This letter is being written in support of the South Texas Emergency Care organization. This organization was developed 32 years ago as a result of a mandate from the city council to provide service to our area. It is my understanding that the council is considering allowing other ambulance services to begin performing emergency care services in our area.
I have served for nearly 20 years as a volunteer physician to the advisory board of STEC. This advisory board is composed of 14 physicians with experiencing various areas of medicine including emergency medicine cardiology orthopedics family care and many other specialties. This board is unique amongst the ambulance services of South Texas. We are charged to provide advice regarding a variety of matters including new equipment and procedure review as well as peer review of paramedic performance on a regular basis.
STEC provides services to our community on many levels. They have ongoing paramedic training to all staff on a regular basis. They have a medical control officer and cold medical control officer which are available to paramedics to discuss difficult management situations. Medical recommendations to the paramedics are available on a 24-hour basis.
Beyond providing emergency paramedic care and transportation for homebound or nursing home patients, this organization has developed programs which are unmatched by any other ambulance service in the Valley.
An example is the paramedicine program, which was designed to help care for patients with congestive heart failure, recent myocardial infarctions, diabetes and obstructive airways disease who had been recently discharged from the hospital.
At the request of primary physicians, providers follow-up visits to be sure the patients have obtained their medications after hospital discharge are taking them in appropriate fashion. In addition, these visits have frequently found high risk situations such as dangerous living conditions which might increase the dangers such as high fall risk.
During the COVID pandemic, this same paramedicine program adapted and began providing COVID vaccinations to homebound individuals who could not otherwise receive this protection.
In addition, STEC has provided education to students and teachers throughout the Valley with the Stop the Bleed Program. Instructors have gone to the classroom setting to provide training in emergency management of bleeding until help arrives.
These are just a few examples of the many innovative programs that STEC provides to our community on a daily basis. Again, this organization is providing has level of care and is unmatched by any other ambulance service in our community. Emergency care programs throughout the state have been in contact with STEC to learn about its various programs.
In summary, it is with my highest recommendations to continue allowing this organization to provide the sole emergency services available to our community.
Sincerely, Michael Evans, M.D. Harlingen