Good Shepherd Health System Selects Duke LifePoint Healthcare as Potential Partner

Follow Us: FacebooktwitterrssFacebooktwitterrssby feather

Proposed transaction will bring significant capital investments and resources to strengthen Good Shepherd hospitals and add new tax revenue to support local economies

 Longview, TEXAS – The Good Shepherd Health System today announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding to be acquired by Duke LifePoint Healthcare, subject to approval of the amended lease by the Gregg County Commissioners Court. The proposed acquisition would provide additional resources to help Good Shepherd enhance its services and thrive in the future.

This agreement is the result of a strategic planning process initiated by the Good Shepherd Health System’s Board of Directors and leadership team in August 2015.

As a first step, Good Shepherd will be working appropriately through the Gregg County Commissioners Court to amend its current lease for purposes of the acquisition. As part of the acquisition, Duke LifePoint has agreed to continue important community commitments outlined in the lease agreement with Gregg County, including indigent and charity care and 24-hour emergency services.

“Our Board of Directors followed a thoughtful process vetting several suitors before selecting Duke LifePoint as a potential partner for our hospital,” said Good Shepherd President and CEO Steve Altmiller. “Joining Duke LifePoint offers significant benefits to our patients, employees, physicians and community. It can provide Good Shepherd with sustainable access to capital and new resources, enabling us to navigate the challenges of health care today and strengthen our hospital for the future.”

Formed in 2011, Duke LifePoint is an innovative joint venture of Duke University Health System, a non-profit organization and one of the country’s foremost academic health systems, and LifePoint Health, a leading health care company dedicated to making communities healthier. The growing organization draws on the top-ranked patient safety and clinical quality systems of Duke and LifePoint’s operational expertise and experience in helping community hospitals succeed. It has a strong reputation for quality care, operations excellence and financial strength.

“We are confident joining Duke LifePoint will allow us to continue to advance health care services in East Texas for generations to come,” said Bill Huffman, chair of the Board of Directors for Good Shepherd Health System. “We believe Duke LifePoint is the right fit for our system, offering clinical expertise, financial resources and a strong commitment to providing the highest quality care for the community.”

As part of the proposed acquisition, Duke LifePoint has committed to making significant capital investments in technology, equipment and facility improvements. Also, as part of Duke LifePoint, Good Shepherd would become a local taxpayer, providing an important new source of tax revenue to support the local economy.

William J. Fulkerson Jr., M.D., executive vice president of Duke University Health System, commented, “Good Shepherd Health System shares Duke LifePoint’s commitment to providing high-quality care and promoting a culture of safety and collaboration. We see tremendous opportunity for it to make an even bigger impact in the East Texas region and are pleased to be working through the next steps of our proposed relationship.”

The parties are now beginning a process of due diligence. They will negotiate the terms of a definitive agreement and begin state and federal regulatory reviews. Once completed, the transaction is anticipated to be finalized later this year.

“We are honored to have been selected by the Board of Directors of Good Shepherd as their preferred partner for the system,” said William F. Carpenter III, chairman and chief executive officer of LifePoint Health. “Duke LifePoint is committed to keeping quality care close to home, and we look forward to working closely with the talented team at Good Shepherd and together enhancing and expanding the exceptional work already taking place in their facilities.”

Duke LifePoint currently operates 14 hospitals in four states and a company that offers hospital-based catheterization labs and mobile catheterization services.

SHARE Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Game Warden Field Notes …

Follow Us: FacebooktwitterrssFacebooktwitterrssby feather

The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.

Stuck in the Mud

Val Verde County game wardens patrolling the Rio Grande River encountered a Spanish goat stuck in deep mud along the bank. It had apparently been there for several days and was facing almost certain death had the wardens not taken action. As goats are prone to do, this one began to eat immediately after the wardens freed it. One goat saved.

