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Katy, TX News – Board Names New Principals for Williams, Fielder Elementary Schools

Courtesy of Katy ISD

Katy, TX News (June 26, 2014) – During the regular June Board Meeting, the Katy ISD Board of Trustees approved the reassignment of Angelita Bateman as the new principal of Williams Elementary, and William Rhodes as the new principal of Fielder Elementary. Bateman is currently the assistant principal at Williams Elementary, and Rhodes is a Human Resources Coordinator for Katy ISD.

Bateman has been in education for 13 years and began her career as an elementary teacher in Katy ISD in 2001. She became the assistant principal of Williams Elementary in 2007. Bateman holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities and a master’s degree in elementary education.

Rhodes has been in education for 12 years and began his career as an elementary teacher in Katy ISD in 2006. He then served as an assistant principal at Fielder Elementary before beginning his current role as a Human Resources Coordinator. Rhodes holds a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree in educational leadership, and is expecting to earn his Doctorate in educational administration in May 2015.

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Helping Children Step Outside of Themselves

By Gabbi Browne

Katy, TX News – Our four boys are attending camp this week. It’s three hours a day at a nearby school. Our oldest has attended this camp before, but it’s the triplets’ first summer. While I am using my solo time well—Costco trips, exercise, laundry, and a dentist trip—I have to be honest that I miss my companions a bit.

I am hoping that the boys will be making some new friends, although they probably won’t be year-long friends. It is meant to be a fun time for all.

Yesterday at pick-up time, the triplets said they liked camp. They had fun playing with the toys in the room. They didn’t enjoy the sand in their shoes.

“How did it get in your shoes,” I asked?

“We played in the sandbox.”

“What can you do to not get sand in your shoes?”

“Not use the sandbox!”

Problem solved? Maybe? (more…)

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Katy, TX News – Katy ISD Receives Top Rating in Schools FIRST Financial Accountability Rating System

Courtesy of Katy ISD

Katy, TX (June 25, 2014) – Katy ISD has earned a rating of Superior Achievement under the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) for the 2012 – 2013 fiscal year. Katy ISD has received this top rating for each of the 12 years that Texas districts have been rated through Schools FIRST.

Schools FIRST is a statewide rating system created to ensure that school districts are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices, while achieving improved performance in the management of their financial resources. This accountability rating system assigns one of four ratings, the highest being Superior Achievement, followed by Above Standard Achievement, Standard Achievement, and Substandard Achievement. More information regarding the FIRST rating system can be found on the Texas Education Agency website.

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Katy, TX News – Board Approves 2014 – 2015 Teacher Salary Schedule

Courtesy of Katy ISD

Katy, TX News (June 25, 2014) – ?During the regular June meeting, the Katy ISD Board of Trustees approved the new teacher salary schedule for 2014 – 2015, and an increase in pay for bus drivers and auxiliary positions C1 through C4.

The beginning teacher salary will increase 4.26 percent, and current Katy ISD teachers entering their sixth year with the District will receive a significant 7.09 percent increase.

Auxiliary positions C1 through C4 will receive an increase of $1.00 per hour for the 2014 – 2015 school year. Bus drivers will receive a $2.50 per hour increase, changing the starting salary rate from $13.75 to $16.25 per hour.

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Katy, TX News – Women’s Services Floor at Memorial Hermann Katy to Undergo Facelift

Katy, TX News (June 23, 2014) – The women’s services floor at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, which includes seven labor-and-delivery rooms and 27 post-partum rooms, will undergo a facelift starting tomorrow, June 24.

“We’re always working to enhance the patient experience and that includes the aesthetics of the hospital,” said Linda Salter, RNC-OB, MSN, director of women’s and children’s services at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital.  “Our new parents are with us anywhere from two to four days or longer, and we want to ensure they feel at home in their surroundings.”

Renovations include new wood vinyl flooring, sleep chairs for Dads or visiting family members, and atomic wall clocks that display room temperature.  Additionally, the walls in the unit will be adorned with lifestyle newborn and family photography.

“During the flooring install, construction crews will work around staff and patient needs so they don’t disturb the calm, quiet environment,” added Salter.

The hospital also will gift new keepsakes to families following the birth of their baby.  A time capsule stuffed with the newspaper of the day, an Aden & Anais swaddle blanket and a water bottle are just a few items that will be sent home with the family. (more…)

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Praying for Preslee

Katy mom Lara Massey shares her story of living through her worst nightmare, the tragic accident involving her 6-year-old daughter, and how Preslee Nicholson’s journey of recovery has brought hope to many

Written by Lara Massey | Select photography by Sassy Massey Photography

Katy, TX News – Arriving four weeks early, Preslee was born a fighter. After spending her first seven days in NICU, she came home weighing a little less than five pounds. The first few months of her life were just a glimpse of her strength and will to live. When Preslee was 2, her dad and I divorced. He was awarded visitation at various times, mostly during summer vacation for six weeks. In time, I remarried, and in a few short years our family welcomed Kaylee and Jax. Our lives were complete.

