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april 2012

Grape Wall of China Smart dividends

Wellness Pointe names new CEO

the perfect

time to Kilgore’s World’s Richest Acres Gladewater and partnerships The Art of Tango and more www.infinitieplus.com

revitalize

Downtowns, once the hub of all city activity, are again taking center stage with the trend towards revitalization.


T

Letter from the Publishers he struggle of an organization management with the backdrops of the concepts of sustainability and conservatism can pose series of socio-economic decision making problems for leaders. The leaders that are inclined to sustainability are predisposed to the idea of exploiting the available resources without destroying the ecological balance as they tend to lean towards the ethical philosophy of greater goods for the community. Among this group for instance, is the spiritual environmentalist whose argument is that the earth belongs to God or the Creator and to future generations; while the science-based environmentalists lean on truth as an ethical norm. The truth could be empirical, descriptive, or stochastic. The leaders that are inclined to the persuasive argument of conservatism have a preference for the historically inherited rather than the abstract and ideal. Consequently, leaders of this persuasion are likely to favor institutions and practices that have evolved gradually and are manifestations of continuity and stability. However, the concepts of sustainability and conservatism have components in organization value systems of organization management dividing these two groups. But the contest between the religious truth as the spiritual environmentalist, The Big T and the scientific truth, the small t has created a tapestry of contention in the styles of management in organizations both in the private and public squares. This is normally exemplified in the way each of these two groups invests in their workers; render services to their primary and secondary stakeholders; and especially their shareholders. What can one observe in organizational management and its settings in their communities relative to these attributes? It is true that before industrialization,

organizations were primarily the household, the tribe, the place of worship, the city state, perhaps the military, and the government. At that time, Adam Smith’s laissez-faire and production economic system required only land, capital, and labor. But industrialization leads to the 4th factor of the addition of management education and trainings and job enlargement with increased labor requirements to run organizations. Management styles of organizations are now convoluted by the type of political systems in operation and orientation of management education and trainings. One fact studies have shown is that industrialization model of economic output of any industry brings about disproportionate income distribution to the populace in the community. The question to be asked now is what are the contributions to organization management with rapid transformation and changes from industrial bureaucratic mechanization of industries to information age and its artifacts? Have these changes affect to create effect in leaders so as to reflect the new paradigm in the thinking of the conservatism and the sustainability values in organizational management? Can there be linkages between the black swan phenomenons leading to global financial episode of 2008? Finally, this magazine appeals to higher organization ethical standard as a measure of public good to leaders and decision makers both public and private in our communities to be cognizant of factors that ensure balancing approaches to sustainability and conservatism in decision making and management of decision-making.

Joycelyne and Robert

The Publisher welcomes input from the public. You may write or email your comments to comments@infinitieplus.com.


april 2012

Volume 1 | Number 4

Smart dividend strategy pays off......... 4, 5

The magazine for living life beyond...

Downtown revitalization.........................6-8

PLUS ONE.

Argentine Tango: A passionate dance...........................10-12

Publishers/Editors Robert Fadojutimi Joycelyne Fadojutimi

Local museum chronicles culture............................... 16, 17

Creative Director/Design Therese Shearer Writer Kelly Bell Community Relations Anne Rush

Touring Iolani Palace......................... 18, 19 Wine tours and tasting...

10-12

in China............................................... 20, 21 Take 2 exercises and call me in the morning...................... 22, 23

Photographer Jim King Distribution Teddy Larose Advertising Information For display advertising, please contact Joycelyne Fadojutimi at 903.236.0406 or jfadr@infinitieplus.com 517 Mobberly Avenue Longview, Texas 75602 903.236.0406 www.infinitieplus.com

Motivation! The Heart Attack Grill vs. Dieting for Dollars ............................... 24 A closer look at alcohol.......................... 25 Bring the family together this Easter with easy, memorable recipes............... 26 New CEO debuts at Wellness Pointe...............................28-30 Taking care............................................... 31 Just for chuckles....................................... 31

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OUR MISSION

To enrich the localglobal community with the “just in time” knowledge to assure future life successes.

