Heights - River Oaks - Montrose Edition | June 2022

HEIGHTS RIVER OAKS MONTROSE EDITION

2022

ONLINE AT

HEALTH CARE EDITION

VOLUME 4, ISSUE 3  JUNE 6JULY 1, 2022

JOINING THE ROLLS Medicaid enrollment in Harris County declined over the course of 2019 but rose rapidly during the coronavirus pandemic. SOURCES: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES, U.S. CENTERS OF MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

HARRIS COUNTY MEDICAID ENROLLMENT

898,567

1M

681,471

695,113

750K

HARRIS COUNTY (Feb. 2022) : 931,694* *PRELIMINARY DATA March 2020-Oct. 2021 TEXAS: +31.2% HARRIS COUNTY: +31.8%

IMPACTS

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500K

MARCH 2020: Federal government declares COVID-19 public health emergency, announces Medicaid unenrollment freeze

Ramp closed at Loop 610, I69 intersection

250K

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JAN. MARCH MAY JULY SEPT. NOV. 2020

JAN. MARCH MAY JULY SEPT. NOV. 2019

JAN. MARCH MAY JULY SEPT. 2021

TRANSPORTATION

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Looming end of Medicaid security sounds alarms When the coronavirus pandemic emerged in March 2020, the U.S. gov- ernment issued a requirement that states could no longer kick people o Medicaid during the public health emergency. The purpose was to prevent people on Medicaid—a government-run health care policy—from being left with- out insurance on short notice. That requirement is still in place two years later, but health care advocates in Texas and Houston said they are wor- ried about what could happen when it ends and millions of people have their safety nets put into jeopardy. In September 2021, the Urban Insti- tute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, estimated as many as 1.3 mil- lion Texans could be deemed inel- igible for Medicaid once the public health emergency ends. Roughly 3.7 million of the 5.3 million Texans CONTINUED ON 18 BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & LAURA ROBB

Houston OKs noise ordinance changes

CITY & COUNTY

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SPONSORED BY • Belmont Village Senior Living • St. Luke’s Health • The Village of the Heights 2022 HEALTH CARE EDITION GUIDE 10

Houston’s ght against crime sees progress under One Safe Houston

Houston homicide trends

Murders in Houston were up 32.3% by the end of February compared to the same point in 2021. By April, they were up 5% compared to 2021.

One Safe Houston announced Feb. 2

SOFIA GONZALEZ

Roughly four months after Houston rolled out a now $52 million initiative to reduce crime, a slew of changes have been implemented in the city to bring the program to fruition. Known as One Safe Houston, the initiative launched in early February and is a direct response to a rise in homi- cides in Houston over the past two years, culminating with 47 murders in January, a 38% increase from January of the previous year. The initiative aims to reduce crime through many programs and ordinances, including overtime for police ocers, a focus on the top 200 most violent oenders, crisis

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SOURCE: HOUSTON POLICE DEPARTMENTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

CONTINUED ON 21

DINING FEATURE

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HEIGHTS - RIVER OAKS - MONTROSE EDITION • JUNE 2022

Don’t just watch from the sidelines. Joint pain Enjoy everything life has to offer without joint pain. The Orthopedic experts at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center offer a variety of noninvasive therapies, nonsurgical treatments, and minimally invasive procedures so you can come back sooner and stronger. What will your comeback story be? stlukeshealth.org

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THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. Now in 2022, CI is still locally owned. We have expanded to include hundreds of employees, our own software platform and printing facility, and over 40 hyperlocal editions across three states with circulation to more than 2.8 million residential mailboxes.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS MONTH

FROM JAY: Our June paper includes our Health Care Edition, which covers a number of stories relevant to the industry, including the stang challenges seen in nursing homes here in Houston and across Texas. We interviewed the president of the Texas Health Care Association for some insight on how it is looking to address the shortage moving forward. Jay McMahon, GENERAL MANAGER

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FROM SHAWN: Our front-page story this month looks into how Medicaid enrollment surged during the coronavirus pandemic in Harris County thanks to a federal public health emergency that prohibited states from unenrolling people. We explore what could happen when that public health emergency eventually ends and millions of Texans, mainly children, have their Medicaid eligibility redetermined at once. Shawn Arrajj, SENIOR EDITOR

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JUNE 2022

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened, are coming soon or closed

W. 34TH ST.

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HARVARD ST.

