Pearland - Friendswood Edition | June 2020

PEARLAND FRIENDSWOOD EDITION

VOLUME 6, ISSUE 7 | JUNE 12 - JULY 16, 2020

ONLINE AT

“IF YOUWOULDHAVE GONE TO THE EMERGENCY ROOMPRE - COVID, YOU SHOULDGO TO THE ER. WEWANT TOMAKE SUREWE’RE TAKING CARE OF THE COMMUNITIESWE’RE IN.” LAUREN COTTON, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF NEIGHBORS EMERGENCY CENTERS HEALTHCARE EDITION

Since the spread of the coronavirus began in Houston, routine medical trips and trips to the emergency room have declined signi fi cantly. Local doctors and medical workers encourage patients to keep up with regular care.

The city of Pearland has come up with a plan for residents to pay o ff water usage that has yet to be billed. The amount each individual resident owes can be requested. Otherwise, residents will pay over the next two years. Here is the cost split over every home in the city if all homes used the same amount of water. SOURCES: CITY OF PEARLAND, U.S. CENSUS BUREAU / COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

$6million Money to be collected 39,527 Number of households in Pearland $151.79 Amount each household owes in bills

Pearland to correct water billing error Outside review fi nds lack of policy, communication

PAPAR FAIRCLOTH / COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Doctors, emergency rooms, hospitals adapt to serving patients during the coronavirus pandemic

BY HALEY MORRISON

After some citizens accused the city of Pearland for a lack of transparency regarding a discrepancy in its water billing system, the city had an outside report conducted by Olson & Olson to look into how the gap in billing and meter reading occurred. The fi ndings, released in April, reported the billing discrepancy was a failure of manage- ment and policy within the city. Since mid-2018, water meters had CONTINUED ON 24

said Neighbors ERs experienced an almost 30% decrease in volume since the beginning of the pandemic in America. Many patients are afraid by seeking help they will expose them- selves to the coronavirus. “It’s certainly concerning for health care providers because looking back at the reasons people come to the ER, most of those are completely

non-COVID related,” Cotton said. Dr. Carl Vartian, the chief medical o ffi cer for the HCA Houston Health Care Clear Lake and Mainland loca- tions, said there has been a nation- wide decrease in heart attack and stroke patients coming to hospitals or emergency rooms for treatment.

BY MORGAN SLUTZKY

Several months into the COVID- 19 pandemic, health care systems are grappling with how best to serve noncoronavirus patients in a time when people may be afraid to seek medical treatment. Lauren Cotton, the chief operating o ffi cer of the Greater Houston-based Neighbors Emergency Centers,

CONTINUED ON 22

HEALTH CARE EDI T ION 2020

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HEALTH CARE SNAPSHOT

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REGIONAL REPORT

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PEARLAND - FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • JUNE 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

CONTENTS

WE’RE HERE TO LISTEN

FROMPAPAR: When we started working on our healthcare edition, the timing seemed perfect as we were in the middle of a global pandemic. But, days before we put this paper to press, another kind of unrest began to unfold in communities across the country. Anger spurred by a long list of injustices toward the black community reached a boiling point due to the killing

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Papar Faircloth, pfaircloth@communityimpact.com EDITOR Haley Morrison REPORTER Morgan Slutzky GRAPHIC DESIGNER Elyssa Turner ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Teresa Votaw

HealthCareEdition

of former Houston resident George Floyd in Minneapolis. As protests cropped up all over the U.S., the residents of the Houston metro area held a peaceful protest honoring Mr. Floyd in late May while still promoting change and equality. With this in mind, Community Impact Newspaper pledges to report the diversity in the city of Houston and its surrounding areas. We are proud to be a part of your community and honored to be the conduit for so many di ff erent voices across all walks of life. There is a popular saying: “Do not listen with the intent to reply, but with the intent to understand.” As we shape our coverage going forward we feel it is imperative to commit to listening fi rst. We want to hear from you and want to have conversations with organizations and individuals who can help us connect our readers with resources to better understand. Please reach out to me directly at pfaircloth@communityimpact.com or to my editor, Haley Morrison, at hmorrison@communityimpact. com with your story ideas, recommendations of groups we should talk with and ways we can grow in our coverage.

METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Jason Culpepper ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Kristina Shackelford MANAGING EDITOR Marie Leonard ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Tessa Hoe fl e CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Lanane CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in P fl ugerville, TX. The company's mission is to build informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Today we operate across six metropolitan areas, providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full-time journalists in each community we serve. BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON Please join your friends and neighbors in support of Community Impact Newspaper’s legacy of local, reliable reporting by making a contribution. Together, we can continue to ensure citizens stay informed and keep businesses thriving. COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM / PATRON CONTACT US 245 Commerce Green Blvd., Ste. 200 Sugar Land, TX 77478 • 346 - 368 - 2555 PRESS RELEASES plfnews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions © 2020 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher. SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 9 Ongoing and upcoming projects

HealthCareEdition

HEALTH CARE SNAPSHOT

15

County health statistics HOSPITAL LISTINGS

17 Hospitals in Pearland and Friendswood

Papar Faircloth, GENERALMANAGER

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PEARLAND - FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • JUNE 2020

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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NOWOPEN 1 Airrosti Rehab Centers opened May 18 at 107 Shadwell Lane, Ste. 106, Friend- swood. The business diagnoses and treats injuries. 800-404-6050. www.airrosti.com/location/texas/frien/ 2 Pho Vi-Vi opened its third Hous- ton-area location March 1 at 1921 E. Broadway St., Pearland. The business sells craw fi sh and Vietnamese food, including pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup; fried rice; and smoothies. The business reopened at 50% capacity May 4 after a period of o ff ering only takeout, curbside and delivery due to COVID-19. 832-288- 2170. www.phovivillc.com 3 Luis Hernandez opened his third All- state Insurance Agency at 11200 Broad- way St., Ste. 2743, Pearland, on June 1.

DELAYEDOPENINGS 7 After closing all locations, Charming Charlie has paused its plans to open select locations throughout the country, including one in Baybrook Mall. The loca- tion was set to open in March, but plans are on hold inde fi nitely as of mid-May. The business sells women’s clothing and accessories in a store with color-coordi- nated sections. www.charmingcharlie.com 8 PetSuites of America is opening a location at 3205 Kirby Drive, Pearland. The business was originally supposed to open at the end of June, but the opening was pushed back due to COVID-19. A new opening date has not been decided. PetSuites o ff ers boarding, day care and grooming, as well as puppy preschool. www.petsuitesofamerica.com

The business provides auto, property and life insurance as well as annuities and fi nancial service products. 832-813-8337 4 The Woodhouse Day Spa opened a location at Baybrook Mall, 700 Baybrook Mall Drive, Friendswood, in early June. The space provides an escape for relax- ation and pampering through a variety of services. The spa is taking extra precau- tions against COVID-19 and will follow all federal health and safety guidelines. In an e ff ort to give back to the community, the spa is donating 20% of all gift card sales to Bay Area Turning Point. www.baybrook.woodhousespas.com REOPENINGS 5 Life Time Athletic Baybrook , 19250 Gul fb rook Drive, Friendswood, reopened May 18 with some changes to make work-

ing out safe for members. The athletic facility has adjusted hours to allow for overnight deep cleaning, there are clean- ing stations members can use through- out the club, there is increased space between workout equipment, and group fi tness classes now require reservations. 346-600-7800. my.lifetime.life 6 Star Cinema Grill at the Baybrook Mall, 702 Baybrook Mall Drive, Friend- swood, reopened May 8, becoming one of the fi rst movie theaters in the area to open amid the coronavirus pandemic. The business has made several changes to its operations to minimize risk, including reducing capacity in the bar and lounge, allowing customers to order food from an app, sanitizing theaters before and after screenings, and more. 281-557-9300. www.starcinemagrill.net

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY HALEY MORRISON & MORGAN SLUTZKY

COMMUNITY SERVICE FRIENDSWOOD BUSINESS GIVES BACK TOHEALTH CAREWORKERS Vitality Bowls in Friendswood donated over 150 smoothies to health care workers to thank them for their work during COVID-19. Once it is safe for them to visit, owners Jackie and Jimmy Thomas plan on donating food to those in nursing homes as well. “Our business dropped 75 ... We started using that time to give back,” Jackie said. Vitality Bowls sells smoothies, smoothie bowls and other healthy items.

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FEATURED IMPACT REOPENING When Texas went into lockdown in response to COVID-19 outbreaks across the country, Bellissimo Day Spa had only been open for a few weeks. Now, with the state slowly allowing businesses such as salons and spas to reopen, co- owner and Chief Financial O ffi cer Iris Wilt said she is hopeful the reopened spa will come out on top. Located in Friendswood, the health and wellness facility is home to an esthetician, a massage therapist, a sensory deprivation tank and a CBD store. Wilt said as the spa begins to welcome clients, sta ff is taking every precaution to keep interactions safe. “We hired a third-party company to completely disinfect the place and guarantee surfaces are clean,” Wilt said. “Of course we will be utilizing masks and enforcing social distancing as well.” The number of people within the spa at any given time will be limited by only accepting clients with appointments. Those going to treatments will also be directed immediately to the practitioners’ room; the lounging and relaxation areas will be closed to prevent extra interactions. Wilt said the spa has received a great response from people reaching out to the spa to make appointments.

