Surgical Services Rotation

This week I’ve been back in rotations and am helping our the Director of Surgical Service at Lake Pointe.

Now that the week is nearly over I have to say that this has been one of my favorite rotations. The Director is really great at utilizing me as a resource to help him and his department while also teaching me about the day-to-day responsibilities he carries.

I’ve done everything from help to put together medical supplies, to attending meetings, to helping to develop forms for the department to use. I’ve also learned about the challenges he faces in managing staffing while also meeting certain metrics. It’s been a very educational week and has helped to rejuvenate the early excitement I felt from beginning my residency! With only a little over two months left, I need to make the most of all of it!


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Meet Tonks!!!

A little less than two months ago I embarked on a new adventure: I became a Dog Mom. Balancing work and having a dog has been challenging, but it has also been incredibly rewarding, exciting, and fun.

I’ve always been a dog person, so finally having the opportunity to adopt a pup of my own was exciting. She was a rescue pup who was fostered through a Golden Retriever Rescue outside of Dallas. After attending a meet and greet she was able to come for a home visit and stayed that day! It has been an adventure ever since.


Although leaving her in the morning to come to work is always difficult, coming home to a happy, excited dog is one of the best things in the world. I know I am going to have so many adventures with her over the years and am thrilled to have her in my life!!

Oh…and yes… she’s renamed after a Harry Potter character!!


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Waco Visit!

This weekend I headed back to Waco with my boyfriend for his former coworker’s wedding.

I haven’t been in Waco for several months, but was excited to make the trip back down. Driving into Waco I was immediately reminded of one of the biggest changes that Waco has had since I began my journey with Baylor: an incredible new football stadium that is clearly visible from the freeway. I’m not a big sports fan, but I have to admit that I’m a big jealous of the current first years in my program who will get to watch a game from a skybox!

I also had time to drive through campus and was impressed at how much progress has been made on the new Business building. I won’t get to enjoy it, but it’s great to see how the school is evolving and how it will continue to develop over time.

After getting back to Waco, we arrived to the wedding. It was a great location and was a lovely ceremony. We had a wonderful night and were glad to have had the chance to stop back through Waco, see some familiar faces and check in on Baylor! Although I’ll be sad to see my residency end in December, it will be neat to head back to Baylor to see my classmates and finish up my degree.


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Youth Achievement Foundation

This is the first week that I have volunteered with the Youth Achievement Foundation in Garland, TX. The program allows me to tutor and mentor middle school girls in the Garland ISD.

I have always loved volunteering and enjoy working with young people. Needless to say, I have been excited about getting started! To begin, the coordinator brings snacks to share with the girls while we all discuss different topics of the day such as “optimism”. The mentors and the girls share their views on the topic and get ready for homework and tutoring.

Once the girls pull out their homework, mentors have the opportunity to help the girls with their homework to understand concepts. One thing that I quickly learned was that many of the girls are eager to learn, but find their classroom settings challenging to learn in. After spending a little bit of time with two girls going over a math concept, they quickly caught on and were excited about what they had learned.

The girls then end their night in the gym playing games and sports. I was thrilled to have even the smallest impact on the girls I interacted with and am looking forward to continuing to help throughout the rest of my residency. It’s only two hours once a week and is a wonderful use of my time and energy.


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Rockwall HeartChase

Today I went to Rockwall to take part in their annual HeartChase. The HeartChase sponsors the American Heart Association and Lake Pointe is a big sponsor of the event and programming.  Leading up to the event we hosted several fundraisers to raise money. These included a bake sale, a chili cook off, and a donation to be able to wear jerseys to work. Between these events and individual donations we raised several thousand dollars!

I had never been to a HeartChase event before, so I was excited to go. Not knowing what to expect threw my team off a little bit because we didn’t really have a set game plan to win! The event us basically like a scavenger hunt with activities mixed in. You run (or walk!) around an area and go to different stations to complete actitives. After completing the activity you are given a code to either enter or scan into the event’s APP with your phone. In addition to this, there are also bonus codes throughout the playing field that give your team more points. This Saturday there were 99 of such codes for us to find!

My team ended up finishing all of the stations and also found 83 of the bonus codes. Since we didn’t find all of them we didn’t win! Regardless, several Lake Pointe teams look home top spots and ultimately make Lake Pointe the overall winner. It was a lot of fun and was a great opportunity to spend time with Lake Pointe employees outside of the hospital-and it was for a great cause! I would definitely love to go to another HeartChase sometime!

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THA Best Practice Member Showcase

A few months ago I helped to put together a Best Practice Submission to submit to THA to be considered for their Member Showcase. From the submissions they receive, THA chooses several to feature during their THA Annual Conference and Expo in January. We will be able to present our Best Practice to attendees and share with them.

Our submission detailed how our upcoming Community Paramedics Program will allow us to continue to care for patients as they return to their homes and what our expected outcomes from doing so are.

I found out yesterday that our submission was selected to appear during the Member Showcase! The Community Paramedics Project is likely going to be my final project for my Residency and I’ve been spending more and more time learning about its development and have begun thinking of ideas of how I can help with calculating metrics to measure its success.

After spending a lot of time helping out with awards nominations for the program and sitting in on meetings helping to get the program started, I have become very excited about the program and about the impact it can have for community members. Needless to say I am thrilled that we were chosen! It will be a wonderful opportunity for the program’s representatives to share the thought process behind the program’s development and our initial outcomes.

