Better pediatric care coming to East Texas - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Better pediatric care coming to East Texas


East Texas children will soon be able to get specialized medical care much closer to home. 

Monday, officials revealed Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics has a new relationship agreement with Children's Medical Center Dallas and UT Southwestern Medical Center, a move they hope will bring better pediatric care closer to home. 

"Children's and UT Southwestern are going to be able to bring a lot of specialty resources where we can keep more children locally but still have the same quality care that they would get in Dallas," says Laura Owen, CEO of Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler. 

The announcement means experts in pediatrics, cardiology, urology, telemedicine, and other subspecialties, as well as educational services, will be right here in East Texas.

"It almost brings tears to your eyes just because you think about the families now that won't have to go through the things that we have, financially and just to be away from family," says Dell Shankle, an East Texas father whose daughter was taken to Dallas for care after she was born.

While Shankle's daughter was in a Dallas NICU, his wife remained in a Tyler hospital.

"It was very difficult to be taken out of your community without doctors and family to support you," Shankle says. 

Shankle's daughter, Martha, is doing well now, but Monday's announcement means her check-ups will be much easier. 

"Those same specialists will be coming here and will be in our community. It's not going to be taking her out of school for a day, it will just be a normal routine for us," Shankle says. 

The medical centers involved say formalizing their long-term relationships simply makes "good sense" for their patients. 

Another update that Trinity Mother Frances says will improve patient care is having electronic medical records.

Those records can be transferred back and forth from Children's in Dallas, meaning you won't have to relay information to different doctors or have duplicate services done.

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