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W. 25TH ST.

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20TH ST.

W. 19TH ST.

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W. 18TH ST.

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Zalat Pizza

COURTESY ZALAT PIZZA

W. 11TH ST.

The bar also oers its own version of Pedialyte—Citilyte and CitiWater—to keep guests hydrated. 832-699-9561. www.citizenhtx.com 8 A grand opening took place May 7 for La La Land Kind Cafe in the M-K-T development, 600 N. Shepherd Drive, Houston. The business oers coee and matcha classics as well as teas and food items. 713-497-5789. www.lalalandkindcafe.com 9 Gorjana , a Southern California-based jewelry brand, opened its rst Houston store May 15 in the Montrose Collective at 1001 California St., Ste. 103, Houston. The store has a selection of 18-karat gold plates with designs that vary from ad- justable clasps to sliding beads. Jewelry items to choose from include necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings and charms. The Houston storefront is the jewelry store’s second Texas location; the rst opened in Austin in 2021. 832-224-5735. www.gorjana.com 10 The newest location of Uchiko opened May 23 in the Post Oak area at 1801 Post Oak Blvd., Ste. 110, Houston. The restaurant comes from Hai Hospital- ity, which also runs Uchi in Montrose and Loro in the Heights. The kitchen is run under Chef de Cuisine Shaun King, who serves up a menu of makimono, nigiri, sashimi and crossover items from Uchi, including the Hama Chili and the Suno- mono. The venue also oers a cocktail menu, and guests can order an omakase item, allowing the chef to provide a ve-course or 10-course sampling of the guest’s choosing. 713-597-5464. 11 River Oaks Drip Spa , an IV hydration and vitamin infusion center,is expected to open this summer at 5161 San Felipe St., Houston. The business is oering concierge services. The team includes experienced nurses and paramedics who will come to a customer’s hotel, business or home to service a specied IV need. 713-859-9587. www.riveroaksdripspa.com 12 Houston bar owner Zach Harris announced May 16 his newest concept, Heights Social , is set to open this fall at 1213 W. 20th St., Houston. The con- cept will be located next door to Harris’ already-established business, Drift Bar. Heights Social will oer a martini-focused cocktail menu with “old-school” martinis and an espresso martini on tap. Other drink options include gin cocktails on tap, www.uchikohouston.com COMING SOON

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WHITE OAK PARK

WASHINGTON AVE.

WHITE OAK DR.

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MEMORIAL PARK

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MAP NOT TO SCALE

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NOW OPEN 1 Nuspine Chiropractic opened its Heights location April 1 at 187 Heights Blvd., Ste. A, Houston. Clients receive a chiropractic adjustment and a hydrother- apy massage with every visit. Teams can help with problems such as neck and back pain, headaches, migraines, carpal tunnel 2 Zalat Pizza opened its third Hous- ton location in the Heights on April 26 at 250 W. 20th St., Ste. 300, Houston. Patrons can select from a variety of dierent pizza styles, such as Nashville Hot Chicken and Pickles; Elote pizza; Pineapple Express; margherita pizza; and The OG, an all-beef pepperoni pizza with salami, cracked black pepper and pickled giardiniera. The establishment has its own pizza dipping sauce, “srirancha”—a and sciatica. 281-974-4602. www.nuspinechiropractic.com combination of ranch and sriracha. 832-684-0420. www.zalatpizza.com 3 The rst Texas-based retail storefront for Blenders Eyewear opened April 27 in The Galleria mall at 5085 Westheimer Road, Ste. B3562, Houston. Blenders was founded in San Diego by entrepreneur Chase Fisher. Customers have a variety of

