It’s owned by doctors but focused on patients. It houses many medical functions in a single building, but does so without becoming a faceless corporate entity.
Woodlands Medical Specialists is unique, and for patients and the local economy, it’s a Game Changer.
The group’s headquarters, The Woodlands Center for Specialized Medicine, offers both diagnostics and treatment in the areas of hematology-oncology, radiation-oncology and urology.
The result is a “one-stop shop” for patient care.
“We have the ability in one institution to provide cancer care with chemotherapy, with radiation therapy and the imaging,” says urologist and Vice President of Woodlands Medical Specialists Dr. David Bernstein. “So patients are not being required to travel long distances or to multiple locations.”
An intensified focus on patient care is evident before the patient even walks in the door. Patients are greeted in the parking lot by concierges who escort them into the building.
“We don’t have large billboards or signs in the building directing patients to different floors,” says Dr. Bernstein. “We have concierges that do that. We…deliver them into the building in a warm, welcoming manner.”
Since many of the patients at Woodlands require daily or weekly treatment, Dr. Bernstein says they often get to know the concierges on a first-name basis.
“These people don’t dread coming to our facility. They look forward to meeting (the concierges) and giving them a hug when they come in the door.”
Once the patient is inside, they’ll find themselves in an atmosphere radically different from most other medical facilities.
“We wanted a…welcoming environment. Not the typical type of sterile box you get at other places. Our colors are warm.”
According to Dr. Bernstein, Woodlands is able to maintain their strong focus on patient care thanks to intelligent leadership. He credits CEO Linda D’Amore with helping to bind doctors and employees together into a business model that works.
“We discovered that she had a tremendous background in medical group management and managing personnel, both doctors and employees. We were fortunate enough to pluck her out of the consulting world and put her in the CEO role.”
While Dr. Bernstein remains optimistic about Woodlands’ present, he admits that its future may be unclear. The Affordable Care Act, known by some as Obamacare, is poised to change the business of healthcare in the United States. Dr. Bernstein believes that many of those changes won’t be good for Woodlands.
“Independent medical practices are under attack. We (feel) very strongly that physicians should be independent, and not collared by higher authority (or) owned.”
Dr. Bernstein is troubled by the shift of doctors away from independent practices.
“Doctors are choosing employment over being independent. Which is something our…parents never experienced. Sometimes their doctor had his practice out of his house. Unfortunately, that’s changing.”
Dr. Bernstein insists that, no matter what changes occur, Woodlands will be sticking to their guns.
“We’re going to try to survive. Remaining independent…that’s the best way we can care for our patients.”
Caution over national policies aside, Dr. Bernstein does see some progress for the medical community—at least on a local level.
“(There are) a lot of dynamic things happening in this town. Davis Highway is becoming a nice medical corridor for patients. We’re happy to have built a large building and employed a lot of folks in town.”
Woodlands Center for Specialized Medicine
4724 N. Davis Highway