OUR VISION

To become an information oracle of functional and constructive reports that serve the needs of all people. The Publisher welcomes input from the public.

You may write or email your comments to comments@infinitieplus.com. infinitieplus magazine is not responsible for any discrepancies or changes since the publishing of this issue. At the time of publication, to the best of our knowledge, all information was accurate though not guaranteed. The entire contents of infinitieplus magazine are copyrighted 2012. Any reproduction or use in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. infinitieplus reserves the right to edit and make appropriate modifications. The opinions published by contributing writers do not necessarily reflect the views of infinitieplus or its advertisers.

Submission Deadline: The first of the month prior to month of issue.

from the cover Nestled in the heart of historical Main Street District amongst antique shops, boutiques, restaurants, and more, Longview’s clock tower is an eye-catching landmark on the beautifully renovated Tyler Street. See pages 6-8 for how the trend of revitalization is affecting East Texas.

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Money Talk

Smart W Dividend Strategy Pays Off By Terry Savage

hy is the stock market rising? The economy is still in rough shape, unemployment remains stubbornly high, housing remains weak, and the European financial system is a mess. Still, U.S. stocks are rising, and we’re seeing daily headlines about the market hitting new four-year highs. Why? Well, two reasons. First, despite the headlines, the economy is growing again, at least a bit. And second, stocks are the “least worst” place to put your money. With short-term CDs, Treasury bills and money funds paying practically nothing — and designed to stay at that level by promise of the Fed — the dividends paid by large companies are attractive. And stocks hold the possibility of price appreciation as well as dividend growth. Over the past 70 years, dividends have contributed nearly half of the Dow Jones industrial average’s total return. And despite the economic slowdown, dividends have been increasing in the past few years, as companies hesitate to build new factories and hire more people. Instead, they are returning profits to their shareholders.

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REED

BUYING DIVIDEND-PAYING STOCKS Suddenly, all attention is focused on dividends. At the World Money Show in Orlando, Fla., a few weeks ago, nearly every speaker was focused on raising returns through finding investments with high yields. It was a message lapped up eagerly by a primarily retired audience, hoping they could find a way to increase their income without digging into their savings to fund living expenses. But just as there was a danger in focusing on “hot” Internet stocks in 2000 or “hot” financial stocks in 2007, there are dangers in focusing solely on high yields today. Jeffrey Rode, managing director of Segall, Bryant and Hamill in Chicago, points out the difference between attractive current high yields and future prospects for growth. He counsels: “Remember, it’s growth in income, not growth and income, that’s important. Dividend payers outperform nonpayers. And dividend growers outperform high current yield. Dividend growers are also your hedge against inflation.” In their most recent newsletter, Ralph Segall notes that since 1972, the average annual total return of the S&P 500 was nearly 7 percent. But the companies in the S&P 500 that don’t pay dividends had an average annual total return of less than 2 percent. And the stocks within the index that initiated or increased their dividends during that long period had an average annual total return of nearly 10 percent. So that’s where the research comes in. Yes, you could buy groups like real estate investment trusts, master limited partnerships and utilities, all of which pay attractive, current high yields. But the real trick, according to Rode, is to find stocks that will increase their dividends, and also provide an upside price potential, because the company itself continues to grow and generate cash earnings. Rode notes that a modest, but growing, dividend can give you more upside in the future than stretching for the highest yields today, suggesting that you “buy 2-5 percent current yield with potential 3-8 percent annual dividend ‘growth.’” He asks: “How would you like to have owned Abbott for the last 20 years? The company has raised its dividend payout for 39 straight years! Paying a modest, not high yield, dividend has nothing to do with your ability to grow; it’s simply a reflection of financial discipline and a commitment to treat shareholders as owners. And that’s what investors should look for.”

