Residents of Rockport and the surrounding area will soon have access to emergency-trained staff, laboratory services, and diagnostic imaging, as well as streamlined admission to Corpus Christi Medical Center (CCMC) hospitals, if needed.

The medical center plans to open ER 24/7 Rockport, a freestanding emergency center, this winter at 400 Enterprise Blvd. in Rockport. The freestanding emergency center will be a much-needed addition to the community, which Hurricane Harvey devastated in 2017. There are currently no emergency medical centers in Aransas County.

“We are expanding our scope of services to meet the growing healthcare needs of the communities we serve,” said CCMC Chief Executive Officer Eric Evans. “Residents of Aransas and surrounding counties will soon have local access to world-class medical care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Aransas County Judge C.H. “Burt” Mills said, “Aransas County Medical Services, Inc. (ACMSI) worked hard on this lease with CCMC, and deserve all the credit.”

ACMSI Executive Director Patricia Arnold said her organization has worked for months working out the details of the lease, which will include all the space previously occupied by Code3ER.

She also noted the ACMSI did not make the announcement when the lease was signed Aug. 25, respecting CCMC’s request to make the announcement.

ACMSI owns and leases three buildings on the property, in addition to the one that housed Code3ER. Those structures are home to Dr. Stan Haun, Dr. Ernest C. Alsop, Victoria Allergy and Asthma Clinic, and South Texas Dermatology; Harbor Hospice; and Allegiance EMS.

“We lease facilities to healthcare providers,” said Arnold.

Earlier stand-alone

ER failures

Aransas County provided Code3ER with $37,500 monthly financial support for almost one year as the struggling stand-alone ER and Urgent Care Center addressed its business model. The monthly stipend to Code3ER was paid from the county’s healthcare sales tax revenue.

Code3ER shut its doors the morning of April 2 - five days after the initial “Stay at Home” order was issued at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Code3ER officials did not provide Judge Mills with a full explanation prior to doing so.

Code3ER was reportedly in negotiations with HCA Healthcare at the time Code3ER closed its doors.

The day Code3ER closed, Judge Mills said, “Our community will have to go back to what it did prior to Code3ER until further notice.”

Code3ER, and the first stand-alone ER, which was located directly south of Ace Hardware, both went out of business. The biggest problem is ambulances could not deliver patients to those facilities, nor could they receive payment from Medicare, etc.

Stand-alone ERs not associated with a hospital operate at a distinct disadvantage, compared to those facilities associated with a hospital.

Exactly how this news will affect the county’s Nov. 3 bond election is unknown. The bond election includes Proposition C (one of three Propositions on the ballot) authorizing the issuance of $1.37 million in bonds to match the county’s $10.47 million grant for a micro-hospital.

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

There has been no official word from Judge Mills regarding future plans, with the announcement made by CCMC.

About CCMC

CCMC has served the Corpus Christi and surrounding Coastal Bend communities for more than 50 years. What began as a 26-bed facility in the early 1960’s has grown into a multi-campus health care system offering a full range of medical services, outstanding clinical care, cutting-edge technology and an award-winning medical residency program. From caring for fragile newborns in the Level III NICU, to providing care for complex cardiovascular patients at The Heart Hospital, CCMC ensures the community receives the highest quality medical care available.

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