What do you do? As president and CEO of Houston Methodist, I lead our healthcare system, which includes eight hospitals, an academic research institute, a comprehensive residency program and numerous outpatient facilities.
Tell us about the plasma infusion treatment being tested at Houston Methodist. Houston Methodist was the first hospital in the nation to receive FDA approval to transfuse donated plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient into a critically ill patient. Plasma from someone who has recovered from COVID-19 contains antibodies made by the immune system and used to kill the virus. Transfusing this antibody-rich plasma into a COVID-19 patient—a patient still fighting the virus—may transfer the power of the antibodies into a healing, possibly lifesaving, therapy.
Are other hospitals doing this? In early April, a week after Houston Methodist began infusions on an emergency basis, the FDA approved a large-scale national clinical trial, opening the door for more patients to be treated with convalescent serum.
How has this pandemic changed your day to day? All the CEOs from Texas Medical Center institutions come together daily to discuss COVID-19. We share best practices, ideas and cases, and discuss how we’re approaching research—all while trying to plan for the future and a possible surge of patients.
How can we help to stop the spread? Flattening the curve is the responsibility of all of us. Listen to experts such as the CDC and your local government officials when it comes to hygiene practices and social distancing.
Photography by: Terry Vine