Every new year, many people recommit to getting healthy. While their resolution may falter after a few days, weeks or months, their health should remain a high priority in their daily life. But with busy schedules and rising healthcare costs, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle at times. It can also be a challenge for employers to keep their employees happy and healthy with fair health insurance premiums and easy access to providers. For many, it’s a delicate balance between your health and your pocketbook. But there are some who see innovative solutions becoming more readily available on the horizon.
As the Chief Growth Officer at Baptist Health System in San Antonio, Shana Robinson is working each day to share with individuals and employers those innovations to improve the ease of receiving care and lower the overall cost. Robinson, along with her staff, are working out ways to connect the Baptist Health System with the community to promote a proactive approach to health and wellness.
Ultimately she hopes she has brought to the organization and community fresh ideas that will improve the overall health of South Texas. For me, it’s ideas like Baptist Healthy Solutions that make this story worth telling. I enjoy meeting a variety of people on a day-to-day basis, but rarely do I meet such an impressively talented woman such as Robinson, whose ideas are helping so many already.
On a personal note, Robinson has moved through the system to find a position she loves in a health system that cares. She is steadfast in her determination to think outside the box to find real solutions for real people. Thankfully the Baptist organization possesses the same determination, giving Robinson the resources she needs to bring her ideas to fruition.
“Baptist really cares about the community,” Robinson explains. “The resources they have made available to the public show their commitment to the community, and I’m proud to be a part of that. I live here too, as do my kids. We all have a vested interest in providing good health services.”
Baptist Health System
Baptist Health System has been around for more years than most of us realize. I certainly had no idea how long the organization has been servicing the community. It’s not hard to understand why, then, that people are so loyal to the Baptist Health System. For many people who were raised in the South Texas region and with family ties dating back hundreds of years in this community, generations within families have trusted the Baptist organization with their health.
It was 1903 when 30 members of the Bexar County Medical Society teamed up with local businessmen to create the San Antonio Associated Charities. The Associated Charities then commissioned the construction of a four-story hospital named the Physician’ and Surgeons’ Hospital on Dallas Street in downtown San Antonio. As the community grew over time, so did the hospital. Baptist Medical Center still stands on Dallas Street serving the community just as it’s always done.
After operating for a century as a faith-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization, the system was purchased by Vanguard Health Systems in 2003. The change in ownership resulted in some very positive opportunities, such as the creation of the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio, which funds not-for-profit health services and education throughout South Texas.
Vanguard owned the Baptist Health System for 10 years. In 2013, the entity and all its markets, including the Baptist Health System, were purchased by Tenet Healthcare Corporation. Through the changes in ownership, Baptist has remained faithful to its faith-based mission and its relationship with the Baptist Health Foundation.
The Baptist Health System is central to San Antonio and the surrounding areas, with seven acute-care hospitals: Baptist Medical Center, Mission Trail Baptist Hospital, North Central Baptist Hospital, Northeast Baptist Hospital, St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital, Baptist Orthopedic Hospital and Resolute Health Hospital. Each of these facilities has earned the accredited Chest Pain Center designation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. The accreditation means that the hospital can deliver the rapid diagnosis and treatment of chest pain, assessment of patients, and ensure the staff is trained to work fast when the minutes matter most.
In addition to that designation across Baptist’s hospital facilities, St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital has also earned the designation of Comprehensive Stroke Center, a first in San Antonio.
“The Comprehensive Stroke Center at St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital is capable of treating strokes in a way no facility in San Antonio was capable of doing before now,” Robinson says. “The less time we take to diagnose and treat these types of issues, the better result for our patients.”
The organization also has dozens of specialty care facilities under the Baptist Health System. Its five Breast Centers focus on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast-related health. The breast program offered at these centers is nationally recognized and certified by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. In addition, patients will find physicians with special training and expertise in breast care, genetic counseling and testing, advanced diagnostic and treatment technology, and 3-D mammography technology.
The system also hosts a school for future health professionals. The Baptist Health System School of Health Professions offers programs in sonography, radiologic technology, specialized coding, surgical technology, nursing, computed tomography, healthcare management, and more. Program degrees range from certifications to associate and bachelor’s programs.
