Katy Texas

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

September 4, 2018 

Ashley Lancaster 

Harris County ESD 48 is accepting applications for enthusiastic, dedicated volunteers to serve their community as firefighters until September 31.

Twice a year, Harris County ESD 48 Fire and EMS hosts a Volunteer Firefighter Academy for men and women in the area who want to give back to their community.

 

The course gives extensive, hands-on training in all aspects of the position, and volunteers from all walks of life are welcome and include executives, teachers, nurses, engineers, and more.

These special, selfless community leaders work alongside career firefighters to protect their neighbors in the event of an emergency.

Here’s a video from a few volunteer firefighters about why they decided to join ESD #48.

WHO THEY’RE LOOKING FOR

Volunteer Firefighters

The Academy for the class of 2018 begins December 4, and applications must be received by September 31, 2018. Print out the application and turn it in at Station 5, at 21201 Morton Rd.

Community Team Volunteers/ Teachers

HCESD #48 Public Information Officer Simon Van Dyk says that volunteer firefighters are always welcome, but there are plenty of volunteer roles in addition to firefighters.

 

“We are specifically looking for people with teaching backgrounds to help with our fire and life safety programs within local schools,” he says.

For more information about how you can get involved and serve the Katy community with ESD #48, contact them here. 

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS 

August 30, 2018 

Ashley Lancaster

As the date of Childproof America’s Parent Empowerment Seminar draws closer, local law enforcement agencies are giving the group their cooperation, expertise, and support.

 

 

Tomorrow, August 31, representatives from four local law enforcement agencies will meet local press to answer questions and spread the word about Childproof America’s Back to School Parent Empowerment Seminar on September 8.

 

Present will be Houston Police Department Captain James Dale, Human Trafficking Unit, Vice Division, Constable Wayne Thompson, Fort Bend Pct. 3, Johna M. Stallings, Harris County D.A., and Tyler Dunman, Assistant D.A. Chief of Special Crimes Bureau, Montgomery County.

The briefing will discuss the dangers of domestic child sex trafficking in our area and give information about the prevention seminar. Police are putting the full weight of their support behind organizations like Childproof America to combat child sex trafficking and inform parents of the danger it poses to our community.

 

PARENT EMPOWERMENT SEMINAR

Saturday, September 8, 2018
8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Wyndham Energy Corridor
14703 Park Row Dr., Houston

Parents and community members are invited a comprehensive overview of an issue recently declared a “public health crisis” by Governor Abbott. Topics include discussions about the definition of sex-trafficking, Six stages of grooming, international vs. domestic trafficking, physiochemical affects of pornography on a developing brain, and more. Guest  speakers include representatives from the Homeland Security Advisory Council, Love People Not Pixels, and more. Register here.

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS   

August 27, 2018   

Natalie Cook Clark and Katrina Katsarelis    

According to chimney expert, Todd Harkrider, fireplaces that suffered water damage during Harvey or any other flood event, could be at risk for fire or carbon monoxide release.

 

Harkrider wants to warn Katy Area residents that at least two of the larger fireplace manufacturers – Hearth & Home Technologies (HHT) and Innovative Hearth Products (IHP), are recommending homeowners replace their fireplaces if they have been partially or fully exposed to water. The companies have also deemed fireplace warranties invalid if exposed to water.

System Malfunctions and Carbon Monoxide Risks

The fireplace manufacturers have issued statements of concerns related to fire/carbon monoxide risks associated with rusted holes and potential control system malfunctions due to water damage.  One of the statements is below:

 “From a safety standpoint, it is our opinion that the fireplace be replaced if any of the fireplace has been exposed to or under water. Further, we recommend that the replacement be done by a qualified service person or agency. If you have any questions concerning this matter, feel free to contact our technical department at 800-655-2008.” – Technical Support, Innovative Hearth Products

According to fireplace experts, gas log burners/controls present the same issue with the control system being submerged and warn that attempted operation may result in fire or explosion, property damage, personal injury or even loss of life. “If fireplace damage was the result of flooding during Hurricane Harvey, we recommend checking the homeowners insurance policy for any benefits related to flooding,” states Heart & Home Technologies.

Harris County Emergency Services District 48 Response

“We haven’t seen anything (chimney related fires) yet but it would make sense,” explains Simon VanDyk, Lt. Public Information Officer Harris County Emergency Services. “One thing that most people don’t know is that in the unincorporated Katy there are no residential fire codes. Home inspectors focus on building codes.”  This can create a problem when people think that their home is inspected and approved but then it wasn’t inspected for fire threats.

Some inspectors agree. “The houses flooded from Harvey are now coming back online and I’m seeing, for the most part, that they’ve been rebuilt poorly,” says Jim Davis of About the House Inspection Services. “People need to focus on the overall safety of the home and not the look of the granite counter tops.”

Willowfork Fire Department started offering free fire inspections this year. Harris County Emergency Services District 48 was the first organization in Katy to offer home safety surveys in 2016 . Also residents need to take the time to self inspect their smoke alarms and keep in mind that these do expire. This year would also be the best year to install carbon monoxide detectors as an added precaution.

“Not too many people in the south use their chimney’s too much so with the unprecedented flooding we can expect to see issues that have never come up here before and it is a concern,” stressed Harkrider. This will be the first winter that we’ve experienced this potential threat. Most houses that had chimney water damage would not have been lived in and experiencing chimney use last winter. As the cold weather nears and users start up their fireplaces for the first time since the flood, potential damage and safety hazards could occur.

“I do believe that homeowners did and are missing some good info when they started the rebuild process. I think there were a lot of people that did DIY rebuild/renovations and did not document as well as they should have and are now having trouble selling their once flooded homes,” says George Huntoon, a local Katy realtor.

Bottom line people need to listen to common sense. Make sure that your house is properly inspected.

Here are some tips from the experts:

CHECK YOUR GAS STARTER

REPLACE MALFUNCTIONING FIREPLACES

INSTALL/CHECK SMOKE ALARMS TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE WORKING

INSTALL/CHECK CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS

GET A FIRE INSPECTION FROM YOUR FIRE DEPARTMENT

GET YOUR CHIMNEY INSPECTED

Special thanks to Todd Harkrider of Harky’s Chimney & Home Services for bringing this story to our attention.

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

August 26, 2018

By Jennifer Lynn Skelton

Saturday, one year to the day that Hurricane Harvey began it’s destruction in Katy, voters said yes to a $2.5 billion bond that will fund more than 200 projects in hopes to curtail future flooding in Harris county.

Roughly 85% of voters said yes to the Harris County flood bond with 6.5% of the registered voters participating. This was the same percentage of support that was seen in early voting. Votes rarely, if ever, pass at a percentage that high. Although the improvements are for Harris county, many other communities outside will reap the benefits.

POTENTIAL IMPROVEMENTS

Potential projects supported by bond funding include:

  • Channel modifications to improve stormwater conveyance

  • Regional stormwater detention basins

  • Major repairs to flood-damaged drainage infrastructure

  • Removing large amounts of sediment and silt from drainage channels

  • Voluntary buyouts of flood-prone properties

  • Wetland mitigation banks

  • Property acquisition for preserving the natural floodplains

  • Drainage improvements made in partnership with other cities, utility districts, or other local government agencies

  • Upgrading the Harris County Flood Warning System

Click here for more information and a map of improvements covered by the bond.

STATEMENT

The Harris County Flood Control District Executive Director Russ Poppe released the following statement about the election results:

“We are very excited that the voters have significantly enhanced the Flood Control District’s ability to address the flooding issues that impact Harris County by approving the issuance of up to $2.5 billion in bonds to help us implement more flood risk reduction projects in a shorter timeframe.

“We intend to make immediate use of this opportunity: Next Tuesday’s Harris County Commissioners Court agenda will include items to advance 14 flood risk reduction projects that are made possible by this new bond funding. There will be more projects in the coming months.

“Harris County residents have put their trust in the Flood Control District and we plan to work extremely hard and efficiently to turn the financial resources made available as a result of this election into the reality of reduced flooding risks across Harris County.”

 

HCFCD will continue to hold community meetings, such as those held to educate the public ahead of the bond, as projects begin.

TIME FRAME

The bonds will be sold in increments over at least 10-15 years, as needed for the multiple phases of each project. The actual timing of individual projects will depend on a variety of factors including environmental permitting and right-of-way acquisition.

Projects will be authorized individually for funding by Commissioners Court, based on recommendations by the Flood Control District.

TAX INCREASE

The Harris County Flood Control District anticipates that bonds will begin to be sold in 2020. Taxpayers will not see an increase until then with property taxes that are due January 31, 2021.

Frank Bruce, Harris County senior director of finance and budget stated that the increase is estimated at 1/3 of a cent per $100 valuation. This number is fluid as market conditions and circumstances change. By 2035, the anticipated tax rate is expected to double the 2.83 cents per $100 valuation.

Homeowners over 65 or that have a disabled exemption with a home valued $200,000 or less will not pay any additional taxes.

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KATY MAGAZINE  

August 16, 2018  

By Jennifer Lynn Skelton  

A man was stabbed to death early Thursday morning after a fight at a home in the Tamarron neighborhood.

 

 

The woman called 911 around 4:45 am stating that her ex-boyfriend had knocked on the door of her home on Daintree Park Drive and argued with her. Before police could arrive, the ex-boyfriend came back and proceeded to argue with the new boyfriend.

The ex-boyfriend stabbed the new boyfriend to death inside the home where the three children witnessed the violence. The suspect is the father of the two youngest, a 2 and 4-year old.

Maj. Chad Norvell with the Fort Bend Sheriff’s said the ex-boyfriend was arrested after a traffic stop on nearby FM Road 1463.

No identities have been released. This is still a very active crime scene in Tamarron and on FM 1463. This part of Tamarron is in Lamar ISD, whom have not begun school, therefore the police presence won’t affect school this morning.

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

August 14, 2018 

 

Last week, Katy ISD sent out an email about the additional safety and security measures that will be implemented across the district. Below is a breakdown of the updated safety measures at your child’s school.

When students return to school in Katy ISD on August 15, 2018, they will be met with reinforced and updated safety and security procedures that include software for reporting bullying, more strict identification requirements for parents and visitors, mandatory student ID’s and more.

PARENTS & VISITORS

Required for entrance to any Katy ISD campus:

– Valid, current, government-issued picture ID outside of the main entrance at all campuses.

– Utilize the new controlled access camera and intercom system to present their ID.

– Present valid ID to the front desk receptionist and be logged into the tracking system.

STUDENT ID BADGES

Secondary students must now wear their ID badges at all times during school hours, while on District property.  Students in grades PK-5 will continue utilizing their badges during lunch and library times.  Fourth and fifth-grade students are requested to wear their badges throughout the school day, when practical.  At the secondary level, failure to follow the ID badge requirement may be considered a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.?

STANDARD UNLOCK TIMES

Controlled access systems will unlock main entrance doors at a set time each morning.

– Elementary Group 1: 7:35 a.m.

– Elementary Group 2: 7:55  a.m.

– Junior High: 8:10 a.m.

– High School: 6: 45 a.m.

CLEAR BAG REGULATION

To ensure visitor safety, along with quick and efficient entry into our event venues, Katy ISD has instituted a Clear Bag Regulation. This will limit the size and type of bag allowed at sporting events, performances and graduations held at Rhodes and Legacy stadiums, as well as the Leonard Merrell Center (LMC), and the Katy ISD Livestock Show and Rodeo at the Agricultural Sciences Center.

While Katy ISD encourages visitors not to bring bags if possible, the following types of bags are permissible:

  • Clear, plastic, vinyl or PVC bags

  • Clear, plastic, one-gallon, re-sealable, Ziploc-style bags

  • Clutch bags approximately the size of a hand (4 ½” X 6 ½”)

  • Medically necessary items

Visitors who bring bags that do not meet the criteria outlined, will not be permitted entrance into the venue.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ACCEPTABLE BAGS

BULLYING

– Procedures for Reporting Allegations of Bullying

– Bullying and Intervention Programs by Campus 

For a full report of Katy ISD’s increased safety and security measures, visit KatyISD.org.

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

August 13, 2018

Natalie Cook Clark

With Katy ISD schools starting this week a lot of parents are looking into before and after school care options, especially with the time changes to some of our schools.

The good news is that Katy offers a lot of options and most of these are not just a childcare program but offer curriculum enriched programs with various topics and homework assistance by certified teachers.

How to find the best program for your child?

All of these programs have their own unique curriculum and play structure. It’s always best to research to see to find the best fit for your child.

Safety- What is their pick-up procedures? What kind of CPR and training is required of the staff?

Ask about transportation- Most of these program provide transportation to local school. Be sure and see if your child’s school is one that they service. Do they use carseats?

Curriculum- Different programs focus on different curriculum. Do you want something STEM based? Language immersion? Play based? Homework assistance?

Take a tour- All of these programs listed below offer tours. This is the best way to get a feel for the program and ask your questions.

“I chose Tigerland because it’s great reputation, the majority of the staff have been there for years and the pricing is reasonable,” says Vicky Hegemeyer.

With so many choices in Katy, with a little research it should be easy to find the best fit for your child.

 

Local Katy Before/After School Programs:

British Private Prep

28031 S. Firethorne Road, 281-394-5889

25935 Cinco Terrace Drive, 281-394-7737

4025 S. Mason Road, 281-828-2000

Childtime Learning Center

170 N Fry Rd, Katy 77449, 281-646-8330

22022 Highland Knolls Dr, Katy 77450, 281-392-2400

Children’s Lighthouse

23060 Westheimer Pkwy, Katy 77494, 281-395-4466

26051 Kingsland Blvd, Katy 77494, 281-392-2211

19607 Clay Rd, Katy 77449, 281-492-2688

 5740 FM 1463, Katy 77494, 281-394-9696

Children’s Learning Adventure

24224 Cinco Terrace Dr, Katy 77494, 281-612-7648

Foundations Academy

20817 Westheimer Parkway, Katy 77450, 281-599-1200

Ivy Kids Early Learning Center

27270 Cinco Ranch Blvd, Katy 77494, 281-574-0395

2707 Spring Green Blvd, Katy 77494, 346-307-6922

19919 Lakemont Bend Ln, Richmond, TX 77407, 832-595-1900

Katy Knowledge Beginnings

6130 S Fry Rd, Katy 77494, 281-693-77494

Katy’s Early childhood Enrichment Center

1407 W. Grand Pkwy, 281-693-1999

 Kids R ‘Kids

19814 Keith Harrow Boulevard 281-859-7300

21955 Westheimer Pkwy 281-828-2273

24007 Franz Road 281-347-5444

25950 Cinco Ranch Blvd. 281–392-1370

10602 S. Fry Road 281-392-1414

4515 FM 1463 281-347-5437

Kindercare

2650 S. Peek Rd, Katy 77450, 281-392-2650

22129 Kingsland Blvd, Katy 77450, 281-392-6770

2202 Fry Rd, Houston 77084, 281-578-1415

19510 Clay Rd, Katy 77449, 281-550-1610

Learning and Beyond

19600 Clay Rd, Katy 77449, 832-464-7787

20144 Morton Rd, Katy 77449, 832-848-0369

My Place Early Learning Center

24034 Cinco Village Center Blvd, Katy 77494, 281-392-5900

2212 Katy Flewellen Rd, Katy 77494, 281-396-4734

Primrose Schools of Katy

1249 FM 1463, Katy 77494, 281-371-0099 (West Cinco Ranch)

1540 Peek Rd, Katy 77450, 281-693-7711 (Cinco Ranch)

21480 Park Row Blvd, Katy 77449, 281-492-7400 (North Mason Creek)

2402 Westgreen Blvd, Katy TX 77450 281-828-1600 (Kelliwood)

Safari Kids Learning Center

24936 Katy Ranch Rd, Katy 77494, 832-583-9700

Scribbles Academy

940 S. Fry Rd, Katy 77450, 281-578-1505

Spanish School House

2944 S Mason Rd, Katy 77450, 832-437-0570

Tigerland

5315 E 5th St, Katy 77493, 281-391-8750

YMCA

Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch 22807 Westheimer Pkwy, 281-392-5055

Mark Chapman YMCA at Katy Main Street 1350 Main Street, 281-665-1213

Do you have a Katy before/after school program that you love? Tell us about it in the comments.

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

August 5, 2018

Natalie Cook Clark

Katy ISD is gearing up to start school August 15 and part of that prep involves planning how to address and prevent bullying.

Anonymously report bullying on your cell

We’ve seen a world-wide increase in bullying and technology is responsible for a lot of that increase so it’s only fitting that we’re using technology to help combat it.

The Bullying Tip Line is a feature part of the Katy OnTheGo app. To access it simply download the free app. If you already have the app then it will automatically update to include the feature when it launches this month.

 

While the focus will be getting students to use it, parents and teachers can also make use of it. All you need is a cell phone with the Katy OnTheGo app, information to submit (the more detail the better) and a few minutes of your time. “The ease and anonymity is key here,” says Maria DiPetta, manager, media relations and multimedia for KISD. “While other methods aim to be anonymous this truly is. Schools even have designated cell phone times so when a student is on their phone no one knows if they are playing a game, checking a social media account or submitting a tip on the app.”

The new Bullying Tip Line app is being introduced to principals and administrators this week and has been in development as part of the districts strategic planning process since spring 2017. It’s release is right on schedule with the district’s goals. “The initial goal for the app is for users to familiarize themselves with it and feel comfortable using it,” says Maria. INSERT QUOTE FROM PRINCIPAL- The initial feedback is that it’s very simple to use, so much so that elementary students could do it.

The app is part Katy ISD’s Bullying Prevention Campaign. The campaign includes educational videos, events and the observation of National Bullying Prevention month. The app is just another way of reporting in addition to the anonymous boxes placed in all schools. The hope is that when students have felt uncomfortable being seen putting information in a drop box they would feel comfortable using the app. “Again it being so anonymous is key. In fact the anonymous button is always turned on and all tips will go to an inbox where the administrator for the school receives them daily,” explains Maria.

Educating students how to help

Education is key to helping the app be a success and the schools will focus on this educational process this year. This app can be most effective in addressing a bullying act when given as much detail as possible. “For example,” Maria explains, “student XYZ (full name) is bullying student ABC (full name) in 2nd period, Mrs. So-and-So’s class and they posted this on Facebook (share screenshot of social media.) From there the user could say that student XYZ follows student ABC to the parking lot and then proper people will have the information to verify, prove and prevent this incident from continuing.”

The app will also better help administrators to categorize the bullying whether it’s emotional, physical, social or technological. Some tips may require police investigation while other may be simply resolved by scheduling a sit down with the students. This will allow administrators the information to make those decisions and make sure the best solution is in play for each case.

This app will only be used for reporting. It is NOT to be used to report a crisis that would still be to call 911 or the Katy Connect Crisis Line 281-234-2326.

 

KISD is dedicated to addressing, preventing bullying

The district plans to track, record and follow the use and trends of the tips reported. In another step to being proactive in the current culture of bullying, KISD recently hired a Coordinator for Bullying Prevention and Student Support. The position is still new and getting settled but further proof at the seriousness that the district put on the topic.

Parents need to be part of the conversation

While the district is doing their part to address and help prevent bullying parents play a key role at home and these conversations need to start their. “Parents should talk to their children about bullying to help prevent them from partaking in it and becoming a possible victim,” says Nelda Wilson Brooks, a Katy family therapist. Parents should also be aware of their children’s social media presence.

Be sure and download the Katy OnTheGo App for many helpful features including the new Bullying Tip Line.

Are you talking to your child about bullying ahead of the school year? What kind of conversations are you having.

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
July 31, 2018 

Ashley Lancaster

 

On August 1, 2018, the community is invited to attend the Harris County Flood Control Bond Barker Reservoir Community Meeting at Memorial Parkway Junior High.

The meeting will be held at Memorial Parkway Junior High at 21203 Highland Knolls Blvd from 6 – 8 p.m.

 

All attendees are invited to bring questions and ideas to the Barker Reservoir Open House in regards to the 2018 Harris County Flood Control District Bond Program.

The goal is to prepare an effective system to reduce flood damage for the Houston region, and community input is vital. Residents can also learn more about projects proposed for the area by the Harris County Flood Control district, and give feedback.

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KATY MAGAZINE  

July 22, 2018    

By Jennifer Skelton

The Seven Lakes Spartans received international recognition and won Overall Outstanding program for their participation in the Best Buddies program.

  

Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They establish global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development.

In July participants from Seven Lakes High School including President Reagan Kallina and Co-Vice President Tania Swain and their buddies flew to Indiana for the 2018 International Best Buddies Conference, where they received international recognition and won Overall Outstanding Program for their school.

This is not the first year that Seven Lakes has taken home awards for their work in the Best Buddies program. In 2016 and 2017, they were awarded Outstanding High School Chapter in Texas. In 2017, the chapter was also awarded the National Pacesetter Award and was ranked in the top 15 chapters in the nation for fundraising.

All Katy ISD high school’s have Best Buddies programs. Both participants and volunteers benefit from the program, with the participants often choosing college and career paths that specialize in Special Education or a related field.

In order for a student to volunteer with the program, they must meet certain criteria along with go through an interview process. If chosen, the commitment is for one school year.

“Receiving these awards is such a testament to the truly life changing impacts of Best Buddies! It is so humbling to be recognized on such a large scale but more than anything, empowering to be able to see how big of a difference our organization can make in the lives of our peers and our community,” states Anna Celeste Fedewa, former President.

You can request information about Best Buddies at your campus by phone.

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

July 2, 2018

Natalie Cook Clark

Officials from Harris County and the City of Katy share their top must-knows for Katy families before celebrating July 4th.

 

The first step in your fireworks education is to know and understand the laws of your county. Katy is part of Harris, Fort Bend, and Waller counties as well as neighborhoods that are both in the City of Katy proper and unincorporated areas.

For Residents in the City of Katy

Fireworks are strictly forbidden inside the City of Katy limits. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them. There are a number of Katy area events going on to celebrate the Fourth this year.

“Personally I say leave it to the professionals,” says Katy Fire Chief Warner Preston. “But if you are going to partake in fireworks (considering you do so in a legal area) make sure you are in an open area and leave the lighting of fireworks to the adults.”

Unincorporated areas in Harris and Fort Bend County

In both Harris County and Fort Bend County (outside of Katy proper) fireworks are legal as long as there isn’t a fire ban and as long as the fireworks used are legal and set off in a safe place.

So what is a “legal firework?” Basically most fireworks you can buy from a firework stand are legal. It’s always important to check and make sure that the stand you are purchasing your fireworks from is certified and licensed. They should have that documentation easily visible on the stand. If you don’t see if then ask to. You need to stay clear from venders who are selling fireworks out of a back of a pickup truck or on the side of road that do not have a certified stand. “And please use common sense,” explains Lieutenant Simon VanDyk of Harris County Emergency Services. “If your fireworks have an extra boom from other then something may not be right.”

Firework Safety Tips

1. Open Area and Distance- Make sure you are in an open area. You can be in your street but make sure you are not setting off fireworks up against a house. You cannot light fireworks off within 600 feet of a school (even if it’s not in session,) church, hospital or gas station.

2. Read the instructions- Yes, this may sound simple but it is one of the most important safety tips. “My family loves those ladybug fireworks. They spin and then shoot up in the air,” says VanDyk. “If someone failed to read the instructions they could easily get themselves and others in trouble for being too close when they shoot up.” If you have questions don’t be afraid to ask when buying the fireworks. Most of the employees at the firework stands will know all about what they are selling.

3. Not for children- Fireworks are pretty and festive when celebrating our Nations birthday but they do come with risk. Lighting fireworks should be left to the adults. Of course kids can enjoy and watch but safety should always come first.

4. When drinking- As with most holidays people enjoy an adult beverage. “Lighting fireworks is no different than having a designated driver. Alcohol will slow your reaction time and that time could result in injury when lighting fireworks,” says VanDyk. Be responsible and let those adults not drinking light the fireworks.

5. Water source- ALWAYS have a water source nearby and douse everything before throwing it out. “We will have a number of garage fires on the 5th because people tossed something in the trash,” says VanDyk. “In most cases these are responsible people who truly believed they had put out any fire but it only takes one little simmering ember to ignite a fire. It’s not out until you’ve doused it.” In this area you can’t be too cautious. Don’t be afraid to dump water on it or even soak them in a bucket of water overnight. “A fire can start up to 12 hours after you believe it is out,” cautions VanDyk.

Don’t Forget Your Pets

More pets go missing of the Fourth of July than any other day of the year. The noise and lights that we love about fireworks are stressful and scary to pets. It’s wise to bring outside pets indoors and even put them in an interior room to help minimize the sound and prevent them going through a window. As much as we love our furry babies it’s never smart to have your dog outside with you when lighting fireworks.

Have fun this Fourth of July but most of be safe. If you need to call your local authorities for help. Do keep in mind that while certain Home Owners Associations prohibit fireworks only the HOA can enforce that and not the police or the fire department.

If you are in an area that can light fireworks, which is your favorite Katy stand to purchase them from? Let us know in the comments!

Want to leave the fireworks to the professionals? Are you still looking for a Katy Fourth of July event to attend? Check out these options.

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KATY MAGAZINE  

June 29, 2018  

By Jennifer Skelton

The Ballard House, which provides temporary housing in our community for individuals and their families who are hospitalized or receiving treatment for a serious medical condition, has just reopened at full capacity since they were flooded during Hurricane Harvey. Due to the additional guests, The Ballard House has an urgent need of donations to stock the entire home.

The items below are urgently needed and can be dropped off at The Ballard House located at 21421 Cinco Park Road.

  • Toilet Paper

  • K-Cups

  • Foil

 

  • Canned Soups (like you would want to eat when you are sick)

  • Peanut Butter

  • Peanut Butter – take along snack crackers

  • Goldfish

  • Wheat Thins, Triscuits, Saltine Crackers

  • Canned Fruit

  • Fruit Cups

  • Pudding Cups (that don’t have to be refrigerated)

  • Cereal – Special K, Raisin Bran, Corn Flakes

  • Success Rice – Brown and White

  • Canned Tuna

  • Bottle Water

  • Any other general snack items that can be taken to the guest’s doctors appt.

In addition to the urgent need above, a complete list of items needed can be found here.

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS 
June 21, 2018 
Ashley Lancaster

Available while supplies last, Katy parents can pick up a free Child ID kit on June 30. The kits are a simple, yet effective way to help families maintain vital information about their children.

 

WHERE & WHEN 

Saturday, June 30, 2018
10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Ashley Furniture
19660 Restaurant Row, Houston

Parents and caregivers can receive an important tool to share with law enforcement authorities when searching for a missing child. No purchase is necessary.

 

DETAILS

Individually packaged in a protective plastic sleeve, each kit contains a non-toxic fingerprinting ink strip, heavy gauge freezer-safe bag for a DNA hair sample or cheek swabs, space to record complete contact, personal, medical, and physical information, space for a 4″ x 6″ photograph, fingerprint chart, dental charts for permanent and baby teeth, and essential educational safety tips.

 In 2017, there were 464,324 entries into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center representing a missing child reported to law enforcement every 67 seconds of every day.

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS 

June 15, 2018
Ashley Lancaster

One Katy family had to taste a bitter reality when their son Rhett was diagnosed with high-risk leukemia. Find out how their idea to start a lemonade stand gave them all strength and hope.

Rhett Wilkins, a 7-year-old cancer survivor, and his family opened a lemonade stand to raise money for cancer research, and were named one of the Top 10 Best Lemonade Stands in the United States by NextDoor.

The Wilkins’ were a Katy family just like any other until the day their son Rhett, now 7, was diagnosed with high-risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). While he was being treated for cancer at Texas Children’s Hospital, his compromised immune system left him vulnerable to a rare fungal infection which, in combination with the cancer diagnosis, have him a 1% chance to live.

“Even the doctors were blown away by how Rhett survived when the infection, called mucormycosis, took over his body. There was no medical protocol or documented history of a child surviving this kind of fungal infection as long as Rhett did. When he pulled out of the coma, the doctors started documenting his progress and since then, several children have been saved with the protocol that save Rhett,” says his father, Chris Wilkins.

A FRESH IDEA
Rhett had overcome the odds like a true warrior, but there was still a long, long way to go.  The standard course of treatment for a child with ALL is between 2.5 – 3.5 years from beginning to end depending on the treatment plan, and it’s intensity during the first year leaves children exhausted and often feeling sick. The physical, emotional, and financial toll can place a huge strain on the patients and their family.

Life had handed Rhett and his family lemons….so they decided to make lemonade.

“Rhett’s mom and my wife Lauren (pictured) came up with the idea. Lauren asked if I could build the stand, and I said I could if she would make it pretty,” says Wilkins. The entire family, including all four of Rhett’s siblings and his cousin Sydney jumped on board.

Sydney (cousin, 11), Siddalee (10), Riley (10), Peyton (7), and JJ (6) knew that they wanted to help Rhett, as well as other kids and families who were suffering in the same way. At first, their goal was to raise $1,000 every time they hosted a stand to donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Foundation. Rhett’s lemonade was requested at swim meets, gymnastics events, crawfish boils and other family events in Katy to spread the word.

SWEET & SOUR

To the family, the stand is more than just a fun activity. While in treatment at Texas Children’s Hospital for 42 months, little Rhett tragically lost eight of his friends to childhood cancer. “We want to raise money, not just for the children that have survived, but also so that every child has a chance to survive. The government doesn’t give enough to children’s cancer so we are doing it for them,” says Wilkins.

According to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, only 4% of government funding is allocated towards childhood cancer research… a number that is simply not good enough for most parents.

MORE SURPRISING FACTS ABOUT CHILDHOOD CANCER

That’s why little lemonade stands like Rhett’s are such a light in the vast darkness of cancer. To date, they have raised $5,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation, and plan to continue hosting stands in Katy.

Their goal now is to raise $25,000.

They will host a stand tonight from 6 – 8 p.m. at Pine Mill Ranch Park & Splash Pad. MAP

STRENGTH THAT INSPIRES

Rhett, like so many others who have gone through similar battles, shows a resilience that is truly amazing. There really aren’t any words that can make a parent, who is watching their child suffer, feel encouraged. It’s something no one ever prepares themselves for. There is a resiliency in children that adults lost at some point in life,” says his dad.

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS  

June 15. 2018  

By Jennifer Skelton  

An alert neighbor in Memorial Parkway called Harris County Sheriff Constable Precinct 5 when she noticed a little boy walking alone on Thursday evening past dark.

 

Precinct 5 Deputy Kimberly Burkett, responding to the call, made sure the five-year-old was not hurt. She then walked with him down the street, in the general direction of his home, until they found his worried mother looking for him.

There were some tears along the way, but we are happy to say the little boy is safe and sound back home tonight.

Incidents like this are not uncommon, especially in the summer with kids out of school. Below are several tips for parents and caregivers to help with wandering children.

1. Secure your home with locks/latches located at the top of doors, that children can’t easily access. Always have latches secure while indoors. The latches are available at any home store such as Home Depot.

2. Outdoor fences should have a secure gate that can be locked to avoid children getting out or unwanted people getting in a backyard.

3. Keep car doors locked so that if a child does wander, they don’t get stuck in a car. Cars are exciting and enticing places for children to get in.

4. Know your neighbors and exchange contact information. If your child has a history of wandering, inform neighbors so they can keep an eye out and contact you immediately if they see suspicious activity.

5. When your child is outside, check on them periodically. Children can very easily get lost and turned around…even children as old as 10-12 years old have been known to become lost.

6. If your child is missing, call 9-1-1 immediately. Police can help look for a child more efficiently than a parent who is emotionally upset and they have broader resources.

The citizens of Katy can always count on the Harris County Constable’s Office to be there and help when called!

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KATY MAGAZINE

June 12, 2018

By Jennifer Skelton

A Katy man is facing felony drug charges after Precinct 5 deputies discovered nearly 2,000 grams of illegal peyote at his home.

 

Alex Noorian, 31, was arrested on Monday after a reported disturbance at his home in the 2600 block of Planters House Lane in Williamsburg Colony.

Deputies obtained a search warrant for the home and found 6 pots of peyote cactus along with two jars of the drug. Peyote, an endangered species, is a Class One Hallucinogen on the same level as LSD and PCP. It is a psychedelic drug and is illegal to use, grow or sell.

In addition to 1,900 grams of peyote, deputies found and confiscated illegal mushrooms, THC wax, and 35 marijuana plants inside the house.

Noorian was arrested on felony charges of manufacturing and delivering a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. Noorian is no stranger to police as his arrest record dates back to 2005. In the past, he has been arrested for unlawful carrying of a weapon, assault on family members and other unrelated individuals, but this is his first drug arrest.

Noorian is currently in jail awaiting his next court date on Wednesday, June 13. He has requested a public defender.

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

June 9, 2018 

Ashley Lancaster

The popular sporting event has been held at Firethorne in past years. In 2018, the master-planned community Cane Island will host the swim, bike, and run, and introduce new events for athletes to compete.

 

Cane Island, a 1,100-acre master-planned community on the north side of IH-10 knowing for their exceptionally creative amenities and easy access to Katy Freeway via Cane Island Parkway, will now be home to the 25th annual Katy Triathlon.

 

The Rotary Club of Katy will present this beginner friendly event that includes a 500-meter swim, 14.8-mile bike race, and 3-mile run. New this year are the duathlon and aquabike events.

The race will be held on Sunday, September 23, 2018 from 6-11 AM. For more information, visit the event Facebook page.

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS 
June 2018 

After taking hundreds of nominations over the past several weeks, we are excited to present the 2018 list of Katy’s most prominent, influential, inspirational, successful, and charitable men who are leading the way in Katy. (Consider yourselves all #1 because these are in ALPHABETICAL ORDER.)

 

TOP 100 KATY MEN’S MIXER TUES. JUNE 19, 6-8 PM

Top 100 men and their guests are invited to attend a fun, casual mixer event held at NO LABEL BREWERY.  Free entrance and beer for Top 100 Men. Their invited guests are also welcome but will be charged $10 for entrance (covers up to 3 beers). This is an exclusive event for Top 100 Men and their invited friends/guests. Visit KATY MAGAZINE’S Facebook page event to RSVP or email editor@katymagazine.com for questions or additional details.

1. Monty Ballard, philanthropist and YMCA namesake

2. Tim Barker, pastor of Katy Community Fellowship

3. Justin Beckendorff, Waller County Commissioner

4. Frank Bielec, cast member on TLC’s Trading Spaces

5. Nic Black, good samaritan and Harvey hero

6. Jay Bobo, teacher of the year, Miller Career and Technology Center

7. Tom Bolin, First Baptist Church former pastor and longtime Katy icon

8. Jeffrey Brashear, Municipal court judge, US Naval veteran, Katy native

9. Sgt. Brian Brawner, Harvey hero, Harris County District 4, Blue Light Letters

10. Chuck Brawner, City of Katy Mayor

11. Rafael Brazo, teacher of the year, Seven Lakes High School

 12. Bob Bryant, former fine arts director of Katy ISD and school namesake

13. Doyle Callender, former City of Katy Mayor

14. Bill Callegari, former State Representative

15. Don Clayton, head athletic director, football coach at Cinco Ranch High School

16. Lee Crews, Katy ISD chief operations officer

17. James Cross, principal of Cinco Ranch High School

18. John Curley, teacher of the year, Seven Lakes High School, father of cancer survivor

19. Andrew Derry, principal of British International School of Houston

20. Brett Donaldson, owner of Grand Vision and philanthropist

21. Ryann Donaldson, owner of Grand Vision and philanthropist

22. Duran Dowdle, Mayor pro tem, City of Katy

23. Jerry Edmonson, senior pastor of The Fellowship

24. Don Elder, former City of Katy Mayor, Board of Directors for Metro

25. Keith Garvin, KPRC reporter

26. Andrew Gaston, teacher, LaCrosse coach at Taylor High School

27. Glen Ginter, longtime Katy dentist and community volunteer

28. Stan Goss, executive coach, Visions events leader, and community volunteer

29. Austin Hansen, author, philanthropist, and volunteer

30. Chris Harris, City of Katy council member

 

31. Bill Hastings, City of Katy police chief

32. John “Hawk” Hawkins, 268th District County Associate Judge and former Asst. DA Fort Bend County.

33. Constable Ted Heap, Harris County Precinct 5

34. Lance Hindt, Katy ISD superintendent

35. Dr. Zachary Hodges, President Northwest College, HCC

36. Fabol Hughes, former City of Katy Mayor

37. Ken Janda, founding member and volunteer, Katy ISD Education Foundation

38. Mo Jeloudarzedeh, charitable giver, owner of Mo’s Place

39. Gary Joseph, head athletic coordinator, football coach at Katy High School

40. Sam Jow, teacher of the year, McMeans Junior High

41. Andy Kahan, victims’ rights advocate

42. Bobby Katsabas, owner of Snappy’s and community icon

43. John Micah Kerber, teacher of the year McDonald Junior High

44. Lance LaCour, Katy Area EDC president and CEO

45. Bill Lacy, Katy ISD board of Trustees

46. Jim Leggett, senior pastor of Grace Fellowship UMC

47. David Loesch, Katy Rotary and president of WWBF

48. Kevin Luce, Harvey hero and charitable giver

49. Don Massey, Community volunteer and Harvey hero

50. Don McCoy, Fulshear Chamber of Commerce President

51. Mike McGown, pastor of Parkway Fellowship

52. Andy Meyers, Fort Bend County Commissioner

53. Jose Morrillo, business owner and philanthropist

54. Dan Naef, president of Cane Island

55. Johnny Nelson (posthumously), longtime Katy Icon and namesake of Katy Heritage Museum

56. Sage Northcutt, famous UFC Fighter, outspoken Christian, Katy native

57. Ralph Oliver, Harvey hero, founder of Texans Embracing America’s Military

58. Twaski Parker, teacher of the year, Mayde Creek Junior High

59. Richard (Dick) Phillips, University of Houston

60. Steve Pierson, former City of Katy council member and avid volunteer

61. Richard Piwonka, Teacher of the year, Morton Ranch High School

62. Robert Powell, Harvey hero, Grand Lakes rescue and rebuilder 

63. Zachary Randolph, Katy teen fired for paying for police officer’s dessert

64. Rory Robertson, passionate school, sports, and community volunteer

65. Jay Rodriguez, Morning Show Co-Host, SUNNY 99.1

66. Brian Royo, owner of No Label Brewery

67. James Ross, GM of Katy Mills

68. Ryan Rush, Senior Pastor Kingsland Baptist Church

69. Heath Rushing, Memorial Hermann Hospital CEO

70. Bobby Sanders, OTHS teen leadership teacher and head basketball coach

71. Luis Santiago, Katy ISD police officer and Teddy Cops program coordinator

72. Hank Schmidt, former City of Katy mayor and community icon

73. Mike Schofield, State Representative

74. George Scott, Katy ISD Board of Trustees

75. Matt Schomburg, avid community volunteer and business owner

76. Fred Shafer, lifelong educator and Katy ISD school namesake

77. Dr. Jim Siebert, Chief Meteorologist for Fox 26 News

78. Roman Soto, MCHS grad, professional concert cellist

79. Ernest Stevenson, Teacher of the year, Opportunity Awareness Center

80. Nolan Stillwell, Culinary artist, Owner of Sweet Heat Jam Co.

 

81. James McCoy Taylor, Katy native, musician, contestant on The Bachelorette

82. Cyril Thomas, Entrepreneur and philanthropist

83. Jeff Thompson, Katy rotary

84. Constable Wayne Thompson, Fort Bend County Constable

85. Obra Tompkins, career educator and Katy ISD school namesake

86. Alex Tsounakas , Owner Snappy’s and community icon

87. Lt. Simon VanDyk, PIO, Harris County Emergency Services District #48 Fire Department

88. Downy Vickery, Prosperity Bank and community philanthropist

89. Ted Vierling, assistant superintendent of operations, Katy ISD

90. Hendrik Volschenk, Harvey hero, Texas Game Warden

91. Evan Vourazeris, Katy actor on Netflix’s hit series, Ozark

92. Russell Wilson, Katy Fire Chief and named Texas Fire Chief of the Year

93. Lewis White, Attorney and community philanthropist

94. Robert Willeby, Community advocate and volunteer

95. Tom Wilson, career educator and Katy ISD school namesake

96. Ray Wolman, career educator and Katy ISD school namesake

97. Mark Wiley, President of Hope Impacts

98. Rusty Wylie, CFA franchisee and philanthropist

99. Dr. Ed Young, Second Baptist Church senior pastor

100. Dr. John Zerwas, State Representative and MD

TOP 100 KATY MEN’S MIXER TUES. JUNE 19, 6-8 PM

Top 100 men and their guests are invited to attend a fun, casual mixer event held at NO LABEL BREWERY.  Free entrance and beer for Top 100 Men. Their invited guests are also welcome but will be charged $10 for entrance (covers up to 3 beers). This is an exclusive event for Top 100 Men and their invited friends/guests. Visit KATY MAGAZINE’S Facebook page event to RSVP or email editor@katymagazine.com for questions or additional details.

MORE KATY MAGAZINE STORIES 

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
June 1, 2018

A total of $64,800 was raised for the ministry to perform critical, life transforming work in the Katy/West Houston community.

Katy Christian Ministries serves 12 local zip codes, providing emergency assistance to families and individuals who find themselves in crisis or financial difficulty.

These services include Flood Relief assistance, rental and utility assistance, a long list of critical services for victims of domestic and sexual violence, and a Food Pantry for those needing supplemental food and personal care items. Seasonal programs like Red Apple School Supplies, and Santa’s Sleigh help families provide extra school materials and Christmas gifts to their children when the money just isn’t there.

“KCM relies on the community to provide the resources that allow us to serve those in need.  The annual Golf Tournament is a major source of income for our organization, and we are very pleased with the continued support we receive, both in volunteers and in contributors.  Through 19 years of this tournament we continue to increase the overall donations and revenue (this year was one of the best!)  Thanks to all that have supported and contributed to this effort.” – Kent Black, KCM Board President.

 

Commissioner Andy Meyers was the title sponsor for this year’s event, and Parkway Fellowship claimed the Platinum Sponsorship. “It is truly an honor and a blessing to be able to work in partnership with Katy Christian Ministries. I will continue to be a strong advocate and promoter of the organization. Thank you for all the effort and ministries that your staff accomplishes to make Katy a better home for our citizens.” – Commissioner Andy Meyers, Ft. Bend County, Pct. 3.

122 Golfers turned out to support KCM and enjoy a beautiful day of golf and fellowship for a great cause. This was our first year at the beautiful Weston Lakes Golf Course, and golfers enjoyed grilled burgers, Silent Auctions, a Raffle for a 65” Smart TV, a steak dinner, and awards for the tournament winners.

“I am deeply humbled by the outpouring of love and support by everyone involved. I’m thankful for the opportunities to come together with a purpose, in a unified mission of transforming lives right here in our own community,” says Deysi Crespo, Executive Director of KCM.

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS  

May 9, 2018  

By Ashley Lancaster  

This week, Harris County law enforcement conducted a “clean out” of the bridge near Rudy’s BBQ near Mason Road and IH-10. Local organizations are currently seeking alternatives to displacement and jail for Katy’s homeless.

 (Opening photo is of an underpass in the Houston metro area)

 

This morning, Katy residents noticed Harris County police clearing out a homeless encampment underneath a bridge near Mason Road, filling huge dumpsters to the brim with trash, clothing, bicycles, and other items left there after homeless men and women in Katy were removed.

The individuals living there were given warning that the clean up was going to happen there, in addition to other inhabited areas of Katy. The problem though, is that these men and women often have nowhere to go, and so end up migrating to similar places in the area for shelter. Sometimes Katy’s homeless are placed in jail for lack of a better alternative.

 Tina Hatcher, founder and director of Hope Impacts, which provides hope to homeless, helpless, and under-resourced people in Katy, is passionately advocating for a long-term solution to the problem, believing that simply moving the homeless, or placing them in jail, only perpetuates a vicious cycle.

“What good does it do to identify a problem without a solution? They have no place to go where they are not at risk to be evicted again. There are not enough shelters to hold all the homeless,” she says.

According to Hatcher, who knows many of these men and women on a first name basis, not all are addicts or criminals. Some have been the victim of circumstances outside of their control, and most are on housing lists, just waiting for a chance to get a job and get off the streets.

“Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect as human beings,” she says.

Hope Impacts has helped 60 homeless men and women re-build their lives and get to work in the last three years, but Hatcher knows that a more permanent solution is needed.

“My vision is to have some property where we can offer affordable housing, job opportunities, community, and real help. Community First in Austin is a good model of real solutions of how to help the chronically homeless. Its a model I would love to see implemented here near Katy. Offering real solutions to a bigger problem than just one small group of people that are affected by homelessness. Lets be part of a solution to social injustice instead of just pointing out the problems created by it,” she says.

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
May 7, 2018

Ashley Lancaster

This week, local businesses are showing their love and appreciation for the teachers and nurses that sacrifice so much time to caring for others with free and discounted products and services. Check out where to get them in Katy.

 

NURSES

Chick-fil-A

Today, May 7, nurses can get a free sandwich at the Mason Road, Cinco Ranch, and Katy Green locations when they present their badge or ID. Here’s some more great freebies and discounts this week:

 

 

-Tuesday: Teachers (11 a.m. – 8 p.m.)

– Wednesday: Military and Veterans (11 a.m. – 8 p.m.)

– Thursday: Police & First Responders ( 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.)

PDQ Cinco Ranch 

Nurses can get half off their total check on Tuesday, May 8 with their ID.

Cinnabon (Katy Mills Mall)

Now through May 12, get one free classic roll, Minibon Roll, or four-count Bon Bites with a badge.

Chipotle

On June 5, nurses can present a valid work ID and get BOGO bowls, salads, tacos or burritos.

TEACHERS

Chick-fil-A

On Tuesday, May 8, 2018, teachers can present their ID at the Mason Road, Cinco Ranch, or Katy Green locations and redeem a free sandwich from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. But that’s not all! They have a special treat for nearly everyone this week:

– Monday: Nurses & EMT’s (11 a.m. – 8 p.m.)

-Tuesday: Teachers (11 a.m. – 8 p.m.)

– Wednesday: Military and Veterans (11 a.m. – 8 p.m.)

– Thursday: Police & First Responders ( 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.)

Michael’s

Teachers can get 15% their entire in-store purchase

PDQ Cinco Ranch 

Teachers can get half off their total check on Tuesday, May 8 with their teacher ID.

 

Drix Restaurant & Lounge

Teachers get an additional $1 Happy Hour prices every Tuesday.

Chipotle
Teachers and faculty get a buy-one-get-one deal on Tuesday, May 8, from 3 p.m. to close with a valid ID.

Texas Roadhouse

Teachers can get 10% off their meal every Tuesday with a valid school ID.

Barnes & Noble

Teachers get a 20% discount on qualifying purchases when they are a part of the B&N Educator Program.

Cicis Pizza

Teachers get a free adult buffet at the pizza chain Tuesday with a valid school ID.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria (LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch)

Teachers can present their school ID and get 15% off a dine-in purchase and take out orders Monday, May 7 – Friday, May 12.

Raisin’ Cane’s

Bring your ID inside on Tuesday, May 8, from 3-8 p.m. for a free box combo.

Did we miss a great deal? Email us! 

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

May 4, 2018

Ashley Lancaster

With over 8,000 special education students currently enrolled at Katy Independent School District, a familiar face will now be the new Director of Compliance for Special Education.

Gwen Coffey’s new role was formally announced to the public by the Katy ISD Board of Trustees during the monthly board meeting.

 

Coffey is currently the principal at Roberta Rylander Elementary. As part of her new endeavors, she will direct the district’s special education program to ensure the provision comprehensive services for students with disabilities. She will also work to individualize educational plans that meet the needs of all students with disabilities and ensure compliance with state, federal and local requirements.

 

“My belief is that our students are our most valuable resource.  Increased student learning and achievement are my passion,” said Coffey.  “I am honored to have the opportunity to work collaboratively with our Katy community to help increase achievement for all students.”

Ms. Coffey’s educational experience extends to several professions within school campuses.  She began her career in 1997 as a teacher in Corpus Christi, Texas.  Two years later she joined the Katy ISD family as a teacher at Golbow Elementary where she taught both general education and special education for six years.  Her next endeavor was as a counselor at Huggins Elementary at Lamar Consolidated Independent School District.  Following that, she was a middle school counselor for one year at Bammel Middle School in Spring ISD, which lead to her taking the assistant principal position at that school.  However, Ms. Coffey knew that Katy ISD was her home and decided to come back as an Assistant Principal at Cimarron Elementary.

