A Visit with Offender Care Services Teams at TDCJ Beauford H. Jester Units III & IV

Donna Sollenberger, EVP & CEO, UTMB Health SystemI recently had the opportunity to spend a day learning firsthand about the important work being done at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Beauford H. Jester III and IV Units in Richmond on March 28. I was joined by Dr. Mark Kirschbaum, chief quality, safety and clinical information officer, Dr. Owen Murray, vice president, Offender Care Services, Beverly Echols, administrative director, mental health services, Stephen Smock, associate vice president, Outpatient Offender Care Services, and Gary Eubank, associate chief nursing officer, Offender Care Services, on each leg of the tour.

It was a pleasure meeting the UTMB Offender Care Services team members and learning about their roles on the units. Everyone we met along the way was proud of the work they do, and there was a tremendous sense of team spirit. The quality of care delivered to their patients is nothing short of outstanding, and it goes without saying that these individuals do it all in a unique care environment.

UTMB values are alive and well at the two Jester Units we visited, and I wanted to take a moment to recognize these outstanding teams by sharing some photos* from our tour; most importantly, I would like to thank them for their hospitality and for making a difference—excellent patient care cannot take place without compassionate, skilled individuals working together as a team!

Look for more photos in the upcoming issue of the Health System Friday Focus newsletter.

Beauford H. Jester IV Unit

The first leg of the tour began at Jester IV Unit (est. 1993), a 550-bed inpatient mental health unit. Dr. Philip Farley, chief psychiatrist and clinical director, and Andrey Vasiljev, business manager for inpatient operations, warmly welcomed us to the unit and gave us a detailed tour of the facility. We were also joined by Donald Hlavinka, mental health manager, Stephen Rogers, cluster nurse manager, Senior Warden Alphonso James, and Major Leroy Bailey. Among the many services offered at the unit are ambulatory medical, dental and inpatient mental health services and inpatient medical care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Left to Right: Sr. Warden Alphonso James, Gary Eubank, associate chief nursing officer, Offender Care Services, Dr. Mark Kirschbaum, chief quality, safety and clinical information officer, UTMB Health, Andrey Vasiljev, business manager inpatient operations, offender care services, Mary Feldhusen, communications manager, UTMB Health System, Dr. Owen Murray, vice president, Offender Care Services, Donna Sollenberger, executive vice president and chief executive officer, UTMB Health, Donald Hlavinka, mental health manager, Beverly Echols, administrative director, mental health services, Dr. Philip Farley, chief psychiatrist and clinical director, Stephen Rogers, cluster nurse manager, Major Leroy Bailey. Photograph by Steven Smock, associate vice president, Outpatient Offender Care Services

New UTMB Offender Care Services employees in training

New UTMB Offender Care Services employees in training with Donna Sollenberger, EVP & CEO, UTMB Health

Mural at the entrance of the Jester IV Unit

Mural at the entrance of the Jester IV Unit

Mariamma Varughese, NCIII, Donna Sollenberger, Elizabeth Fakolade NCIII, Debra Riedel, correctional clinical associate, Dr. Mark Kirschbaum, Jairo Salazar, mental health clinical, and Yao Wang, senior social worker

Mariamma Varughese, NCIII, Donna Sollenberger, EVP & CEO, Elizabeth Fakolade NCIII, Debra Riedel, correctional clinical associate, Dr. Mark Kirschbaum, chief quality, safety and clinical information officer, Jairo Salazar, mental health clinical, and Yao Wang, senior social worker

Gary Eubank, associate chief nursing officer, Offender Care Services, poses next to one of the murals in Jester IV. Unit walls are lined with murals that were painted by offenders.

Gary Eubank, associate chief nursing officer, Offender Care Services, poses next to one of the murals in Jester IV. Unit walls are lined with murals that were painted by offenders.

