MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Oct. 30, 2018 – During today’s Muskogee Medical Center Authority (Authority) meeting, the Authority’s seven trustees voted unanimously to maintain the protections in its current lease agreement with Saint Francis. The vote follows a series of discussions between the Authority and Saint Francis about the ownership structure for the Muskogee hospital.

“We understand the value of local healthcare and take our role as guardians of the hospital seriously,” said Al Stevens, Authority Board of Trustees Chairman. “After thoughtful deliberation, the Board concluded it would be in the best interest of our community for the Authority to maintain our current lease with Saint Francis. The Board feels strongly about maintaining local oversight of the hospital, so our community continues to have access to quality care.”

Contractual requirements are included in the lease agreement with Saint Francis, which guarantee the hospital will continue to provide a wide range of local services, collaborate with physicians and nurses and be a good community partner.

“Our hospital is an incredibly valuable asset to the people of Muskogee,” said Jim Blair, Authority President and Ex Officio Board Member, “Not only providing for the health of our residents, but also contributing to our local economy by providing jobs, and educational opportunities. The current lease agreement protects Muskogee residents’ quality of life and our community’s overall economic well-being.”

Saint Francis Health System, based in Tulsa, has operated the Muskogee hospital since 2017. Currently Saint Francis leases the Muskogee hospital from the Authority, and the Authority works with Saint Francis to ensure Muskogee residents have access to quality, local care.

“We have ongoing conversations with Saint Francis to ensure Muskogee has access to the services we need today and to prepare for the future,” said Stevens. “We will continue to work with the city council, physicians and community members to secure strong, local access to high-quality care today and for generations to come.”

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