“I think with people going without for a few months, they realize how much they want a sense of normalcy with beauty and wellness,” Wilt said. Wilt said when the spa fi rst opened, it was a slow start. “I kind of feel like our opening was postponed until now because we opened so soon before the pandemic o ffi cially broke out,” Wilt said. “It takes time for marketing to get out, and by the time it did we had to close temporarily. It was a scary situation to be in, Wilt said, but she is con fi dent in the quality of the services, the experience and following of the practitioners, and the location. “For a while we didn’t know what was going to happen, but we continued to have faith, and now we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Wilt said.

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Pho Vi-Vi

Memorial Hermann Pearland

COURTESY PHO VI VI

COURTESY MEMORIAL HERMANN

EXPANSIONS 9 Memorial Hermann Pearland fi nished the fi nal part of its expansion in May. Sta ff celebrated the opening on the new center before social distancing standards were in place. Additions to the center located at 16100 Hwy. 288, Pearland, include a 16-bed Clinical Decision Unit for emergency room patients who may need additional tests, treatment or observa- tion. The hospital also added 11 new beds to the emergency room. 713-413-6500. www.memorialhermann.org NEWOWNERSHIP 10 The Simple Greek , located at 10621

Broadway St., Ste. 109, Pearland, is under new ownership as of May. The new owner, Eric Northern, does not own any other Simple Greek locations. The Greek restaurant allows guests to customize their own pita or bowl. 346-340-4976. https://thesimplegreek.com/menu/ SCHOOL NOTES 11 Alvin Community College , along with Pearland and Alvin ISDs, broke the community college’s record another year in a row for dual-degree graduates. Between the two districts, 181 students received their dual degrees during high school graduation. ACC is located at 3110 Mustang Road, Alvin. 281-756-3500. www.alvincollege.edu

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PEARLAND - FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • JUNE 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES Friendswood nears end of Blackhawk Boulevard project

COMPILED BY MORGAN SLUTZKY

ONGOING PROJECT

curbs and gutters, and improvements on the road’s drainage system. “In the early 2010s, as Blackhawk Boulevard neared the age of 50 and was showing its age, it was deter- mined that road reconstruction down to the subgrade, wider sidewalks, and substantial drainage improvements were going to be necessary,” City Manager Morad Kabiri said. The subgrade is the material, such as dirt, underneath a road or railway. Communications Specialist Je ff Newpher added the street is adjacent to several Friendswood neighbor- hoods. Work on Blackhawk Boule- vard began in 2018.

BY MORGAN SLUTZKY

Blackhawk Boulevard in Friend- swood is 99% complete on the northbound side of the road from Friendswood Link Road to Edenvale Street, with minor fi xes remaining. The project, originally funded through a 2013 bond, cost $4.58 million to execute and includes the replacement of thousands of feet of concrete paving, replacement of

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Friendswood street repairs The roads being worked on under the fi ve-year street repair plan for the city include Tanglewood Drive, Chester Drive, Rustic Lane, Meadow Lark Avenue, Clover Ridge Avenue and West fi eld Lane. This project is funded by the street maintenance sales tax approved by voters in the May 2016 election. The street repairs and maintenance sales tax has generated over $3 million of revenue over the last two fi scal years and is up for reapproval in the November election. Timeline: TBD Cost: $3 million Funding source: city of Friendswood

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Pearland Parkway Tra ffi c Circle The Pearland Parkway Tra ffi c Circle project was originally going to bid in January but was delayed to late spring. The new tra ffi c circle will accommodate future growth and will be the safer choice due to the speed limit on that road, according to city sta ff . The tra ffi c circle will replace the roundabout on Pearland Parkway. Timeline: March 2020-March 2022 Cost: $3.27 million Funding source: city of Pearland 2019 bond

Hughes Ranch Road Expansion On May 26, Hughes Ranch Road was closed from Cullen Boulevard to North Hampton Drive to be used for construction vehicles and equipment as well as sewer line construction, according to a press release from the city of Pearland. It will be closed for at least a few months. The project will convert the road from a two- to a four-lane road with a median and curbs from Smith Ranch Road to Cullen Boulevard. Timeline: March 2019-21 Cost: $20.5 million Funding source: city of Pearland

McHard Road Extension McHard Road went to bid for con- struction in mid-March, with construc- tion expected to begin in late summer or early fall. The city is fi nalizing a per- mit from the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The new road will be a four- lane, concrete curb and gutter, divided roadway with raised medians and underground drainage. Timeline: August 2020-summer 2022 Cost: $33.63 million Funding sources: city of Pearland, Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Transportation Improvement Program

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF MAY 29. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT PLFNEWS @ COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

We’re here for you–ready to listen, support and navigate this together.

