On the heels of its January rebranding, 50-year old Bay Area institution HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake celebrates miracles and milestones

May 2nd, 2019

HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake CEO Todd Caliva poses outside of his newly rebranded hospital

“I’m what you’d call an HCA Lifer and have been with this company a long time. As HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake aligns more deeply with the broader HCA network and looks forward to major investments in women’s and emergency services, our future has never been more bright. I’m proud of our staff, patients, and community for their resilience and commitment to making the Bay Area best-in-class not just for medicine, but for working and living.”

-Todd Caliva, CEO, HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake


HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake at a Glance

HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake is a comprehensive community hospital, differentiated by:

  • 47 years serving Houston’s Bay Area community
  • Level II trauma center
  • High-risk obstetrical care
  • Level IIIb NICU
  • Pediatric ICU
  • Comprehensive Stroke Facility
  • Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Only dedicated Heart Hospital South of Houston

Get in touch:

HCAhoustonhealthcare.com/clearlake
(281) 332-2511

Clear Lake Coach Krueger named winner of national basketball award

April 1st, 2019

Coach Bill Krueger, right, with former Vice President Dick Cheney.

By Mary Alys Cherry

Legendary Clear Lake High School basketball coach Bill Krueger has been honored once again for all the amazing accomplishments in his extraordinary career.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has named him the 2019 winner of the Morgan Wooten Lifetime Achievement Award for Boys’ Basketball and was to have been presented the award March 27 – after our magazine went to press — in Atlanta during the McDonald’s All American game. Only two people are presented the award each year – one man and one woman who coach.

During his 39-year head coaching career, he compiled almost 1,100 wins – or a winning percentage of nearly 81.5 percent.

Krueger retired in 1996 as the winningest high school basketball coach in the country. His teams, first at Clear Creek High and later at Clear Lake High had 30 or more wins in 18 seasons and never had a losing season in 39 years.

Three of his high school teams went to the state basketball tournament, winning two state championships. His teams also won 29 district championships.

“This is definitely a ‘we’ thing and not a ‘me’ thing,” Krueger says. “I had all of the help you could ever get. I was in the right school districts. I had players that really loved the game and gave me 100 percent. That’s all you could ask for.”

Krueger says he loved going to work every day he was coaching.

The award is named for Morgan Wooten, who only coached high school basketball and is enshrined in the Naismith Hall of Fame. Those honored must have been a college graduate and a head coach for at least 25 years. Only one male and one female coach are inducted each year.

After starting his career in the San Marcos area, where his team won the Class 3A state championship, he became head coach at Clear Creek High in the 1965-66 season, starting out with a 28-3 record and the state championship game, which Creek lost to Marshall, 73-68. Over the next six seasons, his teams compiled a 243-26 – (90.3%) – record.

When the newly built Clear Lake High opened in 1972 and most of his players were transferring, he decided to join them, going on to win the 1989 state championship and reach the 1990 finals and the semi finals in 1995. His teams won at least 30 games on 13 occasions.

In 1995, he was honored in a special ceremony in Fort Worth as one of the four winningest high school coaches in the country.

Yet, despite all these honors, he has managed to be one of the most humble men one will ever meet, blaming any of his accomplishments on those who worked with him or played on teams he coached.

UHCL, Freeman Library partner to foster reading and writing skills in small children

January 15th, 2019

Educators are always looking for new, creative ways to help small children become comfortable with reading and writing. For Elaine Hendrix, Heather Pule and Roberta Raymond, all professors in University of Houston-Clear Lake’s College of Education, facilitating a partnership with Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library so that future educators can help parents of small children fall in love with books is a step toward making that happen.

“The Freeman Library is such an excellent resource, and after meeting with (Assistant Branch Librarian Youth Services) Elizabeth Hunt and (Branch Manager) Christina Thompson, we decided to find a way to work together,” Hendrix said.

“Parents have already been bringing their children to the library to introduce them to reading,” she said. “We teach future educators reading methods classes. Students need the hands-on practice in the field, doing community-based, experiential learning. Setting up workshops for parents and our students to work together seemed like a perfect fit.”

There is so much information about how best to help a child learn, it can become overwhelming. “We often get questions from parents and caregivers who want to help their child along as they grow and learn, and they’re not exactly sure how to do that,” Thompson said. “As a library, our goal is to connect our community with the resources and information they need. We also believe that parents and caregivers are a child’s first and best teacher.”

Thompson said the library jumped at the opportunity to share Freeman Library’s resources with UH-Clear Lake’s expert faculty and rising educators. “We have already heard feedback that our families are finding the information they learned about child development to be very empowering,” she said.

“We have done three parent trainings, including a writing workshop for children ages 3 to 5,” Raymond said. “We explained to parents what emergent writing looks like, and gave them information packets. We suggested ways to encourage writing and let them know that those scribbles they’re seeing really mean something.”

