Bellaire - Meyerland - West University Edition | June 2022

BELLAIRE MEYERLAND WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION 2022

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HEALTH CARE EDITION

VOLUME 4, ISSUE 2  JUNE 330, 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

250K

0

JAN. MARCH MAY JULY SEPT. NOV. 2020

JAN. MARCH MAY JULY SEPT. NOV. 2019

JAN. MARCH MAY JULY SEPT. 2021

TODO LIST

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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 20 BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & LAURA ROBB

Ramp closed at Loop 610, I69 intersection

TRANSPORTATION

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SPONSORED BY • Belmont Village Senior Living • St. Luke’s Health 2022 HEALTH CARE EDITION

MD Anderson unveils new cancer research center

LEADING THE WAY

SOURCE: MD ANDERSON COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER Approved for some patients across more than 20 kinds of cancers 1st immunotherapy research center in Texas

GUIDE

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BY GEORGE WIEBE

Ron Speidel was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2013. By 2015, following chemotherapy and surgery, the cancer had spread to the bone. With conventional treatment options exhausted, Speidel was told he had six months to live. In April 2015, Speidel was approved for immunotherapy clin- ical trials at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Cen- ter in the Texas Medical Center, where every 10 days over the CONTINUED ON 22

Researcher Dr. Raghu Kalluri works in the new Allison Lab for Immunology. (Courtesy MD Anderson Cancer Center)

DINING FEATURE

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BELLAIRE - MEYERLAND - WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • JUNE 2022

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THIS ISSUE

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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 more than 2.8 million residential mailboxes.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS MONTH

FROM JAY: Our June paper is our Health Care Edition, within which we cover a number of stories relevant to the industry, but one in particular that is very close to my heart. My dad is receiving immunotherapy in Massachusetts to combat cancer cells, a treatment unlike any previous known methods. We take a close look at the history of this groundbreaking step in the ght against cancer. 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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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • JUNE 2022

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon or renovating

wings and a glaze funnel cake. The eatery also oers beer, wine and soda. 713-702-1286. www.studwings.com COMING SOON 7 Hai Hospitality is preparing to open a new Loro Asian Smokehouse & Bar at 5333 Kirby Drive, Houston, north of Rice Village. Originally from Austin, Loro opened its rst Houston location in the Heights in February. The new Kirby loca- tion coming to the University Place area is scheduled for a summer 2023 opening. The Loro menu features the avors of Texas barbecue and Southeast Asian cuisine. www.loroeats.com 8 Lankford’s , the long-standing American and Tex-Mex diner in Montrose, is opening a new location in Bellaire. The 85-year-old restaurant’s new site will be located at 5200 Bissonnet St., Bellaire, within the Bissonnet Center. An opening is being planned for the fall, restaurant ocials conrmed. www.lankfordgrocery.weebly.com 9 Katy fried chicken eatery Urban Bird Hot Chicken has plans to open its third location this summer at 5406 Kirby Drive, Houston. The restaurant specializes in Nashville-style hot chicken and loaded fries. 346-428-1010. www.urbanbirdhotchicken.com 10 A luxury apartment building is in the works at the former site of the planned Ashby high-rise at 1717 Bissonnet St., Houston. El Paso-based Hunt Cos. in partnership with Dallas-based Street- Lights Residential announced plans for The Langley on May 2. The 20-story multifamily project will mirror The McK- enzie, a high-end apartment building in Dallas. The Langley will include 134 two- to three-bedroom apartments with units that range from 2,600-3,300 square feet, ocials said. The project will target long-term residents who are looking to make a move from larger single-family homes. Construction is slated for com- pletion in 2025. www.streetlightsres.com 11 Australia-inspired coee shop Blue- stone Lane will open in October in Rice Village at 2412 University Blvd., Hous- ton. The chain rst opened in New York City and can also be found on West 19th Street in the Heights. Menu items include

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HERMANN PARK

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FANNIN ST.