 

Ms. Coffey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master of Science in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction, a Masters of Education in Counseling, and she is currently in obtaining her Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from Texas Tech University.  Coffey will begin her new endeavor in June 2018.

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Here is the list of prominent, influential, inspirational, strong, and charitable women who are leading the way in Katy. (Consider yourselves all #1 because these are in ALPHABETICAL ORDER.)

 

KATY MAGAZINE  l  MAY 2018

By Katy Magazine Editors

 

1. BEVERLY ALLEN

 Development Manager of Christ Clinic

2. DIANE ALLEN

Anti-Sex Trafficking Champion

3. KATHY ALT
Executive Director of Ballard House

4. YVONNE ARCENEAUX

Parks Director for Willow Fork Drainage District

5. ERIN BALLARD

Philanthropist and Volunteer; Namesake of Ballard House   

6. GIGI BETHKE

Katy Educator and School Namesake

7. REBECCA BLACKMON

VP of Prosperity Bank and First Woman in the Katy Rotary

8. JOY LEE BOLIN

Longtime Katy Resident and Volunteer

9. MARTHA BROWN

Katy ISD KEYS Mentor and Katy ISD Partners in Education

10. FELICE BRYANT

Katy Educator and School Namesake

11. MISSY BUNCH

City Secretary, City of Katy 

 

12. KAY CALLENDER

Keep Katy Beautiful

13. AMY CAMPBELL

 Special Needs Advocate and Katy ISD Namesake

14. Dr. CHRISTINE CASKEY

Chief Academic Officer, Katy ISD

15. KRISTEN COWAN

Founder of Smilin’ Rylen Foundation

16. CHRISTA CLIFTON

Memorial Hermann Executive and Community Volunteer

17. DEYSI CRESPO

Executive Director of Katy Christian Ministries

18. CHRIS CROCKETT

Education Advocate and Community Volunteer

19. CARRA DANIELS

Principal of Beck Junior High

20. KEIKO DAVIDSON

Katy Educator and School Namesake 

21. GINGER DEWBERRY

Katy Search and Rescue Champion in Hurricane Harvey

22. MINDY DICKERSON

Paetow High School Principal

23. PEGGY DIMMICK

Director of Katy’s Fussell Senior Center

24. MARIA DIPETTA

Katy ISD Media Relations and Multimedia Manager

25, FATIMA DONALDSON

Artist, photographer, and arts philanthropist

26. TAMARA DORE

Owner of Katy Budget Books

27. LORI DOUCET ALEXANDER

Nottingham/Kelliwood Fry Road Tree Activist

28. WENDY DUNCAN

President of Willow Fork Drainage Ditch 

29. COURTNEY DOYLE

Katy ISD Board of Trustees

30. DANA DUSEK

Baby Gowns for Eternity

31. DIANA ELDER

Katy FFA champion and volunteer

32. REBECCA FOX

Katy ISD Board of Trustees

33. ANNIE GERHARDT

President of Cinco Ranch Ladies Club

34. KAYE GOOLSBY

Political activist and national grassroots chair for Ted Cruz, and others.

35. SHARON GRAF

Social Media Liaison for Harris County ESD 48 and Search and Rescue at TEXSAR

36. DR. LISA GRAHAM-GARZA

Local dentist and founder of Autism Rescue Angels

37. REBEKAH GREGORY

Boston Marathon bombing survivor, amputee, writer, and speaker

38. DR. ANDREA GROOMS

Katy ISD Chief Communications Officer

39. SALLY GUPTON

Assistant Principal of Creech Elementary

40. ELIZABETH HANSON

Past president of the RWCK and Cinco Ranch Ladies Club

41. SUSAN DENISE HASTINGS

Katy Christian Ministries Crisis Center Director

42.TINA HATCHER

Founder of Hope Impacts

43. PATTY HENSON

Director of the Katy High Bengal Brigade for 34 years

44. KATHRYN HINDT

Teacher and First Lady of Katy ISD

45. LORA HODGES

ELA Instructional Coach at Exley Elementary

46. BONNIE HOLLAND

Associate Superintendent, Administration, Governance and Legal Affairs, School Namesake

47. SAMANTHA HOLSOMBACK 

Entrepreneur and avid volunteer

48. NICOLE ISTRE

Owner and founder of Katy’s Early Childhood Enrichment Center, and early childhood education trainer and consultant

49. LESLYN JACKS

District Wide Elementary Teacher of the Year and Katy Elementary Music Teacher

50. KAREN JAGGERS

Autism advocate and owner of Stokan Jaggers & Associates

51. EFFIE KATSABAS

Co-owner of Snappy’s Restaurant

52. TYLER KAY

Mural Artist

53. MICHELLE LACOUR

First Lady of the Katy Area EDC

54. PATTI LACY

VP of the Board for Katy Christian Ministries

55. GAIL LAND

Retired music educator and avid volunteer

56. KELLY LITVAK

Anti-Sex Trafficking Champion, founder of Childproof America

57. CARRIE LOWERY

Principal at Bethke Elementary

58. EUBERTA LUCAS

Principal of Creech Elementary

59. ANITA MANCINI

Director of Katy Cowgirls

60. ANNIE MEEKS

District wide Rookie Teacher of the Year

61. LISA MARIE

Golf Celebrity

62. DR. DOREEN MARTINEZ

Principal of Memorial Parkway Elementary

63. KERRI MCCURDY

Established Moms to the Rescue during Hurricane Harvey

64. STEPHANIE MCDANIEL

Founder of Graeme’s Superheroes

65. DR. IMELDA MEDRANO

Principal at Seven Lakes JH

66. LINDA MERRELL

Retired educator, avid volunteer, on the board of Katy Cares

67. KRISTIN MILLER

Arts Advocate and Volunteer

68. KATHRYN MILLS

Educator and Hurricane Harvey Book Club Founder

69. ABI MORTON

Founder of Clothed By Faith

70. DAWN MORTUS

Founder of Keep Kids Connected 

71. CHELSEA MUESSE

Widow of Jordan Muesse

72. JOAN MURRAY

Author, missionary, speaker, pastor.

73. ANNE MURRAY-REARDON

Cancer survivor and volunteer

74. SHARI NIGHTINGALE

Founder of Lindsay’s Light, speaker, and relationship violence educator

75. ERICA NOWELL

Cancer survivor and now a Cancer Nurse Practitioner

76. JENNIFER PIERCE

Chick-fil-A Marketing Director and Community Volunteer

77. LARISSA PLUNTO

Community Relations Director for Congressman Michael McCaul

78. KAYCE REINA

Tourism and Marketing Director for the City of Katy

79. LILY ROGERS

Social Services Director, Katy Christian Ministries

80. DR. SUSAN RICE

McMeans Junior High Principal

81. JENNIFER ROYO

Co-Owner of No Label Brewery and Philanthropist

82. CHERYL SAGE

Entrepreneur and Early Childhood Education Expert

83. MANDY SANDLIN

District Wide Teacher of the Year and OTHS Teacher

84. SANDY SCHMIDT

Keep Katy Beautiful

85. ABBIE SCHOMBURG

Special Needs Advocate, Katy Wolfpack coach

86. PATTI SHAFER

Katy Educator and School Namesake

87. SUSAN SMITH

Business owner, philanthropist, and community volunteer

88. MARSHA SMITH

Vice President of KARE (Katy Association of Retired Teachers) and avid community volunteer.

89. PATSY STANLEY

Katy Educator and School Namesake

90. DR. MELINDA STONE

Principal at WoodCreek JH

91. MELANIE SUKOLICS

Business owner, avid volunteer, Harvey hero

92. JANET THEIS

Katy ISD Partners in Education and Katy ISD Education Foundation

93. ASHLEY VANN

President of Katy ISD Board of Trustees

94. RHONDA WARD

Assistant Superintendent, Student Support Services

95. CHAKILA WHITE

VP of DaVita Healthcare and Volunteer

96. TARA WILSON

President of the Board of Directors, Katy ISD Education Foundation

97. CINDY WINGO

President of RWCK

98. JAMIE WOLMAN

Former Katy ISD educator, Keep Katy Beautiful board member, and school namesake

99. DR LORENA ZERTUCHE

Bear Creek Elementary Principal

100. SYLVIA ZERWAS

Wife of Rep. John Zerwas

We solicited nominations from community leaders and readers on social media venues and through email to compile these 100 Top Katy Women of 2018!

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS 

April 27, 2018 

 

 

The Katy ISD Police Department in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public an opportunity to safely dispose of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications.

According to the DEA, pharmaceutical drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a prescription or a doctor’s supervision.  Needles or sharp objects will not be accepted and any liquids must be in prescribed containers.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

“The majority of teenagers who are abusing prescription drugs usually get these medications from family and friends or simply by taking them from a family medicine cabinet,” says Chief of Police Robert Jinks.  “Through take-back programs people have a better option to dispose of old drugs,” adds Jinks.

Date/Time

Saturday, April 28, 2018
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Drop Off Location

Mark L. Hopkins Law Enforcement Center
20370 Franz Rd.

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

March 21, 2018

Harris County Constables Office Precinct 5 Public information Officer

As part of the new Harris County Animal Cruelty Taskforce, deputies in Precinct 5 rescued seven pet cats and launched a criminal investigation into the remains of three others discovered inside an abandoned Bear Creek home.

Precinct 5 deputies were called on Monday by a neighbor who saw one of the carcasses through a window and noticed a foul odor coming from the home in the 15600 block of Fern Basin.

Sgt. Charles Jantzen, who heads up Precinct 5’s Animal Crimes Unit and the new Harris County Animal Cruelty Taskforce, coordinated the safe removal of seven severely malnourished cats. The home’s interior was covered in urine, feces and, in one room, the skeletal remains of another cat.

The results of Sgt. Jantzen’s investigation will be turned over to the Harris County District Attorney’s office to determine whether criminal charges will be filed.The surviving cats are being evaluated by a veterinarian. The Houston Humane Society will take over the recovery process while awaiting a court hearing on their legal custody.

Precinct 5 encourages anyone who suspects animal cruelty to report it to the new Harris County Animal Cruelty Taskforce at 927paws.org or 832-927-PAWS.

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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS  

March 16, 2018  

 

A massive recall is in effect for pacifier and teether holders because national safety experts say the product pose choking hazards.

The recall was issued Thursday night. The name of the product is called Dr. Brown’s Lovey pacifier & teether holders.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, a snap can detach from the pacifier’s ribbon, posing a choking hazard for young children.

RECALL DETAILS

This recall involves Dr. Brown’s Lovey pacifier & teether holders. The holders were sold in eight styles:

Giraffe

Zebra

Turtle

Reindeer (Special Holiday Edition)

Frog (Special Holiday Edition)

Spring Bunny (Special Holiday Edition)

Deer

Bunny

Only holders with the following lot codes are included in this recall: RICH0615; RICH0715; RICH0815; RICH1215; RICH0516; RICH0616; RICH0716; RICH1116; RICH1016; RICH0916; RICH1216; RICH0317; RICH0417; RICH0517; RICH0617; RICH0717; RICH0817; RICH0917. The lot codes are printed on the tag attached to the holder.

Consumers can confirm lot codes included in the recall at www.drbrownsbaby.com/recall-lovey.

 

WHAT TO DO

Consumers should immediately take the recalled holders away from young children and contact Handi-Craft for further instructions to receive a replacement product or comparable merchandise of equal or lesser value.

INCIDENTS/INJURIES

The firm has received a total of 67 reports of the ribbon fraying and the snap detaching. No injuries have reported.

 SOLD AT

Bed Bath & Beyond

H-E-B Grocery

K-Mart

Target

Toys ‘R Us/Babies ‘R Us

Wal-Mart

Various stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com from August 2015 to March 2018 for about $10

CONSUMERS MAY CONTACT

Handi-Craft toll-free at 833-224-7674 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online at http://www.drbrownsbaby.com/ and click on Recall Information for more information.

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Spring is in the air – and by that we mean tree, grass, and ragweed pollen is coating every surface with a fine yellow dust. Here’s a look at pollen counts for the week in Katy, Texas so you can prepare. 

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
March 12, 2018 

Ashley Lancaster

Pollen Levels:

High – between 9.7 and 12, strongly affects people who suffer from allergies to the pollen types of each season. Symptoms will be more severe.

 

Medium – between 4.9 and 9.6, will cause symptoms for people who suffer from allergies to the pollen types of the season.

Low – between 0 and 4.9, will effect very few individuals who suffer from allergies.

Monday – 10.4

Tree Pollen – High

Grass Pollen – High

Ragweed Pollen – Low

Tuesday – 9.7

Tree Pollen – High

Grass Pollen – High

Ragweed Pollen – Low/ None

Wednesday – 9.0

Tree Pollen – High

Grass Pollen – High

Ragweed Pollen – Low/ None

Thursday – 8.6

Tree Pollen – High

Grass Pollen – High

Ragweed Pollen – Low/ None

Friday – 9.2

Tree Pollen – High

Grass Pollen – High

Ragweed Pollen – Low/ None

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Turning 40 is a benchmark birthday for many women in the United States. While a pessimist might view it as a signal that their glory days are over, more and more women are optimistic about the milestone, seeing it as a kickoff into the best years of their lives. But one thing is true for all women – health needs and preventative wellness routines should begin to change at age 40.

Katy Magazine News

March 7, 2018

“For some women, they have health history or specific reasons to begin mammography before age 40.  But for the average woman who has never had a breast screening, we recommend she begin a routine annual wellness mammogram, starting at age 40,” said Dr. Stephen Rose, chief medical officer, Solis Mammography. “Simply put, women in their 40s have the most to gain from being proactive about early detection. Major studies have shown time and again that in addition to saving lives, early detection offers greater quality of life as treatment at earlier stages is less invasive and less costly.”

Home of the “Peace of Mind” Mammogram

 CLICK to Schedule An Appointment 

Solis Mammography is expected to complete nearly 1 million procedures in 2018. Making them the nation’s largest independent provider of breast screening services. With this, Solis Mammography has some of the nation’s most comprehensive research data supporting its claim that women should begin annual mammography starting at age 40. This is in contrast to some confusing and conflicting advice from various media and non-physician-led organizations.

“While it’s true that breast cancer treatment has come a long way in recent years, this should in no way deter a woman from participating in the benefits of annual mammography,” said Solis Mammography CEO James Polfreman. “The fact is that cell growth replicates at a faster rate in younger tissue.  So, the younger you are, the more important it is to find any anomaly earlier. Research and technological advances in mammography have led to an all-time high in survival rates from breast cancer diagnosis.  This tells us we’re on the right path, and annual mammography is a key part of that success story.”

Four compelling reasons to begin annual mammograms at 40

1. The numbers. According to the American Cancer Society, 20 percent of all breast cancers are found in women under 50. If the cancer is found early, in what is known as stage zero or stage one, the five-year survival rate is nearly 100 percent. Simply stated, early detection is the closest thing to a cure, and mastectomies are no longer the first line of defense.

2. Women in their 40s have the most to gain. “Today’s high-quality screenings benefit 40-year-old women the most,” explained Dr. Rose, a radiologist with more than 25 years in the field of breast screening specialization, involved in several published national studies. “Advancements like 3-D mammography (digital breast tomosynthesis), and breast specialization have a significant impact on the quality of the mammography result. Today, we know one mammogram isn’t the same as another. It’s important to know what to look for in your provider to ensure the most accurate results.”

3. A chance for women to take charge of their health. Conflicting recommendations from some non-physician led organizations have suggested a “reasonable trade-off” to the “fear, anxiety and stress” of a “false positive” (otherwise known as a recall for additional images) is to delay annual screenings for five to 10 critical years. This advice encourages a foolhardy “Russian Roulette” approach to monitoring breast health.  It suggests no alternative to mammography; instead suggesting screenings be ignored entirely.  The studies and clinical evidence are clear.  Early detection provides women with the greatest opportunity for long-term survival and quality of life through the least invasive treatment when caught at the earliest possible stage.

4. Treatment is an option; knowledge is not. Instead of focusing on overdiagnosis as the problem, the real question at hand is overtreatment. With the advancement of medicine and less invasive treatments, women have more options for success. And in some cases, patients may opt not to treat at all, rather to monitor changes over time. These are discussions a woman can and should have with her doctor AFTER getting all the facts. Avoiding the facts is not a solution.

Pea versus walnut: Why mammograms help with early detection

Dr. Rose suggests thinking of a pea versus a walnut, when considering why early detection is so important. The average size of a lump found in a woman who gets regular annual mammograms is the size of a pea. The size of a lump found by a woman who does only occasional self-exams is the size of a walnut.

“Imagine the difference in treating the pea versus the walnut.  It’s the pea that gives us our best options for treatment,” Dr. Rose advised. “Put simply, the larger the lump, the more invasive and costly the treatment options become, and the more risk that is associated with long-term outcomes.”

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Applications are now being accepted for The Arc of Katy’s 2018 Summer Day Program that will provide a fun, memorable summer for individuals age 16 and above with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Katy Magazine News

March 6, 2018 

 

The Arc of Katy, a non-profit organization that provides programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, ages 16 and above, offers three summer sessions, each with excursions, crafts, life skills, games… and much more. The cost is only $35 per day and each participant receives an Arc t-shirt. Visit The Arc of Katy website at thearcofkaty.org for more information and registration.

Day Programs
The Arc of Katy, located at 5819 Tenth Street, Suite C in the downtown Katy area offers a Day Program from September through May for individuals transitioning out of high school and a Summer Day Program for those 16 and above. The Arc of Katy Day Programs stand out for its highly trained, experienced staff, the majority having transitioned from public school settings with experience in providing services to students with disabilities. All participants of the Day Programs must be members of The Arc of Katy which also includes opportunities to participate in monthly socials. One of the goals of The Arc of Katy is to provide opportunities for its participants to be socially engaged with their peers and members of the community. The Arc of Katy participants not only enjoy life but are part of life as well.

Summer Fun
Participants in The Arc of Katy Day and Summer Programs have the opportunity to participate in the Be Strong Swim and Exercise Program. The program began with the desire from parents and staff to keep participants “moving” and as active as possible. For those who do not get a great amount of physical activity at home or have problems with muscle strength, participating in the Be Strong Swim and Exercise Program can help keep their weight in check and improve balance and muscle strength.

Water Aerobics or Water Therapy is available as well as use of exercise equipment such as stationary bikes, treadmills, weights and various muscle strengthening equipment. Participants in the Be Strong Program are always accompanied by staff when using the exercise equipment or participating in the swim program.

Visit The Arc of Katy website at thearcofkaty.org or call 832-754-9802 for program information.

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Solis Mammography’s ‘Help Us Help Houston’ campaign will benefit the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund through screenings and donations.

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 KATY MAGAZINE NEWS – Katy, TX 
November 21, 2017 
Giving the gift of restoration
Through the end of the year, Solis Mammography – the nation’s largest independent provider of breast screening services – presents its “Help Us Help Houston” campaign through its seven locations across the greater Houston region. From now through the end of the year, patients who schedule and complete their annual screening mammogram at Solis Mammography, will also give the gift of restoration and recovery.
Ten dollars for every mammogram
For every mammogram appointment scheduled and completed at any Solis Mammography center in the Houston area between Oct. 23 and Dec. 31, $10 will be donated to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund by Solis Mammography and its partners in the effort, HCA Healthcare Gulf Coast Division and Hologic. To signal their participation in the campaign, all patients need to do is use the code “Harvey” when they check-in for their appointment.
About the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund was established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. The fund is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation. Because of the immense need in and around Houston, this fund is dedicated to relieving gaps that are not met by other local and federal efforts for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“Many of our patients, team members and partners were deeply impacted by Hurricane Harvey,” said DaWanda Nelson, vice president of operations for Solis Mammography in Houston. “We wanted to provide some form of substantial support, while also continuing our message of the importance of preventative screening to overall breast health. In this way, we’ll be contributing to both the health and well-being of Houston women – and the entire community. We’d also like to express our deep appreciation to our partners HCA Healthcare Gulf Coast Division and Hologic for joining us to support and fund this campaign.”
Solis Mammography’s growing presence in the Houston region includes its newly-dedicated breast health center at HCA-affiliated The Woman’s Hospital of Texas. Located in the newly refurbished One Fannin building next to the hospital, the center is uniquely designed to promote patient ease and peace of mind in an atmosphere devoted to both the patient experience and clinical accuracy.
To schedule an appointment at any of Solis Mammography’s seven Houston locations, go to https://www.solismammo.com/schedule-appointment/.
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KATY MAGAZINE NEWS – Katy, TX
November 9, 2017

The Katy ISD Partners in Education’s 15th Annual Food for Families has launched and the community is invited to support Katy ISD families in need this holiday season. Food for Families is an annual campaign that since 2003 has helped thousands of Katy ISD students and their families with grocery gift cards. Every Katy ISD campus identifies students in need of assistance, and the gift cards are given to those students before winter break. This long-standing program has helped thousands of families and Katy ISD Partners in Education hopes to this year touch even more.

Donations of any amount are welcomed and appreciated. The deadline to donate is December 7. To make a contribution online please click here. To donate via check, please remit to “Katy ISD Food for Families” and mail to Partners in Education: Katy ISD ESC, 6301 South Stadium Lane, Katy 77494.

 

Food for Families, a Katy ISD Partners in Education yearly initiative, unites our Katy ISD staff and community in holiday support for select students and their families.  To learn more, visit Partners in Education under the “Community” tab at www.katyisd.org or contact Tammy Stringer, 281-396-2645, tammyrstringer@katyisd.org.

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Katy, TX News (September 1, 2017) – The Katy community of Cane Island has opened its Amenity Village event center, converting it into a temporary dorm for Katy first responders, some of whom had been sleeping in a nearby parking lot.

Beds have been set up and showers in the community’s fitness center are available.  Meals also are being served.  The Cane Island Amenity Village is located at 2100 Cane Island Parkway, just north of Interstate 10.   On Site Contact: Dan Naef, 702-581-1956.

 

 

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Katy, Texas News (August 29, 2017) – Peli Peli Restaurant is stepping up in the chaos created by hurricane Harvey to fuel first responders as they attempt to save families affected by the devastation of the flood. 

Their Cinco Ranch restaurant, located at 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd. in LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch and directly across from Torchy’s Tacos, is currently open and working to prepare hot meals for rescuers. 

“Basically, we’re going to cook every bit of food on our shelves to feed Katy’s finest,” says Thomas Nguyen, co-founder and partner. If they run low, Nguyen says that they are asking Katy families who want to help to swing by with food for them to cook and prepare for Coast Guard, National Guard, FEMA, firefighters, volunteers, police, EMT, and others. “If we run out, we invite residents to donate food for us to prepare – our kitchen is ready and our doors are open. We’ll even make sandwiches.” 

For first responders in a hurry, Nguyen says not to worry about coming inside. Just call 281-257- 9500 or 832-259-2448 and someone will run a hot meal out to the curb. 

Today only, they will also be offering hot meals to first responders at their I-10 and Campbell location. 

If you know of a Katy business offering assistance, supplies, or services to those in need, email us!

 

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Katy, TX News (August 27, 2017) – Here are a few important advisories, alerts and notes from Harris County.

 

HIGH WATER LOCATIONS 

There are over 177 high water locations across Harris County on Houston Transtar. Click link for more info.

Check out their Flood Warning System to see what we see. Click “channel status” on the left and you will see that most of our bayous and creeks are RED and out of bank.

Red= out of banks
Yellow= near top of bank
Green=still ok

TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN – SAUMS ROAD RESCUE 

You can get swept away in as little as six inches so it’s not worth driving through.

Here is a rescue that took place last night at Saums Rd. Driving to your drowning is one of the most common ways flood deaths occur. It’s not worth it. Stay put! 

USE 911 ONLY FOR EMERGENCIES

First responders are being dispatched to over 1,000 (and growing) rescues at this time. Some water inside is better than being outside. So, please stay put. If water is rising to Stay safe, this is seriously nothing to joke with!

DO NOT GO INSIDE ATTIC- GO ON YOUR ROOF

Please heed to the advice emergency officials. It’s devastating sitting in this emergency operations center listening to the thousands of calls coming in to get rescued. DO NOT attempt to leave, just stay put. TRUST US you wont get very far. More rescue boats are coming but the list is long. DO NOT go into attics, you will get TRAPPED! Get on roofs. As soon as day breaks it will be easier to rescue you!

If waters are rising and it’s absolutely necessary, please go onto your roof. We will get to as soon as we can. DO NOT GO IN YOUR ATTIC. 

IF WATER IS IN YOUR HOME 

We understand water is in homes, but only call 911 with life-threatening emergencies. Our 911 call center is inundated with requests, not allowing true emergencies to get thru. If you are dialing and it is a true emergency, STAY ON THE LINE. A dispatcher will get to you ASAP.DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOME. Stay put.

Harris County Flood Control District 713-684-4000

Red Cross Houston 713-526-8300

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 Katy, TX News (August 26, 2017) – Sites you should be checking while hunkering down in Katy

1. Road Closures
2. River/Creek Flood Gages
3. Electricity Outage Tracker
4. Harris County Rainfall Map

5. Houston Traffic Map


Here’s the latest on the hurricane as it pertains to Katy 

Although it’s been downgraded to a CAT 1 Hurricane, we are definitely not out of the woods. Street and flash flooding expected for the next few days. 

Meteorologists are expecting 12″ inches of rain today with a total of 30″ over the next few days.

Harvey is expected to stay on Hurricane status through Saturday night and high winds may happen through Sunday. 

Flooding expected around bayous and river basins Brazos, Colorado,etc. 

Harvey is a tornado-happy Hurricane and we may have on/off tornado watches until 1 PM today or later.  TORNADO PREPARATION LINK


WHAT TO DO NOW

  • Stay put. Don’t be on the roads. 

  • If you must be on the roads, don’t drive in water. Cars have been carried away in just six inches of water. 

  • Use 911 only for emergencies. 

Katy Kindness Tip: It’s a great idea to check on your neighbors and friends who may be shut-ins, single moms, or senior citizens. 

Thank you to David Thelan for sending us these important links

 

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Katy, Texas News (August 25, 2017) Overnight, Harvey slammed ashore and has downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane. But that doesn’t mean Katy is out of the woods. Reduced wind speeds and persistent rain mean that we are still in for potentially disastrous flooding and possibly fast moving tornadoes.


POSTED:  9:00 AM.
 

UPDATED SAT 8/26, 7:00 AM 

Weather stations reported up to 6″ of rain in the last 12 hours, with the Mayde Creek area at Greenhouse Road overflowing at its banks.

Water in this area will feed into the Barker/Addicks Reservoir, and it’s a possibility that roadways nearby could flood.

PRELIM Rainfall Reports for Katy area: 

*Fort Bend County* 

SSE Katy 4.47 in

SE Katy 3.41 in

*Harris County*

Katy 1.0 NNE 3.62 in

NE Katy 2.68 in

E Katy 2.00 in


SPORTING EVENTS 

HOUSTON TEXANS are discussing playing next Thursday’s game against the Cowboys in Arlington.

DYNAMO & DASH games have been cancelled for the week.

HOUSTON COUGARS are practicing in Austin in preparation for the season.


UPDATED 9:30 PM

*Prelim High Wind Reports from NWS Houston* 

SSW Katy 24 MPH
NE Fulshear 24 MPH 
ENE Stafford 22 MPH 

ENE Fulshear 21 MPH
NNW Pecan Grove 21 MPH
First Colony 20 MPH
SSE Katy 17 MPH 
W Mission Bend 17 MPH
NW Richmond 17 MPH
SE Katy 16 MPH 
N Pecan Grove 16 MPH 
W Mission Bend 16 MPH
SE Katy 13 MPH
ENE Brookshire 32 MPH 
W Katy 23 MPH  


– Harris County – 

NWS is showing “potentially devastating” flood threats and intense rainfall amounts as Harvey inches closer.  If you haven’t already, please take last minute precautions for water, shelter, and food.

UPDATED 6:20 PM According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Harvey is now classified as a Category 4. 

WATER ? available at Brookshire Bros on Franz Rd. as of 6:30 pm.


UPDATED 12:15 PM

COLD PLAY CONCERT HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN POSTPONED – ANNOUNCED 12:00 Noon.  

WATER PALLETS AT SHELL STATION – Shell Station at Avenue D and Franz has water pallets for $7.99 as of 10 AM

ALL YOUTH SPORTS POSTPONED- All KYF events and activities are cancelled due to the storms this weekend.

WATER AT HEB – Highland Knolls and Mason Rd. Possibly just restocked. (8:55 AM.)

KROGER 99 & MORTON RESTOCKING –  A reader reported that Kroger at Morton and 99 is restocking water and other items that are out right now. (8:40 AM).

WATER AT TRADER JOE’S – LACENTERRA

A reader reported that there is water at Trader Joe’s, LaCenterra as of 8:20 AM.

THE LATEST UPDATE – FLASH FLOOD WATCHES 

As Hurricane Harvey heads toward the Texas coast, the National Hurricane Center is warning Texans to be ready for “life threatening flash flooding”.  Katy will not be impacted by surges because we have no coastal areas, but will need to be on alert for flash flooding. Katy could also experience heavy winds and rains. Flash flood watches are in effect possibly through Monday. Heavy rain is projected and the hurricane is reported to be “very close to reaching Category 3”.

WATER AT HEB AND SOUTH FRY 

There was a lot of water stocked at HEB South Fry Road as of 6:30 AM. Lines already forming. 

KATY ISD AND AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES CLOSED

All Katy ISD campuses and school facilities are closed today. According to a statement from the school district, “While Hurricane Harvey has yet to touch ground in the Katy area, the National Weather Services is predicting an extreme weather event. As such, we have chosen to err on the side of caution to ensure the safety and security of our students, families, staff and community.” 

HUNKER DOWN KATY AND CHECK ON EACH OTHER 

If you do not have to drive, stay put. Make sure you have water and rations for a few days. Don’t forget to check on your neighbors, seniors, and shut ins! 

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

– Charge your phones now.

– Stay put during the storms.

– If you must drive, DO NOT drive through water.

– Never bypass road closure signs. The roads have been closed because of serious danger or flooding. 

KATY MAGAZINE will continue to update this page specifically for Katy as new events take place. 

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Katy, TX News (August 4, 2017) – Isaiah Brodie of Katy, Texas, will appear in the bright lights of Broadway on Saturday, September 16, as part of the National Down Syndrome Society’s annual Times Square Video presentation. The featured photographs highlight children, teens, and adults with Down syndrome, reminding the world in a very big way about the contributions and milestones of people with Down syndrome. These collective images promote the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.

The photo of Isaiah, who happens to have Down syndrome, was selected from over 2,000 entries in the NDSS worldwide call for photos. Almost 500 photographs will appear in the video, which will be shown in the heart of Times Square.

Isaiah is pictured in his Houston Texan jersey with his parents at a Texan game.

 

The Times Square Video presentation kicks off Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October. The video presentation will be followed by the 23rd Annual Flagship Buddy Walk in New York City. This year, Buddy Walk events will be held in more than 275 cities across the country, as well as select international locations, in and around October with over 325,000 people participating around the globe. For information about the NDSS Buddy Walk Program, visit www.buddywalk.org or call 800-221-4602.

ABOUT NDSS

The National Down Syndrome Society is the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome. NDSS provides state-of-the-art, comprehensive programming to all individuals with Down syndrome and their families with four main areas of programming which include: the National Advocacy & Policy Center, the National Buddy Walk® Program, Community Outreach and Resources and Public Awareness. NDSS envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations, and become valued members of welcoming communities. For more information visit www.ndss.org.

 

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Katy, TX News (July 7, 2017) – The Quality Texas Foundation has awarded Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital the Texas Award for Performance Excellence (TAPE). The prestigious award recognizes strong dedication to quality and high performance.

“We are honored to be among the select group of organizations to achieve this distinction from the Quality Texas Foundation. Winning the TAPE award is a reflection of the focus on clinical excellence, quality, and patient safety that the team at Memorial Hermann Katy provides every day,” said Heath Rushing, Senior Vice President and CEO, Memorial Hermann Katy.

The Quality Texas Foundation, known as a national leader in its field, was chartered to recognize the best organizations in Texas. The group uses an extensive evaluation process that includes hundreds of hours spent through on-site visits to evaluate and score applicants in several criteria.

Dr. Mac McGuire, CEO Quality Texas Foundation said, “This award is no small achievement. It’s not about a particular test, or one day evaluation. It is a critical look at both the processes and results shown by Memorial Hermann Katy, in accordance with the Baldrige Criteria. Those who receive the TAPE award have a proven record of excellence.”

The Baldrige Excellence Framework is used by businesses, healthcare providers, schools, government agencies and other nonprofit organizations to improve and excel in their industries. This distinction takes Memorial Hermann Katy one step closer to achieving the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital received the prominent award in 2016.

“We know the hard work isn’t over yet. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is a lofty goal, but we believe our staff already provides the high quality care outlined by the Baldrige Excellence Framework, and we are confident that we will prove that to the organization in the coming months,” said Rushing.

“I want to congratulate the team at Memorial Hermann Katy on this significant award,” said Dr. Benjamin Chu, President and CEO, Memorial Hermann Health System. “It is a rigorous journey to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and this is an impressive step in the right direction.”

Memorial Hermann Katy will receive the award during the Quality Texas Foundation annual conference June 27, 2017 at the Houston Westin.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital 
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Katy, TX News (July 6, 2017) – Memorial Hermann Health System is pleased to announce the appointment of longtime and highly accomplished System Chief Operating Officer (COO) Charles “Chuck” D. Stokes to President and CEO of Memorial Hermann, effective immediately. In addition to his role as Executive Vice President and COO, Stokes had been serving as interim President and CEO following the departure of Benjamin K. Chu, M.D., who left the organization in June to pursue his passion in public and health policy.

Stokes, who began his career as a registered nurse, is a well-respected industry veteran with nearly four decades of leadership experience and demonstrated success in fostering a culture of innovation and exceptional patient care experiences, with an emphasis on superior quality, safety and stellar operations.

“Chuck has proven himself to be an outstanding leader during the course of his remarkable career with our organization, working tirelessly to guide Memorial Hermann on its journey toward becoming a high-reliability organization with a strong focus on innovation and transformation,” said Memorial Hermann Board Chair Deborah M. Cannon. “He has an unwavering commitment to our patients, medical staff and to Memorial Hermann, the latter of which has been instrumental in helping us transform our operational structure in order to meet the challenges and demands of a rapidly changing healthcare landscape.”

As COO, Stokes was responsible for overseeing operations for the System, which has 17 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient clinics, 25,000 employees and 5,500 affiliated physicians. He has a proven track record of achieving success in service line leadership, employee engagement, physician collaboration, and leadership development.

“I am honored and humbled to work alongside our exceptional employees and talented medical staff as we fulfill our mission to advance the health of all Houstonians,” Stokes said. “In its 110 years of faithfully serving this community, Memorial Hermann has grown to become a nationally recognized organization with an unrelenting focus on providing enhanced access to the safest, highest-quality care, all at an affordable cost.”

Most recently, Stokes’ leadership was instrumental in helping Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital become the first organization and hospital in the Houston area to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence. During his tenure, Memorial Hermann also has been perennially recognized as the country’s most successful Accountable Care Organization, underscoring the emphasis on innovative, evidence-based medicine designed to improve overall population health.

Stokes was recently named among the Top 25 COOs in healthcare by Modern Healthcare, a list that recognizes high-achieving leaders across the industry and the increasingly demanding roles they play. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Governors for the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), an organization of more than 48,000 healthcare executives working together to improve care delivery and the education of healthcare leaders. Prior to his appointment as Chairman, Stokes served as ACHE faculty for 10 years.

“At a time when our industry is facing unprecedented challenges with declining reimbursements and escalating costs, I have every confidence that Chuck has the experience and visionary leadership necessary to navigate our organization through this period of change and uncertainty,” Cannon said.

Prior to joining Memorial Hermann as COO in 2008, Stokes served as President of North Mississippi Medical Center, a 650-bed tertiary hospital and a 2006 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient. He previously served as COO for three other health systems and as Vice President of Operations for St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital/Texas Heart Institute in Houston.

In addition to his professional commitments, he serves on the Holocaust Museum Houston Advisory Board and on the Board of the Children’s Defense Fund-Texas. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and has penned numerous articles on leadership development.

Stokes, who is board certified in Healthcare Management as an ACHE fellow, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., and a master’s degree in hospital and health administration from UAB. He is married to Judy Liswood Stokes and has three adult children.

Courtesy of Katy ISD 
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Katy, TX News (July 6, 2017) – Last week, Camp For All 2U brought the joy of summer camp to patients at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. The program transforms areas of the hospital into camp, providing patients who may not get the experience of camp outside of the hospital the opportunity to enjoy a variety of games and activities. A different theme each day, camp activities included archery, a petting zoo, arts and crafts and much more.

“We are so excited to have Camp For All 2U here at West Campus for the first time,” says Matt Schaefer, president of Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. “For many of these patients, this is the only opportunity they will have to experience camp this summer due to their current medical condition. To provide them with the chance to temporarily forget what they are going through and just enjoy being a kid is what it’s all about.”

Camp For All 2U at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus was generously sponsored by Wood Group. For more information about Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, visit texaschildrens.org/westcampus. For more information about Camp For All, visit www.campforall.org.”

 

Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital 
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Katy, TX News (July 5, 2017) – Katy Mills, along with more than 180 Simon Malls, The Mills and Premium Outlets nationwide, has surpassed its $1 million fundraising goal for 2017 in support of Susan G. Komen and the fight against breast cancer.  Katy Mills participated in a range of activities from October 2016 through October 2017 to raise funds.

“It is thanks to the tremendous support and engagement we have received from our retailers, shoppers, community partners and employees that we were able to achieve, and exceed this fundraising goal in support of Susan G. Komen,” said Sabrina Scruta, Katy Mills Director of Marketing. “From selling discount cards to honoring survivors through photos and messages to hosting race events at our centers – we are so grateful to all who participated and contributed as part of this campaign to reduce deaths from breast cancer.”

“Reaching the one-million-dollar mark is truly an incredible accomplishment, largely due in part to the unwavering commitment that we’ve received from Simon and their network of supporters,” said Christina Alford, Komen’s Senior Vice President of Development. “These dollars will truly make an impact in the lives of countless men and women – whether to meet the most critical needs in our communities or to continue making headway in breakthrough research to prevent and ultimately cure breast cancer.”

Simon will continue its support of Susan G. Komen in 2018, pledging to raise another $1 million through various fundraising initiatives.

About Katy Mills

Katy Mills, the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in South Texas, provides the ultimate shopping experience with more than 175 outlet and value retail stores, including Neiman Marcus Last Call, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Coach Factory Store, Forever 21, Nike Factory, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, H&M, kate spade new york and Under Armour. Shoppers can dine at great restaurants including Rainforest Cafe or catch a movie at AMC 20 Theatres.

Katy Mills is located at I-10 and Pin Oak Road in Katy, TX, 28 miles west of Houston. It is open regularly from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Mon.-Sat., and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, please call (281) 644-5000 or visit www.katymills.com. Like Katy Mills on Facebook at facebook.com/ShopKatyMills and follow us on Twitter @KatyMeansMore and on Instagram @katymeansmore.

About Simon

Simon is a global leader in the ownership of premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations and an S&P 100 company (Simon Property Group, NYSE:SPG). Our properties across North America, Europe, and Asia provide community gathering places for millions of people every day and generate billions in annual sales. For more information, visit simon.com.

About Susan G. Komen

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit outside of the federal government while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $920 million in research and provided more than $2 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. That promise has become Komen’s promise to all people facing breast cancer. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at ww5.komen.org/social.

Courtesy of Simon Malls

 

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Katy, TX News (June 29, 2017) – Of the 107 child drownings in Texas last year, Harris County experienced the most with 18 children losing their lives.

In Texas, drowning is the second leading cause of death for children under the age of 14. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries. Many drownings occur at apartment swimming pools, which typically have no lifeguards on duty.

In its effort to eliminate drownings, the YMCA of Greater Houston is offering free swim classes and water safety techniques to economically disadvantaged children at 127 Houston-area apartment complexes. In a program called Safety Around Water, the YMCA expects to serve 3,500 children ages 3-12 this summer.

“The YMCA takes drowning very seriously,” said Paul McEntire, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Houston. “The more children who learn how to swim, the fewer drownings we will have.”

The free classes focus on personal safety techniques that include:

  • Jump-Push-Turn-Grab, which teaches children to push off the bottom of the pool as they are submerging to get back up to the surface while turning to grab the side of the pool.
  • Swim-Float-Swim, which teaches children to swim a short distance on their fronts, roll over onto their backs to float and rest, and then roll on their fronts to continue swimming to safety.

In its 10th year, the growing program has served nearly 20,000 children.

The week-long sessions run five days a week, Monday through Friday. Parents and guardians must be present with their children for the hour-long sessions.

Partners in the program include the Houston Apartment Association, Toyota, USA Swimming and the Houston Coalition for Drowning Elimination.

Below is a list of complexes in Katy, Texas that will offer the program. Times vary by location, please confirm with apartment management office:

  • Cimarron Pkwy
  • The Lakes at Cinco Ranch
  • Lancaster
  • Oak Park Trails
  • Stone Creek
  • The Augusta
  • Kenwood
  • The Gallery
  • Spring Pine Apts
  • Yorkshire Village
Courtesy of the YMCA of Greater Houston 
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Katy, TX News (June 29, 2017) – A Katy woman recently returned to thank the physician who she says helped saved her life. Back in March, Danisha Henry was home alone when she collapsed. After reviving enough to call 911, she was taken to the Emergency Center at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital. That’s when Dr. Mikael Lucas, an emergency medicine physician affiliated with Memorial Hermann Katy, discovered a ruptured brain aneurysm and sent her to Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at the Texas Medical Center. There, neurosurgeons fixed her aneurysm and Henry has since made a full recovery.
 
“If you met me today, you wouldn’t know that I had a life-threatening aneurysm. I don’t think it was until after I recovered that I realized how rare it is for people who experienced a brain aneurysm to recover without any lasting neurological damage. I believe Dr. Lucas’ care and quick action made a big difference in my recovery. I had to come back and say thank you,” says Henry.
“As an emergency medicine physician, you don’t always get to see how a patient recovers after they leave the emergency center. I can remember what she looked like when she came in, and it was like seeing two different people. It was such a nice surprise to see Danisha again and learn how well she’s doing,” says Dr. Lucas.
Memorial Hermann Katy has a level IV trauma center staffed with specially-trained nurses and physicians prepared to provide critical care services. The neuroscience program at Memorial Hermann Katy brings together a collaborative group of fellowship-trained, board-certified neurologists and neurosurgeons who are prepared to treat some of the most acute brain, spinal cord and neural conditions, so patients can receive advanced treatment close to home.  In cases where additional treatment is critical, Memorial Hermann Life Flight® can transport patients to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and the highly-acclaimed Mischer Neuroscience Institute.
Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital 
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Katy, TX News (June 27, 2017) – The 2017-18 edition of Best Children’s Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report ranked Texas Children’s Hospital fourth in the country among the nearly 200 pediatric centers. For the ninth straight year, Texas Children’s Hospital was placed on the Best Children’s Hospital Honor Roll of best pediatric institutions.

Texas Children’s is one of only 10 children’s hospitals across the country to achieve the Honor Roll designation, and the only hospital in Texas – and the southern U.S. – awarded this distinction. Over the last decade, no other pediatric hospital in the state has ever achieved an overall ranking as high as Texas Children’s.

Each year, in addition to ranking pediatric hospitals overall, U.S. News also ranks the top 50 pediatric hospitals across 10 major subspecialties. This year, Texas Children’s Heart Center® ranks as the best cardiology and heart surgery service in the country. In addition, six subspecialties ranked in the top five.

#1     Cardiology and Heart Surgery
#2     Pulmonology
?
#4     Cancer
#4     Gastroenterology & GI Surgery
#4     Nephrology (kidney disorders)

#4     Neurology and Neurosurgery
#6     Diabetes and Endocrinology
?#6     Urology
#11   Neonatology
#16   Orthopedics

Visit the U.S. News website for more information.

Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital
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Katy, TX News (June 21, 2017) –  The AT&T* IT CAN WAIT campaign has partnered with the YMCA of Greater Houston to raise awareness about the dangers of smartphone distracted driving. Research shows that seven in 10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving.** And, people are doing much more than texting from behind the wheel.

To drive home the message, AT&T and the YMCA are bringing the IT CAN WAIT virtual reality simulator to six YMCA locations in the Greater Houston area from June 21 to July 3. Participants will have the opportunity to experience firsthand how dangerous it is to take their eyes off the road and glance at a phone.

On June 30 at 11 a.m., community leaders, law enforcement and emergency response officials will gather at the Trotter Family YMCA, 1331 Augusta Dr., to promote the campaign to the media and encourage those in attendance to think twice before engaging in this dangerous behavior. Among those will be David Lopez, vice president of Social Responsibility at the YMCA of Greater Houston, Al Bennett, community liaison for the Houston Fire Department, Officer Janette Arceneaux of the Houston Police Department, and Kerrick Henny, senior vice president of External Affairs at AT&T Texas.

“The YMCA of Greater Houston is excited to partner with AT&T and help instill safer driving habits in everyone,” said Paul McEntire, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Houston. “Refraining from texting while driving is a matter of social responsibility, and social responsibility is an essential value of the Y. We are proud to participate in this national initiative to remind all drivers that their lives and the lives of others matter most.”

“It’s important that we all work together to educate the community on the dangers of using a smartphone while driving,” said Henny. “While many tragedies are out of our control, the ones caused by distracted driving are completely preventable. The simulator is a powerful tool to raises awareness and educate the public about the very real dangers of these actions to change this dangerous and sometimes deadly behavior.”

IT CAN WAIT is a national movement urging drivers to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones—distracted driving is never OK. The campaign began with a focus on not texting and driving. It has now expanded to the broader dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel. People can also use their own smartphone to view the 360° experience at home.

Courtesy of YMCA of Greater Houston 

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Katy, Texas News (June 7, 2017) – Vibra Healthcare, LLC (“Vibra”), Memorial Hermann Health System, and Medistar Corporation (“Medistar”) announced today their collaboration on the development of VibraLife of Katy, a new VibraLife post-acute and residential care community coming to the Houston area. The new state-of-the-art facility will be located in the Parkwest Business Park off Interstate 10, adjacent to Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital. The facility will occupy 58,000 square feet and provide a total of 104 beds, including a 70-bed transitional care rehabilitation center, an 18-bed assisted living center, and a 16-bed secured memory care unit.

 

“We are delighted to be jointly pioneering a new post-acute care service model with Memorial Hermann,” said Brad Hollinger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Vibra Healthcare.  “Memorial Hermann has an exceptional reputation for the delivery of outstanding, end-to-end patient care experiences. We are committed to delivering the same high quality, affordable care in this new state-of-the-art post-acute facility.”

 

Affiliated with Memorial Hermann, the largest non-profit health system in Southeast Texas, and Medistar, a long-standing Houston-based developer and owner of healthcare real estate, VibraLife of Katy will be expertly equipped to serve the Houston community. The new, innovative facility will deliver a fully integrated post-acute care continuum and provide personalized services and care options that will help address the unmet needs of local healthcare providers and patients.

“This unique model provides a community-based care continuum that is conveniently housed under one roof, and will serve as the perfect bridge between an acute care stay and home for the patients we serve,” said Carl Josehart, Senior Vice President and CEO of Post-Acute Care Services for Memorial Hermann. “VibraLife of Katy joins our already robust post-acute care network to help ensure this patient population is able to receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time, every time.”

 

Designed and operated by Vibra, VibraLife of Katy will provide high quality care to patients following an injury or illness and will offer a full range of services – medical, rehabilitative, and social – to both patients and senior residents.

 

“VibraLife of Katy sets a new standard of excellence in post-acute care – a result of the innovative vision and uncompromising commitment to patient-centered care shared by Vibra and Memorial Hermann. For this important project, Medistar has worked diligently to align the real estate solution to enhance operational, clinical and financial efficiencies with an exceptional experience for patients, providers and guests,” said Monzer Hourani, Chief Executive Officer of Medistar.

 

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for June 22, and construction is scheduled for completion in summer 2018.

“We are delighted to be jointly pioneering a new post-acute care service model with Memorial Hermann,” said Brad Hollinger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Vibra Healthcare.  “Memorial Hermann has an exceptional reputation for the delivery of outstanding, end-to-end patient care experiences. We are committed to delivering the same high quality, affordable care in this new state-of-the-art post-acute facility.”

