A&M, DeTar agree to medical residency partnership


May 1, 2013 at 12:01 a.m.
Updated May 2, 2013 at 12:02 a.m.

Victoria's medical community might soon bleed maroon.

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents on Wednesday got the ball rolling for a potential residency partnership between the Texas A&M Health Science Center and Victoria's DeTar Healthcare System.

Regents authorized plans to create a contract for a new, accredited family medicine residency program, according to an A&M system news release.

The proposed contract will generate revenue to the health science center throughout a four-year period, according to the release. That revenue will support the costs associated with the program's creation.

"One of my goals for the Texas A&M System is to create new opportunities for students to develop, while adding value to the state," Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said in the release. "This is a great example and we are proud to have the opportunity to partner with DeTar."

DeTar Healthcare System CEO William R. Blanchard, in a company news release, said the hospital is committed to providing quality patient care. As part of that care, DeTar continually evaluates its opportunities to improve services and address the community's needs.

"While it is premature to offer specific details at this time, we are pleased by the Texas A&M board of regents' decision, which opens the door for further discussions," he said in the DeTar release. "We look forward to sharing information as any plans become firm."

DeTar Healthcare System is a 304-bed, two-hospital system in Victoria, according to the A&M release.

Any chance to bring more physicians to the Crossroads - an area that typically has difficulty attracting doctors - is a good thing, Dr. John McNeill said.

"Once you get them here, then they'll find out that Victoria is a nice place to live," he said. "Perhaps they'll stay."

McNeill, whose office already accepts third- and fourth-year medical students from Galveston's University of Texas Medical Branch, said he's advocated residency programs from the start.

Not only do they offer doctors additional help, he said, but they also provide physicians who enjoy teaching easier access to students.

The cutting-edge medicine such programs bring to the area is another plus.

"It allows us to have access to avenues that are only available to teaching hospitals," he said. "It's a great opportunity."

Lisa Campbell, a doctor of nursing practice and registered nurse, agreed the program would bring benefits. Still, she said she hopes its developers think outside the box.

Some programs offer residencies for nurse practitioners, she said, which would be useful in Victoria. A focus on interprofessional teamwork - incorporating more patient-centered and holistic approaches to care - would also help.

"A lot of medical and nursing schools are doing collaborative efforts," she said. "I think that's important for physicians coming out now."



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