Physician Spotlight: CAPT Te Cora Ballom

September 8, 2014


CAPT Te Cora Ballom

Like most medical students, CAPT Te Cora Ballom went to medical school because of her desire to make a difference in other’s lives. “USPHS allowed me a very unique opportunity to fulfill that desire,” says CAPT Ballom, who began her career with the Commissioned Corps in 1985 as a Medical Officer serving with the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) at the Federal Corrections Institute in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Today, CAPT Ballom is the Regional Medical Director for the BOP’s South Central Region. She oversees health care delivery for 44,000 inmates at federal correctional facilities in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and New Mexico. In this role, CAPT Ballom manages inmate care across all levels, from the local facilities all the way up to the national headquarters.

“My day is never boring. I am constantly learning and developing my skills; this is important because as a primary care provider I’m able to treat a variety of conditions and I have the support and resources to do so,” says CAPT Ballom, who implements and evaluates BOP policy and initiatives at the facilities within her region. Serving as a primary care provider in the BOP, CAPT Ballom is able to provide comprehensive care and treat conditions that most private practice providers refer out, such as chronic Hepatitis C. Among her many tasks, CAPT Ballom conducts department and peer reviews, visits and treats high-risk patients, updates clinical practice guidelines, and provides expert opinion on correctional health care to judges, attorneys, clinical directors, and wardens.

“The vital medical care that we render to the inmate population is what inspires me,” says CAPT Ballom, “the complex nature of some of the medical care is challenging, but it is also quite rewarding.” She cites the most rewarding part of her job as participating with the BOP’s Health Services Division Policy Initiatives where she has the opportunity to contribute to the national governing body and the National Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee. The governing body oversees the entire scope of health services administered at BOP facilities and its membership is comprised of the BOP’s leadership. Recently, CAPT Ballom attended the National Pharmacy and Therapeutic Meeting where they discussed what medications are placed on the formulary and offered to federal BOP inmates.

“I am working with consummate professionals striving as a team to plan care for an entire population, one that is underserved and disadvantaged,” says CAPT Ballom, “and I am proud to serve my country in this way.”