Going to an emergency room can be a scary, frustrating experience. If you’re not on the verge of death, but in great pain you might have to wait hours to be seen in a busy, big-city ER. And when you get your bill for the visit, that could be heart-attack inducing as well. A doctor in Houston, Texas though about those challenges and decided to be proactive by founding her own emergency room facility independent of any hospital.
Thirty-two-year-old Dr. Foyekemi Ikyaator (Dr. Foye, pronounced Foy-yay) started the ER so that patients could get faster and more specified medical care. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin Medical School, the Nigerian native is now the medical director of Life SaversER, in Houston, Texas, Ikyaator and her husband, who co-founded the facility, fulfilled a need that is slowly being answered at urgent care facilities similar to theirs around the country. At Lifesavers, there is a no-wait policy, and it also offers free flu shots, free CPR training and $10 sports physicals. You can check-in online and there is a pharmacy on the premises. If your case requires hospitalization, LifeSavers will handle the paperwork for the transfer.
“When you go to a regular hospital you check in and are essentially given a number,” Ikyaator told MadameNoire.com “The doctor sees you, orders tests and then they go to the lab and you wait for the results to come back. The whole hospital is using the same lab and the same testing equipment, and the system gets clogged so there is a wait. We are a freestanding ER, which means that we’re not located in a hospital. But we have everything needed to provide the same level of care. So a patient who might have to wait an hour to get a C-T scan at a regular hospital, and even longer to get the results, can get tested and the results back in 10 minutes.”
Sadly, that was the case with Ikyaator’s own mother, who found out she had ovarian cancer via a battery of tests done in an OR visit. The cancer went undetected during several months of testing in a regular doctor’s office, she told MadameNoire.
Although there are other freestanding ER’s in the Houston area and around the country, Lifesavers insists that community service is part of their business model. According to their website, they sponsor a high school and have offered free sports physicals and CPR training during community outreach events.