A Wealth of Experience - HSNT Board Member Spotlight
Dr. Howard Shaw, MD, describes being a Chief Medical Officer (CMO) as a kind of interpreter. He’s someone who knows administration-speak and doctor-speak, and because of that he can better guide the providers of the hospital, Medical City Denton, and can take the lead on how best to make sure that they continue to provide the best quality care. That, in a nutshell, is what he helps HSNT with by being an HSNT board member.
“I was looking for something to do in the community,” Dr. Shaw says. “Our marketing person, she keeps her eyes open for opportunities and [HSNT] just ended up being a great fit. Pretty much my entire career I’ve taken care of under-served patients, whether it was at Oklahoma University or at Yale, and I joined pretty early in the time that I first moved here three years ago.”
Being a CMO is a position that requires a deep well of experience in the medical field, and Dr. Shaw is not lacking in that department at all. His undergraduate and medical schooling were completed in his home state of Kansas, after which he did his residency training in OB/GYN in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dr. Shaw stayed in Tulsa for 12 years as in a senior position at Oklahoma University, then moved to Connecticut to be the chair of OB/GYN at a large hospital in Hartford, and then got recruited to Yale…and then moved to Nebraska. It wasn’t until February 2017 that he and his wife finally made the move to Denton.
“I opened a state-of-the-art, 116 bed hospital there [in Nebraska] ...but it was western Nebraska,” says Dr. Shaw. "It was four hours from Denver and four hours from Omaha so, it was pretty tough on my wife…. The background for Denton, for me personally, was that my favorite aunt and uncle retired here 25 years ago, and my wife and I had stayed at their house with my kids and stuff before, and they were thrilled that we came down.”
Throughout his career, Dr. Shaw has worked with under-served patients and communities. Everywhere he’s worked, he says, he’s either opened up or helped with indigent clinics and health centers. So, when he landed in Denton, he knew he needed to do something like there here, as well.
“I chair the Quality Committee [with HSNT], so we’ve really been looking at the [information] that Dr. Siegel has put out. I help counsel him on some things, but it’s really been a great relationship,” Dr. Shaw explains. “One of the difficulties at our emergency department was just placing people. We don’t have a primary care base here [at Medical City], and that’s what HSNT has helped with.”
Dr. Shaw has personal experience with the work that HSNT does in the community, as well. When his mother-in-law moved to Denton, she was 70 years old and on Medicare, and she couldn’t find a primary care doctor.
“Nobody would take Medicare, you know? So HSNT has just been fabulous at being able to serve, like I said, in under-served communities.”
Dr. Shaw is looking forward to future partnerships between HSNT and Medical City Denton, where both centers can benefit from each other and better help the Denton community.
“We’ll have a [new residency] clinic over here in our office building, probably right next to HSNT ! It’s a little weird when you get into a for-profit hospital and a [non-profit health center] …but most likely we’d do things like having Dr. Siegel teach, and other things to just welcome those new residents into the community.”