Texas Health Stephenville, Medical Staff Work Together to Improve Community Health|
STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Unlike many of the nation’s rural areas, Erath County residents do not have to travel far to find high-quality health care. Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville works closely with its physician medical staff to provide a wide range of health care services to Stephenville, Erath County and surrounding areas.
“Our diverse medical staff benefits local residents by making available locally many services and specialties not typically found in rural communities,” said Christopher Leu, president of Texas Health Stephenville.
Leu noted that there are many advantages for patients and their families in receiving quality health care services close to home. These include reduced travel time, less time away from work, and the ability of family and friends to be more immediately available to provide support during recovery periods.
A hospital’s medical staff consists of health care providers who choose to work closely with the local hospital on the care of their patients. Physicians and other health care providers on the medical staff of Texas Health Stephenville practice in a wide range of specialties, including family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, anesthesiology, cardiology, emergency medicine, general surgery, hospitalist, orthopedics, ophthalmology, otolaryngology (ENT), pain management, podiatry, radiology and urology.
“Many rural communities may have only primary care providers, meaning frequent travel to larger cities. Stephenville and our surrounding areas are very fortunate to have a number of specialties available here. The diversity of our medical staff combine with the services and technologies available at Texas Health Stephenville to enable us to work together to keep patients close to home,” said Leu.
The hospital staff and medical staff work closely with the hospital’s chief quality officer (CQO), Jeffrey Edwards. M.D., to help advance quality-of-care initiatives. Edwards is a family medicine physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Stephenville, and in his role as CQO serves as the liaison between the hospital and medical staff physicians.
Texas Health Stephenville and the medical staff physicians have also focused on patient satisfaction initiatives. The hospital participates in the federal Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) patient satisfaction survey. Recent survey results put Texas Health Stephenville in the top 10 percent nationally of patient satisfaction with their physician experience while in the hsopital.
“This is a tribute to our employees’ and medical staff members’ commitment to continually improving patient satisfaction and quality for our patients’ benefit,” said Leu.
Coordination between hospital staff and physicians to support patient care has been dramatically increased through use of the electronic health record (EHR). The EHR has allowed doctors to securely view patient information away from the hospital. It also enhances communication between Texas Health hospitals and physicians if patients must be transferred to larger Texas Health facilities for complex medical situations such as advanced cardiac care.
Texas Health Stephenville also works with existing local providers to assess community needs and attract new providers to the community. Recent physician additions include:
- Robert Balch, D.O., pain management, private practice, part-time in Stephenville
- Ahmed Bhatti, M.D., internal medicine, private practice, part-time in Stephenville
- Christy Kerr, M.D., family medicine, Stephenville Medical & Surgical Clinic (SMSC)
- Kevin Kerr, M.D., ophthalmology, SMSC
- Nadine Rose, M.D., pediatrics, SMSC
- Kevin Vanden Berge, M.D., orthopedics, Cross Timbers Orthopaedics, Stephenville
“We’re always interested in physicians who have a desire to practice in a vibrant community that combines a dynamic professional opportunity with a great place to live,” said Leu.
About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville is a 98-bed acute care, full-service facility serving Erath and surrounding counties since 1926. The hospital's services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, women’s services, advanced diagnostic imaging, and wound care. Texas Health Stephenville, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, has been recognized as a Nurse-Friendly Hospital and a Level IV Trauma Center. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Stephenville.
About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education. For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.
Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.