Dr. Bill Gonzaba Recognized for Bringing High Quality, Low Cost Care to South Texas
In Pat Lencioni’s best-selling book “The Advantage,” he identifies the healthy organization as one which will always find a way to succeed, inevitably become smarter, and tap into every bit of available intelligence and talent.
Lencioni could have been describing Gonzaba Medical Group, a nationally recognized and locally trusted primary care practice that has been serving its community for 60 years.
As one of the largest, premier medical practices in South Texas, it ranks among the top medical practices in the nation, known both for creating a unique healthcare model serving Medicare Managed Care patients and for its exemplary outcomes in the quality of patient care.
The Gonzaba difference is rooted in the vision of its founder, Dr. Bill Gonzaba, who believes that “everyone deserves a medical home where they are como familia – like family – and where they get Cadillac care at the lowest cost.”
“We believe that our patients deserve the highest quality care that is measurable, transparent and accountable,” says Dr. Bill. “We believe that our patients are our purpose and if we focus our passion and our attention on them, everything else will work out.”
Dr. Bill was already a practicing primary care physician, surgeon, and OB/gyn doctor for 30 years before he pioneered the innovative patient-centered medical home model to south Texas in the 1990s, long before the idea was recognized as the most important advancement in the future of healthcare. The concept is now the centerpiece of what is known nationally as “value-based healthcare.” Dr. Bill believed a capitated risk model is the only way for patients to get the highest quality at the lowest cost and his idea has proven to be correct.
Dr. Bill’s spirit of passion, purpose and innovation is one of the most important defining characteristics of Gonzaba Medical Group.
The heart and soul of the Gonzaba difference are the physicians and staff who are the type of “intelligence and talent” that author Lencioni speaks of in his book. Gonzaba Medical Group is still owned, operated and led by independent physicians who set the tone for the team-based, collaborative care where patients can access acute, chronic and preventive health services all under one roof.
“When a patient chooses a doctor it is the ultimate act of trust,” Dr. Bill says. “Our physicians and staff honor that trust and we work hard, with integrity, every day, to earn it and keep it.”
Unlike a traditional doctor’s office, Gonzaba’s patient-centered medical home model is built around a team led by a primary care physician that provides comprehensive and continuous medical care to patients with a goal of helping patients live their best lives and achieve maximal health outcomes.
“We invest in health information technology and we have rigorous training models to make sure our physicians and staff consistently deliver coordinated care through a team-based, collaborative model,” says Dr. David Padilla, the group’s Chief Medical Officer. “Our physicians spend more time with each patient so that we get to know them personally, which helps us create prevention and treatment plans tailored to each individual.”
The personalization of medicine and treating patients like family is the strongest core value at Gonzaba medical group and extends beyond its comprehensive primary care medical centers and network of easily accessible clinics to the community at-large.
Since he began his practice, Dr. Bill has believed in helping everyone in the community, especially seniors, stay healthy and live their best lives.
“Aging well is an achievable goal,” says Dr. Bill who, at 84-years-old, remains active in the daily leadership of one of the largest and longest-tenured primary care medical practices in South Texas.
In 2017, Dr. Bill and the physicians at Gonzaba Medical Group launched a new comprehensive program called Strong65 that includes special activities such as quarterly dances, chair yoga, healthy cooking, the Gonzaba Farmer’s Market in collaboration with the San Antonio Food Bank, and many more activities.
“Our goal is to make it easy for seniors to get the support they need to age well,” says Dr. Bill. “We work collaboratively with the City of San Antonio and others to take our programs right into the neighborhoods where the seniors live to make them easy to access.”
In September of 2017, Dr. Bill appeared before the San Antonio City Council to advocate for a resolution developed in collaboration with Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran declaring every September as “Celebrate San Antonio Seniors” month. The resolution passed unanimously and encouraged the creation of special events and programs in September each year in honor of seniors.
The resolution cites the important contributions of “senior experience, wisdom, time and talent that our seniors contribute to the strength, vitality and strong character of our city” and in public comments members praised the Gonzaba family for its contributions to the community.
“Gonzaba is a name that is as synonymous with quality and customer service in this town as HEB,” said Councilman Rey Saldana. “I talk to a lot of seniors and a lot of community members who would not trust any name brand, but they trust the Gonzaba family brand.”
“We are certainly humbled by the recognition,” says Dr. Bill. “Seniors in San Antonio are a special part of our family. We have always believed that at the Gonzaba Medical Group. We believe every patient is como familia, like family. That is the Gonzaba way, and it is the Gonzaba difference when it comes to choosing your doctor.”
It was this kind of spirit of community engagement, along with the highest quality medical care, that led surveyors from the national accrediting agency, The Joint Commission, to praise Gonzaba Medical Group for their strong commitment to the community.
“It is unique what your are doing here,” one of The Joint Commission surveyors wrote. “Very safe care, very dedicated staff.”
“I found out a lot about you and what you do for this community,” another surveyor wrote. “There are no standards that talk about that. You talk about impressive, what you do for the community It’s impressive and the whole organization that helps your patients get through a variety of tings, you should be very proud of that.”
Over the years, Gonzaba Medical Group has evolved from a one-room clinic on South Flores Street into a network of comprehensive care centers, where seniors are able to get everything under one roof from immediate urgent care services to primary care to specialty care such as diabetes and cancer services to radiology.
In 2018, Gonzaba Medical Group opened its newest $10 million Northwest Medical Center, just off I-410 on Culebra Road, which is focused on comprehensive care with urgent care services, radiology, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and specialty care available for all ages in the community.
In addition to its new Northwest Medical Center, Gonzaba Medical Group currently has two other comprehensive medical centers – the Main Medical Center on Pleasanton Road serving South San Antonio, and the Woodlawn Medical Center serving surrounding neighborhoods in the Woodlawn Lake area.
Gonzaba’s three Urgent Care Centers throughout the city are the only San Antonio-based services to achieve accreditation and The Gold Seal from The Joint Commission. Overall quality of care at all Gonzaba primary care medical centers and clinics as measured against national benchmarks has earned the practice 4.89 stars on a scale of 5.
“Our commitment and our promise is to the whole health of the individual,” says Dr. Bill. “We focus on prevention, we help seniors age well, we provide the highest quality care at the lowest cost, we treat everyone like family and, most importantly, we do it with integrity every day. This is what we call the Gonzaba Way.”