W. HOLCOMBE BLVD.

BELLAIRE BLVD.

288

RICEBLVD.

BERTNER AVE.

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S. BRAESWOOD BLVD.

KIRBY DR.

MAP NOT TO SCALE

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ENDICOTT LN.

MEYERLAND PLAZA

5 Top Fitness , the exercise equipment store, opened a new Rice Village location May 17 at 2501 Rice Blvd., Houston. The store oers a variety of home gym equip- ment, including strength equipment, cardio machines and gym accessories. Customers can visit the store to try out and get a feel for the equipment before buying while also getting advice from sta. Other Texas stores are in Dallas, Plano and Southlake. 713-485-6516. www.toptness.com 6 Stu’d Wings opened April 29 near the Ion District in Midtown at 401 Rich- mond 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

3 The rst Texas-based retail storefront for Blenders Eyewear opened April 27 in The Galleria mall at 5085 Westheimer Road, Ste. B3562, Houston. Entrepreneur Chase Fisher founded Blenders in San Diego. Customers can choose from pre- scription sunglasses and eyeglasses, ac- tive and sportswear sunglasses, oatable sunglasses, blue-light-blocking options and polarized sunglasses. Blenders also oers ski goggles, helmets, face masks and beanies. 346-293-8194. www.blenderseyewear.com 4 Knife manufacturer Zwilling J.A. Henckels opened a new location at The Galleria mall on May 11 at 5135 W. Ala- bama St., Houston. The chain’s rst loca- tion in the Houston area sells a variety of cutlery and kitchen necessities. The store is located on the second level across from Urban Outtters. 646-466-2556. www.zwilling.com

WILLOWBEND BLVD. option added to Rice Village. The eatery features an assortment of Middle Eastern foods, including hummus, kebab skewers and falafel. 281-612-3515. www.hamsahtx.com NOW OPEN 1 A new Israeli restaurant opened its doors May 11 at 5555 Morningside Drive, Houston. Hamsa is the latest dining 2 The newest location of sports and tness chain Dick’s Sporting Goods opened May 13 in Meyerland Plaza at 700 Meyerland Plaza, Houston. The store oers a variety of outdoor, health and wellness goods as well as tness apparel for men, women and children. The Pitts- burgh-based retailer is located at the former site of Bed Bath & Beyond, which

closed in 2020. 713-332-9397. www.dickssportinggoods.com

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & GEORGE WIEBE

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Barnes & Noble is closing after 28 years in Braeswood Place.

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER STAFF

FEATURED IMPACT CLOSING The Barnes & Noble located within Vanderbilt Square—at 3003 W. Holcombe Blvd., Houston, near the Bualo Speedway intersection—will close June 19. The closure resulted from a decision by the site’s landlord to not renew the store’s lease, according to Barnes & Noble store ocials. “We did not want to close the store,” said Janine Flannigan, Barnes & Noble director of store planning. “We had just been asked to leave.” The store is having a closing sale during which items are being sold for a 25% discount. Other Houston-area locations

of Barnes & Noble are in the River Oaks shopping center on West Grey Street and in the Town & Country Village. Community Impact Newspaper has reached out to Invesco, the property’s owner, for comment. 713-349-0050 www.barnesandnoble.com

Hamsa

The Langley

COURTESY HAMSA

COURTESY STREETLIGHTS RESIDENTIAL

could open in summer 2024. Construc- tion will begin in 2023 on 25,000 square feet of dining and retail space across several standalone buildings that will wrap around public plazas and expansive green spaces. The nal phase of the proj- ect—which includes another multifamily development with roughly 350 units—will begin as early as spring 2024 and wrap up in spring 2026. Barvin ocials said they want the retail elements to focus on spe- cialty food and beverage oerings that cater to the needs of the local communi- ty. www.barvin.com

smoothies; all-day breakfast options, such as avocado toast and burritos; lunch bowls and wraps; hot and cold coee; organic teas; juices; wine; beer; and cock- tails. www.shop.bluestonelane.com 12 Barvin, a Houston-based real estate investment company, announced April 20 plans for a new 10-acre mixed-use development at the corner of Stella Link Road and South Braeswood Boulevard. Construction is expected to begin in the fall on the rst phase of Stella & Braes , a 310-unit apartment community, which

