This year has tested our community like never before. Since the coronavirus started spreading, the small sacrifices of comforts and convenience made by everyone in Texas 12 have helped our community bend the curve and safely start reopening, Meanwhile our healthcare workers have demonstrated immense heroism in the face of the invisible enemy. Many of these healthcare workers, including those that I met earlier this year at John Peter Smith Hospital, describe being driven by a sense of responsibility to their communities in their fight against the virus.
A sense of duty to community is key to the values and virtues of JPS Hospital. As a “public safety net” hospital, JPS is dedicated to providing a significant level of care to Tarrant County’s low-income, uninsured, and vulnerable residents, who have limited healthcare access due to their finances or insurance issues. Throughout this historic public health challenge, JPS has used smart strategies to treat even more coronavirus patients at home than in hospital beds. Since April JPS Hospital has pioneered a unique program combining modern medicine with the old-fashioned phone call: by using telemedicine to treat coronavirus patients recovering at home, the hospital maximizes its services by reserving its beds for the sickest patients. Through innovative practices like these—and its commitment to treating everyone, not just the well-insured—JPS saves lives, money, and serves social justice.
Last month JPS was named the best hospital in the entire country out of over 3,000 hospitals evaluated by Washington Monthly Magazine, which based its ranking on patient outcomes, civic leadership, and value of care. The coronavirus pandemic—which disproportionately impacts minority and low-income residents in Tarrant County and across Texas —makes clear that we can no longer ignore the role of hospitals in serving the healthcare needs of the less fortunate in their area. I’m proud, but not surprised, to see JPS set the new standard of care, and commend its frontline healthcare workers as they adapt to treating a disease unlike anything they may have learned about in medical school. I was inspired and heartened by them when I visited JPS in May with State Rep. Charlie Geren to say thank you and bring them gift cards for a true Fort Worth meal at the Railhead BBQ.
As our community overcomes a time of sickness, we have our healthcare champions like JPS to thank, as well as our metroplex’s other excellent health facilities. Last week, U.S. News & World Report ranked two other Fort Worth hospitals—Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth and Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth No. 6—as among the top 20 in Texas. In each of these facilities, frontline healthcare workers are making sacrifices to protect us, and we must continue making sacrifices ourselves to get through this. Continue say to stay hopeful, but still stay home when you can, and wear your mask. Doing your part to slow the spread keeps our hospitals and healthcare workers from being overwhelmed. We’re part of the same team, as our healthcare facilities have the tools and we have the toughness to see this through.
Member of Congress