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What’s holding you back from considering a joint replacement?


Prepare for Childbirth

WITH CONFIDENCE PONDERING PREGNANCY EVENT Please join us on Thursday, June 21, at 6 p.m. for an expert panel discussion about preparing for a healthy pregnancy. Topics including fertility, pregnancy after age 35, how to have a healthy pregnancy and more. Please visit pondering-sl or call 281.205.4514 to register for this event.


etting ready for the birth of a child is an exciting and busy time. Bringing home a new baby also brings a whirlwind of change to your life. It can also be overwhelming due to the many choices you have to make. Which car seat has the best safety rating? Should you breastfeed or use formula? Where should you deliver your baby? Dr. Shaeequa Although you’ll have to navigate a wide range Dasnadi of decisions before and after your baby arrives, your choice about where to deliver should give you confidence and peace of mind.


COMMUNITY BABY SHOWER Expecting and new moms (including their babies and partners) are invited to join us for Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s annual Community Baby Shower from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 2. We will have demonstrations on how to safely use baby carriers and presentations on safe sleeping practices. Lactation consultants from the Childbirth Center will be available to talk one-on-one with moms who need support with breastfeeding. For more information, visit babyshower-sl or call 281.205.4514.

Tour the Childbirth Center

Come see our facility and meet our dedicated nursing staff. We’re here to help you feel prepared and comfortable every step of the way. To schedule a tour, visit or call 281.205.4514. Tours are provided on Saturdays and Sundays at 4 p.m.


As soon as a woman in labor enters the Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at Sugar Land, she’ll be surrounded by a caring and skilled nursing team who will guide her every step of the way. “Our nurses are there to support you with your birth plan, whether it’s a natural birth process, managing pain with an epidural or other birthing options,” said Cristina Martin, MSN, RN, RNC-OB, director of the Childbirth Center. “We take time to listen and understand your expectations for your childbirth experience, and we respect the choices you make.”


After your baby is born, a transition nurse cares for your baby for the first two hours and supports bonding through breastfeeding and skin to skin. “If your baby needs additional support, we have a NICU charge nurse, neonatal nurse practitioner and neonatologist available around the clock,” Martin said. The Childbirth Center has a family-centered approach, which means mom and baby can be cared for together, allowing the family time to bond. “This approach to care encourages the rooming-in process and skin-to-skin contact after birth,” Martin explained. In many cases, moms need help getting started with breastfeeding, including or accessing problems that arise. “We have licensed lactation consultants who provide breastfeeding support 24/7 for moms who need help,” Martin added.

SPECIALIZED CARE IN THE NICU The level II NICU at the Childbirth Center is equipped to care for newborns 32 weeks and older

weighing about 3 pounds or more. “We take care of babies who need support with breathing, feeding, maintaining body temperature, maintaining blood sugar levels and those who need treatment for infection,” said Dr. Shaeequa Dasnadi, medical director of neonatology at Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at Sugar Land. With an on-site NICU, there’s a support team to provide your baby the best care possible by intervening immediately if any problems arise. In more complex cases, NICU babies are stabilized here and then transferred to Texas Children’s Hospital. “Our staff collaborates with Texas Children’s, so it’s easy for us to coordinate additional services if needed,” added Amy Cheng, RN, RNC-LRN, nurse manager of the NICU. Keeping parents informed of progress is always a top priority. “With hourly bedside rounds, we talk through baby’s care with parents so we can provide updates and answer all of your questions,” Dasnadi said. In addition, having a neonatal nurse practitioner available 24/7 adds to the deep level of staff expertise available around the clock. “Not every level II NICU has 24/7 neonatal nurse practitioners,” Martin noted.


When you feel comfortable and safe, you’re also in a stronger position to take control of your birth experience. “For many moms, being close to home instead of traveling outside the community reduces stress and worry so they can focus on what’s most important,” Martin said. “For babies in the NICU, research has shown that having parents able to visit on a daily basis improves care for the baby and shortens the length of stay. Our goal is to provide the best care in our community so babies can stay close to home and their parents or family,” Dasnadi said.