 

Affiliated with Memorial Hermann, the largest non-profit health system in Southeast Texas, and Medistar, a long-standing Houston-based developer and owner of healthcare real estate, VibraLife of Katy will be expertly equipped to serve the Houston community. The new, innovative facility will deliver a fully integrated post-acute care continuum and provide personalized services and care options that will help address the unmet needs of local healthcare providers and patients.

 

“This unique model provides a community-based care continuum that is conveniently housed under one roof, and will serve as the perfect bridge between an acute care stay and home for the patients we serve,” said Carl Josehart, Senior Vice President and CEO of Post-Acute Care Services for Memorial Hermann. “VibraLife of Katy joins our already robust post-acute care network to help ensure this patient population is able to receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time, every time.”

 

Designed and operated by Vibra, VibraLife of Katy will provide high quality care to patients following an injury or illness and will offer a full range of services – medical, rehabilitative, and social – to both patients and senior residents.

 

“VibraLife of Katy sets a new standard of excellence in post-acute care – a result of the innovative vision and uncompromising commitment to patient-centered care shared by Vibra and Memorial Hermann. For this important project, Medistar has worked diligently to align the real estate solution to enhance operational, clinical and financial efficiencies with an exceptional experience for patients, providers and guests,” said Monzer Hourani, Chief Executive Officer of Medistar.

 

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for June 22, and construction is scheduled for completion in summer 2018.

 

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital 
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Katy, TX News (May 31, 2017) – Five Katy Independent School District (KISD) athletic trainers were recently awarded sports medicine scholarships from Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, the official healthcare provider for KISD.

 

Each recipient was awarded a $700 sports medicine scholarship in recognition of the distinguished service the students provide to KISD athletic programs. This year’s recipients included: Alexis Ali from Mayde Creek High School, Kaylin Michalec from Cinco Ranch High School, Se’Kenia Rinayo from Morton Ranch High School, Claire Schlicher from Taylor High School, and Brianna Ungaro from Tompkins High School.

Ali is heading to Texas State University to study athletic training. Michalec will study sports medicine at the University of Arkansas. Rinayo will attend Lone Star College and plans to study business. Schlicher is going to Sam Houston State University to study forensic chemistry. Ungaro is headed to Arizona State University to study nursing.

Memorial Hermann Katy is the official healthcare provider of KISD, providing education, training and medical services that support student athletes, their coaches and families. Memorial Hermann Katy also offers world-class, innovative orthopedic care. Services range from non-surgical and minimally-invasive procedures to surgery, and rehabilitation for muscle, joint and bone injuries and abnormalities.

For more information on Memorial Hermann Katy, visit memorialhermann.org/locations/katy or call 713.222.CARE.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital 

 

 

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Katy, TX News (May 24, 2017) – Realself empowers women and men to make sound decisions about cosmetic procedures by providing a unique platform for discussion between those considering cosmetic procedures and experts in their field, such as Dr. Gallas.  Based on decades of experience, continued medical and surgical education, and maintenance of  high ethical standards, Dr. Gallas has once again been named a “Top Doctor” with Realself.com.

His excellent reviews and ratings from patients along with his continual feedback on consumers’ questions regarding plastic surgery, have helped him achieve this honor which is awarded to less than 10% of doctors who participate on Realself. Dr. Gallas feels honored to be recognized as a “Top Doctor” with Realself.com, and pledges to continue to provide sound advice and quality care to those considering plastic surgery.

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Katy, TX News (May 11, 2017) – On the banks of scenic Lake Livingston mounted to the tall pines is one of the longest dual zip lines in Texas. All summer long, children – secured in their harnesses – race each other down the cabled lines in what many have described as an “experience of a lifetime” on the 530 acres of YMCA’s Camp Cullen.

For those who have never experienced Camp Cullen in Trinity, Texas, the YMCA is opening its doors to the public free of charge on May 21 from 1 to 5 p.m. During this time, children will get to sample what this lakeside camp has to offer, specifically kayaking, horseback riding, archery and tours of the extra modern and air-conditioned cabins and a newly built dining hall that offers dramatic views of the lake at any time of day.

After attending Camp Cullen and climbing its 55-foot tall Alpine tower, going wake boarding, sailing, and playing sports, parachute games and paintball, kids often return home from this residential camp having gained much more than a week of fun.

“YMCA Camp Cullen is more than just a summer camp. It provides an opportunity for kids to have life-changing experiences. While each day is packed full of tubing, ropes courses, creative arts, drama, dancing and opportunities to learn about geology and environmental science, behind the scenes kids are building self-confidence and making lasting friendships,” said Andrew Hood, director of the camp. “Camp Cullen is a community that instills a sense of belonging and being a part of something.”

Camp Cullen has consistently garnered the highest ratings from camp participants and their parents. Hood believes this is because the camp is also designed to appeal to a kid’s heart and soul.

“No doubt our kids like the cool stuff, but at Camp Cullen, they feel at home. They are welcomed energetically from the minute they arrive and are embraced by a staff that takes caring of the children to more meaningful levels,” Hood said of the camp counselors, many of whom travel from as far away as Great Britain and Australia to be an instrumental part of the camp experience. “Every year, parents tell us that their children return home more confident than ever, and that they forged so many new and lasting friendships with kids they otherwise would never have met.”

Camp Cullen is open to kids ages 7-17 and operates in one-week sessions. It is located 90 miles north of Houston.

No registration is necessary to try Camp Cullen on May 21 from 1 to 5 p.m. for free. Simply drive up and have fun! Camp Cullen is located at 460 Cullen Loop in Trinity, Texas: Camp Map and Directions

Want to arrange a tour on another day? Please call 936-594-2274.

For more information, please visit: www.ymcacampcullen.org.

Courtesy of YMCA of Greater Houston
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Katy, TX News (May 8, 2017) – A total of 20 nurses across Memorial Hermann earned recognition among the best in their profession in the region, including Melissa Evans, RN, at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, who was named one of Houston’s Top 10 Nurses of the Year by the Houston Chronicle. Additionally, 19 other Memorial Hermann nurses across the System were named to the Chronicle’s overall Top 150 “Salute to Nurses” 2017 list.

Each May during National Nurses Week – which aligns with the birthday week of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing – the Houston Chronicle honors the role nurses play in delivering care to the Houston community with its annual “Salute to Nurses” list.  Hundreds of nurses are nominated by the Houston community and nominees are then selected by a panel. From the official nominees, 10 outstanding nursing professionals are chosen to be honored as greater Houston’s Top 10 Nurses of the Year.

“As we celebrate National Nurses Week, we thank and appreciate all of our nurses across the System who serve the Houston community and deliver compassionate, high quality care to our patients. We also want to congratulate all who made the Top 150 ‘Salute to Nurses’ 2017 list,” said Chuck Stokes, RN, FACHE, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Memorial Hermann. “Nurses are the backbone of our System and we are humbled to have one of Houston’s Top 10 Nurses of the Year, Melissa Evans, as part of the Memorial Hermann family.”

Evans joined Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in 2013 as a nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). As an empathetic caregiver, Evans consistently goes above and beyond in treating her patients and their families with the utmost care during the most difficult times.

“I am truly humbled to receive this recognition for doing something I am so passionate about,” she said. “Being a PICU nurse allows me to be there for our youngest and most fragile patients when they are at their most vulnerable, and for their families in a time of pain and uncertainty. I have an unwavering passion for helping others and I am fortunate I get to serve others every single day.”

Also included among this year’s Top 150 “Salute to Nurses” list were:

  • Anton De Guzman, Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, Intermediate Care Unit
  • Bethany Stanley, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Brad Rush, Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, Emergency Center
  • Bridgette Singleton, Women’s Memorial Hermann at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, Labor & Delivery
  • Carol Seamon, TIRR Memorial Hermann, Patient Care Unit
  • Debbie Myers, Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, Emergency Center
  • Debra Raven, Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, Intensive Care Unit
  • Gabrielle Edquilang, Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at the Texas Medical Center, Neuro Intensive Care Unit
  • Mollie Smith, Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, Endoscopy
  • Mujeetbat Kareem, Women’s Memorial Hermann at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, Labor & Delivery
  • Norah Kibagendi, TIRR Memorial Hermann, Patient Care Unit
  • Pamela Block, Memorial Hermann Medical Group, Physicians at Sugar Creek
  • Rommel Langit, Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, Emergency Center
  • Rose Ann Rolland,Women’s Memorial Hermann at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, Labor & Delivery
  • Ruby Herrera, Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, Intensive Care Unit
  • Senobia Campbell, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Stacey Dotter, Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-Texas Medical Center
  • Vonna Gonzalez, Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital, Intermediate Care Unit
  • Yolanda Russell, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital, Medical Surgical Unit

Memorial Hermann employs more than 8,000 nurses across the System’s hospitals and hundreds of diagnostic and specialty centers. At Memorial Hermann, nurses have a culture of collaboration and are offered career advancement opportunities and cross-training, as well as enhanced benefits available to all employees.

Learn more about nursing opportunities at Memorial Hermann or call (713) 222-2273.

Courtesy Memorial Hermann Katy 
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KATY, TX (April 27, 2017) – The Quality Texas Foundation has awarded Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital the Texas Award for Performance Excellence (TAPE). The prestigious award recognizes strong dedication to quality and high performance.

“We are honored to be among the select group of organizations to achieve this distinction from the Quality Texas Foundation. Winning the TAPE award is a reflection of the focus on clinical excellence, quality, and patient safety that the team at Memorial Hermann Katy provides every day,” said Heath Rushing, Senior Vice President and CEO, Memorial Hermann Katy.

The Quality Texas Foundation, known as a national leader in its field, was chartered to recognize the best organizations in Texas. The group uses an extensive evaluation process that includes hundreds of hours spent through on-site visits to evaluate and score applicants in several criteria.

Dr. Mac McGuire, CEO Quality Texas Foundation said, “This award is no small achievement. It’s not about a particular test, or one day evaluation. It is a critical look at both the processes and results shown by Memorial Hermann Katy, in accordance with the Baldrige Criteria. Those who receive the TAPE award have a proven record of excellence.”

The Baldrige Excellence Framework is used by businesses, healthcare providers, schools, government agencies and other nonprofit organizations to improve and excel in their industries. This distinction takes Memorial Hermann Katy one step closer to achieving the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital received the prominent award in 2016.

“We know the hard work isn’t over yet. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is a lofty goal, but we believe our staff already provides the high quality care outlined by the Baldrige Excellence Framework, and we are confident that we will prove that to the organization in the coming months,” said Rushing.

“I want to congratulate the team at Memorial Hermann Katy on this significant award,” said Dr. Benjamin Chu, President and CEO, Memorial Hermann Health System. “It is a rigorous journey to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and this is an impressive step in the right direction.”

Memorial Hermann Katy will receive the award during the Quality Texas Foundation annual conference June 27, 2017 at the Houston Westin.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital
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Katy, TX News (April 28, 2017) The Quality Texas Foundation has awarded Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital the Texas Award for Performance Excellence (TAPE). The prestigious award recognizes strong dedication to quality and high performance.

“We are honored to be among the select group of organizations to achieve this distinction from the Quality Texas Foundation. Winning the TAPE award is a reflection of the focus on clinical excellence, quality, and patient safety that the team at Memorial Hermann Katy provides every day,” said Heath Rushing, Senior Vice President and CEO, Memorial Hermann Katy.

The Quality Texas Foundation, known as a national leader in its field, was chartered to recognize the best organizations in Texas. The group uses an extensive evaluation process that includes hundreds of hours spent through on-site visits to evaluate and score applicants in several criteria.

Dr. Mac McGuire, CEO Quality Texas Foundation said, “This award is no small achievement. It’s not about a particular test, or one day evaluation. It is a critical look at both the processes and results shown by Memorial Hermann Katy, in accordance with the Baldrige Criteria. Those who receive the TAPE award have a proven record of excellence.”

The Baldrige Excellence Framework is used by businesses, healthcare providers, schools, government agencies and other nonprofit organizations to improve and excel in their industries. This distinction takes Memorial Hermann Katy one step closer to achieving the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital received the prominent award in 2016.

“We know the hard work isn’t over yet. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is a lofty goal, but we believe our staff already provides the high quality care outlined by the Baldrige Excellence Framework, and we are confident that we will prove that to the organization in the coming months,” said Rushing.

“I want to congratulate the team at Memorial Hermann Katy on this significant award,” said Dr. Benjamin Chu, President and CEO, Memorial Hermann Health System. “It is a rigorous journey to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and this is an impressive step in the right direction.”

Memorial Hermann Katy will receive the award during the Quality Texas Foundation annual conference June 27, 2017 at the Houston Westin.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital
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Katy, TX News (April 17, 2017) – The YMCA of Greater Houston is committed to healthy living and wants to share the activities that will keep children’s bodies and minds in good shape over summer break at YMCA Healthy Kids Day ® on April 22.

Free to all families, Healthy Kids Day will be hosted by all YMCAs in the Greater Houston area from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. While activities will vary from center to center, children and their parents will get to sample all of the fun the Y has to offer in day camp, overnight camp, youth sports and swim lessons.

Activities on Healthy Kids Day will include program demonstrations, such as karate and Zumba dance offs; games, including hula hoop contests, water activities and relay races; arts and crafts, such as face painting and coloring; and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities such as making “elephant toothpaste” and “twisting tornados” in a bottle. Families can also take tours of the facilities for free.

“Healthy Kids Day is a great way to introduce families to summertime activities at the YMCA that not only are fun, but help children continue to grow and flourish when they are not in school,” said Shawn Borzelleri, vice president of Programs at the YMCA of Greater Houston. “We would love for everyone to come out and see what the Y has to offer in terms of day camp, overnight camp, youth sports and swim lessons and to have fun together as a family.”

Healthy Kids Day is a national YMCA initiative celebrated at more than 1,300 YMCAs across the country. More than 1.2 million parents and their children are expected to participate.

Please contact your local YMCA or visit www.ymcahouston.org to learn more about Healthy Kids Day and YMCA summer programs. Those who join the YMCA of Greater Houston by April 24 will not pay a join fee, a savings of up to $125.

Courtesy of YMCA
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Katy, TX News (April 13, 2017) – The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization which assigns A, B, C, D and F letter grades to hospitals nationwide, yesterday released new Leapfrog Hospital Safety grades. Houston Methodist West was one of 823 hospitals to receive an “A” for its commitment to reducing errors, infections and accidents that can harm patients, ranking among the safest hospitals in the United States.

“We are proud to receive our second ‘A’ in a row from The Leapfrog Group,” said Vicki Brownewell, chief nursing officer of Houston Methodist West. “Keeping our patients, guests and staff out of harm is at the forefront of every decision. This is what makes Houston Methodist West unparalleled in safety and quality.”

“Hospitals that earn top marks nationally in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, have achieved the highest safety standards in the country,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “That takes commitment from every member of the hospital staff, who all deserve thanks and congratulations when their hospitals achieve an ‘A’ Safety Grade.”

Developed under the guidance of an expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 30 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year. It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public.

To see Houston Methodist West’s full grade, and to access consumer-friendly patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit hospitalsafetygrade.org.

About The Leapfrog Group
Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog’s other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

About Houston Methodist West Hospital
Houston Methodist West Hospital is committed to leading medicine in West Houston, Katy and surrounding communities by delivering the Houston Methodist standard of safety, quality, service and innovation. The growing campus offers nearly 200 beds and access to the most innovative medical and surgical care available, including robotic and minimally invasive surgery, full-spectrum heart care, state-of-the-art imaging, cancer care, labor and delivery with a neonatal ICU, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics and sports medicine, outpatient rehabilitation and 24/7 emergency services. For more information, visit houstonmethodist.org/west.

 

Courtesy of Houston Methodist West Hospital
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Katy, Texas News (April 6, 2017) – The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Texas Children’s Hospital is the first to be designated by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) as a level IV NICU, the highest level of care available for premature and critically-ill newborns. One of the first NICUs reviewed by the state, the hospital was officially designated following a rigorous site visit conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ NICU Verification Program.

The designation comes as a result of legislation passed in 2013 requiring Texas to establish and implement neonatal and maternal level of care designations by March 1, 2018, with the intent of ensuring that neonatal intensive care units have the resources and expertise to provide high-quality patient care that leads to the best outcomes for newborn patients and their families.

Texas is one of the first states requiring NICUs to undergo a site visit to verify the level of care provided to patients meets the Neonatal Levels of Care classifications as defined in the Texas Administrative Code. Completing the designation process is a requirement to receive Medicaid reimbursement for neonatal services by Sept. 1, 2018.

A level IV NICU designation must meet all level III capabilities plus have the ability to care for infants born earlier than 32 weeks gestation and weighing less than 1,500 grams, provide life support, perform advanced imaging including MRI and echocardiography and provide a full range of respiratory support, among many other criteria. View the full list of level IV Neonatal Levels of Care classifications, here.

“Babies born prematurely and those who are critically ill require highly-specialized resources and 24/7 multidisciplinary care in order to have the most optimal outcome,” said Dr. Gautham Suresh, chief of neonatology at Texas Children’s and section head and service chief of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. “As the largest NICU in the nation caring for the most fragile infants, we know getting the right care, at the right time, in the right place is critical. This designation helps ensure neonates are treated in the right level of NICU and thereby receive high-quality care.”

“It’s crucial for women, especially those experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, to be educated about the level of neonatal care available in the facility where they plan to deliver,” said Dr. Michael Belfort, obstetrician/gynecologist-in-chief at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women and Ernst W. Bertner Chairman and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor.

Two key requirements of level IV neonatal designation are the development of a Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) committee and a program plan which outlines the level IV program including scope, services, transport, standards, follow-up, disaster response, certifications, outreach and community initiatives. Texas Children’s Newborn Center already had an active quality and safety program which was organized into a QAPI program. The QAPI committee monitors the quality and safety of NICU patient care and prioritizes and supports quality improvement initiatives.

As a level IV NICU, Texas Children’s will continue to provide care for infants with complex interdisciplinary issues, including complex surgical conditions, which may not be available in a level III NICU. To learn more about Texas Children’s Newborn Center, please visit www.texaschildrens.org/newborn.

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Katy, Texas News (April 3, 2017) – Moving Stronger, an exercise and education program specifically designed for people with multiple sclerosis, will be launched in April by three institutions that are national leaders in their respective fields.

The program, which is free of charge and the first of its kind in the country, was created in a collaboration between YMCA of Greater Houston, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society of Houston.

MS participants preparing for an aquatics class. Photo courtesy of YMCA of Greater Houston.

“We’ve all been working hand-in-hand to create a safe exercise and education program for people with MS,” said Leorah Freeman, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor and multiple sclerosis expert in the Department of Neurology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “The program was designed after detailed analysis of existing data showing the benefit of different exercise modalities and healthy living strategies in people with MS.”

While exercise was once discouraged for people with MS, evidence now shows that exercise in a controlled environment can help improve mobility and alleviate certain symptoms from the disease if done regularly.

“The YMCA of Greater Houston has a long history of serving communities in youth development, social responsibility, and healthy living. Moving Stronger is an exciting new offering and we anticipate that it will bring needed resources to those with MS,” said Lharissa Jacobs, director of Community Health for the YMCA. “The YMCA is the perfect setting to meet the health needs of the MS community through increased physical activity and social support.”

MS is a chronic, inflammatory and degenerative disease that affects the central nervous system. It is a leading cause of disability among young- and middle-aged adults, for which there is no cure. MS can cause fatigue, imbalance, weakness, stiffness, numbness and even cognitive dysfunction. It affects an estimated 2.3 million people worldwide and 400,000 in the United States.

“We are very excited about this new wellness program, Moving Stronger, and the collective work we are doing to bring wellness solutions to people living with MS. For a person living with MS, the road to wellness involves more than treatment of the disease and its symptoms,” said Elaine Liserio, associate vice president of Program Development for the National MS Society. “The adaptive wellness opportunities being created through supportive partners such as the YMCA of Greater Houston and UTHealth will make an impact and help people with MS live their best lives.”

The 12-week program will be held at the Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch, 22807 Westheimer Parkway. It will include 24 sessions of exercise, education and bonding discussions around subjects relevant to people with MS.

“It is very stressful for people with multiple sclerosis to go to a gym and most don’t have access to trainers with knowledge about their disease and disability,” said Freeman, who treats patients at UT Physicians, the clinical practice of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “Moving Stronger aims to enhance participants’ overall mobility, to improve their quality of life through exercise and social engagement and to give them the tools to stay active consistently. My long-term goal is to make this program accessible to all people with MS, to empower each of them to take part in their care.”

During the first five weeks of the program, patients will learn different modalities of exercise, such as yoga, aquatics and circuit training, which consists of light cardio and weightlifting. The activities will then rotate with increasing difficulty according to the participants’ abilities.

“It has been repeatedly shown that exercise not only improves walking speed, endurance and balance, but it can also improve fatigue, one of the most common and debilitating symptoms of multiple sclerosis,” said Freeman.

The program will include an exercise specialist and yoga and aquatics instructors who are trained through the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, as well as in-person training delivered under the supervision of UTHealth neurologists, to fully understand the needs of people with MS.

“When an MS patient comes to the UTHealth Neurorehabilitation clinic, I provide a comprehensive assessment of physical and cognitive function,” said Nneka Ifejika M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of neurology and director of neurorehabilitation at McGovern Medical School, who worked with Freeman to develop the program. “But what about patients who do not have access to a comprehensive MS center such as the one at UT Physicians? By offering this program at the YMCA, Moving Stronger allows us to bridge the gap – to create a program, tailored to people with MS, delivered in their community – with the goals of directly improving strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and gait, and indirectly improving confidence and quality of life.”

Please contact betterhealth@ymcahouston.org or 713-758-9186 for information about class dates and times at the Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch.

For information about the UT Physicians Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care Center, contact: 832.325.7080

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Katy, Texas News (April 3, 2017) – The Fort Bend Family YMCA, T.W. Davis Family YMCA, Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch, and the YMCA at Katy Main Street – all four located in Fort Bend County – raised more than $64,000 in the 11th Annual YMCA Spring Golf Classic.

YMCA Spring Golf Classic

Sponsored by Fort Bend Toyota and Sterling McCall Lexus for the sixth consecutive year, the event’s proceeds will go to the YMCA’s Annual Campaign to ultimately provide scholarships and subsidized programming for at-risk children.

The YMCA rounded up more than 130 players and 32 teams to take part in the charitable event – breaking a record of participation. Thirty volunteers helped make the event a success.

“As a YMCA volunteer, it is exciting to see so much support from the business community, which is committed to the YMCA and the impact that it has on our community,” said Barbara Jones of Fluor Corporation, YMCA golf chair and T.W. Davis YMCA board member.

The tournament was held at Pecan Grove Country Club and included several on-course competitions, sponsored by Thom Polvogt Insurance Group, Top Golf and Firehouse Subs. It also included a lunch donated by Swinging Door BBQ and dinner donated by Macaroni Grill.

In addition, participants participated in silent and live auctions that raised more than $12,000. Fort Bend County Commissioner James Patterson served as auctioneer and special guest at the event was Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Annual Support Campaigns of the Fort Bend Family YMCA in Missouri City, the T.W. Davis Family YMCA in Richmond, the Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch, and the YMCA at Katy Main Street. Combined, the campaigns provide scholarships or subsidized programming for more than 7,000 youth, families and individuals in YMCA programs, outreach and memberships.

“We are thankful to have the ongoing support of so many sponsors and teams who have participated in this tournament since its inceptions.  Through their support combined with all our new teams and sponsors, hundreds of youth and families will benefit from YMCA services this summer,” said Brian Haines, district executive director for the YMCA of Greater Houston.

In addition to the event’s title sponsors, Fort Bend Toyota and Sterling McCall Lexus, other top sponsors were Fluor Corporation, NtheZone Photography, Staff Force Personnel Services, NRG – WS Parish Plant and First Transit.

 Courtesy of YMCA of Greater Houston
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Katy, Texas News (March 29, 2017) – Houston Methodist West Hospital has received full Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the American College of Cardiology (ACC). The accreditation acknowledges Houston Methodist West’s expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack.

“Houston Methodist West has been leading the way in cardiovascular care since we were first established,” said Vicki Brownewell, RN, Houston Methodist West’s chief nursing officer. “I’m proud of our team for continuing to deliver the best possible care for all of our heart patients.”

The hospital was first accredited in October, 2013, with its latest accreditation valid until October 31, 2019.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Every year more than 600,000 Americans die from heart disease, with a heart attack occurring an average of once every 42 seconds.

An Accredited Chest Pain Center’s evidence-based, systematic approach to cardiac patient care allows clinicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack. Chest Pain Centers better monitor patients when it’s unclear whether or not a patient is having a coronary event. Such monitoring ensures patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted.

The ACC’s Chest Pain Center Accreditation process ensures that hospitals meet or exceed a wide set of stringent criteria and undergo a comprehensive onsite review by a team of accreditation review specialists. By achieving ACC’s Chest Pain Center Accreditation status, Houston Methodist West demonstrated expertise in the following areas:

  • Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system
  • Assessing, diagnosing and treating patients quickly
  • Effectively treating patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms
  • Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures
  • Ensuring the competence and training of Accredited Chest Pain Center personnel
  • Maintaining organizational structure and commitment
  • Having a functional design that promotes optimal patient care
  • Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack

 

For more information on cardiovascular care or to find a doctor at Houston Methodist West Hospital, call 832.522.5522 or visit houstonmethodist.org/find-a-doctor/.

Courtesy of Houston Methodist West Hospital 

 

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Katy, Texas News (March 22, 2017)The Ballard Foundation has announced that it will donate $2 million to The Ballard House-Katy for an expansion of their existing location.

Katy’s Ballard House provides patients battling life-threatening or critical illnesses, along with their families and caregivers, Texas-sized hospitality in a home away from home environment. “We are so grateful for this generous gift and wish to express our sincere gratitude to The Ballard Foundation and the entire Katy area for their continued support,” stated Kathy Alt, The Ballard House Director.

Families come from around the world travel to stay at The Ballard House, and once there can create bonds and friendships with those who are going through similar life experiences. The expanded facilities at The Ballard House-Katy will allow the local non-profit organization a chance to help more families in need. More information: www.theballardhouse.org.

 

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Katy, TX News (March 13, 2017) – Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital recently appointed Peter Walker, M.D., as its new medical director of the bariatric program.  In his new role, Dr. Walker will oversee the growth of the program, which aims to help people lose weight after diet and exercise options have been exhausted.

“We are excited to have Dr. Walker lead the bariatric program here at Memorial Hermann Katy. He is dedicated to providing patients with state-of-the-art surgical therapies using the least invasive, most advanced and safest techniques available. We know the Katy community will appreciate having his expertise close to home,” says Heath Rushing, Sr. Vice President and CEO for Memorial Hermann Katy.

Photo by Dwight C. Andrews/The University of Texas Medical School at Houston Office of Communications Dr. Peter Walker - MIST Surgery
Photo by Dwight C. Andrews/The University of Texas Medical School at Houston Office of Communications
Dr. Peter Walker – MIST Surgery

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more and one-third of Americans are considered obese. “Obesity puts people at risk for other serious diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or stroke.  It’s important those looking to lose weight, especially those concerned about type 2 diabetes, consult with a physician to explore the various techniques, both surgical and non-surgical, that can help manage their weight,” says Dr. Walker.

Dr. Walker earned his medical degree at Saint Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.  His general surgery residency at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth was followed by an NIH-funded research fellowship and an advanced laparoscopic and robotics fellowship at UTHealth.

Board certified in general surgery, Dr. Walker’s clinical interests include advanced robotic surgery, weight loss surgery, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) surgery, hernia repair, biliary (gallbladder) surgery and general surgery.

Dr. Walker is also an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery, and associate program director of the Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship Program at UTHealth.

A resident of Katy, Dr. Walker is married and the father of two young daughters. Outside of his practice, he enjoys running, reading and watching college football.

 

If you would like to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Walker to discuss your weight loss options, call 281.644.8824.

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Katy, TX News (February 27, 2017)  – Its doors are open, and YMCA officials are ready to make their newest and state-of-the-art center, the YMCA at Katy Main Street, 1350 Main St., official. On March 3, the YMCA of Greater Houston will host a grand-opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the second YMCA in Katy and one of the most unique centers in the Greater Houston area.

KMS Body Pump, courtesy of the YMCA of Greater Houston

A brief ceremony, which will begin at 10 a.m., will include remarks from Paul McEntire, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Houston; Ann Hodge of the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce, David Ruzicka, chairman of the board for the Katy Area YMCAs; Carlos Valdez, chairman of the Board for the YMCA of Greater Houston; and Pam Filip, executive director of the YMCA at Katy Main Street. From March 3-5, all are invited to try the new center free of charge. Those who choose to join before March 6 will pay no join fee, a savings of $125.

 

On March 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the YMCA at Katy Main Street will host a round of demos for much of what the new center has to offer, including TRX, Body Flow and Zumba classes and a Motion Magix kids’ zone. (See schedule below for all demos.) During the same time, there will be carnival-type activities for families and kids, including face painting, a “selfie station”, balloon making, games, a bingo map for visiting different areas of the new Y, and a drawing for Fitbits and other prizes. If the weather permits, the pool will be open for limited hours. Popcorn and juice will be on hand for refreshments.

On March 5 from 1 to 4 p.m., similar demos and festivities will continue.

KMS free Child Watch, courtesy of YMCA of Greater Houston

YMCA at Katy Main Street 

The YMCA at Katy Main Street took the best designs from YMCA centers around the nation and incorporated them into one 41,000 square-foot facility with extra modern amenities and a sleek, airy design.

The $12 million center offers the latest exercise crazes including TRX and aerial yoga. Its outdoor pool is heated and connected to private changing rooms.

The YMCA at Katy Main Street features strength training and cardio equipment, group exercise rooms, a basketball gym, Child Watch rooms to accommodate children from six weeks to 11 years old, an outdoor playground and sports fields, a cycle studio and coffee bar. It also includes health and wellness activities, aquatics, youth sports, after-school care, summer day camp, summer sports clinics, teen programs, senior activities and more.

The new center is expected to receive more than 400,000 visits a year. It will provide approximately $250,000 in community assistance and program/membership scholarships as well as create more than 200 area jobs.

KMS Cardio, courtesy of YMCA of Greater Houston

Demo Schedule:

Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

10:15 – Family Pickleball (Outside)

10:45 – Body Flow (Outside)

11:00 – Dance (Mind/Body Studio)

11:30 – TKD (Outside)

11:30 – Aerial Yoga (Personal Training Studio)

11:45 – Cheer (Outside)

12:00 – Zumba (Outside)

12:00 – TRX – (Personal Training Studio)

12:15 – Zumba Strong (Outside)

12:30 – Body Jam (Outside)

12:45 – DrumFit (Outside)

1:00 – Barre Workout (Outside)

1:00 – Exergames (Kids Zone)

1:30 – Motion Magix (Kids Zone)

 

Sunday 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

1:10 – Enhance Fitness (Outside)

1:15 – Silver Sneakers (Outside)

1:30 – CXWorx (Outside)

1:45 – Zumba (Outside)

2:00 – Zumba Toning (Outside)

2:00 – Exergames (Kids Zone)

2:15 – Body Pump (Outside)

2:30 – Body Combat (Outside)

2:30 – Motion Magix (Kids Zone)

2:45 – Mat Pilates (Outside)

3:00 – TKD (Outside)

3:15 – Soccer (Outside)

 

Courtesy of YMCA of Greater Houston
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Katy, TX News (February 27, 2017) – On March 27, the Fort Bend Family YMCA, T.W. Davis Family YMCA, Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch, and the YMCA at Katy Main Street – all four located in Fort Bend County – will be hosting the 11th Annual YMCA Golf Classic, sponsored by Fort Bend Toyota and Sterling McCall Lexus. The event will serve as a fundraiser for the YMCA’s Annual Campaign and ultimately provide support for scholarships and subsidized programming.

Spring Golf Classic Tournament, courtesy of YMCA of Greater Houston

The YMCA is in the process of rounding up teams and sponsors who will support this charitable event. The deadline for signing up is March 20.

“We are excited to be teaming up once again with an organization that does so much for youth and families in our region,” said Joey Dupuis, a co-sponsor of the event and general manager at Sterling McCall Lexus.

This year, the tournament will be held at Pecan Grove Country Club with a shotgun start at 11:30 a.m.

The Y event will have a best ball scramble format and include several on-course competitions, including the Hit the Green Contest sponsored by Thom Polvogt Insurance Group. It will also include a lunch donated by Swinging Door BBQ and dinner donated by Macaroni Grill. Golfers will enjoy complimentary beverages and snacks during their rounds. And, each golfer will receive a goodie bag that includes a shirt, balls, snacks and more. During the dinner and awards ceremony, golfers can participate in both silent and live auctions.

Supporters already on board include: Fluor, Staff Force, NtheZone Photography, NRG-WA Parish Plant, and Direct Energy.

All proceeds from the event benefit the Annual Support Campaigns of the Fort Bend Family YMCA in Missouri City, the T.W. Davis Family YMCA in Richmond, the Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch, and the YMCA at Katy Main Street.

For information on available sponsorships or team registration call Connie Stirgus or Brian Haines at 281-392-5055.

Courtesy of YMCA of Greater Houston 
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Katy, TX (February 24, 2017) As influenza continues to spread across the state, leading to a spike in hospital visits and doctor’s office visits throughout Texas, Memorial Hermann stresses the importance of vaccination and hygiene to protect against this dangerous and deadly virus.

The number of flu hospitalizations nationwide has reached a rate higher than the same point last flu season and shows no signs of abating soon, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Among the influenza viruses in circulation, influenza A is the predominant one. This is a more dangerous strain linked to a higher rate of hospitalizations and deaths, especially among those with weakened immune systems, as well as the very young and the elderly. From the start of the season Oct. 1 through February, influenza and pneumonia had already claimed more than 2,400 lives across Texas, according to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.

However, recently released flu data from CDC shows that this season’s flu vaccine has been about 48 percent effective in preventing flu-related medical visits, offering protection from the more severe flu complications that tend to require medical attention.

“With flu season in full swing, we are urging people to get the flu shot if they haven’t done so already,” said Dr. Michael Chang, pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “It’s important to note that the vaccine may not prevent you from getting the flu, but it does dramatically lessen the effects of the virus and can mean the difference between a few days sick at home as opposed to a few days in the hospital.”

It takes about 14 days from vaccination to receive full protection from the flu. Those who are interested in receiving the flu vaccine should speak with their primary care doctor or contact Memorial Hermann’s partner, RediClinic, which will continue to offer flu shots at locations across the Greater Houston area while supplies are available.

In addition to the vaccine, good hygiene practices – including regular handwashing and coughing and sneezing into your sleeve – can help prevent the spread of the flu and other illnesses.

“One of the best ways to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands properly and thoroughly, preferably with soap and clean water,” Dr. Chang said. “If soap and water aren’t readily available, we recommend an alcohol-based sanitizer with a least 60 percent alcohol.”

Those experiencing flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and fatigue are urged to seek treatment from their primary care physician. Antiviral medications can help lessen the symptoms and shorten the length of an illness. Appointments are available with Memorial Hermann Medical Group physicians throughout the Houston region as well as with medical providers at a variety of RediClinic locations.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

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Katy, TX News (February 6, 2017) – Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital and Memorial Hermann Cypress Hospital will soon be connected by more than just the Grand Parkway.

Memorial Hermann Health System is pleased to announce Heath Rushing as Sr. Vice President and CEO for Memorial Hermann Katy and Memorial Hermann Cypress. Rushing, who previously served as Sr. Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital, will officially begin his role on Monday, February 6.

Heath Rushing

“Having a single leader for the two hospitals speaks to Memorial Hermann’s commitment to providing coordinated and consistent care throughout the System. We are confident this streamlined structure will foster a spirit of collaboration, allowing us to better meet the healthcare needs of the entire region,” says Craig Cordola, Sr. Vice President & Regional President – West, Memorial Hermann Health System.

Rushing joined Memorial Hermann in 2002 and throughout his career he has held several leadership roles. During Rushing’s tenure at Memorial Hermann Northeast, the hospital became a certified primary stroke center, introduced the community’s first neurosurgery spine program, began a start-up interventional cardiology program, and re-established the hospital’s peripheral vascular program. Rushing also established deep roots in the community, serving on a variety of community boards within the Lake Houston area.

“Heath led Memorial Hermann Northeast during a time of great change and expansion. I know he has the expertise to guide Memorial Hermann Katy and Cypress into a bright future,” adds Cordola.

“I am excited about the opportunity to join the team at both Memorial Hermann Katy and Memorial Hermann Cypress hospitals.  I am confident that together we will be able to build on the strong foundation that is already in place to navigate this ever-changing industry,” says Rushing. “I hope my tenure as CEO will not only facilitate a better experience for our patients, but also for our employees and affiliated physicians.”

Rushing, his wife, Sara, and their three children plan to relocate this summer to be closer to the communities he now serves.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital 
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Katy, TX News (February 6, 2017) – In honor of Solis Mammography’s 30th anniversary in 2016, three pioneers in women’s breast health – Dr. Timothy Freer, founder and practicing radiologist; Dr. Stephen Rose, chief medical officer; and James Polfreman, CEO and president of Solis Mammography – gathered for a roundtable discussion.

Describing the origins of what is now Solis Mammography, Dr. Freer remarked, “It’s pretty amazing that what started off as one 600-square-foot location, one radiologist, one film mammography machine with one technologist in Plano, Texas, in 1986 has today grown into Solis Mammography, the nation’s largest independent provider of breast imaging services with 38 centers across six major markets serving more than 600,000 patients each year.”

freer

Although the panel discussion revolved around three decades of serving breast health, more time was spent talking about the changing role of technology in advancing breast imaging – specifically with advances in three-dimensional (3-D) mammography, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis.

Dr. Rose explained that his first exposure to mammography was Xerox, “Blue and white paper was how we interpreted mammograms at that time. The technology of film screening followed, bringing mammogram resolution to an entirely different level than ever seen before. Digital mammography slightly improved film screening but wasn’t very exciting. However, by 2015, over 95 percent of all mammograms were digital.”1

“Film to digital mammography was an evolution. Digital mammography to 3-D mammography is a revolution,” Dr. Rose stated.

From a patient point of view, there is no noticeable difference between 2-D exam and 3-D exam during the mammogram as both take about the same amount of time, compression and positioning. However, from a radiologist point of view, the difference in the images between 2-D and 3-D mammography is night and day. Providing around 60 images of breast tissue, divided into 1 mm slices, 3-D mammography allows the radiologist to see cancers as early as stage zero and to find masses that might otherwise be hidden within dense breast tissue.  This compares to conventional 2-D mammography which offers the radiologist just two images of each breast through compressed breast tissue.

To better understand the difference between conventional 2-D and 3-D mammography, imagine a book with clear covers and pages. With 2-D, the radiologist must peer through the front or back cover, looking for a single word that does not have the same characteristics as the other words. With 3-D, the breast is seen in 1mm slices, giving the radiologist the ability to look for that abnormal word one “page” at a time.

Dr. Rose reported that Solis Mammography’s greatest accomplishment in 30 years is “the implementation of 3-D mammography.” Peer-reviewed research, co-authored by Dr. Rose, has shown that 3-D mammography increases early detection of breast cancer by 54 percent and decreases recall rates by 37 percent. (A recall is the radiologist calling the patient back for more tests to ensure accuracy).

“To have our chief medical officer be a principal expert on 3-D technology is uniquely distinctive and a reflection of Solis Mammography’s dedication to offering the highest quality care with exceptionally accurate results,” Polfreman said. “From Dr. Rose’s early research on 3-D, to diagnosing the first patient with bilateral breast cancer that was originally missed using the standard 2-D, to his most recent study that proves 3-D is extremely beneficial to women in their 40s — these are critical advances in the clinical science of mammography allowing Solis to be a leading authority on breast health.”

Solis Mammography’s commitment to  3-D technology has translated to $18 million invested over the past three years to upgrade all of its centers to provide 3-D mammography.  To date, 37 of the 38 Solis centers offer 3-D mammography, with the final center being upgraded this month in Chandler, Arizona.

Implementing the best mammography technology is step one, but helping patients afford that technology must follow in suit.  Medicare announced full coverage for 3-D mammography in January 2015.  Other private insurers have added coverage but only in select regional markets.  And CIGNA was the first national private insurer to offer 3-D coverage in all U.S. markets.  Solis Mammography is working to support both federal and state legislation which supports a woman’s right to 100% coverage for 3-D mammography.  “We want to ensure that a woman’s decision on what type of mammogram she has won’t be determined by her financial means,” commented Polfreman.

Simply put, 3-D mammography is the best and most advanced technology for early detection of breast cancer. Early detection not only saves lives, it improves quality of life – providing women better and less invasive options for treatment. Dr. Rose concluded, “I know without a shadow of a doubt that every patient we see is benefiting from the service we provide.”

To watch Solis Mammography’s 30th anniversary video, Three Decades of Breast Health, go to http://newsroom.solismammo.com/2017/01/09/solis-mammography-30th-anniversary/. To view Solis Mammography’s 3-D Mammography infographic go to: http://newsroom.solismammo.com/2016/06/01/3dinfo/.

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Katy, TX News (February 3, 2017) – By taking the best designs from YMCA centers around the nation and incorporating them into one 41,000 square-foot facility, the YMCA of Greater Houston has responded to Katy’s burgeoning population with extra modern amenities and a sleek, airy design.

After nine months of construction, the YMCA at Katy Main Street, 1350 Main St., will open its doors on Saturday and offer the latest exercise crazes including TRX and aerial yoga. Its outdoor pool is heated and connected to private changing rooms.

Katy Main Street cycle, courtesy of YMCA

Those are just some of the special features at the $12 million center. The center is expected to be a hub for Katy’s growing needs for child care, health and fitness, and educational programs.

Located at the intersection of Main Street and Kingsland Boulevard (near Interstate 10 and Pin Oak Road), the two-story facility aims to serve residents in west and north Katy and in neighboring communities.

“One amazing thing about the YMCA is the scope of our work, which can be seen at all of our centers, but is especially evident in ever-expanding Katy,” said Paul McEntire, president and CEO of The YMCA of Greater Houston. “Katy’s population is expected to grow from 300,000 people to nearly 550,000 by 2035. In just three years, this new center is expected to serve 20,000 people.”

The YMCA at Katy Main Street features strength training and cardio equipment, group exercise rooms, a basketball gym, Child Watch rooms to accommodate children from six weeks to 11 years old, an outdoor playground and sports fields, a cycle studio and coffee bar. It also includes health and wellness activities, aquatics, youth sports, after-school care, summer day camp, summer sports clinics, teen programs, senior activities and more.

The Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch is currently the largest provider of child care in the Katy area, serving more than 1,500 children each year at before- and after-school care sites in Katy Independent School District. It also offers the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program and LIVESTRONG for those recovering from cancer. In addition, more than 5,000 children participate in the center’s youth sports program. The center serves approximately 50,000 people.

Feasibility studies indicate that 3,000 new families will utilize the new YMCA at Katy Main Street, and that 1,000 current family memberships would relocate for the convenience of the new location.

The new center is expected to receive more than 400,000 visits a year. Projected to be self-sustaining in 12 to 18 months, it will provide approximately $250,000 in community assistance and program/membership scholarships as well as create more than 200 area jobs.

“People need the YMCA at Katy Main Street for their health, for social interaction, and to improve their spirits,” said Brian Haines, district executive director at the YMCA of Greater Houston. “We will make sure we stay true to our commitment to make sure that no one is ever turned away.”

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Katy, TX News (February 2, 2017) – Dr. Lauren Kane, congenital heart surgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital, was recently awarded the Carolyn E. Reed Traveling Fellowship from The Thoracic Surgery Foundation (TSF). Kane is the first congenital heart surgeon to receive the distinguished honor. For more information about the fellowship visit TSF’s website.

Established in 2013 in conjunction with Women in Thoracic Surgery, The Carolyn E. Reed Traveling Fellowship is an annual award presented to an established female thoracic or cardiac surgeon which provides them the opportunity to travel to another institution to learn a new skill or technology.

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“I am truly honored to receive this award,” said Kane, who is also an assistant professor of surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. “Carolyn was a wonderful, well-respected and beloved leader in the field of cardiothoracic surgery. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to pay tribute to her legacy as I collaborate with surgeons internationally who share my passion for enriching the lives of children with congenital heart disease and defects.”

Kane plans to travel to New Delhi, India to collaborate with an outstanding program there focused on advanced congenital heart disease.

“Dr. Kane is a vital member of our team and I am proud that she has been recognized with this coveted fellowship,” said Dr. Charles D. Fraser Jr., surgeon-in-chief and chief of congenital heart surgery at Texas Children’s, and professor of surgery and chief of the division of congenital heart surgery at Baylor. “I look forward to her returning from her travels with a unique perspective of the keys to success of international programs similar to ours.”

Texas Children’s Heart Center is ranked #2 nationally in cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. The Congenital Heart Surgery Service offers a comprehensive surgical program that includes every procedure available for the treatment of pediatric heart disease and defects. The team cares for children of every age, including preterm and low-birth-weight newborns, tailoring procedures and treatments to the needs of each individual child and his or her family. During surgery, this individualized approach includes cardiopulmonary bypass and neuroprotection strategies customized to each patient’s condition and needs, helping to ensure optimal outcomes are achieved. For more information visit texaschildrens.org/heart.

Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital 
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Katy, TX News  (January 25, 2017) – Memorial Hermann has further expanded healthcare services in the Katy area with the opening of Memorial Hermann Urgent Care in Fulshear. The clinic represents yet another major investment made by Memorial Hermann in the Katy community over the last few years.

Fulshear Rope Cutting 1

“The recent expansion of Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital and local openings of a Convenient Care Center and Urgent Care clinic demonstrate our commitment to the greater Katy community and our mission to offer health care solutions that fit everyone’s schedule and needs,” says Jim Parisi, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital.

Located in the HEB shopping center near the intersection of S. Fry Road and FM 1463 at 5102 FM 1463, Suite 1200, the clinic provides walk-in care from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. It is staffed by board-certified family medicine physicians Funke Agbasi, M.D., Michael Nguyen, M.D., and Ladan Pourmasiha, D.O., who treat patients six months and older. The clinic also offers convenient access to x-ray and lab services.

“Memorial Hermann Urgent Care clinics provide on-demand healthcare that many people are looking for,” says David James, M.D., Senior Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Medical Group (MHMG). “The clinics provide coverage for the times you can’t get in to see your primary care physician, but don’t need to go into an emergency center.”

If your primary care physician is a member of the MHMG, records of your Memorial Hermann Urgent Care visit will be placed in your Memorial Hermann electronic health record. This will allow your MHMG primary care provider to easily review your Memorial Hermann Urgent Care records during any follow up appointments.

For more information on Memorial Hermann Urgent Care in Fulshear, call 281.574.1104 or go to http://mhmg.memorialhermann.org/locations/urgent-care-fulshear/

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital 
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Katy, TX News (January 6, 2017) It’s just weeks away from the Feb. 1 grand opening of the new YMCA at Katy Main Street. As the final touches are put on the 41,000 square-foot facility, the YMCA of Greater Houston is inviting the public to preview the premises on designated days beginning Jan. 7.

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Though still in the final stages of construction, the center will offer impressive glimpses into Katy’s new state-of-the-art YMCA, which features strength training and cardio equipment, group exercise rooms, a basketball gym, an outdoor heated swimming pool, child watch rooms, cycle studio and gathering areas where members can meet for coffee. It will offer health and wellness activities, aquatics, youth sports, after school care, summer day camp, summer sports clinics, teen programs, senior activities and more. Dates for preview tours are: Jan. 7, 14, 21, and 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Jan. 29 from 1 to 5 p.m.; and Jan. 30-31 from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.  After the center opens, anyone is welcome to tour the facility at any time.

Those who join before Feb. 1 will pay no join fee – a savings of up to $125. New members will receive citywide memberships that will give them access to the YMCA at Katy Main Street, 1350 Main St., the Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch, 22807 Westheimer Pkwy., and all other YMCAs in the Greater Houston area.

The $12 million YMCA at Katy Main Street will accommodate the growing population of Katy, serving residents in west and north Katy and in neighboring communities. It is expected to receive more than 400,000 visits a year. It will provide approximately $250,000 in community assistance and program/membership scholarships and create more than 200 area jobs.

