WACO, TX — When Baylor, Scott & White cut jobs company wide as result of financial losses due to COVID-19, many wondered how local hospitals would feel those cuts.
Many still wonder because of the length Baylor Scott & White are going to make those cuts seem nonexistent.
Take for instance, cuts to the Hillcrest Trauma Department, which lost two trauma neurosurgeons.
That set off alarm bells among some who feared the company might shrink trauma down from level 2 to level 3, and send the bulk of the work to Temple.
When it comes to vital services, Becky Binion believes hospitals are at the top of the list.
"They're an integral part of our quality of life in this community and for them to fail or not be able to meet our needs, is a serious issue," said the College Station resident.
In a statement, Baylor, Scott & White explained the cuts this way:
"Now, as early data is revealing the significant economic implications of the pandemic on Texans and the operational and financial implications on our health system, we are implementing changes to remain prepared and able to adapt in continued unpredictability."
The most likely group to hear about service cuts?
The Heart of Texas Regional Authority, which coordinates emergency services among first responders and hospitals in 5 Central Texas counties.
Some tweaks to the Authority's triage plan would insure injured people in serious accidents get the best care.
"Everything is evaluated at that time, so that each individual receives the appropriate care at the right time," said Francisco Villa, of the Heart of Texas Regional Advisory Council.
Which brings us back to Hillcrest, which will cover the shifts of the departed neurosurgeons with current staff, effectively meaning to you and me...no change at all.
Again, from BS&White's statement:
"In the Waco Region, our workforce reductions are complete, including adjustments to our trauma team. There is no immediate impact to medical services available locally due to these changes, and we are working to mitigate any potential future impact. Our quality of care and our compassionate service will continue uninterrupted."
That's exactly what Becky Binion wanted to hear.
She feels better knowing Waco will not lose its high-level trauma center.
"It makes you feel safe, and when you feel safe you can be more productive," she said.
For now, Hillcrest remains a level 2 trauma center, an important designation in these troubled times.