“The opening of the clinic in Sienna ten years ago was such a proud moment for UTHealth and UT Physicians,” said Andrew Casas, senior vice president of
UTHealth and chief operating officer of UT Physicians. “The ribbon-cutting is a very vivid memory for me. Dr. Colasurdo was dean of the medical school at the time and we officially opened it together, surrounded by clinic staff. Together, we had this vision to build the practice and provide health care in neighborhoods across Greater Houston. We have done that and more. What an accomplishment, and it could not have been done without the hard work of so many at the university.”
A look back
On June 14, 2010, after more than a year of identifying a location, finalizing plans, construction, and recruiting staff, UT Physicians opened a clinic in the Sienna/Missouri City area at 8810 Highway 6, Suite 100. Saeed Chaudhry, MHA, MBA, vice president of operations for UT Physicians, led the team and remembers all of the hard work that went into fulfilling the vision to expand the practice outside the Texas Medical Center.
“I recall the research we did to find the first location in the community. After we chose the Sienna Village area, we went through a process to identify the needs of that population and the specialties that should be represented at the site,” said Chaudhry. “It was a first for us. With help from architects, designers, and advice from our physicians, we built a clinic from the ground up. Everything was carefully chosen—even the artwork on the walls. The ribbon-cutting was a very proud moment for UT Physicians. We were ahead of our time—as others followed us to the area while we continued to expand our clinics across the Houston area.”
Building a community practice
From day one, Carman Whiting, MD, has been a part of the Sienna clinic. A couple of years after the clinic opened, she was named medical director and recalls how they started out with family medicine and specialties including obstetrics and gynecology, ENT (ear, nose, and throat), GI (gastroenterology)), urology, endocrinology, cardiology, geriatrics, pediatrics (Fannin Pediatrics), and pediatric neurology.
“I feel absolutely blessed to service this community and am grateful for the trust and confidence my patients have extended to me,” said Whiting, assistant professor at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “I am also humbled by the faith UTHealth has extended to me as well. This is my 18th year working as a faculty member and clinician for the medical school.”
“Sienna is very established in the community it serves,” said Jennifer Bradley, director of community-based clinics for UT Physicians. “Due to community need, they have seen tremendous growth in the number of different specialty services that are offered. What is nice is the clinic serves children to seniors for all their health care needs. We will continue to listen to the needs of our patients and attempt to provide the services they need close to home.”
Growth since the opening
In April 2016, the clinic was expanded by 4,000 square feet which added 14 exam rooms and additional office space.
“When I first transferred to Sienna in November 2014, we only had about a dozen providers total. On our busiest day, we had nine providers on the schedule,” said Jennifer Seay, community practice manager for the clinic. “Today, we have 30 providers and as many as 17-18 providers in session at one time. Managing this growth, while still keeping a sense of community in our clinic, has been a challenging and rewarding phase in my career. I’ve truly enjoyed being a part of such an important organization.”
And that sense of community is important to Pouran Yousefi, MD, who has been practicing family medicine at the clinic from almost day one.
“We have come a long way,” explains Yousefi, assistant professor at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “I am very blessed. It’s a joy to be very connected to the community. The relationship is strong between me and my patients. It is very genuine. I live here—I see them at the grocery store and other places in the community. They are my neighbors and it’s a privilege to care for them.”
To the community in Sienna, Missouri City, Fresno, and surrounding areas, we say thank you for trusting us with caring for you and your families the last ten years. If you have a story to share from the care you received at the clinic, please contact us.
View pictures from the ribbon-cutting on June 14, 2010 in Missouri City, TX.