TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Back in January, a group of Toyota team members visited Tupelo’s Tree of Life Clinic to help out and observe.
“We saw a lot of opportunities for improvement,” said TMMM Team Member Tony Banuelos.
The clinic opened in 2010, providing free medical care to those with no health insurance, who cannot afford to pay for medical care or who may not be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid.
“When we opened, we, moved in one day and opened the doors the next and we had patients and we realized that there was a long wait time in the pharmacy,” said Polly Bailey, who founded the clinic with her husband, Dr. Joe Bailey.
So members of the Toyota Production System Support Center and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi, went to work..
“We simply flow charted it first for them and then pointed out visually where some of the problems existed and then in typical Toyota Way fashion we started identifying the biggest issues we could address,” said Doug Formby, vice president of TMMM.
Six months later, a host of elected officials, clinic volunteers ,Toyota executives and team members gathered to see and hear how the partnership has produced positive results.
For example, the clinic’s lobby has been re organized to maximize patient flow, the filing system has been purged and a PA system has been installed so patients can hear when their numbers are called . It means that wait time for patients has been reduced by 24 minutes and volunteers are able to finish one hour earlier on average.
Toyota also provides a 20 thousand dollar grant for medications. The clinic’s co founder says the partnership with Toyota has exceeded all expectations.
“To think an organization like Toyota is willing to help Tree of Life Clinic like ours is just phenomenal,” Bailey said.
Toyota will continue its parternship with the Tree of Life Clinic. The automaker’s attention to detail and its ability to optimize and enhance productivity will help patients and volunteers at the clinic for many years.