options to choose from, such as prescrip- tion sunglasses and eyeglasses, active and sportswear sunglasses, oatable sunglasses, blue-light-blocking options and polarized sunglasses. Blenders also has options for ski goggles, helmets, face masks and beanies. 346-293-8194 www.blenderseyewear.com 4 The rst brick-and-mortar location of popular food truck Stu’d Wings opened April 29 near the Ion District in Midtown at 401 Richmond Ave., Houston, in a space formerly occupied by Shipley Do-Nuts. Jarrod and Prisoria Rector serve up their famous bone-in chicken wings stued with dirty rice, seafood boudin, chicken boudin, and mac and cheese. New menu items include new stungs and a breakfast menu consisting of hash browns, maple bacon wings and a glaze funnel cake. The eatery also oers beer, wine and soda. 713-702-1286. www.studwings.com 5 On May 2, Nan and Company Proper- ties Christie’s International Real Estate announced the opening of a new agship location in the Heights at 725 Yale St., Houston, the company’s second Hous- ton-area location. The two-story prop- erty features murals from local artists, modern nishings, an in-house digital

production studio, nap pods, outdoor seating and a dedicated dog drinking fountain. The building was designed as a coworking space to promote collabo- ration with team members and to be a space for the community to hold events. 713-980-0770. www.nanproperties.com 6 On the momentum of the March opening of steakhouse Patton’s in the Heights, restaurateur Brian Doke opened Heights & Co. Patio and Cocktail Bar on May 5 at 1343 Yale St., Houston. The neighborhood-style bar oers an open-air atmosphere where guests can consume a variety of craft cocktails and order appetizers and entrees from a full kitchen, including steak frites, smoked ribs and pork schnitzel. The venue fea- tures a 100-seat, dog-friendly patio and a 30-seat indoor area with a 10-stool bar. www.heightsandco.com 7 Milkshake Concept’s new nightlife and dance venue, Citizen , opened at 5922 Washington Ave., Houston, on May 6. The rst location of the bar opened in Dallas in 2015. The Houston location was designed with overstued sofas and moody lighting. The bar oers bottle service in an exclusive area with 18 tables with prices ranging from $1,000-$20,000.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & SOFIA GONZALEZ

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LOCAL HOT SPOT

Regent Square

Heights & Co. Patio and Cocktail Bar

Heights Social

RENDERING COURTESY REGENT SQUARE

COURTESY ALEX MONTOYA

RENDERING COURTESY LONG KIM

3 Clean Juice is slated to open its second Inner Loop location in September at 3515 W. Dallas Ave., Ste. 800, Houston. Menu options include sandwiches, wraps, acai bowls, salads, toasts, smoothies and cold- pressed juices. The new location will have a small outdoor patio. Clean Juice maintains a certied organic classication from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, meaning the business uses certied organic ingredients. www.cleanjuice.com

Mixed-use development Regent Square will soon be home to three more businesses. COMING SOON 1 The rst Inner Loop location of M. Vincé Nail Spa is set to open toward the end of 2022 at 1203 Dunlavy St., Houston. Services will include manicures, pedicures, acrylics, dip powder, gel polish manicures and Gel-X extensions. www.mvincenailspa.com 2 Sudor Sauna Studio is opening its rst and agship location in early fall at 3515 W. Dallas St., Ste. 400, Houston. The two sauna experiences oered include chromotherapy—a color therapy—and an infrared sauna, which uses wavelengths to heat guests from the inside. www.sudorsauna.com

avored Old Fashioned cocktails, wine and table-side champagne during brunch. Food menu items include thin-crust pizza, charcuterie and appetizers. RELOCATIONS 13 After saying goodbye to its rst location on 20th Avenue in April, Central City Co-Op announced the purchase of its permanent home at 2515 Harvard St., Houston, in a May 11 Facebook post. The co-op describes itself as a “farmer’s rst” grocery store, coee bar and seasonal test kitchen. Houstonians can invest in an individual or family membership for $120 a year or a corporate membership for $5,000 a year, which includes em- ployee benets. Member dues help the co-op with basic operating expenses and allow for widespread access within the

community for organic and local produce. Members have access to educational and sustainability programs. The new location is not yet open. 832-690-1216. www.centralcityco-op.com CLOSINGS 14 After 10 years of business, Sonoma in the Heights at 801 Studewood St., Hous- ton, will close its doors June 26. According to a Facebook post, this decision comes af- ter failing to negotiate with the building’s landlord. On the last day of being open, the business will have a try-before-you- buy sale from 2-6 p.m. Sonoma ocials said they are seeking to open another loca- tion close to its Heights location. The other two locations in Upper Kirby and Katy are

SHEPHERD DR.

