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St. Luke’s Health-Memorial Sets the Standard for Surgical Care

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Pictured from left to right: Dr. Darry Meyer, Dr. Rachael Sullivan, Dr. Kaywin Carter, and Dr. David Price. Second row: Renna Tolbert-Ford, System Perioperative Director; Cheryl Green, Robotics Program Manager; Carlos Solorzano, First Assistant; Mary Franklin, VP Patient Care Services and Executive Sponsor ; Back row: Jamie Flournoy, Robotics Team Lead; Kristie Moody, Robotics Coordinator; Dr. Jeffrey Hamaker, General Surgeon; Solymar Torres, Certified Surgical Technician. Not pictured: Dr. Alan Bassin.

By setting the standard of providing incomparable quality care, St. Luke’s Health-Memorial became the first hospital in the state to achieve four Center of Excellence accreditations from the Surgical Review Corporation (SRC). The accreditations in Minimally Invasive Gynecology (COEMIG), Hernia Surgery (COEHS), Robotic Surgery (COERS) and Minimally Invasive Surgery (COEMIS) demonstrate the hospital’s dedication to its surgical services and a strong partnership with talented, local surgeons.

Healthcare organizations and surgeons seeking accreditation by SRC undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site inspection. The process, which began in February 2017, included physicians, nurses and administrators who met monthly to gather necessary information and guide the program to success. The inspection is consultative and educational, presenting best practices to help enhance the care and services offered.

“We chose to seek accreditation so that we could showcase the abilities of our surgeons and our hospital,” said Cheryl Green, Robotics Program Manager at St. Luke’s Health-Memorial. “We have excellent surgeons here in Lufkin, and we want our community to know the kind of quality care they can receive right here at home.”

Established in 2003, Surgical Review Corporation (SRC) is an internationally recognized patient safety organization dedicated to recognizing and refining surgical care. SRC is the leading administrator of quality improvement and accreditation programs for surgeons and hospitals worldwide. Receiving the elite status means St. Luke’s Health had to meet and exceed rigorous standards, which can only serve to benefit the safety and wellbeing of patients who undergo surgical procedures at the hospital.

“Utilizing a patient centered collaborative approach, the review of the data and our processes, allowed us to identify gaps and formulate focus driven plans,” said Renna Tolbert-Ford, System Perioperative Director at St. Luke’s Health-Memorial. “The aforementioned analysis allowed us to focus on the care of the patient starting at the physician’s office and continue through the post-operative visit. This team’s achievement shows our dedication to making sure our patients have nothing but the best!”

St. Luke's Health-Memorial Lufkin was the first hospital in Texas to acquire the da Vinci High Definition Robotic Surgery System. In 2014, it became the only hospital in the area to boast two surgical robotic systems. Two years later, St. Luke's Health-Memorial upgraded to the da Vinci Xi Robotic System, designed to further advance the technology used in minimally invasive surgery.

A surgical robot provides experienced surgeons a wider degree of motion to perform the most complex and delicate procedures through very small incisions with unmatched precision. Patients who undergo robotic procedures, as opposed to open procedures, may experience reduced trauma to the body, reduced blood loss and need for transfusions, less post-operative pain and discomfort, less risk of infection, a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery and return to normal daily activities, and less scarring.

“CHI St Luke Health-Memorial’s mission is to provide exceptional healthcare to our family, friends and neighbors,” said Monte Bostwick, President & CEO of St. Luke’s Health-Memorial. “By combining highly trained surgeons and staff with the best technology available and a commitment to quality, we are able to perform some of the most highly complicated procedures, making sure our patients can stay close to home for their healthcare needs.”

“I am extremely proud of all of our staff members and physicians who have helped us achieve these accreditations,” said Rachael Sullivan, D.O., SRC Surgeon of Excellence (COEMIG and COEMIS) and co-director of the Center of Excellence steering committee at St. Luke’s Health-Memorial. “Our surgeons and robotic surgical staff show the highest level of skill and competency. To know that we in East Texas are able to provide amazing care that can compare to any major city in the country is phenomenal.”

In addition to the Center of Excellence accreditations, numerous robotic surgeons also received recognition from SRC, including

  • Dr. Alan Bassin, General Surgeon (COEHS, COERS) – Master Surgeon
  • Dr. Kaywin Carter, Obstetrician & Gynecologist (COEMIG, COERS) – Master Surgeon
  • Dr. Darry Meyer, General Surgeon (COEHS, COERS) – Master Surgeon
  • Dr. David Price, Urologist (COERS) – Master Surgeon
  • Dr. Rachael Sullivan, Obstetrician & Gynecologist (COEMIG, COEMIS) – Surgeon of Excellence

Not all surgeons seek accreditation, and not all that undergo the rigorous on-site inspection process are granted accreditation.

“This accreditation means we are offering our patients the best quality care in minimally invasive and robotic surgery and assures them that we are being held to the same high standard as in larger metropolitan areas,” said Meyer, co-director of the Center of Excellence steering committee at St. Luke’s Health-Memorial.

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