Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford first opened its doors June 24, 1973. This year, the hospital is celebrating 50 years serving the northeast Tarrant County community.
With a little over a year as president of Texas Health HEB, Jared Shelton reflects on the hospital’s founding and shares how it plans to grow.
Texas Health HEB quick facts:
- Number of beds: 322
- Number of physicians: 683
- Number of total employees: 1,518
This interview has been edited for clarity, grammar and length.
David Moreno: Texas Health HEB is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Talk to me about its history. How has the hospital evolved over the years?
Jared Shelton: It’s a really unique community here in Hurst, Euless and Bedford. The hospital dates back to the late ’60s when the community started talking about the idea of having their own hospital in northeast Tarrant County to meet a growing population need. They rallied together and were the reason why this hospital was built. It was originally a standalone hospital; it wasn’t connected to a health system at that time.
The hospital joined the Harris Methodist Health System in the ’70s. Then the hospital became part of Texas Health Resources when it formed in 1997.
We’ve had unbelievable leadership at this hospital over the years. Now the community is a bit older than other parts of North Texas, but it’s still a great place to live and (has) a strong business community.
Moreno: You’ve spent a year as president of Texas Health HEB. What are some of your accomplishments?
Shelton: In October 2022, we were designated as a magnet facility. What it means is we have strong nursing outcomes and a hospital environment where nursing thrives. That really was a proud moment for us because our nursing team here is excellent.
Moreno: What are some misconceptions people have about being president of a medical facility?
Shelton: I tell my wife all the time. If you ever see a movie about hospitals, the hospital administrators, like, they’re never a good guy — they’re always the bad guy.
A misconception that people have, at least from a staff perspective, is healthcare is still a very conservative business to this day. I wear suits a lot, and sometimes people don’t consider how approachable we want to be. I’m out throughout the day at different times. I talk to people and I smile. Sometimes it’s hard for people to see past the title.
Moreno: What are some current projects the hospital is working on?
Shelton: One of the things we’ve been working on for the past several years is trying to get outside of the four walls of the hospital to not just focus on sick care or acute care. We have an understanding that there’s a lot of social determinants of health that exist in the communities that we serve that are way upstream.
Texas Health has really undertaken a significant effort to help to identify those social determinants of health and work on access to health care services, healthy food and mental health access. Those are things that, 10 years ago, hospitals would say, ‘Well, that’s not really our job to do that.’ But as we’ve evolved in our understanding of health care, we really have taken on that responsibility to say ‘We play a role in this as well.’
Moreno: Are there any challenges or obstacles the hospital is navigating?
Shelton: Health care continues to evolve. The pace of change is so quick that it’s sometimes hard to keep up. One of the things we’ve seen is a significant shift in technology improvements. There’s certain specialties that really are being threatened because the medical management of patients is so good now. They don’t ever reach a phase where they need a surgical intervention because we’re managing them so well on medications. All of those changes have sort of moved the question in our mind of ‘What does a hospital need to be for their community?’
Moreno: Now, it would be too out there to ask you what the next 50 years would look like, but where would you like to see Texas Health HEB in the next five to 10 years?
Shelton: Now, what we’re looking at is becoming more of not just a community hospital, but more of a medical center. We’re asking ourselves, “How do we provide higher levels of care to people who need it, so that people don’t have to get in the car and drive to Fort Worth or Dallas?”
I think getting in your car and driving to Fort Worth 20 years ago, traffic wise, looked a lot different than it does now. It can take half your day to do that. The more we can do to provide high-quality care close to home is really important to us, but it takes on a lot of different looks. It means providing new services, recruiting new specialists and new physicians.
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