The T. Boone Pickens Foundation provides grants to organizations that operate in its core giving categories (see About TBPF), one of which is medical research/development and services. The current partner spotlight is an update on Baylor Scott & White Health (BSWH), whose mission is to serve all people by providing personalized health and wellness through exemplary care, education, and research as a Christian ministry of healing.
T. Boone Pickens made a $10 million investment in BSWH initiatives in 2012. That year, the health care system honored him by naming its new cancer hospital in Dallas the Baylor T. Boone Pickens Cancer Hospital. The 96-bed, 175,000-square-foot facility became the first dedicated cancer hospital in North Texas, and only the second in the state.
"The unique programs at the Baylor Pickens Cancer Hospital are tremendous examples of how health care can improve quality and reduce costs at the same time, which is essential for our country moving forward," Pickens says. "I'm proud to have my name associated with them."
The hospital offers quality care with staff trained in all aspects of cancer treatment. Dedicated facilities include a Blood & Marrow Transplant Unit, Apheresis Center, Oncology Pharmacy, Infusion Center and Processing Lab for stem cells and bone marrow products.
During Baylor's 2014 fiscal year (July 1, 2013–June 30, 2014), Baylor Pickens Cancer Hospital provided vital care to 3,123 patients admitted there. No other hospital in North Texas provides care to more oncology in-patients.
The hospital, however, distinguishes itself by more than its patient volume. Like its namesake, innovation is core to its success. A couple of noteworthy examples are the Oncology Evaluation & Treatment Center (OETC) and the Infusion Center on the first floor. Combined, the two centers provided care through more than 4,600 patient visits during Baylor's 2014 fiscal year.
The OETC – the first and only of its kind in Texas – offers urgent care for oncology patients after office hours, and is open 24 hours a day on the weekends. Evidence has proven the OETC is a safe environment where cancer patients can receive high quality care in a shorter amount of time than they would in an emergency department, where volumes often make wait times longer and oncology patients with compromised immune systems risk exposure to infectious diseases.
"The OETC has a team of expert caregivers who know exactly what to do for the particular urgent care needs of oncology patients," says Kimberlee Hanna, the Nurse manager who oversees the OETC and the Infusion Center. "We are trying to create a positive and time-efficient experience during what is often a very stressful time for patients and families. Since the OETC is a physician referral clinic, our staff receives information on patients ahead of time so that we are ready and waiting for them when they walk through our doors."
Having the Infusion Center and the OETC adjacent to one another allows oncology patients the convenience of around-the-clock access to blood transfusions, as well as hydration, chemotherapy and biological therapy infusions. These services, all available on holidays and weekends, are critical for patients whose schedules make it difficult to receive infusions during regular office hours. For patients whose regular office hours are in the daytime, the option to sleep in the private rooms while infusing during the night offers the opportunity to maintain a normal work pattern. In addition to providing oncology patients easier access to high-quality care, the OETC and Infusion Center reduce costs for both the health care system and the patient by avoiding emergency department visits and hospital admissions.
Baylor Scott & White Health, the organization formed from the 2013 merger between Baylor Health Care System and Scott & White Healthcare, is today the largest not-for-profit health care system in Texas. The organization now includes 46 hospitals, more than 500 patient care sites, more than 6,000 active physicians, 36,000 employees and the Scott & White Health Plan. For more information visit, www.BaylorScottandWhite.com.