Day In the District

31 Mar

With all the hoopla about health care reform, it seems like most Houstonians don’t understand or value the jewel in their own backyard. Harris County has safety net health care – and it is paid for with a mixture of property taxes, federal grants and reimbursements (which will change with healthcare reform), and individuals paying for care. Any resident of Harris County is eligible to apply for discounted healthcare. And the best part is, you don’t have to come through an emergency room to receive traditional care! You can call and set up an appointment at one of 14 Community Health Centers, or at the Ben Taub Urgent Care clinic, adjacent to the Emergency Center.

One of the best-kept secrets is that the poor, homeless, underinsured, and uninsured of Harris County are receiving some of the best care in the world. Why? The two major hospitals, Ben Taub and Lyndon B. Johnson, are staffed by the best doctors in the world – the teaching staff of two top medical schools, Baylor College of Medicine and University of Texas Health Science, respectively. For example, the HCHD patients receiving cancer treatment at LBJ are being cared for MD Anderson doctors.

So, if you know someone here in Harris County who needs health care, but who is under- or uninsured, and can’t afford care, let them know about Harris County Hospital District, and have them call and get a gold card. They will begin to receive all the care they need. In addition, Ben Taub has one of the 2 level-one trauma centers in Houston. There’s a saying around town – if you get shot or in a car accident, ask to be taken to Ben Taub. In a lot of circumstances, trauma is the only situation in which members of a higher socio-economic class would experience the quality of care. Hopefully we can show the community that there is a lot more to the Hospital District than trauma services!

I work for the HCHD Foundation, and our mission is to raise awareness and funds to support the District. One way we are trying to get the word out to the philanthropic and business communities is by offering a in-depth tour of both hospitals. Participants spend the day in rotations, one on one with the doctors and nurses in various departments – trauma, neo-natal intensive care, labor and delivery, psych, nutrition, pediatrics, and surgery, just to name a few. We are hoping that we by educating a few members of the community, we can spread the word all the good that is happening right in their backyard!

CEO David Lopez helping out at the 8th Annual Texas Med 5k on the lawn of Ben Taub General Hospital

So tomorrow is the big day, and we will have about 10 members of the community doing rotations with us all day tomorrow. Wish us luck, and if you are interested in learning more about the program, or perhaps participating, contact me!

**Disclaimer** I work for the Harris County Hospital District, but all statements, opinions, comments, bad jokes, etc. are my own personal words, and not on behalf of the Hospital District.

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One Response to “Day In the District”

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  1. The Proposal Story « The Court Report - May 16, 2011

    […] and undereating.  Which made it very difficult to get moving for the last event of the week, a Day in the District tour on Good […]

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