Stephen Rogers, cluster nurse manager, Dr. Mark Kirschbaum, Sherly Aduparayil, NCIII and Donna Sollenberger

Stephen Rogers, cluster nurse manager, Dr. Mark Kirschbaum, chief quality, safety and clinical information officer, Sherly Aduparayil, NCIII and Donna Sollenberger, EVP & CEO, UTMB Health

Donna Sollenberger, Barbara King, LVN and Aleyamma Varghese, PCT

Donna Sollenberger, EVP & CEO, UTMB Health, Barbara King, LVN and Aleyamma Varghese, PCT

Donna Sollenberger and Alice Copeland, correctional clinical associate

Donna Sollenberger, EVP &CEO, UTMB Health, and Alice Copeland, correctional clinical associate

Bed planning: Donald Hlavinka, mental health manager, Donna Sollenberger and Dr. Philip Farley, chief psychiatrist

Bed planning: Donald Hlavinka, mental health manager, Donna Sollenberger, EVP & CEO, UTMB Health and Dr. Philip Farley, chief psychiatrist

Beauford H. Jester III Unit

The second half of the day, our group had the opportunity to tour the Jester III Unit (est. 1982), where ambulatory medical, dental, and mental health services are also offered around the clock, seven days a week. The unit offers rehabilitation services, including brace and limb care, wound care, occupational therapy and physical therapy and has 132 wheelchair accommodating cells along with a 12-bed assisted living infirmary. Digital medical services, electronic specialty clinics and chronic disease care are also offered. Senior Practice Manager Susan Dostal and Cluster Nurse Manager Marisol Genin guided us throughout the facility and introduced us to their team members. These individuals truly work wonders for their patients!

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Jester III Medical Unit

Back: Charlotte Nease, LVN, Marisol Genin, cluster nurse manager, Susan Dostal, senior practice manager, Dr. Mark Kirschbaum; front: James Stubbs, physical therapist, Donna Sollenberger, Patricia Ekholm, coordinator, Dr. Gwen Williams, physiatrist and clinical director

Back: Charlotte Nease, LVN, Marisol Genin, cluster nurse manager, Susan Dostal, senior practice manager, Dr. Mark Kirschbaum, chief quality, safety and clinical information officer; front: James Stubbs, physical therapist, Donna Sollenberger, EVP & CEO, UTMB Health, Patricia Ekholm, coordinator, Dr. Gwen Williams, physiatrist and clinical director

Denise Herbert, correctional clinical associate, Digital Medical Services, and Donna Sollenberger

Denise Herbert, correctional clinical associate, Digital Medical Services, and Donna Sollenberger, EVP & CEO, UTMB Health

Gary Eubank, associate chief nursing officer, Offender Care Services, Beverly Echols, administrative director, mental health services, Stephen Smock, associate vice president, Outpatient Offender Care Services, Donna Sollenberger, executive vice president and chief executive officer, UTMB Health, Susan Dostal, senior practice manager, Marisol Genin, cluster nurse manager, Dr. Mark Kirschbaum, chief quality, safety & clinical information officer, UTMB Health, and Dr. Owen Murray, vice president, Offender Care Services

Gary Eubank, associate chief nursing officer, Offender Care Services, Beverly Echols, administrative director, mental health services, Stephen Smock, associate vice president, Outpatient Offender Care Services, Donna Sollenberger, executive vice president and chief executive officer, UTMB Health, Susan Dostal, senior practice manager, Marisol Genin, cluster nurse manager, Dr. Mark Kirschbaum, chief quality, safety & clinical information officer, UTMB Health, and Dr. Owen Murray, vice president, Offender Care Services

Dr. Mark Kirschbaum, Donna Sollenberger, Lisa Cantu, mental health case manager, and Ms. Shabazz, mental health manager

Dr. Mark Kirschbaum, chief quality, safety and clinical information officer, Donna Sollenberger, EVP & CEO, UTMB Health, Lisa Cantu, mental health case manager, and Ms. Shabazz, mental health manager

Dinnie Davison, phlebotomist, Donna Sollenberger and Veronica Aranda, LVN, clinical infectious diseases

Dinnie Davison, phlebotomist, Donna Sollenberger and Veronica Aranda, LVN, clinical infectious diseases

A very special thank you to everyone at Jester Units III & IV!

