ABOVE: CTMC Volunteer Coordinator Belinda Gardner (far left) stands with a team of volunteers and an area family who recently received a ramp from the Texas Ramps Hays County branch, an initiative that CTMC recently assumed the lead sponsorship role in.
SAN MARCOS, TX – Building ramps for community households in need is one way Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC) is keeping its mission in motion. The hospital recently took the lead on the Hays County branch of the Texas Ramps initiative by becoming the official sponsor of the program. The Kiwanis Club previously led the charge but passed the torch to CTMC in March.
“Because we already had such a great response with volunteers who serve on our teams, the Kiwanis Club decided to step back and put us in charge of the Hays County area,” said CTMC Ramp Building Coordinator Bob Gardner. “Because there is such a great need for ramps, I think it’s important that we just keep this happening.”
Gardner also serves as an auxiliary volunteer at the hospital, as well as the leader of Texas Ramps’ Hays County affiliate. According to Gardner, CTMC got involved with Texas Ramps after approving a portion of the budget to help people in the community with housing needs. Getting involved with the Kiwanis Club and Texas Ramps made sense, Gardner said, because CTMC did not have to reinvent the wheel. Gardner has worked in remodeling as a hobby and is a self-proclaimed handy man, so the task came naturally to him.
Once referrals for ramps are made to Texas Ramps, requests are prioritized based on need. Hospice patients, people on dialysis and those who live alone typically receive ramps first. Once a project is approved, modules are pre-built at the San Marcos warehouse on Staples Road, then teams set a date to gather at the residence and construct the ramp from the pre-built components. The ramps that are produced by the Texas Ramps’ Hays County branch meet the codes laid out in the American Disabilities Act.
Since CTMC assumed the lead role, six ramps have been constructed for homes in Hays County. Gardner said his most touching experience was providing a ramp for the home of a disabled 9-year-old girl.
“She was just all smiles,” he said. “Now she can go out on her back porch and easily access the backyard and school bus.”
For Hays County, CTMC’s goal for this year is to complete 20 ramps, but Gardner said he expects to build 24. The hospital currently has two ramp-building teams and is looking to expand. If you would like to become a volunteer or donate to the cause, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The hospital, which originated in 1923 as Hays County Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Memorial Hospital, was restructured in 1960. The present facility was opened at its current Wonder World Drive location in 1983. The CTMC staff of more than 700 employees works with more than 220 active and consulting physicians to provide quality services to patients and their families. In addition, over 200 community members and interns from area educational institutions volunteer their services to the hospital. In 2010 and again in 2011, CTMC was named The Best Hospital in Hays County. In addition, CTMC added a certified Chest Pain Center to its ER capabilities in 2011. In 2012, CTMC became the first operating room along the IH-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio to be equipped with a da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery suite.
CTMC is a member of the Adventist Health System (AHS), a not-for-profit healthcare organization that emphasizes Christ at the center of care. Founded in 1973, AHS has quickly grown to become the largest not-for-profit Protestant healthcare provider in the nation. Today, AHS supports 43 hospitals and employs 55,000 individuals. AHS hospitals are comprised of 7,700 licensed beds, providing care for 4 million patients each year in inpatient, outpatient and emergency room visits.