History of the Brazosport Medical Center

In late 1997, both the Rev. Michael Gemignani, Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Freeport, and Major Ron Draper, Commander of the Salvation Army for Brazoria County, compared notes and found they had both concluded that there was an urgent need for additional access to primary medical care in the Freeport area. Father Gemignani and Major Draper formed a planning group to seek funds and support for what was originally envisioned to be a part-time free clinic located in Freeport. Eventually this idea became a proposal for a primary care medical facility to include both for-profit (FP) and not-for-profit (NFP) components with the FP components paying rent that would help subsidize the NFP components, but with rent set at a level would attract FP medical providers who would not otherwise be willing to practice in Freeport. 

Father Gemignani obtained a planning grant in early 1998 from Episcopal Health Charities (EHC) enabled what was to become the Community Advisory Board CAB), but which was then working through St. Paul's Episcopal Church, to purchase a building and engage an architect to draw up plans. In the meantime, negotiations went forward with various potential providers to render services at the site. EHC funded the necessary renovations, contracts were signed with prospective providers and the Center then named the Southern Brazoria County Clinic) was opened on March 3, 1999. 

It would be dishonest to say that we did not have substantial startup problems. Unforeseen difficulties almost caused the project to fail several times, but each time a way was found to solve the problem and move ahead. We have now have a stable operation and are able to provide quality services on a regular schedule. At the moment, the Board is financially sound, but we must find a source of funds for future operations since we are no longer supported by Episcopal Health Charities.

Our quality assurance and assessment comes from a process mandated by Episcopal Health Charities using forms of their design. EHC has also made site visits and been pleased with what they found. In April of this year, the Center was admitted to membership in the United Way of Brazoria County. This will provide the Board will stable funding to enable it to continue its goal of providing affordable, quality health care to a medically underserved population.

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