Richard Lambert 832-243-4180 12234 Shadow Creek Pkwy

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PEARLAND - FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • JUNE 2020

Social distancing and other safety protocols will be followed.

Join us for the Grand Opening of this New Manvel Community with New Homes from the $250s to $600s Face Masks and Personal-Size Hand Santizer Bottles will be provided . Impressive Amenity Package : Future Recreation Center with pool & tot pool, splash pad, outdoor pavilion, playground, walking trails and lakes. Alvin ISD Schools. Convenient location. ؤ yȌȯɐȲƧǘƊȺƵȁƵƧƵȺȺƊȲɯɈȌɩǞȁ خ 0ɨƵȲɯƵȁɈȲɯǘƊȺƊȁƵȱɐƊǶƧǘƊȁƧƵȌǏɩǞȁȁǞȁǐ خ (ȲƊɩǞȁǐɈȌƦƵǘƵǶƮ׆ׁׂٌٌׅ׀ƊȁƮɩǞȁȁƵȲɩǞǶǶƦƵȁȌɈǞ˛ƵƮƦɯȯǘȌȁƵ خ yȌƧƊȺǘɨƊǶɐƵ خ  We will practice social distancing at this event and contactless registration will be enabled.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EDUCATION Pearland ISDapproves increases to salaries, health insurance contributions for 2020 - 21 school year

Pearland ISD’s board of trustees voted to pass di ff erent bene fi ts for teachers and sta ff for the 2020-21 school year. Here are the bene fi ts. SALARY INCREASES, RAISES AND BENEFITS SOURCE: PEARLAND ISD / COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER Raise starting teacher salaries $56,000 $58,100

BY HALEY MORRISON

up with the Joneses, and I think we fi nally did that this year. We can’t always make it about base salaries and average salaries. We have to have some other mechanism to attract and retain good employees, and bene fi ts are one of those,” Barry said. Trustee Lance Botkin said these decisions are the reason the reserve fund exists, especially at this time. “I’m all in for going to $300. Anything we can do with the bene fi ts package is great. As far everything else goes, we have a fund balance for a reason, right? I don’t want to spend it as fast as we have it, but we need to think about that we have a fund balance during times like this,” Botkin said. “It’s not just a rainy day; it’s a rainy storm.” Botkin made the motion to approve the recommendation, which was approved 6-0, with trustee Mike Floyd absent from the meeting.

of raise.” The board also voted to allocate an additional $402,785 in an equity adjustment to employees whose salaries do not align with those of their peers of the same title. The recommendation also increased the beginning-teacher salary from $56,000 to $58,100. The board also passed a $600 yearly increase to employee health insurance that the district will cover. The district had originally planned for a $300 increase, and to raise it to $600 would cost an additional $405,550. The board will have to dip into its reserve fund to pay for the additional $300 it will cover for employees. During the discussion, trustee Je ff Barry said he was in favor of increases to bene fi ts rather than solely salary-based increases. “We spend a lot of time keeping

The Pearland ISD board of trustees approved a 4% salary increase for teachers at its May 19 meeting. The board also approved an increase to starting teacher salaries, funded equity adjustments and added more money to employee health insurance. The 4% salary increase, which will cost the district a little over $5 mil- lion, will help keep PISD competitive with surrounding districts, according to the meeting agenda. “For the fi rst time in a long time, I feel like we have a really good budget walking into this decision for you guys,” said David Moody, the assistant superintendent for human resources services. “It gives us a chance to make up some ground—as [Superintendent] Dr. [John] Kelly has mentioned a couple times, word on the street is most districts around us will be hard-pressed to give this kind

$600 yearly increase to employee health insurance PISD was going to cover an additional $300 for each employee’s

bene fi ts for the year. Instead, the board voted to add $600. This $300 increase is costing the district $405,550.

salary increase 4%

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PEARLAND - FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • JUNE 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

REGIONAL

COMPILED BY ADRIANA REZAL, NOLA Z. VALENTE & EMMA WHALEN SCENES FROMTHE DOWNTOWNMARCH FOR GEORGE FLOYD

People of all ages, colors and creeds packed downtown Houston June 2 to march in memory of former Houston resident George Floyd. Floyd grew up in Houston’s Third Ward and was killed in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25. A video of his death, as well as news of the two high-pro fi le deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, both of whom were also black, set o ff days of unrest throughout the U.S. beginning May 29.

(Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)

(Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)

(Nola Valente/Community Impact Newspaper)

(Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)

(Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)

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1 APY=Annual Percentage Yield. Rates and terms subject to change without notice. Must open savings, checking and credit card to receive $100 cash deposited to your savings account within 7 to 10 business days. Open savings and checking only, $50 cash will be deposited to your savings account within 7 to 10 business days. If already a member, see credit union representative for complete details. 2 APR= Annual Percentage Rate. Certain credit criteria apply. Credit Card requires a credit qualified co-signer unless financial responsibility can be shown by applicant. Rates and terms subject to change without notice. 0% APR intro rate for twelve months valid for purchases and balance transfers for new cardholders only. After intro rate expires, standard rate will be between 9.99% and 17.99% APR based on creditworthiness. Minimum payment of $18 or 3%, whichever is greater, required monthly. Rewards points have no cash value. Points can be redeemed for cash back, travel, gift cards, merchandise and more. Points are non-transferable. 3 Cash back statement credit reward(s) will appear as a credit, in the form of a payment, in cardholder’s rewards card payment history. Cardholder is responsible for any outstanding balance owed on the account after the credit is applied. If there is a zero balance owed on the card, the statement credit will post to the cardholder’s savings account when received. Offer valid through August 31, 2020. This offer is available to 2020 high school graduates only. Cannot be combined with any other offers. FCCU invites all high school graduates in Harris, Fort Bend or Montgomery County to get your Grad Pack today! Federally insured by the NCUA

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PEARLAND - FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • JUNE 2020

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER IS PROUD TO SAY THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

HEALTH CARE E D I T I O N 2 0 2 0

GOLD SPONSOR

Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Pearland provides quality patient care for the entire family. Our primary care physicians and specialists welcome new patients and accept more than 50 health insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and UnitedHealthcare. Call our 24/7 Contact Center at 713-442-0000 to schedule a same-day or next-day virtual Video Visit or, for non-respiratory illnesses, an in-person appointment. We’re at 2515 Business Center Drive, Pearland, Texas 77584. Visit kelsey-seybold.com/pearland to learn more.

GOLD SPONSOR

Our mission is to improve the quality of life through routine and a ff ordable chiropractic care. Veteran owned and operated in the Bay Area and Pearland, we are proud to be considered Essential Medial Providers by the Texas Governor’s o ffi ce and the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Visit our clinics in League City, Clear Lake, Pearland Parkway, or Shadow Creek. No appointments, no insurance needed, and walk-ins are always welcome! Stay well-adjusted Texas!

SILVER SPONSOR

WANT TO STAND OUT AS A SUPPORTER OF YOUR COMMUNITY? Contact us today for future sponsorship opportunities! JULY: REAL ESTATE EDITION SEPTEMBER: PUBLIC EDUCATION FOCUS 866 - 989 - 6808 COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM / ADVERTISE

Providing extraordinary emergency care 24/7/365 for all adult and pediatric emergencies in Pearland. We have no wait, private rooms, and accept Medicare.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

HOSPITALS

Health Care Edition 2020

Information on local hospitals in Pearland and Friendswood

COMPILED BY HALEY MORRISON

TRAUMA LEVEL TEXAS

HCA Houston Healthcare Pearland

Memorial Hermann Pearland Hospital

Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital

LEVEL I

• Highest level of care • Full range of specialists, equipment in-house 24/7 • O ff er teaching, research components

LEVEL I I

PAPAR FAIRCLOTH / COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

COURTESY MEMORIAL HERMANN PEARLAND HOSPITAL

COURTESY MEMORIAL HERMANN SOUTHEAST HOSPITAL

• O ff er specialists on call 24/7 • Can transfer to Level I facilities • No research component required

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288

LEVEL I I I

S

• O ff er resources for emergency surgery, intensive care • May have to transfer to Level I and II centers

MEDICAL CENTER DR.

MEMORIAL HERMANN DR.

LEVEL IV

N

N

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• Provide initial evaluation, stabilization, diagnostic capabilities • Will likely have to transfer to higher-level trauma center

11800 Astoria Blvd., Houston 281 - 929 - 6100 www.memorialhermann.org • Trauma level: III • NICU level: III • Total number of employees: 1,593 • Number of beds: 295 • New programs, expansions: TAVR program, an innovative cardiac procedure

16100 South Freeway, Pearland 713 - 413 - 5000 www.memorialhermann.org

11100 Shadow Creek Parkway, Pearland 713 - 770 - 7000 www.hcahoustonhealthcare.com/pearland • Trauma level: in pursuit of Level IV • NICU level: N/A • Total number of employees: 440 • Number of beds: 53 • New programs, expansions: in-house dialysis program, intermediate care unit

• Trauma level: IV • NICU level: N/A • Total number of employees: 513 • Number of beds: 64 • New programs, expansions: emergency center expansion

SOURCES: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES, TEXAS SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE / COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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PEARLAND - FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • JUNE 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

INSIDE INFORMATION

COMPILED BY BEN THOMPSON

A PATH TO PROTECTION

As worldwide health care experts work to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, one health care company in The Woodlands continues work on its own vaccine.