To apply for a membership before Feb. 1, go to https://search.ymcahouston.org/join or visit the Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch or any YMCA in the Greater Houston area. Once the YMCA at Katy Main Street opens, membership applications can be taken at the new center.

 

 Courtesy of YMCA of Greater Houston
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Katy, TX (December 9, 2016) More than a dozen new people joined the organ donor registry Friday as part of an initiative by Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC) and LifeGift to address the growing national organ shortage by raising awareness for the mission while celebrating those who make the selfless decision to share the gift of life.

Demand for organs has risen sharply in recent years, but the number of organ donors and organs transplanted has remained relatively stagnant in the past decade, creating a widening gap that has lengthened the waiting list for those who need lifesaving transplants. There are nearly 120,000 people across the nation on the waiting list for an organ transplant, and every 10 minutes, a new name gets added to the list.

Some recipients wait months, even years, before a match is found. Sadly, 22 people lose their lives every day before receiving the call that could save them.

In response to the growing national crisis, the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration has called on hospitals to play a greater role in promoting donor registration. Memorial Hermann-TMC has responded to this request with a special tribute to organ donors, donor families and recipients that was unveiled to the public Friday morning in the hospital’s Rick Smith Gallery. The installment, called The Ultimate Gift, highlights the importance of organ donation through specially commissioned portraits of donors, donor families and recipients which will be on display for the next several weeks.

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In addition, Memorial Hermann-TMC hosted an event Friday with more than 150 employees, affiliated physicians, patients and visitors in attendance, demonstrating an impressive show of solidarity for the lifesaving power of organ donation.

“I am so glad we can use the holiday season – the season of giving – as an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation,” said Dr. J. Steve Bynon, chief of abdominal transplantation at Memorial Hermann-TMC and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, who gave remarks at Friday’s event. “As healthcare providers, we are committed to saving lives, and we are beyond grateful for the thousands of registered organ donors who help make that possible. We hope others who have not registered find it in their hearts this season to make the decision to join this important cause.”

Dr. Bynon’s remarks were followed by a moving personal account from Karen Abercrombie, a Houston woman whose sister, Julie De Rossi, tragically perished in a car crash in 2004 and went on to save many lives through organ donation. A year and a half afterward, Abercrombie’s family discovered that De Rossi’s tissue donation – specifically her Achilles tendon – had benefitted NFL star quarterback Carson Palmer, who is now with the Arizona Cardinals. Since her sister’s death, Abercrombie has become a vocal advocate for organ and tissue donation.

According to a Gallup Poll, nearly 95 percent of people surveyed say they strongly support organ donation, but only about 40 percent of eligible donors have actually registered in part because of the myths surrounding organ donation. In fact, most major religions support organ and tissue donation; organs can be donated at nearly any age; and organ and tissue recovery takes place only after all efforts to save a person’s life have been exhausted and death has been legally declared, according to LifeGift.

“I’ve come to realize that there are so many misconceptions about donation that just aren’t true. Through my sister’s donation, upwards of 80 lives were either saved or enriched,” Abercrombie said. “Julie was bigger than life while she was living, and she has definitely outlived herself.”

Following Friday’s event, attendees were invited to tour the latest exhibit in the Rick Smith Gallery and meet with LifeGift volunteers who were on hand to register new donors. Learn more about organ donation and see a special video commemorating donors and recipients, and sign up to become an organ donor today.

Courtesy Memorial Hermann
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Katy, TX (December 7, 2016) Research has long-touted the benefits of breastfeeding for newborns, as well as mothers, and that’s why Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital is proud to once again receive the Texas Ten Step Designation from the Texas Hospital Association and the Texas Department of State Health Services. The Texas Ten Step Program encourages breastfeeding as the preferred method of feeding for newborns and infants.  This is the fifth year in a row Memorial Hermann Katy has received this designation.

“Approximately 2,400 babies are born each year at Memorial Hermann Katy, and we aim to do everything we can to get the youngest, newest members of our community off to a healthy start. This designation is a representation of the hard work that goes on year-round to keep babies healthy,” says Carol Carroll, BA, BSN, RNC-MNN, IBCLC, a lactation consultant at Memorial Hermann Katy.

Based on the World Health Organization (WHO)/ UNICEF’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, the Texas Ten Step Program aims to assist a birth facility’s support of breastfeeding mothers before, during, and after delivery; encourages them to identify breastfeeding resources for the mother after she is discharged; and encourages facilities to have 82 percent of mothers exclusively breastfeeding when they go home with their newborn.

“Life as a new mom can be overwhelming. Memorial Hermann Katy tries to ease that process by providing resources like hospital grade pump rentals and breastfeeding support classes,” says Carroll.

Memorial Hermann Katy provides quality, compassionate healthcare to even the youngest patients, with a Level III neonatal intensive care unit providing intermediate care for infants who require continuous monitoring. The hospital also has a dedicated pediatric unit and a special children’s transport team with specially trained nurses and neonatal and pediatric intensive care physicians, should a child need to be taken to Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.

For more information on the Texas Ten Step Program, call Veronica Hendrix, Program Coordinator at (512) 341-4592, or visit the web site at www.texastenstep.org.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital
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Katy, TX (November 23, 2016) After results of a government-funded study revealed that the YMCA’s evidence-based Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) could save the federal government a substantial amount of money, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced earlier this month that it wants to fast track the process of establishing medical coverage for the program – including in the Katy area. Coverage could come as early as 2018.

This is the first time a preventative service pilot funded by the CMS’s Innovation Center has proven to reduce cost and lower cases of Type 2 diabetes.

Nearly 7,000 Medicare beneficiaries who were at high risk for developing diabetes participated in the pilot that tracked their progress in the YMCA’s DPP from 2013-2015. The average weight loss per person was 11.7 pounds one year after participation – a clinically significant loss of weight, according to the CMS. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that Medicare could save an average of $2,650 for each person who participates in the program.

The American Diabetes Association reports that $1 of every $3 Medicare dollars is spent on diabetes care. People with diabetes and prediabetes cost the country $322 billion a year.

While most recent statistics show that 29 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes, 86 million adults, including at least 22 million people ages 65 and older, are prediabetic. Prediabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

Research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has shown that programs such as the YMCA’s DPP can reduce the number of new cases of Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent overall, and by 71 percent in adults over the age of 60.

The YMCA’s DPP, which was created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the NIH, is the largest provider in the nation. It is offered at approximately 1,000 YMCAs – eight in the Houston area – and has helped Americans lose an average of 5 percent of their body weight, significantly reducing their chances of becoming diabetic, according to the CMS.

As of February, the YMCA’s DPP has served more than 42,000 people across the country.

Some insurance carriers currently cover the YMCA’s DPP, which can vary in cost. Participants learn how to cook healthy foods in a variety of sumptuous ways and how to create a balanced plate, among other helpful lessons. The program’s ultimate goal is to help participants reduce their body weight by 7 percent and to increase physical activity to 150 minutes a week.

Qualified participants in the YMCA’s DPP at the Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch must be at least 18 years old and have a Body Mass Index of 25 or greater or 22 for Asians. In addition, participants must qualify with a blood glucose level in the prediabetes range, a prediabetes diagnosis from a physician, or a self-assessed score calculated from risk quiz that can be accessed at the following link: www.ymcahouston.org/links/ydppquestionnaire.pdf.

To confirm eligibility, please contact the YMCA of Greater Houston at 713-758-9152 or diabetes.prevention@ymcahouston.org for more information.

 

HOUSTON STORY:
It was only a matter of time for Carrie Felder Stokes. The 56-year-old retiree was overweight, battled high blood pressure, and her bloodwork showed she was quickly on her way to becoming diabetic.

Most recent statistics show that 29 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes. An estimated 86 million have prediabetes, and Stokes is one of them.

Having spent more than $7,000 on various diet programs and special foods over the years, Stokes all but gave up on efforts to improve her health. “I knew that I needed to do something, but I just had a hard time getting motivated,” she said.

After coming across a flier about the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), Stokes signed up last year for the 25-session program.

The YMCA is the largest provider of this evidence-based program, which was developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Now one of approximately 42,000 people in the nation who have completed the program, Stokes has lost 20 pounds, her blood pressure has dropped from 140/100 to 124/76, and her Hemoglobin A1C values – which determine a person’s risk for Type 2 diabetes – are now significantly lower.

“I made friends with people who had similar concerns and we were able to exercise together and encourage each other to remain healthy,” said Stokes, who has participated in a 5K race, a golf tournament, organized a neighborhood walking group and has gotten hooked on Zumba classes offered at the YMCA.

The YMCA began offering the program, which is taught in Spanish at some locations, in 2011 to help reduce diabetes in communities across the country, said Lharissa Jacobs, director of Community Health for the YMCA of Greater Houston.

The program is available at eight YMCAs in the Greater Houston area. It is open to the public and financial assistance is available.

“The YMCA’s DPP is a community-based lifestyle improvement program. Its purpose is to empower adults with lasting lifestyle changes that will improve their overall health and reduce their chance of developing Type 2 diabetes,” Jacobs said.

 DID YOU KNOW?

  • Eating too much sugar does not cause diabetes, but being overweight is a risk factor.
  • People with prediabetes may not have any symptoms.
  • An estimated 86 million Americans ages 20 years or older have prediabetes.
  • Of those 86 million Americans, 89 percent have no idea they are at risk for diabetes.
Courtesy of The YMCA

 

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Katy, TX (November 18, 2016) Friends and colleagues at the Texas Heart Institute, join with his family in mourning the death of world-renowned heart surgeon and medical pioneer Dr. Denton A. Cooley.

Cooley, who founded THI as a premier cardiovascular research and education institution in 1962, and served as its surgeon-in chief for more than 40 years, died today at the age of 96 after a long life.

“We’ve lost a dear friend and transformational leader, but the world has lost a medical genius and a great humanitarian,” said THI President Dr. James T. Willerson. “Dr. Cooley dedicated his life to healing hearts, and the number of lives he saved and improved over the years cannot be counted.”

Cooley, a pioneering heart surgery and son of a Houston dentist, was born in 1920. He attended Houston Public Schools and graduated from San Jacinto High School. He then attended The University of Texas at Austin where he was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Cooley was a member of the Southwest Conference Champion basketball teams of that era. He graduated with highest honors and Phi Beta Kappa. He attended The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston for two years and transferred to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore where he graduated in 1944 with highest honors and Alpha Omega Alpha. Cooley completed his surgical residency under Dr. Alfred Blalock, serving for six years with a leave of absence between 1946 and 1948 to serve military duty in the 124th Station Hospital, Linz, Austria. As an intern under Blalock, Cooley assisted in the first “blue-baby” operation, which he referred to as possibly being “the dawn of the modern era of heart surgery.” Upon completing his residency, he joined Russell Brock at Brompton Hospital in London, England where he was senior surgical registrar.

Upon completing his training, Cooley entered the full-time medical faculty of Baylor College of Medicine where he served from 1951 to 1969 when he resigned to lead the Texas Heart Institute, where he was already surgeon-in-chief. Cooley was a member or honorary member of over 50 professional societies around the world and a dozen fraternities and clubs.

Cooley’s list of accomplishments is lengthy. Among his more than 120 honors and awards are the Grand Hamdan International Award for Medical Science presented in Dubai in November 2000; the National Medal of Technology presented by President William “Bill” Clinton in 1999; the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, presented by President Ronald Reagan in 1984; the Theodore Roosevelt award given by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to a varsity athlete who has achieved national recognition in his profession; and the Rene Leriche Prize, the highest honor of the International Surgical Society for cardiovascular contributions. Cooley received the American Surgical Association Medallion of Scientific Achievement for “Distinguished Service to Surgery” in April 2010. He has been named Distinguished Alumnus for both The University of Texas and Johns Hopkins University where he served on the board of trustees. He received honorary degrees from five American and three foreign universities. He was named Honorary Fellow of five Royal Colleges of Surgery: Glasgow, Scotland, Australasia, Ireland, England and Edinburgh. Cooley received decorations from 12 foreign countries including Argentina, Ecuador, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Spain, the Netherlands and Venezuela.

Cooley performed the first successful human heart transplant in the U.S. in 1968 and the first human implantation of a total artificial heart in the world in 1969. He contributed to the techniques for repair and replacement of diseased heart valves and is widely known for his pioneering surgical treatment of cardiac anomalies of infants and children. Cooley served as Texas Children’s Hospital’s first chief of cardiovascular surgery and was a major force behind the creation of Texas Children’s Heart Center, believing young people needed to be treated by surgeons specially trained in pediatric surgery. In doing so, Cooley paved the way for Texas Children’s to be the leading place in the world for pediatric cardiac surgery. Along with his team, Cooley performed over 120,000 open heart operations.

Cooley believed his major professional accomplishment was the creation of the THI and developing a school of surgery. More than 800 surgeons are members of the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society.

The Denton A. Cooley Building completed in 2002 for the THI was provided largely by donations from patients, friends and colleagues. It has facilities for education, research and 12 operating rooms for cardiovascular surgery.

Cooley was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Louise Thomas Cooley and their daughter Florence Talbot Cooley. Dr. Cooley and Mrs. Cooley have five daughters, 16 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. He enjoyed spending time with his family at their ranch and at their Galveston beach house. Cooley enjoyed many hobbies, but was an avid golfer.

To see Cooley speak about his life and career, visit www.dentonacooley.org.

Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital
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Katy, TX (November 17, 2016) Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital has been named a recipient of the 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence. U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker made the announcement today recognizing Memorial Hermann Sugar Land for its outstanding commitment to sustainable excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership.

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“This recognition reaffirms what we set out to do each and every day and that is to provide the very highest level of safe, high quality health care to all of our patients,” says Greg Haralson, Senior Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Sugar Land. “We’ve always seen our overarching strength as ‘family caring for family’ and this recognition doesn’t happen without the commitment and dedication of every member of the Memorial Hermann Sugar Land family. I’m proud of our team and for the care we provide the residents of Sugar Land and Fort Bend County.”

Since the healthcare category was introduced in 1999, only 21 healthcare organizations nationwide have been awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Memorial Hermann Sugar Land becomes the first Houston area hospital and the third in Texas to win the prestigious award.

“This year’s honorees are trailblazers in innovation, small business, health care and sustainable textiles. Their visionary leadership is helping to power the economy and increase our ability to compete globally,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The Commerce Department proudly supports these four outstanding organizations for their unwavering commitment to performance excellence and their dedication to always reaching higher.”

Nationally, more than 1,600 applications have been submitted since the program was established in 1987. To date, just 113 awards have been given in six sectors, education, healthcare, manufacturing, non-profit, service and small business.

“I am incredibly proud of the team at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land for achieving this national recognition for high quality and performance,” said Dr. Benjamin K. Chu, President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System. “This recognition is a testament to the unwavering commitment of our employees and affiliated physicians; it’s extremely gratifying to see our Memorial Hermann Sugar Land team, and their keen focus on delivering exceptional end-to-end-patient care experiences, celebrated on the national stage.”

The 2016 Baldrige Award will be presented at an April 2017 ceremony during the Quest for excellence conference in Baltimore Maryland.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospitals
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Katy, (November 4, 2016) Improving the experience for every patient and family who comes to Texas Children’s Hospital for surgery is a top priority for Dr. Larry H. Hollier Jr., associate surgeon-in-chief for clinical affairs and chief of plastic surgery at Texas Children’s.

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On Nov. 2, Press Ganey presented Hollier with the 2016 Physician of the Year award at its annual National Client Conference in Orlando. Members of the Texas Children’s Ambulatory Surgery Patient Experience Workgroup and leaders throughout the hospital nominated him for the distinguished award.

“We are extremely proud of the extraordinary work being done at Texas Children’s to optimize the care experience for our patients and their families,” said Dr. Charles D. Fraser Jr., surgeon-in-chief and chief of congenital heart surgery at Texas Children’s. “Dr. Larry Hollier has been an outstanding and visionary leader for the surgery service, and his recognition by Press Ganey is a testimony not only to his enormous contributions, but to the effective team spirit we are so proud of at Texas Children’s.”

Hollier has led many patient experience innovations within Texas Children’s Department of Surgery including the Meds to Beds program, which delivers post-surgery medications to a patient’s bedside before discharge; same-day surgery consultation appointments; standardized pre-surgery materials; and a physician communication course, among others. He has also been instrumental in advancing the hospital’s expertise in caring for patients with a range of complex conditions while simultaneously becoming a leader in outcomes measurement and patient experience.

Hollier holds the S. Baron Hardy Endowed Chair in Plastic Surgery at Texas Children’s and serves as professor and chief of plastic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. In addition, he is chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of Smile Train, an international children’s charity that provides free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care worldwide, and serves on the board of the Duke Global Health Institute. Hollier has authored more than 190 articles for scholarly and professional publications, written 37 book chapters and sits on the editorial board of numerous journals. His surgical specialties include craniofacial conditions, cleft lip and palate, and microsurgical hand repair.

Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (November 2, 2016) A visit to the hospital isn’t always a pleasant one, especially for children. However, a special teddy bear aims to help kids through the process with flying colors. United Airlines recently donated 48 Adventure Bears, named “Ben Flyin” to Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital. The bears will be given to children as they undergo outpatient procedures, visit the emergency center, or are admitted to the hospital. This is the second year United Airlines has partnered with Memorial Hermann Katy for the Adventure Bear Program.

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Memorial Hermann Katy provides quality, compassionate healthcare to even the youngest patients, with a Level II neonatal intensive care unit providing intermediate care for infants who require continuous monitoring. The hospital also has a dedicated pediatric unit and a special children’s transport team with specially trained nurses and neonatal and pediatric intensive care physicians, should a child need to be taken to Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital
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Katy, TX (October 26, 2016) Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital recently celebrated volunteers, both past and present, who have supported the hospital’s operations throughout its 35-year history of serving the Katy community.

“The volunteers at Memorial Hermann Katy are just as instrumental as our employees and clinical staff. They show up with smiles and positive attitudes that help facilitate a comfortable and calming environment throughout our hospital,” said Jim Parisi, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Hermann Katy.

While the event recognized all those who have volunteered at the hospital over the past 35 years, it also recognized one special volunteer who has served the hospital since the program’s inception. Avadele Short began volunteering with the hospital shortly after it first opened on Pin Oak Road in 1981, and continues to volunteer today. She received her 10,000-hour pin at the celebration.

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“Avadele is a great example of how the Katy community supports one another. She has been a fixture within this hospital for over three decades, and we appreciate greatly her continued commitment to the patients, staff, and our services,” said Heather Rojas, Manager of volunteers at Memorial Hermann Katy. “We have many volunteers who’ve served at this hospital for more than 10 years and I think it reflects the neighborly attitude that many people in Katy possess.”

The volunteer services program at Memorial Hermann Katy has more than 180 active members but they are always looking for others who would like to serve. Volunteers support both clinical and non-clinical areas, patient transportation, the gift shop and other areas. You can learn more about volunteer opportunities at Memorial Hermann Katy here.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital
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Katy, TX (October 25, 2016) More than 70 Memorial Hermann nurses were recently honored by the Good Samaritan Foundation with Excellence in Nursing Awards.  Nominated by their peers for their passion, leadership, mentorship, and service to the Houston community, Excellence in Nursing Award winners are leaders in hospital, outpatient and academic settings who provide extraordinary and compassionate care and service.

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Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital: Seena John, RN, MSN, CCRN and Karen Coulson, MSN, RN

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Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital: Shelley Mosley, RN; winner William Daniel Karamol, BSN, RN, SMRN; winner Janetha Andrade, RN, BSN, RNC-MNN; Gail Saunders, RN
good-samaritan-2016_memorial-city Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center: Jessica Oliveira, BSN, RN, CPN; Katherine Gautreaux, BSN, RN, CEN, CPEN

 

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Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital

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Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital: David Ng, RN-BC; Neha Deshpande, RN, BSN; Patrick Ermis, RN; Jessica Chavis, RN; Nicole Kerbow, RNC-IBCLC, CLC; Liane Colley, RN, BSN; and Kathryn Tennis, RN

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Good Samaritan 2016 Southeast: Linda Garcia, BSN, RN, CMSRN and Ronald Veach, RN

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Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital: Standing (L to R): Andrew Voelkel, RN; Robert Flores, DNP, RN, MHA, NE-BC, FACHE; and Keerthan Andrade, BSN, PCCN Sitting (L to R): Sherly Mathew, RN; Toke Ogundiya, BSN; and Susy Abraham, BSN,RN, CMSN-BC, PCCN

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TIRR Memorial Hermann: winner Tanya Phillips, Director of Patient Care, Katy Rehabilitation Hospital; DeAnn Roberts, Director of Clinical Effectiveness, TIRR Memorial Hermann; winner Allison Reimers, RN, Clinical Project Manager, Emergency Preparedness Officer, TIRR Memorial Hermann; (standing) Mary Ann Euliarte, Vice President of Operations, Chief Nursing Officer, TIRR Memorial Hermann; Lalita Thompson, RN, TIRR Memorial Hermann; Ronda McKnight, Clinical Manager, Katy Rehabilitation Hospital.  Not pictured is winner Bernice Brown, LVN, TIRR Memorial Hermann

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Memorial Herman The Woodlands Hospital: Tamara Herschmann, MSN, RN, CNOR; Pauline Limsiaco, BSN, RNC; Bridgette Singleton, ADN, RNC; Ma Linda Braza, RN,BSN,CMSRN; Emefa Yador Arnaout, MSN, MHA ,RN NE-BC; Lovelyn D. Agleam, RN,BSN,CMSRN; and Vicki Tucker, BSN, RNC

Not Pictured are the winners from Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and Children’s Memorial Hospital

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (October 14, 2016) For the past year and a half, Memorial Hermann Life Flight® crew members have been working alongside first responders throughout the Greater Houston area to prepare them to respond and provide timely emergency care in active shooter situations. Life Flight is the only air medical transport service in the Southeast region to offer this specialized training, which is part of a national training program called Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC). By coordinating emergency response efforts and operating under a single protocol, first responders can work quicker and more effectively to identify and treat the injured, helping prevent any additional fatalities and casualties.

“Traditionally, training for emergency medical services providers and paramedics has largely focused on preparing them to respond to natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and floods,” said George Tarver III, clinical educator and senior flight medic for Life Flight. “But, few of these agencies have been trained on how to respond to active shooter events. That lack of preparedness means that EMS and paramedics who are thrust into these situations must wait for law enforcement to clear the scene first before they move in to provide lifesaving patient care. In some situations, victims may wait several hours for treatment, a lengthy delay at a time when swift medical care is critical.”

Today, Life Flight has trained more than 200 EMS providers, paramedics, firefighters, SWAT team members and corporate emergency response teams, among other groups across the Greater Houston area. The training, developed by the National Association of Emergency Technicians, has garnered heightened attention in recent years amid the dramatic rise in the number of active shooter incidents across the United States.

Such high-risk emergency situations can be chaotic and involve multiple agencies that have no history of working together, Tarver said. Life Flight recognized a need for this training to help bridge the gap in the Houston area among the array of law enforcement agencies, healthcare providers, emergency medical services, fire departments, and federal agencies that would be called upon to respond in such an incident. The 16-hour training program, which is comprised of classroom work and role playing scenarios, is designed to prepare various agencies to work together during hectic mass casualty events.

“By exposing first responders to situations they have never encountered before, they learn quickly how best to evaluate the risks in dangerous situations and make quick decisions that can mean the difference between life and death for the victims of an active shooter incident,” Tarver said. “Through this training, multiple agencies learn strategies and techniques that can help boost survivability in tragedies of gun violence.”

Agencies that received the training said they found it beneficial in preparing their first responders to react swiftly to unexpected crisis situations.

“Training and practice are the key to the success of any operation, especially tactical ones,” said Patrick Langan, EMS Field Supervisor for the Montgomery County Hospital District, which participated in a recent training session. “While we hope that our staff will not have to respond to an active shooter situation, we want them to be prepared. Training our staff on the latest in emergency tactical care ensures we give the best care and service to our county residents. It also allows tactical teams from multiple jurisdictions to practice with the people they will be working alongside during a possible incident.”

The training is a continuation of Life Flight’s guiding principles, which were established under the guidance of legendary trauma surgeon James H. “Red” Duke, M.D., to help educate the first responder community and improve trauma care in the pre-hospital setting, Tarver said.

“Offering the TECC program speaks volumes about the evolution of Life Flight over the past four decades,” he said. “Because of the strong military background of most of our crew, we’ve always had crew members who were trained in tactical medicine. Now, we are sharing that expertise with the entire first responder community as we continue to pay tribute to Dr. Duke’s legacy of saving lives.”

Watch footage of a recent active shooter training hosted by Life Flight.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (October 12, 2016) Every October, it seems the United States is awash in pink. Pink ribbons spring up on vehicles and clothing, and even professional sports organizations trade in their team colors for pink. Many organizations have aided in breast cancer research, advocacy and education, and Solis Mammography, the nation’s largest independent provider of breast imaging services, applauds this important work. Since 1982, the pink ribbon has made it acceptable for men and women to talk more openly about women’s breast health and associate the pink ribbon with breast cancer awareness. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, 2D mammography is covered 100 percent by nearly all insurance plans. And yet the sad reality is that almost half of American women who have health insurance are still not getting their annual mammogram.

“At Solis, we’ve done our research and understand that too many women neglect their annual screening, not because they’re busy, but because of the stress and anxiety related to this unique test. Much of that stress is alleviated, however, when women are educated about their options. That’s what Rethink P.I.N.K. is all about,” says Connie Oliver, vice president with Solis Mammography. “The pink ribbon has done a lot of good, but it’s also caused a lot of fear – fear that we can mitigate by providing a better experience, accurate and fast results, less callbacks, less discomfort and easy access. Put simply, there is a difference, and when women experience that difference, they make better choices.”

In October, especially, many will hear critics say that mammograms are not foolproof. And while that’s true (no screening test is perfect) – mammography is the closest thing we have to a cure, and it remains the gold standard for preventative breast health. And with the advent of 3D Mammography, accuracy is getting even better with research showing a 54 percent increase in detection and a 37 percent decrease in unnecessary callbacks, according to the American Journal of Roentgenology 2013.

At Solis Mammography, they understand that no one wants a mammogram – what they want is peace of mind in knowing that their screening was exceptionally accurate and came back clean. For those women who discover a breast health problem, early detection is key to a successful outcome, meaning not just survival, but also the potential for better and less invasive treatment options. For this reason, Solis Mammography (http://www.solismammo.com/) is launching its second year of a “Rethink P.I.N.K.” campaign to encourage women to focus on breast health rather than cancer and to get better educated about their options.

When it comes to Solis Mammography’s Rethink P.I.N.K. campaign, “P.I.N.K.” evolves from a color to an acronym, representing:

 

  • P = Peace of Mind. Solis Mammography’s Peace of Mind Mammogram™ demonstrates its promise to offer such an exceptional experience, women won’t avoid the mammogram they need.
  • I = Incredible Service. Deeply committed to patient-centric services, Solis offers online scheduling, easy tablet registration, convenient locations, compassionate care and fast results delivered by secure email within 24 to 48 hours.
  • N = Not what you Expect. While many women associate mammograms with pain, Solis’ breast-dedicated technologists are highly trained in compression and placement, with the result of 89 percent of their patients reporting little to no discomfort during their mammogram.
  • K = Knowledge is Power. Knowledge includes remembering that while 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, 7 in 8 will not. That’s 88 percent of women who can rest easy, knowing they’ll likely get an all clear from their screening. And for the 12 percent who discover an anomaly, the earlier they know, the better their options for treatment and positive outcomes.

 

“For over 30 years, we’ve kept our focus on women’s health and comfort,” Oliver adds. “We recommend women talk to their doctors about their own unique health histories and create an exam schedule that’s right for them. Rest assured, when they’re ready, we’ll be here to make sure she has an exceptional experience with exceptionally accurate results.”

 

About Rethink P.I.N.K.

Solis Mammography created the Rethink P.I.N.K. campaign in 2015 to coincide with October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to shift the focus of messaging around breast cancer to one of positivity and breast health: P = Peace of Mind, I = Incredible Service, N = No Discomfort, and K = Knowledge is Power.

 

About Solis Mammography

Celebrating 30 years in breast imaging, Solis Mammography is a specialized healthcare provider focused on delivering women an exceptional mammography experience. Headquartered in Addison, Texas, Solis currently operates 41 centers across six major markets – North Texas; Houston, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; Columbus, Ohio; Greensboro, North Carolina; and, through its recent acquisition of Washington Radiology Associates (WRA), the D.C. metropolitan area. The company operates both wholly-owned centers and multiple successful joint ventures with hospital partners. Solis Mammography (including WRA), serves more than 600,000 patients each year with highly-specialized imaging services including screening and diagnostic mammography (2D and 3D), computer-aided detection, breast ultrasound, stereotactic biopsy and ultrasound-guided biopsy. For more information, visit www.SolisMammo.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Pinterest, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Courtesy of Solis Mammography
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Katy, TX (October 11, 2016) Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Associates (MNA) and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth are pleased to announce the addition of Joseph Amos, M.D., a clinical assistant professor at the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery and Interventional Pain Management Specialist at Mischer Neuroscience Associates in Katy and Memorial City.

Photo by Dwight C. Andrews/The University of Texas Medical School at Houston Office of Communications Dr. Christina Burrows - Neurology
Photo by Dwight C. Andrews/The University of Texas Medical School at Houston Office of Communications
Dr. Christina Burrows – Neurology

Dr. Amos focuses on comprehensive pain management, and has a special interest in treating complex regional pain syndrome, musculoskeletal/myofascial pain syndromes, neck and low back pain, post-laminectomy pain syndrome, radiculopathies and sports-related injuries.

“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Amos to our team at Mischer Neuroscience Associates,” said Dong Kim, M.D., Director of the Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at the Texas Medical Center and chair of Neurosurgery at UTHealth. “His expertise in pain management and commitment to improving patients’ function and quality of life will be of great service to the community in West Houston.”

Dr. Amos is board certified in both pain medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation by the American Board of Medical Specialties. He serves as an expert panelist in pain management for the Texas Medical Board, and has received numerous awards and recognitions during his academic training. He has contributed to research in the Journal of Biology and Chemistry, Journal of Virology, Cell, Journal of Genetics and Development and Developmental Genetics.

Prior to joining MNA, Dr. Amos was in private practice serving the Houston community. He received his medical degree at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston after graduating magna cum laude from Texas A&M University in biochemistry. Dr. Amos completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Baylor College of Medicine/UTHealth Alliance for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, where he was named chief resident.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

 

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Katy, TX (October 6, 2016) Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus recently unveiled the newly expanded perioperative suite, which includes four new operating rooms, a new procedure room, three new call rooms, as well as a new doctor’s lounge, staff kitchen and break area. The expansion brings the total number of operating rooms at West Campus to eight and doubles the total number of procedure rooms.

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“Our team is thrilled about the growth of the perioperative suite,” said Dr. Allen Milewicz, chief surgical officer at West Campus. “This expansion will allow us to do longer, more complex surgeries and help us increase the scope of services we offer. This is all to better meet the needs of our patients and families.”

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The recent expansion of the perioperative suite is part of the ongoing three-year $50 million capital improvement effort that will help expand West Campus’ capacity and capabilities. To date the following projects have been completed:

  • Additional office and administrative support space for dedicated physicians and providers
  • An 18-bed expansion of the hospital’s acute care capacity, including an eight-bed special isolation unit designed for children with highly contagious infectious diseases
  • Conversion of offices within outpatient clinics into additional exam rooms to increase access to subspecialty care
  • A dedicated suite for Interventional Radiology services

“A little more than five years ago, we stood in this same place with our first surgical patient and cut the ribbon to our perioperative suite,” said Matt Schaefer, president of West Campus. “Since then, we have met the surgical needs of more than 20,000 children. This expansion increases our ability to reach even more children and provide them with the highest quality care in their community, closer to home.”

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Upcoming projects include a new 14 exam room clinic for Neurology, Renal and Dermatology and the addition of 22 pediatric intensive care unit beds.

Located at I-10 and Barker Cypress, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus offers inpatient and outpatient services and houses the only dedicated 24/7 pediatric emergency room in Greater West Houston. To learn more about West Campus, visit texaschildrens.org/westcampus.

Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital
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Katy, TX (October 5, 2016) Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at the Texas Medical Center (MNI) and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth are pleased to announce the addition of  Yoshua Esquenazi, M.D., an assistant professor in the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery and Mischer Neuroscience Associates.

Photo by Dwight C. Andrews/McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Office of Communications Dr. Yoshua Esquenazi - Neurosurgery
Photo by Dwight C. Andrews/McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Office of Communications
Dr. Yoshua Esquenazi – Neurosurgery

A graduate of McGovern Medical School’s Neurosurgery Residency Program in 2015, Dr. Esquenazi completed a neuro-oncology and spine tumor fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York.  He has special expertise in spine and brain metastases, lymphoma, glioblastoma, meningiomas, brainstem tumors and more. His approach integrates advanced techniques such as total resection and reconstruction for spinal tumors, brain mapping for awake craniotomies, stereotactic laser ablation, intraventricular endoscopy, and radiosurgery to enhance safety and achieve the best outcomes. He is also fluent in Spanish.

“Dr. Esquenazi greatly enhances our program, and especially our ability to treat these difficult tumors involving the spine,” said Dong Kim, M.D., Director of MNI and Chair of Neurosurgery. “He was an outstanding resident and received additional experience and training in New York.”

Dr. Esquenazi received his medical degree at the Universidad Anahuac in Mexico City, graduating as valedictorian. He participated in student exchange rotations at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he met Dr. Kim. He completed a general surgery internship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and his neurosurgery residency training at McGovern Medical School. His brain and spine tumor fellowship was with Philip Gutin, M.D., and Mark Bilsky, M.D., at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (October 3, 2016) Two Houston Methodist hospitals received the highest honors today from Vizient (formerly UHC), an alliance of the nation’s leading academic medical centers.

Both Houston Methodist Hospital and Houston Methodist West Hospital were honored with the 2016 Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Award given to hospitals and academic medical centers that have demonstrated superior performance as measured by Vizient’s Quality and Accountability Study, conducted annually since 2005.

Houston Methodist Hospital, ranked No. 9 among academic medical centers and Houston Methodist West Hospital was one of 14 community hospitals honored. This was the first time Vizient has recognized community hospitals.

The study was designed to help academic medical centers identify structures and processes associated with high performance in quality and safety across a broad spectrum of patient care. The Institute of Medicine’s six domains of care—safety, timeliness, effectiveness, efficiency, equity, and patient centeredness—were again used as a guide in structuring the study criteria.

This year more than 100 academic medical centers and 124 community hospitals were included in the analysis, which used performance data from a variety of sources, including Vizient’s Clinical Data Base, Vizient’s Core Measures Data Base, the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network.

“This is a great honor because it identifies Houston Methodist hospitals as being focused on safety and quality,” said Marc Boom, M.D., president and CEO of Houston Methodist. “Our physicians and employees are dedicated to providing patients the best care possible. This is why our flagship hospital won this national award three years in a row and why Houston Methodist West was also recognized this year in the first ever community hospital ranking. This recognition belongs to our employees and physicians.”

Courtesy of Houston Methodist Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (September 29, 2016) By far, Harris County sees the greatest amount of newly diagnosed breast cancer cases in women in the state. Every year, an average of 2,295 new cases are diagnosed, according to the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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As treatments for all types of cancer become more effective, the number of people living beyond a cancer diagnosis continues to grow rapidly. This is why the YMCA of Greater Houston is offering free, 12-week classes that have proven through studies with the Yale Cancer Center and the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Institute to:

  • Meet or exceed the recommended amount of physical activity for cancer survivors
  • Help survivors significantly increase their cardiovascular endurance
  • Increase cancer survivors’ overall quality of life and decrease cancer-related fatigue

Called LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, the evidence-based program is open to cancer survivors ages 18 and up currently in treatment or who have completed treatment. A YMCA membership is not required and the program is of no cost to the individual.

Two, 90-minute weekly sessions are modified to meet all participants’ needs. Some participants perform gentle stretching and low-impact exercises while sitting in a chair. Others may lift light weights and engage in modified Zumba movements. Some use the treadmill and exercise bikes to build strength and balance.

All instructors are certified with 16 hours of training.

“There is something about being physically active and having fun together that really bonds people in a special way,” said Lharissa Jacobs, director of Community Health at the YMCA of Greater Houston. “People feel their LIVESTRONG group can understand them in a way that their friends and families might not be able to because they have all faced the same challenges.”

The LIVESTRONG program also includes a fellowship component that allows participants to share their stories. And, guest speakers discuss topics such as nutrition and mind-body connection.

“Our participants are so passionate about the program. Some say they couldn’t imagine getting up and leaving the house except for this program,” Jacobs said. “Now, here they are hanging out with their friends at the Y. After the program wraps up, they don’t want to stop. They want mentor the next group.”

With more than 2,700 YMCAs in 39 states, the Y is uniquely positioned to reach a great amount of cancer survivors through it wellness centers – including the 12 centers participating in the LIVESTRONG program in Greater Houston.
Participating centers are:

Brenda and John Duncan YMCA (Spring Branch)
Bradley McWilliams YMCA at Cypress Creek
Edgar A. Smith Family YMCA (Webster)
Fort Bend Family YMCA
Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch (Katy)
Lake Houston Family YMCA
Langham Creek Family YMCA (Copperfield)
Perry Family YMCA (League City)
The Woodlands Family YMCA at Shadowbend
Trotter Family YMCA (Galleria)
Vic Coppinger Family YMCA (Pearland)
Wendel D. Ley Family YMCA (Wallisville)
Weekley Family YMCA (Bellaire)
All classes have a rolling start date, so please contact your local YMCA for more information. You can also contact betterhealth@ymcahouston.org or Lharissa Jacobs at 713-758-9186 or ljacobs@ymcahouston.org

Courtesy of the Houston area YMCA
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Katy, TX (September 27, 2016) The American Cancer Society says prostate cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in men, and screenings often find the disease before a patient has any symptoms. That’s why physicians affiliated with Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital urge men to consider beginning annual prostate cancer screenings between age 40 and 50.

“A patient’s family history, age, and ethnicity play a big role in when they should get screened for prostate cancer,” says Ramesh Krishnan, M.D., a urologist affiliated with Memorial Hermann Katy. “For example, men who have more than one immediate family member who had prostate cancer at an early age should get checked at 40. African American men are at a greater risk for prostate cancer, so we usually suggest getting screened around 45. The average man who has no family history of prostate cancer in his immediately family can usually wait until age 50. Have a conversation with a physician about your risk factors, that way you can make an informed decision about getting screened.”

Prostate cancer symptoms include a need to urinate frequently, painful or burning urination, painful ejaculation, or blood in urine or semen. However, the American Cancer Society says not all men who have prostate cancer experience symptoms of the disease.

The most common prostate screening method involves a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Dr. Krishnan says the test has made great strides over the last few years in detecting prostate cancer.

“Not only has the PSA blood test become more accurate, but there are additional blood tests that look at several different types of PSA to help us determine the likelihood of a patient having prostate cancer,” says Dr. Krishnan.

The results of the PSA test will help your physician determine whether further testing is needed, and how long a man may wait until having his next screening. Dr. Krishnan says decisions surrounding both prostate cancer screening and treatment are very personal.

“Probably the most valuable thing a man can have when it comes to dealing with prostate cancer is a trusted physician. The decision whether or not to undergo screening, as well as prostate cancer treatment options, varies greatly depending on each man’s health, values, and preferences. Find a doctor who will listen to your concerns and your personal values to make sure you weigh all the options,” encourages Dr. Krishnan.

Dr. Krishnan is board certified by the American Board of Urology and received his medical degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. He sees patients at both Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital and Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Krishnan visit ScheduleNow online or call 713.830.9100.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospitals

 

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Katy, TX (September 21, 2016) ER Katy put together important information about the Zika Virus: http://erkaty.com/2016/09/07/zika-virus-risks-prevention/.  Read below for further information.

A Guide To What You Should Know About The Zika Virus
It can be a bit scary and confusing to hear about an incurable disease with potentially serious birth defects making it’s way around the globe. The World Health Organization has declared Zika a global public health emergency. As the number of reported Zika Virus cases continue to grow, we at ER Katy want to provide our patients information on how to protect themselves and loved ones from this growing health concern. Here are few things that you should know about the Zika Virus.

What is Zika?
Zika is a mosquito-borne infection. It can often times be confused with the flu. It presents with mostly mild symptoms. These symptoms can last anywhere from 2-7 days. It is estimated that up to 80% of people infected with Zika never even display symptoms. Symptoms include: mild fever, headaches, joint pain, skin rash, conjunctivitis, and muscle pain. At this time there is no known cure or vaccines for Zika.

How is Zika transmitted?
Zika is transmitted by three different methods. The most common way it is transmitted is through a mosquito bite. Blood transfusions and sexual contact are the other two ways that it can be spread.

Where is Zika?
Zika cases have been reported in Africa, South and Central America, South East Asia and the Pacific Islands. The US has also seen growing cases of the virus as well, with Miami and Puerto Rico being areas of particular concern. Here is a link to the US State Department’s health travel advisories. It is suggested that before you travel, to consult the list and take necessary precautions.    At the time of this article there are 2,517 cases of the Zika virus in the US. Of those 2,487 cases are people who travelled internationally to areas of concern.   Within Texas, there are currently 160 cases and you can visit this resource, which is updated daily, to see the number of cases by county.   For current information on the number of Zika cases reported by region here is the link to the CDC data on outbreaks.

Serious side effects of Zika?
Research has found a link between the Zika virus and a higher instance of Guillian-Barre Syndrome in adults. Guillian-Barre Syndrome is a condition where the immune system attacks nerves following an infection, resulting in muscle weakness and paralysis. For more information on this condition click here. Pregnant women are of great concern when it comes to Zika because it has been linked to serious birth defects, such as microcephaly. At this time the likelihood of this connection is undetermined. Because of this concern, the State of Texas is providing pregnant women on Medicaid with access to free EPA approved bug repellent. For more information on this initiative visit this link.

How to prevent Zika?
Fortunately there are many things that you can do to protect yourself from contracting this virus. Prevention is key. New technologies are available which provide effective protection without reliance on sprays. These solutions can be expensive in terms of recurring supply costs but they do work well and provide an alternative to skin based chemical applications.    Traditional methods can be more feasible. Be diligent with insect repellant to prevent mosquito bites. Make sure it is approved by the EPA. For more information on which bug repellent you should be using click here.   Full-length clothing, and clothing designed with InsectShield, will help limit skin exposure, reducing your risk of bites.   Check travel advisories before travel and take necessary precautions when travelling to areas of concern, such as delaying travel or the use of mosquito netting and air conditioning.  Drain, treat or cover areas of standing water whenever possible. “Mosquito Dunks” are environmentally and animal friendly for areas with standing water (including bird baths).   Finally, avoid sexual contact with people who have recently travelled to cautioned areas or have an increased risk for the virus. There are Zika cases in Texas that have been contracted via sexual contact with persons infected in Florida.

What if I suspect Zika?
If you suspect that you have contracted Zika, it is very important to contact your health care provider immediately. A simple blood test can determine if you are infected and a treatment plan can be established.  The health of you and your family are of utmost importance to us here at ERKaty. We are happy to address any further concerns or questions about the Zika virus or any other health concerns you might have. We are open 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Contact us at 281-395-9900 or visit ER Katy.com    

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Katy, TX (September 20, 2016) Memorial Hermann Orthopedic & Spine Hospital (MHOSH) today announced it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Knee Replacement. It is the first hospital in Houston to earn this advanced certification, which is given to Joint Commission-accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers seeking to elevate the quality, consistency and safety of their services and patient care.

To earn this designation, the hospital went through a rigorous, on-site review from The Joint Commission as experts evaluated compliance with advanced disease-specific care standards and total hip and total knee replacement requirements, including orthopedic consultation and pre-operative, intraoperative and post-surgical orthopedic surgeon follow-care, among other criteria.

Memorial Hermann Orthopedic & Spine Hospital is honored to receive advanced certification from The Joint Commission, the premier healthcare quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” said Ed Tufaro, Vice President of Operations at MHOSH. “As the first hospital in Houston to earn this accreditation, we will continue raising the standards for patient safety and quality of care for the increasing number of patients undergoing total hip or total knee replacement surgery.”

Operating since 2006, MHOSH brings Memorial Hermann’s exemplary standards for patient safety, quality and excellence to a facility that is focused on orthopedic and spine care. MHOSH staff is specially trained and dedicated to helping patients undergo inpatient procedures that restore or improve functionality and allow them to return to an active lifestyle. More than 90 percent of MHOSH patients are able to walk on the same day as their hip or knee replacement surgery, according to the past 12 months of data. In addition, MHOSH patients were above the 90th percentile as compared to all hospitals in reporting being satisfied with their care.

“This recognition is a true testament to our dedication to provide the latest in surgical technology to provide patients with the best possible outcome,” said Dr. Kenneth Mathis, an orthopedic surgeon and physician leader of the Joint Center at MHOSH and associate professor in the department of Orthopedic Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “We are committed to helping joint replacement patients regain mobility quickly after surgery, which is critical to their overall health and happiness.”

The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Knee Replacement was established in 2016 and is awarded for a two-year period. The advanced certification was developed in response to the growing number of patients undergoing total hip or total knee replacement surgery, as well as the increased focus on clinical evidence-based patient care as it relates to pain management, quality of life issues, functional limitation in mobility and the return to normal daily activities.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (September 15, 2016) Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Associates (MNA) and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth are pleased to announce the addition of Justin P. Morgan, M.D.

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Dr. Morgan will serve as a neurologist at Mischer Neuroscience Associates-Cypress and Mischer Neuroscience Associates-Katy. He will also serve as a clinical assistant professor at the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at McGovern Medical School.

Dr. Morgan is a fellowship-trained neurologist who practices general neurology with special interests in electromyography and nerve conduction studies, electroencephalography and intraoperative monitoring. His clinical research interests focus on electromyography and nerve conduction studies, electroencephalography and intraoperative monitoring.

He also has a special interest in treating neuromuscular disorders, neck and spine disorders, movement disorders, epilepsy, stroke, chronic headaches, traumatic brain injury, dementia and multiple sclerosis.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Morgan join our outstanding team of neurologists at Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Associates,” said Jose Diaz, M.D., neurologist at Mischer Neuroscience Associates and clinical assistant professor at McGovern Medical School’s Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery. “Dr. Morgan’s expertise in electroencephalography and intraoperative monitoring, and in the treatment of neurological disorders, will be of great service to the communities of Katy and Cypress.”

Prior to joining MNA, Dr. Morgan earned his medical degree at McGovern Medical School. After completing a preliminary year of internal medicine at The University of Texas Southwestern’s Austin program, he returned to Houston to complete a neurology residency at McGovern Medical School, where he was chief resident. Following residency, he trained as a clinical neurophysiology fellow at UTHealth.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (September 14, 2016) Brian Dean, Senior Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC), has been named to the Houston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2016.

Photo by Dwight C. Andrews/The University of Texas Medical School at Houston Office of Communications Brian Dean, MPH, MBA. VP, Chief Financial Officer. Interim Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center
Photo by Dwight C. Andrews/The University of Texas Medical School at Houston Office of Communications

The prestigious award annually recognizes 40 of the Greater Houston area’s top up-and-coming professionals under the age of 40. Honorees have to be nominated and are chosen by judges based on leadership, overcoming challenges and community involvement. There were over 500 nominees for the award this year, according to the HBJ.

“What a humbling experience to be included in such a wonderful group of talented individuals who make a tremendous difference in the lives of Houstonians,” said Dean, who will celebrate his 40th birthday later this month. “This recognition is not about me, but rather the amazing work that our team here at the hospital does every day to heal others and save lives.”

Dean has already had a significant impact on Memorial Hermann during his short time with the System. After serving in leadership roles at healthcare systems across the South, he joined the TMC Campus in 2013 as Chief Financial Officer. Dean worked quickly to optimize financial outcomes and improve overall productivity for the Campus, earning high praise and a swift promotion to CEO within two years of joining the institution, following the promotion of his predecessor Craig Cordola to Regional President for the System.

“Since coming on board, Brian has furthered our reputation as a provider of high quality, patient-centered, world-class care by working closely with our academic medical partners at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth as well as our private physicians,” said Cordola. “He’s committed to a strategic vision and his pursuit of that vision will no doubt ensure that, together, we’re providing patients and families with the best, safest and most innovative care for years to come. His contributions to our organization have been considerable and he has a very bright future as an emerging leader in the healthcare industry.”