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FINDING DIVIDEND STOCKS To find companies that continue to increase earnings, and also dividends, requires some research — but it’s not too late to find them. Many growing companies are just embarking on a plan of increasing dividends as a way of distributing excess cash, instead of buying back their own stock. Part of the reason that dividends are coming back in vogue is the fact that most dividends are taxed at a maximum rate of only 15 percent. That tax deal is likely to be a target in Congress after the election. But the alternative use of corporate cash — stock buybacks — has a dismal track record. And even if tax laws change, dividend-payers will remain attractive because the payout can offset some of the downside risk in stocks and provide a regular income while you wait for stock prices to rise. Terry Savage is a registered investment adviser and is on the board of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. She can be reached at www.terrysavage.com www.infinitieplus.com

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Exclusively East Texas

By Jimmy Isaac

commended for its annual progress. to build on public and private partnerships raising funds to construct a “mini-derrick” park.

Old

photos of town streets covered in oil derricks and hustle-andbustle are iconic images for many East Texans. They conjure memories of a time before suburbs, when the action of a city was always downtown. As automobiles fueled homeowners’ desires to live the edges of towns, not to mention the 1980s oil

bust, downtowns in East Texas took on some decay. That isn’t the case anymore. In Longview and Kilgore, voters approved bonds to reconstruct downtown streets, replacing infrastructure that, in some places, was older than a century. Businesses, restaurants and loft apartment lessors have returned, ending the closed-at-5 p.m. culture. Gladewater has made sidewalk improvements as well, and Main Street Program leaders here hope a new Low-Interest Loan Program will lead to facade improvements for downtown structures. In 2011, Kilgore completed nearly $800,000 in

A view of Main Street in Downtown Kilgore, Texas. 6

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Phase II improvements to downtown sidewalks, water lines, lighting, curbs and gutters. Kilgore Main Street Manager Clara Chaffin said her city is currently studying when Phase III improvements along South Kilgore Street would be feasible. The area, between Main and Danville streets, includes the city’s former post office, the Crim and Texan theaters and a property whose owner is considering developing apartment homes. City officials are considering South Kilgore Street as downtown’s Entertainment District because of the theaters, which both carry uncertainties. Chaffin said the city wants to ensure that someone is invested in the Crim, including whether it could lead to expansion of a local theater group to Kilgore. The Crim Theater’s last environmental analysis was completed in 2008, and refurbishment plans were last performed in the 1980s, so those must be updated, she said. “I know we have put the new facade and roof on, so that will save costs,” Chaffin said. Meanwhile, Kilgore Fire Department uses the Texan Theater for fire safety training, which she credited for increasing public safety and keeping the structure in use. Sidewalks in Phase III would be between 20 feet and 22 feet in width with trees, making it “a softer land-

Time Capsule at Heritage Plaza in Downtown Longview, Texas.

Continued on the next page

Landmark: Museum in Downtown Gladewater, Texas. www.infinitieplus.com

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Exclusively East Texas

“World’s Richest Acres” in downtown Kilgoreabout 1.2 acres, once stood the greatest concentration of oil wells in the world, producing more than 2.5 million barrels of oil. Continued scape” that can accommodate musicians and other street-side performances, she added. By comparison, sidewalks along Main Street in downtown Kilgore are 11 feet wide. Whether Phase III will be funded through a bond election or from the local tourism fund remains undecided, Chaffin added. To boot, the Kilgore Historical Preservation Foundation is raising funds to construct a “mini-derrick” park on Commerce Street at South Street. The derricks, dwarfed in size by derricks found in World’s Richest Acre Park, once lined downtown streets but were removed in 2009 during Phase I of Main Street improvements, Chaffin said. Downtown Development, a division of Longview Chamber of Commerce, began offering federal Community Development Block grants for facade improvements in 2008. The first two buildings to see such improvements were the Marks Building, which houses two loan financing companies, and G. Christy’s Custom Framing Gallery. According to the chamber, the Marks Building was once home to Longview’s first Coca-Cola bottling company. Longview Museum of Fine Arts, an antiques dealer, Studio 204, MediaQuest, loft apartments and law offices have also made facade improvements through grants over the past four years. The Texas Historical Commission and its Texas Main Street Program recently publicly commended Longview for its annual progress as a Main Street com8