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not aected by the closing. www.sonomahouston.com

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JUNE 2022

TRANSPORTATION UPDATES

COMPILED BY SOFIA GONZALEZ

Ramp closure at I69, Loop 610 in eect for next 2 years As work continues to build new

ONGOING PROJECTS

I69/Loop 610 interchange ramps close Ramp closures

connector ramps between I-69 and Loop 610 in southwest Houston, a major closure went into eect in April and will last for the next two years. The I-69 southbound connector ramp to Loop 610 southbound was closed as of April 29, said Danny Perez, a public information ocer with the Texas Department of Transportation, which is managing the project. At the same time, TxDOT also closed the I-69 southbound exit ramp to Chimney Rock Road, which will reopen around late June. Although TxDOT would typically try to keep the existing ramp open while building the new one, Perez said it will not be possible with the roadwork to come. Construction crews will need the room freed up by the closure to build the Loop 610 northbound main lane bridge over I-69, he said. Drivers on southbound I-69 who are looking to connect to Loop 610 southbound should detour to the

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11th Street bikeway A project that involves redesigning a portion of 11th Street in the Heights to include better bicycle and pedes- trian facilities is nearing the end of the design phase, but Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced May 3 he intends to take a closer look at the project following opposition from some Heights residents. Turner said he will make an assess- ment on the design with his ndings released sometime in early June. The project targets 11th Street be- tween Shepherd Drive and Michaux Street, as well as Michaux from 11th south to Stude Park. Proposals include reducing car lanes from four to two with middle turning lanes in some areas. Opponents said they worry it will increase congestion on 11th, which could result in trac being diverted to nearby side streets, increasing the risk for pedestrians on those streets. Turner said he will talk to multiple departments and people in the com- munity while making his assessment. The 11th Street bikeway, he said, is not a measure that will be voted on by council. Timeline: TBD Cost: TBD Funding source: city of Houston

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Fountain View Drive exit and U-turn to the I-69 northbound main lanes, according to guidance from TxDOT. From there, drivers can access the southbound Loop 610 frontage road and main lanes. Work at the interchange is intended to improve safety and mobility in part by widening the connector ramps to two lanes, according to TxDOT. Work previously necessitated the four- month closure of the northbound I-69 connector ramp to northbound

Loop 610, which reopened in October.

A northbound Loop 610 exit ramp to Westheimer Road remains closed through around midyear. The overall $259 million project kicked o in 2017 is set to nish in 2024. The project is being funded jointly by TxDOT through its Texas Clear Lanes initiative, which is ded- icated to relieving trac congestion and gridlock throughout the state’s highway system.

W. CLAY ST. Construction underway on Montrose road improvements Construction kicked o March 23 on a project aim-

portion of West Clay Street will also be improved from Dunlavy Street to Woodhead Street. The road diet will help incorporate a continu- ous sidewalk, ocials said. The project will also involve milling and overlaying deteriorating streets, restriping, putting in speed cushions and

installing curb extensions for bicyclists to create a low-stress shared road- way. Construction is expected to last one year. The timeline is March 23, 2022 to March 2023. The project costs $4.7 million and is funded by the Mon- trose Tax Reinvestment Zone No. 27 and Harris County Precinct 1.

ing to make Hawthorne and Woodhead streets in Montrose more walkable. A decrease in the road lanes will be imple- mented, turning the portions of the streets from two car lanes in each direction to one, wider lane in each direction. A

EIMERRD.