Despite his hectic, round-the-clock schedule at work, Dean – a married father of two young daughters – has managed to remain heavily involved in community outreach. He is a licensed pilot who spends his free time flying and regularly volunteers his resources for Angel Flight, a non-profit that provides free air transportation to healthcare appointments for people with medical needs.

“I often get asked, ‘What does success look like?’” Dean said. “Here’s what success looks like to me: As a campus did we contribute to the community by helping bring people from a state of injury or illness back to health and wellbeing? As a clinical team, did we bring the most innovative tools and therapies to our patients in order to heal them faster, safer and more effectively? As a leader, did I help our employees achieve their short- and long-term career aspirations? Success is all about what and how we give back, both to the communities we serve and the teams we lead.”

Due to the plethora of impressive 40 Under 40 applicants this year, HBJ also named 16 individuals as 40 Under 40 Class of 2016 Honorable Mentions, including Mario Garner, Senior Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Pearland Hospital, and John Kueven, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Memorial Herman Katy Hospital.

This is the second year in a row that Memorial Hermann employees have landed a spot on HBJ’s elite 40 Under 40 list. Last year, honorees included Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital Senior Vice President and CEO Heath Rushing and Manish Shah, M.D., UTHealth pediatric neurosurgeon affiliated with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and the Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at the Texas Medical Center.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (September 13, 2016) Texas Children’s Hospital is proud to announce Matt Schaefer as president of Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. For more information about West Campus, visit texaschildrens.org/westcampus.

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Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, Houston’s first community hospital designed exclusively for children, was created to respond to the growing need for expert pediatric health care in West Houston, one of the city’s most rapidly expanding communities. The hospital offers expert care in a location that is convenient and accessible for area families.

“As an experienced leader serving the West Houston community, I know Matt will do an outstanding job guiding the future of West Campus,” said Michelle Riley-Brown, executive vice president of Texas Children’s.

Schaefer, who joined Texas Children’s in 2009, has been part of the West Campus leadership team from its inception. His role has progressed from one of strategic and financial planning, to business and support service leadership, to his most recent role as vice president of West Campus.

“I am humbled to serve the community in this new role,” Schaefer said. “As West Campus continues to grow, our goal is to expand the services we provide to best meet the needs of the children and families we care for.”

Schaefer completed his undergraduate degree at Texas A&M University and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Rice University.

Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (September 7, 2016) To kick off Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Texas Children’s Cancer Center patients, families and doctors came together at West Campus to tie more than 600 gold ribbons in honor of each child diagnosed with cancer in the past year at Texas Children’s. Gold is the symbolic color for childhood cancer awareness and the ceremony honored children and families who have been touched by pediatric cancer. The event began with the Go Gold parade, where patients, families and doctors wore their gold through the halls of West Campus and made their way outside to the ribbon tying ceremony. At the ceremony, guests enjoyed a moving speech from a patient family, encouraging words from Texas Children’s staff and a special performance by Christian Spear, long-term childhood cancer survivor and Purple Songs Can Fly staff songwriter, and Anita Kruse, Purple Songs Can Fly founder and executive director.

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As the largest pediatric cancer center in the country, Texas Children’s Cancer Center provides personalized, high-quality, family-centered care to children, adolescents and young adults with cancer. Its patients come from more than 35 states and 26 countries to receive the most advanced therapies.  Physicians at Texas Children’s Cancer Center are world-renowned leaders in their field and provide state-of-the-art medical treatment for their patients.

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Texas Children’s Cancer Center is also a recognized leader in clinical and laboratory research for pediatric cancer, leading the translation of break-through research findings from the laboratory into the clinic. The team is at the forefront of childhood cancer research with over 350 researchers in 42 laboratories performing cutting-edge science and conducting more clinical trials than any other pediatric cancer center in the nation.

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To learn more about Texas Children’s Cancer Center, visit texaschildrens.org/cancer.

All photos courtesy of Allen S. Kramer/Texas Children’s Hospital

Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (September 2, 2016) When Katy Hospital first opened in 1981 on Pin Oak Road, it had 100 beds, four operating rooms and two delivery rooms. Over the years, that small hospital grew as the community did, eventually   relocating and expanding into what is now known as Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital.  This month, the hospital celebrated 35 years of service in the Katy community.

Long Time Employees at Memorial Hermann Katy

“We are proud to have invested more than three decades into advancing the health of the citizens of Katy.  In a sense, we have grown up alongside the city, expanding our services and specialties to keep up with the growing community demands,” says Jim Parisi, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital.

Memorial Hermann Katy is a 208-bed facility featuring a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and has earned the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers. The hospital also serves as a Memorial Hermann Life Flight® base for the west Houston metro area.  Current construction is under way to expand emergency services and provide more space for surgical and specialty care.

Physicians who’ve been with the hospital since it first opened say all the growth has been for the best.

“We are providing a higher level of care than ever before.  When Memorial Hermann purchased the hospital in 1999, you could tell they were committed to the community,” says Dudley Koy, M.D.

Internal medicine physician, Vish Kalapatapu M.D., grew up in Katy and served as a past Chief of Staff at Memorial Hermann Katy. He’s being inducted into the James E. Taylor High School Alumni Hall of Fame this Friday at Rhodes Stadium. Dr. Kalapatapu recognizes the importance of the hospital’s many quality and safety achievements.  “As someone who grew up in this community, I’m proud to practice at Memorial Hermann Katy, with its record of high-quality and safety.  It’s exciting to see how it continues to improve and expand the services it offers Katy families. ”

Memorial Hermann Katy employees say their commitment to the community is the driving force behind all of their decisions.

“People in Katy are fiercely loyal to their city, and so are we. I am excited about the future of Memorial Hermann Katy and our ability to provide high-quality healthcare in an easily accessible environment,” said John Kueven, Vice President of Operations, Memorial Hermann Katy.

It’s a sentiment that’s echoed by long-time employee Barbara Oswald, R.N. Oswald began working at the hospital in 1982. She says she sees a bright future for Katy.

“I feel proud of the change and growth I’ve seen in Katy. I hope that as the hospital grows, we can continue to make an even bigger impact in people’s lives, “ says Oswald. “We’ve achieved so much over the years, and I am confident that Memorial Hermann Katy is in good hands as we move into the future.”

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospitals
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Katy, TX (August 31, 2016) August 23 was a monumental day for women and women’s breast health, reported Solis Mammography. Cigna announced that they would begin providing insurance coverage for 3D mammograms, effective immediately, becoming the first national private insurer to cover 3D mammograms. Medicare announced coverage in January 2015, and for the past 20 months, certain private insurers have added coverage, but only in select regional markets.

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Cigna based the change on recently published clinical research from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), which highlighted the benefits of 3D Mammograms. The insurer will provide coverage of 3D mammograms for annual breast cancer screening for all women over age 40 and for high-risk women starting at age 25.

As mandated by the Affordable Care Act, nearly all insurance carriers already covered the cost of standard 2D screening mammogram at 100 percent with no out-of-pocket costs. This new announcement means that women covered by Cigna will be able to benefit from the improved technology and accuracy associated with 3D mammography™. Solis Mammography– the nation’s largest independent provider of screening and diagnostics for breast health, serving more than 600,000 patients a year – hopes this signals the start of more private insurers following suit in the very near future.

Key facts about 3D mammography:

  • Research shows that 3D mammography results in a 54 percent increase in early detection.[1]
  • That same research also shows 3D mammography decreases recalls by 37 percent.[2]
  • All women benefit from 3D mammography, but it is particularly helpful if a woman has dense breast tissue, family history of breast cancer, fibrocystic changes and/or a history of frequent callbacks from mammograms.
  • Solis Mammography’s chief medical officer, Dr. Stephen Rose, presented to the FDA the very first patient in the country      diagnosed using 3D mammography in 2011. The FDA approved 3D mammography the same year.
  • In 2014, Rose co-authored Scientific Paper of the Year: Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis in Combination with Digital Mammography, Journal of the American Medical Association, June 25, 2014. The paper’s findings state that 3D mammography increased early detection while reducing recalls.
  • A physician’s order is not required for either 2D or 3D screening mammograms.
  • There is no time or discomfort difference between 3D versus 2D mammogram screening.

“This is a major milestone for women’s breast health. For years, radiologists and referring physicians have attested to the importance of early detection in saving lives and in offering women the best treatment options. 3D mammography represents the best technology available, offering more and clearer images of breast tissue,” said James Polfreman, president and CEO, Solis Mammography. “This announcement by Cigna represents a milestone event, as many women wanted the benefits of 3D but couldn’t afford it without coverage by their providers. We are excited about our ability to deliver the best possible mammogram, read by subspecialized breast radiologists, to more women covered by Cigna in every market we serve. For those unsure about their coverage, we highly recommend those women contact their provider to urge for 3D mammography within their plan.”

About Solis Mammography

Celebrating 30 years in breast imaging, Solis Mammography is a specialized healthcare provider focused on delivering women an exceptional mammography experience. Headquartered in Addison, Texas, Solis currently operates 41 centers across six major markets – North Texas; Houston, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; Columbus, Ohio; Greensboro, North Carolina, and through its recent acquisition of Washington Radiology Associates (WRA), the D.C. metropolitan area. The company operates both wholly-owned centers and multiple successful joint ventures with hospital partners. Solis Mammography (including WRA), serves more than 600,000 patients each year with highly-specialized imaging services including screening and diagnostic mammography (2D and 3D), computer-aided detection, breast ultrasound, stereotactic biopsy and ultrasound-guided biopsy. For more information, visit www.SolisMammo.com, like them on Facebook, follow them on Pinterest, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

 

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Katy, TX (August 26, 2016) The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced the 2015 performance year results for the Medicare Shared Savings Program and the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization Model that show physicians, hospitals and health care providers participating in Accountable Care Organizations continue to make significant improvements in the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries, while achieving cost savings.

In 2015, Medicare Accountable Care Organizations had combined total program savings of $466 million, which includes all Accountable Care Organizations’ experiences, for 392 Medicare Shared Savings Program participants and 12 Pioneer Accountable Care Organization Model participants. The results show that more Accountable Care Organizations shared savings in 2015 compared to 2014, and those with more experience tend to perform better over time.

Medicare ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to provide coordinated high quality care to their Medicare patients. The goal of coordinated care is to ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors. When an ACO exceeds quality and financial thresholds – demonstrating achievement of high-quality care and wiser spending of health care dollars – it is able to share in the savings generated for Medicare.

The Memorial Hermann Accountable Care Organization is one of the ACOs that shared savings.

“A commitment to delivering high quality and safe care is fundamental to the Memorial Hermann’s mission and a key reason why our ACO continues to achieve year-over-year success,” said Dr. Benjamin K. Chu, President and CEO, Memorial Hermann. “In the three years since the Memorial Hermann ACO volunteered for MSSP, it has delivered a value proposition of better clinical outcomes and lower costs to Medicare recipients, many of whom are on fixed incomes. These types of results bode well for that population – and all populations – going forward.”

Chris Lloyd, Senior Vice President and CEO of MHMD, the Memorial Hermann Physician Network and Memorial Hermann ACO, added:

“When we began this journey four years ago, our objective was to reduce the cost of care while at the same time demonstrate increased quality by using data to underpin the practice of evidence-based medicine,” said Lloyd. “Our year-over-year performance for three consecutive years confirms that our clinically-integrated physicians’ network combined with our use of innovative technology and a team concept to managing the care of patients is not only resulting in savings but also high quality clinical outcomes.”

Nishant Anand, MD, FACEP, as Physician-in-Chief for MHMD said regarding the savings:

“We are excited about the MSSP results,” said Anand. “We also are firmly committed to population health. Going forward, we are even more excited as we will continue to improve the coordination of care as well as redefine the delivery of care through new innovative models. We are building the type of coordinated, holistic care that we would want for ourselves and our loved ones – a model that truly emphasizes enhancing the health and well-being of our patients rather than simply providing ‘sick care’.”

Additional Resources

Visit the Medicare Shared Savings Program News and Updates webpage to access the CMS press release and fact sheet, the link to the Performance Year 2015 results file, and to learn more about the program.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (August 26, 2016) Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center’s latest installment in the Rick Smith Gallery, a small art gallery located near the main lobby of Memorial Hermann-TMC in the Hermann Atrium, is a tribute to the late UTHealth trauma surgeon, Dr. James H. “Red” Duke. “Our Dr. Duke,” which opens to the public today, features stories from some of Dr. Duke’s closest friends and colleagues in the Texas Medical Center who walked the hospital’s hallways with him every day. Also included in the exhibit are photographs and memorabilia from his legendary life that are as rich as the tales told in his memory.

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“There are countless physicians, colleagues and patients who benefitted from Dr. Duke’s passion and guidance,” said Brian Dean, Senior Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann-TMC. “His legacy can be seen throughout our hospital, from Life Flight to our incredible lifesaving trauma services. This gallery is yet another example of the positive effect he had on all those with whom he came in contact.”

The exhibit’s grand opening coincides with the 40th anniversary of Memorial Hermann Life Flight®, a milestone the program celebrated on Aug. 1. Dr. Duke was instrumental in developing Life Flight, Texas’ first lifesaving air ambulance service, and served as medical director of the program for nearly four decades. In order to express gratitude to the city that helped make the lifesaving air ambulance service possible, Memorial Hermann launched a “40 Years of Life Flight, 40 Days of Thanks” campaign and has joined the community in celebrating Life Flight’s trailblazing history and excellence in aviation safety and high quality, clinical care.

The week also marks one year since Dr. Duke passed away on Aug. 25, 2015. As the John B. Holmes Professor of Clinical Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School, he was a dedicated physician who was known for his extraordinary patient care and efforts to teach medical students and surgeons. Dr. Duke was instrumental in establishing trauma services at Memorial Hermann-TMC and transforming trauma care, not just for the city of Houston but for the entire country. Earlier this year, the Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute was renamed the Memorial Hermann Red Duke Trauma Institute in his honor.

The Rick Smith Gallery, which was funded through employee contributions to an annual employee campaign, was created in memory of Rick Smith, the late director of Chaplaincy Services at Memorial Hermann-TMC who understood the importance of healing the body, mind and soul. It is open to all employees, patients and visitors, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Rick Smith led by example, and demonstrated how spirituality in the workplace supports an environment of healing,” said Brent Peery, Director of Chaplaincy Services at Memorial Hermann-TMC. “The gallery is an expression of his vision and spirit.”

This is the gallery’s eighth installment since it opened in 2012. Previous exhibitions have featured paintings, photographs, mixed media and sculptures by physicians and hospital employees; professional photographic images of the Campus’ beloved therapy pets; hand-drawn portraits of caregivers by pediatric patients; Holocaust Museum Houston’s Butterfly Project; and a history of Life Flight.

Read more about the intimate stories shared in the latest exhibit, “Our Dr. Duke.”

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (August 25, 2016) To commemorate its 40th anniversary, Memorial Hermann Life Flight® has dedicated 40 days to giving thanks to the Houston community for supporting the award-winning air ambulance program over the years. Today, a few former patients and crew members returned the favor by coming together to show their appreciation for the lifesaving service that was the first of its kind in Texas, and the second such program in the nation.

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Their personal stories are featured in a poignant new video that reflects on Life Flight’s history, its pioneering role as a trailblazer in trauma care and the countless lives that have been touched by Life Flight crew members over four decades.

Memorial Hermann is proud to unveil the video exactly one year after the passing of legendary trauma surgeon Dr. James H. “Red” Duke, whose visionary leadership led to the creation of Life Flight on Aug. 1, 1976.

This special video is the latest observance in a weeks-long anniversary campaign called “40 Years of Life Flight, 40 Days of Thanks.” The celebration has included: an official proclamation from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office declaring Aug. 1, 2016 as Memorial Hermann Life Flight Day; the crew extending their thanks to area EMS partners and first responders who serve a key role in helping Life Flight retrieve Houston’s critically ill and injured patients; several meet-and-greet events at Memorial Hermann campuses throughout the Houston region; and an outpouring of support on social media from former patients and community members using the hashtag #LifeFlight40.

Watch the new video here.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital
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Katy, TX (August 24, 2016) Houston Methodist Primary Care Group recently announced it’s plans to collaborate with Next Level Urgent Care for the provision of after-hours care for its patients.

In an effort to allow patients greater access to care at night and on the weekends without over-utilizing the emergency departments, organizations such as Kelsey-Seybold, Oak Bend Medical Center and Community Health Choice also recommend Next Level Urgent Care to their patients when primary care physician offices are closed.

“We are working with Next level Urgent Care to be sure our patients always have access to care when they need it,” said Stephen Spielman, president of Houston Methodist Primary Care Group. “This partnership offers an important alternative to the emergency room for non-life threatening issues.”

With hours extending to 9pm seven days per week, Next Level Urgent Care can treat a variety of conditions, including fever, allergies, wounds needing stitches, broken bones, and sports or work injuries. Next Level can also provide sports and work physical examinations and can identify and refer chronic illnesses to primary care physicians to be managed on an on-going basis. “We are honored to be the trusted medical facility for after-hours care by such high quality healthcare organizations” stated Juliet Breeze, MD, CEO of Next Level Urgent Care.

Courtesy of Next Level Urgent Care

 

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Katy, TX (August 24, 2016) More than 400 parents and children and over 100 doctors, nurses and staff members from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) attended a “Made in Texas” themed reunion, celebrating babies who were born prematurely or critically-ill and spent the first weeks or months of their lives in the NICU at Texas Children’s Hospital. The reunion offers a special opportunity for families and their “NICU graduates” to reunite with the doctors, nurses and staff members that cared for them.

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The reunion, held at Children’s Pavilion for Women  featured fun games for babies and toddlers, face painting, a photo booth and motorized ride-on plush animals.

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Texas Children’s Newborn Center and the hospital’s Pavilion for Women together house 173 NICU beds, making the hospital the largest NICU in the nation. Texas Children’s Newborn Center cares for nearly 2,500 babies each year and offers level IV care,  the highest level of NICU care available, with 24/7 access to neonatologists and pediatric subspecialists.

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Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital
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Katy, TX (August 17, 2016) The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), a leading gastrointestinal medical society, has recognized the Ertan Digestive Disease Center, a Gastroenterology Center of Excellence at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC), as part of its program specifically dedicated to promoting quality in endoscopy in all settings where it is practiced in the United States. The Ertan Digestive Disease Center is one of only 400 endoscopy units to be granted the recognition since 2009. The ASGE Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program honors endoscopy units that have demonstrated a commitment to patient safety and quality in endoscopy as evidenced by meeting the program’s rigorous criteria, which includes following the ASGE guidelines on privileging, quality assurance, endoscope reprocessing, CDC infection control guidelines and ensuring endoscopy staff competency.

“We are honored to be recognized by ASGE for our efforts to provide the highest quality and safety standards to our patients,” said Atilla Ertan, M.D., Medical Director of the Center and professor of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “Through continued education and compliance with the ASGE Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program requirements, we demonstrate our dedication and ongoing commitment to delivering the best experience possible for our referral patients nationally and internationally.”

To be recognized by ASGE, a unit, through a peer-reviewed application process, must attest to the continued competence of all staff relative to their roles, demonstrate the adoption of unit policies specific to ongoing assessment of performance relative to key quality indicators, and attest that the unit has an established infrastructure and personnel dedicated to infection control and prevention. The program is applicable to all settings in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands where endoscopy is practiced, including office-based endoscopy units, hospital-based endoscopy units, and stand-alone ambulatory endoscopy or surgery centers.

An important component of the program is an educational course entitled, “Improving Quality and Safety in Your Endoscopy Unit,” that thoroughly reviews related guidelines. Upon completion of the program, the certificate is granted for a three-year renewable period.

“We offer patients the leading treatment options available,” said Nirav Thosani, M.D., Director of Advanced Endoscopy at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and assistant professor of gastroenterology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “Recognition from the ASGE further cements our commitment to our patients and lets them know that they are receiving the quality care and compassion they deserve.”

As a leading source in GI and hepatology, the team at the Ertan Digestive Disease Center is frequently called upon to educate in local, national and international meetings about the field’s discoveries, studies and general knowledge. The Center provides comprehensive medical and surgical treatment for patients with diseases of the esophagus, stomach, intestine, pancreas, biliary tract and liver. They also deliver expert management, up-to-date treatment and innovative solutions for patients with all forms of digestive disorders, and continually work to enhance patient quality of care as well as improve quality of life for the patient population.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital
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Katy, TX (August 12, 2016) Playing school sports is a great way for students to get physically active and build life skills such as teamwork and communication. Each year, numerous students participate in school sports and one way to ensure students are performing at their best is through a sports physical, also called a preparticipation physical examination, which provides a detailed look at a student athlete’s health and fitness.

“With any sport there is risk for injury. Sports physicals are highly recommended because the exam provides insight into a student’s past injuries, personal and family medical history,” said M. Nameer Sidiquee, MD, CAQSM, MD, primary care sports medicine at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. “The information gathered during the physical gives a better understanding of the risk of potential conditions that can prevent a student from reaching optimal performance,” said Sidiquee.

M. Nameer Sidiquee, MD, primary care sports medicine, Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

Join Dr. Sidiquee and a team of physicians on Tuesday, August 23, from 3 – 6 p.m. for sports physicals for all school activities. Physicians who will be attending this event include, Dr. Hardeep “Debbie” Bal, Dr. Sabari Sundarraj and Dr. Pheba Zachariah from Houston Methodist Primary Care Group and Dr. Scott Rand, Dr. Christian Schupp, Dr. Gregory Seelhoefer and Dr. M. Nameer Sidiquee from Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine and Houston Methodist Primary Care Group physicians will offer physicals at their offices located on 7105 FM 2920 Road, on the corner of T.C. Jester and FM 2920.

The sports physicals will be offered to athletes ages 12-18. The cost of the physical is $20. Cash only please (no checks or credit cards accepted.) No appointment is necessary. Wear light comfortable clothing. Please bring your school physical form with medical history completed and a signed physical consent form.

“Injuries and diseases can make it unsafe for any athlete to participate in sports. Student athletes’ bodies are still building muscle mass and stronger bones. While playing sports students are putting their bodies through rigorous repetitive muscle contractions over extended periods of time. A sports physical is the first step in helping students prepare for play.”

Dr. Sidiquee is board-certified in sports medicine and family medicine. He is fellowship trained in primary care sports medicine. He treats numerous conditions including

  • Concussions
  • Fractures
  • Sprains and Strains
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Back Pain/Disc Herniations
  • Spondylolysis/Spondylolisthesis
  • Gout
  • Hand Conditions (carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, etc.)
  • Sick Visits (upper respiratory infections, rashes, UTIs, etc.)

For more information about sports physicals, call 281.737.0902.

Courtesy of Houston Methodist Willowbrook

 

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Katy, TX (August 10, 2016) Harris County Public Health has confirmed the first Zika-related death in the State of Texas.  After receiving a positive Zika test result on a female infant who was born with birth defects, including microcephaly, HCPH confirmed the child died shortly after birth.

While the infant was born in Harris County, the mother is believed to have contracted Zika while traveling in Latin America.  HCPH still has no reason to believe that any Harris County citizens have been infected locally.

It is important to remain aware of the symptoms of Zika and practice all precautions to guard against infection.  Zika symptoms are usually mild and include fever, rash and conjunctivitis (red eyes), and joint pain, lasting several days to a week.  Zika can also be transmitted sexually.  While severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and death is rare, the CDC has linked Zika to severe birth defects and there is currently no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika Virus Infection.

The CDC recommends that all people who are traveling to areas where Zika virus is found, should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites to reduce their risk of infection with Zika virus as well as other mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue and chikungunya. CDC recommends that pregnant women should avoid traveling to Zika affected areas.

State health officials urge everyone to follow precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites:

  •         Apply EPA-approved insect repellent.
  •         Wear pants and long-sleeve shirts that cover exposed skin. In warmer weather, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers exposed skin.
  •         Use screens or close windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
  •         Remove standing water in and around the home. This includes water in cans, toys, tires, plant saucers, and any container that can hold water.
  •         Cover trash cans or containers where water can collect.

For more information about Zika prevention for Texas go to www.TexasZika.org.

Information courtesy of Mike Schofield’s office

 

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Katy, TX (August 4, 2016) The Katy-West Houston Pi Beta Phi alumnae group recently presented $4,800 to Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. These funds will go toward West Campus’ library, which offers books, board games, puzzles and movies for patients and their families to enjoy. The library also houses medical and parenting resources, paperback fiction, magazines, foreign language books, computers and a fax machine.

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Texas Children’s has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Pi Beta Phi alumnae and share a mutual commitment to literacy and education. The first Pi Beta Phi Patient/Family Library opened in 1985 at Texas Children’s Hospital, and in 2011 the Pi Beta Phi Patient/Family Library opened at West Campus. Currently, there are over 140 Pi Beta Phi Book Nooks—located at Texas Children’s, West Campus, Texas Children’s Health Centers, Texas Children’s Urgent Care facilities, Centers for Children and Women, and in all of the Texas Children’s Pediatric practices throughout the Houston area.

After the check presentation, Pi Beta Phi alumnae members received a tour of West Campus, which included visits to the library, radiology department and sports medicine area. As the greater Houston’s first suburban hospital designed exclusively for children, West Campus upholds Texas Children’s mission of providing the highest-quality health care for children, coupled with a location that’s convenient and accessible for area families.

For more information on Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, visit texaschildrens.org/westcampus.

Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital

 

 

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Katy, TX (August 2, 2016) For the second consecutive year, TIRR Memorial Hermann has ranked as the No. 2 rehabilitation hospital in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospital rankings for 2016-2017. This is the 27th year TIRR Memorial Hermann has been included in the prestigious rankings.

TIRR #2-2016 US News

“The world of rehabilitation is always changing and, through that, TIRR Memorial Hermann has continued to set the standard for high-quality, evidence-based rehabilitation and cutting-edge research,” said Carl Josehart, Senior Vice President and CEO, TIRR Memorial Hermann. “Our staff is dedicated to changing lives for the better and providing the highest level of care to each patient who comes through our doors. Receiving this acknowledgement from such a reputable organization reaffirms that commitment.”

In addition to TIRR Memorial Hermann’s recognition, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center ranked No. 2 overall hospital in Texas, which is an honor given only to hospitals that were high-performing across multiple areas of care.

Specific Memorial Hermann service lines honored by U.S. News and World Report with national rankings included the following:

  • Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Gynecology, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, and Urology;
  • And also Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Nephrology, and Neurology & Neurosurgery.

The recognition of Memorial Hermann’s complete neuroscience program, which includes acute care services for pediatric and adult patients, in addition to the rehabilitation services at TIRR Memorial Hermann is indicative of the System’s commitment to the full continuum of care.

“Since joining Memorial Hermann, I continue to be impressed with the passionate staff, exemplary care and commitment to overall safety and quality,” said Dr. Benjamin K. Chu, President and CEO, Memorial Hermann Health System. “I am incredibly proud of the patient-centered work I have witnessed throughout the entire system and congratulate our employees and affiliated physicians for receiving such well-deserved recognition.”

The annual U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings, now in their 27th year, help guide patients to hospitals that deliver outstanding care across 25 specialties, procedures and conditions. The Best Hospitals methodologies include objective measures such as patient survival, the number of times a given procedure is performed, infection rates, adequacy of nurse staffing and more.

“U.S. News evaluates nearly 5,000 hospitals nationwide,” said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis at U.S. News. “A hospital that emerged from our analysis as one of the best has much to be proud of.”

For 2016-2017, 153 hospitals were nationally ranked in at least one specialty, while 1,628 received a high performing rating in one or more specialties, procedures or conditions. In rankings by state and metro area, U.S. News recognized hospitals that were high-performing across multiple areas of care. Best Hospitals was produced by U.S. News with RTI International, a leading research organization based in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (August 1, 2016) Four decades after launching the innovative air ambulance service known today as Memorial Hermann Life Flight®, Memorial Hermann Health System will commemorate the program’s momentous 40th anniversary by expressing its gratitude to the community that has helped make the lifesaving service possible.

flight

The campaign, called “40 Years of Life Flight, 40 Days of Thanks,” kicked off this morning with an official proclamation from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office, presented by Houston City Council Member Jack Christie on the helipad of Life Flight’s home base at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC), declaring Aug. 1, 2016 as “Memorial Hermann Life Flight Day.”

“Today is a special day, not just for Life Flight, but for the entire city of Houston, as we reflect back on the pioneering leadership that helped make this program possible and celebrate the many accomplishments that have defined Life Flight’s reputation as a trailblazer among air ambulance services,” said Brian Dean, Senior Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann-TMC.

Throughout the next 40 days, the Life Flight team will be showing their gratitude in various ways, including extending their thanks to EMS partners and first responders throughout the region who serve a key role in helping Life Flight retrieve Houston’s critically ill and injured patients, and by visiting campuses across the System for individual meet-and-greets and to thank colleagues for their partnership in saving lives.

Memorial Hermann will join the community in celebrating Life Flight’s trailblazing history and excellence in aviation safety and high quality, clinical care with a special social media campaign recognizing the countless lives saved by Life Flight over the years. Using the hashtag #LifeFlight40 on Facebook, Twitter or other social media channels, former patients and community members are invited to share their personal stories with and gratitude for Houston’s saviors in the sky.

In addition, the Memorial Hermann Foundation is commemorating the occasion by encouraging the community to continue its philanthropic support of the program by pledging to donate $40 in honor of Life Flight’s 40 years of service. Provided as a community service by Memorial Hermann, Life Flight operates as a hospital-based, non-profit organization and relies on community support and fundraising efforts to pay for the service. It costs about $3 million annually to support the program, none of which comes from tax dollars.

Along with the celebration, Memorial Hermann-TMC continues to honor the legacy of the founder and long-time medical director of Life Flight, legendary UTHealth trauma surgeon Dr. James H. “Red” Duke, who passed away nearly one year ago on Aug. 25, 2015. Dr. Duke’s visionary leadership helped revolutionize trauma care, not just in Houston, but across the country. In May, Memorial Hermann renamed its trauma institute, one of the nation’s busiest Level I trauma centers, the Memorial Hermann Red Duke Trauma Institute in his memory.

“From its earliest days, Life Flight has played a critical role in preserving Dr. Duke’s vision of providing a robust trauma care system for all patients, regardless of their wealth or status or whether they lived in the city, the suburbs, the rural outskirts or the frontier, as he liked to call it,” said Eric Von Wenckstern, administrative director of Life Flight.

“His passion was taking care of mankind, helping all people who were injured or sick, and making sure we were doing our best and maintaining the highest standards of care to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients. As we celebrate another watershed moment in Life Flight’s history, I know Dr. Duke would be immensely proud of what the program has achieved in 40 short years,” said Tom Flanagan, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Memorial Hermann-TMC.

Founded on Aug. 1, 1976 as a groundbreaking medical flight program aimed at expediting the transport of critically ill and injured patients across the Greater Houston area, Life Flight was the first air ambulance service in Texas and the second such program in the nation. In the decades since, Life Flight has maintained its premiere status and evolved to keep pace with the changing demands of trauma care.

“The program has evolved from a service that functions much like ambulances do today – hastening trauma patients as quickly as possible to the hospital – to a sophisticated and state-of-the-art program that begins delivering advanced, prehospital trauma care in the sky,” said Dr. Joseph Love, who is only the second Medical Director of Life Flight in the program’s history and an associate professor of surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “We are now bringing the lifesaving capabilities of an emergency center directly to the patient. We are witnessing the future of trauma, not just in Houston, but across the country.”

Since its inception, the program has expanded from a single helicopter and a handful of crew members to a fleet of six helicopters and 74 crew members capable of retrieving patients within a 150-mile radius of the Texas Medical Center, or worldwide using fixed-wing transport. Each helicopter can carry up to two patients and comes equipped with state-of-the-art emergency medical treatments, including prehospital blood product administration, portable blood warmers, ultrasound diagnostics, video-assisted intubations and tools to open blocked airways. All crew members carry night-vision goggles during flight to help to improve safety. Two years ago, the program became the first air ambulance service in Southeast Texas to be granted authority to fly under instrument flight rules (IFR), which allows the crew to fly when visibility is limited or clouds are low.

Life Flight has been the winner of the Texas Department of State Health Services’ EMS Air Medical Service of the Year Award three different times in 2014, 2004 and 2001. The prestigious award honors a public or private air medical service in Texas that has demonstrated the highest standards in providing patient care, leading the way in innovation and commitment to patient care. The program was also recently named EMS/Air Medical Partner of the Year by the SouthEast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC), a nonprofit organization – which was also founded by Dr. Duke – whose role is to prepare counties across Southeast Texas for man-made or natural emergencies, disasters and mass casualty events.

The program was also recently featured in a six-episode docudrama series that aired on Lifetime TV called “Life Flight: Trauma Center Houston,” which highlighted not only the Life Flight team but also Memorial Hermann-TMC and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital staff, nurses and affiliated physicians from McGovern Medical School. The original series gave viewers a front row seat to all of the real-life action inside the Memorial Hermann Red Duke Trauma Institute, following the clinicians as they dealt with high-risk, high-stress situations while racing against the clock to save the lives of their patients in critical condition.

See the full photo gallery of the ceremony.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (July 26, 2016) Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE: MOH) and Memorial Hermann Health Plan, Inc. jointly announced today that Molina Healthcare of Texas, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Molina Healthcare, has entered into an agreement with Memorial Hermann to enhance access to safe, high-quality care for Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP recipients in the greater Houston area. At the closing of the transaction, Molina’s approximately 14,000 STAR, CHIP and CHIP Perinate members residing in the Harris Service Delivery Area will become members of Memorial Hermann Health Plan. As part of the transaction, Memorial Hermann will become a contracted provider in Molina’s network serving STAR+PLUS, STAR+PLUS MMP and Medicare D-SNP members. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2017 subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other closing conditions.

“Molina is excited to expand access for our Houston members through the addition of Memorial Hermann’s integrated network of physicians and hospitals,” said Anne Rote, president of Molina Healthcare of Texas. “Molina and Memorial Hermann share a common mission to focus on quality and cost-effective health care for all individuals, and this arrangement will help both organizations achieve that goal.”

“Memorial Hermann Health System has been serving greater Houston as well as Harris and surrounding counties for more than 100 years,” said Dan Styf, CEO of Memorial Hermann Health Plan. “STAR, CHIP and CHIP Perinate members can be assured that our health plan’s alignment with Memorial Hermann, the market leader in Houston, and a wide network of strategic provider partners, will give them direct access to high-quality, easily accessible care.”

 
About Molina Healthcare of Texas
Since 2006, Molina Healthcare of Texas has been providing government-funded care for low-income individuals. From the beginning and through today, our mission has been to bring high-quality and cost-effective health care to kids, adults, seniors, families and people with disabilities. As of March 2016, the company serves approximately 260,000 members through Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare, Medicare-Medicaid (Duals) and Health Insurance Exchange programs, with service areas across Texas. Our state Provider Network includes 6,114 primary care physicians and 41,103 specialist physicians.

Molina Healthcare, Inc., a FORTUNE 500 company, provides managed health care services under the Medicaid and Medicare programs and through the state insurance marketplaces. Through our locally operated health plans in 11 states across the nation and in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Molina serves approximately 4.2 million members. Dr. C. David Molina founded our company in 1980 as a provider organization serving low-income families in Southern California. Today, we continue his mission of providing high quality and cost-effective health care to those who need it most. For more information about Molina Healthcare, please visit our website at molinahealthcare.com.

 

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release contains “forward-looking statements” regarding the agreement between Memorial Hermann Health Plan, Inc. and Molina Healthcare of Texas, Inc. All forward-looking statements are based on current expectations that are subject to numerous risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. Such risk factors include, without limitation, risks related to: the timely closing of the transaction, including the need to obtain regulatory approvals and other third party consents; any conditions imposed on the parties by regulators in connection with consummating the transaction described herein; the satisfaction or waiver of closing conditions for the transition and integration of Molina’s members into Memorial Hermann Health Plan; maintaining provider relations; and the possibility that the transaction will not be completed on a timely basis or at all. Additional information regarding the risk factors to which Molina Healthcare is subject is provided in greater detail in its periodic reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K. These reports can be accessed under the investor relations tab of Molina Healthcare’s website or on the SEC’s website at sec.gov. Given these risks and uncertainties, Molina Healthcare can give no assurances that its forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, or that any other results or events projected or contemplated by its forward-looking statements will in fact occur, and Molina Healthcare cautions investors not to place undue reliance on these statements. All forward-looking statements in this release represent Molina Healthcare’s judgment as of the date hereof, and Molina Healthcare disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to conform the statement to actual results or changes in its expectations that occur after the date of this release.
Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospitals

 

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Katy, TX (July 25, 2016) Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, one of the nation’s premier facilities for women’s, fetal and newborn health, is excited to announce a first-in-Texas Zika clinic to ensure that as the virus continues to be a global concern, pregnant women at risk of contracting it have access to a team of experts who can provide the latest testing and monitor their pregnancies.

Run by the hospital’s maternal-fetal medicine experts, the clinic operates every Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and will see pregnant women who have traveled to Zika-affected countries, have shown symptoms of the Zika virus, or have partners who traveled to Zika-affected countries and/or have shown symptoms of the Zika virus.

Transmitted primarily through mosquito bites, the Zika virus has heightened concern among pregnant women as it may increase the risk of microcephaly, a rare neurological birth defect that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and have abnormal brain development. Emerging research is also linking the virus to other birth defects. As of July 14, 400 pregnant women in U.S. states and D.C., and 378 in U.S. territories have been confirmed to have lab-evidence of a Zika virus infection by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Learn more about how to prevent mosquito bites during pregnancy.

“It’s crucial we have a Zika clinic at the Pavilion for Women for our patients and community,” said Dr. Kjersti Aagaard, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist and vice chair of research in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine. “In an emerging disease, where new evidence arises daily, having a dedicated group of providers who can keep up with large amounts of crucial information, understand what testing to perform, and discern clinically important information and how to readily apply it is critically important.”

In addition to blood, urine, amniotic fluid tests and counseling, the Zika clinic offers a targeted diagnostic ultrasound that can be performed as early as 15 weeks into pregnancy to determine if there are any concerning developmental signs for Zika infection in a fetus. Physicians and staff at the clinic are thoroughly prepared to safely and confidently treat any patient who exhibits symptoms of the Zika virus.

The Zika clinic at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women is the direct outcome of a task force assembled earlier this year under the guidance of Texas Children’s Obstetrician and Gynecologist-in-Chief Dr. Michael Belfort and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Division Director Dr. Gary Dildy. The task force developed management and research strategies based on important screening criteria outlined by the CDC for pregnant women who may have been exposed to the Zika virus. The clinic is staffed by a registered nurse, medical assistant and a team of maternal-fetal medicine experts including Aagaard, Dr. Catherine Eppes, Dr. Martha Rac and Dr. Magda Sanz-Cortes.

Located on the third floor of the Pavilion for Women in the Baylor Obstetrics and Gynecology clinic, pregnant women can be referred to the Zika clinic via their obstetrician by completing an online referral form at http://women.texaschildrens.org/zikareferral or by calling 832-824-7500 and selecting option 3 for “new patient.”

For more information about the Zika virus, visit https://www.cdc.gov/zika/.

Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (July 18, 2016) The Memorial Hermann Health System was named one of the country’s “Most Wired” for the 12th consecutive year in the Hospitals & Health Networks (H&HN) recently released annual survey conducted in partnership with the American Hospital Association.

“Memorial Hermann is proud to be named ‘Most Wired’ for the 12th consecutive year,” said David Bradshaw, Memorial Hermann’s Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. “Our technology has been instrumental to improving and better managing the care of our patients, delivering high-quality and safe care while simultaneously providing a better cost value to healthcare consumers.”

H&HN’s Most Wired Survey is an annual review designed to measure the level of information technology adoption in hospitals and health systems throughout the United States. The data collected from the survey helps healthcare delivery systems establish industry-standard benchmarks for IT operational, financial and clinical performance. The review is intended to be used as a tool by hospital and health system leadership to map strategic IT plans of the future.

The nation’s Most Wired hospitals and health systems have deployed technologies that improve patient documentation, advance clinical decision support and evidence-based protocols, reduce the likelihood of medical errors, and rapidly restore access to data in the case of a disaster or outage, according to the survey.

Memorial Hermann has been at the forefront of adopting and aggressively utilizing IT tools to promote improved patient care and safety, operational efficiency, data collection, and to reduce healthcare costs. It’s the primary reason Memorial Hermann has been lauded as one of the nation’s “Most Wired” systems for 12 of the 18 years H&HN survey has been conducted.

“We strive to continually introduce cutting-edge technologies and systems that further advance our patient care and improved efficiency,” said Emily Handwerk, Memorial Hermann’s Vice President of Information Systems Division (ISD) Applications. “Our use of technology is a key differentiator for our System and is essential to us being a healthcare leader in patient safety and clinically-integrated care.”

For example, Memorial Hermann is employing Cerner technology to among other applications, help manage population health and plan anesthesia care before and after surgery by using documentation tools that provide real-time documentation and access to patient records.

Additionally, Memorial Hermann is using a speech recognition tool that enables physicians to do real-time documentation as well as an electronic prescribing tool that sends prescriptions directly to the pharmacy – thus simplifying the medication ordering processes while at the same time increasing patient safety.

“Memorial Hermann will continue to apply rapidly changing improvements in IT and information systems to its clinical, administrative practices, and population health efforts in a way that enhances quality patient care and service and aligns with our commitment to helping patients better their overall health and healthcare management,” said Amanda Hammel, VP, ISD Operations and Population Health.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital
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Katy, TX (July 15, 2016) In a rare accomplishment for a U.S. health system, Memorial Hermann was nationally recognized for awards in multiple categories by the American Hospital Association (AHA) – notably for its commitment to quality, employing innovation in palliative and end-of-life care and for improving community health. Memorial Hermann will be the only Houston health system recognized at the Health Forum/AHA Leadership Summit in San Diego July 17-19.

Earning 2016 AHA honors were: Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital – finalist for the 2016 American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize® for their leadership and innovation in quality improvement and safety; the Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation Mobile Dental Program – presented the AHA’s NOVA Award for its efforts to improve community health; and the Memorial Hermann Physician Network and Symptom Management Consultants, the recipient of the AHA’s Circle of Life Citation of Honor for utilizing innovation in palliative and end-of-life care.

“This type of national recognition by the American Hospital Association is a testament to the visionary leadership at Memorial Hermann and the dedicated and collective efforts of staff and physicians to deliver great care daily to the Houston community,” said Dr. Benjamin K. Chu, president and CEO, Memorial Hermann Health System. “It truly demonstrates how our innovative programs are comprehensively serving the community with high quality and safe patient care at our hospitals, employing compassion in end-of-life care and decisions, and helping those most in need with our mobile dental program. All Memorial Hermann employees and physicians should be extremely proud of this wonderful milestone that few systems in the United States have or will achieve.”
Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital – McKesson Quest for Quality Prize® Finalist
At the hospital level, Memorial Hermann Greater Heights was the only Houston hospital to earn recognition as an AHA McKesson Quest for Quality finalist attaining that distinction by demonstrating a tireless “organizational commitment to and progress in achieving quality, safety and effective, efficient, timely and patient-centered care” – the criteria required to be met to even be considered for the award.

“I am so very proud that Greater Heights was selected as a finalist for the 2016 McKesson Quest for Quality Award,” said Susan Jadlowski, Sr. Vice President & CEO, Memorial Hermann Greater Heights. “We have worked diligently to foster a culture of safety so that every family that leaves a loved one in our care can feel secure in the knowing that their care is the most important thing to us. Our staff is dedicated to our mission of causing zero harm to our patients. We work daily to encourage it and our staff fully embraces the goal to be the safest hospital not only in the Greater Heights community, but in the Houston region.”

Rick Pollack, AHA’s president and CEO, applauded McKesson Quest for Quality Award winners and finalists saying: “These hospitals have made remarkable strides in the quality of their patient care and they did so because they were committed to excellence. The entire hospital field can learn from the lessons demonstrated by the hard work of these hospitals, their boards and employees.”
Memorial Hermann Mobile Dental Program – AHA’s NOVA Award
The Mobile Dental Program added to the accolades for Memorial Hermann by earning the AHA’s NOVA Award – an honor that recognizes hospitals and health systems for their collaborative efforts toward improving community health.

Health Center School Dietician

Dr. Mahasti Chalajour (L) stands with dental assistant Miriam Montelongo in front on one of three Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporations Mobile Dental Vans.

An integral component of the Memorial Hermann Health Centers for Schools clinics, the Mobile Dental Program has served as the “dental home” for uninsured and underinsured students in the greater Houston region since 2000. The program now has expanded to three 40-foot vans that rotate between 10 school-based clinics located in five school districts – Houston ISD, Aldine ISD, Pasadena ISD, Fort Bend ISD and Lamar Consolidated ISD. The program provides a full complement of preventive and restorative dental care at no cost, and is accessible year round to families.

“This award is great recognition for a program that serves an incredible need in our community,” said Carol Paret, Sr. Vice President and Chief Community Health Officer for Memorial Hermann Health System and the CEO of Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation. “Its primary goal has been to serve as a safety net for children in need of regular dental care as well as to educate them and their parents about oral health. It has made a difference in the lives of many students in measurable and immeasurable ways. It serves our mission to help people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to health care, particularly children.”

Health Center School Dietician

Dr. Chalajour stands with two students

AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said of 2016 AHA NOVA winners exemplified the hospitals collaborative in the community to “offer the most to those in need beyond the walls of their buildings. The programs recognized by the AHA NOVA award inspire us all with their collaborative, caring approach to improving community health and wellness.”
Memorial Hermann Physician Network and Symptom Management Consultants – Circle of Life Award: Citation of Honor
The Memorial Hermann Physician Network and Symptom Management Consultants program was recognized by the AHA with a Citation of Honor for the 2016 Circle of Life Award celebrating innovation in palliative and end-of-life care. Memorial Hermann’s program was recognized for its “integrated partnerships, including academic settings and community hospices as well as collaborative leadership efforts in improving quality of care.”

“We are very humbled by this recognition,” said Dr. Sandra Gomez, Medical Director of Supportive Medicine at The Memorial Hermann Physician Network (MHMD). “We have worked hard to educate our patients and their families about palliative and end-of-life care – what it is and isn’t – with the primary goal being to improve the quality of life for both patients and their families. We use a team approach to care which addresses the unique needs of each patient in order to optimize the delivery of care and improve the management of the patient’s symptoms, pain, and the stress associated with their illness. This approach is what distinguishes our program, and we are honored to be cited by the American Hospital Association for our work to bring innovation and thoughtfulness to end-of-life care.”

Circle of Life Award nominations were reviewed and site-visited by a selection committee that included leaders from medicine, nursing, social work and health administration. The Circle of Life Award honors palliative programs that among other criteria:

  • Serve people with life-limiting illness, their families and their communities.
  • Demonstrate effective, patient/family-centered, timely, safe, efficient and equitable palliative and end-of-life care.
  • Use innovative approaches to meeting critical needs and serve as sustainable, replicable models for a segment of the field.
  • Use innovative approaches to reach traditionally marginalized populations.

 

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital
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Katy, TX (July 14, 2016) State Representative Mike Schofield put out a letter about the recent Zika virus case in Harris County:

Dear Friend,

We received word today that Harris County Public Health has confirmed the first Zika Virus related microcephaly case in Harris County and in the State of Texas.  An infant tested positive for the Zika virus and contracted the virus in utero after his mother traveled from Latin America where she was likely infected.

The Texas Department of State Health Services is coordinating with Harris County Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to follow the case.

Texas has logged 59 cases of Zika virus disease, including three confirmed cases of Zika in pregnant women. All are related to travel abroad to areas with active Zika transmission. There have been no reported cases of Zika virus transmitted by mosquitoes in Texas.

Now that we have a confirmed case of microcephaly in Harris County and cases of travel contracted Zika, I thought it would be helpful to provide you with some data regarding the virus and ways to prevent contracting it.

Zika virus is spread primarily through the bite of the Aedes species mosquito. According to the CDC, symptoms of Zika are usually mild and include fever, rash, conjunctivitis (red eyes), and joint-pain, lasting several days to a week. Zika can also be transmitted sexually. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon and death is rare. There is currently no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika virus infection.

The CDC recommends that all people who are traveling to areas where Zika virus is found, should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites to reduce their risk of infection with Zika virus as well as other mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue and chikungunya. CDC recommends that pregnant women should avoid traveling to Zika affected areas.