Lara Massey has been overwhelmed by the support she and her family have received from her hometown of Katy, and people around the country who have followed their journey
Photo by Melissa Brewer

Summer Days
Friday, July 5, 2013 was normal. Our family spent the day swimming at my parent’s house counting the days until Preslee returned home in two weeks. I knew Preslee would be traveling that day, and I was nervous. She was making a cross-country journey from Texas to Virginia with her dad’s girlfriend to visit family. I talked to her that night and told her I loved her, to be good, and that I would call her in the morning. By then, she would be in Virginia. I went to sleep that night uneasy, I always worry. I kept thinking that if I could just sleep, I’d wake up in the morning and Preslee would be off the road, safe and sound.

The Call
At 6 a.m. my cell phone rang. I heard a voice on the other end asking, “Are you the mother of Preslee Nicholson?” My heart stopped, and I said, “Yes.” The doctor told me that my daughter had been in a terrible accident. The words, “her heart is still beating, but she is non-responsive. She is not breathing on her own and has critical injuries,” kept repeating over and over. (more…)

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No Place for Hate

Katy ISD campuses discuss the importance of this anti-bullying campaign

Written by Kirsten Cornell | Photography by Anetrius Wallace

Katy, TX News – The No Place for Hate initiative, which launched in schools in 2001 by the Anti-Defamation League, provides educators and students with the resources to ensure that anti-bias and diversity education are an integral part of the school curriculum. “Our campus made the decision to pursue the No Place for Hate campus designation because we felt it was important for all students to feel accepted, valued, and respected for their individual differences,” says Doreen Martinez, assistant principal at Morton Ranch Junior High. “We also wanted to provide an opportunity to bring attention to bullying and help educate students on the negative effects of teasing, ostracism, intimidation, and rumor spreading.”

Morton Ranch Junior High No Place for Hate representatives Betsy Irwin, Doreen Martinez, Amanda Lara, Vanessa Whitehead, Mark McCord, Cindy Lamm, and Jordan Bates

Earning the Designation
The Anti-Defamation League asks that designated campuses hold meetings to discuss the initiative with the students and discuss active ways in which they can participate. “Students sign a resolution of respect and in doing so, they commit to ensuring that our school is a No Place for Hate campus,” explains Cimarron Elementary counselor Elizabeth Kratz. “Children spend most of their time with us, and we are the guiding factor in their lives. We want to make sure they understand differences not only in themselves, but in others as well.”

Stephens Elementary planned a “mix it up” at lunch where students were encouraged to invite students they didn’t know to sit and eat with them. “The goal was to make sure every student was included and felt welcome,” says Stephanie Vaughan, the school’s principal. Their culminating activity to-date has been a school-wide diversity concert, including a repertoire of songs representing different cultures. (more…)

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Katy, TX News – Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital Named One of Healthgrades 2014 Patient Safety Excellence Award™ Recipients

Katy, TX News (June 19, 2014) – Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital announced today that it has achieved Healthgrades 2014 Patient Safety Excellence Award, according to Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.  The distinction places Memorial Hermann Katy within the top 10 percent of all hospitals for its excellent performance in safeguarding patients from serious, potentially preventable complications during their hospital stays.

“The most important thing we can do for our patients is to keep them safe while in our care,” said Scott Barbe, CEO of Memorial Hermann Katy.  “This recognition is a testament to the daily commitment our employees and medical staff make to provide high-quality and safe patient care.”

When compared to hospitals performing in the bottom 5 percent for patient safety, patients treated in Healthgrades 2014 Patient Safety Excellence Award recipient hospitals, on average, were:

  • 73 percent less likely to experience pressure sores or bed sores acquired in the hospital compared to hospitals ranked in the bottom 5 percent in the nation.
  • 72 percent less likely to experience a hip fracture following surgery compared to hospitals ranked in the bottom 5 percent in the nation.
  • 67 percent less likely to experience catheter-related bloodstream infections acquired at the hospital compared to hospitals ranked in the bottom 5 percent in the nation.