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • JUNE 2022

TODO LIST

June events

COMPILED BY GEORGE WIEBE

The Children’s Museum Houston is hosting a weeklong celebration leading up to Independence Day. (Courtesy Houston Museum District) FEATURED EVENT Week of Independence at the Children’s Museum Houston The Children’s Museum Houston is throwing Kidpendence Week, ve days of games, crafts and activities leading up to Independence Day. The price of admission is $15 for children and adults, $14 for seniors and free for children under 1. JUNE 28JULY 02 Made in the Shade, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Coee Filter Fireworks, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Lady Liberty Crown, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Super Hero Soldier Mask, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. JULY 02 Captain America Meet and Greet, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 1500 Binz St., Houston 713-522-1138 www.cmhouston.org

JUNE 03

BE PART OF THE OPENING RECEPTION MOODY CENTER FOR THE ARTS

JUNE 1819

CELEBRATE JUNETEENTH EMANCIPATION PARK

Join the opening reception for Baseera Khan’s “Weight on History,” a multistyle artistic showcase exploring a variety of social issues through architecture, fashion, music and pop culture. The Texas-born artist’s work will be on display at the Moody Center until Aug. 27. 6-8 p.m. Free. Moody Center for the Arts, 6100 Main St., Houston. 713-348-2787. https://moody.rice.edu (Courtesy Moody Center)

At Emancipation Park, the city of Houston is celebrating the 150th annual Juneteenth. The event will feature musical performances and vendors selling food, drinks, clothes and accessories. Kids can enjoy the playground, face painting and rides. 4-10 p.m. Free. Emancipation Park, 3018 Emancipation Ave., Houston. 713-528-1872. www.epconservancy.org (Courtesy Emancipation Park Conservancy)

JUNE 11 18 & 25

Houston Concert Band directed by Chuck Throckmorton. 2-3 p.m. Free. 6104 Auden St., West University Place. 713-622-5895. www.westutx.gov 19 GO TO A CAR SHOW AT NRG One of the country’s largest car shows is coming to Houston. DJ Envy’s Drive Your Dreams Car Show will feature exotic and old-school cars along with monster trucks, amusement rides and a variety of vehicles. Noon-5 p.m. $19.99- $1,000. NRG Park, 1 Fannin St., Houston. 832-667-1400. www.nrgpark.com 24 BECOME A PIRATE The Bellaire Family Aquatic Center invites you to join in Pirate Adventure Day. The event includes a scavenger hunt with prizes for participants. Noon-6 p.m. Free (age 2 and under), $7 (age 60 and older), $8 (ages 3-59). Bellaire Family Aquatic Center, 7001 Fifth St., Bellaire. 713-662-8222. www.bellairetx.gov 24 LISTEN TO MUSIC IN THE PARK The Houston Latin American Chamber Orchestra will perform

“Romance,” a concert spotlighting the romantic music and dance of Latin America. Glenn Garrido will conduct 16 musicians performing Bachata, Bolero, Cha-Cha-Cha, Danzón, Ranchera and Tango. 10 a.m. Free. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston. 832-487-7102. www.milleroutdoortheatre.com 25 CELEBRATE WITH PRIDE The 44th annual Houston Pride LGBT+ Celebration is coming to the city’s center. The festival and parade, as part of LGBT Pride Month, will have a variety of musical acts, DJs and vendors. Noon- 10 p.m. $4-$225. City Hall, 901 Bagby St., Houston. www.pridehouston365.org 30 EXPERIENCE MEXICAN CULINARY CULTURE Arnaldo Richards’ Picos, a Mexican eatery that has served Houston for decades, is holding a foodie showcase event. Attendees will be served a curated selection of Mexican cuisine made with seasonal ingredients. 6-8:30 p.m. $85. Arnaldo Richards’ Picos, 3601 Kirby Drive, Houston. 832-831-9940. www.picos.net

