TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Piney Woods Regional Advisory Council is in charge of supplying hospitals with what they need to help the people of several East Texas counties. Beth Powell, Hospital Preparedness Program Manager says, “what we do here at the RAC is we support the hospitals. We may not be able to give them 100% of what we need, but we are going to do the best that we can with the resources we have.”
A RAC is a Regional Advisory Council tasked to help emergency medical services and hospitals in one of the 22 trauma service regions in Texas. Smith, Gregg, and surrounding counties are a part of region G. This falls under the Piney Woods RAC, in charge of the hospital preparedness programs in regions G and F.
Powell explains saying, “we can tell where the hospitals are and what they may need help with. So if they don’t call us we can call them and say ‘we see that you’re getting really close on your number of ICU beds, how can we help? What’s going on? What are you seeing?”
Then the RAC will distribute what they’ve been supplied with from the state to emergency medical services and hospitals depending on need.
“When you have a resource like that, it’s limited. It’s not gonna meet everybody’s needs. We have right now, less than half of what we would need to meet every request,” says Powell.
According to the Piney Woods RAC, they’ve been tracking the increasing case numbers in the region and doing what they can to help hospitals prepare. Powell explains that a big request they’re working to fill, involves more nurses -- “one of the things the state has done for us is given us the opportunity to have some nurses here in the region. So we’re working with hospitals all over to try to place nurses strategically in order to be able to support what needs to happen as those numbers increase.”
Every hospital or clinic might not receive everything requested, but Powell says it’s not because they’re not important, but rather emergency medical services with the most complex cases must get priority.