State health officials urge everyone to follow precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites:

  •         Apply EPA-approved insect repellent.
  •         Wear pants and long-sleeve shirts that cover exposed skin. In warmer weather, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers exposed skin.
  •         Use screens or close windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
  •         Remove standing water in and around the home. This includes water in cans, toys, tires, plant saucers, and any container that can hold water.
  •         Cover trash cans or containers where water can collect.

For more information about Zika prevention for Texas go to www.TexasZika.org.

Thank you again for allowing me the honor of representing you. Please let me know if there’s anything that my office can do to be of service to you.

God bless Texas!

Mike Schofield
State Representative
House District 132
Katy & Cypress

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Katy, TX (July 11, 2016)  The top floor of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital was recently transformed into a fairytale land, as princesses, princes and superheroes joined pediatric patients and their siblings for an afternoon of coloring, crafting and jewelry making.

The children got a chance to take a break from their treatment and spend time socializing with Cinderella, Prince Charming and Ariel from “The Little Mermaid,” as well as Captain America and Spiderman. The characters were members of the Fairytale Foundation, a nonprofit organization aimed at boosting the spirits of young children struggling with disabilities or illnesses by visiting them in hospitals and other facilities.

cinderella

The fairytale characters read from their favorite storybooks and helped the kids create their own magical crowns, tiaras and superhero capes, thanks to a generous donation from Harrison’s Heroes. The Houston nonprofit was created by Sandy Kothari following the death of her son, Harrison, after an extended hospital stay at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. Since its creation, the foundation has worked to spread joy and cheer among pediatric patients experiencing extended hospital stays by providing them with comforts of home. For this event, the group donated dozens of paper crowns and capes, as well as markers and crayons patients used to decorate their creations.

In addition to crafting make-believe costumes, patients and their families also had the opportunity to design a custom piece of jewelry from the Kendra Scott collection. As part of the brand’s “Mobile Color Bar,” the Austin-based jeweler sent a team outfitted with an array of multi-colored jewels and settings used to build necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Kids took turns making their selections as they designed pieces for themselves, and in some cases, for their mothers. The donation was part of the company’s ongoing philanthropic efforts supporting various hospitals and causes across the state.

“What a wonderful treat for our patients to have opportunity to live in this fairytale world, even if only for a few hours,” said Leigh Ann Cutting, Child Life Specialist at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. “The kids loved making their own capes and crowns, and the beautiful handmade jewelry gave them something they will cherish forever, long after their hospital stay.”

See the full photo gallery from the event.

Courtesy of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital

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Katy, TX (July 6, 2016) Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). MRI of the breast offers valuable information about many breast conditions that may not be obtained by other imaging modalities, such as mammography or ultrasound.

The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Parameters 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 that can be used for continuous practice improvement.

The ACR, founded in 1924, is a professional medical society dedicated to serving patients and society by empowering radiology professionals to advance the practice, science and professions of radiological care. The College serves more than 37,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (July 5, 2016) Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine are excited to announce the launch of a national quality improvement center in partnership with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The Emergency Medical Services for Children Innovation and Improvement Center (EIIC) was created to improve the quality of care and outcomes for children across the U.S. who are in need of urgent or emergency care. To learn more about this new center, visit www.EMSCImprovement.Center.

More than 27 million children in the U.S. visit emergency centers each year, with almost 2 million of those visits arriving to the hospital by Emergency Medical Services (EMS), also known as pre-hospital care.

“This center will focus on improving outcomes for children by developing and implementing quality improvement strategies that enhance pediatric emergency medical services both in the pre-hospital and hospital settings in all states and territories in the U.S.,” says Dr. Charles Macias, director of the EIIC. “This historic partnership between a pediatric hospital, academic center and the HRSA is truly transforming the way we look at providing and delivering health care.”

As part of the federal government’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the EIIC will work collaboratively with teams across the nation to focus efforts on quality improvement projects and initiatives to ensure every child has access to optimal pediatric urgent and emergency care no matter where they live or travel. The teams at Texas Children’s and Baylor, will collaborate with partners at the Emergency Nurses Association, the National Association of State EMS Officials, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics. They will utilize a clinical systems integration framework to provide the emergency care community with the training, support and tools to use quality improvement methodology in order to reduce morbidity and mortality in children.

Two specific examples of activities aimed at accomplishing this goal include the establishment of a National Pediatric Emergency Department Facility Recognition Program for all states; and enhancement of pediatric readiness through child specific equipment, training and systems improvement targeting the more than 4,000 hospital ECs nationwide.

Work at Baylor will leverage the expertise of faculty and programs including the Center for Collaborative and Interactive Technologies, a renowned center that develops enhanced technology-based strategies for evidence-based clinical support and communication. Additionally, the EIIC will benefit from the strength of the faculty of the Departments of Pediatrics and Surgery and integrate the Center for Child Health Policy and Advocacy at Texas Children’s. Additional work at Texas Children’s will integrate the expertise from the Quality Program to include evidence-based practice support from the Evidence Based Outcomes Center, headed by Macias.

The EIIC’s leadership team consists of Macias, who will serve as director; Krisanne Graves, Ph.D., RN, who will be the coordinator; and Drs. Manish Shah and Katherine Remick.

Officially launched this month, the EIIC hopes to demonstrate the national impact of leveraging quality improvement science, the experiential knowledge at Texas Children’s and Baylor, as well as the expertise at the multiple professional societies and federal organizations, to successfully transform and improve health care outcomes for children across the country.

Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital
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Katy, TX (June 30, 2016) Harris County ESD 48 Fire-EMS, in conjunction with Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center and the Memorial Herman Red Duke Trauma Institute, will now be carrying blood products in the field.

Blood Drive 7-2

Studies have shown the early intervention of blood products to injured trauma or critically ill patients helps improve their survival chances. Utilizing technology and assistance from air-medical and military medical partners, this process was adopted for ground based EMS.

Currently HCESD 48 Fire-EMS, carries A-negative low titer liquid plasma and O-negative red blood cells. Through active medical direction with EMS Practice Guidelines, these products are carried on the EMS Supervisor’s vehicle and are available 24/7 for patient administration in the field.

To date, four infusions of blood products have been completed and HCESD 48 Fire-EMS was on a mutual aid response with the Westlake Volunteer Fire Department was prepared to transfuse blood products at the scene of an Active Shooter Event.

The HCESD 48 Fire-EMS is also holding a blood drive on Saturday at their location on 1773 West Green Boulevard in Katy. The drive will run from 9 a.m. through 3 p.m. and donors can make an appointment at giveblood.org or show up and take the next available time on the day of the event.

Harris County ESD 48 Fire-EMS is a combination Fire Department and EMS serving the citizens of Harris County ESD- 48 and Fort Bend County ESD-1, in Western Harris County and North Eastern Fort Bend County. The department staffs three engines, one tower, three paramedic ambulances, EMS Supervisor and Battalion Chief 24/7, adding a 12-hour paramedic ambulance during the day. EMS, Pre-Hospital Medicine Guidelines are approved through Dr. David W. Reininger, MD Medical Director and Dr. Mark E. Escott, MD, MPH Associate Medical Director.

The Blood Center is the primary supplier of blood components to more than 170 hospitals and health care facilities in a 26-county Texas Gulf Coast region. Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is asking its donors to Commit for Life. It takes three simple steps: 1) Know how your type matters; 2) Donate what matters today; and 3) Commit to your next donation. Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is an independent, nonprofit blood center that is not affiliated with the American Red Cross.

Courtesy of HCESD 48

 

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Katy, TX (June 29, 2016) The upcoming Independence Day holiday may have people thinking about fireworks, barbecues, and outdoor activities. However, they are the very same activities that can make the holiday a dangerous one. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, Independence Day is one of the most dangerous holiday weekends of the year. Emergency medicine physicians affiliated with Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital want to remind people to stay safe while celebrating.

“We know a lot of people enjoy fireworks over the Fourth of July holiday. However, fireworks can be extremely dangerous and cause serious injuries if used recklessly,” says Mikael Lucas, M.D., Medical Director of Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital Emergency Services.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers these tips to use fireworks more safely:

  • Follow local laws
  • Do not allow young children to play with fireworks and older children should have adult supervision
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies

If a person is burned by a firework, the injury may need immediate care.

“Even the smallest fireworks, like firecrackers and sparklers, can cause serious burns. If the burn is larger than your hand, or a blister forms soon after the injury, you should seek medical attention or call 9-1-1,” adds Dr. Lucas.

The summer heat can also prove dangerous over the holiday weekend.

“Our area is no stranger to high heat and humidity which can lead to everything from sunburn to heatstroke. We want people to stay safe: drink lots of water, use sunscreen, and find some shade,” reminds Dr. Lucas.

If an emergency does arise, Memorial Hermann Katy’s emergency center stands ready to meet the needs of critically ill or injured patients, both adults and children. The level IV trauma center is staffed with specially trained nurses and physicians prepared to provide critical care services.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (June 17, 2016) As one of the first hospital-based programs of its kind, Texas Children’s Hospital is pleased to announce the launch of upWORDS, a program aimed at closing the opportunity gap. The upWORDS program will give parents the knowledge of how to improve the quantity and quality of language spoken with their child and educate them on the long-term impact language can have on their child’s success in life. Developed in association with the LENA Research Foundation, the program at Texas Children’s will launch a pilot program this summer at the hospital’s West Campus. To learn more about, or register for, the upWORDS program at Texas Children’s, visit texaschildrens.org/upwords-program.

“We are so proud to be one of the first hospitals to launch a program like this,” says Dr. Christopher Greeley, chief of the Section of Public Health Pediatrics at Texas Children’s. “The earliest years of a child’s life present an incredible window of opportunity to deeply impact their growth and development. We often wait until the child hits pre-school or kindergarten before we worry about language and speech. This program will allow us to train parents on language progression and techniques to understand how to provide the most successful environment for their child during these critical years.”

By the age of 3, 80 percent of a child’s brain development is complete. These first few years of a child’s life are therefore critical and provide the greatest opportunity to influence their success later in life. Research shows that many children are exposed to nearly 30 million fewer words than their peers by the time they reach the age of 3. The upWORDS program will help parents of infants and toddlers (0 to 6 months for the pilot program) close the “talk gap” by teaching them how to talk and interact more with their babies to increase brain development and positively impact their child’s future.

This six-month program, available in both English and Spanish, includes group classes where parents learn to use the LENA System™ to monitor their home language environment and are taught simple techniques to increase interactive talk with their child. The LENA System, which uses a small recorder that fits inside a vest worn by the child, measures the amount of words a family speaks to their child and how much their child responds in return. The recording is then translated into data that the parents can use to gauge how much they are talking to their child and identify opportunities to increase the level of spoken interaction they have with their baby. The recording is deleted immediately after it is processed so no one can ever listen to it. As part of the program, parents will also receive books to read with their children.

Programs using the LENA Start model have been implemented across the country in San Mateo County, California; Huntsville, Alabama; Ames, Iowa; and Minneapolis, Minnesota. One element that will be unique to the upWORDS program at Texas Children’s will be the individual coaching that parents receive. Twice a month, parents will meet individually with program staff at Texas Children’s and focus on unique program techniques tailored to their child in order to gain the best results possible. Parents will have the opportunity to not only discuss their data results from the LENA System, but also work through any additional obstacles that could potentially hinder their child’s development.

Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (June 14, 2016) The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) has granted Three-Year Accreditation with Silver Commendation to Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers.

“Accreditation by the Commission on Cancer is a testament to the strength of our cancer program and illustrates the scope and caliber of services we provide to the community,” said Sandy Miller, senior vice president of cancer services at Memorial Hermann. “It also demonstrates our commitment to guide our patients through every step of their journey – from prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and beyond to survivorship.”

To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers must meet or exceed 34 CoC quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process, and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care. Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation is only awarded to a facility that exceeds standard requirements at the time of its triennial survey.

Because it is CoC-accredited, Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers take a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer as a complex group of diseases that requires consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and other cancer specialists. This multidisciplinary partnership results in improved patient care.

The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers to improve quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs that focus on the full spectrum of cancer care, including prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, life-long follow-up for recurrent disease, and end-of-life care. When patients receive care at a CoC facility, they also have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling, and patient centered services including psycho-social support, a patient navigation process, and a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.

Like all CoC-accredited facilities, Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers maintain a cancer registry and contribute data to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), a joint program of the CoC and American Cancer Society (ACS). This nationwide oncology outcomes database is the largest clinical disease registry in the world. Data on all types of cancer are tracked and analyzed through the NCDB and used to explore trends in cancer care. CoC-accredited cancer centers, in turn, have access to information derived from this type of data analysis, which is used to create national, regional, and state benchmark reports. These reports help CoC facilities with their quality improvement efforts.

ACS estimates that more than 1.6 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2016. There are currently more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, representing 30 percent of all hospitals.  CoC-accredited facilities diagnose and/or treat more than 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer patients.  When cancer patients choose to seek care locally at a CoC-accredited cancer center, they are gaining access to comprehensive, state-of-the-art cancer care close to home. The CoC provides the public with information on the resources, services, and cancer treatment experience for each CoC-accredited cancer program through the CoC Hospital Locator at http://www.facs.org/cancerprogram/index.html.

Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers are committed to cancer treatment, prevention, and research. Broad geographical coverage, with eight locations in the greater Houston area including the Texas Medical Center, Memorial City, Katy, Southeast, Southwest, Greater Heights, The Woodlands and Northeast, makes cancer treatment extremely accessible and convenient to where patients live or work. For more information, visit www.memorialhermann.org/cancer/.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann

 

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Katy, TX (June 13, 2016) Talk about a Texas-sized event! More than 200 cancer survivors and caregivers donned their best western-wear as a part of a recent “Survivor’s Celebration of Life” event at the Westin Memorial City hosted by Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers.

Attendees at this year’s Texas-themed event dined on healthy country fare, let their hair down in the photo booth, and showed off their dance moves on the dance floor. Memorial Hermann staff members also led the group in a specially-choreographed line dance.

“The dance just gets bigger and better every year. It’s something survivors and their caregivers always rave about. Not only do they love seeing us dance, but they love joining us on the dance floor! It’s a great way to get people moving and smiling,” says oncology nurse navigator Jessica Burgess with Memorial Hermann Cancer Center- Memorial City Medical Center.

This year’s event also featured keynote speaker and cancer survivor Dr. Dan Shapiro. The Vice Dean for Faculty and Administrative Affairs at the Penn State College of Medicine, Dr. Shapiro is also an author whose writings about the patient experience and physician patient relationships have been featured in the New York Times, the New England Journal of Medicine and others.

Memorial Hermann also wants to thank the nearly 40 staff members from 5 campuses who volunteered their time putting on the annual event for survivors and their loved ones.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital
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Katy, TX (June 1, 2016) It started as a typical Friday night for 69-year-old Patricia Franklin. The Katy resident watched her grandson Jordan play football, but on the way home, her right temple began to throb.  Franklin chalked it up to overexertion, thinking rest, a bowl of ice cream, and a few minutes of television might make her feel better.


That’s when things began to take a turn for the worse. When Franklin stood to take her bowl to the sink, it fell from her hands.  She looked down and noticed her left arm was dangling at her side.

Not recognizing the symptoms of stroke, she declined her daughter’s suggestion to visit an emergency room.  Instead, she went about her bedtime routine.  When she couldn’t put on her night gown or climb into bed, she knew it was time to take action.

“Because stroke affects the brain, patients may not realize they are having a stroke,” said Jose Diaz, M.D., stroke neurologist affiliated with Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital and Franklin’s physician.  “Symptoms are distinct, appear quickly, and include sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg; sudden confusion or speech difficulty; sudden vision impairment; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; and a sudden severe headache with no known cause.”

Franklin’s daughter rushed her to a nearby emergency room, where it was discovered that she had a stroke. Franklin received the clot-busting drug tPA and was transferred to Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital for further treatment and observation.

Today, Franklin is on the mend, but she shares her story to educate others on the signs and symptoms of stroke.

“I was in denial that it was a stroke. I didn’t have a family history of stroke and I was a healthy, non-smoker with normal blood pressure,” said Franklin.  “Hindsight is 20/20.  Now I know I had the classic symptoms of stroke and I’m fortunate that I sought medical treatment in time.”

To a bystander, someone having a stroke may just look unaware or confused. Stroke victims have the best chance if someone around them recognizes the symptoms and gets help quickly. Memorial Hermann recommends F.A.S.T. as an acronym to remember the sudden signs of stroke:

  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulty
  • Time to call 9-1-1

To find out if you are at risk of stroke, talk with your health care provider.

Memorial Hermann Katy has earned the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission (TJC) for Advanced Stroke Certification and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark  for  Primary Stroke Centers. Additionally, the hospital was recently awarded the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Silver Performance Achievement Award, which recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

To learn more about stroke care at Memorial Hermann Katy, call 281-644-7000 or visit www.memorialhermann.org.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospitals
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Katy, TX (June 1, 2016) Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital recently held a special event to thank and acknowledge recently retired Houston Texans player Chris Myers and his wife, Jenny, for their longtime contributions. The Myers family has generously supported Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital’s Pediatric Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Program for several years with volunteer efforts and financial support through the Dreambuilders Foundation.

mem herm

Pictured from left: Susie Distefano, Dr. John Teichgraeber, Chris Myers, Jenny Myers, and Dr. Matthew Greives

Over three years ago, Chris and Jenny’s son, Keane, was born with a cleft lip and palate. Without surgeries, Keane would have had trouble eating and speaking. He was treated by Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital’s pediatric plastic surgery team.

“When we decided to raise money through the Dreambuilders Foundation, we had no doubt that we wanted these funds to go to the pediatric plastic surgery program at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital,” said Jenny Myers. “We wanted other families to share the incredible experience that the outstanding team provided for our son, Keane. The opportunity to assist families in easing the financial burden that comes along with cleft surgeries is extremely humbling.”

Guests at the event were asked to make a contribution to the Pediatric Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Program in lieu of a going away present for the Myers, who are moving to Philadelphia this summer. As a gift to the Myers, patients from Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital painted a keepsake plate, which reads “thank you” and shows a decorated landscape.

“The Myers’ generosity has assisted a number of families who otherwise might not have had access to the procedures needed to help their children,” said Matthew Greives, M.D., craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgeon affiliated with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Plastic Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “Our department operates like a family, and the Myers have been an integral part of that family for many years now. We wish them all the best in their upcoming move. Their compassionate hearts will be missed.”

Also in attendance at the event were Susie Distefano, Senior Vice President and CEO of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, and John Teichgraeber, M.D., Co-Director of the Texas Cleft-Craniofacial Clinic at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and professor in the Division of Pediatric Plastic Surgery at McGovern Medical School.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospitals

 

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Katy, TX (May 19, 2016) Texas Children’s Hospital is excited to unveil the Lewis Jewelers Dialysis Unit. Each November, the Lewis family hosts a fundraiser to support the Renal Department at Texas Children’s Hospital where their son, Levi Lewis, was once a patient. Levi is now healthy and these funds raised will help other children in the community receive the specialized care they need.

Photo 1

John R. Nicken, Dr. Michael Braun, Slade Lewis, Cindy Lewis, Jackie Ward, Helen Currier, Frida Wilson, Tina Ninan, and Valesca Adams

Through the $1 million raised at their annual event and from a recent pledge from the family, the Lewises are generously supporting the Renal Department at Texas Children’s, one of largest pediatric programs in the world. Providing diagnostic, therapeutic and long-term care for infants, children and adolescents with all forms of congenital and acquired kidney diseases, the team at Texas Children’s places a large focus on enhancing the quality of life for patients.

Photo 2

Tarah Hilton, Stephanie Hilton, Whitley Lewis, Calah Hilton, Claude Lewis, Sandy Lewis, Dr. Michael Braun, Levi Lewis, Slade Lewis, Cindy Lewis, and Erica Whitley
Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (May 16, 2016) Memorial Hermann is proud to announce that eight of its hospitals have received recognition from the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association (ASA) for the high-quality stroke care provided to patients.

Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at the Texas Medical Center (MNI) once again received the highest honor bestowed by the AHA/ASA, the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus-Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus award, an honor recognizing MNI’s adherence to all seven of the stroke achievement measures established by the AHA/ASA for two or more consecutive years.

“We are so honored to have been selected once again for this preeminent recognition,” said Dr. Sean Savitz, medical director of MNI’s comprehensive stroke center and stroke program director at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “Our team works hard every day to ensure our patients receive the very best, safest stroke care possible, and this award underscores our commitment to save lives and prevent complications that can lead to lifelong disabilities.”

In addition to MNI’s accolades, AHA/ASA recognized 24 consecutive months of quality stroke performance at Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, which both received the Gold Plus-Target: Stroke Elite award; Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, which was recognized as a Gold Plus-Target: Stroke Honor Roll hospital; and Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, which earned the Gold Plus recognition. Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital, Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital and Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital each received recognition as Silver-Target: Stroke Honor Roll hospitals, measuring 12 consecutive months of meeting AHA/ASA’s achievement standards.

The announcement came during National Stroke Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about the dangers of strokes and educate Americans about the ways to prevent acute blockages to arteries in the brain that continue to be one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. Strokes afflict a new patient every 40 seconds and lead to one death every four minutes. Nearly 800,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke every year.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann

 

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Katy, TX (May 16, 2016) Texas Children’s Hospital is proud to announce the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has verified the hospital as a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center. For more information visit the ACS website.

The one-year verification was awarded following an extensive pilot site visit in May 2015. During the visit, Texas Children’s assisted in the review and refinement of guidelines set forth by ACS with the goal of improving the safety and quality of pediatric surgery performed at centers across the country. At this time, Texas Children’s is among only two Level 1 Children’s Surgery Centers in the U.S., and the only children’s hospital in Texas and the southwest region to earn this distinction.

“We are honored to be one of the inaugural hospitals to receive this esteemed verification,” said Dr. Charles D. Fraser Jr., surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children’s and professor of surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. “As a leader in pediatric surgical care, we believe it is important for children to undergo surgery with a focused, dedicated team of specialized pediatric surgeons, anesthesiologists, radiologists, intensivists, nurses, staff and support departments committed to pediatric care. We carefully track our outcomes with the goal of providing the best possible results. We are honored to be recognized for our commitment to high-quality care for our patients.”

A Level 1 verification requires Texas Children’s to provide surgery and anesthesia for all major pediatric specialties for children of all ages – from premature infants to adolescents. Additionally, the hospital must have not only the highest level Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), pediatric emergency medicine physicians and pediatric radiologists available all day, every day, but also the most robust data collection, outcomes assessment and quality improvement efforts.

A team of 25 physicians, nurses and members of the administration, anesthesiology, nursing, the outcomes and impact service, the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), quality, radiology, surgery and transport teams served on Texas Children’s ACS verification committee.

The Department of Surgery at Texas Children’s represents more than 90 full-time pediatric-focused surgeons who are also faculty members at Baylor. Surgeons, advanced practice providers and more than 700 Texas Children’s staff members are dedicated to caring for and improving the health of children through patient care, education and research. The team’s efforts are evident in the more than 26,700 operative cases performed, more than 1,200 trauma admissions and 144,800 outpatient clinic visits in 2015.

For more information about Texas Children’s Department of Surgery visit texaschildrens.org/surgery.

Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (May 12, 2016) Memorial Hermann is announcing plans to open Memorial Hermann Urgent Care in Fulshear in early 2017.

The new Memorial Hermann Urgent Care in Fulshear will be staffed with board-certified family medicine physicians from the Memorial Hermann Medical Group (MHMG) who will provide walk-in care for non-life-threatening health conditions. The 2,847 square-foot Urgent Care will also offer x-ray and lab services and join HEB as part of a new shopping center currently under construction at the intersection of FM 1463 and Fulshear Bend Drive.

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“We’re pleased to bring this new level of care to the greater Katy area,” says Jim Parisi, Sr. Vice President and CEO, Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital. “Our community is growing rapidly and families need quick, safe, high quality care that’s convenient and close to home. In addition, our Urgent Care will provide an affordable entry point to the full array of healthcare services offered by Memorial Hermann.”

The new Urgent Care will offer residents of Fulshear and Katy the ease and convenience of extended medical care and will serve as an extension of a primary care physician’s office.

“The addition of Memorial Hermann Urgent Care will provide Katy, Fulshear and surrounding communities every level of care offered by Memorial Hermann,” says Jennifer Zimmerman, Vice President of Operations at Memorial Hermann Medical Group. “Medical needs don’t always fit into a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday schedule. Memorial Hermann Urgent Care will serve Cinco Ranch, Cross Creek Ranch, Firethorne and surrounding communities with safe, affordable, convenient healthcare seven days a week.”

If your primary care physician is a member of the MHMG, your Memorial Hermann Urgent Care visit will be placed in your Memorial Hermann electronic health record. This will allow your MHMG primary care provider to easily review your Memorial Hermann Urgent Care records during any follow up appointments.

Memorial Hermann Urgent Care in Fulshear will open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week for walk-in access and will be located at 5102 FM 1463, Katy, Texas, 77494.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann

 

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Katy, TX (May 12, 2016)

WHAT: Memorial Hermann Katy hospital recently completed an $85 million expansion project to meet the needs of the growing Texas community. EarthCam’s construction camera was onsite to document the project with HD imagery from September 2014 to March 2016 and the entire process is showcased with EarthCam’s new time-lapse movie.

WHY: The new six-story, 229,000-square-foot patient tower will add capacity to multiple areas. Renovations to the existing hospital include new surgical suites, labor and delivery, an expanded emergency department and more.

HOW: Watch and share EarthCam’s hand-edited time-lapse movie of construction for the Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital expansion project.

 

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Katy, TX (May 9, 2016) Texas Children’s Hospital is proud to announce Dr. Howard L. Weiner as chief of neurosurgery. Texas Children’s is ranked #2 nationally in neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News World Report. For more information visit texaschildrens.org/neurosurgery.

Dr. Howard L. Weiner

“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Weiner,” said Dr. Charles D. Fraser Jr., surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children’s and professor of surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. “His clinical interests and vision for the next stages of development of neurosurgery at Texas Children’s are complementary to the expertise of our team. The patients and families we treat will benefit greatly from his tremendous experience in the field.”

Weiner’s clinical interests include medically refractory epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis complex. He also treats children with brain and spinal tumors, congenital malformations, tethered cords, chiari malformations, craniosynostosis, hydrocephalus, spina bifida and spasticity. His research interests have included the biology of tuberous sclerosis complex, the role of the sonic hedgehog signaling pathway in medulloblastoma and therapeutic strategies for germ cell tumors of the central nervous system.

Weiner, who also serves as professor of surgery at Baylor, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. During residency, he was also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at New York University. Following residency, Weiner was awarded the Van Wagenen Fellowship by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons to study brain development in Paris. He also completed a fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery at New York University Medical Center.

Weiner is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons and the American Epilepsy Society.

“I also extend my thanks to Dr. Thomas Luerssen for his nine years of outstanding leadership and service as chief of neurosurgery at Texas Children’s,” added Fraser. “During his tenure, he built a truly preeminent neurosurgery team of consummate academic and clinical surgeons.”

Texas Children’s neurosurgery program is among the largest and most experienced pediatric neurosurgery units in the U.S. Expert neurosurgeons perform more than 950 surgeries annually for a broad range of pediatric neurosurgical disorders.

 

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Katy, TX (May 6, 2016) Technological advancements and aggressive treatments have helped save lives and improve recovery times for patients suffering from strokes, but acute blockages to arteries in the brain continue to be one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States.

That’s why Memorial Hermann Health System remains committed to combatting strokes with some of the most sophisticated and groundbreaking treatments. As we observe National Stroke Month in May, Memorial Hermann is proud to announce another significant milestone in its decades-long quest to bring stroke innovation to its patients.

The stroke team at Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at the Texas Medical Center (MNI) and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth recently implemented a dramatically effective stroke treatment that has been lauded as a stroke game-changer, according to published research findings. Performed by specially-trained endovascular interventionalists, the treatment uses a device called a stent retriever to thread through a network of tiny and narrow blood vessels to grab the deadly blood clots and remove them from the brain. Research shows that patients who qualify for this procedure and are treated with stent retrievers, in addition to standard treatment including the intravenously administered clot-busting agent tPA, have a much greater chance of functional independence following a stroke. The stent retriever is available only at select institutions across the United States, including those that are designated as Comprehensive Stroke Centers like MNI.

“Our utilization of this state-of-the-art thrombectomy device gives patients who have had a severe stroke their best chance for full recovery,” said Dr. P. Roc Chen, a cerebrovascular neurosurgeon at MNI and associate professor of neurosurgery at McGovern Medical School. “It’s the latest example of our dedication to investing in cutting-edge therapies that give patients better outcomes.”

Nearly three decades ago, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC), then called Hermann Hospital, established the first Stroke Center in Houston, one of the first such-dedicated programs in the world and 10 years later, the Campus became one of the first hospitals in the nation to test tPA in a clinical trial that eventually changed stroke management.

In the years since, Memorial Hermann has continued its tradition of delivering high-quality care to help reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability. MNI, which treats more than 2,000 stroke patients each year, was the first stroke program in Texas to meet The Joint Commission’s rigorous standards for the highly coveted Comprehensive Stroke Center certification. The Institute is also home to the city’s first dedicated Stroke Unit and one of the nation’s largest and busiest Neuroscience Intensive Care Units.

In addition, Memorial Hermann-TMC, in partnership with McGovern Medical School, operates the nation’s first Mobile Stroke Unit, a specially equipped ambulance with a CT (computed tomography) scanner capable of providing pre-hospital stroke treatment. The unit allows the stroke unit team to quickly assess whether a patient is having a stroke caused by a blood clot and, if so, tPA can be administered immediately. That’s crucial because tPA, the first FDA-approved treatment for an ischemic stroke, must be given within three hours of the first signs of stroke, so every minute counts when it comes to stroke intervention.

More than 250 people per year have been treated using the Mobile Stroke Unit since it was introduced in 2014. The research team has been tracking patient outcomes and expects that those treated on the Mobile Stroke Unit will have fewer long-term disabilities, a better quality of life and lower overall healthcare costs. The team is gearing up to launch Phase II of the research trial, which includes a second unit and expanded hours of operation.

“The Mobile Stroke Unit has greatly added to the arsenal of resources at our fingertips to battle deadly and life-altering complications of strokes,” said James C. Grotta, M.D., the director of stroke research at the Clinical Institute for Research & Innovation at Memorial Hermann-TMC and director of the Mobile Stroke Unit consortium. “This innovative model of delivering acute stroke care has the potential for changing the way strokes are treated, not just in the Greater Houston area, but across the United States.”

Memorial Hermann’s stroke expertise extends beyond the Texas Medical Center throughout the Greater Houston area through the Mischer Neuroscience Associates outpatient clinics, where more than 90 affiliated neurosurgeons, pain management specialists and neurologists provide round-the-clock coverage to Houston and its outlying communities. Seven other Memorial Hermann hospitals have also been designated as Primary Stroke Centers, including Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital, and Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital.

Furthermore, the System’s interventions continue long after acute treatment, as expert staff at TIRR Memorial Hermann work to deliver comprehensive care to manage patients’ medical needs and provide individualized therapy sessions, group treatment and community outings to address patients’ functional abilities.

Strokes remain a major problem across the United States, claiming a new victim every 40 seconds and leading to one death every four minutes, according to the American Stroke Association. Nearly 800,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke every year.

Because strokes affect the brain, patients may not realize they are having a stroke. Symptoms are distinct and appear quickly. They include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side of the body)
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

To a bystander, someone having a stroke may just look unaware or confused. Stroke victims have the best chance if someone around them recognizes the symptoms and gets help quickly. Memorial Hermann recommends F.A.S.T. as an acronym to remember the sudden signs of stroke:

  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulty
  • Time to call 9-1-1

Learn more about Memorial Hermann’s pioneering efforts in stroke treatment, and register to attend the upcoming 4th Annual Stomp Out Stroke Festival, hosted by McGovern Medical School and sponsored by MNI, to raise awareness and reduce stroke risk.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann

 

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Katy, TX (May 5, 2016) The Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at the Texas Medical Center (MNI) and McGovern Medical School at UTHealth are pleased to announce the addition of Joseph Martinez, M.D. Dr. Martinez will serve as a neurosurgeon at Mischer Neuroscience Associates as well as an assistant professor at McGovern Medical School’s Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery.

Photo by Dwight C. Andrews/McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Office of Communications Dr. Joseph Martinez - Neurosurgery
Photo by Dwight C. Andrews/McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Office of Communications
Dr. Joseph Martinez – Neurosurgery

Dr. Martinez is a neurosurgeon who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of spine disorders. He has a special interest in the treatment of degenerative disc disease, disc herniation, sciatica, radiculopathy, spinal stenosis, spinal cord compression and myelopathy, and metastatic spine tumors.

“The knowledge and experience that Dr. Martinez adds to the team at Mischer Neuroscience Associates will be tremendously beneficial to both our staff and our patients,” said Daniel Kim, M.D., Director of Reconstructive Spinal and Peripheral Nerve Surgery at MNI and Professor at McGovern Medical School’s Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery. “The addition of Dr. Martinez greatly enhances our elective spine surgery and spine trauma divisions and supports our goal to continuously evolve and learn, providing our patients with the best possible neurological care.”

Dr. Martinez is the co-author of articles published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine and chapters on anterior lumbar interbody fusion and lumbar disk arthroplasty in the textbook Essential Techniques of Operative Surgery.

Dr. Martinez completed his residency in neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and later served as a fellow in complex spine surgery at the University of Miami. In 2001, he was awarded the William J. von Liebig Research Fellowship in Vascular Surgery at Harvard Medical School and has been listed among Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann

 

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Katy, TX (May 3, 2016) Get moving, keep learning and live healthier are just some of the goals of the YMCA’s annual nationwide Healthy Kids Day. This year several volunteers from Women Leaders of Memorial Hermann helped make the event a success at three Houston area locations.

HealthyKidsDay-LanghamCreek

The group helped support Healthy Kids Day at the Vic Coppinger Family YMCA in Pearland, the Langham Creek Family YMCA in Houston and the Lake Houston Family YMCA. Each location represents a different region served my Memorial Hermann.

The event featured games, entertainment, fitness challenges and health screenings. The event also provided opportunities for kids to register for the YMCA’s many summer programs like day camp, youth sports and swim lessons.

“We are grateful to partner with an organization like Memorial Hermann that encourages their employees to volunteer with the YMCA of Greater Houston,” said Charlotte Vargo, healthy living director, Langham Creek Family YMCA. “As childhood obesity and other chronic illnesses increase, we can be assured that Memorial Hermann supports the YMCA’s focus areas in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.”

Women Leaders of Memorial Hermann, which currently includes more than 400 leaders from throughout the Memorial Hermann Health System, was formed in 2015 to inspire, engage and develop exceptional leaders within the organization. “Strong leadership is vital to the success of any business and is absolutely essential in our ever-changing healthcare environment,” said Erin Asprec, Regional President of Memorial Hermann and co-founder of the Women Leaders of Memorial Hermann. “As one of the key tenets of Women Leaders of Memorial Hermann, our work with the community has led to a wonderful partnership with the YMCA providing our members with a unique volunteer opportunity to serve our community outside the walls of our facilities.”

You can learn more about the ongoing partnership between Memorial Hermann and the YMCA at, http://www.memorialhermann.org/services-specialties/ymca-partnership/.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann

 

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Katy, TX (May 2, 2016) Rafael Moncayo, M.D., a board certified family medicine physician, recently joined the Memorial Hermann Medical Group (MHMG) Firethorne in Katy.

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Dr. Moncayo received his medical degree from Universidad Industrial de Santander in Bucaramanga, Colombia, and completed his residency at Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program in Houston.

He is fluent in Italian and Spanish and provides highly personalized care for patients age 6 to adult. Among the many conditions he treats, his special interests include diabetes, hypertension and dementia.

Dr. Moncayo joins family nurse practitioner Angela Leslie, MSN, RN, FNP-C, as part of the Memorial Hermann Medical Group Firethorne. He is seeing patients at 2750 FM 1463, Suite 100, Katy, TX 77494.

Appointments may be scheduled by calling 832-658-3010, or online through ScheduleNow at mhmg.memorialhermann.org.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann

 

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Katy, TX (April 14, 2016) Scores of transplant patients recently gathered at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC) to celebrate their health and thank the organ donors who made it possible for them to be there.

In honor of National Donate Life Month, Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-TMC (HVI) hosted its first ever “Celebrating the Gift” event for more than 140 heart transplant patients and their families in a show of appreciation for those who give the gift of life.

Every April, organ procurement organizations across the United States hold celebrations to honor the legacies of organ, eye and tissue donors whose unselfish gifts saved the lives of others. The ceremony at HVI marked the start of an annual tradition by the Institute to emphasize the life-giving nature of organ donation.

In Texas, there are 13,000 people awaiting organ transplants, according to LifeGift, and 819 lives were saved last year across the organization’s regions.

“This is really about the donors. This is really about the people who through their love of mankind and their desire to help others, let their families know or let someone know that if they ever die an untimely death, they would want their spirit of selflessness to move on,” said Elizabeth Mosele, social work manager at HVI.

In an emotional ceremony in the waiting room of the Center for Advanced Heart Failure at HVI, transplant recipients wiped tears from their face as they shared their deeply personal stories about long illnesses, organ failures and the gifts from strangers that gave them a fresh chance at life.

James DeGarmo, who recently received a lung transplant as part of the Center for Advanced Heart Failure’s newly launched Lung Transplant Program, said he was beyond grateful for the new organ and that he feels an obligation to live his life to the fullest in honor of his donor.

“It’s been my goal to give the donor’s family the best treatment of the gift they gave me,” he said. “I’m so grateful for them.”

Not all transplant recipients get the opportunity to meet the relatives of their organ donors, but for those who are able to connect, the bonds they create are extremely special and can last a lifetime.

Jimmie Brooks Bolton, 75, attended the ceremony with his donor’s mother, Karen Morales. The two first connected not long after Bolton received her son’s heart, and they have grown close since, meeting each other’s families and forging an instant kinship.

transplant

“All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you,” Bolton said at the ceremony. “It’s made my life possible. It’s made it possible for me to hold my grandchildren, hold my great-grandchildren, and continue with my life. All I can say is thank you.”

At the close of the ceremony, transplant recipients recited a pledge thanking organ donors and were given long-stemmed red roses to hand to their donor families or, if they hadn’t connected with their donor families, to another person for whom they were grateful.

Morales walked away with a bouquet of flowers from recipients in the room expressing their appreciation for her son’s gift. “I’m just so thankful that I was able to fulfill my son’s wishes,” she said.

Learn more information about Memorial Hermann’s transplant program, or register to become a donor through Donate Life Texas.

View more photos of the ceremony here.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann

 

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Katy, TX (April 4, 2016) Memorial Hermann Health System announced today the appointment of Nishant “Shaun” Anand, MD, FACEP, as Physician-in-Chief for MHMD, the Memorial Hermann Physician Network, effective June 2016. Dr. Anand most recently served as Chief Medical Officer for Banner Health Network (BHN), a large physician and provider network based in Phoenix.

Dr. Anand

In his new role, Dr. Anand will help lead MHMD – one of the largest physician organizations in the country, with more than 4,000 independent and employed physician members. He also joins the Memorial Hermann Accountable Care Organization (MHACO), recognized as the top-performing Medicare Shared Savings ACO in the country two years in a row. “With his physician leadership background and keen understanding of clinically-integrated care and population health management, Dr. Anand will be an asset on our executive team,” said Executive Vice President and CEO of MHMD and MHACO, Chris Lloyd.  “He has an outstanding background with demonstrated results and success – including as a practicing physician.  We look forward to him joining MHMD and the Memorial Hermann family.”

With BHN, Dr. Anand managed the clinical integration initiatives for physician committees that were designed to address care quality across the entire continuum, from acute and post-acute care to telehealth and wellness. He achieved innovative contracts with payers including risk capitation, bundled payment, shared savings and pay-for-performance models. Prior to his CMO role at BHN, Dr. Anand served as associate program director of the University of Arizona Emergency Medicine Residency Program, in addition to serving as fellowship director for the simulation program. In 2012, he was appointed vice president of Business Development and Care Delivery for Emergency Professional Services.

Recognized as an expert in population health, Dr. Anand served on the Cerner Population Health Advisory Board which guides Cerner’s strategy pertaining to population health and data analytics. Most recently, he was appointed to serve on the Arizona Governor’s Council for Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response.

“I am extremely honored to join such a forward-thinking organization, like Memorial Hermann,” Dr. Anand said. “It is a very exciting time to be in healthcare, particularly at Memorial Hermann and specifically a part of MHMD, where the focus on population health and clinically-integrated care is a priority.”
Dr. Anand earned his medical degree from the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minn., and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine at Stanford.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann

 

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Katy, TX (March 31, 2016) Texas Children’s Hospital is proud to announce Dr. Tamir Miloh as director of pediatric hepatology and liver transplant medicine. For more information visit texaschildrens.org/GI.

TamirMilohPhoto

“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Miloh to our team,” said Dr. John Goss, medical director of transplant services and professor of surgery and chief of the division of abdominal transplantation at Baylor College of Medicine. “His diverse background and specialized training will prove to be an invaluable asset to our transplant patients and their families.”

Miloh’s research interests include the investigation of liver transplantation and various pediatric liver diseases such as primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), autoimmune hepatitis, Wilson’s disease, metabolic diseases, biliary atresia, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and acute liver failure. In addition to his clinical role, he is invested in education in the field of pediatric hepatology and has established an ACGME accredited advanced transplant hepatology program at Texas Children’s.

Miloh, who also serves as an associate professor of pediatrics-gastroenterology at Baylor, earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel. He did his residency training at Wolfson Hospital in Holon, Israel as well as St. Christopher Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. Miloh completed a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology and a one-year fellowship in pediatric hepatology and transplant at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and has earned Certificate of Added Qualification in pediatric liver transplantation.

Miloh is a member of the American Association of Gastroenterology, American Association of the Study of Liver Disease, North American Society of Gastroenterology and Nutrition Hepatology Committee and International Pediatric Transplant Association, among others.

Each year, more than 20,000 children visit the Gastroenterology, and Nutrition service at Texas Children’s. Specialists provide treatment for these patients with a broad spectrum of intestinal, liver and nutritional disorders. The first liver was transplanted at Texas Children’s in 1988 and in 2015, the expert team performed 30 liver transplants.

Courtesy of Texas Children’s Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (March 25, 2016)The local chapter of the Arthritis Foundation recently honored Ankur Kamdar, M.D., McGovern Medical School pediatric rheumatologist affiliated with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, for raising awareness about a silent disease and working to bolster interest in an underrepresented specialty.

arthritis foundation

Dr. Kamdar was named the foundation’s 2016 Medical Honoree at the 10th Annual Joints in Action Golf Tournament on March 24, a fundraising event that celebrates patients with arthritis who continue to enjoy active lives after joint replacement.  The foundation also honored his patient, 12-year-old Allie Guerino, who was named the 2016 Youth Honoree. Proceeds from the event help support the foundation’s mission to conquer arthritis through information and resources, access to health care, advancements in science and community connections.

“People have the misperception that arthritis is an old person’s disease, but it can affect all age ranges,” Dr. Kamdar said. “Many people have never even heard of juvenile arthritis, but the young people who suffer from it are forced to deal with a lot at an early age. While most kids are able to live a fulfilling life, and even continue to play competitive sports, in some cases, they have to take infusions and shots and medications every day, just to be able to move.”

Allie was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at 9 years old after suffering with extreme swelling in her joints. Her family was told that, because of the shortage of pediatric rheumatologists, it could take up to three months to get an appointment. But Allie’s father sent an email to the colleagues at his law firm, and one recommended Dr. Kamdar, who was able to see Allie within a week, helping ease her parents’ anxiety about the diagnosis.

“Dr. Kamdar cares so much about each and every patient,” Allie’s mother, Sallie Guerino said. “He gives so much time and attention to them and he has this huge heart. It’s obvious that he loves this line of work. He gives it his all.”

Thanks to a specialized treatment regimen prescribed by Dr. Kamdar, Allie, now in sixth grade, continues to lead an active lifestyle. She’s a key contributor on her basketball team and loves playing field hockey and softball at St. Francis Episcopal Day School.

“I hope to raise awareness that kids get arthritis and it makes a big impact on their lives,” she said.

Dr. Kamdar, who has been actively involved in the foundation since 2007, has been a leader in trying to encourage more aspiring doctors to consider a career in pediatric rheumatology. Dr. Kamdar first recognized the shortage during his pediatric training, noting that there were not enough doctors to see the number of children diagnosed each year with juvenile arthritis. Dr. Kamdar is now the associate program director of the general pediatrics residency program at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, and has worked diligently to educate future doctors and health professionals in all levels of training so that they are better equipped to care for patients of all ages suffering with rheumatic disease.

Arthritis, the leading cause of disability in the United States, afflicts one in every five adults and one in every 250 children, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Children with arthritis can struggle with eye inflammation and growth problems. The chronic disease can also cause their bones and joints to grow unevenly. The disease can be diagnosed in infants as young as 1-year-old, requiring lifelong medical treatment, but the risks increase with age, with nearly half of adults over the age of 65 suffering from arthritis.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann
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Katy, TX (March 25, 2016) Beginning Friday, April 1, Memorial Urology Associates in Memorial City and Katy will join Memorial Hermann Medical Group and become Memorial Hermann Medical Group Urology.

The group of seven doctors combines for more than 120 years of professional experience.

Dr. Melvyn Anhalt, M.D., Dr. Ramesh Krishnan, M.D., Dr. Mark Kalish, M.D., Dr. Andrew Selzman, M.D., Dr. Alan Skolnick, M.D., and Dr. Paul Smith, M.D., will staff the office located at 915 Gessner Road, Suite 720, Houston, 77024.

Dr. David Kent, M.D., will staff the Katy office located at 23920 Katy Freeway, Suite 380, Katy, 77494. Dr. Krishnan and Dr. Smith will also see patients at the Katy location.

For more information or to schedule an appointment call 713-830-9100.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Medical Group

 

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Katy, TX (March 23, 2016) According to studies, an estimated 11 percent of American adults suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain syndrome can often arise from trauma, nerve damage, degenerative conditions, cancer, debilitating headaches, facial pain diseases and systemic metabolic disorders such as diabetes. Sufferers often feel aches in their joints, bones or muscles for months and even years.

For many, this pain can be treatable with a procedure known as spinal cord stimulation – a process that entails implanting a small device under the skin which then sends electrical signals to the spinal cord to interfere with the nerve impulses that make one feel pain. In the U.S., approximately 25,000 new spinal cord stimulation implants and 8,000 replacement implants occur each year. However, if one of these patients was in need of an emergency MRI, the devices were not MRI-safe – until now.

Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at the Texas Medical Center (MNI) was recently selected as the first site in Texas to receive the Medtronic Specify SureScan® MRI Technology, which is the first-ever MRI-safe spinal cord stimulation device. MNI will have access to the device beginning March 23.

“The MRI-safe SureScan will be great for all of our chronic pain syndrome patients because no patient can predict when they might need an MRI,” said Dr. Albert Fenoy, UTHealth neurosurgeon affiliated with MNI. “We treat a large number of patients for chronic pain syndrome, and it is important for them to have the same care experience as other patients when an MRI is needed.”

Based on Millennium Research Group’s 2014 market analysis of pain management devices in the U.S., 82 percent of patients implanted with a spinal cord stimulator are expected to need an MRI within five years of receiving their implant. These new neurostimulation systems will offer patients the confidence of knowing they can receive optimal diagnostic imaging anywhere in the body should the need arise. Without an MRI-safe device, Dr. Fenoy says patients would need to have the device removed, undergo the MRI and then have the device implanted again, which is costly and time consuming.

“We are incredibly honored to have been selected as the first site in Texas to have access to this new technology,” said Dr. Fenoy. “It speaks volumes of the work we are doing at MNI and the innovative treatments being provided by our UTHealth physicians.”

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital

 

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Katy, TX (March 8, 2016) Following an extensive nationwide search that included both internal and external candidates, the Memorial Hermann Health System Board announced today the appointment of Benjamin K. Chu, M.D., MPH, MACP as President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System, effective June 2016. Dr. Chu – a well-respected, national thought leader in the health care industry – brings to Memorial Hermann an accomplished, four-decade long career as a physician, administrator and policy advocate.

