The story of the East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System is as new as the most sophisticated medical technology - and as old as the need to care for one another.
Our philosophy of service transformed what was once one hospital drawing referrals from its surrounding area into a seamless system of primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities and services throughout East Texas. A system with one mission: bringing to the people of our region the care they deserve - care that is first in East Texas, second to none.
A philosophy of service to the region
The philosophy of regional service that drives the ETMC Regional Healthcare System originated in the mid-1970s. At that time, a study showed that although patients from outside Smith County accounted for more than half of the patient days at East Texas Medical Center Tyler, no organized effort had been made to establish formal referring relationships with hospitals in other East Texas communities.
In fact, those smaller hospitals saw ETMC as a competitor, especially as the hospital began to acquire more sophisticated technologies.
A future vision
ETMC management, however, saw a future in which the Tyler hospital could serve as a tertiary care referral center for smaller communities and could help those communities deliver better primary and secondary care.
They began to work toward realizing that vision.
During the '70s, ETMC had two goals: first, to create formal relationships with East Texas communities; and second, to diversify the range of services ETMC could make available to those communities.
The opportunity to pursue those goals presented itself in 1983 when Henderson County Hospital in Athens, Texas, became available to consider association with ETMC.
During the course of developing a relationship with the Athens hospital, the philosophy of service behind today's ETMC Regional Healthcare System evolved.
The first tenet of that philosophy was that the success of any relationship with another community would depend on successful performance - delivery of what was promised to the local hospital and more.
The second was that the Tyler hospital was committed to enabling that community hospital to provide as many medical services as possible locally, rather than concentrating services in Tyler.
The magic of shared resources
More than a million people call East Texas home. They live in communities ranging in population from fewer than 500 to more than 50,000.
And every year, we serve more than 300,000 of them.
ETMC's strategy is to provide care in rural areas whenever possible.
The system is organized so that primary care is provided in the rural health clinics. Secondary care is also provided locally in the ETMC affiliate hospitals. High-level secondary and tertiary care is provided at ETMC Tyler.
ETMC EMS provides emergency care and medically necessary transportation within the region and ETMC Home Health covers the entire system.