The State of Fort Bend’s Healthcare


Dr. May Tape, Ray Aguilar and Patti Parish-Kaminski at the State of Healthcare hosted by the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce.

As we go to press with this issue of Fort Bend CEO, the first case of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been “presumptive positive” in Fort Bend.  While this is alarming as a public health issue, the question arises: How is a diagnosis of COVID-19 in our community going to affect us and businesses?

While attending the State of the Healthcare luncheon hosted by the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, it’s clear that our community and our businesses have already been affected.  The leaders of our major hospitals are already experiencing supply chain issues on medical provisions, along with concerns about projected shortages of our healthcare system’s greatest asset due to illness or school closings: our healthcare workforce.

That being said, is Fort Bend prepared for the Coronavirus?  A resounding “yes” is the answer. The leaders of our hospitals in Fort Bend indeed have us well-prepared.  Houston Methodist Sugar Land CEO Chris Siebenaler shared Team Methodist’s strategy of “daily huddles” meeting with medical experts and their leadership team to address concerns before they become issues – a strategy that has been ongoing at Methodist. Memorial Hermann CEO Malisha Patel shared that they have a “similar approach” as Houston Methodist to the situation and explained a collaborative effort between the hospitals to serve the community during this time.  She also shared the Fort Bend Health Department phone number for the public to call with any questions regarding COVID-19 (281.633.7795).  Joe Freudenberger, OakBend Medical Center CEO, spoke of “secret shoppers” at their hospital to ensure that their protocol to protect patients and staff was 100% in compliance and effective.

Houston Methodist Sugar Land infectious disease specialist Dr. Sarfraz Aly emphasized, “We are prepared for the Coronavirus.  The majority of the fear surrounding this is the unknown.”  He stressed that our best protection really is in our hands: “Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to protect yourself.”

Yes, Fort Bend, our hospitals have this under control.  Now our retailers who sell hand sanitizer, toilet paper, wipes, well, their business has been affected as well.  It’s booming.

Stay safe Fort Bend, and wash your hands!

Your partner in the Bend,

Patti Parish-Kaminski