Repeat, Repeat Offenders

A Bowie County game warden observed a truck that he’d received several complaints on and, recognizing the driver from prior contacts, knew that he did not have a valid driver’s license and made a traffic stop. The driver admitted to driving while license suspended, but also appeared extremely nervous. When asked if there was anything illegal in vehicle, the driver replied “It’s not my truck” and told the warden he’d have to ask the owner, his dad, who was sitting in the passenger seat with a large pitbull in his lap. The passenger consented to a search of the vehicle and the warden discovered a meth pipe in the ashtray and a pistol hidden in the seat. Both suspects were convicted felons multiple times over and although neither claimed the pistol nor the meth pipe, both were arrested and transported to Bowie County Jail. Once at the jail, staff conducted another search and found meth, marijuana and another meth pipe in the dad’s underwear. Both suspects were booked for multiple violations. Information gained during the stop resulted in another agency conducting a traffic stop and making two more drug related arrests.

Snapping Turtle Photos Snap Back

Information on a subject who had captured an alligator snapping turtle and posted pictures of the protected reptile on Facebook sparked an investigation that resulted in the recovery of several items of drug paraphernalia and items that had been used to catch the turtle. Game wardens also discovered evidence that one of the subjects at the residence had been fishing illegally. The wardens determined that the turtle had already been released near Lake Wright Patman. Several citations and warnings for the violations that had been committed were issued. Cases pending.

Unable to Net Culprits, This Time

While hiking up stream between Lake Worth and Eagle Mountain Lake, a Tarrant County game warden stopped at an old fishing camp known as Vance’s Camp, which hasn’t been used for years. While inspecting the area the warden noticed a lot of nets laying around with no one in the area. As he investigated further, he found the first of three illegal hoop nets. The first net was near the bank brushed up in high weeds. As the warden continued to search the area, he came across an old rope buried in high weeds leading into the creek. When the warden pulled the rope up, he found two more hoop nets. He gathered the illegal equipment and waited for quite some time for signs of anyone who may have been monitoring the nets, but no one ever came. The investigation is ongoing.

Using Their Noodle

A pair of East Texas game wardens working a catfish noodling tournament weigh in observed a team. with three large catfish; one with multiple scars. After interviewing the three team members, wardens obtained confessions the fish were caught using illegal means and went to Lake Tawakoni to seize evidence, where they located one large snag pole and two turning sticks. Subjects were filed on for catching fish with illegal means and methods.

Rocks and Rolled

A Tyler County game warden was patrolling near Steinhagen Lake when he observed two men operating an ATV on a public roadway. The warden pulled the subjects over and asked them where they were headed. The driver said they were getting rock for a driveway. While interviewing the subjects, the warden observed two black camera cases linked together on the back of the ATV near the passenger. Due to the ATV passenger’s nervous reactions, the warden requested to look in the cases and discovered two syringes and what appeared to be a marijuana joint. After placing the subjects in handcuffs for officer safety the warden called a Martin Dies State park police officer for assistance. A field test was done on a sample of the syringe contents and a positive result was received for methamphetamine. The passenger was arrested and booked in the Tyler County Jail for possession of a controlled substance.  An additional charge of possession of marijuana was also filed. The ATV operator was cited for operating an ATV on a public roadway.

A Big Mouth Bass

A Freestone County Game Warden observed a group of men at Fairfield Lake scaling tilapia at a fish cleaning table. As the warden was talking to the men, he observed a largemouth bass on a stringer with several tilapia and asked if they caught all of the fish in a cast net, to which one replied “yes” and stated he had caught all of the fish. When informed that bass could not legally be taken with a net, he stated he did not know and it was his first time. The warden looked around and found three more freshly caught bass shoved under a concrete ledge on the cleaning table. The warden questioned the man about those and he admitted the bass were his. After checking the man for priors through the department, it was discovered that he had been filed on multiple times for similar violations. Case pending.

