Wednesday, April 30, 2003

HOUSTON — If Terry Hull isn’t the largest provider of home ventilators to pediatric patients in southeast Texas, he doesn’t know who is.

Terry’s Respiratory Care, which opened for business in December 2000 and just added a new location in Beaumont, services 100 home ventilator patients, about 70 of those children and infants.

“I have a gravitational pull to children,” Hull said. “The biggest pay off is the satisfaction I receive when we pull off a successful discharge and we come back a week or a year later and the family is thriving at home.”

Many respiratory providers avoid “technology dependent” pediatric vent patients because of the high price of some of the newer ventilators, potential liability issues and because servicing them can be labor intensive.

But for Hull, caring for kids is all in a day’s work. And in Houston — home to Texas Children’s Hospital (the largest of its kind in the world) and Memorial Hermann Children’s Hospital — there’s plenty of pediatric vent work if you want it.

The key to doing it right, Hull said, is making sure that every one in your company understands your mission of facilitating a successful discharge and training a family to care for a technology dependent child.

“I can understand that,” Hull said. “The chief respiratory therapist can understand that. But if a customer service representative doesn’t buy into it and doesn’t get supplies delivered on time or the driver doesn’t under stand that the oxygen has to be there on this day at this time, you have a break down in the program. Everyone of our employees buys into the program.”

To facilitate a successful discharge, Terry Respiratory spends a minimum of two weeks training the child’s at-home caregiver.

In addition to its vent patients, Terry’s Respiratory Care services 300 active home respiratory patients and from Feb. 1 2002 to Feb. 12003, the company grew 300%, Hull said.

Since opening its Beaumont branch March 1, Terry’s Respiratory has picked up 15 pediatric respiratory patients in that area, five of them ventilator dependent.

“We grow every day,” Hull said. “There is the entire state of Texas and then there is the United States. If there’s a kid in need and were able to do it, we’ll do it.” HME