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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Wesley Barron, a licensed vocational nurse, worked in an office staffed by two pediatric physicians. While employed at that office, Barron reported her concerns about the way one of the pediatric physicians treated patients. Specifically, she complained that the physician was not providing adequate care or prescribing adequate medication to children who came in with respiratory problems. Barron reported these complaints to the office administrator. The administrator investigated the situation the following week and suspended Barron until completion of the administrative review process. The office ultimately terminated Barron. Shortly thereafter, Barron filed suit against Cook Children’s Health Care System (CCHCS) and Cook Children’s Physician Network (CCPN), seeking relief pursuant to Texas Health & Safety Code �161.134 and claiming that CCHCS and CCPN terminated her employment because she reported violations of law. CCHCS and CCPN moved for summary judgment on grounds that CCHCS was not a proper party to the suit, that neither CCHCS nor CCPN were entities subject to �161.134, and that Barron never reported a violation of law. The trial court granted summary judgment on the latter two grounds. Barron timely filed a motion for new trial and a notice of appeal. HOLDING:Affirmed. Section 161.134, the court stated, provides that a “hospital, mental health facility, or treatment facility may not suspend or terminate the employment of or discipline or otherwise discriminate against an employee for reporting . . . a violation of law.” The plain language of the statute, the court stated, limits its application to three types of entities: hospitals, mental health facilities and treatment facilities. Barron, the court stated, contended that CCHCS and CCPN are treatment facilities covered by the statute, because the term “treatment facility” encompasses “primary care facilities” and “outpatient care facilities.” Chapter 161′s definitions, the court stated, provide that a treatment facility has the meaning assigned by Section 464.001. Section 464.001 defines terms contained in Chapter 464, a chapter entitled “Facilities Treating Alcoholics and Drug-Dependent Persons.” Section 464.001 defines “treatment” as a planned, structured and organized program designed to initiate and promote a person’s chemical-free status or to maintain the person free of illegal drugs. CCHCS and CCPN contended that the definition of treatment facility also found in �464.001 is modified by the same statute’s definition of “treatment.” Specifically, CCHCS and CCPN contended that a primary care facility or outpatient care facility under �464.001 includes only those facilities that offer treatment as defined by �464.001. The rules of statutory construction, the court stated, support CCHCS’ and CCPN’s position, because ��161.134 and 464.001 are clear and unambiguous. The court therefore held that �161.134(a) applied to any treatment facility included in �464.001(5) but only so long as such entity has a planned, structured and organized program designed to initiate and promote a person’s chemical-free status or to maintain the person free of illegal drugs. Barron, the court stated, produced no evidence to show that either CCHCS or CCPN had a program to initiate and promote a person’s chemical-free status or to maintain the person free of illegal drugs. Because neither CCHCS nor CCPN was a treatment facility, the court held that applicable law entitled CCHCS and CCPN to summary judgment as a matter of law. OPINION:Walker, J.; Holman, Gardner and Walker, J.J.

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