After months of planning, on Jan. 2, 2002, McCulloch County will see the consolidation of two of Brady’s medical clinics to form Brady Medical Clinic, P.A. Doctors Lonnie Vickers, MD, J.H. Allen, MD and Pete Castro, DO, have joined together in a private partnership and purchased the clinic that is currently operated by West Texas Medical Associates (WTMA) and known as Brady Doctors Clinic. The new medical association will be an independent group of physicians managed on a local level. “As doctors in the group, we will continue to participate in all insurance plans in which we are currently involved,” said Dr. Vickers. “The opportunity came about giving us the chance to divest ourselves of our managerial affiliations with Shannon Regional Medical Center and with West Texas Medical Associates. As a locally owned and managed professional association, we are looking not only to better serve Brady, but the entire area as well.” The plans for the merger have been developed during the past year and final arrangements were made this week. According to the doctors involved, the current management affiliations with Shannon and WTMA will cease on Dec. 31. The doctors of the group emphasized, however, that the Brady Medical Clinic will continue a professional relationship with Shannon Hospital and San Angelo Community Hospital and their medical staffs although ownership, business and managerial relationships have ended. “We believe that the formation of the Brady Medical Clinic Professional Association is in the best interest of our patients, our local hospital and our medical practice,” said Dr. Vickers. The new group is currently in the process of switching business managers and preparing for the transfer of ownership. Office personnel and computer and medical records are being transferred this week in preparation for the move to the new facility. The goal of the doctors is to continue health care service the same as usual with the only difference being two clinics combined into one. The same people will be greeting patients and the doctors will offer the same customer-oriented service as before. “When we close for New Year’s weekend, we will open our doors the next week at the new facility without missing a beat,” said Vickers. Although the physicians at the Brady Medical Clinic will be an independent group, they have and continue to work in close contact with Heart of Texas Memorial Hospital administrator Windell McCord and the board of directors to ensure a smooth transition. “Both the board and I fully support the doctors in this merger and will continue to support them in any way that we possibly can,” said hospital administrator Windell McCord.