In addition, Baptist Health System has its own imaging centers, M&S Imaging, with 10 locations, four MedPost Urgent Care clinics, six women’s and free pregnancy testing centers, HealthLink facilities including one wellness and fitness location and 12 rehab services locations.
The wide range of services and convenient locations throughout South Texas make Baptist Health System a popular choice for residents.
Quality of Care
What sets the Baptist Health System apart, however, is not its multiple services and locations. It’s the dedication to providing compassionate and exceptional care that has patients coming back to the system for its healthcare needs.
It isn’t hard to see why the system has a great reputation when you look at its values. Baptist promotes compassion, safety, excellence, accountability, innovation and faith from within.
Many of these values may seem common to organizations providing care to patients. But one stands out, unique to this organization.
“Faith is a large part of our philosophy within the organization. Graham Reeve, our President and CEO, always starts our team meetings with a prayer. I think that shows just how important faith is to Baptist Health System,” says Robinson.
The value has roots stemming back to the original faith-based, not-for-profit organization, the Associated Charities. The organization has held onto this principle through changes in ownership and leadership. Even Baptist’s mission statement reflects the importance of faith as an inspiration of its care.
The organization’s faith services include spiritual and religious guidance from dedicated team members following various religious practices. These team members are able to help patients and their families through the healthcare process at the most difficult of times.
“Sometimes families are so focused on the health of their loved one and forget to care for themselves,” Robinson explains. “The hardest time for families can come when they try to understand that their loved one is going to pass away. That’s when our faith-based services are most important. Our faith-based services can help families through this difficult time, giving them an opportunity to speak with someone on a religious level while they grieve and accept the diagnosis.”
Of course, other values are equally important to the organization. Baptist displays its excellence with its accredited Chest Pain Centers and the Comprehensive Stroke Center at St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital. The organization’s accountability to its patients shows in its dedication to providing the best care possible throughout the region. Its compassion can be seen throughout the organization, from the faith-based services to its efforts to support the community through the Baptist Health Foundation. Safety is almost inherent to the healthcare industry. Baptist Health System takes the safety of its patients and employees very seriously.
Baptist Health System puts great effort into providing a supportive, healthy, and safe workplace for its employees. The system has been recognized for its work to provide a healthy workplace by the San Antonio Business Group on Health (SABGH), which is part of the Mayor’s Fitness Council for the city of San Antonio. The organization promotes a healthy workplace and community wellness in San Antonio. SABGH awarded Baptist Health System with the 2016 Gold Healthy Workplace Recognition for its health and wellness promotion efforts.
“In addition to Baptist Health System, nine of our Baptist Healthy Solutions clients received the same designation. It really goes to show that our program is working to keep employees healthy.
And the recognition and validation is amazing,” Robinson says. In addition to the tradition of faith within the organization, innovation is another aspect that makes Baptist Health System truly unique. Of course, most healthcare organizations tout that they have innovative solutions. But one Baptist Health System program is remarkably unique, because it is used by companies to lower healthcare costs and provide convenient health services to their employees.
Baptist Healthy Solutions
Healthcare costs are on the rise. Americans with individual plans feel the effects of high premiums and deductibles. But employers are feeling that pinch on a large scale. The rising costs are forcing employers to get creative in how they can be proactive about healthcare.
Baptist has curated a wellness program to help employers and employees. The Baptist Healthy Solutions program is being used by companies throughout the South Texas region and is having great success in changing the landscape of employer-based healthcare plans.
The key to Baptist Healthy Solutions’ success lies in its effort to provides solutions in four key areas: healthy lifestyle engagement, expedited access to primary care, acute care navigation, and post-acute care navigation.
Healthy lifestyle engagement is a pretty common idea among employers. Promoting healthy habits and rewarding employees who make healthy choices are some ways employers have historically encouraged employees to live healthy lifestyles. But, with the help of Baptist Healthy Solutions, employers are able to go further than simply promoting healthy choices.
Offering services such as biometric screenings, health risk assessments, claims analysis, interactive online wellness tools, on-site education and health coaching, and on-site immunizations can help employers go beyond traditional healthy lifestyle promotion. Employees can see their risks and get advice from healthcare providers on topics that will help them lead healthier lifestyles, all with the ease of having the services on-site at their place of employment.
