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El Paso Children’s Hospital future uncertain

By: Bill Melugin

EL PASO, Texas The leadership of both University Medical Center and El Paso Childrens Hospital released statements on Friday about the ongoing financial problems surrounding EPCH.

As KFOX14 has reported, EPCH owes UMC $68 million and its future remains uncertain.

UMC board chair William Hanson released the following statement about the ongoing issue.

Id like to make one essential point and that is the reality that El Paso Childrens hospital owes $68 million to University Medical Center, Hanson said. In addition, there is a strong reality that we have to face and that is that UMC provides $30 million per year, $2.5 million per month to effectively subsidize the Childrens Hospital. We greatly appreciate everything that has been done to enhance pediatric care in this community. But we need to recognize that UMC is not a deep-pocketed banker. We are in fact a taxpayer-funded organization and we are incurring losses effectively to subsidize El Paso Childrens Hospital. We cannot afford it, period. We all realize on the board that there are no easy answers. We realize that the choices are difficult. The choices essentially represent trade-offs between the goals and hopes of one organization, versus the goals and hopes of another.

El Paso Childrens Hospital CEO Ray Dziesinski released his own statement.

The leadership of UMC and El Paso Childrens Hospital have engaged in active and ongoing dialogue, including weekly meetings, Dziensinki said. In addition, our management has been non-stop to fully understand and develop an action plan to remedy the current situation. Our board is actively engaged and is taking ownership of the process, and has devoted considerable time to reviewing and evaluation potential options and approving a course of action. In total, the Board of Directors evaluated over two dozen draft resolutions for action. These represent a nothing off the table inventory of potential actions to address and stabilize the financial picture of the El Paso Childrens Hospital. Each resolution was in a format for immediate and simultaneous action, pending the results of the deliberations of that meeting.

UMC and EPCH officials declined any interviews with media.

The UMC board will meet on Tuesday to discuss EPCH further.