Chu Photo 3

Dr. Chu will succeed current president and CEO Dan Wolterman, who has impressively and passionately led Memorial Hermann for 17 years.

Dr. Chu currently serves as the executive vice president of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Inc., and Group President of Kaiser Permanente Southern California and Georgia regions. He directs health plan and hospital operations for 14 hospitals and 237 medical offices, serving more than 4.5 million members in Southern California and Georgia. Dr. Chu, who also serves on the organization’s national executive team, has helped set the short and long-term strategies of Kaiser Permanente, one of America’s leading healthcare providers and not-for-profit health plans, with an emphasis on quality and patient safety, physician integration and population health.

“Ben is a proven leader with extensive national experience and a demonstrated ability to elevate an organization to the next level,” said Will Williams, Memorial Hermann Board Chair. “We are confident he will be able to continue our mission of advancing health in Southeast Texas.”

The complexity and size of an organization like Memorial Hermann called for a thoughtful and thorough selection process.

According to Williams, “After a comprehensive search that included strong and capable internal candidates, the decision to appoint Ben as the new president and CEO came down to his exceptional experience. That, along with his remarkable career, passion for people and commitment towards patient-centered care, is what makes Ben the right leader at the right time, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Memorial Hermann family.”

In his career with Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Chu focused on quality, patient safety and service delivery resulting in a number of national accolades. He effectively implemented a fully-integrated electronic health record system and population health management tools in the Southern California Region and helped expand Kaiser Permanente’s health plan membership to 10.5 million for the entire program. Notably, he also successfully managed a multi-year, $13 billion capital program.

Before joining Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Chu was president of New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the largest public hospital system in the country. In 1994, he was acting commissioner of health for the New York City Department of Health.

Dr. Chu also has experience as an academic health center leader, serving as senior associate dean at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. At New York University School of Medicine and Medical Center, Dr. Chu was associate dean and vice president for Clinical Affairs. As a policy advocate, Dr. Chu was a Robert Wood Johnson Policy Fellow, working as the legislative assistant for health for New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley. In 2014, Dr. Chu, who gained a national profile in health policy, was elected chair of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees, becoming the top elected official who represents America’s hospitals and health systems.

“I’ve admired the success of Memorial Hermann from a distance and have always been impressed with its forward-thinking strategies, including the transformation from a hospital-centric system to one that is based on patient-centered care,” said Dr. Chu. “I’m deeply humbled and honored to join the System and look forward to building upon Dan’s legacy and continuing the journey he started to make Memorial Hermann a high reliability organization, focused on population health.”

Officially retiring Aug. 1, Wolterman will work with Dr. Chu over the course of the coming months to effectively transition his role.

Wolterman joined Memorial Hermann in 1999 and was promoted to CEO in 2002. Known for his passion for creating solutions to increase access to care for the underserved and uninsured, he spearheaded the creation of the Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation. His tenure as CEO has seen Memorial Hermann achieve year-over-year double-digit growth, ascend to the largest not-for-profit health system in Southeast Texas and one of the largest in the country, while expanding to 13 hospitals with more than 24,000 employees and 5,500 affiliated physicians. Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, the System’s flagship hospital, is home to the country’s busiest Level I trauma center and is the primary teaching hospital for McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.

Dr. Chu’s appointment as president and CEO marks the first time in Memorial Hermann’s history a physician will be leading the System. The move is indicative of the changing landscape in healthcare where the successful future of the industry relies on the true integration of provider and physicians, according to Williams.

“Physician integration is a key tenant of Memorial Hermann’s operations. For two consecutive years, Memorial Hermann has led the country’s most successful Accountable Care Organization (ACO), and has been at the forefront of practicing innovative, evidence-based medicine to better manage populations, improve outcomes and deliver value for the healthcare dollar,” said Williams.

While Dr. Chu has nearly 30 years of experience in healthcare administration, he began his career as a primary care internist in Brooklyn, New York.

“I am first and foremost a clinician who became an administrator because I wanted to change our healthcare delivery system to a markedly more effective outcome-oriented, patient-centric model,” said Dr. Chu.

Dr. Chu earned his medical degree at New York University, his master’s degree in public health from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Yale University. He is married to artist Donna Moylan and has three adult children.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann

 

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Katy, TX (March 2, 2016) Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC) and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital are proud to announce the two individuals selected as their 2015 Physicians of the Year: Saleem Khan, M.D., Chief of Emergency General Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, affiliated with Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, and KuoJen Tsao, M.D., the Children’s Fund, Inc. Distinguished Professor in Pediatric Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and co-director of The Fetal Center at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.

Dr. Khan was nominated by four different employees recognizing him for his kind demeanor and his inspirational leadership. Nominators lauded Dr. Khan for his efforts to make others feel appreciated and comfortable. One employee described him as “the kind of doctor that all doctors should be like” and added that Dr. Khan treats employees like family and “will do anything in the world for all of his staff.”

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Pictured: Brian Dean, Senior Vice President & CEO of Memorial Hermann-TMC; Saleem Khan, M.D.; and Stanley Rhone, Director of Respiratory and Pulmonary Services for Memorial Hermann-TMC

Dr. Tsao also received high praise for his compassion with patients, employees and colleagues. One nomination said that Dr. Tsao earned the respect of employees at all levels because he is trustworthy, dependable and has a deep passion for his job. “Dr. Tsao is a true example of what every children’s hospital is searching for in a physician champion to drive a safety-focused culture,” the nominator wrote.

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Pictured: Courtney Tsao, wife of Dr. Tsao; Susie Distefano, Senior Vice President & CEO of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital; KuoJen Tsao, M.D.; and Stanley Rhone, Director of Respirator and Pulmonary Services for Memorial Hermann-TMC

The Physician of the Year award is an employee-driven initiative recognizing those who go above and beyond to deliver exceptional patient care. Dr. Khan and Dr. Tsao were presented with their awards at a recent dinner for hospital leadership, physicians, the honorees, and guests. Each received a framed plaque and a monetary gift to the charity of their choosing.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann

 

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Katy, TX (March 3, 2016) The Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at the Texas Medical Center (MNI) and the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth are pleased to announce the addition of Sebastian R. Herrera, M.D. Dr. Herrera will serve as a neurosurgeon at Mischer Neuroscience Associates-The Woodlands as well as Mischer Neuroscience Associates-Cypress. He will also serve as an assistant professor at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth’s Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery.

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Dr. Herrera specializes in neurological surgery and the minimally invasive treatment of brain and spine disorders. He has special interest in the treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors, skull base tumors, endoscopic surgery for pituitary adenomas, minimally invasive spine surgery, facial pain, peripheral nerve disorders and normal pressure hydrocephalus.

“The addition of a neurosurgeon like Dr. Herrera to our outstanding staff at Mischer Neuroscience Associates brings tremendous benefit to the patients we serve,” said Geoffrey Zubay, M.D., UTHealth neurosurgeon with Mischer Neuroscience Associates. “His experience in neurological surgery and minimally invasive treatment of brain and spine disorders will aide us in continuing to provide excellent care to our patients as well as a safe and accelerated recovery process.”

Dr. Herrera is a transitional member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and is a co-author of articles that have appeared in the Journal of Neurosurgery, Surgical Neurology International, and Neurosurgical Focus and Core Techniques in Operative Neurosurgery.

Originally from Cartagena, Colombia, Dr. Herrera completed his neurosurgical residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, where he was chief resident. Prior to joining Mischer Neuroscience Associates, he served as a staff neurosurgeon at Southern Arizona VA Health Care Systems and held a concurrent appointment as clinical professor of surgery in the division of neurosurgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

About Memorial Hermann

An integrated health system, Memorial Hermann is known for world-class clinical expertise, patient-centered care, leading edge technology, and innovation. The system, with its exceptional medical staff and more than 24,000 employees, serves to advance health in Southeast Texas and the Greater Houston community. Memorial Hermann’s 13 hospitals include four hospitals in the Texas Medical Center: an acute care hospital which houses the Texas Trauma Institute and a Level I trauma center of which Life Flight® air ambulance is a part, a hospital for children, a rehabilitation hospital and an orthopedic and spine hospital; eight suburban hospitals; and a second rehabilitation hospital in Katy. The system also operates three Heart & Vascular Institutes, the Mischer Neuroscience Institute, three IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute locations, an urgent care center, convenient care centers,  joint replacement centers, cancer centers, imaging and surgery centers, sports medicine and rehabilitation centers, outpatient laboratories, a chemical dependency treatment center, a home health agency, a retirement community and a nursing home.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann
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Katy, TX (February 22, 2016) Karen Myers, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, has been named Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC), effective Feb. 26. As a Magnet®-designated hospital in recognition of its excellence in nursing, Memorial Hermann-TMC is committed to the highest standard of nursing care, a standard that Myers has spent her entire career advancing and nurturing.

“We are excited and honored to welcome Karen to our team here at Memorial Hermann-TMC,” said Brian Dean, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Hermann-TMC. “She is a proven leader with a wealth of experience, talent, compassion and enthusiasm for nursing – who also is committed to developing, retaining and recruiting top nurses – all of the skills needed to help us continue delivering the innovative, high quality of care for which our hospital is known.”

In her new role, Myers will oversee the nursing department and its patient care services and operations, including working with physician and hospital leaders and the entire nursing team to enhance clinical performance, quality and safety and the overall patient experience.

“This Campus is Magnet®-designated and has a national reputation for its commitment to delivering safe, quality care through a patient-centered experience; I knew this was a professional environment I wanted to be a part of,” Myers said. “I look forward to joining the team that is going to continue setting these high standards both here in the Texas Medical Center and far beyond.”

With more than 30 years of healthcare experience, Myers has held a diverse range of leadership roles throughout her career. Previously, Myers served as Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for CHI St. Luke’s Health-Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. During her tenure at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, she also served as Vice President of Nursing, Director of Cardiovascular Services and Director of Critical Care Nursing Services. As a result of her strong leadership skills, among many other accomplishments, Myers is credited with consecutive Magnet® re-designations, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, improving capacity management, and empowering staff through shared leadership to keep the organization moving forward in the face of a changing healthcare climate.

In addition, Myers is committed to various organizations dedicated to the advancement of the nursing practice, including the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the American College of Healthcare Executives, American Nurses Association & Texas Nurses Association District 9 and American Organization of Nurse Executives. She has also been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Mary Alice Harris Metcalf Scholarship – Outstanding Doctoral Student in 2015 and Nursing Celebration Outstanding Nurse for the Texas Nurses Association Foundation – District 9 in 2014. Myers is a Johnson & Johnson/Wharton Fellow, Wharton – University of Pennsylvania, through her completion of The Johnson & Johnson/Wharton Fellow Program in Management for Nurse Executives in 2010.

She earned her BSN from South Dakota State University and her MSN from the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Nursing. She also is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Nursing at Texas Woman’s University.

Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center
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Katy, TX (February 9, 2016) During the month of February, it’s not uncommon for hearts to emerge as a recurring theme. This time of year is known as a time for sharing love and happiness with those around you and making sure everyone understands the importance of a healthy heart. The Orchard Assisted Living & Memory Care community in Katy (24802 Kingsland Blvd) is doing its part to raise awareness by partnering with the American Heart Association for a free lunch-and-learn on February 24 at 12:30-2:00 p.m. that will focus on health factors and lifestyle behaviors that best support heart health. The lunch-and-learn is open to the public and will feature a discussion with speaker Morton Fefer, called “The Seven Health Factors and Lifestyle Behaviors That Support Heart Health”. Fefer will discuss information regarding heart disease, risk factors such as smoking and drinking, as well as activities that promote good health. The presentation will conclude with a CPR demonstration and information on what to do in the event of an emergency. The Orchard specializes in person-centered care, and is excited to help share this critical information with the local community to help them live with the healthiest hearts possible.

Morton Fefer

“Millions of Americans suffer from heart disease, stroke or other cardiovascular conditions every day; it is a disease that affects us all,” said James Stroud, president of The Orchard Assisted Living & Memory Care in Katy. “For many of our residents, heart disease is a part of their family or personal history, and thanks to advancements in treatment and awareness, they have been able to live a healthy and active lifestyle that was once impossible. At The Orchard we want to do our part, and by teaming up with the American Heart Association, we can continue a movement of awareness that will help prevent heart disease and change lives.”

For resident Carolyn Smith, good heart health and an active lifestyle have been a part of daily life since her own heart attack. Smith survived a heart attack in her 40s after years of not maintaining a healthy lifestyle. By making the decision to quit smoking and watch what she eats, Smith has been able to change her health for the better. Living at The Orchard has enhanced that positive lifestyle as well, with access to daily fitness classes and freshly prepared, healthy meal options. Smith has the support and environment for her to live an active lifestyle that supports heart health. As a result of the community’s person-centered care, residents like Smith are able to access tools specific to her needs, enabling her to live as fully as possible.

“Before I had my heart attack, I had never received any preventative testing or information from my doctor,” said Smith. “At that time, everyone thought women didn’t have heart attacks, and it wasn’t until I had an EKG in the emergency room that the connection was made. Thankfully, now everyone knows women are just as susceptible to heart attacks as men. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women in the United States, and by having events such as this lunch-and-learn, the word is further spread about the disease and how it can be prevented. I encourage the public to come out to this event, because knowledge is power, and it can truly make a difference in their lives.”

“The Seven Health Factors and Lifestyle Behaviors that Support Heart Health” lunch-and-learn will take place at The Orchard Assisted Living & Memory Care on February 24 at 12:30-2:00 p.m. Members of the public who would like to attend need to RSVP in advance by calling (281) 371-3000.

Courtesy of The Orchard

 

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Katy, TX (February 3, 2016) The Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at the Texas Medical Center (MNI) and the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth are pleased to announce the addition of Angel I. Blanco, M.D. Dr. Blanco will direct radiation and stereotactic radiosurgery at MNI and serve as an assistant professor at McGovern Medical School’s Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery.

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Dr. Blanco is board certified in radiation oncology by the American Board of Radiology and specializes in adult radiation oncology with an emphasis on breast, head and neck, central nervous system and body stereotactic cases. Additionally, Dr. Blanco has expertise in Gamma Knife® radiosurgery, intensity modulated-radiation therapy (IMRT) and high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy for cancer patients.

“The addition of Dr. Blanco greatly enhances our radiation and stereotactic radiosurgery services at the Mischer Neuroscience Institute,” said Dong Kim M.D., Director of MNI and Professor and Chair at McGovern Medical School’s Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery. “Dr. Blanco’s experience and expertise will help us continue to provide the best possible treatment for our patients, and his knowledge of new and emerging technologies is instrumental to our continued improvement.”

Prior to joining MNI, Dr. Blanco served as junior faculty in the head and neck service at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and was an assistant professor in the department of Radiation Oncology, Houston Methodist Hospital, Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Emory University and, after receiving his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, he completed his residency in radiation oncology at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

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Katy, TX (February 3, 2016) The Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute  at the Texas Medical Center (MNI) and the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth are pleased to announce the addition of Sprios Blackburn, M.D. Dr. Blackburn will see patients at MNI and at Mischer Neuroscience Associates-Memorial City, and will also serve as an assistant professor at the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at UTHealth’s McGovern Medical School.

Photo by Dwight C. Andrews/The University of Texas Medical School at Houston Office of Communications Dr. Spiros Blackburn - Neurosurgery
 

Dr. Blackburn is a board-certified neurosurgeon who specializes in cerebrovascular lesions, pituitary adenomas and other skull base tumors. He has had additional training and special expertise in both endoscopic and endovascular neurosurgery. His clinical research interests focus on biomarkers for cerebral vasospasm and translational research for patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage, as well as a number of clinical trials for the treatment of brain aneurysms.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Blackburn join our outstanding team of neurosurgeons at Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute,” said Dong Kim, M.D. Director of MNI and Professor and Chair at UTHealth’s Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery. “Dr. Blackburn brings great expertise in endovascular and endoscopic surgery, and his ability to treat complex cerebrovascular disease and skull base tumors is a great asset.”

Dr. Blackburn is the recipient of numerous awards and has lectured nationally on the management of cerebral aneurysms, surgical anatomy, arteriovenous malformations and strokes. His research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals including PNAS, Neurosurgery, World Neurosurgery, Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery, British Journal of Neurosurgery, Journal of Neurosurgery, Stroke and Journal of Neuro-Oncology.

Prior to joining MNI, Dr. Blackburn held a faculty appointment as an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and received his medical degree at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. After residency at Washington University in St. Louis, he completed a cerebrovascular fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta. He has also had additional training in neuro-endovascular surgery at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University and endoscopic skull base surgery at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Katy, TX (February 1, 2016) Memorial Hermann, continuing its effort to help close the behavioral and mental health resource gap in the greater Houston region, recently opened its third and most centrally located Mental Health Crisis Clinic.

The new clinic at 4850 West Bellfort, is located in Meyerland’s Meyer Park Shopping Center and joins two other Memorial Hermann Mental Health Crisis Clinics located in Humble and Spring Branch.

“Our strategy in determining where to locate our clinics is based on opening access points to people in need of mental healthcare services throughout the Houston/Harris County region,” said Theresa Fawvor, Associate Vice President of Behavioral Health Services for Memorial Hermann. “We realize the need for mental health services in our community is great, and we’re trying to address this underserved need with our clinics.

“We expect the Meyerland location to serve a large population with its proximity to southeast, southwest, and central parts of Houston,” Fawvor continued, adding that the location is in close proximity to Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center, Memorial Hermann Southwest, and Memorial Hermann Sugar Land hospitals. “Anyone with a mental health need, whether they are insured or uninsured, is welcome to visit our crisis clinics.”

The clinic is staffed with a psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, social worker, and other patient care personnel. With the clinic’s focus being on non-traditional access to a psychiatric, multi-disciplinary team, its operating days and hours are Monday-Friday, 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.

In 2015, the Memorial Herman Psychiatric Response Team performed more than 8,170 consultations at all Memorial Hermann locations and more than 6,200 in 2014. The evaluations found increasingly complicated co-occurring medical and psychiatric disorders, few available inpatient psychiatric beds, even fewer inpatient options to treat complex co-occurring disorders, and limited outpatient services to meet patient needs.

The Meyer Park location, like the other clinics, is designed to fill these unmet needs by providing rapid access to initial psychiatric treatment and outpatient multi-disciplinary services to patients with no immediate access to mental health care.

“Many people with mental health needs are all too often confined to the Harris County jail, so key goals of the crisis clinics are to keep individuals healthy and safe, develop processes and interventions to manage challenging behaviors, and to reduce improper hospitalization or incarceration,” added Fawvor.

Services provided by the Mental Health Crisis Clinic can include, but are not limited to:

  • Multiple psychosocial assessments and medical history assessments
  • Emergency medication administration
  • Short-term prescriptions
  • Connecting the patient to a more permanent medical home and outpatient psychiatric treatment
  • Social services

“We want our clinics to be an additional resource in the community that will direct people to the appropriate setting and level of care,” Fawvor said. “Those in need of care can literally walk in and have immediate access to psychiatric providers and clinical social workers prepared to serve them if they or a family member are experiencing a mental health crisis.”

Memorial Hermann used years of data from the System’s emergency rooms, as well as useful input from law enforcement, personal care homes, consumer representatives, other area psychiatric hospitals, and public and private community behavioral health services providers to identify locations for its clinics. With the third clinic now open, Memorial Hermann is able to provide around-the-clock access to mental health services.

The Crisis Clinic initiative is one of nine Memorial Hermann-sponsored Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) projects aimed at transforming health care. Overall, DSRIP goals include better care for individuals, better health for the population, and lower cost through process improvement.

Memorial Hermann is part of Region 3’s Southest Texas Regional Healthcare Partnership anchored by Harris Health System, and includes Austin, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Harris, Matagorda, Waller, and Wharton counties.

In addition to the Crisis Clinics, the other Memorial Hermann DSRIP projects addressing the gap in the mental and behavioral health care services include Psychiatric Response Case Management and Psychiatric Home Health Services.

For more information call 713.338.MHCC (6422) or email: askmhcc@memorialhermann.org.

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Katy, TX (January 19, 2016) Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus recently activated the hospital’s helipad and have fully trained their staff on how to receive patients via air transport. The activation of this helipad allows for faster transport and subsequently quicker treatment.

Previously, patients coming to West Campus via helicopter would land at an adjoining facility and then be brought to Texas Children’s via ambulance. With this activation, all helicopter services in southeast Texas are now able to bring patients directly to Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. Helipads will also be built at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands when it opens in 2017 and on the roof of the new pediatric tower being built at the main campus in the medical center.

For more information about Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, visit texaschildrens.org/westcampus.

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Katy, TX (January 19, 2016) Texas Children’s Heart Center is excited to welcome three new pediatric cardiologists to the team –  Dr. Tobias Schlingmann, Dr. Betul Yilmaz and Dr. Justin Zachariah.

Schlingmann, who also serves as an assistant professor of pediatrics-cardiology at Baylor, received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Hamburg, Germany. He completed his residency in pediatrics and fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Boston Children’s Hospital. Furthermore, he completed a senior fellowship in non-invasive cardiac imaging at Boston Children’s Hospital. Schlingmann’s clinical interests include the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease in infants, children, and adolescents in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.

Yilmaz, who also serves as an assistant professor of pediatrics-cardiology at Baylor, earned a combined Bachelor of Science and medical degree at Istanbul University. She did basic research in genetics at the University of Chicago Medical Center and completed a pediatric residency at Washington University in St. Louis and a pediatric cardiology fellowship at Columbia-Cornell University Medical Centers. She also completed an advanced imaging/fetal cardiology fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Yilmaz’s clinical interests include utilization of advanced cardiac imaging modalities such as echocardiography and fetal echocardiography to improve the diagnosis and management of congenital heart disease in fetuses and in pediatric population.

Zachariah, who also serves as an assistant professor of pediatrics-cardiology at Baylor, earned Bachelor of Arts degree at Rice University and medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine. He earned a Masters of Public Health from Harvard University and completed his pediatric residency at the University of California San Francisco. He also completed a clinical cardiology fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital and a visiting research fellowship with the Framingham Heart Study, supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Zachariah’s clinical interests include preventive cardiology in order to help patients avoid future cardiac disease and events such as heart attack and stroke through early detection and intervention.

 

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Katy, TX  News (December 16, 2015)Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute is proud to announce Joseph Love, D.O., trauma surgeon and associate professor of surgery at UTHealth, as the new Medical Director of Memorial Hermann Life Flight®.

memorial hermon

After founding Life Flight in 1976, the late James H. “Red” Duke, Jr., M.D., trauma surgeon at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC) and John B. Holmes Professor of Clinical Sciences at UTHealth Medical School, served as the program’s first and only Medical Director until 2015.

The Medical Director provides clinical oversight for flight crews by developing and maintaining best practice medical protocols, reviewing patient records for appropriate application of medical care, preparing for flight review, and mentoring where appropriate. In addition, he or she is responsible for educating the crews and setting the tone for research, quality improvement and professional development within the Life Flight program.

“It’s an honor to join such a distinguished team that has been delivering safe, quality patient care in the Houston skies for nearly 40 years,” Love said. “Trauma care truly is such a team effort and I am excited to get to work alongside so many experienced, highly-skilled professionals as we provide life-saving support to the residents of Southeast Texas and beyond.”

Love received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado and his doctoral degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his residency and fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas before joining the Texas Trauma Institute and UTHealth in 2012. He is also a U.S. Air Force veteran and married father of six.

“It was important to us that we found the perfect fit for the Medical Director position,” said Tom Flanagan, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Memorial Hermann-TMC. “Dr. Love is well-respected by the staff, while his military background and medical expertise make him an ideal choice for the role. We are confident that, under his clinical leadership, Life Flight will carry on its long-time commitment to excellence and the highest safety standards.”

Life Flight serves the Greater Houston area within a 150-mile radius of Memorial Hermann-TMC. The program, the only hospital-based air ambulance service in Houston, retrieves critically ill or injured patients and brings them to the Texas Trauma Institute where they can receive expert care. Life Flight has flown over 140,000 missions since its inception.

 

Content Courtesy of Memorial Hermann Hospital 

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Katy, TX News (December 1, 2015) – Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital and Katy ISD announced the continuance of Memorial Hermann Katy’s role as the Official Healthcare Provider of Katy ISD Athletics.

“We’re excited to extend our relationship with Katy ISD,” says Jim Parisi, Sr. Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Katy.  “As a long-time partner, we are committed to providing high-quality and safe sports medicine services to the District’s athletes to keep them healthy on and off the field.”

As part of the agreement, the hospital’s licensed athletic trainers will assume a more dedicated role in the ongoing care of both high school and middle school athletes.  Additionally, Memorial Hermann Katy will continue to provide physician coverage at varsity football home games for every high school in the District, as well as general medical coverage at all District sporting events.  In the event of an injury, Katy ISD athletes still have access to a team of physician specialists and allied healthcare professionals who understand the importance of rapid injury diagnostics and treatment and will work in the athletes’ best interest to enable a safe return to the playing field.

Memorial Hermann Katy also will continue to provide ImPACT concussion post-injury testing to all Katy ISD high school athletes, as well as access to heart screenings for high-risk athletes.

“During the seven years we have had this partnership, Memorial Hermann has served as an invaluable resource for our athletic department,” says Charlie Stevens, assistant athletic director at Katy ISD.  “The services they provide include everything from the sideline physician to sports nutrition and human performance. Our athletes truly have unparalleled access to high quality care, from the emergency room to their safe return to play.”

For more information on Memorial Hermann Katy, visit www.memorialhermann.org or call 281.644.7000.  To learn more about Katy ISD, visit www.katyisd.org or call 281.396.6000.

 

 

** Information provided by Memorial Hermann Hospital System
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Katy, TX News (November 25, 2015) – Family medicine physician, Prasuna Sajja, M.D., has joined Memorial Hermann Katy Convenient Care Center. Dr. Sajja received her medical degree from Stanley Medical College in Madras, India. She completed her residency with the Houston Methodist Family Medicine Residency program. Dr. Sajja sees patients of all ages and her clinical interests include preventive medicine for children, diabetes and weight management for adults and children.

Sajja


Dr. Sajja joins family medicine physician Amber Kazi, M.D., and pediatricians Shailaja Kancherla, M.D., and Sridevi Muppidi, M.D., as part of the Memorial Hermann Katy Convenient Care Center located at 22430 Grand Corner Drive, Suite C1:400,

Katy, TX 77494. Appointments may be scheduled by calling 281-371-1980 or online through ScheduleNow.

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Katy, TX News (November 9, 2015) – Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers was pleased to present the keys to the winners of the brand new BMW X1 at the BMW Dealership of West Houston. The luxury vehicle was raffled at the Inaugural Fort Bend Ranchers’ Ball on October 24 for $100.00 per ticket with only 600 tickets available for purchase. Steven Gee and his wife, Suzanne, are now the proud owners of this beautiful SUV.

BMW 2015 Winner-FBRB

 

The Fort Bend Ranchers’ Ball is an annual event  hosted by Commissioner Meyers and benefits Fort Bend Charities; a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization which supports Katy Christian Ministries, Lone Star Veterans Association, Simonton Christian Academy, Fort Bend Fair Association, Katy FFA and others. These organizations help families in need in Fort Bend County. Commissioner Meyers was thrilled when the event sold out two months before the event date with the help of his amazing committee and the many generous people throughout the community.

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Katy, TX News (November 2, 2015) – An announcement released nationally today by the independent hospital watchdog The Leapfrog Group, shows that all nine of the acute-care hospitals within the Memorial Hermann Health System earned an A in this elite national ratings program, recognizing its strong commitment to patient safety.

The Hospital Safety Score is the gold standard rating for patient safety, compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading patient safety experts and administered by The Leapfrog Group, a national, independent nonprofit. The first and only hospital safety rating to be peer-reviewed in the Journal of Patient Safety, the Hospital Safety Score is free to the public and designed to give consumers information they can use to protect themselves and their families when facing a hospital stay.

“This recognition is a great acknowledgement of the commitment to patient safety and quality demonstrated daily at all Memorial Hermann hospitals by our clinical staff and employees” said Dan Wolterman, President and CEO of Memorial Hermann. “Our commitment to being a High Reliability Organization is the right thing to do for our patients who are entrusted into our care. This award affirms and validates the trust those families placed in us to care for their loved ones.”

Developed under the guidance of Leapfrog’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single A, B, C, D, or F score – representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm.

“The A grade earned by all of our hospitals recognizes our dedicated effort as a System to cultivating a culture of zero harm when it comes to patient safety and quality,” said Dr. M. Michael Shabot, System Chief Clinical Officer for Memorial Hermann. “It also affirms Memorial Hermann as a leader among the nation’s leaders in not only implementing innovative patient safety and quality programs, but executing them on a daily basis. That says to our patients that all Memorial Hermann hospitals are safe havens where families can be assured that we are working daily to eliminate all potential sources of harm from all our facilities, including hospital acquired infections, medication errors and other adverse events.”

More than 2,500 U.S. general hospitals were assigned scores in October 2015, with 773 hospitals receiving an A grade. The Hospital Safety Score is fully transparent, offering a full analysis of the data and methodology used in determining grades on the website.

The Memorial Hermann hospitals that earned an A Grade are:

“Memorial Hermann’s A grade is a powerful reminder of its commitment to putting patient safety above all else, and we are pleased to recognize the persistent efforts of your clinicians and staff to protect your patients,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, which administers the Hospital Safety Score. “Our families, neighbors, colleagues and friends deserve a hospital that will pull out all the stops to keep them safe, and we urge Memorial Hermann and all other A hospitals to preserve and renew your commitment to safety year after year.”

Patients can also review their hospital’s past safety performance alongside its current grade on the Hospital Safety Score site, allowing them to determine which local hospitals have the best track record in patient safety and which have demonstrated consistent improvement.

To see Memorial Hermann’s full score, and to access consumer-friendly tips for patients and loved ones visiting the hospital, visit www.hospitalsafetyscore.org or follow The Hospital Safety Score on Twitter or Facebook.

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Katy, TX News (October 21, 2015) – On Saturday, October 17, members of the community gathered in support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the Katy Christian Ministries 5K Race Against Domestic Violence. At the event, Verizon presented a Domestic Violence Awareness Month grant of $2,500 to Katy Christian Ministries to support its annual 5K race, which raises awareness about domestic violence and the affect it has on the community.

Katy Christian Ministries DVAM 5K Race

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Katy, TX News (October 6, 2015) – LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch brought high fashion to the streets of Katy, Texas in the form of the first-ever red carpet, runway fashion show. The night featured apparel from high-end retailers in the shopping center like J.Jill, Eddie Bauer, Scout & Molly’s, Jos. A. Bank, Luke’s Locker, White House Black Market, and more.

LaCenterra Fashion Show 2015_Daneen's phone (22)LaCenterra Fashion Show 2015_Daneen's phone (39)LaCenterra Fashion Show 2015_Kirsten's phone (14)

Katy Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief and Publisher Katrina Katsarelis was the emcee, and donned a stunning coral gown from Scout & Molly’s. Several community leaders were chosen to model for the event, with familiar faces like Matt Katsarelis, owner and publisher of Katy Magazine, Ana Roman of Katy Contemporary Arts Museum (KCAM), Lori Ann Belin of Commissioner Andy Meyers’ Office, Sam Schultz of Country Park Portraits, and more. The evening, which benefited KCAM and its programs, also featured live paintings that were auctioned off to lucky recipients at the end of the night.

katie and eva cute runway lacenterrakatrina lindsey runway smiling lacenterra

Food and drinks available for purchase from D’Amico’s Italian Market Cafe, Baker St. Pub and Grill, and Another Round Wine Bar. Special thanks to fashion show sponsors: BMW of West Houston, enTouch, Frontier Title, Scout & Molly’s and The Grand at LaCenterra.

LaCenterra Fashion Show_Katy CAM (2)

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KATY, Texas (September 30, 2015) – Dr. Khalid F. Almoosa has been appointed Regional Chief Medical Officer for Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital and Memorial Hermann Cypress Hospital.  In his role, Dr. Almoosa will provide leadership to affiliated physicians and clinical staffs to ensure the hospitals sustain Memorial Hermann’s long standing reputation for high-quality and safe care.

New CMO for Memorial Hermann Katy Hosptial Dr. Almoosa

Board certified in Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Medicine, Dr. Almoosa most recently served as medical director of the Transplant Surgical Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and Associate Professor of Medicine at UT Health Science Center.  He currently serves on several critical care and health care quality committees and has published manuscripts on pulmonary, critical care, and end-of-life topics. Additionally, Dr. Almoosa is a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians.  Over the course of his career, he has been awarded grants to study critical care topics, and has been a principal investigator on several clinical trials.

Dr. Almoosa received his medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin and a Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship at the University of Cincinnati, where he also received a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Research.

Dr. Almoosa has lived in Houston for eight years with his wife, who is a native Houstonian, and two children ages 5 and 7. He enjoys hiking, home improvement projects and amateur astronomy.

For more information on Memorial Hermann Katy, visit www.memorialhermann.org/locations/katy/.  To view construction progress at Memorial Hermann Cypress and Memorial Hermann Katy, visit www.breakingnewgroundproject.org.

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Katy, TX News (September 22, 2015)  – Since taking over management and planning of the Katy Triathlon in 1998, the Rotary Club of Katy has raised approximately $380,000 for scholarships to graduating Katy ISD seniors, community service projects, grants to rotary philanthropies, and most recently the construction of the Freedom Park Memorial tower near George Bush Park.

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The race attracts thousands of participants in a wide range of athletic abilities and ages every year, and features a 500-meter lake swim, 12-mile bike race, and 3-mile run in and around Firethorne’s 1,400 acre master-planned community.

Triathlon teams may be two or three people, and all-male, all-female, or co-ed. The youngest competing age category will be 11 – 14 years, with many participants over 70 years of age competing.

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Katy, TX News (September 2, 2015) – From KPRC Local 2 – A 15-year-old Taylor High School student was taken by Life Flight after being struck by a vehicle in Katy Wednesday morning.

According to Harris County deputies, a blue Mini Cooper struck the boy on Kingsland and Provincial Boulevard around 7:25 a.m.

Witnesses said the boy was alert when the student was transported by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The Katy Independent School District released the following statement:

“Katy ISD would like to take this time to remind all parents and students to be mindful of school zones, and to keep an eye out for children when driving past campuses and neighborhood bus stops. This is also a good time for parents to remind their children about safety precautions at bus stops and while walking to and from school. We ask our community to join the District in keeping our students safe.”

According to authorities, the student is expected to be OK.

Katy Magazine’s thoughts and prayers are with this student and his family. Please, do not text and drive, and remember to mind the speed limit signs in the mornings and afternoons when students are traveling to and from school. 

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Katy, TX News (June 15, 2015) – Memorial Hermann’s newest Convenient Care Center is now open in south Katy. The first visitors included community leaders, Memorial Hermann Health System leadership and Katy residents who attended a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the facility located on the corner of the Grand Parkway and Westpark Toll Road.

Katy CCC Ribbon Cutting 1


“Our community will greatly benefit from this new model of care,” said Jim Parisi, CEO of Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital. “Patients can schedule almost any type of health care service in a single location.”

The Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Center in Katy provides one-stop, coordinated access to a vast array of Memorial Hermann services. Adult and pediatric primary health care, as well as lab services, comprehensive radiology services including mammography, sports medicine and rehabilitation, and a 24-hour emergency room can be accessed under one roof. As an added benefit, the Convenient Care Center offers options such as walk-in access and extended evening and weekend hours for primary care appointments.

The new facility is Memorial Hermann’s third Convenient Care Center to open. Locations in Spring and Cypress are currently under construction.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 281-371-1800.

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Katy, TX News (June 5, 2015) – Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute at the Texas Medical Center (MNI) has recently renovated and expanded its Gamma Knife facility, offering patients enhanced accommodations and technologies including a brand new, advanced Gamma Knife.

A Gamma Knife is actually not a knife at all, but a unique, well-established treatment method that delivers extremely focused radiation beams to specific targets in the brain. Designed to treat benign or malignant brain tumors as well as other functional disorders affecting the brain, MNI has successfully treated more than 3,400 patients since acquiring the region’s first Gamma Knife in 1993.

The Institute is now using the more advanced Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion™. Patients who benefit from Perfexion’s sophisticated software with dose-to-target conformation include those with meningiomas and vestibular schwannomas; arteriovenous malformations; medically refractory trigeminal neuralgia; and metastases. Multiple intracranial metastases can usually be treated in a single outpatient procedure.

“Using the Gamma Knife allows us to target and treat a single focal point within the brain, and we are able to spare the healthy tissue,” said Angel Blanco, M.D., MNI’s director of Radiation Oncology and Stereotactic Radiosurgery and a clinical assistant professor in the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at UTHealth Medical School. “Furthermore, with the shape and dose of radiation optimized to only hit the target, we can perform multiple treatments and provide better outcomes, while maintaining appropriate safety levels.”

A key component in Gamma Knife radiosurgery is the stereotactic head frame which is attached to a patient’s head to ensure precision. Once in place, imaging is performed to determine the exact size, shape and position of the target in the brain for further accuracy. Gamma Knife radiosurgery is silent and painless and, depending on the size of the target, can last just a few minutes, with most patients getting discharged the same day. “This is a simple, safe and effective treatment option that virtually eliminates surgical risk,” added Dr. Blanco. “Offerings like these are designed to increase patient convenience and decrease wait times, and the new machine cuts treatment times by half.”

 

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Katy, TX News (May 29, 2015) – Memorial Hermann Health System President & CEO Dan Wolterman will be inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. Wolterman joins five other Texas businessmen in the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015 and is the only healthcare professional in this year’s class.

Dan Wolterman

Wolterman joined Memorial Hermann Health System in 1999 and was named President & CEO in 2002.  Under Wolterman’s leadership, Memorial Hermann has experienced robust year-over-year growth that has resulted in its ascent to the largest non-profit health system in Southeast Texas, with more than 20,000 employees.

“Dan’s leadership of Memorial Hermann has been adept and visionary,” said Will Williams, chair of the Memorial Hermann Health System board. “It has transcended just building an economically sound health system. He has worked tirelessly to provide the Houston community with access to safe and high quality care.”

The Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation was created in 1982 by a small group of Texas business men and women. Each year, the Texas Business Hall of Fame executive committee votes on five or six individuals who are inducted into its Hall of Fame. Inductees are considered based on contributions to their field and the communities in which they live. Past Hall of Fame inductees include former President George H. W. Bush, Mary Kay Ash, Ross Perot and Michael Dell.

“Each member of the Class of 2015 exemplifies our core tenants of entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity and community engagement,” says Todd Barth, Chairman of the Board of the Texas Business Hall of Fame. “We are honored to induct these Lone Star Leaders into the Texas Business Hall of Fame.”

The 2015 Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at the 33rd Annual Induction Dinner October 28 at the Hilton Americas Hotel-Houston.

“It’s a true honor to be inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame,” says Wolterman. “I’m humbled to be part of such a distinguished group of leaders in the Texas business community.”

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Katy, TX News (May 11, 2015) – Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute biomechanist provides triathlon training advice. Triathlons are events of varying distances that involve swimming, cycling and running in successive fashion. There are a wide variety of triathlon distances and events athletes can begin preparing for any time of year.

There are four primary triathlon distances:

Sprint: Half-mile swim, 13-mile bike and 3.1-mile run

Olympic: 0.9-mile swim, 24.9-mile bike and 6.2-mile run

IRONMAN: 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a traditional marathon run of 26.2 miles

Half-IRONMAN: 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and a 13.1-mile run

No matter the distance, Kim Gandler, M.S., a biomechanist at Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute-Texas Medical Center stresses several points to help athletes avoid the fatigue-related injury risks that come with increased training time, distance and volume.

Adhere to a well-rounded hip and glute strengthening program:
“Hip musculature controls the majority of our biomechanics, so a basic body-weight strengthening routine is essential to balance the hip musculature and prevent fatigue-related injuries,” Gandler said. “A truly successful training season begins by taking time to balance your musculature and minimize excessive stress on the knees, ankles and hips.”

Wear properly-fitted running shoes:
The most popular brand or trendy type of running shoe isn’t always the best. “Find shoes that complement your individual bone structure and running technique,” Gandler said. “Only you can change how your foot hits the ground. A shoe will not change that for you. “A well-fitted running shoe should help you maintain proper alignment and minimize the stresses on your Achilles tendon, iliotibial band (IT band) and patellar tendon.”

Flexibility:
“Depending on your individual structure and any muscle imbalances you have, you will experience stresses in different areas during training,” Gandler said. Gandler suggests using a foam roller after every workout to help lengthen the muscle fibers that are stressed and to help keep the body in alignment. For many, this means targeting the IT band, the piriformis (a muscle in the hip) and the calves. But a foam roller can also be used to prevent tightness in many other muscle groups.

Rest and Recovery:
Following these simple tips, along with a well thought-out training plan should help keep athletes injury-free in their training. But rest and recovery are also very important. “Over-working your muscles to a point of fatigue is the fastest way to trigger an avalanche of problems,” Gandler said.  “Be smart and listen to what your body is telling you.”

 

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Katy, TX News (May 5, 2015) – Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene, (BHGRE) pulled out all the stops on its “Let’s Go To The Hop” Katy Sunshine Fest to raise funds for two children’s cancer charities, The Sunshine Kids and Triumph Over Kids Cancer. With the support of such longtime sponsors as Firethorne, ticket sales and matching funds by University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the annual fundraiser brought in $45,000 to help bring hope and joy to children undergoing cancer treatment, as well as to fund research specific to pediatric cancer.

3) Katy SunshineFest-GroupShot-Janet 4-11-15

According to Event Chair Bob Miles, a Realtor with BHGRE Gary Greene, Firethorne has partnered with the Katy Sunshine Fest from the benefit’s beginning. This year’s 50s-theme party was held at Faith West Academy in Katy.

“We were drawn to help sponsor the Katy Sunshine Fest because cancer is not something you choose, but it has the potential of changing everyone in the family’s life, not just the patient’s,” said Firethorne Marketing Director Janet Burkett.

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center President Dr. Ronald DePinho was a special guest and spoke at the benefit.

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Katy, TX News (April 23, 2015) – Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital recently celebrated its volunteers during National Volunteer Week.  Established in 1974 by President Richard Nixon, National Volunteer Week was created to recognize and celebrate the efforts of volunteers. Since then, the original emphasis on celebration has widened. The week has become a nationwide effort to urge people to make a difference by getting out and volunteering in their communities.

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At the hospital, volunteers do make a difference. From comforting patients in their time of need to answering phones or providing directions, there is a job for everyone.

Fun Facts:

– 146 individuals volunteer their time at Memorial Hermann Katy.

– Last year Memorial Hermann Katy’s volunteers contributed more than 26,000 hours in various departments.

– While the average age of the hospital’s volunteers is 65, the oldest volunteer is 91 and has been volunteering at the hospital for 34 years.

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Katy, TX News (April 22, 2015) – Courtesy of KHOU – For Kim Karns, a junior at Cinco Ranch, her cell phone is her lifeline. “I was on Twitter or texting someone,” said Karns.

She was sitting by the pool with her family on Sunday. Her head was down, fingers typing away on a text that likely saved her life.

“I looked down at the right time,” said Karns. That’s when she felt it. “I felt something hit me in the back of the head, thought it was a baseball or something,” said Karns. “It stung.”

No one knew what it was or where it came from. But Karns was hurt. “When I pulled my hand back, it was covered in blood,” said Karns.

“We were immediately jumping up, going okay let’s get to the emergency room,” said Yvette Karns, Kim’s mother. Her parents drove her to Memorial Hermann hospital in Katy where a CAT scan surprised even doctors.

“It was like all the life in me just drained,” said Kim’s mother. A bullet was lodged inside Kim’s head.

“I should be dead,” said Karns. An ambulance rushed her to the Medical Center where doctors removed the bullet stuck between her scalp and skull.

“I was pretty much like bring it on, get it out of me,” said Karns. “I was ready to go home. I told them I’ve got school tomorrow and a volleyball tournament this weekend.”

Investigators with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office say this was a stray bullet. Someone nearby fired it up into the air and that is a crime.

“It’s going to come down somewhere,” said Karns. “There’s going to be a consequence for that.”

It’s a crime that Kim’s mother says could have cost her daughter her life.

“Am I upset? Yes,” she said. “Would I like to wring their neck and say what were you thinking? Yes.”

Most people can’t say they survived a bullet to the head.

“She had an angel on her shoulder that day,” said Kim’s mother.

But now Kim has the stitches to prove it. “If I would have been one inch in any other direction, it could have gone differently,” said Kim. “I’m just really grateful to be alive.”

According to investigators, the caliber of the bullet has yet to be determined. Detectives believe the bullet was shot from south of the victim’s home from a distance of up to a mile. If you have any information about this incident, call the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office at 281-341-4665.

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Katy, TX News (April 20, 2015) – On Saturday, April 11, Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr., surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital and professor of surgery and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, presented at the Texas Surgical Society meeting in Galveston. Fraser, who is the son-in-law of Dr. Denton A. Cooley, spoke on the 60-year experience (1954-2014) in pediatric heart surgery and the roles played by Cooley and himself.

Photo by:  Phil Steffek, Texas Children's Hospital
Photo by: Phil Steffek, Texas Children’s Hospital

In 1954, Texas Children’s Hospital opened, and soon thereafter, Cooley initiated a surgical program for children with congenital heart disease. Initial efforts focused on palliative procedures including the Blalock-Taussig Shunt, followed by early intracardiac repairs using the heart-lung bypass machine.

Texas Children’s was quickly established as a center for the development of surgical techniques for children with all forms of cardiac disease. In 1995, an integrated, dedicated children’s heart center was developed by Fraser adding additional focus on complex repairs, particularly in newborn babies.

Since the inception of the program in 1954, there have been more than 27,000 cardiac operations performed at Texas Children’s including successive increases in case volume in each decade. In the present era, more than 20 percent of patients are newborns and 50 percent are infants.

To provide every available therapeutic option, a pediatric cardiac transplant program was initiated in 1984 and to date, more than 325 pediatric heart transplant operations have been performed. In 2001, a lung transplant program was opened – 165 pediatric lung transplants have been performed. Each decade has seen increasing case volumes and complexity, but with steadily improved mortality rates, now consistently <2 percent and specifically <1 percent in 2014 which is well above the national average of 3 percent.

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Katy, TX News (April 9, 2015 ) – Representatives from Texas Children’s Hospital joined an international group of medical professionals, patients and parents to determine a standard set of outcome measures for children born with cleft lip and palate. This work is the first of its kind in pediatrics on an international stage and these guidelines will help all institutions develop a standard treatment of care for this population of patients and will be available for implementation this spring.

The team, which was formed by The International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM), evaluated the burden of treatment and complications, including number of interventions, major surgical complications and re-admissions. It also took into account the health of the patient, looking at factors like speech, oral health, eating and drinking, appearance, body weight and psycho-social functioning. In keeping with ICHOM’s commitment to measuring results that matter and reporting patient outcomes in a standardized way, these guidelines will help ensure all of a patient’s needs are met.

Three representatives from Texas Children’s, supported by hospital leadership, took part in the esteemed program, including Dr. Laura Monson, pediatric plastic surgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, outcomes research nurse, Christy Hernandez, from the Texas Children’s Hospital Outcomes & Impact Service, and cranio-facial orthodontist at Texas Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of plastic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine Dr. John O. Wirthlin. The working group was comprised of members from Australia, Canada, India, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the U.S., and included participants from other organizations including Boston Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Great Ormond Street.

“We are proud to be a part of the team that developed this important set of measures and to have collaborated with other respected medical professionals from highly esteemed institutions in this process,” said Kathleen Carberry, nurse and director of Texas Children’s Hospital Outcomes and Impact Service. “This work is the first of its kind and a step toward really examining the value of health care delivery from the patient’s perspective.”

Texas Children’s has a large population of cleft lip and palate patients resulting in nearly 2,000 clinic visits and 500 surgical cases per year and the hospital will be following the new guidelines and measurements to ensure their needs are met. Texas Children’s Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic already addresses many of the outcome measures listed in the ICHOM Standard Set, however it will be adding the measures of oral health, appearance and burden of care beginning in February.

“We’re looking forward to seeing these guidelines put to use here at Texas Children’s, and all over the world, to ensure the best possible care for these children,” said Monson, who is currently studying the short-and long-term outcomes of patients with cleft lip and palate as part of a Texas Children’s Hospital Auxiliary Fellowship award she was given. “These kids need – and deserve – every possible opportunity to live a healthy, happy, and well-adjusted life, and we believe these standards will significantly improve patient outcomes.”

