Volunteer Spotlight: Theresa Spalding, MD
One Good Turn is incredibly honored and excited to have Dr. Theresa Spalding as part of our team. Dr. Spalding spent her career in family medicine. She has served in a variety of positions, including Medical Director of the Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic for the Dallas County Health Dept, Medical Director for the City of Austin/Travis County Primary Care Clinics, and the Medical Director of the University Health Services for the University of Texas at Austin. After retiring in 2020, Dr. Spalding has generously donated her time and expertise to One Good Turn - and we are so grateful!
Theresa was born in San Antonio into a loving and supportive family of 5 sisters and 2 brothers. She married her husband, John Hoffman, in 1988; they have two sons together, Johnny and Patrick. Dr. Spalding is an 18-year breast cancer survivor and a 3-year metastatic breast cancer survivor.
How did you start working with One Good Turn?
In 2019, I saw a wonderful feature article in the Austin American Statesman on One Good Turn and Dr. Ann Messer. I had met Dr. Messer many years ago when she did some temporary physician work for me at UT. I was extremely impressed with all the work she was doing in underserved countries. I had been searching for somewhere to volunteer my services, as I had developed physical limitations from metastatic breast cancer and had to retire, but still wanted to use my medical knowledge in some way. I knew that I was no longer a candidate for performing medical mission work, but I reached out to Ann anyway to see if there was anything I could do to help her from Austin. It just so happened that she had been wanting to put together a training handbook that she could use whenever she went to a village site, with the idea of leaving it with the newly trained healthcare workers so that they had a basic reference to use after she left. This was truly an answer to both our prayers—she wanted to put together training materials and I wanted to be medically useful and it just so happened that writing training materials is an area of expertise of mine since way back in 1988 when I did my Fellowship! I started off doing small things for her, and then when this COVID-19 hit….let’s just say the rest is history!
What has been your experience working with the One Good Turn team?
Working with the One Good Turn team has been a very rewarding experience for me. I have been pleasantly surprised by how intelligent and motivated the variety of interns working with us are. Their dedication and focus on gathering appropriate training materials, and their ability to synthesize the information into usable training guides is amazing. Dr. Messer has done an awesome job at instructing us on what her vision is and then allowing for each team member to individually produce a product that is reviewed collaboratively. That way each
member is contributing equally. As I told them a few weeks ago, I have never experienced such a supportive and collaborative workgroup in my life. So refreshing!
What do you think about The Corona Care Handbook and why do you think it's important?
I have heard of pandemics before and even worked on a planning team while at UT, but I never in my wildest dreams thought there would be one in our lifetime. It is frightening to see how quickly it has become a global problem, and scary to see how little we knew about it in the beginning. There is a multitude of information being generated, both scientifically and social media-wise, and it is hard for anyone to decipher all of this into usable material. Dr. Messer’s idea to put this handbook together was a natural extension of OGT’s mission of education. But the more we worked on it, and the more conflicting information we found, it became obvious that this information needed to be shared in a way that a non-medical person could understand it. I am thrilled and immensely proud of how our handbook turned out. We didn’t just skim the surface on the information but tried to explain why things were happening so that our readers would then understand why it is so important to wear a mask, to wash their hands frequently and appropriately, and to maintain social distancing, including isolation and quarantine.
Learn more about the Corona Care Handbook at www.onegoodturn.org/corona-care-handbook
Thank you, Dr. Spalding! We appreciate you so much!
One Good Turn Team