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF JUNE 2. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT HRMNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY & COUNTY

News from Houston & Harris County

LOCAL HIGHLIGHTS HOUSTON Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a one-year guaranteed income pilot program May 19 designed to help impoverished residents. A total of 110 program participants will receive $375 a month, totaling $4,500 annually. To qualify, an applicant must be a resident of Houston, be at least 18 years old, and have a household income at or below the federal poverty level. The application process closed May 25. HOUSTON A nal redistricting town hall meeting was held May 25 in the process of redrawing the boundaries for Houston City Council’s districts. The city redistricts every 10 years using data from the decennial U.S. census and public input. A redistricting draft plan is expected to be ready sometime in either June or July. New boundaries will go into eect Jan. 1, 2024. HARRIS COUNTY An agreement between Harris County and The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston was approved May 24 to study local eorts to reduce opioid overdoses. Harris County commissioners unanimously approved the agreement, which will receive a maximum backing of $306,841. UTHealth Assistant Professor J. Michael Wilkerson will lead the evaluation. The agreement will last until Aug. 31 unless terminated earlier. Houston City Council will meet at 1:30 p.m. June 7 for public comment and 9 a.m. June 8 for regular business at 901 Bagby St., Houston. Meetings are streamed at www.houstontx.gov/htv. Harris County will next meet for its regular meeting at 10 a.m. June 14 at the Harris County Courthouse, 1001 Preston St., Ste. 934, Houston. Meetings are streamed live at www.harriscountytx.gov. MEETINGS WE COVER

Harris County launches youth fund to reduce crime, disparities

BY DANICA LLOYD

HARRIS COUNTY In an eort to reduce crime and address racial disparities in juvenile detention, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and other county leaders announced a new $4 million initiative May 5. The program will prioritize investment in communities with high rates of juvenile justice referrals. In April, county commissioners approved the Youth Jus- tice Community Reinvestment Fund—a program ocials said will prevent crime before it happens by supporting local organizations that engage at-risk youth. This initiative is funded by dollars initially earmarked for juvenile probation as well as the county’s general fund, ocials said. Change Happens, a local nonprot that serves at-risk youth, will be the fund’s administrator. This group will partner with other community organizations to work with the county to invest in programming, according to a news release. “Addressing the root causes associated with juvenile

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced the new initiative at Change Happens on May 5. (Courtesy Harris County Judge’s Oce)

justice involvement is necessary to ensure that the young people in our communities grow into productive young adults, free from system involvement,” said Henry Gonzales, executive director of the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department, in a statement.

Houston approves 202223 budget

Noise ordinance amended amid resident complaints

KEY CHANGES

Houston City Council approved a slate of changes to the city’s noise ordinance in May.

BY SOFIA GONZALEZ

Increases maximum ne from $1,000 to $2,000 Requires permit to be issued to an establishment rather than an individual Codies hearing process for permit revocation

HOUSTON After hours of discus- sion, Houston City Council approved a $5.71 billion budget for scal year 2022-23 during a June 1 meeting. The budget includes an increase of $487 million in expenditures from the last year. Houston Mayor Sylves- ter Turner said $364 million of the increase is due to enterprise funds for drinking water and consent decree. Fireghters will receive a 6% pay increase; police ocers will receive a 4% increase; and municipal employ- ees will receive a 3% increase. The budget also includes an investment in underresourced neighborhoods.

BY SOFIA GONZALEZ

HOUSTON Several amendments to Houston’s noise ordinance were approved May 4 by Houston City Council with the goal of improving quality of life for residents while being fair to business owners. The amendments include increasing the maximum ne for noise from $1,000 to $2,000, revis- ing a requirement that a permit is issued to an establishment rather than an individual, codifying the hearing process for the revoca- tion of a permit and creating a

Creates commercial establishment sound permit

SOURCE: CITY OF HOUSTONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JUNE 2022

2022

HEALTH CARE EDITION

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

HEALTH CARE SNAPSHOT

Local health care data and information

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ

2022 STATEWIDE HEALTH CARE RANKINGS OUT OF 244 COUNTIES

COMPARING COUNTY HEALTH These rankings of all counties statewide are updated annually but include data from previous years. The factors listed are not comprehensive.

