By Jim Bardwell
It was like an early Christmas for the City of Gladewater last week when city officials found out they will no longer have to pay $90,000
annually for ambulance service.
According to Gladewater City Manager Ricky Tow, CHRISTUS EMS – formerly Champion EMS – will no longer require cities in its coverage area to pay an annual fee.
According to a letter presented to Tow last week – Stan Holden, CHRISTUS EMS CEO/Senior Vice President, “I am pleased to inform you that Mr. (Chris) Glenney has determined that as of January 1, 2019, CHRISTUS EMS will no longer require a subsidy from the City of Gladewater as set forth in our contract dated July 15, 2013.
“We are pleased to convey this message to you in writing. While our existing contract language will require an amendment to legally execute this change I wanted to convey this important message to you and the City of Gladewater. Although this change requires affirmative action of both parties it is our desire that this change become effective January 1, 2019.”
Holden further explained “As you may be aware Champion EMS
is now a wholly owned subsidiary of CHRISTUS Health, a 501(C)3, non-profit organization based in Irving, Texas. As such Champion EMS was recently rebranded as CHRISTUS EMS effective January 1, 2019. As the Chief Executive Officer and Senior Vice-President of CHRISTUS EMS & Flight For Life I report directly to Mr. Chris Glenney, who is the Senior Vice-President of CHRISTUS Health Group Operations and the President of CHRISTUS Northeast Texas.”
“The subsidy that Champion EMS required of us was quite the unforeseen burden,” said Gladewater Mayor J.D. Shipp. “We had to make cuts to accommodate this annual expenditure to insure we had ambulance services for our community. With this burden now lifted, we can explore how we may best invest this money back into our community. We certainly would like to thank Mr. Chris Glenney and all of the staff at CHRISTUS Health for this decision which will impact not only Gladewater but all of the communities served by CHRISTUS EMS.”