Citizens Medical Center hires four surgeons

Citizens Medical Center

Citizens Medical Center is hiring four new surgeons who will form the new surgical practice Citizens Victoria Surgical Associates.

All of the physicians will come to the county-owned hospital from Victoria Surgical Associates, the longtime independent specialty surgical group.

The new physicians will begin working for Citizens on Oct. 1, hospital CEO Mike Olson said at a board meeting Wednesday.

The hospital hired Dr. Shahid Hashmi, Dr. John Barber, Dr. Andrew Clemmons and Dr. Hannah Starkey Smith. Hashmi, Barber and Clemmons are all longtime doctors in the Victoria area. Starkey Smith started at Victoria Surgical Associates in August. The Victoria native is returning to the city after completing her residency in Houston, Olson said.

The new practice will be in Citizens’ Building B on the fourth floor, and the physicians will keep their same phone and fax numbers. The hospital will also become the custodian of all of Victoria Surgical Associates’ medical records, Olson said. Existing patients of the practice will receive letters notifying them of the change in ownership.

Citizens and surgeons with Victoria Surgical Associates have been discussing creating a new practice housed under the hospital since early 2019, Olson said.

A message seeking comment from Victoria Surgical Associates was not returned Wednesday.

Citizens will also become home to a long-term hospital, the Post Acute Medical Hospital of Victoria Southeast, Olson said.

Post Acute Medical, a for-profit company based in Pennsylvania, currently operates three hospitals in Victoria. PAM will add a fourth location and will rent space from the sixth floor of Citizens’ south tower, Olson said. That space, which has been unused by the hospital since Hurricane Harvey, has enough room for 20 inpatient beds.

Post Acute Medical’s hospital will operate independently of Citizens, with its own staff and procedures, although PAM has hired Citizens for some of its needs, such as dietary and housekeeping services, Olson said. Long-term acute care hospitals are usually designated for patients who are seriously ill and require constant monitoring but no longer need to stay in the intensive care unit. Patients in these hospitals usually need care for extended periods of time.

PAM signed a 20-year lease to operate on Citizens’ campus, Olson said. Citizens will host a ribbon-cutting for the new “hospital within a hospital” Sept. 19.

This story wa updated Aug. 30, 2019 to clarify the addition of a fourth PAM facility.

Ciara McCarthy covers local health issues for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. You can reach her at cmccarthy@vicad.com or at 580-6597 or on Twitter at @mccarthy_ciara.

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Health Reporter

Ciara McCarthy covers local government for the Advocate as a Report for America corps member. You can contact her by emailing cmccarthy@vicad.com.

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