The Childbirth Center has open visiting hours, allowing immediate family, including siblings, to visit any time of the day or night.


Celebrating Cancer Survivors

GOOD NEWS About Cancer


he first Sunday in June is National Cancer Survivors Day. For those who have faced cancer and their loved ones, there are many reasons to celebrate — an early diagnosis, excellent cancer care, completion of treatment and reclaiming a normal lifestyle. If you have just received a cancer diagnosis, you have many reasons to be hopeful. “Prevention, Dr. Jorge early detection, innovative treatment options Darcourt and follow-up care are translating into more lives saved,” said Dr. Jorge Darcourt, a board-certified hematologistoncologist with Houston Methodist Cancer Center at Sugar Land. According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 15 million Americans are cancer survivors and that number is expected to grow.


Surviving successfully hinges on several key steps. “If you or a family member are a cancer survivor, keep all follow-up medical appointments your doctor recommends. This includes scheduled screenings for other cancers — not just the one you recently overcame,” Darcourt said. You may also benefit from joining a cancer survivors support group to assist with your physical, emotional and ongoing health concerns. Family and friends can provide invaluable social support, as well. Your eating, exercise and sleeping habits may require some adjustments. For example, if cancer treatments affected your sense of taste, you may be tempted to binge on favorite snacks and junk food once your appetite is back. Instead, work your way toward a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits, and choose lean proteins and healthy fats. Physical activity also plays a vital role in your postcancer recovery. Exercise boosts your mood, lessens fatigue and helps you sleep better. Anyone living with a personal history of cancer — from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life — is a cancer survivor, according to the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation.® “Cancer survivorship changes lives and with it comes an opportunity for new growth. Continue sharing your emotions with loved ones, friends, counselors and other survivors,” Darcourt added.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Jorge Darcourt at Houston Methodist Cancer Center at Sugar Land, call 281.276.5200.


CANCER SURVIVORSHIP PROGRAMS We understand that cancer care extends beyond patients’ physical needs. That’s why we offer complimentary programs to promote healing, discussion and camaraderie among local cancer survivors.

Thriving Through Creative Arts — offers survivors a chance to relax and express themselves through art — a proven approach helps patients cope with the aftermath of cancer and cancer treatment that meets every first Thursday of the month.

Life in Motion — designed to improve balance, coordination and agility, along with social and emotional health that meets every second Tuesday of the month.

Music4Life — designed to improve muscle relaxation, mood management and expression of emotions, meeting every fourth Thursday.

Massage — the benefits of massage include alleviation of stress, pain and other side effects when experienced as a result of cancer and its treatments. This service will be provided on a limited basis for cancer survivors. Survivors should call Houston Methodist Wellness Services and mention the cancer survivor program provided through Houston Methodist Sugar Land at 713.441.5980. For more information, contact Melissa De Los Santos at or call 281.672.8585. To register for programs, visit events or call 281.205.4514. Please note that email is not a secure means to communicate confidential or health-related information, including Social Security number, date of birth, financial information, etc.


Time: 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Location: Sugar Land Marriott Town Square Address: 16090 City Walk, Sugar Land, TX 77479 Houston Methodist Cancer Center at Sugar Land welcomes local cancer survivors and a guest to join us for a celebration and luncheon with keynote speaker, Sally Baskey and her popular character Ida Mae Fuddpucker. Register at survivorluncheon-sl or call 281.205.4514.

CONCUSSION: Tackling a Tough Issue


he bumps, tumbles and falls of summer are a normal part of growing up. But when a severe blow moves the brain within the skull, it can cause a concussion, a temporary loss of normal brain function. “Young athletes are particularly susceptible to concussions, and they may take longer than adults to recover. The key to a quick and Dr. Nish Shah complete recuperation is prompt medical attention,” said Dr. Nish Shah, a board-certified, primary care sports medicine doctor with Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at Sugar Land. Early diagnosis helps ensure that the brain has time to heal properly. A second head injury sustained before the brain has fully healed can be severe, sometimes causing swelling of the brain and long-term disability. In addition, having one concussion increases the odds of sustaining a second concussion. Repeated head injuries can cause serious problems, including headaches and chronic difficulty concentrating, remembering and even balancing.


