Men's Breakfast Report, November 2012
The Men’s Breakfast Group met Saturday, November 10th with Nola Copus, director of Brazosport Medical Center. Nola was recruited as director by Mike Gemignani. She was working part time as an office manager for a doctor in Lake Jackson and did not want to take on another part-time job. She was requested several times to take the job and avoided a commitment. One evening she told her husband that she definitely would not take the job and would call Mike and decline. After a long conversation trying to decline the job, she ended up taking it for a ninety day trial. This eventually turned into the full time directorship of the clinic.
The Brazosport Medical Clinic was set up by Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church and father Mike Gemignani because there were no longer doctors in Freeport and many people in Freeport were unable to get medical care because they had no insurance or they could not find a doctor that would accept Medicaid. After Mike Gemignani retired John Smith III became board Chairman of the clinic. John was instrumental in getting cooperation with doctors in Lake Jackson and The Brazosport Hospital.
The clinic provides the building and staff but does not actually hire the medical providers. This way it avoids having to buy malpractice insurance. The clinic provides medical, dental and vision services. Our pastor, Lee Attema, is the nurse practitioner medical provider. The clinic provides services to patients with Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance and cash payers. It also provides some care for indigents with no means of payment. There are only limited funds for providing indigent care. The clinic does not serve illegal aliens but will serve their children. Reduced fee patients must also be residents of Brazoria County.
There are ongoing discussions with the Stephen F Austin Clinic in Alvin to make the medical part of the Brazosport Medical Center a subsidiary of the Alvin Clinic. This would affect only the Medical provider. Since the Stephen F. Austin Clinic is a federally subsidized clinic the payments to the medical practitioner would increase substantially over the Medicaid payments. However the increased payments would have to be shared with various bureaucrats so the increase is not all profit.
The center is funded by various sources. The Episcopal Church provided initial funding and still provides some funding. The United Way and the county also provide funds. Commissioner Dude Payne used excess building funds to renovate some offices. Donations are accepted for the Center. The annual John Smith III fundraiser also provides funds for the cente
The men had in interesting discussion and a good breakfast. The next meeting will be December 8th with Majors Mario and Lola Maldonado of the Salvation Army as featured guests.