Citizens to purchase pathology lab, building

Elena Watts By Elena Watts

Aug. 6, 2014 at 5:45 p.m.

Citizens Medical Center is buying Regional Medical Laboratory and its building that sits across the street from the hospital.

Members of the hospital's board of directors unanimously agreed to the purchase it at their monthly board meeting Tuesday.

Citizens has leased the second floor of the building for its information technology and home health operations for at least 20 years, Steven Thames, chief operating officer for the hospital, said.

The two-story, 10,000-square-foot building at 2807 N. Ben Wilson St. is appraised at $780,000, Thames said.

Dr. Leonard Gietz, a pathologist, owns the building and Regional Medical Laboratory.

"The building is contiguous to the hospital campus, and the purchase is part of a long-term plan to make sure we have space to grow over time," Thames said.

The purchase also secures a large portion of the market share for outpatient laboratory services, allows the hospital to partner with the community and provides a good rate of return on the hospital's investment, he said.

Citizens Medical Center and Regional Medical Laboratory have worked together for many years, Thames said.

"This is consistent with what we've always done," he said. "We will continue to work with Dr. Gietz and the pathology group, but in a tighter relationship."

Gietz was out of the country and unavailable for comment, and his laboratory manager declined to comment.

The decision is pending approval by the Victoria County Commissioners Court this month.



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