Expedited access to primary care is exactly as it sounds. That on-site care opportunity expedites the process for employees to receive primary care. Depending on the contracted services, in some cases, this benefit is also extended to employees’ families. So, if Jim’s wife isn’t feeling well one day, she can be seen quickly by a Baptist Health System physician at Jim’s office instead of waiting for an appointment with her primary care physician.
Acute care navigation allows employees to receive around-the-clock care through the VIP care line staffed with an experienced triage nurse. This service allows families to ask questions, book appointments and more.
Post-acute care navigation is the component that is not as easily available to patients. Depending on the diagnosis and treatment plan, there can be little to no follow-up after a doctor’s visit. But with Baptist Healthy Solutions, employees can benefit from educational programs, personal coaching and post-discharge nurse evaluations.
These employee services can be accurately described as a network of care. With services like the VIP care line and expedited appointments, patients will have every opportunity to access the care they need. This includes speedy referrals to and appointments with specialists, such as genetic counseling at the innovative Baptist Breast Center.
For on-site care, Baptist offers two solutions for companies with differing needs and budgets. The on-site mobile health unit is a clinic on wheels. This offers mobility and accessibility with flexible hours. The mobile health unit is available for a flat fee per hour with no insurance billing. For companies with more robust healthcare needs, an on-site clinic within the walls of the company is the second option. On-site clinics are staffed with a mid-level provider, supplied and stocked with standard medications and equipment, and have a confidential HIPAA-compliant electronic medical record system. In addition, the clinics can be customized to provide a wide range of services to meet the needs of the company, including a lactation room, audiometry and an X-ray room.
Healthcare for the Oil and Gas Industry
Servicing the oil and gas industry, specifically, has its own set of challenges and best practices. This is where the Baptist Health System and Baptist Healthy Solutions can come in handy for oil and gas companies.
The energy industry can have specific requirements for their employees. Having a knowledge of the specifications can help healthcare providers offer the very best pre-employment screenings and health services in case of illness or injury. Baptist Healthy Solutions offers pre-employment physicals, DOT screenings, essential functions tests and a return-to-work physical assessment after a short-term leave of absence.
Many, if not all, oil and gas companies implement health and safety programs and processes to avoid workplace injuries, but Baptist Healthy Solutions can be helpful to companies when workplace injuries occur. Its team is experienced in coordinating care with safety officers and human resources to help reduce injuries and streamline care when an injury occurs. Baptist can also help with workers’ compensation assessments and paperwork, reduce recordables, connect injured employees with the appropriate specialists, and get them back to work as quickly as possible.
Let’s focus on recordables for a moment. Human resources and safety team members will know what this term references, but I’ll give a quick overview for those of us who don’t know the importance of this term. Depending on the degree of medical treatment needed, an injury or illness may or may not have to be recorded through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). An agency of the U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA was created to ensure that employers provide safe and healthy working conditions. It’s crucial that healthcare providers offering treatment to a patient with a work-related injury understand the regulations on recordables to not unnecessarily ding the company’s OSHA rating.
“When an employee is injured and receives treatment, something as simple as the medication prescribed can cause an avoidable recordable incident,” Robinson explains. “And that’s why it’s really important to have healthcare providers that are experienced and know the subtle nuances that can have greater consequences for the employer. In the case of an oil and gas employee with a workplace injury, we would have a provider with knowledge of the OSHA requirements do an assessment on the injury and give appropriate treatment that properly fits the injury. This could potentially save an employer from having their OSHA rating affected for a minor injury.”
Of course, the ease of the mobile care unit could also be an interesting and useful tool for oil and gas companies looking to provide easily accessible healthcare to their employees around South Texas. When you consider the time it takes to have an employee make an appointment with a physician, and then wait in the waiting room and finally be seen, a whole afternoon can be eaten up, leaving the employer with an employee out of work for hours for a checkup. Having a healthcare provider on-site and dedicated to seeing only employees of the specific company can reduce time off for regular checkups and immunizations.
Vision and Dedication
Baptist Healthy Solutions was made possible through Robinson’s vision and dedication to make the South Texas community healthier. With the support of the Baptist Health System, she is seeing her mission fall into place and its benefits reaching thousands of employees.