ENJOY THE THEATER Houston’s Main Street Theater will perform “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” based on the 1968 lm. The musical is a high-ying, energetic show for the whole family. 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. $20-$30. Main Street Theater, 3400 Main St., Houston. 713-524-6706. The Nature Discovery Center hosts Family Nature Night, featuring a nature walk through the park and arts and crafts. Attendees can learn about “creepy crawlies” with the center’s head www.mainstreettheater.com 15 SPEND THE NIGHT naturalist. 6:30-8 p.m. $12. Nature Discovery Center, 7112 Newcastle St., Bellaire. 713-667-6550. www.naturediscoverycenter.org 19 ENJOY TUNES West University Place hosts a community concert in the heart of the city. Live music will be provided by the

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Find more or submit Bellaire-Meyerland-West University events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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

COMPILED BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & SOFIA GONZALEZ

UPCOMING PROJECTS

RICE BLVD.

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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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF MAY 31. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT BMWNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. tion preparation work in January, the Houston City Council approved an ordinance May 10 authorizing the city to acquire 11 parcels needed for a project to improve a section of Uni- versity Boulevard between Kirby and Morningside drives. The parcels can be obtained through dedication, pur- chase or condemnation. The project is intended to make the corridor safer and more walkable while also improv- ing drainage and providing more space for residents. Timeline: summer 2023-TBD Cost: $7.1 million Funding source: city of Houston University Boulevard paving and drainage After approving the start of construc-

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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.



 







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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • JUNE 2022

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY & COUNTY

News from Bellaire & West University Place

COMPILED BY GEORGE WIEBE

CITY HIGHLIGHTS WEST UNIVERSITY PLACE The nal acceptance of the Virtual Gate Project was unanimously approved by West University Place City Council on May 23 after contractor Minuteman Security Technologies completed the project. The $4.5 million security camera and license plate recognition system that has been installed around the city is intended as a crime deterrent. The project involved installing cameras at 40 intersections. As of press time, a ribbon cutting was scheduled for June 1. Bellaire City Council will meet at 6 p.m. June 6 at 7008 S. Rice Ave., Bellaire. Meetings are streamed at www.bellairetx.gov. West University Place City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. June 13 at 3800 University Blvd., Houston. Meetings are available via teleconference. Find details at www.westutx.gov. 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. MEETINGS WE COVER

Design contract approved for public works campus WEST UNIVERSITY PLACE An ordinance granting an architectural and engineering design contract was approved by the West University Place City Council on May 9 for a new public works campus at the southwest corner of Westpark Drive and Dincans Street. Part of the ordinance included amending the city’s scal year 2021-22 budget, allocating $662,000 toward design costs. The new campus is part of the city’s facili- ties master plan, which kicked o in June 2021. The design rm, Pierce Goodwin Alexander & Linville Inc., was hired to work on the master plan after the city hosted town hall meetings in April to garner feedback. Designs are estimated to be complete at the end of this year, and construction could begin in summer 2023.

Bellaire approves wage increase for city employees BELLAIRE On May 16, the Bellaire City Council approved $62,950 in midyear wage increases for some part-time and full-time city employees to address high turnover rates across departments. The salary step increase targets employees who have not moved up to a higher pay level since signing on to work for the city, ocials said. “Within our salary plan, we have assigned a value for that position that’s in that pay range,” Human Resources Manager Lori Remington told council. “From that, we’ve developed steps to progress the employees.” The city is looking to hire police ocers; lifeguards; aquatic and recreation aides; and a reghter para- medic, among other unlled roles. “I want this document to serve as a communication directly to our sta on behalf of our residents that we support you, we hear you, and we understand there is an increasingly competitive marketplace,” Bellaire Mayor Andrew Friedberg said during the meeting. City sta most recently received a cost-of-living adjustment in October. The latest wage increase was done as part of a city retention program, interim City Manager Deacon Tittel said. Ocials will develop a retention plan to submit with the city’s scal year 2022- 23 budget that will be presented in July, he said.