HEALTH OUTCOMES INCLUDE:

• LENGTH OF LIFE • QUALITY OF LIFE , such as the number of poor mental and physical health days reported

HEALTH OUTCOMES

HEALTH FACTORS INCLUDE:

14 11 20 15 25 32 33

4 4

28 34 78

Length of life Overall

• HEALTHBEHAVIORS , such as smoking, obesity, physical activity, excessive drinking, alcohol-impaired driving deaths, sexually transmitted infections and teen births • CLINICALCARE , including health insurance coverage; number of physicians, dentists and mental health providers; preventable hospital stays; and u vaccinations • SOCIOECONOMICFACTORS , such as educational attainment levels, children in poverty, income inequality and violent crimes • PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT FACTORS , such as air pollution, drinking water violations, housing problems and long commutes

HARRIS COUNTY FORT BEND COUNTY MONTGOMERY COUNTY

12

Quality of life HEALTH FACTORS

69

45

1 5

26 123

Overall

Health behaviors

99 TOLL

16 15

76

Socioeconomic Physical environment Clinical care

10

196 238

610

223

148

N

59

SOURCES: ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN POPULATION HEALTH INSTITUTE, COUNTYHEALTHRANKINGS.ORG, U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

TRACKING VACCINATIONS

HEALTH CARE EMPLOYMENT TRENDS HEALTH CARE AND SOCIAL ASSISTANCE INDUSTRY EMPLOYMENT

Vaccine administrations peaked in early 2021 with several minor surges in August and November.

COUNTY VACCINATIONS BY WEEK 350,000 300,000 Peak

PERCENTAGE OF RESIDENTS AGE 5+ FULLY VACCINATED 2,969,446 - 67.89%

More than 25,000 health care jobs have been created in Harris County since 2019. Sept. 2019 Sept. 2020 Sept. 2021 +9.9% 264,738

322,349 70,108

4/5/2021

250,000

585,252 - 78.85%

4/5/2021 34,712 3/29/2021

200,000

2-year change +3.4% 2-year change +3.8% 2-year change

281,535

342,904 - 61%

150,000

291,070

100,000

29,798 29,156 30,812

17,691,090 - 65.24%

50,000

23,177

State average

0

23,440 24,064

2020

2021

2022

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JUNE 2022

MORE COMMUNITIES. MORE CONNECTED CARE.

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River Oaks Clinic

Greater Heights Clinic

Our new clinics in River Oaks and Greater Heights are now open and welcoming new patients.

When it comes to exceptional care right in your neighborhood, Kelsey-Seybold has you covered with two new state-of-the-art clinics. Offering innovative, connected healthcare, both clinics feature specialists in primary and specialty care, plus the convenience of an on-site laboratory and X-ray. There’s even an on-site pharmacy at the Greater Heights location. Same-day or next-day primary care appointments are available now.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

HOSPITALS

News and information on local hospitals in Houston

2022 HEALTH CARE EDITION

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & VANESSA HOLT

MOST ADVANCED TRAUMA VS. NICU LEVELS

1 The Heights Hospital Trauma level: III NICU level: N/A Number of beds: 44

290

2

20TH ST.

Highest level of care, more specialist physicians available, can treat more serious conditions

T. C. JESTER BLVD.

1

Total number of employees: 65 Total number of sta openings: 75 1917 Ashland St., Houston 3463961314 • www.springheights.care 2 Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital Trauma level: III NICU level: II Number of beds: 260 Total number of employees: 1,467 Total number of sta openings: 235 1635 N. Loop 610 W., Houston 7138672000 www.memorialhermann.org/locations/ greater-heights 3 River Oaks Hospital and Clinics Trauma level: N/A NICU level: N/A Number of beds: 44 (as of 2021) Total number of employees: 210 (as of 2021) Total number of sta openings: Hospital did not provide information.

Trauma level

NICU level

SHAWN ARRAJJCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

610

LEVEL I

LEVEL IV

HOSPITAL UPDATE The Heights Hospital After closing in January 2021, The Heights Hospital reopened in February under new ownership as a full-service acute care community hospital. The new management group also operates Spring Hospital in Spring. Prior to reopening, The Heights Hospital underwent a renovation to get through the regulatory and compliance process. The building features a six-bay emergency room, and has 40 medical-surgical beds and four intensive care unit beds. The facility has capacity for 100 beds total, ocials said. It also oers diagnostics and laboratory services as well as outpatient clinic facilities. Future expansions will include women’s health and cardiology. 288 45 527 WHITE OAK PARK BUFFALO BAYOU PARK

K

10

LEVEL II

LEVEL III

W A S H I N G T O N A V

R .