You don’t need to lose consciousness to have a concussion. “Symptoms of a concussion often appear right away, but may also emerge after a victim returns to normal activities,” Shah said. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warning signs usually fall into four categories, see below:



Emotional/ Mood Sleep

 ifficulty thinking clearly or D concentrating Difficulty remembering new information Feeling slowed down  alance problems B Dizziness Feeling tired, having no energy Fuzzy or blurry vision Headache Nausea or vomiting Sensitivity to noise or light Irritability More emotional Nervousness or anxiety Sadness  leeping more or less than usual S Trouble falling asleep

“If a young athlete experiences one or more of these symptoms after a blow to the head, he or she should stay out of play until a trained health care professional can assess his or her condition,” Shah explained.


The main course of treatment for a concussion is often physical and mental rest until symptoms subside. Children may need to stay home from school with a gradual return to normal activities. Student athletes often follow a five-step process for returning to play: baseline (no concussion symptoms for at least 24 hours), light aerobic exercise, moderate exercise, noncontact exercise, practice and finally, return to competition. “If you have questions about concussion symptoms, treatment or prevention, talk with your doctor,” Shah said.

STUDENT PHYSICALS When: Saturday, July 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Location: Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at Sugar Land Address: 16811 Southwest Fwy., Sugar Land, TX 77479 Extracurricular preparticipation physicals will be available for all students ages 12-18. Cost is $20 (cash only).* Orthopedic, sports medicine and cardiology specialists will be on-site to provide additional clearance as needed. For more information, visit physicals-sl or call 281.275.0447. * Proceeds generated from the physicals are donated back to the athletic training program of the school the student attends.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Nish Shah, or another specialist, at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, visit or call 281.690.4678.


BREAKING THE BARRIERS TO JOINT REPLACEMENT What’s holding you back from considering a joint replacement?


f you’ve been living with chronic joint pain for months or years — making it difficult to move about easily or even walk normally — you may be keeping a running list of reasons in your Dr. Carl Hicks head why you haven’t had joint replacement surgery. Most of these are unnecessary barriers because this highly common surgery usually improves patients’ lives and allows them to resume their favorite activities without pain, according to Dr. Carl Hicks, a board-certified, joint replacement surgeon at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at Sugar Land. More than 7 million Americans are living with an artificial knee or hip, the two joints most often replaced through surgery, according to the National Institutes of Health. “At Houston Methodist, orthopedic surgeons perform over 4,000 joint replacements each year, predominantly knees, hips and shoulders. This significant volume translates into high levels of experience and success rates,” Hicks said. “Joint replacement surgery is a quality of life improvement of modern medicine,” Hicks added. “It gets people back to their lives doing the things they want to do and may have taken for granted. That’s good for society, for the workforce and for patients’ quality of life.”


Affecting 1 in 5 Americans, arthritis is typically the culprit in causing joints to become so stiff, tender and painful that joint replacement surgery is considered.

GET RELIEF FROM YOUR JOINT PAIN At Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at Sugar Land, we offer a full spectrum of services, from conservative, nonsurgical treatment options to the most advanced surgical techniques, which include: Physical therapy for arthritic knees Minimally invasive knee replacement Advanced techniques to minimize postoperative discomfort and accelerate recovery Partial knee replacement Complex joint revision surgery Knee-preservation surgery

Either the usual “wear and tear” type of arthritis (osteoarthritis) is at play, or so-called traumatic arthritis brought on by an injury that makes the joint increasingly unstable over decades. But the resulting pain can be so pervasive and excruciating that nonsurgical measures meant to manage it — such as pain medications and creams, exercise, physical therapy, bracing the joint and steroids or other injections — provide only temporary relief, if at all.


“By the time people get to a conversation about joint replacement, they have pain on a daily basis and it’s occupying a disproportionate part of their lives,” Hicks explained. “It’s the kind of pain that leads them to become less active, whether athletically or socially, and can include everything from going grocery shopping to going to church, being able to prepare their own meals or even being able to walk outside.” “It basically narrows their lives and limits their movement,” he added. “A lot of people get to the point where mentally, the pain becomes such a big part of their lives they become unhappy.”