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munity. Longview accepted the award for the third consecutive year. Texas Historical Commission Main Street Program Architect Howard Langner, during a recent daylong tour of Gladewater said cities within a particular region should work together in marketing their communities. Langner pointed to Pittsburg, Mount Vernon and Mount Pleasant, whose tourism and economic development officials meet under such circumstances as training sessions during the day in, say, Pittsburg, then enjoying night life in Mount Pleasant before using the next day to tour Mount Vernon. “It should be a regional effort,” Langner said. “In West Texas, where everything is few and far between, if you’re going to get someone out there, you probably don’t have enough by yourself, and you make it more enticing if it is a regional effort.” That teamwork is taking shape. Chaffin welcomed a Texas Historical Commission official to Kilgore on Feb. 16 and invited Main Street Program managers from cities within a 45-mile radius, including Longview and Gladewater, for training on the purpose of Main Street Advisory Boards but also for face-to-face time with other managers. “I really wanted all of us to meet each other,” Chaffin said. Langner has visited just about every Texas town, including numerous stops in Kilgore. He described downtown efforts in Kilgore as “a classic case of everyone is excited about what is going on in Kilgore.” With oil derricks towering over downtown businesses and lofts, Kilgore has mined its oil-rich heritage. Gladewater has its museum, an oil heritage and the i n finitie plus

antique dealers to establish itself as the Antique Capital of Texas, but Langner said Gladewater doesn’t have to copy Kilgore’s path. Also, Gladewater has a railroad and musical heritage. Getting young people to help in mining that history would serve the city well, Langner said. Gladewater Main Street Board Chairwoman Lana Niemann and board member Robert Johnson have announced that the city’s four banks - Austin Bank, Capital One Bank, Gladewater National Bank and Texas Bank & Trust - have agreed to participate in a lowinterest loan program in which Main Street District property owners can obtain loans at one percent below Wall Street Journal prime interest rates for building façade and exterior improvements. Each improvement would require approval from Gladewater’s Main Street Advisory Committee and Main Street Design Committee under established design guidelines. Gladewater must continue to build on public-private partnerships, Johnson said. He has suggested the city pursue a tax-increment financing program such as those used in Longview and Kilgore. Those cities collect revenue from annual incremental tax value increases to pay for infrastructure needs within their respective districts. “Today, with full anticipation of the four banks found in our community, we agreed to establish a loan program. We are also in the initial phase of developing design guidelines which are appropriate for our historic Main Street District,” Johnson said. “These improvements will further enhance the value of the Main Street District, which will bring further sales tax, tourism and hotel occupancy tax dollars into the community. Howard’s visit also gave a vision that we can build upon.”

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Arts and Culture

Argentine Tango: A passionate dance

By Susan August Brown

T

he exact origins of tango—both the dance and the word itself—are lost in myth and unrecorded history. The generally accepted theory is that in the mid-1800s African slaves were brought to Argentina and began to influence the local culture. The word “tango” may be straightforwardly African in origin, meaning “closed place” or “reserved ground.” It may derive from Portuguese (and from the Latin verb “tanguere,” to touch) and was picked up by Africans on the slave ships. Whatever its origins, the word “tango” acquired the standard meaning of the place where African slaves and free blacks gathered to dance. Argentina was undergoing a massive immigration influx during the later part of the 1800s and early 1900s. In 1869, Buenos Aires had a population of 180,000. By 1914 its population was 1.5 million. The intermixing of African, Spanish, Italian, British, Polish, Russian and native-born Argentines resulted in a melting pot of cultures, and they borrowed dance and music from one another. Traditional polkas, waltzes and mazurkas were mixed with the popular habanera from Cuba and the candombe rhythms of Africa. Most immigrants were single men hoping to earn their fortunes in this newly expanding country. They were typically poor and desperate, hoping to make enough money to return to Europe or bring their families to Argentina. The evolution of tango reflects their profound sense of loss and longing for the people and places they left behind. Most likely, rudimentary dance forms that may have been known as “tango” were developed in African-Argentine dance venues. These venues were frequented by compadritos, young men—mostly native born, poor and of mixed ancestry—who liked to dress in slouch hats, loosely tied neckerchiefs

Tango Instructors Sam and Terri Landeros demonstrate Tango at Longview Museum of Fine Arts event– Tapas and Tango.

