St. Luke’s President Bob Heifner on the Health Needs of Fort Bend County

From left: Jagdip Ahluwalia, Allen Richards, Joya Shukla, Rob Heifner, Janice Lamy, Tarush Anand Photo: Bijay Dixit

From left: Jagdip Ahluwalia, Allen Richards, Joya Shukla, Rob Heifner, Janice Lamy, Tarush Anand Photo: Bijay Dixit

By Manu Shah

SUGAR LAND: On July 26, the lobby at CHI St. Luke’s Health in Sugar Land was filled with healthcare professionals, IACCGH members and guests who were attending the Business of Medicine Series featuring St. Luke’s President Rob Heifner. The Series which seeks to build bridges between the medical community in Houston and India was initiated and developed by Past President Joya Shukla.

Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia outlined the Chamber’s work of promoting Houston’s economy and enabling its members to network with members of different industries at events such as this.

President Allen Richards reminded the gathering about the Chamber’s upcoming Gala which brings together Houston’s top business leaders. He encouraged them to attend the event which is to be held on August 26th at the Hilton Americas in downtown.

In an address that highlighted how CHI St. Luke’s was addressing the health needs of the Fort Bend community, Rob Heifer pointed out that there were 8 hospitals in a 10 mile radius of which CHI St. Luke’s was one. Business and healthcare for him, he stated, were clearly “separate” and while a hospital needs to be financially viable to continue serving the healthcare needs of the County, a more pressing concern for him was addressing these needs in a responsive manner.

A study conducted found that Fort Bend County is statistically the most ethnically diverse community in Texas. The demographics show the population to be young and affluent but a startling discovery was the rampant sexual abuse among children. A grant was secured and the issue is being addressed by creating awareness and a program for adults which will be expanded to pediatrics.

He also observed that there will be a fundamental shift in the future of healthcare. Health care costs will be determined by genetics, lifestyle choices and the utilization of healthcare resources. The industry will also need to reflect on how to improve the healthcare of the population and focus on changing inpatient care to more outpatient services. He asserted that it is vital to “stay ahead of the curve to address the needs of the community” and regularly meets with hospital heads in the vicinity to share best practices that will benefit patients.

The hospital which opened in 2008, became CHI St. Luke’s in 2013 and over the years focused on delivering quality healthcare. An endorsement of how they rate among the country’s hospitals’, he noted with pride, came from the Department of Health and Human Services which awarded St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital with the 2017 Partnership for Patients for significant levels of improvement in quality, safety and satisfaction. This distinction is given to the top ten percent of the country’s hospitals and according to Rob Heifner has “set the bar.”

Joya Shukla thanked President Heifner for sharing a “level of detail in his talk that was impressive” while VP of Marketing and Communications Janice Lamy highlighted the partnership between the Chamber and CHI St. Luke’s.