UNTHSC physician assistant makes A house calls for disabled adults

 UNTHSC-Vic-Holmes-PA
Vic Holmes MPAS, PA-C

Twice a month, Vic Holmes, MPAS, PA-C, gathers his medical examination instruments and makes the 20-mile drive from UNT Health Science Center to a two-acre camp for adults with disabilities in Mansfield.

As goats, horses and a mule graze outside, Holmes spends four hours inside an examination area with camp attendees, measuring blood pressures, testing glucose and listening to heartbeats. Holmes knows each patient’s name, personality and health ailments.

This may seem like an unusual setting to practice medicine, but it allows Holmes, a Physician Assistant Studies instructor and clinician, to fulfill the UNTHSC mission to provide effective primary care in the community. Autistic and intellectually and developmentally disabled patients can grow upset during visits to unfamiliar clinical settings at UNT Health, making them difficult to treat.

“It’s basically a house call,” Holmes said. “The familiar setting makes it much more comfortable for patients and much easier for me to meet their basic medical needs and keep them healthy.”

Holmes started making the trek to Mansfield about one year ago. The camp, which offers outdoors activities and cooking and fitness lessons, is operated by A-Trinity HCS Services. Some camp attendees live in residential support homes around North Texas. Others live with their families or independently in the community.

Camp administrators converted a room into a sterilized exam area with an exam bed, a weight scale and a sink. Generally, Holmes sees eight to 16 patients during each visit.

The experience has intrigued UNTHSC physician assistant students who seek experiences with underserved communities and who occasionally request to visit the camp. An A-Trinity administrator says this arrangement has made a difference in individuals’ lives.

“Instead of having any anxiety about traveling to a clinic, our individuals just walk to the other side of the building,” A-Trinity President Allen Gould said.

Recent News

7281bfad 8597 4cef 80de B58ea8a26ab5
  • Community
|Jun 10, 2024

North Texas Asthma Summit to improve asthma outcomes for children

Representatives from 10 North Texas organizations will come together Wednesday with one common goal in mind: improving health outcomes for children with poorly controlled asthma. The goal of the North Texas Asthma Summit is to develop community partnerships to help these children who frequently e...
Dobbs Headshot
  • Our People
|Jun 7, 2024

School of Health Professions welcomes three new staff members

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s School of Health Professions is excited to announce three new staff members in the dean’s office. Christa Lo, DHSc, MPAS, PA-C, joins SHP as associate dean. In her role, she will assist in overseeing the school’s academic...
Drwhite
  • Our People
|Jun 6, 2024

TCOM Alumnus Dr. Frederick White receives the Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Service from the AOCR

In recognition of his outstanding leadership, dedication and service, Frederick E. White, DO, FAOCR, a 1977 graduate from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, was selected as the recipient of the American Osteopathic College ...
Hampton 5
  • On Campus
|Jun 5, 2024

Hampton University representatives visit HSC to build partnerships

A delegation of five representatives from Hampton University visited The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s campus on Friday. Hampton University is a private, historically Black university founded in 1868 in Hampton, Virginia. The group included President of Ham...