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BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • JUNE 2022

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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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13

BELLAIRE  MEYERLAND  WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • JUNE 2022

Paid Advertisement

MEN’S HEALTH: SYMPTOMS NOT TO IGNORE JUNE IS NATIONAL MEN’S HEALTH MONTH

‘It’s nothing.” That’s the classic retort you hear when you suggest that the man in your life see a doctor for symptoms he’s having. But it could be something—something which could endanger his health and interfere with his quality of life. Minor complaints needn’t worsen, especially since many of the latest treatments at Memorial Hermann can be minimally or even noninvasive. So, here’s how to get him to see a physician for some common health complaints. FATIGUE, HEAVY SNORING Symptoms: He gasps, chokes or even stops breathing while dozing. Likely culprit: He may suffer from reflux, the upward surge of acid from the stomach via the esophagus to the throat, says Brett Solomon, MD, general surgeon affiliated with Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital. Habitual heartburn may be gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which erodes and inflames the esophageal lining and can lead to Barrett’s esophagus, a condition which boosts cancer risk, Dr. Solomon says. “White men over 50—especially those with round bellies and who smoke or drink—are more vulnerable.” Treatment options: If he is under 50 and over-the-counter antacids don’t correct the

symptoms, he may be prescribed acid- suppressing drugs called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). He’ll also be discouraged from having heavy evening meals. If those measures don’t work, an upper endoscopy is performed which sends a narrow tube with a camera to the stomach and upper intestines to rule out ulcers or inflammation. “The gastroenterologist also can send down tools through the endoscope to seal bleeding vessels and do biopsies,” Dr. Solomon says. If he is over 50, the physician may do an endoscopy before prescribing medication. To confirm GERD, the doctor can do another procedure, in which a tiny acid- or pH-measuring probe (Bravo capsule) is attached to the lower esophagus. It comes with a monitor, whose buttons the patient presses when symptomatic. Bravo stays attached for 4 days, then passes through the digestive tract. Reflux can be cut down by losing weight and stopping smoking and drinking. If not, he may need surgery to repair the valve (or sphincter) that serves as a flapping door between the esophagus and stomach. The operation, fundoplication, strengthens the flap by wrapping the top of the stomach around the lower esophagus. FREQUENT BATHROOM BREAKS Symptoms: He urinates urgently, slowly

and with difficulty. Likely culprit: An enlarged prostate (benign prostate hyperplasia) can press upward on the bladder or curb urine flow by impeding the urinary tract as it moves through the prostate, says Brenton Armstrong, MD, urologist affiliated with Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital. “Eventually the obstruction may lead to bladder dysfunction, inability to urinate and urinary tract infections. It also can progress to kidney (renal) failure,” Dr. Armstrong says. Treatment options: Medications can shrink the gland or relax the prostatic tissue, making it easier to urinate. Urologists can perform minimally invasive procedures to ease the flow, Dr. Armstrong says. The UroLift® System procedure inserts tiny implants to separate prostate lobes, which lessens pressure on the urethra. Some treatments must be performed in the hospital. Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) uses heated electrodes or a laser to take out the central part of the prostate. Surgeons also can cut through the abdomen to do a simple prostatectomy, in which they remove the interior tissue of super-sized glands. LARGE WAISTLINE Symptoms: He snores loudly, urinates often and has heartburn. Likely culprit: Obesity. His organs are

