Houston Methodist celebrates opening of Physician Clinics in League City

September 28th, 2018

Local residents, physicians and staff help celebrate the grand opening and League City Chamber ribbon cutting at Houston Methodist Physician Clinics located in Tuscan Lakes.

A large turnout of local residents, physicians and staff helped celebrate the recent opening of Houston Methodist Physician Clinics – a new primary and specialty care facility in League City.

“In spite of the rain, we were glad to see so many members of the community come out to celebrate this event,” said Dan Newman, Houston Methodist St. John Hospital CEO. “We’re excited to be bringing leading medicine to their neighborhoods.”

Houston Methodist Physician Clinics – located at 2220 E. League City Pkwy. – brings orthopedics, sports medicine, physical and occupational therapy, X-ray services and primary care to families living in Tuscan Lakes and surrounding areas.

The new clinic also includes a sports performance turf lane for throwing, running and agility rehabilitation and training, as well as a vertical jump training machine.

In honor of the grand opening, League City Mayor Pat Hallisey issued an official proclamation, declaring Tuesday, Sept. 11 as “Houston Methodist Physician Clinics Day,” and the League City Chamber of Commerce conducted a ceremonial ribbon-cutting.

The multi-disciplinary team of primary care and specialty care physicians at the new facility include Dr. Anika Bell-Gray, a family medicine specialist with Houston Methodist Primary Care Group, as well as Dr. Javier Rios and Dr. Gillian Wooldridge, primary care sports medicine specialists; Dr. Jamie Alexander, an orthopedic hand surgeon; and Dr. Juan Serrato, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, all with Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. Outpatient physical therapy is also located at the Physician Clinics.

Visit houstonmethodist.org/appointments or call 281.523.3110 to learn more or to schedule an appointment with a physician at Houston Methodist Physician Clinics in League City.

Movers & Shakers: Carla Medlenka

July 1st, 2018

Name: Carla Medlenka

Occupation: Marketing Manager at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital

Hometown: South Side of Chicago

Current home: League City Historic District

Family: Hubby (Galen) and I are empty nesters and loving it. One son (Justin), two daughters (Mackenzie and Anastasia) who all live close and visit often.

My favorite writer is: Right now I’m reading The Outsider by Stephen King. Arundhati Roy is a favorite. I like many genres and authors.

Someone I’d like to meet: President Obama

If I could switch places with someone for just one day, I’d choose: Meghan Markle

My favorite performers are: The Dave Matthews Band and Krishna Das (look him up, he actually performed on the Grammys)

I like to spend my leisure time: Reading by the pool, watching what goes on in my garden (I have pollinator gardens and bird feeders that fascinate me), cooking. I’m also very involved in the community, serving as Bay Area Turning Point board chairman and on the Bay Area Democratic Movement board.

If I could travel any place, I’d go to: Croatia is high on my bucket list – my great-grandparents’ birthplace. This fall I’m traveling to Switzerland and Italy, which includes a yoga sail trip along the Amalfi Coast

My favorite meal is: Chicago pizza (thin crust) and ice cold local beer

As a youngster, I wanted to grow up to be: A nurse – like many girls in the 60s and 70s!

You’ll never catch me: Complaining or being bored – I love the adventure of life

The thing that bugs me the most is: Toxic and angry people

My favorite movie is: The English Patient

Few people know: I’m a certified yoga instructor, though I prefer to be a student these days

Bellamy Brothers add pizazz to Salute to Heroes evening

June 1st, 2018

By Rick Clapp

Houston Methodist St. John Hospital’s annual Salute to Heroes Patriot Dinner and Concert was quite touching.  The evening’s theme was casual but smart western chic.  It was all red, white and blue as guests celebrated our country and League City’s First Responders while benefitting Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

South Shore Harbour Resort General Manager Roy Green hosted an evening of live music and revelry with great food and drinks, bringing big smiles to the faces of State Sen. Larry Taylor and his wife, Kerri, Jim and Jane Sweeny, Bob Mitchell and Joan McKinney, Galen and Carla Medlenka and Henry and Andrea Wilson.

The totally awesome dinner included a delicious tenderloin with Jack Daniel sauce with large delightful stuffed gulf shrimp.  The special dessert was to die for — a large serving of dulce la leche cheesecake with a mango tequila couli. C’est tres bon!

Carla and Galen Medlenka with Rick Clapp.

Just ask Ange Mertens, Brenda Keithley, Larry Moser, Debbie Salisbury, Robyn Weigelt or Bo Brinkman, who were among the many who would agree.

Highlight of the evening was a private concert by the famous Bellamy Brothers, followed by disco music and dancing. What a blast! I was digging it.  The live auction was conducted by Senator Taylor and featured a four-day home stay on the Guadalupe River and a sail on the Star Cruiser for 40 guests.

