By Dr. Sharon Schuetz
At the August 21 hospital board meeting, the board asked questions of Dan Watson, CEO/COO of CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial Clinics about what is happening at the clinic and what the future is for the Trinity hospital. He reported that in the short time it had been reopened, the patient numbers were increasing weekly. The first week, Drs. Deshpande and Quan saw a combined total of 37 patients. The second week, even with Dr. Quan out of the office half a day they saw 146 patients, and last week the numbers rose to 208.
Watson said focus now is to retrain the staff to use a new system of software and new programs used by CHI St. Luke’s Memorial Health, it’s much like Windows and Mac, two different operating systems.
He stressed the importance of finding providers willing to come to Trinity, but he assured the board that the clinic could take care of the minor problems of a small community. He further explained that Trinity would not have an emergency room or trauma center unless the people agreed to raise taxes enough to pay for it. Right now, it is not an option.
Watson told the board that the CHI St. Luke’s Memorial system is divided into districts. Our clinic operates through CHI St. Luke’s Memorial Health in Lufkin, which has hospitals and clinics in various locations. Trinity is encouraged to use the Livingston hospital for serious medical needs or emergencies. They are equipped with physicians, specialists, and equipment to handle any trauma or illness.
He continued to explain that we should have lab services set up by mid-September, so that many of the lab needs can be handled here in town. For those things that cannot be done in Trinity, he said, they will create an easy pathway for patients to use Livingston facilities. He added that the absence of X-ray should not delay treatment, “If we can’t provide it here I don’t think the service will suffer.”