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

surrounded by visceral fat and crammed into his tummy—and that’s bad news. “Obesity is a major killer because it’s linked to diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and other grave diseases,” says Peter Walker, MD, an assistant professor of surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston and bariatric surgeon affiliated with Memorial Hermann. “Yet men don’t address their weight till their pain and medical problems are unbearable.” Treatment options: According to Dr. Walker, he’s got to step up his physical activity, and not only peel off pounds but keep them off. For eligible candidates, bariatric surgery can lead to faster and perpetual weight loss. The minimally invasive surgery resolves not just obesity, but also many of the above

issues. Yet only 1 percent of those eligible get the operation. “And of those, just one of five are men,” Dr. Walker says, “even though they need it as much as women do.” According to Dr. Walker, gastric bypass creates a pinky-sized pouch from the top of the stomach and connects it to the small intestine. Gastric sleeve, also called sleeve gastrectomy, cuts down your stomach by 70 percent till it’s the size of a banana “People can eat very little, yet they feel full,” he says. “Once men lose the weight, their quality of life is so much better.” MAINTENANCE Why it’s needed: His body is more complex than his car, but just like it, he needs regular checkups and maintenance. Providing those visits is his primary care physician (PCP),

says Dhiekson Silva, MD, family medicine physician with Memorial Hermann Medical Group Southwest. “If a male has health issues, the PCP often is the first to recognize them. We can prescribe or adjust medications and decide what treatments are right,” he says. Treatment options: He should have an annual physical at least yearly to measure blood pressure, height and weight, cholesterol, blood sugar and other key body metrics. His doctor may urge other tests or health screenings, based on his family or personal health history. It’s never too late to rev up for better health. Regular tune-ups will spare him from major mishaps down the road. “Screenings can discover a problem early and help stop it from worsening,” Dr. Silva says.

Brett Solomon, MD General Surgeon

Brenton Armstrong, MD Urologist

Peter Walker, DO Bariatric Surgeon

Dhiekson Silva, MD Family Medicine Physician

Learn more about men’s health and recommended screenings by age at memorialhermann.org/menshealth

Advancing health. Personalizing care.

15

BELLAIRE - MEYERLAND - WEST UNIVERSITY EDITION • JUNE 2022

HOSPITALS

News and information on local hospitals in Houston

COMPILED BY COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER STAFF

NICU LEVEL

Houston 1 Harris Health System Ben Taub Hospital

LEVEL I • Well nursery

• Can care for mothers, infants at 35-plus weeks of gestation with routine perinatal problems • Anesthesiology, lab, radiology, ultrasonography, blood bank services and pharmacist available LEVEL II • Specialty care nursery • Can care for mothers, infants at 32-plus weeks of gestation with problems to be resolved rapidly • In addition to Level I requirements, dietician, and physical and respiratory therapists available LEVEL III • Neonatal intensive care unit • Can care for mothers, infants of all gestational ages with mild to critical illnesses • Can provide consultation for pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists; can perform major pediatric surgery on-site LEVEL IV • Advanced NICU • Can care for mothers, infants of all gestational ages as well as the most complex, critically ill infants • Comprehensive pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists on-site; can perform major surgeries, including repair of complex conditions

Trauma level: I NICU level: III Number of beds: 440

Total number of employees: 3,440 Total number of sta openings: 305 1504 Taub Loop, Houston 7138732000 www.harrishealth.org 2 HCA Houston Healthcare

COURTESY HOUSTON METHODIST HOSPITAL

Medical Center Trauma level: N/A NICU level: N/A Number of beds: 359 Total number of employees: 600 Total number of sta openings: Hospital did not provide information. 1313 Hermann Drive, Houston 7135275000 www.hcahoustonhealthcare.com/ medical-center 3 Houston Methodist Hospital Trauma level: N/A NICU level: II Number of beds: 946 Total number of employees: 8,428 Total number of sta openings: 1,668 (sta), 857 (clinical) 6565 Fannin St., Houston 7137903311 www.houstonmethodist.org/ texas-medical-center 4 Kindred Hospital Houston Medical Center Trauma level: N/A NICU level: N/A Number of beds: 116 Total number of employees: Hospital did not provide information. Total number of sta openings: Hospital did