“Healthgrades is dedicated to providing quality information that helps consumers make decisions based on objective data leading to the best care for themselves and their families,” said Evan Marks, Executive Vice President, Informatics and Strategy, Healthgrades. “Consumers can rest assured that a hospital recognized with a Healthgrades 2014 Patient Safety Excellence Award has demonstrated an established commitment to patient safety.” (more…)

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Mission-minded Katy Teens

Local students are giving back to others here at home and around the globe

Written by Holly Leger

Katy, TX News – As a teenager, it’s easy to get caught up in the world of adolescence. But these Katy teens received a reality check after going on mission trips – some around the world, and others in their own hometown. Katy Magazine reached out to these young men and women to hear their inspirational stories.

Parkway Fellowship students on a mission trip in Diepsloot in northern Johannesburg, South Africa
Photo courtesy of Parkway Fellowship

A World Apart
Johannesburg, South Africa may look like any other large, well-to-do city, but as the youth group at Parkway Fellowship discovered, the outskirts of the city are the polar opposite. The teenagers walked through squatter camps, performing door-to-door ministries.

Parkway student pastor Chris Sedgwick says the camps have very small square footage, yet house hundreds of thousands of residents and refugees. “It’s very hard conditions,” Sedgwick says. “It’s a maze of shacks. You have to walk sideways in between houses.” (more…)

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Katy ISD Residency Requirements and School Boundaries

Courtesy of Katy ISD

Katy, TX News – At the time of registration, parents must bring proof of residence dated within the past 30 days, showing the parent/guardian’s name and street address.  A recent utility bill (electric, water, or gas), a house or apartment lease agreement, or an earnest money or purchase contract and a letter from a mortgage company indicating loan approval or proof from the home builder/realtor of cash payment verification.

Notice: It is a felony to falsify residency information for enrollment purposes (Texas State Penal Code, Section 27.10).
Attendance zone information for all Katy ISD schools can be found by using the Attendance Zone Locator.  You can search by a specific subdivision or apartment complex, or you can select a campus and see what subdivisions it serves.

The following items may also be required based on residency status:

  • Exhibit C: Application for Determination of Minor’s Bona Fide Residence – student is not living with a parent or legal guardian.
  • Exhibit E: Temporary Power of Attorney – student is not living with a parent or legal guardian; may also need step-parent to complete.
  • Exhibit F: Affidavit of Student Admission Information (for nonresident student in a grandparent’s after-school care) – enrolling based on grandparent’s address and after-school care – need Exhibit G as well.
  • Exhibit G: Affidavit of Grandparent’s After-School Care (for nonresident student ) – enrolling based on grandparent’s address and after-school care – need Exhibit F as well.
  • Exhibit H:  Affidavit of Bona Fide Residence – to be completed by the person whose name is on the utility bill, for situations in which the student and parent reside with another family – need Exhibit I as well.
  • Exhibit I: Parent’s/Guardian’s Assurance of Bona Fide Residence – to be completed by the parent when his/her name is not on the utility bill, for situations in which the student and parent reside with another family – need Exhibit H as well. (more…)
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Katy Legacies

Four multigenerational families trace their roots back to the community’s first settlers

Written by Ella Hearrean | Select photography by Sara Isola

Katy, TX News – Back when there was only one high school and the Firethorne community was a series of rice fields, four well-known Katy families planted roots in a community that they would spend generations investing in. They have built a legacy that impacts not only their families but future Katyites as well.

The Fussell and Schmidt Families
As a child, Sandy Fussell Schmidt watched the buzz of downtown Katy from her mother’s antique shop. She remembers the excitement when her father, Katy’s first volunteer fire chief, heard the siren. “Anyone who had a business was a volunteer. Men from the hardware store and grocery store would come running out in their aprons.”

Schmidt’s small town roots began in the early 1900s, when both of her grandfathers settled in Katy, one as a rice farmer and one as a grocery store owner. Her family has long since been prominent members of the community. Her mother, Blanche, served as the Chamber of Commerce secretary; her uncle, Durwood Fussell, began what is now Brazos Valley Schools Credit Union from his desk drawer as business manager of Katy ISD. Her uncle Mel Jordan, a lifelong rice farmer and rancher, still calls Katy home, along with 38 of his 51 family members.

The Fussell and Schmidt families are founding members of Katy and many of their descendants still live in the area

The Fussell and Schmidt families are founding members of Katy and many of their descendants still live in the area

Her immediate family is just as deeply rooted. Her husband, Hank, served as fire chief, a city council member, and mayor. Her son, Trey, works at Schmidt Funeral Home, and her daughter, Kris, and son-in-law, Arturo Gonzales, are both doctors in the area. “Everyone has always been active and knows what’s going on with everyone else,” says Schmidt.

(more…)

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Katy’s Broadway Star

Former Taylor High School student and Broadway veteran, Kearran Giovanni, dishes about her life as a wife, mom, and actress

Written by Kirsten Cornell

Katy, TX News – Growing up in Katy, Kearran Giovanni filled her days with cheering on the Taylor High School Mustangs and driving down Mason Rd. heading to the local movie theater with friends. “I love the hometown feel of Katy,” says Giovanni. “It’s a place that stops in time as far as family values go.”

