical facilities to be built with grant dollars.

The county’s goal is for it to own the facility to be built, and secure a private sector operator to provide medical services.

The county is actively working to forge all the partnerships required to expand medical services in the community, as quickly as possible.

Arnold said Aransas County Judge C.H. “Burt” Mills will meet with the ACMSI board at its Oct. 27 meeting to discuss options, noting passage of Proposition C could compliment and further enhance medical services in the area.

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