Hospital Rounds

Monday, February 10, 2020

Methodist Hospital | Stone Oak Names Chris Dunbar as New COO

Methodist Hospital | Stone Oak recently appointed Chris Dunbar, MHL, as new Chief Operating Officer effective Nov. 1, 2019. For the past three years, he has been in Denver, serving as the VP of Operations at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s and the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.


Chris Dunbar, MHL

As a key contributor on their leadership team, Dunbar positively impacted the hospital’s growth and quality. During his tenure, he led numerous clinical departments such as the Emergency Department, Laboratory Services, Respiratory Therapy and Rehab Services, as well as several nonclinical teams including Pastoral Care, Security, and Food and Nutrition. Additionally, Dunbar spearheaded multiple service line growth strategies and initiatives. Focusing on patient experiences, Dunbar led efforts to increase overall ratings of care in Emergency Services, Outpatient Test and Treatment, and Inpatient, where they have seen sustained improvement. He also served as the executive co-lead to deliver a $4.8 million state-of-the-art clinical education center.

Exhibiting leadership skills that earned him an invitation to HCA Healthcare’s prestigious executive development program, Dunbar implemented successful employee retention strategies which reduced turnover through improved compensation, corporate communication and mentorship.

“We are really excited about adding Chris to our leadership team,” says Marc Strode, CEO of Methodist Hospital | Stone Oak. “We were immediately drawn to his thoughtful approach to building and maintaining relationships with those around him. He’s such an accomplished leader and we will leverage his expertise to help drive our strategic initiatives to better meet the needs of our community.”


CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Announce Partnership With OLLU Athletics

CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System and Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) teamed up recently to announce an agreement, making the health system the “Official Partner of OLLU Athletics.”

Rudy Navarro, MD, of CHRISTUS Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, marked the occasion by donning an OLLU baseball cap — symbolizing the new pact between the health provider and university.

Under the agreement, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System will provide professional, licensed athletic trainers for weekly clinics and during game day, led by the CHRISTUS Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine team.

“I grew up playing a number of sports, so this partnership is something near and dear to me,” Dr. Navarro explains. “Our goal in working with Our Lady of the Lake University is to ensure that these student athletes are operating at peak physical condition, while providing the care and expertise that CHRISTUS Santa Rosa is known for.”

“Our work is on display each time these student athletes take the field,” adds Dean Alexander, President and CEO of CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System. “This partnership is exciting to us because of what Our Lady of the Lake University means to San Antonio — it only feels natural that we would join forces to better serve our community.”

“We are excited to have the additional layer of medical support for our student-athletes. The improvements it will lend our athletic training program, as well as the numerous ways it will impact other areas of OLLU across the board, was imperative to start to meet some of the challenges created by growth in the athletic department student body,” OLLU Athletic Director Shane Hurley commented. “I’d like to give special thanks to [CHRISTUS Santa Rosa] Sherry Fraser and Dr. Navarro, [OLLU] Corey Beecher, Alyssa Guerra, Julie Stuckey, Nicole Monsibais, Anthony Turrietta, Lourdes Alvarez, Georgina Schmahl and many others who played a role in helping shape this partnership.”

“We are so grateful to CHRISTUS Santa Rosa for their partnership,” says OLLU Provost Lourdes Alvarez, PhD. “Hundreds of current and future student-athletes will benefit immensely from the services and funds that are being provided. We look forward to sustaining the partnership for years to come.”


Methodist Hospital Performs Robotic-Assisted Lung Biopsy for First Time

Methodist Hospital is one of only 15 centers in the country, and among just two healthcare facilities in Texas, to perform a minimally invasive peripheral lung biopsy using robotic-assisted technology. This major medical advancement offers doctors unprecedented stability, enabling the precision needed for biopsy far into the peripheral lung and allowing easier diagnosis of lung cancer earlier than ever before.

The robot features an ultrathin, easily maneuverable catheter that can move 180 degrees in all directions, which doctors can navigate through small and tortuous airways to reach nodules in any airway segment within the lung. The robot’s flexible biopsy needle can also pass through very tight bends via the catheter to collect tissue in the peripheral lung, enabling a more precise biopsy and easier surgical experience for patients.

The robot is designed to access difficult-to-reach areas of the lung through natural openings, like the mouth. When used for lung cancer screening, it supports early diagnosis by sampling tissue from small nodules in hard-to-reach areas of the lung where previous tools and procedures were unable to access.

“With the ability to go through the natural airways of the lung with this technology, there is no puncturing of the lung tissue from the outside of the lining of the lung,” commented pulmonologist Ali Abedi, MD. “It becomes a safer way to approach some of these lesions that are in the periphery of the lung for patients who have fairly advanced underlying lung disease.”

Prior to this advancement, the preferred method to reach abnormal spots that were in the periphery of the lung was to use a live CT scan image and a needle, entering the chest wall and lung from outside the body. This presented a relatively high risk of injuring the lung tissue and causing the lung to collapse for some patients who had advanced lung disease with emphysema.

“We’re always excited to be involved in new innovations in the field of pulmonology and interventional pulmonology,” Dr. Abedi says. “Not only will we be providing a valuable service for our patients, but we’ll also be participating in the development of this new technology. We will be able to collect data which will help us advance this procedure and make this type of sampling of lung tissue more efficient in the future.”

Dr. Abedi and Napoleon Puente, MD, pulmonologists with the Methodist Advanced Lung Center, conducted its first robotic-assisted lung biopsy procedure during the fall.