Assistant Professor of Reading and Language Arts Heather Pule presented a workshop to parents about oral language development. “We discussed how oral language starts developing at birth and how it continues through everyday talk, through a baby’s environment, and through reading from birth,” Pule said. “It was wonderful to be able to talk with parents about something so important for their child’s development.”

Hendrix added, “We have done a reading workshop for 18 month to 3-year-olds, sharing a book and doing hand games to go along. We demonstrated how to be dramatic when reading aloud, and how much it benefits children to have something read over and over again.”

She said that they’d also discussed how much can be taught from a simple picture book, and how to go deeper than the story to encourage verbal interaction.

“It’s the goal of the Children’s Department to support families, child care providers and communities to help every child enter school ready to learn to read,” Hunt said. “Our partnership with UHCL connects local families to experts in early literacy that they might not otherwise have access to. Any community connection the library can make that supports families as they raise their children is a useful one.”

Raymond said creating the connection between future educators and the librarians at Freeman helps tap into each other’s resources. “We are certifying our students to become early childhood-6th grade teachers, and they have to be prepared to work at all levels since they’ll be certifying at all levels,” she said. “Both sides can benefit greatly from this experience.”

 

For more information about UHCL’s Interdisciplinary Studies B.S. with Core Subjects EC-6, visit www.uhcl.edu/academics/degrees/interdisciplinary-studies-bs-ec-6-early-childhood-concentration. For more information about UHCL’s Reading M.S. with Reading Specialist Certificate, visit www.uhcl.edu/academics/degrees/reading-ms-reading-specialist-certificate

Houston Methodist Clear Lake Pledges $500,000 to expand Leader in Me program

November 1st, 2018

Joining in to celebrate the CCISD Leader In Me Houston Methodist announcement at the Clear Creek Education Foundation Kick Off Breakfast were Armand Bayou Elementary students, from left to right, 5th grader Miller Skowron, 4th grader Sophia Tamayo, 5th grader Carmen Evans, and 1st grader Violet Van Haaren; along with Port Commissioner John Kennedy, who serves on the Houston Methodist Board of Directors; CCISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith and attorney Levi Benton with Mahomes Bolden PC and on the hospital Board of Directors and CCEF Board of Directors.

Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital has committed half a million dollars to the Clear Creek Education Foundation in support of the Clear Creek School District’s planned expansion of The Leader In Me program in 14 schools over the next five years.

The announcement was made at the Clear Creek Education Foundation’s Community Kickoff Breakfast held at the CCISD Challenger Columbia Stadium Fieldhouse.

Clear Creek ISD is in its third year of progressively implementing The Leader In Me program at its schools. The Leader In Me program is a whole school transformation process that teaches 21st century leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader. This mindset leads to tangible improvements in the academic, behavioral and social wellbeing of participating students.

With funding made possible by the Clear Creek Education Foundation, Falcon Pass Elementary and Armand Bayou Elementary schools were the first two CCISD campuses to introduce The Leader In Me program into their school culture. Both campuses have seen the trajectory of their school’s academic performance rise along with student achievement and positive behaviors.

Over the next five years, the Houston Methodist Clear Lake contribution will have the power to substantially increase the footprint of The Leader In Me in CCISD and positively impact an additional 13,000 students in grades pre-k through 12 throughout the District.

“The impact of Houston Methodist’s generous commitment will be both measurable and immeasurable for years to come,” said Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith. “Our students will be even better equipped to achieve their full potential, build the skill-set necessary for success in the 21st century and access more opportunities for a better life.”

The announcement comes on the heels of a similar commitment of $60,000 over three years by Space Center Rotary Club to begin the program at Space Center Intermediate.

Based on Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Leader in Me allows administrators, faculty, staff and students the opportunity to practice and celebrate the 7 Habits daily, learning how to be proactive, set goals and collaborate with others.

The Leader In Me is aligned with many national and state academic standards and the process teaches students the skills needed for academic success in any setting. These skills include critical thinking, goal setting, listening and speaking, self-directed learning, presentation making and the ability to work in groups.

“The Leader In Me cultivates the qualities and attitudes employers look for in today’s highly competitive environment,” said Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital CEO Dan Newman. “Self-management, independent thinking, problem-solving and other important skills like these empower our students with the tools they need to achieve success. I applaud CCISD’s innovation and its commitment to adopt The Leader In Me. Houston Methodist Clear Lake is proud to play a role in providing this unique opportunity to potential future leaders.”

The District plans to continue to expand the program into even more schools until every CCISD campus and student has the opportunity to experience The Leader In Me and unleash their full potential. Business, government and community organizations interested in becoming a Leader In Me underwriter and partner may contact Deborah Laine, executive director of the Clear Creek Education Foundation (a 501c3 organization) at 281.284.0031 or at dlaine@ccisd.net.

