Corpus Christi Lags Behind Even Smaller Communities When It Comes To Healthcare

Brady Chandler 
The Southside Light 
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Corpus Christi—Updated numbers from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services show that while places such as Tyler, Temple, Harlingen and Edinburg have Level I stroke care facilities, Corpus Christi is still lagging behind, according to state statistics which were last updated on July 9, 2019. 

While Corpus Christi has a population of over 325,000 citizens, it is only serviced by a Level II designated stroke facility. That facility is identified as Christus Spohn Shoreline which is, according to the state designated as a primary stroke treatment facility. 

Tyler, which has a population of almost 105,000 residents has one Level I stroke center and is capable of what the state calls “comprehensive” treatment. Places like Harlingen and Edinburg also have those Level I Comprehensive facilities calling their cities home despite being far less populated than Corpus Christi. 

When it comes to having a heart attack, Corpus Christi residents also find themselves at being highly “at-risk” according to government data—even more at risk than even smaller cities. And while area healthcare providers do a fairly decent job at employing their spin doctors to the topic, the data is far more telling. 

“Corpus Christi has been an area of concern in Texas for awhile now,” says Mark Maldonado who researches healthcare data for various agencies and organizations. “We are continually looking for ways to improve the healthcare of Texans and like with anything, the first thing that you have to do is admit that there is a problem and we have not seen that from officials in Corpus Christi.” 

Admitting that there is a problem is hard to do and Corpus Christi is home to at least 3 fairly decent sized hospitals, so why are the numbers stacked against the community when it comes to healthcare? 

Maldonado does not necessarily agree that the odds are totally against you in Corpus Christi, but they are certainly not in your favor. 

“While you can get really good aftercare in Corpus Christi, it is that initial treatment that is so critical to a patient reaching suitable recovery points,” he says. 

Maldonado points out that the data shows that Corpus Christi has also lost out on vital healthcare investment dollars in comparison to places such as Tyler, Temple and Edinburg. 

“The reason for this is complacency within the system and a lack of competition,” says Maldonado. “Temple has been a major hub for years. So has Tyler. Those who are in charge in Corpus Christi seem to feel that new construction means better care and that is just not the case.” 

Maldonado points out how the newly revitalized Christus Spohn Shoreline has been undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation and even with the talk of new equipment and treatment facilities, they are still lagging far behind. 

“Corpus Christi needs to compete for vital healthcare investment dollars and right now, we are just not seeing that happen,” he says. “It is a matter of priorities and healthcare treatment and innovation is not really on the radar.” 

That he says should have us all concerned.