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and high-heeled boots with knives tucked casually into their belts. The compadritos took the dance to the Corrales Viejos—the slaughterhouse district of Buenos Aires—and introduced it in various seedy establishments where dancing took place: bars, dance halls and brothels. It was in these tenements that the African rhythms met the Argentine milonga music (a fast-paced polka.) Soon new steps were invented and took hold as a new form of dance combining traditions from many cultures. Exactly when and where the various forms of dance and music combined to create what became widely understood as tango is unclear. What is clear was that tango was considered a dance from the poor barrios. Although high society looked down upon the activities in the barrios, well-heeled sons of the porteño oligarchy were not averse to slumming. Eventually, everyone found out about the tango and, by the beginning of the twentieth century the tango, as both a dance and as an embryonic form of popular music, had established a firm foothold in the fast-expanding city of its birth. It soon spread to provincial towns of Argentina and across the River Plate to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, where it became as much a part of the urban culture as in Buenos Aires. The worldwide spread of the tango came in the early 1900s when wealthy Continued on the next page

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Learning Tango at Longview Museum of Fine Arts.

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Arts and Culture Continued

sons of Argentine society families made their way to Paris and introduced the tango into a society eager for innovation and not entirely averse to the risquÊ nature of the dance or to dancing with young, wealthy Latin men. By 1913 the tango had become an international phenomenon in Paris, London and New York. There were tango teas, tango train excursions and even tango colors—most notably orange. The Argentine elite who had shunned the tango were now forced into accepting it with national pride. The tango spread worldwide throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The dance appeared in movies, and tango singers traveled the world. By the 1930s the Golden Age of Argentina was beginning. The country became one of the ten richest nations in the world and its music, poetry and culture flourished. The tango came to be a fundamental expression of Argentine culture, and the Golden Age lasted through the 1940s and 1950s. Tango’s fortunes have always been tied to economic conditions, and this was very true in the 1950s. During this time, as political repression developed, lyrics reflected political feelings until they started to be banned as subversive. The dance and its music went underground as large dance venues were closed and large gatherings in general were prohibited. The tango survived in smaller, unpublicized venues and in the hearts of the people. The necessity of going underground combined with the eventual invasion of rock and roll to send the tango into decline until the mid-1980s when the stage show Tango Argentino opened in Paris. Once again Paris was ground zero for igniting tango excitement worldwide. The show toured the world and stimulated a revival in Europe, North America and Japan.

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Arts and Culture

S

By Contributing Writer Kelly Bell

Local museum chronicles culture The Longview Museum of Fine Arts J.T. Smith Sculpture Garden is located in downtown Longview at the corner of Tyler and Fredonia Streets. 16

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ince 1958 the Longview Museum of Fine Arts (LMFA) has used exhibits, displays and special events to enrich the city’s appreciation for cultural beauty. It uses the Wrather Gallery, the Premier I and II Galleries and the J.T. Smith Sculpture Garden for traveling exhibits, rotating exhibits and private members’ receptions. With a permanent collection of more than 300 paintings, etchings, woodcuts, photographs, works on paper, lithographs, serigraphs, collages and sculptures being rotated in and out of the vault this museum makes Longview a finer, more beautiful place to live. Always a beehive of artistic activity, the museum’s year started with the Irving Kriesburg Painting Exhibit in January, and will conclude the year with December’s Holiday Tea. The facility’s latest employee is Daniel Bruce Maudlin, MFA, Ed.D. A Longview native, he attended farflung universities, but has returned to his Deep East Texas roots as LMFA’s director of education. His first and major mission is to achieve national accreditation for the museum, which would bring it national recognition. Since the American Association Museum Accreditation Program started in 1971 it has recognized and given credibility to museums for their commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and ongoing institutional improvement.


