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2024 - Looking Into the New Year

January 24, 2024 Posted in: Dr. Lawson Blogs , Leadership

2023 has come to a close, and we have begun our journey into 2024. Last year was a whirlwind of challenges, triumphs, and resiliencies for both our system and the health care industry as a whole. I feel a profound sense of gratitude and pride in our team, and I am excited for all we have to look forward to in this coming year that will grow from the foundation of last year’s successes, from the opening of the O’Quinn Medical Tower and the launch of many exciting new video series to the creation of the new CommonSpirit Health - South Region.

Here is a look ahead into how 2023’s achievements will elevate our organization in 2024:

The opening of O’Quinn Medical Tower

The O’Quinn Medical Tower at the McNair Campus, which opened last spring, is a groundbreaking new facility that added 400,000 square feet to our McNair Campus location. This includes a massive expansion for the globally renowned Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center. O’Quinn Medical Tower represents a considerable step forward in the amount of technologically advanced and compassionate care we will be able to provide to the Houston community in 2024 and far beyond.

St. Luke’s Health’s six U.S. News & World Report rankings

This past spring, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center received multiple outstanding recognitions from U.S. News & World Report for 2023-2024. Not only were we ranked among the top hospitals in the nation, but six of our service lines were nationally ranked as well. These include Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Urology, and Diabetes & Endocrinology. I am so proud of the incredible, award-winning care our team continually provides to our patients.

Setting the stage for more Resilia TAVR procedures in 2024

Last year, under the recommendation and guidance of Neil E. Strickman, MD, FACC, FSCAI, FACP, an 81-year-old woman in Houston received the first TAVR procedure using the “Resilia” coating that prevents calcification of the leaflets of the valve and decreases degeneration of the valve. The success of this inaugural Resilia TAVR procedure in our city gives us confidence as we begin to offer this procedure to more patients in 2024.

This groundbreaking advancement provides improved outcomes and longevity for high surgical-risk patients, and we are excited to continue our endless drive for the forward progression of medicine and begin implementing Resilia at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center.

ExamiNATION and Listening to Our Voices

There are two video series that I hold close to my heart. The first is ExamiNATION, which provides expert insight into the rifts we face in the health care industry, detailing health inequities and the processes we take to overcome them.

A few months before the end of ExamiNATION last year, we launched the Listening to Our Voices series, amplifying our team members' diverse stories, experiences, and perspectives. This series pairs well with ExamiNATION and demonstrates the dire need for staff of varying backgrounds. The medical inequities discussed in ExamiNATION are best addressed with a unique team educated in every nuance we may be faced with and who are open to communicating to find the best solutions.

I highly recommend watching both of the series, which are linked here:

ExamiNATION

Listening to Our Voices

And now we look forward to a new video series, Innovating Health, that will focus on the world-class nature of medicine and research in Greater Houston through the Texas Medical Center with a focus on the work at St. Luke's Health, especially through our academic partnerships.

Texas Division and Southeast Division become South Division

CommonSpirit Health made the exciting decision last year to consolidate its divisions to better achieve our mission and bring to life our vision of a healthier future for all. Therefore, Texas Division and Southeast Division have come together to become South Division.

As President of South Division, I am greatly looking forward to the elevated collaboration we will start to see between our hospital systems this year, supported largely by our flagship hospital, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. CommonSpirit’s dedication to making the healing presence of God known will only flourish and grow as a result of this merger.

Conclusion

2024 will be a big year for St. Luke’s Health, St. Joseph Health, and all the members of the CommonSpirit Health family. As we merge into the South Region, the new year presents a wealth of opportunities to advance health care and spread humankindness throughout our communities. 

Sincerely, 

Doug Lawson, Ph.D.

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