While many would say their joint pain is difficult and debilitating, surgery is often viewed as an absolute last resort. Here, Hicks debunks the most common misconceptions.

Short-term discomfort from surgery beats a lifetime of debilitating pain.

For every person who says joint replacement is a miserable procedure, many more have said they’re glad they had it done, and the majority of their pain is now gone. We’re also able to better control patients’ pain before, during and after surgery with new medications and by using older medications a bit differently, depending on the patient’s needs.

Recovery doesn’t take as long as it used to.

Improvements in surgical techniques and technology have reduced recovery time making it more efficient, predictable and generally less painful. This enables a more rapid return to function. Many patients

are concerned they won’t get back to work in a timely manner, but national and international data show they usually return to their jobs within six weeks.

Most insurances cover it.

While insurance plans vary, joint replacement is one of the most established procedures in the United States, meaning reimbursement isn’t often a problem regardless of age.

Newer technology means longer lasting artificial joints.

As technology improves, joint durability continues to improve as well. An artificial joint probably has a life expectancy that matches the patient’s most of the time, and most who receive one will never need another. An artificial joint used in joint replacement surgery can be made of plastic, metal and/or ceramic, according to Hicks.


Regardless of what misconceptions may hold them back, most patients who need joint replacement typically reach the point where they’re ready to do it. “It’s not uncommon for a patient to be ready to commit to joint replacement within a year or so of an arthritis diagnosis,” Hicks said. “There’s not necessarily a medical rush for this, no time frame where a patient’s outcome will be sacrificed as a result of waiting. However, the decision to proceed with joint replacement — sooner than later — will eliminate the pain and suffering of a prolonged waiting period. “At the last post-op visit after joint replacement surgery, I commonly hear ‘I wish I had done this sooner.’”

JOINT PAIN SEMINAR Considering Joint Replacement Surgery? To schedule an appointment with one of our joint specialists at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at Sugar Land, visit orthopedics-sl or call 281.690.4678.

Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. Brazos Pavilion Conference Center Is chronic joint pain slowing you down? From diagnosis to rehabilitation, Dr. Nader Ayub and Dr. Nish Shah, primary care sports medicine doctors at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at Sugar Land, will discuss the latest medical advances to help you get back to the active life you enjoy. To register, visit or call 281.205.4514.


Connecting You with

CARE NAVIGATION at the Neuroscience & Spine Center Schedule an Appointment

Having a care navigator can ease your worries, provide expedited appointments and help you move forward with confidence. Request an appointment with a specialist at the Houston Methodist Neuroscience & Spine Center at Sugar Land online at neuro-sl or call 281.205.4662.


f you or a loved one experience pain, headaches or other troubling symptoms, identifying their root cause can present a challenge. You’re not alone. When it comes to Maureen neurological conditions, Lall, PhD, there’s not always a clear RN, FNP-BC, path to diagnosis and COHN-S treatment. You may need multiple medical tests and appointments along the way. Managing your care can be overwhelming at times, especially if you’re not sure where to start or who can answer your questions.



Houston Methodist Neuroscience & Spine Center at Sugar Land features a unique patient care navigation service, designed to help patients receive the complete care they need from diagnosis and treatment through rehabilitation services — all in one convenient location. Your first point of contact is a care navigator who helps patients get going in the right direction. Maureen Lall, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, COHN-S, serves as the director for the center, guiding patients who are dealing with neurological conditions every step of the way. Lall, working in collaboration with

CARE FOR THESE NEUROLOGICAL CONDITIONS Our team of neurosurgeons, neurologists, orthopedic spine surgeons, therapists and interventional pain specialists treat a variety of disorders, including: Alzheimer’s and memory disorders Myasthenia gravis Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Neuromuscular disorders

Back and neck pain

Numbness and tingling

Brain and spinal tumors Dizziness

P  arkinson’s disease and movement disorders

Epilepsy and seizures

Peripheral neuropathy

Headaches and migraines

Sleep disorders

Multiple sclerosis (MS)


Muscle and nerve injuries

Vision problems

Muscular atrophy

Neuroscience Program Coordinator, Dave Graves, assists patients in scheduling appointments with the appropriate specialist based on their symptoms. The care navigators work behind the scenes to facilitate communication and coordination between the various physician specialists, who work as a team to deliver the best possible care for patients.