Dr. Bruce Mauldin and Curator/ Executive Director Renee Hawkins

Accreditation brings museums such benefits as: • National recognition commitment to excellence and the highest professional standards of museum operation and public service. • A positive public image and validation of the museum’s work and accomplishments. • Increased credibility with funding agencies and donors. • Creating relationships with other museums, resulting in more loans and traveling exhibitions. • Maintenance of accreditation as a leverage tool to attract support for capital improvements. • Fostering sustained organizational development and improvement. • A governing authority better educated about museum standards. • Increasing the level of professionalism. Maudlin described the accreditation process as both tedious and fascinating. Also, he is pleased at the great deal of work toward accreditation already accomplished by LMFA Executive Director Renee Hawkins. “The education aspect of the museum is very strong,” said Maudlin. “We are hoping that in one and in one-half years we will be accredited. I am amazed that everyone is willing to help. This is a well-oiled machine.” LMFA is a non-profit operation aiming to further appreciation of the visual arts throughout Longview and its surrounding region, accomplish-

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ing this by exhibiting, preserving and interpreting artwork to provide cultural education for a diverse audience. The museum offers memberships at multiple levels. For more information, visit www.lmfa.org.

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Travel and Adventure

Touring Iolani Palace The Only Royal Palace on U.S. Soil

The plush Throne Room in Honolulu’s Iolani Palace was the site of festive events, sometimes with up to 500 guests.

By Sharon Whitley Larsen

“P

lease put these booties on over your shoes," requested the volunteer as a small group of us sat on a back veranda of Honolulu's Iolani Palace prior to taking a tour. She then passed out audio headphones to those of us who had purchased them with our admission tickets. When she noticed that I was holding a notepad and pen, she quickly handed me a pencil: "Please use this, no pens are allowed inside the palace." It's not surprising that staff members, respectful of Iolani Palace, a National Historic Landmark, want to keep its interior pristine. Although we weren't able to walk through the etched crystal front door as members of foreign royalty, diplomats and other distinguished guests did in yesteryear, entering through the back door was fine with me. Just the fact that I was able to tour this magnificent palace — the only royal residence on U.S. soil — was thrilling. Iolani, which means "royal or heavenly hawk," was completed in 1882. But after the monarchy 18

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ended a decade later (Hawaii was annexed to the United States in 1898 and became a state in 1959), the palace was emptied of its treasures. Many were auctioned The royal reign all started with King Kamehameha I, a longtime chief on the Island of Hawaii who was responsible for unifying the Islands. He had established the Hawaiian monarchy in 1796 and by 1820 had created the Hawaiian Kingdom. Prior to 1845, the kingdom was wherever the king was living — on Maui, the Island of Hawaii or Oahu. That year Honolulu was chosen as the king's permanent capital, and the former governor's mansion became the palace. After generations of various royal successors, a new heir, King Kalakaua, and his wife, Queen Kapi'olani, who had no children, moved into the new palace, living here from 1882 until 1891. Nicknamed the "Merrie Monarch" because of his love for world travel, fun parties, music and dancing, King Kalakaua supervised the palace's three-year, $344,000 construction. Ahead of his time, he had electricity installed, which even the White House didn't have then. There was also a i n finitie plus

Iolani Palace is a dramatic reminder of Hawaii as a sovereign nation. The palace was the center of great turmoil, a sacred area. It is a reminder of how things once were.

telephone, "intercom" system, dumb waiter and several bathrooms with flush toilets, unheard of in those days. These included a guest bathroom downstairs and four full baths with Italian marble washbasins and hot and cold running water in the second-floor apartments, a rare luxury. The king's included a copper-lined tub that was 7 feet by 2 feet and 2 feet deep — the perfect stress-reliever for a relaxing royal. When I first entered the Grand Hall, with its

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gleaming wood floors and massive koa wood staircase (which the servants also used since it's the only one), I noticed high on the walls 10 oil portraits of Hawaii's past kings and queens. Just to the left of the front entry is the Blue Room, where guests would wait to see the king or attend small receptions. The Throne Room, across the entrance hall, was the site of many elegant, festive celebrations, sometimes with 500 guests, and it is said that the king remembered all their names. "Iolani Palace is a dramatic reminder of Hawaii as a sovereign nation," noted my audio tour. "The palace was the center of great turmoil, a sacred area. It is a reminder of how things once were." For more information about tours and events at Iolani Palace: www.iolanipalace.org.