KM_SU_14_Kearran Giovanni_IMG_1353 Final 9 X 12_Photo by Marta Elena Vassilakis

Kearran Giovanni cheered at Taylor High School, before moving to New York and becoming a successful Broadway actress
Photo by Marta Elena Vassilakis

The Early Years
Giovanni didn’t always picture herself as a flourishing actress. In fact, she had a completely different path in mind. “I had solid plans to attend Rice University and become an ob/gyn,” she says.

Focusing on dance, gymnastics, and cheer, she has fond memories of attending Becky’s Academy of Dance where she did a majority of her training. “I met some of my closest friends in the dance company, and I still go back and visit every time I’m in town,” she adds.

It wasn’t until she attended the High School for Performing and Visual Arts in Houston her senior year that she even entertained the thought of acting. “I didn’t really perform anything ‘theatrical’ until college,” laughs Giovanni, who attended the College of Conservatory Music in Ohio. “I was more focused on dance and gymnastics.” It was in Cincinnati that she discovered her love for musical theatre, and a new path for her life became clear. (more…)

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Katy, TX News – Memorial Hermann Medical Group Opens New Firethorne Location

Katy, TX News (June 16, 2014) – Board-certified family medicine physician Joshua DeFriece, M.D., of Memorial Hermann Medical Group (MHMG) is anchoring the newest MHMG location at Firethorne.

Dr. DeFriece provides highly personalized care for patients of all ages. Among the many conditions he treats, his special interests include preventive medicine, chronic disease management, and acute care.

Patients can find the new Firethorne location at 2750 FM 1463, Suite 100, in Katy, TX 77494.  Appointments may be scheduled by calling 832-658-3010, or online through ScheduleNow at mhmg.memorialhermann.org.

Memorial Hermann Medical Group Firethorne is the newest location of MHMG, a physician-led subsidiary of Memorial Hermann Health System.  Practicing within MHMG allows physicians to focus on each patient’s personal healthcare needs while drawing on the resources, innovations and technological advancements of a well-respected health system.

Joshua DeFriece, M.D., of Memorial Hermann Medical Group

Joshua DeFriece, M.D., of Memorial Hermann Medical Group

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50 Fun Activities for Katy Area Residents

  1. Work on your spike and your baseball swing at Texas One Volleyball.
  2. Attend a horse show at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center.
  3. Join other beginner cyclists at Bike Barn every Saturday morning for a ride through Katy.
  4. Conquer a game of laser tag, try your hand at virtual bowling, or ride the coaster at Tilt Studio.
  5. Let your dog explore the lakes, trees, and fire hydrants in the safe confines of Millie Bush Dog Park.
  6. Learn to swim at any age at Aqua-Tots Swim School.
  7. Challenge yourself in a free Saturday morning community workout at CrossFit Elevate on Katy-Flewellen Rd.
  8. Tee off at Greg Norman’s beautiful Meadowbrook Farms Golf Club.
  9. Enjoy a bag of movie theater popcorn at Cinemark Theater.
  10. Let the kids take advantage of the play area at Drix Restaurant while you enjoy a filet mignon.
  11. Take a tour of the Katy Heritage Society’s historic homes on the first weekend of every month.
  12. Go fishing and feed the ducks at Mary Jo Peckham Park.
  13. Browse the selection of free movies at Katy Branch Library.
  14. Learn how to build your own stream or waterfall at a weekend workshop at Nelson Water Gardens and Nursery.
  15. Find children’s books organized by reading level at The Bookworm Shop in Villagio Town Center. (more…)
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Healthy Posture at Work

Several factors contribute to poor posture-most commonly, improper spinal alignment, stress, obesity, pregnancy, weak postural muscles, abnormally tight muscles, and high-heeled shoes. In addition, decreased flexibility, a poor work environment, incorrect working posture, and unhealthy sitting and standing habits can also contribute to poor body positioning.

How to sit properly:

• Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they don’t reach the floor.

• Don’t cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees.

• Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.

• Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.

• Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support.

• Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.

• Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.

Understanding correct posture and remembering to maintain correct posture during a long work day are two very different things. There are software programs that pop up a reminder to stretch or stand at certain time intervals or you could simply set an hourly timer on your phone or watch, even a post it note saying “sit up straight” is enough to give you that mental cue to remind you to take a short break and assess your posture, even small changes like these can make a huge difference in the health of your spine over the years. And of course…get adjusted regularly!