Working on their Night Moves

Chambers County game wardens recently completed a year-long investigation of an Operation Game Thief case resulting in the arrest of six subjects. In February 2015, a caller claimed to have heard an oyster boat operating after dark near his waterside home. The wardens responded to the area by boat and as they idled toward the dock, they surveyed the area with night vision. Two vehicles and a few individuals were seen fleeing the scene. At the dock, they found an oyster boat full of unsacked oysters. The wardens maintained surveillance of the scene well into the morning. At about 9:15 a.m. a vehicle returned to the scene and two men began sacking up the oysters. The wardens made contact with the suspects and began their investigation. Sixteen sacks of oysters were returned to the reef and the three subjects were released. Over the next few months phone records were subpoenaed helping to corroborate the details of the case and arrest warrants were obtained for night dredging. Cases pending.

Rapid Response

Lubbock area game wardens patrolled the Buffalo Springs Lake area in conjunction with the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration. The annual event brought thousands of concert goers, campers, boaters, and OHV riders to the lake and surrounding area. That afternoon game wardens responded to a reported accident on the Buffalo OHV trails area where a Jeep had rolled down a steep embankment into a ravine and a passenger had sustained serious injuries. One of the wardens, a certified EMT, treated the victim and coordinated getting her out of the deep ravine and up to an awaiting ambulance. Another warden led the investigation into the driver’s possible intoxication, having noticed the strong smell of alcohol on his breath and a large pile of alcoholic beverage containers that had fallen from the Jeep as it rolled. Medical staff later noted that the woman’s life had been saved due to the quick response, treatment, extrication, and transport. The driver was arrested and booked into the Lubbock County Jail on a charge of Intoxication Assault, pending the results of a blood draw and the passenger’s medical outcome.

Mud Holds Hog Poachers at Bay

A game warden responded to an early morning call from the Cochran County Sheriff’s Office in reference to a hunt without landowner consent complaint. Upon arrival at the scene, the warden discovered four subjects from Clovis, New Mexico stuck in the mud on the ranch. The subjects had been hunting feral hogs on the ranch with the aid of several hog dogs and had failed to obtain consent from the landowner. The warden arrested all four subjects for hunting without the landowner’s consent, no valid Texas hunting license and no proof of hunter education.  Cases pending.

Party Boat Overboard

A Travis County game warden was notified that a large party boat was docked at Mansfield Dam Park on Lake Travis and taking aboard passengers. A Travis County park police officer had made contact with the vessel operators earlier in the day and at that time they could not produce any required documentation of being compliant as a registered party boat. The warden arrived prior to the vessel’s departure and interviewed several carloads of passengers, who disclosed that they had paid to board the vessel for a party, rather than being “friends” as boasted by the vessel operator earlier. The vessel operator was cited multiple times and arrested on outstanding warrants. The rowdy crowd that had amassed for boarding were told to disband and leave the park due to the vessel not being compliant, for minors in possession and consumption of alcohol.


