“We cannot do great things on this earth; only small things with great love.” – Mother Theresa
The virtue which typifies the activities of Dr. Foyekemi Ikyaator, the youngest doctor to open an Emergency Room in Texas, is compassion and concern for others’ wellbeing is a virtue that enhances social good. Though a Nigerian, she was raised in the United States, where she studied and graduated with honours in Nutrition Science from the University of Georgia in Athens; and then later in Medicine and Public Health from the University of Wisconsin.
Exceptionally brilliant, Dr. Foye received full academic scholarship throughout her years at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Her growing up under the tutelage of a mum who was a nurse influenced her intense passion to help people. This passion led her to establishing Life Savers Emergency Room (with a second location called Foye MD and Spa), where she is an emergency room physician and medical director. She works there with a team of health care providers dedicated to providing excellent and compassionate care.
Dubbed a Nigerian-American, she has been recognised as the youngest and the first black woman to open a standalone ER. Life Savers has been exceptional as being a freestanding ER which provides emergency medical care, board certified physicians, nursing, radiology and medical assistant staff. Notably, the team’s work at Life Savers provides no-wait times to patients compared to general hospital ERs.
Dr. Foye moved to Houston, Texas, to further her practice after completing her residency in Emergency Medicine at the Emory School of Medicine and Public Health in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2012. She acquired extensive working experience while at the St. Luke’s Health System and within a few years, this experience gave her impetus to actualise her lifelong passion at Life Savers.
Standing as an independent emergency room, without attachment to any hospital, Life Savers ER was established exclusively to meet the medical emergency needs of Houston. And over the years of operational activities, the team and Dr Foye finds wonderful job satisfaction in working at Life Savers ER because they concentrate on emergencies only; and therefore, are able to provide ER care more efficiently than hospitals. Equipped with an onsite laboratory, radiology equipment and pharmacy, waiting in line for lab tests to get processed or risk of spending hours in the waiting room before seeing a doctor has been eliminated.
Although free standing ERs are not uncommon in Texas; but working at a few of these facilities was inspirational to opening her own. More so, she was able to see the benefits of quick ER testing through an experience related to her mom. Her mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in an ER centre after months of going to the hospitals with no results. Dr. Foye saw it as a duty to open ER centre for the community because an early diagnosis can save many lives.
Interestingly, activities at the ER have been meritorious and influential to the development of the community. For instance, Life Savers ER offered $180,000 in services to the City of Houston during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Currently, Dr. Foye works with her team by taking more time to counsel her patients on specific needs as well as promote the kind of medicine that she believes is necessary in today’s community.
Emphasising that Life Savers ER has been established for the community as a whole; patients and medical professionals alike, Dr. Foye says, “The whole idea in a freestanding ER is that you can provide the care in a more relaxed environment.” Therefore, she works with her colleagues who wish to practise medicine under a non-restrictive bureaucracy, so that board certified doctors, nurses and practitioners can be flexible with the time and resources needed to care for people in need.
Likewise, she educates people on disease prevention and management and also helps in designing treatment solutions for diabetic, hypertensive or obese patients. She equally provides aesthetic and medical treatments that are proven to work in an evidence-based approach.
Currently certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Foye is an epitome of combined natural compassion and a refined counselling expert, who makes an excellent guide in anyone’s journey towards good health.
Married to her best friend, Orseer Ikyaator, Dr. Foye is the mother of two beautiful children, Israel and Mimi.