Dr. Craig Nemow, D.C. Chiro Dynamics

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Katy, TX News – New Video Service Helps Parents Capture Baby’s First Days of Life

Katy, TX News (June 13, 2014) – Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital now offers new parents the personal, private opportunity to capture and preserve their baby’s first moments of life on video.

With more than 25,000 births every year, Memorial Hermann was the first in Houston to offer this free, electronic service.

“We believe this new service is a great way for parents to relax and focus on their new baby, and not on their cameras,” said Linda Salter, director of women’s and children’s services at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital. “Parents have already told us they are excited to have such an expert product to show friends and family.”

Shawna and Violet Reeder

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann’s partner, Biovideo®, each family receives a fully customized video capturing the highlights of a newborn’s arrival. Following strict guidelines with a clear understanding of the medical components, a professional team of digital photographers unobtrusively films precious moments and emotions documenting the mother’s first minutes with the baby and the baby’s introduction to the rest of the family.

“The Biovideo team was very warm and extremely flexible as they captured Violet’s first moments in our arms and hearts,” said Memorial Hermann Katy patient and new mom Shawna Reeder. “We love the final product and can’t wait to show it to Violet when she’s older.” (more…)

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Katy, TX News – Leadercast Katy Supports the Katy ISD Education Foundation

Katy, TX News (June 13, 2014) – On May 9, Katy Area leaders joined together for a day of inspiration from nine, world-renowned leaders while benefiting the Katy ISD Education Foundation. This year’s theme, Beyond You, challenged leaders to leverage their influence for the sake of others. As Leadercast so aptly describes their mission, “We believe the world is missing out. We could all be learning more. Living out our purpose. Leading and being led by people who inspire and enlighten us, give us strength and allow us to grow. Leadercast was built on a belief that the world needs better leaders—leaders worth following.” In keeping with the Beyond You theme, the proceeds of Leadercast Katy were donated to an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of young people.

The Katy ISD Education Foundation’s mission is to provide resources to enrich teaching, inspire learning, and enhance opportunities for students enrolled in Katy ISD. The organization strives to unite our community while providing a competitive advantage for Katy ISD students and teachers through targeted investments in our schools. This May, $209,599 for Inspiring Imagination grants was awarded to teachers at 26 different campus locations. Leadercast Katy is pleased to join the community in supporting the Katy ISD Education Foundation. The proceeds from this year’s event, $2,250, enables two additional teacher grants to be fulfilled next year. (more…)

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Katy, TX News – Galaxy Fireworks Partners with Local Schools and Students

Katy, TX News (June 12, 2014) – Galaxy Fireworks partners with Morton Ranch High School’s Maverick Band and Band Booster Organization throughout peak firework season, serving and assisting as the band’s main fundraiser for the year. Band Director Kyle Coleman says, “In today’s economy, raising the necessary funds to establish a top quality band program is extremely difficult.”

Through their partnership with Galaxy Fireworks, the Maverick Band is able to raise a significant amount of funds for their program. During firework season, eager students in the Morton Ranch High School band staff the Galaxy Fireworks warehouse west of Westgreen Road and I-10.

Galaxy Fireworks collaborates with the schools in various ways. The company offers volunteer hours to students within the community. For many student volunteers, Galaxy Fireworks is their first experience in a work place environment, and it allows them to gain experience in customer service, sales, time management, and understanding the importance of product knowledge. Galaxy Fireworks awards a scholarship to a graduating senior whom shows strong leadership skills and dedication to education and extracurricular activities.

This year, a scholarship of $1,000 was awarded to this year’s recipient, Ernesto Martinez. Martinez plans to attend the University of Houston in the Fall. He has also been hired by Galaxy as a daytime store manager to further help finance his college tuition and further grow his workplace skills. The 2013 recipient, Mathew Korioth, recently finished his freshman year at Texas A&M.

Pictured is Desiree Urrutia, 2013 recipient Matthew Korioth (who attends school at Texas A&M), 2014 recipient Ernesto Marinez, Tony Urrutia.

 

 

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Katy, TX News – Texas Children’s Hospital Ranks #2 Nationally in Cardiology and Heart Surgery

Katy, TX News (June 11, 2014) – Texas Children’s Hospital has again been recognized as a national leader in cardiology and heart surgery among pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. Improving their national ranking, Texas Children’s Heart Center placed second nationally in the Best Children’s Hospitals 2014-15 survey. To learn more about Texas Children’s Heart Center please visit texaschildrens.org/heart.

For more than half a century, the integrated, multidisciplinary team has combined cutting-edge technology with compassion and a family-centered approach to treat more than 17,000 children with congenital heart defects and perform more than 800 surgeries annually.