 

*select individuals requested to be identified only by last name 

 

A Visit to CMC Clinics, Infirmaries and Pharmacy

Last week, I had the privilege of visiting our Correctional Managed Care (CMC) clinics and infirmaries at the Walls Unit and Estelle Unit,  as well as our CMC pharmacy in Huntsville.  The people I met and the work that they do is nothing short of amazing!

What makes their work so outstanding?

Dr. John Beason, Regional Dental Director, CMC with Donna Sollenberger, EVP & CEO Health SystemDr. John Beason, Regional Dental Director, CMC with Donna Sollenberger, EVP & CEO Health System

Dr. John Beason with Donna Sollenberger

First, they are passionate about everything they do. At the Walls Unit, Regional Dental Director, CMC, Dr. John Beason, gave us a tour of the dental facility in a small but extremely well-organized and clean clinic.  It was clear that each person there was very proud of the work they and their colleagues do, and their enthusiasm for their work was palpable.

Special thanks to Nurse Manager, Beth Pipkin, for organizing the tour of the infirmary and historic section of the Walls Unit, led by Sergeant John Heil. The Walls Unit is the oldest prison in the state, established in 1848 and was once home to the Texas Prison Rodeo, which ended in 1986.

Secondly, they pride themselves in their delivery of cost effective care. Each person I spoke with in every area I toured could tell me how their work has contributed to the ability of UTMB’s CMC operation to achieve a per member per day cost of just a little over $9 per day.  To put that into perspective, the cost in California for offender care is $48 per day!

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Dr. Stephanie Zepeda with Donna Sollenberger

Dr. Stephanie Zepeda, Director of Pharmacy Services, CMC, showed me around the 20,000 square foot pharmacy facility which operates as a mail order business with next day delivery.  Stephanie could hardly fit all the information about the pharmacy into the tour, which is understandable when one considers that the team provides services to approximately 156,000 patients  at 125 facilities statewide, with customers including the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

Stephanie showed me how they saved over $10 million per year by having a very effective and compliant recycling program for returned pharmaceuticals. Their automation, most of which was custom built, enables the pharmacy to dispense nearly 4.5 million prescriptions each year, approximately 375,000 each month, and over 18,000 a day with an average prescription cost of only $8.53.

Donna Sollenberger, EVP & CEO, with Misty Hawking, Radiology Technician

Donna Sollenberger with Misty Hawkins

At the Estelle Unit, I met Radiology Technician, Misty Hawkins, who later told me that she loves working at UTMB so much that she hopes to retire from the organization!

Finally, the quality of the care was outstanding! At the Estelle Unit, Dr. Dave Khurana, Medical Director of Nephrology and Dialysis for CMC, showed me around the unit, which currently has the largest dialysis census for a single hemodialysis clinic in the State of Texas at a capacity of 222. The quality of what they do is nothing short of amazing. They are now able to download dialysis information into the EMR in real-time, which has been a huge satisfier for the medical team. In addition, their use of an AV fistula, which is considered the best long-term vascular access for hemodialysis (compared to central venous catheters), consistently meets and/or exceeds both state and national performance by nearly 12% according to standards identified by the National Kidney Foundation and KDOQI guidelines. In fact, their quality is so outstanding that they skew the data in each survey in which they are included!

Dr. Dave Khurana, Dialysis Patient Care Techs Bradley Bowns and Sheila Jones, and Donna Sollenberger

Dr. Dave Khurana with Dialysis Patient Care Technicians, Bradley Bowns and Sheila Jones, and Donna Sollenberger

What struck me most about this tour is the tremendous variety in each person’s role at UTMB and how our contributions allow our organization to meet its mission and achieve its vision. I am fortunate to see the UTMB values — compassion, integrity, respect, diversity and lifelong learning — alive and well through the work that you do each and every day!

Stay tuned for more detailed stories about the tour complete with lots of photos about my visit in upcoming issues of Friday Focus.