T.J. Aulds, who came with his wife, Beth Lewis, was the evening’s emcee with the invocation by Living Words Church Pastor Brad Heintz. Major sponsors included City of Nassau Bay, Moody National Bank, Norman Frede Chevrolet, South Shore Harbor Resort, Bay Area Houston Magazine, Amoco, City of Webster and Faust Distributing.

The original Salute to Heroes was started to honor local fallen hero SPC Ray Joseph Hutchinson by his parents. The fund raised close to a half million dollars over its 10-year duration. Thanks to the Hutchinsons, their son’s memory will remain in our hearts forever.  God Bless America — in God We Trust.

New procedure for treating acid reflux offered

January 30th, 2018

Most adults have experienced acid reflux – commonly called heartburn – at some point in their lives. But chronic reflux can lead to serious health conditions, including an increased risk of esophageal cancer.

When reflux happens regularly, it’s called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. If you have mild heartburn two or more times a week, or moderate to severe heartburn at least once a week, you have GERD. And if your GERD occurs at night, it may also cause a chronic cough, laryngitis, disrupted sleep or even asthma. Over time, GERD can lead to a narrowing of the esophagus, creating swallowing difficulties, esophageal ulcers and changes to the esophagus that can eventually lead to cancer.

“About 20 million Americans take antacids or other heartburn medications regularly — meaning even greater numbers suffer from this condition,” said Dr. Kyle Stephens, a board-certified surgeon who specializes in advanced laparoscopy and bariatric surgery at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital. “Some patients find that lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and modifying their eating habits, can control GERD. But for others, surgery is necessary.”

Stephens said GERD is not something that patients should just live with.

“For many patients who suffer from chronic reflux, surgery is an effective option that can improve quality of life, prevent future damage to the esophagus and eliminate the risk of more serious conditions caused by acid irritation,” he said.

To learn more about acid reflux and about an innovative surgical procedure to treat it, join Dr. Stephens at an event at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22 in the main lobby at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital in Nassau Bay. Please register for this event at houstonmethodist.org/events or call 281.333.8899.

Free ‘Planning for Baby’ event slated

January 16th, 2018

Are you planning your pregnancy or expecting a baby in 2018? If so, you don’t want to miss the free pregnancy event — Planning for Baby – presented by Houston Methodist St. John Hospital on Thursday, Jan. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at South Shore Harbour Resort in League City.

This informative event gives moms-to-be, and couples planning their pregnancy, the opportunity to talk with a wide range of experts from Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at St. John including:

  • Fertility specialists
  • Obstetrician-gynecologists
  • Maternal-fetal medicine specialists
  • Neonatologists
  • Nurses and support staff
  • Pediatricians
  • Pregnancy physical therapists

“Pregnancy is a challenging time for many women, and it’s a great benefit to talk with someone who can answer questions, provide knowledgeable feedback and ease your mind about the weeks and months ahead,” said Dr. Elizabeth Cloninger, board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and medical director of Women’s Services at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital.

“This event will provide a relaxed environment where women can learn about comprehensive obstetrics care – from planning their pregnancy to a healthy delivery and postpartum care.”

In addition to health experts, a local infant photographer, newborn and children’s clothing and accessories boutique and other vendors will also be present. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served, and every guest will receive a special gift.

The event takes place in the Harbourview Room on the ninth floor of South Shore Harbour Resort. To register, go to houstonmethodist.org/events or call 281.333.8899.

Hospital recognized for quality stroke care

November 3rd, 2017

Houston Methodist St. John Hospital has been cited for its care of stroke patients — the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines ® -Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll SM Elite Plus. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, evidenced-based guidelines.

To receive the Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for at least 12 consecutive months and during the same period achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures.

To qualify for the

, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. Houston Methodist St. John earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams follow the most up-to- date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

“A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed. This recognition further demonstrates our commitment to delivering advanced stroke treatments to patients quickly and safely,” said Dr. Nadim Islam, director of Emergency Medicine at St. John. “Houston Methodist St. John continues to strive for excellence in the acute treatment of stroke patients. The recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke further reinforces our team’s hard work.”

“The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognize Houston Methodist St. Johnfor its commitment to stroke care,” said Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and professor of medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program.”

Get With The Guidelines®-S puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals nationwide, helping hospital care teams ensure the care provided to patients is aligned with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal to save lives and improve recovery time, Get With The Guidelines®-S has impacted more than 3 million patients since 2003.

As a nurse and former stroke coordinator, Teri Ackerson is aware that every second counts when a stroke strikes. In May 2013, the training she used to help others helped save her own life. Ackerson’s left arm suddenly went numb, she felt the left side of her face droop and she was unable to speak. Despite her symptoms, Ackerson remained calm, made note of the timing of her symptoms and, with the help of her son, proceeded to get treatment quickly.

