When Rosalie Hallenberger’s 52-year-old son Carl lay dying from cancer in a hospital bed last September, two physicians from MedCare Associates tended to him regularly night and day while also comforting his mother.
“Dr. Jaafar and his staff were a blessing to me and my husband,”
“They were there for us.” Incidentally, it was Carl who introduced his parents to Dr. Saleh Jaafar, founder of MedCare Associates, and his team of family practice physicians, internists and nurse practitioners eight years ago. Rosalie and her husband Charles have been their patients ever since.
Rosalie said she was ecstatic that the physicians of MedCare Associates, who were quite familiar with Carl and his medical history, were the ones administering him at the hospital, rather than a hospital physician assigned to look after him.
It is this idea of having a “hospital team,” or hospitalists, from a private medical practice caring for their own patients at a hospital is what Dr. Jaafar proudly offers his patients.
“With healthcare in San Antonio, if a patient gets sick and ends up in the hospital usually it’s a hospital doctor who sees them,” Dr. Jaafar explained.
“With our group, we have our own hospital team, so our patients are seen by one of our doctors.”
It’s one of the hallmarks of MedCare Associates, and we’re one of the few practices in San Antonio to do this.”
MedCare Associates, in essence, is unique in that the practice has its own clinic team, hospital team, nursing home team, rehab team and hospice care team, among others, Dr. Jaafar detailed.
On a recent Wednesday morning, nurse practitioner Rosslyn Blake was driving to the Hill Country to see a hospice patient at his home. Blake, who has been with MedCare Associates for nine years, sees both hospice and nursing home patients throughout San Antonio, as well as surrounding areas like Kerrville and Pleasanton “or wherever our patients are.”
“My specialty is geriatric and family practice,” Blake shared. “I have always had an affinity for the elderly and vulnerable populations.
“I like being able to give hospice patients comfort, education and be an advocate for them.”
Dr. Jaafar’s idea of bringing a team of hospitalists to his MedCare Associate patients came about after 10 years of seeing his patients in a hospital or clinic. “For the first 10 years of my practice, I used to do rounds on all my patients in the hospital before sunrise, so that I could go and do clinic all day,” he said. “I hated to surrender my patients to hospitalists who never met nor knew my patients. That is why I developed my own hospital team to care for MedCare patients and keep the continuity of care.”
He adds that his hospital team consists of four physicians and four physician’s assistants.
Founded in 1999, MedCare Associates has expanded to include six clinics: MedCare Associates of Stone Oak, Bandera Family Practice, MedCare Associates of Castroville, MedCare Associates of Boerne, Utopia Medical Clinic and Boerne Medical Clinic. Their services range from immunizations, EKGs, skin cancer removal, women’s health and wellness, and X-rays to minor surgical procedures and physical examinations for children and adults, and pre-op examinations.
Ever-evolving and improving themselves, MedCare Associates has exciting plans for 2017, Dr. Jaafar said, specifically that the practice plans to hire its own cardiology team, which would “create a full continuum of care” for their patients.
It’s important to Dr. Jaafar that he and his physicians, physician’s assistants, and nurse practitioners are able to treat patients not just in the city but in underserved rural areas as well, which is why his staff, like nurse Rosslyn Blake, will travel as far as Kerrville to see patients. His care and concern for patients in rural counties stems from treating patients when he was the medical director of an ER in Hondo for five years in the late ‘90s.
“I never wanted to leave those patients,” Dr. Jaafar shared. “They have a lot of health deficiencies, and they are not able to see a doctor as easy as a patient who lives in the city.”
Dr. Jaafar also believes in giving back to the communities that MedCare Associates serve. His practice provides free services to patients of the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic in Bandera that provides free, low-cost healthcare services to the residents of Bandera County who do not otherwise have access to medical care within the county.
“We see patients who can’t afford to pay or don’t have insurance,”
Founded by a benevolent practitioner with a heart of gold and dedication to serving patients with exceptional care and compassion, Dr.Jaafar and his fellow physicians at MedCare Associates will undoubtedly continue to elevate the standard of quality care whilst bringing much needed healthcare to underserved communities.
For more information visit www.medcare-associates.com.