January 2022
From the CEO: New Beginnings and Renewed Hope
Many of us view the start of a new year as a time to set goals, start new projects, and take on new challenges. There can definitely be an exciting feeling to a fresh start. All of us at TETAF look forward to our newest team member, Jessica Phillips, starting this week as the perinatal program director. We are confident this will be an exciting new chapter for TETAF's perinatal division.

The holidays are typically a bit slower for our survey service lines, but the survey schedule picks up again this month for trauma, stroke, and neonatal. Also, in the past year, TETAF has provided more consultation surveys to its hospital partners than in past. These surveys have helped our hospital partners identify potential deficiencies prior to a designation survey. We are grateful this comprehensive service is making a difference in trauma care, acute care, and perinatal care in Texas.

There is also hope that someday we will not have the ongoing concerns over COVID-19. While we continue to monitor the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, we remain hopeful with all of you that those numbers will go down in the weeks ahead. The TETAF COVID-19 Safety Plan implemented in 2020 is a strategic plan that has been beneficial to our staff, surveyors, and hospital partners ensuring the necessary safety precautions are taken during an on-site survey.

While we are in the period between legislative sessions known as the interim, the TETAF Advocacy team has regular meetings scheduled to strategize and plan for the 88th Texas Legislature convenes in January 2023. TETAF's Legislative Workgroup calls will return soon and we hope many of you will join our engaging sessions.

I am hopeful for an exciting year ahead as we continue to focus on our mission and work to strengthen health care in Texas. We look forward to working with our hospital partners, Regional Advisory Councils, and stakeholders in this endeavor. I look forward to what we can accomplish in 2022!

Stay well,
TETAF Board of Directors Election Results
The TETAF General Assembly met in San Antonio on December 16. Five nominees were elected to the 2022 TETAF Board of Directors with terms that will expire in 2025. The General Assembly voted to select from the entire slate of 11 nominees with the five highest votes elected to serve on the TETAF Board of Directors.

The individuals elected to the TETAF Board of Directors are:

  • Scott Christopher, BBA, BSN, RN, LP - Lufkin (PHI Med 11, Air Medical Base Supervisor)
  • Dan Little, MD - Temple (McLane Children's Hospital, Chief of Pediatric Surgery)
  • Rhonda-Manor Coombes, BSN, RN, TCRN - Austin (Baylor Scott & White - Lakeway, Trauma Program Manager and Stroke Coordinator)
  • Kathy Perkins, RN, MBA - San Antonio (Texas Department of State Health Services, Retired Assistant Commissioner for Regulatory Services)
  • Danny Updike, RN, CCRN, EMT-LP - San Angelo (Regional Advisory Councils J and K, Executive Director)

New to the TETAF Board of Directors are Dan Little and Rhonda Manor-Coombes. Scott Christopher, Kathy Perkins, and Danny Updike will return to the TETAF Board for another term.

TETAF would like to thank our departing board members Nilda Garcia, M.D. and Angela Gentry, RN, MSN, TCRN for their years of commitment and service to the TETAF Board of Directors. 

Additionally, Lisa Hutchins, RN-NIC, has resigned from her seat effective January 1, 2022 due to a new employment opportunity. She has one year remaining on her term. This month, the TETAF Board of Directors will select an individual to serve the remainder of her term. TETAF Board officers will also be elected this month. Learn more about our Board of Directors on the TETAF website.
Next TETAF Board of Directors Quarterly Meeting in February
The next quarterly meeting of the TETAF Board of Directors will be Tuesday, February 8.

TETAF will determine in the coming weeks if the meeting will be held in person in Austin or if it will be virtual due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. Please visit the TETAF website and look for an email providing an update regarding the meeting location.
Designations Expiring in 2023 - Schedule a Consultation Survey Now
The risk of potential deficiencies can be significantly reduced when a hospital invests in its program prior to its verification survey.

TETAF offers consultation surveys that are a comprehensive review of a hospital's program components and plans that encompass the entire quality assurance process, including the tools and workflow from primary review through loop closure.The consultation survey should be scheduled 9 to 12 months prior to a facility's designation survey.

Hospitals have benefited from TETAF's consultation surveys as potential deficiencies are identified and recommendations are made. Schedule a consultation survey on the TETAF website. If you have questions regarding consultation surveys, please contact Brenda Putz, TETAF vice president of operations or Aaron Rogers, TETAF survey scheduling coordinator.
Texas Trauma and Acute Care News
GETAC Sets 2022 Meeting Dates
The next quarterly meeting of the Governor's EMS and Trauma Advisory Council (GETAC) will be at the Morton building in Austin on February 9-11. Other quarterly GETAC meetings are as follows:

May 24-26
August 17-19
November 19-21

The meetings are also streamed via Microsoft Teams.
New Coordinator Joins Texas TQIP
Texas TQIP has named Laura Garlow, MHA, BSN, RN, TCRN as its new coordinator. Laura will assist Texas TQIP a few hours each month with duties and preparation for quarterly meetings.
Texas Department of State Health Services Contact Information Updates
If your facility has had any changes in the following positions, remember to update the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) with the new contact information for:

  • Facility Administrator
  • Designation Program Manager
  • Designation Medical Director

New contact information should be sent to DSHS.EMS-TRAUMA@dshs.texas.gov. Additionally, please update this information with TETAF by emailing Aaron Rogers at arogers@tetaf.org.
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