“Hospitals that follow AHA/ASA recommended guidelines not only know the importance to treat quickly with tPA, but they also follow evidence-based research that helps to determine why you had a stroke in the first place and report these findings,” said Ackerson, 46, who completed a marathon 26 days after her stroke. “Without the treatment I received, I would not have recovered as well as I did.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Women’s Conference set for Oct. 12 in Friendswood

September 28th, 2017

The 2017 Bay Area Houston Women’s Conference will be held Thursday, Oct. 12, at Hope Village in Friendswood. In making the announcement, Top Star Events & Entertainment, in partnership with Houston Methodist St. John Hospital, said the one-day experience is designed to equip women with new perspectives and practical tools centered around leadership, finances, healthcare and work-life balance.

“Houston Methodist St. John Hospital is honored to serve as the presenting sponsor for the inaugural Bay Area Houston Women’s Conference,” Houston Methodist St. John CEO Dan Newman said. “This is a great opportunity for us to enjoy an informative afternoon together among friends, and to strengthen our commitment to the health and well being of Bay Area women and families.”

Featuring author and celebrated speaker, Lizzie Velasquez, as keynote speaker, this conference will bring inspirational stories to hundreds of women in the Bay Area who are looking for a positive and empowering experience.

In this lively and engaging forum, Velasquez, who suffers from a rare genetic disease that affects her heart, eyes and bones, and prevents her from gaining weight, will share how she has made a name for herself despite many obstacles, and share her story about how being labeled “the ugliest woman in the world” inspired her to live a live filled with faith, self-respect and courage.

In addition to Velasquez, the Bay Area Houston Women’s Conference will include additional elements such as a financial empowerment session presented by AMOCO Federal Credit Union, a Women-In-Leadership panel featuring National PTA President-Elect Leslie Boggs and live entertainment during the lunch hour.

Tickets for this first of its kind conference in the Houston area start at $59 and includes all-day admission, event journal and workbook, breakfast, lunch and all-day beverages. VIP Tickets, available for $109, include general admission benefits plus premium seating, copy of speaker book, VIP bag and access to VIP Experience. Group and educator rates are also available.

Sponsors for this year’s event include Ashley Homestore, Kendra Scott Baybrook Mall, Amoco Federal Credit Union, Salata Clear Lake, Chick-fil-A El Dorado, CBS Radio and Clear Lake Today.

For more information, visit www.houstonwomensconference.com

Use our special code BAYGROUP to receive $15 off tickets.

St. John welcomes new ENT physicians

June 16th, 2017

Board-certified otolaryngologists Drs. Alfredo Jimenez and Melissa Hu

Board-certified otolaryngologists Drs. Alfredo Jimenez and Melissa Hu have joined Houston Methodist St. John Hospital ENT and Facial Plastic Surgery Associates, now open on the hospital’s campus.

“Houston Methodist St. John Hospital plays a significant role in the overall health of our community, and Dr. Hu and I are proud to be involved in the hospital’s growth,” says Jimenez.

Jimenez treats both pediatric and adult ENT disorders. He has an established pediatric practice for ear tubes, tonsil surgeries and tongue ties. He also manages sleep apnea, swallowing and voice problems, hearing loss and balance problems.

In addition to general otolaryngology, Hu is also board-certified in facial plastic surgery, with expertise in rhinoplasty and skin cancer reconstruction. She also offers a broad range of cosmetic procedures, manages advanced sinus diseases and performs balloon sinuplasty.

“Joining Houston Methodist St. John was a natural transition for our practice because we share the same values and approach to patient care,” says Hu. “Being closely aligned with the hospital strengthens our ability to serve the community.”

Jimenez and Hu are joined by audiologist Carrie Raz, Au.D. She provides diagnostic services for hearing loss, balance disorders and vertigo. She also fits patients for hearing aids and other

Houston Methodist ENT and Facial Plastic Surgery Associates is located at 18100 St. John Drive, Suite 240. Learn more at houstonmethodist.org/stjohn or call 281.335.7755 to schedule an appointment.

Houston Methodist St. John Hospital, physicians appear in TLC reality show

February 27th, 2017

Houston Methodist St. John Hospital, two staff physicians, and the hospital surgical team are featured in TLC’s second season of “Skin Tight,” a reality television show that focuses on patients who undergo skin reduction surgery following dramatic weight loss.

The second season of “Skin Tight” begins at 9 p.m. CT Wednesday, March 1 on TLC, immediately following the hit series “My 600-lb Life.” Click here https://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/skin-tight/videos/this-season-on-skin-tight-2 to watch the preview.