“We are thrilled that the dedicated work and passionate care our team provides children with heart diseases and defects has been recognized with this high ranking,” said Dr. Charles D. Fraser Jr., chief of congenital heart surgery and surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital. “We continually strive to improve the quality of care for our cardiac patients by tracking our outcomes and remaining committed to developing innovative cardiac interventions and surgical treatment options to ensure optimum results and outcomes for our patients.”

Texas Children’s Heart Center cardiologists and surgeons are world-renowned leaders in pediatric cardiology, congenital heart surgery, and cardiovascular anesthesiology, and offer every procedure available for the treatment of pediatric heart diseases and defects for children of all ages, including preterm and low-birth-weight newborns. Some of the services offered by the Heart Center include cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology, diagnostic and cardiac imaging, adult congenital heart disease treatment, congenital heart surgery, cardiac nursing, cardiac critical care (cardiovascular intensive care unit), and heart transplantation. (more…)

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Katy, TX News – Texas Children’s Hospital Ranks 4th Among Nation’s Best Pediatric Hospitals

Katy, TX News (June 10, 2014) – Texas Children’s Hospital is honored to be consistently named as a national leader among pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. In the 2014 – 2015 edition of Best Children’s Hospitals, Texas Children’s ranked fourth among all 183 pediatric institutions surveyed nationally and is one of only 10 hospitals to achieve the Honor Roll designation. Additionally, Texas Children’s is the only hospital in Texas – and the entire Southern region of the U.S. – awarded the Honor Roll distinction. For more information, visit usnews.texaschildrens.org.

“Renowned worldwide for our expertise and breakthrough developments in clinical care and research, we are thrilled that U.S. News continually recognizes Texas Children’s Hospital as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country,” said Mark A. Wallace, president and CEO of Texas Children’s Hospital. “This is a testament to our organization’s focus on quality and safety, as well as to the dedication our staff and employees have to our mission of leading in patient care, education, and research.”

In addition to ranking children’s hospitals overall, U.S. News also ranks the top 50 pediatric hospitals across 10 major subspecialties. This year, Texas Children’s was ranked in the top 10 for nine out of 10 categories. Receiving high rankings in a minimum of three specialties qualifies Texas Children’s for the 2014 – 2015 Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll, a distinction awarded to only 10 pediatric hospitals nationwide. (more…)

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Katy, TX News – Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital Earns ACR Accreditation

Katy, TX News (June 10, 2014) – Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in computed tomography (CT) as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). CT scanning — sometimes called CAT scanning — is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and tailor treatments for various medical conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, and blood clots.

“The American College of Radiology sets very rigorous, high-quality standards,” said Steve Dinwiddie, director of imaging for Memorial Hermann Katy. “This accreditation illustrates our commitment to providing the best possible imaging services for our patients.”

Steve Dinwiddie, Director of Imaging, and Lamont Amos, CT Tech

ACR’s gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is only awarded to facilities that meet ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report they can use for continuous practice improvement. (more…)

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Katy, TX News – Katy ISD Participates in Summer Food Service Program

Courtesy of Katy ISD

Katy, TX News (June 10, 2014) – Summer is just around the corner and parents may be thinking about what their child will do for meals when school is out. This summer, Katy ISD will again participate in the USDA Summer Food Program at five District schools.

The program is free of charge to any child under the age of 18, and includes breakfast service. Lunch and breakfast will only be served to children who come and eat in the school cafeteria.

Hutsell Elementary: June 16 – July 9
8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Stephens Elementary: June 16 – July 9
8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. (more…)

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Katy, TX News – Cinco Ranch High School Chorale Invited to Perform at Texas Music Educators Association Convention

Courtesy of Katy ISD

Katy, TX News – The Cinco Ranch High School Chorale was recently selected as a 2015 Performing Choir by the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA). This year, 33 school choirs from across the state submitted CDs for evaluation by a panel of judges, which included university music professors.

The panel unanimously chose the Cinco Ranch High School Chorale to perform at the 2015 TMEA Convention to be held in February at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.

This is the highest honor that a choir in Texas can receive, and marks the first time that a high school choir from Katy ISD has received a second TMEA performance invitation. Director Dorothy Wilson also had the honor of conducting the CRHS Chorale in performance at the 2008 Convention.

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Katy, TX News – Harrison & Bethke Family and Cosmetic Dentistry Give Kids A Smile

Katy, TX News (June 9, 2014) – Harrison & Bethke Family and Cosmetic Dentistry hosted Give Kids A Smile Day. Give Kids A Smile program is a way for dentists to join in the community and provide dental services to underserved children. The dentists and team members at Harrison & Bethke Family and Cosmetic Dentistry volunteered their time and services to provide screenings, treatments, and education to forty-two Katy area children. The team performed $19,000 work of dental work for free with the support of the following sponsors: FastSigns, Pizza Hut, Selah Medi-Spa, Bagel Café, Brammer’s Athletic Sportswear, HEB, Chic-Fil-A, Jason’s Deli, Wal-Mart, and Red Bull.