LEVEL III

LEVEL II

MEMORIAL PARK

LEVEL IV

LEVEL I

D A V E .

TWELVE OAKS PLACE 3

LEAST ADVANCED

69

Lowest level of care, more likely to have to transfer to higher level for serious conditions

69

4200 Twelve Oaks Place, Houston 7139807900 • www.rohc.care

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

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JUNE 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

ECONOMY

2022 HEALTH CARE EDITION

Nursing homes grapple with stang shortages fueled by pandemic Skilled nursing homes across Texas are facing stang challenges that have led to the closure of nearly 30 facilities between January 2020 and June 2021. If changes are not made, advocates said that might only be the beginning. Although the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated biggest drop and have been the slowest to recover, Warren said. The main dierence between an assisted-living BY SHAWN ARRAJJ Although the broader health care and social assistance employment sector has largely recovered jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic, nursing homes are still down more than 900 jobs in Harris County. Health care and social assistance employment LEFT BEHIND

facility and a nursing home is nursing homes provide medical care in a clinical setting, while assisted living primarily provides personal care in a more social setting. The closing of nursing homes can have a profound eect on the surrounding community it serves, Warren said. “When you are talking about nursing home closures, … you’re talking about residents in the facilities who may have to be relocated farther away, families that may have to travel farther,” Warren said. The 30 closures statewide took place despite the state’s Legislative Budget Board deciding to boost Medicaid reimbursements for nursing homes while an ongoing public health emergency is in eect. Warren said the THCA is pushing for two main methods of addressing the shortage. First, he said a long-term pipeline needs to be established to help connect nursing students to facilities. Additionally, he said he is advocating for the Texas Legislature to permanently increase the Medicaid base rate for nursing homes, which he said has not been done in 10 years.

300K 250K 275K 200K 225K 0

the diculties many nursing homes faced in retaining sta, those challenges date back before the pandemic, said Kevin Warren, president of the Texas Health Care Association, which advocates on behalf of roughly 400 nursing, post-acute and assisted-living facilities across Texas. “If you go back prepandemic, from a workforce perspective, long-term care and nursing homes in the state of Texas were already severely under- staed,” he said. Between January 2020 and September 2021, Texas saw a reduction in the workforce of roughly 10,000 employees in the nursing home sector, according to the Bureau of Land Statistics. Harris County alone saw a reduction of more than 900 employees over that time. The health care industry as a whole saw a reduction in jobs at the start of the pandemic but has largely recovered. Nursing homes both saw the

260,662

260,600

JAN.

MAY

SEPT.

JAN.

MAY

SEPT.

Nursing and residential care facilities employment 2020 2021

25K

22,133

21,213

20K 22.5K 15K 17.5K 0

JAN.

MAY

SEPT.

JAN.

2021 MAY

SEPT.

2020

SOURCE: BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JUNE 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

PEOPLE Rebecca Farrell

2022 HEALTH CARE EDITION

BY JISHNU NAIR

THE DOCTOR IS ONLINE Telehealth usage increased during the pandemic, but usage was not equitable across all populations in 2021. Percentages below show the percentage of groups utilizing telemedicine.

Program and outreach director, Central Texas National Alliance on Mental Illness

Rebecca Farrell serves as the program and outreach director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ Central Texas aliate. The national nonprot, which has over 600 state organizations and aliates across the United States, works to educate and provide resources on mental health. Farrell said the pandemic laid bare existing deciencies in mental health care. But as mental health came to the forefront in the pandemic, conversations about mental health became more “mainstream”—which she hopes will lead to greater education on mental illnesses. Answers have been edited for length and clarity. WHAT DOES THE STATE OF

