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Two questions were raised in the article entitled "EMS Facts - 1":

Who is Service Organization of the Big Country? What is their business relationship with McCulloch County Hospital District?

The short answers are easy. Service Organization of the Big Country (SOBC) is a non-profit corporation headquartered in Lubbock. Their business relationship with McCulloch County Hospital District is not readily available from online public sources.

The long answer is long - REALLY LONG. We present it only because we want documented facts readily available to the public in one easy-to-access place.

There is some question as to whether SOBC is actually a party to the Interlocal Cooperation Agreement. City records show unequivocally that they are. Others contend that the agreement is with Service Organization of Concho Valley (SOCV). We will consider the City claim to be correct because they present signed documents to back it up (See pages 36 - 43 of 6/3/14 Council Packet). It really doesn't matter whether it is SOBC or SOCV. The basic question concerns their business relationship with McCulloch County Hospital District.

The first fact in the long answer is that SOBC (and SOCV) are non-profit corporations. That means they are NOT subject to Texas Open Meeting and Open Records laws. The are only required to file an annual Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service (See Reference Links below). Keep that fact foremost in your mind whenever you see the words "non-profit corporation".

The City of Brady (a municipality) and McCulloch County Hospital District (a Special Purpose Taxing Authority) are required to adhere to the Texas Open Meeting and Open Records laws.

The McCulloch County Hospital District (MCHD) was formed in 1969. Somewhere along the line between then and now, they took an assumed name and began doing business as (dba) "Heart of Texas Memorial Hospital". MCHD operation is governed by Section 9, Article IX of the Texas Constitution and Texas Special District Local Laws Code Chapter 1059 (See Reference Link Below).

In November of 2010, The Heart of Texas Healthcare System was formed (See Reference Link Below). It is a non-profit corporation set up to "... perform the functions of, or to carry out the purposes of Heart of Texas Memorial Hospital".

By delegating their functions to the non-profit Heart of Texas Healthcare System (HOTHS), the MCHD Board of Directors effectively removed hospital operation from compliance with Texas Open Meetings and Open Records requirements. Other than the annual HOT Healthcare System IRS Form 990 (See Reference Link Below), there is no way for the public to know about the finances or business dealings of the Heart of Texas Healthcare System unless they choose to reveal it voluntarily.

SOCV and SOBC are also non-profit corporations so their agreements (if any) with HOTHS are not a matter of public record.

The McCulloch County Hospital District apparently assigned their duties under the Iterlocal Cooperation Agreement to one or both of them. They are not local so it is unclear just what role they might play in an Interlocal Cooperation Agreement.

Reference Links:


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