 

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Family Time in the Car

By Gabbi Browne

Road Trips Old Style
Katy, TX News – Summer is officially here, and many families are planning road trips. Katy is a great starting point for drivable daytrips. What to do to help make those drive times more enjoyable? Here are some simple things parents can do to help avoid the sounds of agony from the backseat.

  1. We have happily discovered children’s audio books at our local library. We check out around five every other week we go to the library. You can really find a lot online and some at your local bookstores. One rule is that no one gets the books to read along, we just have to listen to the CD. Now, if you have one child who can handle the book with care, go for it. With four boys though, it’s easier to just listen. I feel like DVDs have their place for really long trips, but a few audio books mixed in are good for the brain.
  2. Dad’s musical CD pick is a fun way to introduce our children to good music that we enjoy. Raffi and The Wiggles are fine, but after a few times, we need some of our music too. By having a few CDs of our choosing in the front, we can select which songs are all right for our kiddos. For example, we just introduced our children to Johnny Cash’s song, “I’ve Been Everywhere.” I thought “A Boy Named Sue” would be a fun song too, but my husband reminded me that at the end it includes a word that is inappropriate for them. So, we were able to pick some songs and leave others for a later time. The boys love it when Dad takes over the music. (more…)
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Thunderbird Cadets Volunteer at the Cajun Invasion Festival at Katy Mills Mall

By Cadet Staff Sergeant Faith

From start to finish, food to fun, and work to rides, Thunderbird cadets had a great time volunteering at the Cajun Invasion Festival at Katy Mills Mall. May 16 – 18 was a bright and sunny weekend, perfect for the carnival. Thunderbird Composite Squadron was invited by Katy Mills Head of Security to assist as a response team, perform trash pick up, and patrol the inner and outer perimeters of the festival. “We looked at it like a mission,” said Senior Member 1st Lieutenant Torre LoDolce, who was in charge of the cadets for the weekend. Cadets were split into teams and given radios to communicate. A tent was set up as headquarters. It served as a place for visitors to come and ask questions about the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). Many people, as well as vendors, were very impressed by the cadets performance around the carnival and came to inquire about CAP. Members of CAP always have opportunities to participate in events and activities similar to the Cajun Invasion Festival because volunteer service is one of the most important core values for the organization. The festival offered a great opportunity to explain as well as demonstrate what CAP is all about.

Thunderbird cadets

Many Cadets and Seniors volunteered throughout the weekend so that the work was distributed evenly. Everyone had a chance to enjoy the rides and games. There were several live performances including  Kimberly Caldwell, Katy native. She was the seventh place finalist on American Idol. As she invited children up to the stage, cadets  Zach Lexa and Truitt LoDolce jumped into the group. The two jammed out on stage with the pop star.

Every cadet enjoyed volunteering at the festival. “It was a fun experience,” said Cadet Technical Sergeant Zach Lexa. “Sure we cleaned up, but we had fun doing it.” Katy Mills Mall was pleased with Thunderbird’s performance and welcomes them back.

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Katy, TX News – Mischer Neuroscience Associates Now Seeing Patients in Katy

Katy, TX News (June 6, 2014) – Mischer Neuroscience Associates (MNA), a network of outpatient clinics affiliated with the Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann – the largest and most comprehensive neuroscience program in Texas, is pleased to announce neurosurgeon Baraa Al-Hafez, M.D. is now seeing patients in Katy.  With expertise in both cranial and spine surgery, Dr. Al-Hafez can treat a variety of conditions ranging from brain tumors to lumbar degenerative disease.

Baraa Al-Hafez, M.D.

Dr. Al-Hafez received his medical degree at Tishreen University Medical School in Syria and followed up with a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship at The University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City.  He completed his general surgery internship at The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock and his neurosurgery residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.  During his residency, he received the Kinjiro Iwata Award for excellence and leadership.  He went on to complete his fellowship in neurosurgery at UTHealth Medical School. (more…)

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Katy, TX News – Emily Couch Joins Professional Golfers in the Shell Houston Open Pro-Junior Event

Katy, TX News (June 4, 2014) – Emily Couch, a sophomore at Katy High School, is a member of the varsity golf team. During the 2014 school year, Couch was selected to play in the Shell Houston Open Pro-Junior Event, which is organized through the Houston Golf Association. She was paired with professional golfer Brandon Grace of South Africa and two male golfers Case Garrison and Sean Cleland. The foursome shot a score of 31, taking first place in the event.

