Few have faced greater challenges over the last two years than those working in healthcare. The pandemic has reinforced the value of quality care, and we are thankful to have had the opportunity to tell their stories.
For example, St. David’s HealthCare has been on the frontlines of treating COVID-19 patients, including a 24-year-old woman who tested positive for the virus while pregnant. Jennifer Douglas couldn’t breathe or feel her baby move and went to a nearby hospital in San Marcos. She was transferred to St. David’s Medical Center for a higher level of care and delivered her baby via emergency C-section. Soon after her delivery, she suffered three strokes, likely because of COVID-19. Jennifer made a full recovery, thanks to the care teams at St. David’s Medical Center and St. David’s Rehabilitation hospital. She regrets not getting vaccinated and encourages everyone to get the vaccine.
This pandemic has reminded us that healthcare workers aren’t just treating COVID-19 patients and are critical in keeping our communities healthy. Lily DeVarona, a nurse at St. David’s Surgical Hospital, was reminded of this when she saw Rod Glasper collapse during her trip to the grocery store. Lily performed life-saving CPR on Rod after he went into v-fib arrest and kept his heart pumping until EMS arrived. Rod made a full recovery at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center and had the rare opportunity to thank Lily for saving his life.
And it’s not just hospitals that are providing care to our communities, community-informed nonprofit Texas Health Action employs individuals like Yvonne Venegas who are dedicated to removing barriers to HIV care and prevention. Yvonne is the clinic administrator at Kind Clinic, a program of Texas Health Action, where she is helping to fight HIV and AIDS in San Antonio’s Latinx community. After losing a friend to HIV/AIDS she was inspired to help others in the fight against the virus and ending its spread.
Healthcare organizations like Texas Health Action are using telemedicine to expand access to care in Texas. This April, Texas Health Action launched a statewide telehealth service called TeleKind that provides access to HIV prevention & care and gender affirming care at little to no cost to the patient. Kimberly Shappley, a nurse who transitioned to working online for TeleKind, is part of a team of providers who are caring for patients in the comfort of their own personal space or, “Anywhere a patient can take a cell phone.”
Texas Health Action continues to find unique ways to grow and innovate. In 2022, the organization will team up with Walgreens to open its first Dallas clinic.
We’re proud to work with healthcare organizations, such as St. David’s HealthCare and Texas Health Action, who continue to innovate and provide quality care to Texans.
Katherine (Kat) Griffith is a vice president at ECPR