Orange City Manager Shawn Oubre spoke at last Monday’s Orange County Commissioners Court meeting on the possibility of converting Baptist Orange Hospital into a Veterans Administration Medical Inpatient Hospital.

On Thursday he released a press release detailing the city and the county’s resolution of support for the effort.

Oubre wrote:

With the closing of Inpatient Services at Baptist Hospital Orange, a group of elected and appointed officials, business leaders, and local physicians have come together to look for replacements and alternatives in our medical community.

One suggestion was to use the current Baptist Orange Hospital facility as a VA Inpatient Services location.

Congressman (Brian) Babin and his staff have been very helpful with supplying information and holding a conference call with VA representatives.  No negotiations have occurred between any party and Baptist Hospitals of South East Texas as to the future of the property. I have advised them that the county would be seeking consideration from the VA.

With over 6,000 veterans living in Orange County, the two nearest locations for inpatient care are Houston, TX and Baton Rouge, LA. This may be an opportune time to consider this.

You will see many entities in Orange County supporting a resolution and offering a support letter to be sent to the VA for consideration.

I want to thank the many people involved in the discussions and also thank (County) Judge Brint Carlton, Mayor Jimmy Sims and the City Council of Orange for the many meetings that have occurred to get to this point. Also, assisting in this endeavor have been Mr. Walter Riedel of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation and Dr. Calvin Parker. Lastly, Congressman Babin and his staff for their guidance and support.

 Mary Poole, director of public relations, Baptist Hospital of Southeast Texas, wrote to Oubre to congratulate everyone on their progress thus far on the attempt to secure VA Inpatient Services in Orange County and the efforts of their team are to be commended.

“Please share with your task group, the Commissioners, Congressman Babin and the VA representatives that Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas is very willing to discuss options for the Orange facility, we  are genuinely interested in collaborating to benefit our Veterans,” she wrote. “We look forward to hearing more information as this project progresses. Please stay in touch and keep us posted on the progress.”

Poole concluded by thanking Oubre for taking the time to make a difference to the men and women who have protected our families, our community and our country.