Board-certified plastic surgeons Drs. Mark Barlow and John LoMonaco, participated in the upcoming second season, which includes 10 patients undergoing skin reduction surgery at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital. The show depicts these patients’ dramatic journey from weight loss to skin reduction surgery, a final step for them to leave their former lives behind.

“Losing a significant amount of weight, as these patients have done, is truly an accomplishment,” said Barlow, who treated four of the patients featured this season. “Surgical intervention is simply the last step in the process. For many of these patients, there is heartbreak and shame associated with their prior size and lifestyle. Removing the residual excess skin can be truly liberating psychologically because it helps erase the last vestiges of that previous life.”

Barlow and LoMonaco have years of combined experience doing skin reduction surgeries.

“It’s a privilege to help these patients, who have already achieved so much, reach their ultimate goal and once again feel comfortable with their bodies,” LoMonaco said. “Skin reduction surgery is a major step and, as with all surgeries, shouldn’t be taken lightly. These men and women are courageous and I’m proud to be a part of their journey.”

Houston Methodist St. John Hospital brings the expertise and compassionate care of Houston Methodist Hospital in The Texas Medical Center – a national Honor Roll hospital – to Bay Area communities. The hospital provides a broad spectrum of adult, pediatric, medical, and surgical care, is an accredited chest pain center, and is also acute stroke-ready designated through DNV. St. John offers many inpatient and outpatient services, including state-of-the-art imaging, labor and delivery with neonatal ICU, minimally invasive surgery, comprehensive orthopedics and sports medicine, and a 24/7 emergency room.

Police give pointers on how to survive shooter

November 1st, 2016

League City Police Lt. Cliff Woitena, center, accompanied here by League City Mayor Pat Halliey, left, spoke recently at two local seminars to educate the public on how to deal with an active shooter. The first, on keeping sacred spaces safe, was hosted by Houston Methodist St. John Hospital with about 60 clergy and religious leaders attending and was led by the Rev. Richard Maddox, right, director of spiritual care at St. John. The second at South Shore Harbour Resort, and hosted by the Clear Lake Area Chamber and the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, open to the public. 

League City Police Lt. Cliff Woitena, center, accompanied here by League City Mayor Pat Halliey, left, spoke recently at two local seminars to educate the public on how to deal with an active shooter. The first, on keeping sacred spaces safe, was hosted by Houston Methodist St. John Hospital with about 60 clergy and religious leaders attending and was led by the Rev. Richard Maddox, right, director of spiritual care at St. John. The second at South Shore Harbour Resort, and hosted by the Clear Lake Area Chamber and the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, open to the public.

By Mary Alys Cherry

With shootings becoming a part of our lives most every day and many losing their lives to deranged gunmen in mass shootings, several local organizations decided to offer help to the frightened public – setting up two public seminars.

Clear Lake Area Chamber and Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership hosted one in the South Shore Harbour Resort’s Marina Ballroom while Houston Methodist St. John Hospital hosted another to help both the public and the clergy deal with the problem. The hospital hosted nearly 60 clergy and religious leaders, representing 30 local churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues, for an informative session on “Active Shooters in Sacred Spaces.”

League City Police Lt. Cliff Woitena conducted both seminars, offering advice on what to do in case one is confronted with an active shooter. “The problem is everywhere,” he said.

“We can’t prevent it, but we can prepare for it,” he said, pointing out that it is important to calm down, to take a deep breath and try to relax – no matter how hard that may be. This helps get our brains functioning better, improves our stress response, he explained.

Some things to remember if you find yourself in a place with an active shooter: Run, hide, fight. Forget your personal belongings – they can be replaced. If you hear noise that sounds like firecrackers, it isn’t. People don’t shoot off firecrackers in schools, malls, offices. It’s likely gunfire, and, if you can’t get out safely, find a hiding place. Get behind a large object. Turn out the lights and try to stay calm.

Most likely places of occurrence are 1. Businesses 53 percent of the time; 2. Educational facility, 24 percent;  3. Outdoors, 13 percent; and Other, 12 percent.

“You need to be prepared; you need to have a plan. It takes the police an average of three minutes to get there,” Woitena said, “and they want you to make the best use of your time while they are on the way.” Playing dead may work one time, but is not the best way to save your life, he added. “Don’t hide and hope under a desk either.”

Situational awareness of surroundings is the key. See where the exits are if you are in a large facility – a mall, a school, a supermarket or an office building. If you’re in a room, lock the door, put something against the door, turn off the lights, get out of sight and turn off your phone.

And remember: first responders are not there to help the injured; they are looking for the shooter. Just be patient. Help will arrive. You can survive.

“And, if by chance you are shot, don’t give up. You don’t have to die. Make a decision to live,” Woitena urged. “And, mostly likely you will.”