PRODUCING A VACCINE

Dr. Bottazzi described the steps in vaccine production from the fi rst stage of research to mass production. From start to fi nish, the process can take about 18 months or more.

Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, associate dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, spoke with Community Impact Newspaper about vaccine development and the medical community’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. DR. MARIA ELENABOTTAZZI Q&A WITH

The entity researching the vaccine must fi rst secure funding to proceed.

The researchers determine which part of a virus the vaccine should target and build a vaccine around the relevant protein.

The product is sent into preclinical toxicology evaluations by a clinical research organization. They ensure the material is safe through animal models before obtaining approval to move trials to humans. Human studies on healthy adult volunteers begin to ensure safety and e ff ectiveness. Regulatory approval includes a review of procedures, reproducibility and trial results.

WHAT IS THE OUTLOOK ON THE PRODUCTIONOF A COVID - 19 VACCINE?

INSIDE THE BODY

I think it’s clear that there are many vaccines that are hopefully going to be evaluated soon. ... It’s good to have a robust pipeline, meaning we’re not just assuming that one [vaccine] is going to be the only one that’s going to be a solution for all. Vaccines certainly have a high rate of failure due to the nature of how you de- velop them and what the expectation of a vaccine [is], which of course is a preventative measure.

A vaccine creates immunity by preparing the body to attack a protein similar in structure to that of the virus.

Vaccines include a manufactured protein that mimics the viral protein.

The immune system builds defenses to attack the protein in the vaccine.

HOWMUCH IS THE TESTING PHASE EXPECTED TO BE SPED UP NOW?

Because it’s not business as usual, the regulatory bodies are evaluating how they can allow certain things to maybe be done in parallel rather than sequentially. ... It’s going to be very di ffi cult to skip a step. I don’t think that’s really going to be able to be done, but at least steps can be shortened by sharing the information just in time even though there are risks.

The body then has an immune response ready for that same type of protein if encountered in the virus.

Dr. Bottazzi said researchers are considering the coronavirus’ “spike” protein as the vaccine target to block the virus from interfering with a human cell.

WHAT ARE SOME RISKS ASSOCIATEDWITH ACCELERATED VACCINE DEVELOPMENT?

Industrial entities start mass production.

You are pressuring those who have to evaluate to make decisions. In a normal way of business you wouldn’t be- cause you have more time. I trust 100% [in] our regula- tory bodies. The people who conform the teams within the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] are teams that operate with their mission to ensure their decisions are based on robust and strong scienti fi c evidence.

To read the full Q&A visit communityimpact.com. SOURCES: DR. MARIA ELENA BOTTAZZI, VGXI INC. / COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

READ MORE

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PEARLAND - FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • JUNE 2020

PEOPLE

Health Care Edition 2020

PeriyananVaduganathan, founder of The SEVAClinic

“WE NEED TO BE THE PRIMARY CARE CLINIC FOR PEOPLEWHO CANNOT AFFORD TO HAVE A PRIMARY CARE DOCTOR.” DR. NATHAN, FOUNDER OF THE SEVA CLINIC

BY HALEY MORRISON

The SEVA Clinic celebrated three years of operation in Pearland on May 20. The clinic, which typically serves lower-income, uninsured patients, has grown since its opening in 2017. Community Impact Newspaper talked with Dr. Periyanan Vaduganathan, known as Dr. Nathan, about the clinic’s growth, adjustments during the coronavirus and plans for the future. This article has

been edited for length and clarity. HOWHAS THE SEVA CLINIC GROWN SINCE IT OPENED? We now see routinely 25 patients a week. That is our limit also because we have two physicians. We have two exam rooms, are continuing to sell generic medications and do lab tests as well. On June 18, we are going to resume everything back to normal at the clinic, but phone and video visits will still be available. If patients have COVID-19 symptoms, we will be happy to help them on the phone. The big change is that we are now doing appointments. Patients can call and go to website and secure a timeslot. They will be asked to come in only three patients at a time. That’s better for the patient and for every- body because of the social distancing. We are putting sneeze guards in place for volunteers. I am in the process of procuring [personal protective equipment] for the clinic. ARE THE APPOINTMENTS NEW CHANGESWITH COVID - 19, ORWAS THE CLINIC GOING TOADD THAT ANYWAY? Appointments are speci fi c to social distancing, but it’s good because now patients don’t have to wait for two hours. If you come on a Thursday,

there will be 40 people in the waiting room. If you come at 5:30 p.m., the whole area is full, and people are waiting outside. We get ready by 5 or 5:15 p.m., and many days I don’t get done by 8 p.m. Jim and Hita Dickson are in the process of getting a bigger space for their facility, Christian Helping Hands, and SEVA Clinic will likely move there, and then we could probably start seeing patients more times a week. But that is fi ve years down the line; they have only just bought the land. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU SEE A LOT OF PATIENTS COME IN FOR? A lot of patients do not have primary care physicians. We need to be the primary care clinic for people who cannot a ff ord to have a primary care doctor. We have the scope to do more things like imaging, X-ray and cardiographs, but that will come when we have more space to do those things. I have just been steadily increasing services to the extent that it runs smoothly. I don’t want it to go large scale in a short time and then we cannot keep up with it.