The next step is for us to complete a separate submission to be included in the conference. I will be helping out with its development and am very excited to see it evolve! (And to see the program commence!)


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Rockwall Duck Regatta

This weekend Rockwall hosted a Rubber Duck Regatta. The Regatta is open to community members who want to try their luck at winning prizes by making a donation to float a rubber duck down the lake. In addition to this, Corporate Sponsors of the event compete in a Rubber Duck Beauty Pageant. The ducks entered into this component are oversized and therefore allow for a lot of creativity.

I had known about the event for a while and had been thinking about what we should decorate our ducks as. We ended up deciding that we would build a miniature model of a Da Vinci Surgical Robot and decorate our three Corporate Ducks as a Patient Duck, a Nurse Duck, and a Dr. Duck.

On Saturday I met up with Lake Pointe’s second resident at the Regatta to set up our ducks. We felt very confident about our chances at winning… until we got there! The competition was pretty fierce! While waiting for judging to begin we walked around the event, which had lots of tables from local organizations set up. Our Preceptor and Lake Pointe’s CEO, Brett Lee also stopped by to see how the event was going.  It was a nice opportunity to learn more about Rockwall, since I spend most of my time outside of work in other areas of DFW.

As the judging began, we returned back to the stage. The judges gave us an opportunity to explain what our ducks were while the judges rated them. Before we knew it the award winners were being announced….we came in Third! Lake Pointe has never placed before, so we were THRILLED with the outcome! Our picture was taken and we were told that we would be featured in a mailer going out to Rockwall Residents. Success!


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Process Improvement Team Leaders Meeting

This week I was invited to join Tenet’s Process Improvement Team at Home Office to talk about how Lean and Lean Daily Management is being rolled out throughout Legacy Tenet and Legacy Vanguard Hospitals. Lake Pointe rolled out LDM earlier this year, so I have gotten used to going on gemba walks and seeing how LDM has helped Lake Pointe to improve. I didn’t know much, however, about how far along other Tenet hospitals were in rolling out and utilizing LDM.

It was a great experience to be able to learn more about Tenet hospitals throughout the country and see where they were at in terms of engaging their hospitals in LDM. I also had the great surprise of seeing a familiar face! I arrived to see Stephen Garner, a Baylor Healthcare MBA Graduate from this past year. I also saw several PI Leaders from Home Office that I had met before.

The event lasted a day and a half. The first day was spent at Home Office, where the Leaders discussed how far along their hospitals are in implementing LDM and what challenges they are currently facing. The second day the attendees all came to Lake Point to see how we are utilizing Lean Daily Management to help improve hospital operations. It was very interesting to see how everyone had different ideas of what LDM should look like and that getting everyone on the same page was a bit of a struggle at times.

Overall it was a great learning experience and I am looking forward to seeing how LDM continues to be utilized in Tenet hospitals going forward.


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Rotations at Sunnyvale: Recap

After finishing up some time at Sunnyvale and having completed several departmental rotations, I have met a lot of wonderful new people and have gained a lot of new knowledge from them!

During my time at Sunnyvale I had the opportunity to shadow Sterile Processing, Materials Management, Pharmacy, the ED, Med/Surge, Lab, and Patient Access. At Sunnyvale both Sterile Processing and the Pharmacy are outsourced to vendors outside of the hospital. This setup is unlike most other Tenet hospitals, so it was a great opportunity for me to learn about outsourced services and how they operate within hospitals.

Since my rotations were only a day long at most, I was able to see quite a few departments, some of which I haven’t even rotated through at Lake Pointe yet! Being able to see the same departments at different hospitals has also been very interesting for me. Although they often function quite similarly, sometimes one hospital may do things a little bit differently. One way may not necessarily be better than another, but understanding multiple points of view can ultimately help hospitals in the same market to collectively resolve problems and challenges.

By rotating through multiple departments I was also able to spend a lot of time learning about the transition to Tenet since the acquisition. Many employees mentioned that they did not feel much change yet, but that they were happy to be part of Tenet now. Others noted the increase in volumes since Sunnyvale was acquired and how great it has been to be able to provide care to more community members.

As the transition continues to develop for Sunnyvale, more changes will undoubtedly develop as well. I’m excited to see how the hospital grows and changes over time!


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Competitive Paper

One component of my residency is to complete a competitive paper during the fall semester. During the first semester of my MBA, my classmates and I were also responsible for writing and completing a paper on a healthcare topic. This time around we are responsible for completing a paper on healthcare management. With so many different initiatives going on in healthcare, there are many topics to choose from!

If our original papers could be expanded upon to meet this critera it is possible to resubmit that paper with additions and alterations. My original paper was on the ability to utilize Customer Relationship Management systems to manage primary care referrals. I didn’t think that there was much more for me to expand upon, so I decided to start from scratch.

One of the biggest challenges I have in beginning to write a paper is in deciding what I want to learn more about and what  I want to spend time researching. The process of actually choosing a topic and finding articles to support my paper is typically the most time consuming and difficult part of the process for me!

After spending time researching I have ultimately decided to write about the collection of Personal Health Records that are available on the consumer market. With patient engagement becoming increasingly important, finding a PHR that can efficiently, easily, and reliably allow patients to access their health information is essential. Despite this necessity, the current market of PHRs has no set standards for what information they should contain or what capabilities they should have.

I’m hoping to learn more about the topic as I continue to research and draft my paper. One thing I have certainly learned from this process is that it is much more difficult to find the time to write a paper while working than while in school! I’ll be happy to have it completed and submitted soon!


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