HOSPITAL UPDATES Houston Methodist Hospital

6621 Fannin St., Houston 8328241000 www.texaschildrens.org 9 Texas Orthopedic Hospital Trauma level: N/A NICU level: N/A Number of beds: 49 Total number of employees: 450 Total number of sta openings: Hospital did not provide information. 7410 S. Main St., Houston 7137998600 www.texasorthopedic.com 10 The Woman’s Hospital of Texas Trauma level: N/A (maternal designation IV) NICU level: IV Number of beds: 419 Total number of employees: 1,600 Total number of sta openings: Hospital did Texas Children’s Hospital A $201 million expansion is underway at the Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women that will transform a former Baylor Clinic building into part of the Texas Children’s campus. The building will be connected to the pavilion by a sky bridge. The rst phase involves relocating the Women’s Assessment Center from the 11th oor of the Pavilion for Women to the rst oor and is nearing completion. Following phases will involve relocating outpatient OB-GYN practices to the new tower. The 190,000-square-foot expansion will be completed in 2024. St. Luke’s Hospital - Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center The forthcoming 12-story O’Quinn Medical Tower will serve as the health system’s new clinical home for the Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center. The center will oer radiation therapy and other services as well as multiple specialized oncology clinics, an infusion center and outpatient services. The tower will also be part of the McNair Campus, which will eventually include another hospital bed tower and ambulatory care center. The project will be completed in 2023.

A new cell therapy lab opened at the Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center in late February as part of the hospital’s outpatient center at 6445 Main St., Houston. Called the Ann Kimball & John W. Johnson Center for Cellular Therapeutics, the new 5,000-square-foot lab space will be used for research and development, according to a March 29 news release. Cellular therapy is a newer form of treatment to combat a range of diseases, including heart disease, cancer and various neurological disorders. The center was funded with a gift from philanthropists Ann Kimball and John Johnson, after whom the center is named. Methodist also began site preparation in April for a 26-story hospital tower in the Texas Medical Center that will house a new emergency department that will be double in size and have nearly 400 patient beds. The $1.4 billion project will begin a phased opening in 2027. The tower will replace Methodist’s Main building, which will be demolished.

TRAUMA LEVEL

LEVEL I • Highest level of care • Full range of specialists, equipment in-house 24/7 • Oer teaching, research components LEVEL II

not provide information 6441 Main St., Houston 7137900500 www.kindredhealthcare.com 5 Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital Trauma level: IV NICU level: III Number of beds: 543

6411 Fannin St., Houston 7137044000

www.memorialhermann.org/ locations/texas-medical-center 7 St. Luke’s Hospital - Baylor St. Luke’s

Medical Center Trauma level: N/A NICU level: N/A Number of beds: 1,049

• Oer specialists on call 24/7 • Can transfer to Level I facilities • No research component required LEVEL III • Oer resources for emergency surgery, intensive care • May have to transfer to Level I and II centers LEVEL IV • Provide initial evaluation, stabilization, diagnostic capabilities • Will likely have to transfer to higher-level trauma center

Total number of employees: 2,100 Total number of sta openings: 346 7600 Beechnut St., Houston 7134565000 www.memorialhermann.org/ locations/southwest 6 Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital Trauma level: I NICU level: IV Number of beds: 1,246 Total number of employees: Hospital did not provide information. Total number of sta openings: 1,063

Total number of employees: 2,871 Total number of sta openings: 643 6720 Bertner Ave., Houston 8323551000 www.stlukeshealth.org/locations/ baylor-st-lukes-medical-center 8 Texas Children’s Hospital

Trauma level: I NICU level: IV Number of beds: 737 Total number of employees: Hospital did not provide information. Total number of sta openings: Hospital did not provide information.

not provide information. 7600 Fannin St., Houston 7137901234 www.womanshospital.com

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

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