Honolulu’s Iolani Palace, a National Historic Landmark, is the only royal palace on U.S. soil.

Sharon Whitley Larsen is a freelance travel writer. Photos courtesy of the Friends of Iolani Palace.

The massive koa wood staircase in the Grand Hall at Iolani Palace in Honolulu was the first thing distinguished visitors saw from the front entrance.

112 W. Methvin St. Longview, Texas Call for appointments

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Travel and Adventure

Wine tours and tasting...

In Jinan, China, Liu Jing and her husband, Meng Yun, are enjoying something neither of their parents ever did. The couple, both in their early 30s, are sharing a bottle of wine over a dinner of braised eel, boiled noodles with pork and shrimp in a spicy sauce. In Beijing, Zhang Qian is treating his lady friend, Liang Chun, to a restaurant meal. The middle-class 40-somethings wash down their entree of scallop croquettes and seaweed with a pleasing red wine — at a Pizza Hut, no less. These couples are typical of millions of Chinese who belong to that country’s burgeoning middle class. In recent years the figure has exploded to approximately 300 million, about equal to the entire population of the United States. They earn enough money from their white-collar jobs to have disposable income to spend on luxuries, and enjoying wine both at home and when they eat at a restaurant is high on their list of favorite treats. Many increasingly affluent and newly status-conscious middle-class Chinese are spending their hard-earned yuans for pleasures that not long ago would have been criticized as bourgeois indulgences. The change also provides inviting new experiences for visitors to China. During a recent visit, I had the interesting experience of learning which locally

in

produced wines best complement both traditional Chinese food and more contemporary fare. While the growing popularity of wine in China is recent, its history there - like much in that ancient country — is not. Archaeological findings indicate that wine was used for sacrificial ceremonies as long ago as 9,000 years. However, most Chinese over the ages have preferred beer and stronger, throat-searing spirits. Beginning in the early 1980s, a few adventurous Chinese winemakers - tempted by the appeal of the nation’s population of 1.3 billion people and the first manifestations of a middle class — began to test growing conditions for wine grapes. “Knowledge of wine in China is just beginning,” explained Zheng Xin, the winemaker at the Huadong Winery Co. in Shandong Province. “Therefore, most popular are wines that are soft, with intense fruit.” At the start of the current Chinese wine renaissance, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chardonnay and Riesling were the predominant grapes planted at many vineyards. Today there are approximately 500 wineries in the country, about 140 of which

A sign marks the vineyards at Chateau Junding in the Shandong Province of China. China is currently the fifth-largest wine-producing country in the world, with many of its 500 wineries in the Shandong Province.

Changyu Pioneer Wine Co. was established in Yantai, Shandong Province, China, in 1892.

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are located in Shandong Province. By Victor Block Visitors to that region pass acres of vineyards that blanket gently rolling hills and see trucks laden with wooden crates of grapes heading for wineries on the new superhighways being built to connect major cities. Travelers to other parts of China also have opportunities to see — and sip — the results of the wine frenzy. Reliable facts about wine in China, like all statistics there, can be chalFormal name: People's Republic of China (PRC) Capital: Beijing Head of State: President Hu Jintao elected March 15, 2003. National flag: Red flag with five stars. National emblem: Tiananmen Gatetower under five stars, encircled by ears of grain and with a gear wheel below. Animal: The giant panda is considered a Chinese national treasure. Just over 1000 survive in the wild, most of them in Sichuan Province. Tree: The oldest tree in the world is China's gingko, which first appeared during the Jurassic Age some 160 million years ago. National Day: Chinese celebrate October 1 as National Day in honor of the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949. Land size: China has a landmass of 9,600,000 sq km, and is the thirdlargest country in the world, next only to Russia and Canada. Cultivated land is 130.04 million ha. Location: In the east of the Asian continent, on the western shore of the Pacific Ocean. Border countries: Korea, Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadzhikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. Climate: Extremely diverse; tropical in the south to subarctic in the north. Population: China is the world's most populous country with 1.28453 billion at the end of 2002, one-fifth of the world's total. Population density: The population density is 134 people per sq km, roughly four times greater than that of the U.S. Religions: The number of religious worshippers in China is estimated at well over 100 million, most of whom follow Buddhism. Other major religions are Daoism, Islam and Christianity in both its Catholic and Protestant forms. Health: China provides wide access to primary health care and child immunizations. Average life expectancy was 71.8 years in 2002, having risen from 35 years on the eve of Liberation in 1949. Economy: China's economy has boomed since 1978, as a result of sweeping economic reforms. GNP grew from $128 billion in 1980 to $745 billion in 1998. China's economy continues to grow rapidly, with a GDP real growth rate of 9.1 percent in 2003, and an annual industrial production growth rate of 11.6 percent between 1979 and 2000. Currency: Renminbi (RMB)/yuan www.infinitieplus.com

