Leadership Temple Class of 2023 Participants: Amanda Carlson, Jeff Clark, & Ben Lopez
The 2022-2023 Leadership Temple class embarked on the day to learn about health care in the Temple area. The day started with meeting at the Temple Community Clinic (TCC) located at 1905 Curtis B. Elliott Drive to learn about the work and impact TCC provides citizens in this area.
Sherri Woytek, Executive Director, and Hollie Spin, Patient Care Program Manager, provided introductions and a tour of the facility. A history of TCC revealed that it was the vision and project of the Leadership Temple class of 1991. Woytek explained TCC began to fill a gap and serve working people who could not afford health care, even when insured, due to high deductibles.
According to Spin, in 2022, 1,334 patients have been taken care of [at TCC], resulting in a community benefit of $5,642,415. The ability to provide this benefit to the community helps create a healthy community that places less strain on the already strained health care system. The overall benefit to the community has been well worth the efforts, and the vision of the 1991 Leadership Temple class continues to provide a significate service to the Temple community.
The day continued with a visit with Chief Medical Officer Jeff Bates, MD and Chief Executive Officer David Byrom from Coryell Health. Coryell Health has a new Medical Clinic at 6208 West Adams in Temple. The Temple clinic is a part of the branching out of services provided by Coryell Memorial Hospital located in Temple’s backyard, Gatesville, Texas.
According to CMO Bates, the goal of Coryell Health is “putting the patient first with access to affordable and fast medical services". Bates said, “when patients require services like CT scans or MRI, we are able to schedule those procedures within just a day or two of being seen by a physician". CEO Byrom explained that Coryell Health is financially sound and has excellent staff and services to provide the Central Texas area with high quality medical care.
The class then met with leadership from the Baylor College of Medicine at the Temple Campus. According to Alicia Dunn, Chief of Staff to Dr. Alejandro Arroliga, Regional Dean of the Baylor College of Medicine, “the Temple Campus of the Baylor College of Medicine wants to recruit doctor candidates that want to be a part of the Temple community".
The Temple Campus will welcome its inaugural class of medical students in summer 2023. This class of medical students will be the first to study a new problem-based learning curriculum created to better train and equip students to handle residency. According to Baylor College of Medicine Senior Faculty member Stephen Christopher Charles, PhD, the new curriculum allows more clinical time and less time in lectures.
To conclude the day, the class met with Alita Risinger, Regional CFO for Baylor Scott & White Health – Central Texas, for an enlightening briefing about the healthcare system and the challenges faced during the pandemic.
The healthcare system in Temple features the only Level 2 Children's Hospital between Austin and Dallas and accounts for one of 18 Level 1 trauma centers in Texas. The Temple system offers a complete continuum of care and innovative industry-leading procedures and care in cardiology, transplants, robotic surgeries, and more, attracting people to Temple from near and far – not only for patients but medical professionals as well.
The pandemic presented unprecedented challenges for all, but arguably it impacted the healthcare industry most drastically. The Central Texas Region Leadership team had to change their entire operational model, essentially overnight, at the onset of the pandemic and is faced with keeping their practitioners and personnel healthy and safe, caring for the well-being of the community, all while managing variables such as supply chain, bed capacity, and workforce.
The class learned how the regional system faced the initial wave of COVID-19 cases in 2020 through current operations. It was enlightening to learn what was happening with our largest hospital system in Bell County and how this affected the level of care that was available to our community.
The Leadership Temple class key takeaway from health care day was unmistakable: challenges and all, wellness is a top priority for the community of Temple.