Emily Couch

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Katy, TX News – Student Wins Phillips 66 Scholarship

Katy, TX News (June 4, 2014) – One high school senior will receive a $16,000 college scholarship from the Phillips 66 Dependent Scholarship Program. The competitive program awards outstanding collegebound students whose parents work for Phillips 66 or one of its subsidiaries. The awards are based on academic excellence, community service, and financial need.

The company announced Ana Hernandez of Katy as honoree this year. Ana, daughter of Phillips 66 employee Francisco Hernandez, is a senior at Seven Lakes High School.

“This scholarship program reflects Phillips 66’s commitment to the communities where we live and operate and builds on our corporate vision of improving lives,” said Claudia Kreisle Phillips 66 Director, Contributions and Community Engagement. Phillips 66 is a growing energy manufacturing and logistics company with high-performing Midstream, Chemicals, Refining, and Marketing and Specialties businesses, headquartered in Houston. “We congratulate Ana on her achievements inside and outside the classroom and wish her every success in college,” Kreisle said.  (more…)

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End of School Year Reflections

Summertime is a good time to face challenges of the school year

The last 180 days have been a whirlwind for many families. We are the parents of four boys. Our oldest just completed kindergarten. Our heads are still spinning over how much our little boy has grown in such a short amount of time. I think it’s important to take some time this summer to reflect a bit on what changes may have occurred in our children. Celebrate and encourage the good, and think of some ways to tackle the challenges that also reared their ugly head.

(more…)

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Katy, TX News – Groundbreaking Ceremony for Largest Gallery Furniture Showroom in Houston

Katy, TX News (June 3, 2014) – Gallery Furniture officially broke ground on the new Gallery Furniture Fort Bend/Grand Parkway on Tuesday, June 3, 2014.

Jim “Mack” McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture, along with Keenon Rayner of Identity Architects, Dave Cannon of Trend Development, Ft. Bend County Precinct 4 Commissioner James Patterson, and Yvonne Tuttle Streit of The Brookwood Community, were on hand to welcome Gallery Furniture to the Long Meadow Farms and Fort Bend County community.


Festivities included a special appearance from the Brookwood Community hand bell choir and ended with a surprise skywriter that will landscape the Houston skies this afternoon with #gfgp, a social media hashtag that will lead to information and renderings for the new Gallery Furniture location.

The store, which will be the third and largest Gallery Furniture location in Houston, is expected to open in late November/December and will be located at The Market at Long Meadow Farms, 7301 W. Grand Parkway South, Richmond, TX 77407 (next to the Santikos Palladium theater). (more…)

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Katy, TX News – Local Katy Student Heads to Haiti Prior to George Washington University

Katy, TX News (June 3, 2014) – Koralie Barrau, a 2014 graduate of Katy’s James E. Taylor High School, will spend part of her summer on a service project working with YWCA Haiti. Barrau, who was a part of Taylor High School’s National Honor Society, a distinguished scholar with 54 hours of community service under her belt, and an active member of the French Club and Key Club, has felt a strong connection to Haiti her whole life, especially after the 2010 earthquake took the life of her beloved grandmother.

Koralie Barrau, a graduate of James E. Taylor High School’s class of 2014

Throughout high school, Barrau attended multiple leadership conferences and was a student council representative. She proudly co-edited the Taylor High School 2014 year book and is the proud recipient of the 2014 yearbook award. In the Fall of 2014, Barrau will attend George Washington University’s school of Media and Public Affairs. She plans to major in broadcast journalism and international relations.

 

 

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Katy, TX News – Raising Awareness of Chronic Wounds

Katy, TX News (June 2, 2014) – The Wound Care Center ® at Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital-Katy, a member of the Healogics network, is participating in the first Healogics National Wound Care Awareness Week held June 2 – 6, 2014.

“As one of the leading hospitals in the area offering therapies to patients suffering from chronic wounds, Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital-Katy, is pleased to join the awareness campaign,” said Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Mary Ann Euliarte, at Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital-Katy.

Chronic wounds affect millions of people in the U.S. and the incidence is rising, fueled by an aging population and increasing rates of diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and the late effects of radiation therapy. “One of our greatest concerns, is that untreated, chronic wounds can lead to a diminished quality of life, including the possibility of amputation of the affected limb,” said Dr. Ebba Tsinopoulos, medical director, Wound Care Center, Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital-Katy.

“There are many patients living with non-healing wounds who are unaware of treatments available in their local communities,” said D. Scott Covington, M.D., Healogics, Inc., chief medical director. “Adjunctive therapies for appropriate patients can help heal wounds faster than traditional methods. We want to make advanced wound care available to all patients who would benefit but we must educate the communities we serve about the services we offer.”  (more…)

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