TELEHEALTH WAS MOST USED BY

TELEHEALTH USE WAS LEAST USED BY

Those without a high school diploma 38.1%

The 18-24 age group 72.5%

Those making at least $100,000 68.8%

The 65 and older age group 43.5%

Black individuals 53.6% Asian individuals 51.3% Latin individuals 50.7%

Those with private insurance 65.9%

overall, the suicide rates are higher amongst white males who are older as well. … Males will have died by suicide at a higher rate than females; however, females are more likely to … attempt suicide. And we are seeing a rise in suicide attempts by African American females and also from our children who identify as LGBTQ. WHAT ARE SOME BARRIERS TO ACCESSING CARE? So when we look at access to care, we want to look at what’s available … instead of quality. The second aspect we consider is of those providers, how many actually look like individuals who are seeking [care] back home? So we know that [Black, indigenous and people of color] members are less likely to seek help, even if it exists, because they may not have a provider who looks like them. … The other reasons that we have a lack of access to health care is insurance. … If you are underinsured, then you’re really limited in the scope of where you can go and receive [care], or even if you don’t have insurance [you’re] really limited. And how many geographical locations or communities oer free health care or have free health care clinics? And then, if you have Medicaid, you know, certain health care systems have a cap on how many Medicaid patients they will accept, you know, and so even having insurance may hinder your ability to receive care, because the providers may not accept those insurances. HOW HAS THE PERCEPTION OF MENTAL HEALTH CHANGED? If we do try to look at silver linings, our experiences of the pandemic has opened the door more in terms

White individuals 61.9%

MENTAL HEALTH CARE LOOK LIKE TWO YEARS INTO THE PANDEMIC? So the pandemic really has brought to light two primary issues. The rst one is how extensive the gaps in our health care systems are, and then the second—which people might not have been aware of—is how we lack the support and resources for addressing our youth and adolescents’ mental health. … And with that, what we have noticed is that there’s been an increase in the number of ER visits, especially amongst our youth and adolescents. … Since 2017, suicide has become the eighth leading cause of death for our children ages 5-11, and it is the second leading cause of death for our youth ages 10-24 since 2018. … So when we look at our health care providers, … what we have wit- nessed during the pandemic is higher, higher levels of empathy fatigue, … And so we have noticed that people are mass-exiting their places of employment, because they’re expe- riencing so much emotional distress, anxiety and depression. … We see long waitlists, because things have moved to telehealth. … What we also noticed when the pandemic hit was that there was a dramatic change in mental health assistance, and then also we saw an increase in mental health, emer- gency consultations and in-home care as well. WHAT POPULATIONS ARE HIT THE HARDEST BY THE PANDEMIC AS IT RELATES TO MENTAL HEALTH? We know that suicide rates are higher amongst males. And then also,

SOURCE: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF PLANNING AND EVALUATIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

WHEN THE PANDEMIC HIT, IT REALLY EXPOSED WHAT WE ARE LACKING IN OUR SYSTEM. ” REBECCA FARRELL, PROGRAM AND OUTREACH DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS, CENTRAL TEXAS

diagnostic criteria, characteristics of very individual lives. So depression may not look the same between two people, because it’s personal. … And then I like to share with people to remember our ABCs, … so being able to identify dierent types of strategies based on the letters of the alphabet. … Establish those routines; main- tain those routines. And then focus on what you can control, and spend time with your friends and family. Route yourself. Give yourself grace. And then I like to say, humor—let’s laugh. I think sometimes we forget to nd humor, to laugh. … … The other thing that they can do is contact … the closest [NAMI] al- iate. … We are a vital resource, and we provide resources and programs, education support and advocacy for free to those who participate, who partake in them. … And, nally, it’s OK to ask for help—to accept that it is OK to ask for help. And then it is OK to not be OK.

of being able to talk about mental health, about normalizing conversa- tions about mental health. … And then also, we’re beginning to talk about how mental health is really connected to our physical health. So being able to say mental health is health. … We are seeing more people wanting to learn about mental health conditions. … They want to have a better understand- ing of what they are experiencing internally, if they’re having mental health conditions. … If a loved one or friend or coworker is experiencing mental health conditions and is act- ing dierently, they want to have a better understanding and knowledge base of what is going on. SPEAKING OF SELFCARE, WHAT ARE SOME OTHER THINGS WE CAN DO IN OUR DAYTODAY LIVES? It’s important for us to understand how stress aects us, share similar

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HEIGHTS  RIVER OAKS  MONTROSE EDITION • JUNE 2022

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