“We offer expedited appointments, including second opinions, with our highly regarded specialists,” Lall said. “We work hard to ensure that every patient who needs to see a specialist can get an appointment

within five business days. Patients are led through a process of assessment and treatment ranging from non-pharmacologic intervention to advanced medical and surgical management.” A multidisciplinary team of physicians and health care professionals provide a full range of health care services, including physical, occupational and speech therapy, diagnostic imaging, neurological management and interventional pain care. When necessary, surgery tailored to the patient’s unique condition is available from skilled orthopedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons. “We are fortunate to have a number of knowledgeable, highly trained specialists in the Neuroscience & Spine Center, which enables us to utilize a multidisciplinary approach to patient care,” Lall said. “My role is to help the patient easily navigate that process. At the same time, I help the physicians share information and ideas that can lead to better outcomes for our patients.” If your primary doctor referred you to the center, Lall makes it a priority to communicate with your doctor about your treatment plan.


Because every patient has unique needs, the role of a patient care navigator varies from day to day. The navigation team provides assistance and support wherever they can, working directly with patients and their family members to ensure that questions are answered and treatments are on track. Neurological conditions of the brain and spine impact patients and their loved ones in a variety of ways. For those who are struggling with activities of daily living, Lall helps connect patients and their families with the specialists and resources they need to manage their symptoms and improve quality of life. “Having access to needed services within the community is important to ensuring that patients maintain independence and are able to take advantage of all available resources,” Lall said. “Being able to stay in the community for care means a great deal to our patients. Many of our patients have trusted Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital for years, and they are pleased to learn that we offer the most sophisticated and advanced care possible close to home.”



for Nonhealing Wounds

F Dr. Timothy Oppermann

or people living with diabetes, even the smallest scrape can lead to potentially dangerous circumstances. High blood sugar can damage nerves, which may cause numbness in the feet and legs, and lead to a narrowing and hardening of blood vessels, which can result in less oxygen being circulated throughout the body to aid in healing. If you have a wound that doesn’t heal properly, early treatment can help you get back on your feet. The Houston Methodist Wound Care Program at Sugar Land uses a multidisciplinary approach for treating wounds that won’t heal.


Dr. Timothy Oppermann, board-certified general surgeon with Houston Methodist Surgical Associates, encourages patients to take a Dr. Michael proactive approach. “Diabetes accounts for about Yaakovian 60 percent of lower limb amputations not related to injury in adults, clearly illustrating the importance for diabetic patients to closely monitor their health and take quick action to provide the proper care to even the smallest wound, particularly in the feet,” Oppermann said. Warning signs of a chronic, nonhealing wound include: Persistent pain in the area around the wound Discoloration of the wound’s edges Increased drainage from the wound site Redness or swelling around or spreading away from the wound


The program’s doctors and nurses are certified in wound care medicine, and work with patients and their primary care team to monitor, manage and treat wounds with the most advanced treatments available, including compression wraps, antimicrobial dressings, bioengineered skin substitutes and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). The program’s RN case managers bring exceptional care and compassion to their roles. Dr. Michael Yaakovian, board-certified general surgeon with Houston Methodist Surgical Associates, treats patients with diabetic foot problems and other nonhealing wounds. “Hyperbaric therapy supplies oxygen under pressure that supersaturates the red blood cells and plasma with oxygen, so when blood is supplied to the area of the wound, these supercharged blood cells help repair the wound and kill the infection, leading to the generation of new blood vessels and tissue growth,” Yaakovian explained.


5 SELF-CARE TIPS For people with diabetes, managing wounds to prevent complications requires care and diligence. Take good care of your feet with the following tips:

1 Inspect and wash feet daily. With poor

sensation, there may be the presence of wounds that could go unnoticed.