Harvest Moon, Hurricanes, and that particularly bad boy, Harvey

September 1st, 2018

By Andrea Todaro

The Harvest Moon Regatta® is probably the best known sailboat race on the Texas Gulf Coast, although even many participants do not know its history, or the role that hurricanes have played in its evolution.

The first HMR was the brainchild of three sailors from Lakewood Yacht Club. As John Broderick told the story, one Friday night at Lakewood the bar conversation turned to the need for more opportunities to sail and in particular, opportunities to get offshore. Sail maker John Cameron offered “the best sails I’ve had were late in the fall in the Gulf after the summer doldrums are over and the winter Northers haven’t started.” Competitive racer Ed Bailey agreed, saying he missed the old Texas Offshore Race Circuit (“TORC”) sailing events. Broderick, a dedicated cruiser and, at the time, Lakewood’s commodore, agreed and said, “why don’t we organize something?”

The bar talk led to discussions with members of other area sailing clubs, some of which were held at Frank’s Shrimp Hut, which is now Hooter’s in Seabrook. The first regatta, in 1987, was planned as a four race event beginning with a skippers’ meeting on Friday, Sept. 25, and a kickoff party on Saturday, Sept. 26. Racing started on Thursday, Oct. 1 and ran through the 10th with race segments or “legs” from the Galveston jetties to Port Isabel, back up the coast to Port Aransas, back to the Galveston Jetties, and then up to Marker Two at the Clear Creek channel leading into Lakewood’s homeport, Seabrook.

The full moon closest to the autumnal equinox is known as the “harvest moon” and is characterized by a bright orange color; it is followed by a “hunter’s moon. The “harvest moon” can occur as early as September 8th or as late as Oct. 7 which was the date of the “harvest moon” in 1987. Thus, in October 1987, with the races occurring between October 1st and the 10th, the Harvest Moon Regatta® was born. Seventeen yachts sailed that first year, with several bikini beach parties along the way.

In 1988, the “harvest moon” fell on Sept. 25, so the race start was scheduled for Thursday, Sept.22, but on Sept. 8 Hurricane Gilbert destroyed the Queen’s Point Marina at Port Isabel. The race start was delayed three weeks to Oct. 14 and the destination was changed to Port Aransas. Thus began the tradition of sailing to Port Aransas under a magnificent full moon, sometimes a “harvest moon” if it fell during the first seven days of October, otherwise a “hunter’s moon” if it fell on or after the 8th of October.

Mother Nature and Hurricane Gilbert are credited with the growth of the Harvest Moon Regatta® which grew steadily from the 17 yachts of 1987 to over 260 yachts in later years. The growth was due in large part to the perfect destination, Port Aransas. As John Broderick described it: “This ideal Texas port allows yacht owners and sailors to use minimal days from work to join in on what can be a most memorable overnight sail down the Texas coast during traditionally the best offshore sailing time of the year. And we can all do this in relative safety shared by some 200 other yachts.”

The race, open to sailors with no club affiliation as well as members of other area sailing clubs, became a bucket list item for many Texas sailors, many of whom had little or no offshore experience. The growth of Harvest Moon Regatta® also resulted in the formation of a charitable organization, Bay Access Sailing Foundation. Bay Access now serves as the regatta’s organizing authority, with race management provided by volunteers from Lakewood Yacht Club.

In 2015, Hurricane Patricia was forecast to envelop Port Aransas in a “catastrophic rain event” with the worst conditions forecast for Sunday morning when sailors would be required to leave the relative safety of Port Aransas City Marina for the trip back to Houston and various other home ports. Numerous warnings from weather officials eventually prompted race organizers to cancel the race for the first time in its history. Despite the race cancellation, the party in Port Aransas went on, and some of the more seasoned sailors sailed the course and were able to obtain slips in the City Marina harbor to ride out the gale force winds that arrived as forecast on Sunday morning.

In 2017, when the actual “harvest moon” again fell in October, on the 5th, Hurricane Harvey put a new twist on the story. Hitting the Texas coast near Port Aransas on Aug. 25, the storm devastated “the ideal Texas port” and dumped torrential rain on the entire Houston area. This time, instead of canceling the race or rescheduling it, race organizers decided to reformat the race as a triangle race, similar to Lakewood’s TORC event, the Heald Bank Regatta, which is traditionally held in April. Beginning and ending at the Galveston Jetties, the Regatta was followed by an awards party at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, where regatta volunteers put a special focus on raising money for the devastated Port Aransas. Port Aransas city officials were surprised to receive a check for about $20,000 from the regatta, and they are looking forward to the return of the regatta this year, although it will be many years before Port Aransas recovers to pre-Harvey prosperity.