From left: Founder Periyanan Vaduganathan, medical director Subhadra Bandhakavi and nursing director Joanne Barrett pose with Pearland Mayor Tom Reid. (Courtesy SEVA Clinic)

HAVE YOU FOUND THERE IS A LARGE UNINSURED POPULATION IN THE AREA? Yes. I think it is going to get worse as the economic impact grows. People are going to lose jobs, and there is going to be much more need. If an individual is under the poverty line, they can get Medicaid. A lot of people are not in that level—they may make $30,000 or $40,000 a year, but that is not enough for a big family. Even if someone has insur- ance, but with a large deductible, they come to the clinic. If there is more unemployment in the next year, and there will be, they may lose their insurance. The need for the services is going to increase.

35

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SEVAClinic 335 N. Texas Ave., Pearland 281-942-7382 www.sevaclinic-texas.org Hours: Thu. 5:30-7:30 p.m.

SUFFERING FROM VARICOSE VEINS? Extra precautions are in place to ensure new & existing patients can safely receive treatment during COVID-19. IF YOU EXPERIENCE..... Varicose Veins or Bulging Veins • Poor Circulation • Leg Pain • Leg Swelling • Leg Ulcers or Sores Leg Cramps when you walk • Restless Legs • Leg Heaviness & Fatigue • Peripheral Vascular Disease... We Can Help! Non-surgical treatment is available! Covered by most insurance plans.

www.CoastalVascular.net Call 281-500-9519 to schedule an appointment

Located at 8619 W Broadway St #105, Pearland, TX 77584 Easily accessible from Beltway 8 or Highway 288

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CORONAVIRUS

Health Care Edition 2020

Nursing homes grapplewith protecting vulnerable residents fromCOVID - 19 Seniors and older adults with underlying medical conditions basically on internal lockdown.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services BY MORGAN SLUTZKY COST OF TESTING

remain one of the highest-risk popu- lations for COVID-19, making nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities places for the coronavirus to spread more easily. Since the end of April, 98 cases have been a ffi liated with Brazo- ria County nursing homes, said Cathy Sbrusch, the county health department director. Because some of these cases are nursing home employees who are residents in other jurisdictions, not all of the 98 cases have been included in the county case count. Windsong Care Center, a nursing home in Pearland, reported its fi rst case April 30 when an employee tested positive, owner and adminis- trator Vicki Morel said. “We tested every employee who worked with her and her hall of resi- dents and got six positive cases from that,” Morel said. “Our residents are

recommend nursing homes have no visitors, communal dining or group activities. CDC and Brazoria County recommendations state facilities should retest all negative residents and sta ff once a week until 14 days pass with no new positive cases. “The fi rst round of testing the state did, but that’s only a one-time thing,” Morel said. “One-time testing isn’t helpful if this has been going on for months and will continue for months.” Tuscany Village Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation is also located in Pearland. Administrator Cecil Barcelo Jr. said the facility decided to test residents before the state mandated it. “The initial testing produced two positive patients, but our medical director was suspicious of those tests because there weren’t any signs

The Agency for the Health Care Administration looked at what it would cost to test every nursing home resident and sta ff member in Texas after Gov. Greg Abbott ordered this action in May. The data assumes tests cost $150 each.

1,219 nursing facilities

93,561 nursing home residents

99,780 nursing home sta ff

193,341 Total number of tests:

$29 million Cost of testing:

SOURCE: THE AGENCY FOR THE HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATION / COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

or symptoms, so we retested and received negative results,” Barcelo Jr. said. Morel said people should stay

aware COVID-19 is still a pressing issue. “A lot of people’s perception is that this isn’t real, but it is,” she said.

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PEARLAND - FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • JUNE 2020

CONTINUED FROM 1

At the start of the coronavirus, patients across Kelsey-Seybold’s network, including its Pearland location, transitioned to primarily virtual visits. Even as the facilities are beginning to see patients in person, there is still a push for virtual visits. A RISE INVIRTUAL VISITS

Prior to COVID-19, only 2% OF VISITSWERE VIRTUAL.

