Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Pediatrics Saturday Well Check Clinic

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Pediatrics Saturday Well Check Clinic

It was a beautiful Saturday morning, the air was fresh with morning’s dew, and the birds belted their glee through the unhampered joy and majesty of song. So we woke with sleep in our eyes and pep in our step to embrace a day that was sure to be nothing short of magical. Breakfast was light, a perfectly glazed doughnut, maybe two, and a hot cup of Joe. The coffee’s aroma was crisp and entered the nostrils as if to tell us it was time to go, it was time to get with it, it was time for the first ever Pediatrics Saturday Well Check Clinic.

The story begins in January. Betty Sanders and I were approached by a veritable litany of managed care Medicaid organizations. They came bearing treats of sunny delight and assorted nuts that were diligently separated into equally sized plastic packaging, done so by the precise calculatingly cold robotic hands of the General Mills factory from which they surely came. All was done in the hopes of seducing the department into a partnership the likes of which had never been seen, in a whimsically daring attempt to serve our community, while simultaneously improving the health of the city’s children with much-needed vaccines, physical examinations and lab tests.

I must admit I was skeptical of the plan they presented; the idea was young, nubile and unrefined by the careful embrace of the hands of time and teamwork. So we debated, and then we collaborated, and then with little warning and certainly no time to brace we had stumbled upon what appeared to be the foundation of what would soon become a beautiful plan.

With the stage set, the team had come into place; I can’t say enough of the efforts of Betty Sanders, Erica Mcdonald, Heather Border, Amber Garcia, Andrea Tomas, Whitney Smith, Jennifer Irvin and Dr. Tammy Camp. They were the rocks, they were the steam engine, and they were the ones that knocked this thing out of the park. With countless meetings, and what seemed to be futile attempts at convincing the staff and faculty to come in on their most precious day off, a day they spend fleeting time with their families, a day meant for playing in the sun, a day to forget about the troubles that stifle them all week long, a day of days, what day you ask? Saturday, of course. I don’t know how they did it, perhaps with the lure of overtime pay, perhaps with the promise of gifts, perhaps we’ll never know, but rest assured dear readers, the subtle tinkering fingers of persuasion were dancing on the minds of all who received the call, and rest even more assured, they responded.

The players were in place on the eve of the event. We gathered one last time to go over our battle plan. It was complex, unknown to brevity, unpunctuated, succinct was a word this plan had never known, a mighty undertaking some would say. Many hours were spent preparing, parceling and packaging the plethora of predictable yet perpetual paperwork for the plenty of hopefully non-pugnacious patients we were presumably going to serve in clinic that day! Much credit to Erica Mendez and Julian Gutierrez is deserved, his and her efforts bled stoutly into the dwindling hours of the evening on the eve of the event. With delicate subjugation Erica even managed to enlist her three young children and boyfriend’s complimentary labor that night.

The morning of the affair was upon us; with tremendous allure patients filtered in through the magnificent spinning glass door of the Medical Pavilion, each presenting us with grand smiles strewn carelessly about their young faces, as if to show us of the everlasting gratitude they felt in their hearts. The event went off without a hitch and our team treated more than 70 children. In my years at TTUHSC, I have rarely witnessed teamwork on such a grandiose scale. It was refreshing to witness everyone relaxed and enjoying each other’s company, undisturbed by the relentless pester of phone calls, and the typical cornucopia of irritants bestowed unto us by the work week. Much thanks to all that participated and gave up their day off, and one last extra special thanks to all of the P.S.S, nurses, nurse aids, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, volunteers, biller coders, managers, administrators, echo techs, and family members that gave their time simply out of the goodness of their hearts. The rest of us couldn’t have done it without you!