This is not Texas Children’s first step towards improving the lives of patients with cleft lip and palate. After receiving feedback from patients about the hardships they endure and the challenges they face because they look different, Texas Children’s launched a weekend camp last March, designed to provide children born with cleft lip and palate the chance to be themselves, make new friendships and gain the self confidence many of them lack due to their facial abnormalities.

Texas Children’s follows its cleft lip and palate patients’ clinical outcomes and quality of life for 18 years, tracking the patient’s speech progress, the aesthetical development of the cleft lip and palate repair, as well as the progress of the child’s emotional and psycho-social healing.

“Our team’s dedication doesn’t just stop with the patients we are currently treating,” says Wirthlin. “We are committed to tracking the progress of our kids so we can perfect the already exceptional care we provide and improve clinical outcomes for those future families that will be seeking our help down the road. Helping to create these guidelines was just one more step in bettering our patients’ lives.”

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit organization, is committed to creating a community of healthy children through excellence in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation, Texas Children’s has recognized Centers of Excellence in multiple pediatric subspecialties including the Cancer and Heart Centers, and operates the largest primary pediatric care network in the country. Texas Children’s has completed a $1.5 billion expansion, which includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; and Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston.  For more information on Texas Children’s, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news from Texas Children’s by visiting the online newsroom and on Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.

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Katy, TX News (April 2, 2015) – KATY Aquatics and Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital will bring “April Pools Day” to families at Katy Mills on Wednesday, April 1. The event, scheduled for 10 a.m. in the AMC Plaza near Entry 8, will feature water safety demonstrations, information booths, games, story time, giveaways and Simon Kidgits Club® activities plus a special appearance by Mayor Fabol Hughes and guest speaker Elizabeth Nuño who nearly lost her daughter last summer in a drowning accident.

“April Pools Day’ is a significant educational initiative that we implemented, locally, last year, after Katy experienced an overwhelming number of drowning incidents,” said Kay Sword, Trauma Program manager at Memorial Hermann Katy.  “Together, with the support of community leaders, we hope to clarify the potential dangers, reduce the risk of incidents and keep families water-safe and sound.”

“April Pools Day,” recognized by aquatic organizations and health providers across the nation, is designed to teach families about water safety, raise awareness of the hazards associated with water, and prevent drowning in pools, bathtubs and all bodies of water. Seminars and demonstrations led by KATY Aquatics and Memorial Hermann Katy representatives will include how to properly wear a life jacket, information on first aid and CPR, and the best ways to watch children near water. The organizations will also give away 200 gift bags, while supplies last.

“With Harris County leading the state in drowning cases in 2013 and 2014, it is critical for us to educate parents and children, early, about proper water safety techniques,” said Travis Sandifer, executive director of KATY Aquatics. “We are proud to partner with Memorial Hermann and Katy Mills to inform young parents and communicate proactive measures to ensure a fun spring and summer.”

In addition to safety demonstrations, Katy Mills’ Simon Kidgits Club will have various activities for children including water safety inspired paper crafts and coloring and will provide educational material about local waterways. Kidgits Club members will receive a special bathtub toy to take home and enjoy. If families are not part of the club, they can sign-up and pay the annual $5 per child fee at the event.

“Swim safety is a huge concern for families in the Katy area,” said Sabrina Scruta, director of marketing and business development at Katy Mills.With a focus on health, wellness, education and safety, this event is a perfect complement to the mission of our Simon Kidgits Club.”

As an added bonus for event patrons, Katy Mills will be giving away swag bags filled with special retail offers to the first 50 customers to sign up for the Mobile Shoppers Club. To join the Mobile Shoppers Club*, text “SMSC” to 74666 for all kinds of insider info.

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Katy, TX News (March 13, 2015) – According to recent statistics, Texas has the 15th highest adult obesity rate in the country. When it comes to childhood obesity, the state isn’t faring much better. Obesity can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even contribute to some forms of cancer.

March is National Nutrition Month and what better time to start reversing this “growing” trend. Change can start at home by placing more of an emphasis on good nutrition and simply making it a priority.

According to Rita Connors, dietitian at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital, knowledge is the key. “You have to read the nutrition labels and know what is in the food you’re putting in your body. Just because a label says ‘low fat’ or ‘reduced sugar’ doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a healthy choice,” says Connors.

Connors suggests taking time to educate your family on food. Time spent discussing food and good food choices can lead to the development of healthier eating habits.

“It often comes down to planning. Use your weekends wisely by pre-preparing healthy snacks and meals for the week,” says Connors.

According to Connors, below are a few tips families can use while at home:

  • Plan your snacks by having tasty and healthy ready-to-eat items nearby so you won’t be tempted to make a less healthy choice.
  • Snack when you’re hungry and not because you’re bored.
  • Always drink plenty of water and be careful of flavored waters, they can often be high in added sugars so be sure to look over the labels.

Plan your snacks by having tasty and healthy ready to eat items nearby so you won’t be tempted to make a less healthy choice. Snack when you’re hungry and not because you’re bored. Always drink plenty of water and be careful of flavored waters, they can often be high in added sugars so be sure to look over the labels.

“People focus too much on what’s good and what’s bad,” says Connors. “Every food can fit in a healthy diet if eaten in moderation.”

Connors also suggests incorporating a good weight training and strength training program to help develop more muscle mass. The added muscle mass will help the body to burn more calories at rest.

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Katy, TX News – (February 9, 2015) – Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus is proud to announce Chanda Cashen Chacón as president, Dr. Jeanine Graf as chief medical officer and Dr. Allen Milewicz as chief surgical officer of the hospital. For more information about Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, visit texaschildrens.org/westcampus.

Photo by A kramer
Photo by A. Kramer

Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, Houston’s first community hospital designed exclusively for children, was created to respond to the growing need for expert pediatric health care in West Houston, one of the city’s most rapidly expanding communities. The hospital offers expert care in a location that is convenient and accessible for area families.

“We are thrilled Chanda, Dr. Graf and Dr. Milewicz will now lead Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus,” says Randy Wright, chief operating officer of Texas Children’s Hospital. “As experienced leaders within our organization, they will continue to expand services in the West Houston community.”

Chacón, who most recently served as vice president of women’s services at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, completed her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University. She earned a master’s degree in public health from Yale University and joined Texas Children’s in 2002 as an administrative fellow.

Chacón has been a leader in the Texas Children’s system for more than 12 years, with roles in ambulatory operations, pharmacy, Texas Children’s Heart Center, Texas Children’s Fetal Center and Women’s Services. She played an integral role in the successful preparation and execution of the Pavilion for Women by leading the design, start up and grand opening of the ambulatory sector.

“I am honored to be named president of Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus,” says Chacón. “The strong foundation that has been built over the past four years will allow us to expand on our promise to provide exceptional care and an unrivaled experience for our patients.”

Graf, who has been a pediatric intensive care physician for more than 20 years and most recently served as medical director of Texas Children’s pediatric intensive care unit, earned her undergraduate degree from St. Louis University and a medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She completed her residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in pediatric critical care at Baylor College of Medicine.

Graf, who also serves as an associate professor of pediatrics-critical care at Baylor, has been a leader in the Texas Children’s system for more than 17 years, with roles including interim chief of pediatric critical care and medical director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Transport Program. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

“It is a privilege to help lead the team who will continue to benefit the health of children and families in our community,” says Graf.

As chief surgical officer, Milewicz, who is also an associate professor of pediatrics-surgery at Baylor, will be responsible for organizing Texas Children’s surgery within the community, focusing on Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. Additionally, he will be working in conjunction with the entire Texas Children’s Department of Surgery to optimize surgical service for patients, families and referring physicians.

“I look forward to expanding surgical services in the community while ensuring that each patient receives the experience, expertise and clinical outcomes for which Texas Children’s is known,” says Milewicz.

Board-certified by the American Board of Pediatric Surgery, Milewicz received his undergraduate degree from City College of New York and earned his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. After completing his general surgery residency program at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, he went on to pursue specialized training in pediatric surgery. Milewicz is also a member of the American Pediatric Surgery Association and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

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Katy, TX News (February 3, 2015) – Dr. Eric Chiou, pediatric gastroentrologist at Texas Children’s Hospital, examines the safety of a commonly-used ingredient in medication recommended for constipated children:

“Recently, there have been several media reports on a new study sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) looking at the main ingredient found in Miralax, an over-the-counter medication for constipation commonly recommended by pediatricians and pediatric gastroenterologists for use in children.

The new FDA-sponsored study aims to look at how polyethylene glycol 3350, or PEG 3350, affects children long-term. On the one hand, just because the FDA is doing a study does not mean that PEG 3350 is dangerous. On the other hand, I always encourage families to obtain information from reliable sources about the medications and treatments used for their children in general. Many of our patients and families have questions and concerns about PEG 3350 which I will try to address below.

What is PEG 3350?

Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a water-soluble, inactive ingredient of which only a very small amount is absorbed in the gut or gastrointestinal tract, the rest moves through the body. PEG is non-toxic and has no effect on the body. Commonly used brand names of PEG 3350 available in the U.S. are MiraLax and GlycoLax.

How does PEG 3350 work in the treatment of constipation?

PEG 3350 helps constipation by holding more water in the bowel, making stool softer and easier to pass. The effect of PEG 3350 is not immediate, and may take 24 hours or more to work.

Is PEG 3350 currently approved for use in children?

No. PEG 3350 is currently approved by the FDA for use in adults, but is not approved for use in children. A drug that does not have FDA approval for use in children does not mean the drug is unsafe. It usually means the drug has not been tested by the manufacturer in very large trials of children specifically for FDA approval. This may happen for several reasons such as lack of funding and ethical issues in performing some type of studies in children. Many commonly used medications are not specifically FDA approved for use in children less than 16 years.

Is PEG 3350 effective for treating childhood constipation?

Yes. Several scientific studies have shown PEG 3350 to be more effective in treating constipation in children when compared against placebo (sugar pill) as well as other laxatives such as lactulose and milk of magnesia. The North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, endorses the long-term use of Miralax in its guidelines for the treatment of children with chronic constipation. 

Is PEG 3350 safe for use in children long-term?

Several research studies have shown PEG 3350 to be safe in children when used for several weeks to several months. Currently there have been no studies specifically on the use and safety of PEG 3350 in children for longer periods of time. It is common for pediatric gastroenterologists to prescribe PEG 3350 for chronic use and there have been no reports of serious, long-term side effects in the medical literature.

Why is the FDA sponsoring a new study on the safety of PEG 3350 and what new information do they hope to find out?

The FDA is interested in investigating the safety of PEG 3350 use in children and for prolonged periods. Although PEG 3350 is not absorbed by the gut due to its size, there are concerns that smaller compounds, such as ethylene glycol, could be found as impurities in the manufacturing process of PEG 3350 or formed when PEG 3350 is broken down within the body. The FDA is investigating if these smaller compounds are absorbed by the gut and accumulated in the bodies of children taking PEG 3350. Some families have reported concerns to the FDA that some neurologic or behavioral symptoms in children may be related to taking PEG 3350. It is unclear whether these side-effects are due to PEG 3350. This study is the first step towards trying to determine if there is truly a link.

Are there other effective alternative treatments/medications for constipation in children?

Multiple options are available for treatment of constipation in children. Stool softeners, stimulant laxatives, dietary changes and behavior modification are used alone or in combination, but evidence regarding the effectiveness of specific treatments is limited. Other medications for control of constipation include lactulose (a synthetic, non-digestible sugar), milk of magnesia/magnesium hydroxide, mineral oil or stimulant laxatives (senna, bisacodyl). Questions about potential risks of each medication should be discussed with your child’s health care provider.

What should I do if my child is currently taking PEG 3350?

Generally speaking, if your child has been prescribed PEG 3350 as part of his/her treatment plan, and you feel this medicine provides benefit, you should feel safe continuing PEG 3350. At this time, PEG 3350 appears to be safe based on current medical literature. We recommend discussing any concerns you have about the safety of PEG 3350 with your child’s health care provider. If you would prefer for your child to stop taking PEG 3350, discuss other treatments options with your child’s health care team before stopping PEG 3350 therapy. Although abruptly stopping PEG 3350 is not considered dangerous, it could lead to a relapse/worsening of constipation.”

Katy Magazine would like to thank Dr. Chiou and Texas Children’s Hospital for sharing their expertise on this important topic with the community. 

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Katy, TX News (January 9, 2015) – Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital has selected a new leader for its executive team with Linda Stephens, RN, MBA, BSN being named Chief Nursing Officer (CNO).

Linda Stephens

“Linda has more than two decades of experience in healthcare,” said Jim Parisi, CEO of Memorial Hermann Katy.  “She has a proven record of delivering results in the fast-paced hospital environment and her commitment to high quality and safe patient care is unparalleled.”

As CNO, Stephens will oversee all nursing functions and patient care practices within Memorial Hermann Katy.  She will work hand-in-hand with John Kueven, Chief Operating Officer, to manage daily operations and financial performance, and is accountable for regulatory standards compliance, patient satisfaction, patient safety, quality of patient care, and employee engagement.

Most recently, Stephens served as the CNO at Memorial Herman Northeast Hospital in Humble, where she had administrative oversight of patient care delivery and nursing practice in all clinical areas, including medical/surgical, oncology, wound care, intensive care services, cardiology, pharmacy, laboratory and emergency care. During her tenure, she was instrumental in the hospital’s achievement of the Pathway to Excellence® designation, which recognizes healthcare institutions where nurses excel.

Prior to her work at Memorial Herman Northeast, Stephens worked for the Hospital Corporation of America, serving as CNO representative for the Gulf Coast Division on the Corporate CNO Council and was a mentor in the CNO development program.

Stephens has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and a Masters of Business Administration from Angelo State University.  She and her family reside in Katy.

For more information about Memorial Hermann Katy, visit www.memorialhermann.org or call 713.222.CARE (2273).

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Katy, TX News (December 5, 2014) –  As part of the hospital’s long-term vision to care for children with the most serious and complex medical conditions, Texas Children’s Hospital announces its plan to build an eight-bed special isolation unit at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. This unit will be specifically for children with highly contagious infectious diseases, such as pandemic influenza, enterovirus D68, Ebola, and many others. Additionally, Texas Children’s has been designated by the State of Texas as a pediatric Ebola treatment center following a recent visit from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Currently, only four patient biocontainment units, which are specialized facilities equipped and staffed to care for patients with contagious infectious diseases, exist in the entire country.

“We will build a state-of-the-art isolation unit designed and staffed to provide the highest quality care and treatment for infants and children with serious or life-threatening infectious diseases of public health significance, always with the greatest possible margin of safety,” says Dr. Mark W. Kline, physician-in-chief at Texas Children’s and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. “We believe this will be an indispensable resource to our local community, Texas and the nation.

In fact, Texas Children’s is a quaternary referral hospital often serving as a “court of last resort” for children with incredibly complex or life-threatening medical conditions, including infectious diseases.

This new special isolation unit at Texas Children’s will incorporate all of the latest scientific and technological approaches to biocontainment, including negative air pressure, laminar air flow, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration, separate ventilation, anterooms, biosafety cabinets, a point-of-care laboratory, special security access, autoclaves and incinerators. There will be two levels of protection from airborne particles, as well as a comprehensive waste management plan, among other safety features. The unit will be fully equipped to care for any infant or child with a serious communicable disease, with all of the measures available to assure safety of the health care team, other patients and their families. A point-of-care biosafety level 3 laboratory will enable the care team to monitor the progress of patients and perform rapid detection methods to identify unusual pathogens. Housed at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, the unit is anticipated to have capacity for eight patients, all in private rooms.

Texas Children’s has a number of the nation’s leading clinicians on the ground ready to help. The hospital is home to Baylor’s Department of Pediatrics, the largest in the nation, with more than 1,000 pediatricians, pediatric subspecialists and pediatric scientists. The specialized unit will be led by Dr. Gordon Schutze, who will serve as medical director, as well as Dr. Judith Campbell and Dr. Amy Arrington who will be the unit’s associate medical directors. It will be staffed by an elite team of experienced critical care and infectious disease nurses and physicians, all of whom will have successfully completed an intensive advanced certification course and practicum in infection control, hospital epidemiology and management of infectious diseases in the critical care setting. The staff will maintain their certification through participation in ongoing educational activities.

“We are working with the CDC to design, build, equip and staff this unit,” Kline adds.

The new unit will be operational within nine months and cost approximately $16 million to build.

“I could not be more impressed with Texas Children’s desire to run towards issues of critical importance to the health and well-being of the children of Texas and our nation,” said Dr. Brett Giroir, director of the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response and chief executive officer of the Texas A&M Health Science Center.

Since the summer, Texas Children’s has been implementing a detailed plan to identify, isolate and treat suspected cases of Ebola, if necessary. As a result, following a visit from the CDC, the State of Texas designated Texas Children’s as a pediatric Ebola treatment center. As part of the hospital’s preparation, specific protocols were developed outlining steps staff would take if and when a patient with Ebola symptoms arrived at a Texas Children’s facility. Additionally, in order to decrease the risk of exposure and provide the complex care required, the hospital identified specific areas and units responsible for caring for any patient with Ebola. The health care workers in those areas have received intense, ongoing training and simulation to help them prepare.

“We are honored to partner with the State of Texas to provide the highest quality care to infants and children with Ebola and other highly contagious infectious diseases,” Kline says of the announcement. “Texas Children’s Hospital specializes in the medical care and treatment of infants and children with the most complex and serious health problems. The challenge of serious infectious diseases is one we accept and confront willingly.”

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Katy, TX News (November 5, 2014) – Memorial Hermman hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking of the new Convenient Care Center in South Katy this week. Executive officers from various branches posed for a photo to celebrate the construction of the new facility.

Katy CCC Groundbreaking (18)

 

The Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Center in Katy is slated to open in the Spring of 2015 and will provide one-stop, coordinated access to a vast array of Memorial Hermann services in a single location. The Convenient Care Center will house primary care physicians (adult and pediatric), lab services, imaging, a 24-hour emergency room, sports medicine and rehabilitation and more.

“This new model of health care delivery provides patients with a highly accessible location for a variety of services, from 24-hour emergency care to screening mammograms,” said Scott Barbe, CEO of Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital.

“The response from the communities where we currently operate Convenient Care Centers has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Dan Wolterman, CEO and President of Memorial Hermann Health System. “Our patients say they appreciate the ease of scheduling appointments, the convenience of being able to drive up, park and walk in, and that our staff is friendly and professional.  We look forward to bringing this model of care to the Katy community.”

The $19.1 million, 30,000-square-foot Convenient Care Center is designed to take the stress out of scheduling appointments for routine health needs by offering families convenient options such as walk-in access and extended evening and weekend hours for primary care. For non-routine and more urgent needs, the Convenient Care Center will house a 24-hour, seven-day a week, emergency department staffed by board-certified emergency medicine physicians and emergency-trained nurses. Patients in need of higher levels of care would be transferred to Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center or Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.

“The Convenient Care Center will be an added value for families in this area,” Barbe continued. “The attending doctors and nurses are some of the same professionals who have provided high-quality care to families in this area for many years. They are committed to our community.”

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Katy, TX News (October 6, 2014) – At Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, questions about tissue removal, clean margins, and patient communication just got easier to answer thanks to the deployment of the MarginProbe® System, a new FDA-approved intraoperative tissue-assessment tool for breast cancer surgery.

During a lumpectomy, the cancerous breast tumor and a small amount of tissue surrounding the tumor are removed. The purpose of removing normal tissue surrounding the tumor is to ensure “clear margins” so that no cancer cells remain.

Prior to the development of MarginProbe, surgeons would have to send off the excised tissue to a pathology lab to see if any cancer cells remained along the edges. This could take a week or more. Now, using MarginProbe, breast surgeons like Liz Lee, M.D. at Memorial Hermann Katy can test the margins in real time. Research has shown that cancer cells have a distinctive electromagnetic signature, which is different from that of healthy cells. The MarginProbe gathers this electromagnetic signature and significantly improves surgeons’ ability to identify “cancer on the margins” at the time of breast cancer surgery.

If the margins are not clear, the surgeon can take more tissue while the patient is still sedated, potentially reducing the need for a patient to undergo additional lumpectomies. Ultimately, the pathology lab still clears the final tissue.

“This is a real advancement in breast cancer treatment,” says Dr. Lee. “MarginProbe acts as an additional adjunct to help us determine if we have removed all the cancerous cells. The technology gives me and my patients peace of mind knowing we are utilizing all the tools available to us to reach the best outcome possible – elimination of the cancer.”

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Katy, TX News (October 2, 2014) – Cinco Ranch and Fulshear residents will soon have access to Houston Methodist emergency care services in their community.

Houston Methodist West Hospital recently began construction on a new 9,600 sq. ft. emergency care center, scheduled to open in spring 2015 on the western side of Katy, located at FM 1093 and Cinco Rose Dr. The new facility will serve residents of the Cinco Ranch, Fulshear, Katy and north Fort Bend County communities.

The Houston Methodist Cinco Ranch Emergency Care Center will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and offer 10 private treatment rooms with onsite emergency care services, including the latest technology in diagnostic imaging and laboratory services.  Board-certified physicians specializing in emergency care from pediatric to geriatric patients will work alongside specially trained nursing and ancillary staff to provide care to patients of all ages who are ill or injured.

The hospital’s westward expansion will improve access to emergent care for Fulshear and neighboring communities while also offering the most sophisticated services and technology possible.  For conditions requiring hospital admission or further evaluation, patients will have direct, expedited admission to Houston Methodist West.

“The new emergency care center gives Houston Methodist a physical presence in the fast-growing communities west of our hospital,” said Houston Methodist West CEO Wayne Voss. “Most importantly, this is an exciting development because it will give local residents a first-class medical facility within minutes of their homes.”

To learn more about Houston Methodist West, please visit houstonmethodist.org/west or call 832.522.5522.

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Katy, TX News (August 27, 2014) – This month, Katy’s Breast Friends Support Group participated in an educational presentation from Sarah Prinsloo, Ph.D., on the ways the brain reacts to various cancer treatments, followed by a group discussion about their current challenges.

The breast cancer support group meets at the MD Anderson in Katy on the second Tuesday of every month with the goal of empowering, uplifting and supporting patients as they go through this challenging time. The meetings are open to all breast cancer patients, regardless of where they receive or received treatment.

 Monica Cerda-Suarez, Rachel Theriault, Laura Finney, Gwendolyn Lindsey

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Katy, TX News (July 28, 2014) – In an effort to continue to provide patients with convenient access to high-quality health care, Memorial Hermann announced today that it will build its third convenient care center in one of the fastest growing areas in Texas.  The new facility in South Katy will join sister facilities in Summer Creek and Pearland.

“This new model of health care delivery provides patients with a highly accessible location for a variety of services, from 24-hour emergency care to screening mammograms,” said Scott Barbe, CEO of Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital.

The Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Center in Katy is slated to open in the spring of 2015 and will provide one-stop, coordinated access to a vast array of Memorial Hermann services in a single location. The Convenient Care Center will house primary care physicians (adult and pediatric), lab services, imaging, a 24-hour emergency room, sports medicine and rehabilitation, and more.

“The response from the communities where we currently operate Convenient Care Centers has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Dan Wolterman, CEO and President of Memorial Hermann Health System.  “Our patients say they appreciate the ease of scheduling appointments, the convenience of being able to drive up, park and walk in, and that our staff is friendly and professional.  We look forward to bringing this model of care to the Katy community.”

The $19.1 million, 30,000-square-foot Convenient Care Center is designed to take the stress out of scheduling appointments for routine health needs by offering families convenient options such as walk-in access and extended evening and weekend hours for primary care. For non-routine and more urgent needs, the Convenient Care Center will house a 24-hour, seven-day a week, emergency department staffed by board-certified emergency medicine physicians and emergency-trained nurses. Patients in need of higher levels of care would be transferred to Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, or Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.

“The Convenient Care Center will be an added value for families in this area,” Barbe continued.  “The attending doctors and nurses are some of the same professionals who have provided high-quality care to families in this area for many years.  They are committed to our community.”

The Convenient Care Center will be constructed on the corner of the Grand Parkway and West Park Toll Road.  A ground-breaking ceremony will be announced soon.

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Katy, TX News (July 8, 2014) – The new Lung Cancer Screening Program at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital helps individuals who are at high risk for lung cancer detect lung nodules and potential lung cancer at an early stage when the disease is more treatable and curable.

Lung cancer typically does not cause symptoms in its early stages. A persistent cough, coughing up blood, wheezing, shortness of breath, recurrent pneumonia, chest pain, hoarseness, weight loss, and bloody or rust-colored sputum, or mucus, may be signs of lung cancer.

Since lung cancer is difficult to detect in its earliest stages, it’s not often discovered until it has spread to other tissues or organs.  The good news is the United States Preventive Services Task Force recently issued its final recommendation approving low-dose computed tomography (CT) lung screenings for those at high risk of developing lung cancer. A low-dose CT is a test that takes detailed pictures inside of the lungs.  The amount of radiation used is lower than standard chest CT scans.

“The new screening test for lung cancer has shown to be useful in the early detection of lung cancer, leading to a decrease of deaths,” said Terence O’Connor, M.D., medical director of radiology at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital.

Up to 90 percent of all lung cancers are thought to result from smoking. In addition to cigarette smoking, cigar smoking increases risk. Non-smokers who are frequently exposed to secondhand smoke also face an increased risk. Other risk factors include: exposure to asbestos, radon, or ionizing radiation and lung scarring from chronic infections.

Screenings at Memorial Hermann Katy are now being offered to current or former smokers 55 years of age or older who have smoked the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes a day, and individuals who have any of the risk factors mentioned above.

To schedule a lung screening, call 877-704-8700.

 

 

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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.

In addition to aesthetic updates in the current hospital, construction on the new six-story patient tower is now underway.  Scheduled to open in Summer 2015, the new patient tower will add additional capacity in multiple units, including women’s services.  Upon completion, the hospital will house nine labor-and-delivery rooms, 31 post-partum rooms, and eight ante-partum rooms.

A recognized leader in women’s services, Memorial Hermann Katy features private labor-delivery-recovery suites with state-of-the-art clinical equipment, in addition to amenities for convenience and comfort.  Patients enjoy family-centered care, which allows the Mom and baby to room-in together for bonding time and enables Mom to learn baby care during her stay.  For more information about women’s services offered at the hospital, click here.

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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.”

During the 2014 study period (2010-2012), Patient Safety Excellence Award hospitals showed better than expected performance in providing safety for patients in the Medicare population, as measured by objective outcomes (risk-adjusted patient safety indicator rates) across 13 of the 14 patient safety indicators defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).  If all hospitals performed at the same level of award recipients, 266,813 patient safety events among Medicare patients in U.S. hospitals potentially could have been avoided.

For more information about Healthgrades or to download a full copy of the report or to receive information about hospital and physician quality, visit: www.Healthgrades.com/quality today.

Statistics are based on Healthgrades application of QI Windows® Software (version 4.4), developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), to MedPAR data for years 2010 through 2012 and represent 3-year estimates for Medicare patients only.

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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.

“Our cardiology team offers a multi-faceted continuum of care from diagnosis through treatment and follow-up for children with cardiac issues and heart failure,” said Dr. Daniel J. Penny, chief of cardiology at Texas Children’s. “We are committed to providing unparalleled care and less-invasive procedure options to children with the most complex congenital heart conditions.”

Cardiovascular surgery program at Texas Children’s Hospital
The surgical team at Texas Children’s Heart Center tailors each procedure and treatment to the specific need of each individual child and his or her family. During surgery, this individualized approach includes cardiopulmonary bypass and neuroprotection strategies customized to each patient’s condition and needs, helping to ensure optimal outcomes are achieved. Some of the heart problems the team treats include atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, tetralogy of Fallot, and transposition of the great arteries.

Heart failure and heart transplantation at Texas Children’s Hospital
Additionally, the heart failure and cardiac transplantation programs at Texas Children’s Heart Center are among the largest and most successful programs in the world. More than 650 cardiomyopathy patients are cared for each year by a team of physicians, nurse coordinators, and administrative personnel. When a transplant is not immediately available, a variety of circulatory support devices are used as a bridge to transplantation. Currently, Texas Children’s Heart Center is able to offer a wide range of mechanical circulatory support devices, as well as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), to children whose hearts are failing: Maquet Rotaflow, Cardiac Assist Tandem Heart, Thoratec Paracorporeal VAD (ventricular assist device), Thoratec HeartMate II, Berlin Heart EXCOR, Heartware LVAD, and Syncardia Total Artificial Heart.

In 2004, the Heart Center team implanted the first MicroMed/DeBakey ChildVAD. In 2011, the Berlin Heart was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in children after a lengthy study led by Fraser who worked in cooperation with 17 hospitals in collecting and reporting data to the FDA regarding the safety and probable benefit of the pediatric heart pump. In 2012, Texas Children’s became the world’s first pediatric hospital to complete the first and second phase of certification to implant the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart as a bridge to transplant. This year, Texas Children’s Hospital was named the first Pediatric Heart Failure Institute in Texas by The Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium, a distinction shared with only four other pediatric programs in the country.

Texas Children’s Heart Center is committed to consistently achieving outcomes that are among the best in the nation. As part of this commitment, Texas Children’s has a dedicated Surgical Outcomes Center devoted to tracking clinical outcomes and optimizing care. The team is transparent in sharing outcomes and passionately advocate for care where optimal results are achieved.

Cardiology program at Texas Children’s Hospital
The cardiology program at Texas Children’s Heart Center offers a wide variety of services including specialized catheterization labs where interventional cardiologists use minimally invasive procedures to repair certain heart defects, frequently sparing children from open heart surgery. Electrophysiologists offer the most advanced arrhythmia and pacing services for patients with heart rhythm abnormalities. Texas Children’s is also the only freestanding pediatric hospital in the nation with a remote magnetic navigation system known as stereotaxis for precise catheter manipulation to difficult-to-reach areas of a child’s heart. The system’s magnet guides a thin, flexible wire to the exact location in a child’s heart where physicians can ablate the problem area, often curing the child of the arrhythmia and giving them a chance to resume normal play or sports activities that were once restricted.

Preventive cardiac disease and events through early intervention
With more than half a century of leadership in the care of patients with congenital heart disease, the Heart Center team has pioneered many of the now-standard procedures and therapies related to the diagnosis and treatment of children needing cardiovascular care. The Center for Preventive Cardiology at Texas Children’s Heart Center is focused on medically managing the risk factors of acquired heart disease in children with a strong family history of cardiac disease, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, or the diagnosis of Kawasaki disease. The goal is to prevent future cardiac disease and events such as heart attack and stroke through early detection and intervention and by educating children and their families to better care for themselves.

The Texas Children’s Heart Center team is led by Fraser, who is also professor of pediatrics and chief of congenital heart surgery at Baylor College of Medicine; Penny, who is also professor of pediatrics at Baylor; Dr. Emad Mossad, chief of cardiovascular anesthesia at Texas Children’s and division director of pediatric cardiovascular anesthesia at Baylor; and Dr. Lara Shekerdemian, chief of critical care at Texas Children’s and professor of pediatrics at Baylor.

In addition to Texas Children’s Heart Center’s #2 ranking, Texas Children’s Hospital is ranked fourth among all children’s hospitals nationally and one of only 10 hospitals to achieve the Honor Roll designation by U.S. News & World Report. Texas Children’s is also the only hospital in Texas – and the entire Southern region of the U.S. – awarded this distinction.

For more information, visit www.usnews.texaschildrens.org.

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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.

Texas Children’s, working closely with academic partner Baylor College of Medicine, continues to pioneer advancements in pediatric health care and earns the Honor Roll distinction by being ranked among America’s best in:

  • #4 Cancer
  • #2 Cardiology & heart surgery
  • #8 Diabetes & endocrinology
  • #5 Gastroenterology (digestive disorders)
  • #2 Neonatology
  • #4 Nephrology (kidney disorders)
  • #6 Neurology & neurosurgery
  • #34 Orthopedics
  • #4 Pulmonology
  • #7 Urology

“Texas Children’s Hospital is home to the largest number of pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists on the planet. More importantly, we have many of the world’s most talented and dedicated physicians, educators, scientists, nurses, and other health professionals. I am so proud of the outstanding commitment they show every single day to all of the children and families we serve. Working together, the team at Texas Children’s truly is driving innovation and advancement in pediatric health care,” said Dr. Mark Kline, physician-in-chief of Texas Children’s Hospital and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor.

These rankings are the result of a methodology that weighs a combination of outcome and care-related measures such as nursing care, advanced technology, credentialing, and reputation, among other factors. This year’s methodology reflects a number of improvements, the most important of which relate to outcomes, best practices and infection prevention. The improvements better differentiate hospitals on the basis of their performance in these domains, which factored into the decision to increase the weight assigned two of them. To allow for this change, U.S. News reduced the weight assigned to hospital reputation.

“Texas Children’s Department of Surgery, which performs more than 25,000 surgeries annually, is a preeminent surgical program nationally and these rankings signify the strength of both the department and hospital overall,” said Dr. Charles D. Fraser Jr., surgeon-in-chief of Texas Children’s Hospital and professor of pediatrics and chief of congenital heart surgery at Baylor. “Our high rankings demonstrate the commitment we have not only to achieving quality outcomes, but also to tracking those outcomes and using them to markedly improve the care we deliver.”

The 2014 – 2015 edition of Best Children’s Hospitals is available online at usnews.com/childrenshospitals.

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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.

In April, the hospital also received its third consecutive three-year term of accreditation in ultrasound by the ACR.

The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 36,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

 

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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.

Fluent in both English and Arabic, Dr. Al-Hafez serves as a clinical assistant professor in the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at UTHealth.  He also is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Dr. Al-Hafez’s Katy office is located on the campus of Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital at 23920 Katy Freeway, Suite 240.  Appointments can be made by calling 281-644-8880.  He also has offices in Sugar Land and Memorial City.

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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.” 

Recognized as a “Center of Distinction” by Healogics, Inc., Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital-Katy offers wound consultation and evaluation along with the most effective and advanced wound technologies available, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). HBOT promotes healing by increasing the level of oxygen in the tissue and improving the healing efficiency of the white blood cells. Therapy is administered in a hyperbaric chamber that delivers 100 percent oxygen with increased atmospheric pressure, stimulating the entire body’s natural healing responses.

People with wounds that have not improved with traditional methods of treatment may benefit from a visit to Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital-Katy. To schedule an online appointment, visit http://goo.gl/lBCbdK or call 281-579-5542.

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Katy, TX News (May 15, 2014) – Construction on the new six-story patient tower and second medical plaza is now underway at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, and officials are encouraging visitors to plan ahead and utilize on-site resources, including directional signage, to navigate around the campus.

To facilitate construction equipment and crews on the building sites, hospital officials have temporarily relocated the bulk of visitor parking to the north side, or backside, of the campus. During this time, patients visiting Medical Plaza I should park in the northwest corner of the campus, while those visiting the hospital should park in the northeast corner of the campus.  Handicap spots and dedicated parking for laboring moms are still in close proximity to the hospital and medical plaza entrances.

Directional signage has been installed around the campus to guide visitors to the appropriate lots.  Additionally, the hospital is running a shuttle for those who need help getting to and from their vehicles.  Visitors can call 281-644-7130 to access the shuttle service.

“This is an exciting time for Memorial Hermann and Katy area residents,” said Scott Barbe, CEO of Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital.  “The expansion will enable us to better meet the wide-ranging health needs of our community.”

Scheduled to open in Summer 2015, the new patient tower will add additional capacity in multiple units, including surgical suites, medical and surgical beds, labor and delivery, and the emergency center, and will bring the hospital’s total bed count to over 200.  It also will be constructed to accommodate future growth.  Medical Plaza II will house physician office space, as well as space for expanded sports medicine and outpatient imaging services.

For more information about Memorial Hermann Katy, call 281-644-7000 or visit www.memorialhermann.org.

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Katy, TX News (April 22, 2014) – Koko FitClub, which has gained the reputation as “The World’s First Digital Gym,” hosted the “Ultimate Transformation Giveaway” as an incentive for local men and women to commit to becoming fit or fitter this year. Five winners were chosen randomly from entries submitted through the contest conducted on Koko FitClub’s Houston area locations Facebook pages. The Ultimate Transformation Giveaway prize packages are valued at approximately $2,500 each and include a membership to Koko FitClub, nutritional foods and supplements, and massages for 12 full months, beginning March 2014.

The Koko FitClub Katy winner and prize package are listed below.

  • Koko’s Katy locations (19901 Kingsland Blvd. and 23010 Seven Meadows Pkwy.) presented winner Laura Ritchie with a yearlong Koko FitClub membership, smoothies from Smart Drinks & Nutrition, massages from Concierge Massage, and healthy meal options from Chick-fil-A on Mason Road or Chick-fil-A Cinco Ranch.

    Laura with Travis Denson, co-owner of Koko FitClubs in the Houston area

The Koko FitClub Difference
Founded in Boston in 2008, Koko FitClub has more than 125 company-owned and franchised clubs in 28 states. Koko’s patented Smartraining™ system uses advanced digital technologies to offer a completely new fitness experience that provides the benefits of a traditional 90-minute workout in 45 minutes or less. In 2013, Koko FitClub made Entrepreneur Magazine’s coveted “Franchise 500” list.

The first Houston area Koko FitClub opened in Katy in November 2012 at 23010 Seven Meadows Parkway. John and Marisol Denson, Houston natives who reside in the Memorial area of Houston and who were competitive high school athletes, co-own and operate the six Koko FitClubs in Champions, Cypress, The Heights, Katy, and The Woodlands with other Denson family members. The Densons have the option to open up to 23 facilities in their Houston franchise territory.

Koko FitClub is a leader of the digital fitness revolution. Most high tech fitness gadgets passively monitor physical aspects such as body movements, heartbeat, oxygen saturation, pace, or stride. Koko created the first truly digital fitness club and training system to provide personalized cardio and strength workouts that are based on exercise science and guided by sophisticated digital tools. Every workout is tracked and analyzed in the cloud, with members’ workout data accessible 24/7 on all of their mobile devices. Koko also provides personalized nutrition plans, known as Koko Fuel.

“The combination of personalized exercise and nutrition produces amazing results,” John Denson said. “Koko is the ideal solution for those who are serious about keeping their 2014 resolutions because it makes staying fit viable and fun. It has the highest member-retention rate in the U.S. fitness industry. While two-thirds of all gym memberships typically go unused, 70 percent of Koko members work out every month.”

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Katy, TX News (April 17, 2014) – The National Psoriasis Foundation is pleased to announce that the 3rd Annual Walk to Cure Psoriasis will take place at Discovery Green with registration and health fair opening at 8 a.m. followed by the walk at 9 a.m. Walkers will follow a 1K and 5K route around the beautiful park. For more information, please go to npf.donordrive.com/event/houston.

This year, we are pleased to introduce you to three of our Walk to Cure Psoriasis Youth Ambassadors, six year old Melanee Martin from Kingwood, eleven year old McKenna Sheedy from Katy, and 17 year old Arianna Quazi from Houston. All three struggle with the challenges of having psoriasis, a disease that affects 7.5 million Americans and an estimated 180,000 Houstonians. Melanee, Arianna, and McKenna will join us for the walk and share their personal stories about the challenges of growing up with psoriasis. All have put together teams to walk and are actively involved in the walk.

McKenna Sheedy

 

The Walk to Cure Psoriasis in Houston is the largest event of the year for people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Registration is open to anyone with an interest in finding a cure for psoriasis including the general public. Proceeds will go towards psoriatic disease research. We have made great progress in identifying the culprits that cause psoriasis in the last 2 years since the Houston walk program began. In addition, the National Psoriasis Foundation has invested $10 million to date in grants and fellowships that have led to discoveries about the genetic origins of psoriatic diseases and the link between psoriasis and other serious health conditions, like cardiovascular disease. A portion of those funds have gone to scientists in Texas.

We are pleased to announce Dr. Stephen Tyring and Dr. Christopher Downing from the Center for Clinical Studies will serve as the Honorary Medical Chair for the Walk to Cure Psoriasis. For over 15 years, the Center for Clinical Studies (CCS) has been serving patients with cutting edge new treatments for various dermatological and infectious diseases.

About Psoriasis
Psoriasis is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the country, affecting as many as 7.5 million Americans. Appearing on the skin most often as red scaly patches that itch and bleed, psoriasis is chronic, painful, disfiguring, and disabling. Up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, a related joint disease. There is no cure for psoriasis.

About the National Psoriasis Foundation
The National Psoriasis Foundation is the world’s largest nonprofit organization serving people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Our mission is to find a cure for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and to eliminate their devastating effects through research, advocacy, and education. For more information, call the Psoriasis Foundation, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, at 800-723-9166, or visit www.psoriasis.org.

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Katy, TX (April 16, 2014) – Dr. Dat Pham has opened Grand Smiles Dental in Katy, located at 403 W. Grand Parkway S. Grand Smiles Dental provides general dentistry, family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, implants, oral surgery, and more. Their advanced technology will save you time because no matter what you need, they handle it there in the office.

Entrance to Grand Smiles Dental, now in Katy, TX
Patient exam room

 

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Katy, TX News (April 11, 2014) – “Katy – Energy Grows Here” is taking on a literal meaning at the entrance of Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital. The hospital, a proud supporter of the Katy Area Economic Development Council’s place brand initiative, is one of the first area businesses to purchase a planter specific to the Katy brand.

Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, CEO, Scott Barbe, says he is looking forward to seeing the Katy brand develop throughout the area. “We feel this will further enhance greater Katy and are proud to showcase how ‘Energy Grows Here’.” The planters prominently display the brand logo along with the sponsoring business’ name. The hospital’s planter boasts a beautiful array of seasonal flowers and an ornamental tree.

Photo L-R: Scott Barbe, CEO, MH-Katy; Marsha Bourgeois, Physician Resources; John Kueven, Dir., Operations; Arlena Washington, Clinical Manager; Juan Hurtado, Engineering; Tianay Brown, Dir., Laboratory; Diana Schauer-Tran, Dir., Marketing; Dana Mersiovsky, Katy Area EDC; Lance LaCour, CEO, Katy Area EDC

For the past three years, the Katy Area Economic Development Council has been working on a major place-based branding project designed to capture and articulate the defining characteristics of Katy, as well as to provide a graphic platform for key city assets to have a cohesive look and feel.

The yellow and red base colors for the new Katy brand icon were used to portray energy, strength, and opportunity. The blended rich brownish color is a nod to Katy’s agricultural heritage, and the design is intended to be a leaf, a drop, a point, and a symbol of the oil industry all in one.

“We’re excited to see Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, embrace and promote the Katy brand,” said Lance LaCour, president and CEO of the Katy Area Economic Development Council. “The enthusiasm for the ‘Energy Grows Here’ campaign is a testament to the success of the new branding effort and to the overwhelming sense of pride the business and residential communities have for Katy.”

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Katy, TX News (January 21, 2014) – CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital announced today that its emergency room will close Jan. 31 as it prepares to transition to a specialty care facility.

Emergency room physicians and staff will remain on staff until January 31. Patients arriving after that date will be directed to the nearest emergency room.  Local Emergency Management Services have been notified so rescue crews are aware of the closure.

“While closing any service is difficult, we believe this step continues the transformation of CHRISTUS St. Catherine from an acute care hospital into a long term care facility in early 2014,” said Gene Wright, CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital interim CEO. “I urge the community to become familiar with the area emergency rooms.”

The new specialty hospital, operated in partnership with Houston Methodist, will offer dedicated services for long term  inpatient care and outpatient care including physical and speech therapy, diagnostic imaging including advance mammography.

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Katy, TX News (December 23, 2013) – Today, CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital announced The Birthing Center, along with all Labor and Delivery and newborn nursery services will no longer accept scheduled patients after Friday, December 27, 2013 at  7am and will officially close December 30, 2013 at 12pm.  This closure is necessary since neonatology physician service will no longer be available after December, and the hospital places top priority on maintaining patient safety. The closure will also include triage and outpatient testing services offered within the Women’s Birthing Center.

“While closing any service is difficult, we believe this step begins the transformation of CHRISTUS St. Catherine from an acute care hospital into a long term care facility in early 2014,” said Ellen Jones, president and CEO of CHRISTUS Health Gulf Coast.  “In many ways, this is a rebirth of our own, as we begin the long process of shifting our focus from acute care to the intensive care some patients need after a stay in a traditional hospital.”

Hospital staff will be contacting pregnant mothers who were planning to deliver at CHRISTUS St. Catherine immediately to notify them of the closure and help them transition to a new facility.

The remainder of hospital services at CHRISTUS St. Catherine—including Sports Medicine, Imaging, Surgery and Emergency Services—will remain open, operational, and ready to provide the residents of Katy with the latest in medical technologies and professional health care.  A schedule for the full transition of CHRISTUS St. Catherine has not yet been established.

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Katy, TX (November 25, 2013) – The Texas Nursing Association (TNA) District 9, which represents nurses in Harris County, has selected CHRISTUS St. Catherine Clinical Educator Linda Pitts, RN, BSN, MEd, as one of the top 20 nurses for 2013 Celebrate Nursing awards. Since 1991, TNA has recognized 20 outstanding nurses annually for their contribution to the profession.

CHRISTUS St. Catherine Chief Nursing Officer Barbara Lazor and Director of Education Katie Cross congratulate Linda Pitts on her recognition as one of the top 20 nurses in Harris County at the Texas Nursing Association's Celebrate Nursing ceremony.
CHRISTUS St. Catherine Chief Nursing Officer Barbara Lazor and Director of Education Katie Cross congratulate          Linda Pitts on her recognition as one of the top 20 nurses in Harris County at the Texas Nursing Association’s Celebrate Nursing ceremony.

 

“CHRISTUS St. Catherine’s nurses are the backbone of the high quality patient care we have been known for providing the Katy community for the last decade,” said Barbara Lazor, CHRISTUS ST. Catherine chief nursing officer, who also received the TNA Celebrate Nursing award in 2011. “Linda’s remarkable professional achievements showcase her passion for the nursing profession, for her patients and the Katy community. She is an incredible asset, and we are proud to call her one of our own.”

Over 100 Celebrate Nursing nominations were received in all areas of nursing leadership, from patient care, education, research and administration.

“The diversity of the nominations showcased the power of nursing in Harris County, ” said Katie Cross, RNC, MSN, CHRISTUS St. Catherine’s director of education and member of the TNA Nomination Committee. “Linda is definitely one of an elite group of nurses who continually strive for professional enrichment, and actively give back to the communities they serve.”

 

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Katy, TX (November 18, 2013) – Last week, NFL quarterback Matt Schaub, his wife Laurie and their three children cut the ribbon on the newly expanded GR8 Hope Foundation Emergency Care Area at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, Houston’s first community hospital designed, built and equipped exclusively for children. The expansion project was partially funded through a donation from their GR8 Hope Foundation as part of a $1 million pledge.

 

NFL quarterback Matt Schaub, wife Laurie, and three children cut the ribbon on newly expanded GR8 Hope Foundation Emergency Care Area.
NFL quarterback Matt Schaub, wife Laurie, and three children cut the ribbon on newly expanded GR8 Hope Foundation Emergency Care Area.

“This is another huge milestone for Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus,” said Michelle Riley-Brown, senior vice president, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. “As you can imagine, an expansion of this magnitude takes a village and we are so grateful to the Schaubs for this opportunity and for helping to make this a reality.”

The GR8 Hope Foundation Emergency Care Area is part of The David and Mary Wolff Emergency Center at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, which has nearly doubled in size and is now a 24-bed-unit staffed with board-certified pediatric emergency medicine physicians. The dedicated emergency center staff is trained to provide immediate care for illnesses and injuries in children less than 18 years of age.

“On behalf of Laurie and I, our three beautiful daughters and our GR8 Hope Foundation, we’re incredibly honored to be here today and be a part of this project,” said Matt Schaub. “To look back at what it was not even a year ago and see what it has become is remarkable. When this hospital first opened three years ago, it was near and dear to our hearts to do whatever we could to help out, lend a hand and provide the children that have to come to this remarkable facility with the opportunity to receive the best possible care.”

As part of their continued dedication to Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, the Schaubs presented a third donation of $250,000 through their GR8 Hope Foundation in August.

“We’re very fortunate to have families in Houston that want to help us meet the mission of making children better and the Schaubs are a great example of that,” added Dr. Charles Hankins, chief medical officer of Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. “We see nearly 40,000 children a year in our emergency center; it won’t take long for hundreds of thousands of kids to benefit from this facility.”

 

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