Now, 90% OF VISITS ARE VIRTUAL.

of Kelsey-Seybold patients are seeing their doctors through video calls each day. 5,500 - 6,000

at the beginning of COVID-19. 50% Kelsey-Seybold in-person visits fell by

SOURCE: KELSEY - SEYBOLD / COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

HOUSTON - AREA INDUSTRY EFFECTS The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks economic growth and changes for various regions of the country. It shows the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land region, including Pearland, saw job losses in all sectors in April compared to 2019. The education and health services industries are grouped together and saw an 8.8% decline in jobs in April 2020 compared to April 2019. See how other industries fared below.

CONTINUED FROM 1 “People shouldn’t be afraid to come to the hospital for help,” Vartian said. Cotton said she believes the coro- navirus is going to change everything in terms of how the health care land- scape operates. “I don’t know of another time in modern history where the general population has been forced to stay home and really engage in a digital world, and I don’t think that’s going to be much di ff erent in medicine,” Cot- ton said. Seekingmedical help Vartian, who is also an infectious disease doctor, said the number of people seeking treatment for non- coronavirus complaints went down

di ffi cult in the long run,” Cotton said. For medical events such as appen- dicitis, heart attacks, strokes and chronic illnesses that have been exac- erbated, Cotton said the decrease in number was concerning. According to data from the Hous- ton Health Department, emergency calls for suspected heart attacks were down 50% from February to April. The situation has been slightly dif- ferent for general practitioners and other nonemergencymedical entities. Kelsey-Seybold clinics, which serve around 400,000 patients a year, have not experienced a signi fi cant decrease in volume. Cherice Conly-Harvey is the man- aging physician for the Pearland Kelsey-Seybold clinic. She said the

of visits were virtual. Now, 90% of Kelsey-Seybold patients are seeing their doctor through video calls, 5,500-6,000 of which are happening daily. “I was really proud of our senior patients, who I know are sometimes intimidated by technology,” Con- ly-Harvey said. “They really stepped up and got on those video visits, and we were able to handle people’s blood pressure or diabetes diagnoses through these calls.” The Kelsey-Seybold clinics resumed full normal operations May 18 after limiting face-to-face visits to only those absolutely necessary since March. “We’re beginning to perform an increased number of elective pro- cedures,” Janis said. “There is an ongoing process to not only increase visits, but to increase the availability of in-person visits.” Preventivemeasures Janis said Kelsey-Seybold approached the pandemic from three directions: keeping sta ff safe, keeping patients safe and maintaining a safe environment. Maintaining a safe medical environ- ment for patients and sta ff has been a priority across the county, and it has demanded facilities make changes to their work fl ow to accommodate new safety guidelines, Cotton said. Kelsey-Seybold started screening employees and patients before com- ing into the clinic, following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, and purchasing personal protective equipment. In March, hospitals stopped per- forming elective surgeries, or pro- cedures that can be scheduled in advance, and went through the pro- cess of minimizing the possibility of

Education and health services

March 2020: 417,400 jobs

April 2020: 367,200 jobs

noticeably during the fi rst several weeks of the pandemic. “We’ve seen a decline of women having mammo- grams, people getting cancer screenings, etcet- era, and we need to reverse that because these people still need to be treated,” Vartian said. Cotton said medical profes- sionals across the board are seeing

MyKelseyOnline service’s virtual visit option made the transition to not having in-person visits smoother. “If I had to explain my expe- rience, I would use the word intense,” Con- ly-Harvey said. “It was so sudden and so severe, what happened to us all, but I do feel like we did a good job early on tak- ing care of both

“I DON’T KNOWOF ANOTHER TIME IN MODERNHISTORY WHERE THE GENERAL POPULATIONHAS BEEN FORCED TO STAY HOME ANDREALLY ENGAGE INADIGITAL WORLD, AND I DON’T THINK THAT’S GOING TOBEMUCHDIFFERENT INMEDICINE.”

-8.8% from April 2019

+4.2% from March 2019

Professional and business services March 2020: 512,600 jobs

Leisure and hospitality

March 2020: 331,300 jobs

+0.1% from March 2019

+2.6% from March 2019

LAUREN COTTON, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF NEIGHBORS EMERGENCY CENTERS

April 2020:

214,200 jobs

April 2020:

488,800 jobs

people staying home and not seeking care or waiting longer to get treatment until they reach a crisis point. “Anecdotally, we’ve had patients tell us they thought we had better things to do right now, but not com- ing in right away when there’s a med- ical emergency makes your case more

COVID-19 and non-COVID patients.” According to Kelsey-Seybold COO Kenneth Janis, there was a short period of time during closures when in-person doctor visits fell by 50%. However, this does not mean the vis- its were not happening. Prior to the pandemic, only 2%

-35.4% from April 2019

-2.6% from April 2019

SOURCE: BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS / COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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