SHARE Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather


Follow Us: FacebooktwitterrssFacebooktwitterrssby feather
Weldon’s Biennial School Reunion set
Former students, graduates, teachers, staff, support staff, parents, children and neighbors in the Weldon community will return to the “Bumble Bee” hive as they gather at the school wide reunion, July 1-3, 2016.
Registration for the three days event is $60.00 . Annual membership is $20.00. Fri and Sat events will be held held at the former student alumni building. On Sunday morning, church worship will be at a local church.
The host for this biennial reunion are the classes of 1965 and 1966. Many activities are planned that include a basketball game between the men from both of these two classes. Come Join Us and have a great weekend.
Ellis graduates Air Force basic training
U.S. Air Force Airman Austin R. Ellis graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.
Ellis is the son of Bree N. and Zachery C. Ellis of Gladewater and is a 2014 graduate of Gladewater High School.
The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.
Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Area fireworks set for July 2-3
The “Fireworks at Lake Gladewater” will be held Saturday, Jul 2 from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Lake Gladewater.
Admission is free.
On July 3, the East Texas Yamboree Association’s annual fireworks show and patriotic celebration for Independence Day on Sunday night, July 3, at Jeff Traylor Stadium. Admission is free.
Opry lineup listed
The Gladewater Opry will host Clinton Gandy, Sam Brannan, Todd Mitchell, April Sanders, Davy Hamilton, Donny Turrentine, Madalaine Lane, Ernie Cox and The Texas Smoke Band this Saturday at 8 p.m. at 108 East Commerce. Adult tickets are $10, children are $5.
Summer meals now available for children
AUSTIN – School is out for the summer, and that means many Texas children will have to face summer days without enough food to eat. They are among the nearly two million young Texans who are food insecure, meaning that they don’t always know where their next meal is coming from. However, Texas children don’t have to go hungry this summer.
Call 211, or visit TDA’s online meal site locator at or text FOODTX to 877-877.
Bailey’s Ace Hardware tomato growing contest
Bailey’s Ace Hardware is sponsoring its first tomato growing contest. Bailey’s Ace Hardware wants to see what East Texas gardeners are made of. Earn best tomato bragging rights and a $100 gift certificate if you grow the biggest tomato.
Bring your tomato in to Bailey’s Ace Hardware anytime between now and June 20 to have your prize tomato weighed and measured. One winner per location. That means three winners in all at either Gladewater, Mineola or Daingerfield store locations.
For more details call 903-845-5787 or email
Free Health services for uninsured
The East Texas Medical & Dental Outreach team will host free basic medical care and dental screenings for UNINSURED East Texans 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 28-29 at Van Junior High School at 630 South Oak Street in Van.
For more information call 1-877-340-8842. Provided by Northeast Texas Public Health District.
Lee Library Story Time on Thursdays
Lee Public Library invites young children to the library for story time on Thursdays. A movie will be shown right after the story. 
All activities are free to the public.  The library is located at 312 W. Pacific Ave., Gladewater, Texas.  For more information, call the library at 903-845-2640.
Storytime is on Thursday in Gilmer
GILMER–Two books will be read to small children at both of the Upshur County Library’s weekly “Storytime” sessions Thursday.
“Oddrey Joins the Team” by Dave Whamond, and “Kicking a Ball” by Allan Ahlberg, will be read at the 10 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. sessions at the library, 702 W. Tyler (which is also Texas Hwy. 154.)
A craft will follow Storytime, said Debbie White of the library’s Children’s Services division.
The events are free to the public, but children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call the library at (903) 843-5001 or visit its website at
All call for public school retirees
All public school retirees are urged to attend the last organizational meeting for a new unit of the Texas Retired Teachers organization this Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at White Oak Community Center.
Health insurance benefits for retirees have just been lowered by the state and costs are slated to rise without a cost of living increase which will result in many retirees’ declining standard of living.
It is essential that ALL former school employees join together to protect their retirement benefits. The new retiree unit will, along with other units throughout the state work to protect these benefits and keep retirees informed.
To protect retirement and standard of living retirees are urged to attend Thursday’s meeting at White Oak Community Center.
Texas Shakespeare Fest June 30 – July 31
The Texas Shakespeare Festival will open its 30th season Thursday, June 30, in Van Cliburn Auditorium on the Kilgore campus. This year’s plays include:
· “The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare; directed by Leslie Reidel
· “Henry V” by William Shakespeare; directed by Stephen Wyman
· “Blithe Spirit” by Noel Coward; directed by Nathanael Johnson
· “The Belle of Amherst” by William Luce; directed by Raymond Caldwell
· “Carousel” (musical) by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein; directed and choreographed by Stephen Terrell.
· “Spirit of the Sea” (children’s show), written and directed by Jason Richards
The TSF will run through July 31. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit or call the box office at 903-983-8601.
The box office, located in the Anne Dean Turk Fine Arts Building, is open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

SHARE Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather