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Following is a statement from the Muskogee Medical Center Authority (MMCA) regarding the September 4, 2019 letter from MMCA legal counsel to Saint Francis Health Systems (Saint Francis).

September 6, 2019 – As part of the Muskogee Medical Center Authority’s ongoing work to protect and advance health care in the local Muskogee community, MMCA has had an ongoing dialogue with Saint Francis.  These discussions have involved a potential extension of the lease between MMCA and Saint Francis for Muskogee Medical Center in exchange for future capital and clinical commitments from Saint Francis.

During these discussions, Saint Francis has made clear that it does not desire to make certain payments under the lease that are required in lieu of Saint Francis paying local taxes. A payment of $681,147 for these “in-lieu of tax payments” was due earlier this year and has not yet been paid by Saint Francis.

The funds that Saint Francis is required to pay do not benefit MMCA, but instead are used by Muskogee Public Schools, local libraries, the County Commission, the City of Muskogee, and several other civic organizations. These organizations have stressed the importance of these revenues to their ongoing operations and have encouraged MMCA to enforce St. Francis’ obligations under the lease.  MMCA agrees that the right thing for Saint Francis to do is resolve this issue by promptly paying the $681,147 that is due.

As is stated in the September 4, 2019 letter to Saint Francis, “The annual in-kind payment is a critical source of funding and is relied upon by Muskogee County for a variety of public projects, including support for local libraries and public health initiatives. More than 62% of funds from Saint Francis’ in-kind payment are used to provide sorely-needed funds to the Muskogee Public School District. Should Saint Francis fail to cure its breach, MMCA will pursue legal remedies against Saint Francis.”

Importantly, MMCA remains willing and open to explore options to extend the current lease and expand Saint Francis’ commitments in Muskogee once this important issue is resolved.

  • Muskogee Medical Center Authority Board Backs Current Lease Requirements - 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 Continue Reading