Emergency medicine makes community outreach a priority

Dr. Thiago Halmer has a passion for the community and giving back, having been involved in outreach projects since he was an undergraduate student. He is continuing that tradition as chief resident in the emergency medicine program.

“As chief resident, I saw an opportunity to get involved in our community in a larger way and begin to build relationships within it. When patients come to our emergency room, we see them for only a brief amount of time, and community outreach allows us to connect with that patient population on a more significant level,” explained Halmer.

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Halmer, along with nine other emergency medicine residents, the program director, nurses and ER technicians, volunteered on Christmas Eve to help distribute toys to underprivileged children at City Wide Club of Clubs’ Big Feast event.

City Wide Club of Clubs was started in 1975 by Harris County high school and college students who were looking for a way to give back to their community of their time and talent. Its mission is to provide social services to the underserved and senior citizens, or those simply looking for a helping hand. The Big Feast brings together businesses, volunteers and organizations annually for an evening of service, providing food, entertainment and household items during the holidays.

“Service, education and leadership are three core traits that define our residency program. Our service is not only to the patients we care for at Ben Taub, but to our community as a whole,” said Dr. Tyson Pillow, program director for the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at Baylor.

Halmer said he’s hoping community service will become his legacy as a chief resident. “It is my hope that this event becomes an annual tradition and continues to grow across the department and outside of the hospital walls.”

“Showing our patients that we’re invested in their health and community is crucial in making a greater impact. The goal is two-fold with this push to make community engagement a larger tradition across the department; we are giving back to the community, but we’re also getting such a rewarding experience out of it while being given the opportunity to switch gears from the emergency room setting to seeing these patients on some of their happiest days,” said Halmer.

For future community service events, Halmer envisions continuing to work with City Wide Club of Clubs with the intention of establishing a strong presence at its annual service events moving forward and inspiring other departments to follow suit.