2 Keep wounds clean and dry to reduce risk of infection.

3 File your toe nails. Clipping may increase the risk for skin injury.

4 Wear proper-fitting shoes and socks at all times.

 your blood sugar, blood pressure 5 Control and cholesterol to slow down the progression of diabetic complications.

See a Wound Specialist

If a wound does not show signs of healing, it should be evaluated by a wound specialist. To schedule an appointment, call 281.275.0770. Visit to learn more about our services.

Relief from Lymphedema WITH THERAPY Lymphedema Management Program


he body’s lymphatic system works behind the scenes moving lymph (a fluid that contains proteins and waste) through the body and returning it to Kimberly the bloodstream. When Kainer, OTR, this process breaks CLT down, an accumulation of lymph fluid can occur. This is called lymphedema. The blockage prevents fluid from draining from an arm or leg, causing the affected limb to swell. Lymphedema is often linked to treatments for breast cancer and other cancers. Surgical removal of lymph nodes or radiation therapy that damages lymph vessels can disrupt lymph flow, causing it to back up into the arms or legs. According to Kimberly Kainer, OTR, CLT, lead therapist for the Houston Methodist Lymphedema Management Program at Sugar Land, “The condition can develop quickly within a few days following surgery or gradually over weeks, months or even years after treatment.”


With lymphedema, fluid buildup triggers swelling in certain parts of the body, usually in the arm or hand. It may also affect the breast, underarm, chest, trunk or back. “Swelling may be barely noticeable or so extreme that it limits movement,” Kainer added. Here are some symptoms to watch for if you suspect lymphedema: Swelling of the arm or leg affecting a portion of or the entire leg or arm, including the fingers and toes Feelings of heaviness or tightness in your arm or leg

Get Relief

If you notice symptoms of lymphedema, alert your doctor right away. To learn more about the Houston Methodist Lymphedema Management Program at Sugar Land, call 281.274.7979.

An aching or uncomfortable feeling in the affected limb Recurring infections in the arm or leg Hardened or thickened skin in the affected area


The Lymphedema Management Program can help control symptoms and reduce the impact of lymphedema. “We work together with a variety of specialists to create a therapy program designed for you,” Kainer said. Lymphedema treatments may include: Compression bandaging to apply specific amounts of pressure on affected areas of the body to help move fluid along and prevent buildup.

Exercise can also help move lymphatic fluid and decrease swelling. Ask your health care provider about approved exercises and whether you need to wear a compression garment while exercising. Occupational or physical therapy can help provide relief using a combination of strategies. “Manual lymphatic drainage uses mild massage to help move fluid from the limb to your body’s trunk,” Kainer explained. “Complex decongestive therapy combines lymphatic massage, multi-layer compression bandaging, exercise, skin care and patient education. Manual lymphatic drainage, performed by someone specially trained to treat lymphedema, uses a very light touch to help move lymph fluid into areas with working lymph nodes.





16655 Southwest Fwy. Sugar Land, TX 77479-2329






JOINT PAIN We can help you get there.

Conroe The Woodlands

If you’ve suffered from years of joint pain and struggled to find relief, we have the joint care expertise to get you back to your everyday life. With treatment plans customized for you, our specialists offer a full range of advanced nonsurgical and surgical techniques, including: • • • •


Innovative pain control methods Physical therapy to improve mobility and range of motion Latest technology, including minimally invasive surgical techniques Presurgical education programs for joint replacement

Memorial City Bellaire



Texas Medical Center Pearland Sugar Land

Clear Lake

Schedule an appointment to discuss your options with a joint specialist. Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at Sugar Land 16811 Southwest Fwy., Suite 200 | Sugar Land, TX 77479 | 281.201.0396


Leading Medicine Spring Summer 2018, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital edition  

Read about how expectant families can approach childbirth with confidence at Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at Sugar Land; safeguarding...

Leading Medicine Spring Summer 2018, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital edition  

Read about how expectant families can approach childbirth with confidence at Houston Methodist Childbirth Center at Sugar Land; safeguarding...