But it was a journey to get to this program. Every part of her background has led her to start this program.
Originally from San Antonio, Robinson says she didn’t start out with the intention of being in the healthcare field but ironically has spent most of her career working at healthcare-related companies.
As a philosophy student at The University of Texas at Austin, Robinson was unsure of how she would use her degree. She jokingly shares that her father advised against a degree in philosophy, as this didn’t offer many job opportunities upon graduation. But Robinson stuck with her choice. After transferring to The University of Texas at San Antonio, she graduated with her philosophy undergraduate degree in 1992.
Following graduation, an opportunity came along for Robinson — an opportunity she did not want to pass up – working – with the city of San Antonio in the International Business Development Office. But the ability to speak fluent Spanish was a requirement of this position. She decided the best way to learn the language would be to immerse herself in the culture by attending the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, or Tec, in Monterrey, Mexico.
Listening to her story, I couldn’t imagine leaving my family and everything I know behind to live in a different culture, not knowing the language or even one person in the general area.
“It was really hard at first,” Robinson remembers. “I was lonely, and after only a few days I wanted to come home. I called my father, crying, and asked him to fly me back, but he said ‘No, Shana. You committed to doing a year there and that’s what you’re going to do.’ So I did. After a while, I picked up the language and made friends. It was definitely a challenging experience, but I learned a lot and I felt empowered because I knew I could do anything.”
It turns out that experience has shaped Robinson and given her more than just an opportunity to learn Spanish. That “I can do anything” attitude has helped Robinson on her path to her current role. Speaking with her, you can immediately tell she has an extensive knowledge of the healthcare industry, which can be difficult to understand. Traditionally speaking, this is also an industry with predominantly male leaders. But Robinson has found that, with the support of her fellow leaders at Baptist, her fearless attitude makes her an effective leader to her team.
Robinson has been given the opportunity to start up programs like Baptist Healthy Solutions to grow the Baptist organization and bring healthcare to more communities in South Texas. She and her team are always sharing the benefits of the Baptist Health System and some of its unique capabilities. She’s the person behind the scenes helping thousands of people get accessible healthcare at affordable rates and excellent care.
She Does It All
Life can’t be just about work. Especially not when you have a husband and two teenagers!
Outside of work, Robinson spends time with her family. If she’s not running errands for the house, she’s likely at a football or basketball game rooting for her 14-year-old son, Jackson, or cheering on her 11-year-old daughter, Ashley, during an orchestra performance or at a cheer competition. Being a big part of her kids’ lives has always been important to Robinson.
“I always wanted to be a mom. And a really good mom. A mom who is always laughing with her kids. I want my kids to always know they are the No. 1 thing in my life,” Robinson shares.
Aside from work, her time is predominately spent with her kids at their school functions. She usually spends four to five evenings at school events between her son and daughter. But it’s something she enjoys and feels brings her family even closer together.
Robinson is out at these school events so often that she and her husband have grown a strong friendship with many other parents. She enjoys the time spent with her close friends in the supportive role of a proud audience member.
After 18 years of marriage, Robinson is happy to say her husband, Scott, is supportive of her role as a leader within the Baptist Health System, a job that can be demanding of Robinson’s time and attention. Scott also has a fruitful career in a sport he loves: golf. Scott designs, constructs and maintains golf courses around Texas. To this day, he has designed seven courses with Arcis Golf around the state. He currently calls the Canyon Springs Golf Club his home base when he’s not traveling to the other courses under his care.
Robinson says she is a fan of the sport and enjoys playing it, but finds the game to be too long many times.
So, what’s Robinson’s favorite thing to do outside of work when she’s not with her kids?
“Shopping,” Robinson exclaims. (I knew I liked her.)
It’s understandable, in my opinion, that Robinson like to shop in her downtime. Retail therapy is a soothing escape from the stresses of work and home. It’s time when you can be alone or be with friends and do something enjoyable. And the feeling you get when you find something you love is like a reward for all the hard work you’ve done in your day-to-day life.
Shopping is good for the soul, I like to think. And for all the good she’s doing for the South Texas community, Robinson deserves this guilty pleasure.
To learn more about Baptist Health System and Baptist Healthy Solutions, visit www.baptisthealthsystem.com.
Photos by Michael Giordano