When it comes to urgent and emergency care, Drs. Brian Rich and Daniel Wagner are changing the health care landscape at TLC Complete Care.
By: Stephanie Kusy
Photos by: Paul Marshall
Emergency medicine has gone retail. Instead of crowds and long wait times at a hospital ER, freestanding emergency rooms like TLC Complete Care are popping up across Texas with the ability to provide quality care in a timely manner with excellent customer service.
Drs. Brian Rich and Daniel Wagner saw the potential to bring personalized care to Corpus Christi several years ago. “This is a first for Corpus Christi, so this is groundbreaking and cutting edge,” Rich says. “Usually you have to wait a while for the big cities to get this first, but we took it and ran with it,” Wagner adds.
The two doctors, both board certified in emergency medicine, first opened TLC Complete Care on the bustling south side back in 2011 at 7330 S. Staples between Lipes and Yorktown. Just this past February, they opened a second location at 4117 S. Staples, Ste. 140, in Parkdale Plaza, catering to those living in central Corpus Christi.
TLC can do ultrasounds, X-Rays and CT scans. The lab comes fully equipped to run tests immediately. This significantly speeds up the amount of time it takes for patients to get results. Most patients are in and out within an hour. “There was a need in this area of town for quality scheduled care that people could come in quickly, be seen and get out quickly at an affordable cost,” Rich says. And they are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, no appointment needed, with all the capabilities of a traditional hospital ER.
“An emergency is often perceived to be this big life-threatening event, and it can be, but other times, it depends on the person,” Rich explains. “For example, if you have an interview for a big job on Friday and you haven’t slept because you’ve had a headache the past few days, that’s an emergency. So an emergency is a very personal definition for people. It’s hard to define.”
The ER trained medical staff can treat patients with a wide range of health problems such as life-threatening issues like heart attack and stroke down to pesky allergies and colds. TLC has a lot of high-tech capabilities, but they do not have two things: crowds and long waits. “It’s comfortable, quiet, clean and reserved,” Rich says. “You don’t have the typical drama of an ER.”
The visionaries still see the ability to grow and meet the needs of the community. Their other location out in Calallen, TLC Medical Center, an urgent care center, plans to expand and convert to an ER facility offering new services, as well.
“We have CT scanners,” Wagner says. “We have the latest laboratory scanners. This is all in our ER and not in urgent care. Our ability to diagnose quickly is enhanced in the ER.” Customers pay with insurance or cash-based prices.
The two friends both grew up in Corpus Christi, but did not meet until they started working in a hospital emergency room. With a down-to-earth attitude, both jokingly admit they are outdoorsmen who like to be doctors. Wagner, the visionary behind the business, convinced Rich to join him on his entreprenual endeavor in the most unlikely of places – a duck blind.
Several years later, they are seeing their vision come to life. They believe their model works to provide patients fast service when they need it most with emphasis on customer care. “I think physicians as a whole have moved toward being more personable than they have had in the past,” Wagner says. “It has been more of a science, but now it’s also more of an art. The interaction, body language, bedside manner – that’s all important to us.”
Their entire staff places an emphasis on quality service at each of their modern facilities – not to mention each patient room has its own TV. Unlike urgent care, they have physicians, nurses and paramedics on hand fulltime, 24 hours a day. “We have worked with most of these nurses before they came here, and I can tell you, we have some of the best,” Wagner says. “They are the crème de la crème.”
Both doctors have combined experience of nearly 20 years in the ER. With a passion for helping people in need, they plan to continue to grow in the Corpus Christi area.
TLC Complete Care has locations at 7330 S. Staples and 4117 S. Staples, Ste. 140, in Parkdale Plaza. TLC Medical Center and Urgent Care is located at 14317 Northwest Blvd. in Calallen. Follow the group on Facebook for helpful healthy tips.