lenging to verify. Estimates for current annual wine production range as high as 1.6 million tons a year. If accurate, that makes China the fifth-largest producer in the world, just behind the United States, at 2.2 million tons. Given its long history, it’s natural that the Changyu Pioneer Wine Co. is among the leading wineries in China. Another leading producer, the Great Wall Wine Co., is named for the location of its main office in Hebei Province, almost in the shadow of that world-famous landmark, but most of the grapes it uses are grown in Shandong Province. In terms of production, it is the largest wine enterprise in China. By contrast, Silver Heights Estate in Ningxia Province is a boutique winery that is rated one of the best in the nation. Visitors may observe how it produces top-notch reds in an area of dry terrain by taking advantage of melting snow for irrigation and 3,200 hours of sunshine a year. While they’re not about to replace top-quality European, American and other vintages, wines made in China have been winning an increasing number of medals and accolades at international competitions. Anyone who travels to that fascinating country can now have the tasty opportunity to learn why. WHEN YOU GO Knighthawk Tours, which specializes in trips to Shandong Province, is a U.S.-based company that can put together tailor-made journeys that include stops at several chateaus. For more information, call 800-420-8858 or visit www.knighthawktours.com. (The website emphasizes traveling by motorcycle, but they organize all types of tours.) Victor Block is a freelance travel writer. Photos courtesy of Victor Block.

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Body, Mind, and Soul

Take 2 Exercises and Call Me In the Morning

A

By Bev Bennett CTW Features rthritis, chronic backaches and similar conditions don’t encourage exercise. When it’s painful to move, a comfortable bed or plush sofa seems very inviting. However, contrary to a person’s inclination, physical activity may be just what is needed. Being active works on the entire body - from the brain to the joints - to alleviate pain.

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In a world of hurt, exercise could be the best form of pain relief People may wonder what the connection is between exercise and pain relief. Is it the hormones the body releases? The muscle that’s building? Improved blood flow? Simply the distraction from pain? It’s all the above, according to John Pagliano, a sports podiatrist based in Long Beach, Calif., and fellow at the American College of Sports Medicine. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which block the transmission of pain impulses to the brain, according to Dr. A. Lynn Millar, professor of physical therapy at Winston-Salem State University, N.C. The effect is similar to that of morphine - with important differences. “It doesn’t lead to addiction, but it feels good, and it’s free,” says Pagliano. Exercise also increases blood flow to the joints. The improved circulation may help healing in areas that are subject to pain. Exercise increases blood flow to the muscles and carries away waste products, such as lactic acid, adds Dr. Pagliano. That increased blood flow helps people feel better, he says. Physical activity also may reduce other symptoms of chronic disease that can have an impact on a person’s pain level. “People who exercise have decreased inflammatory markers [substances in the body that suggest health risks],” Millar says. And, although you’re probably not trying out for the NFL anytime soon, you’ll want to exercise to maintain or build muscle. If muscles atrophy pain may increase, Millar says. www.infinitieplus.com


Before You Start

Exercises for Pain Relief

You may be concerned that you’ll exacerbate pain if you make the wrong moves. If you have pain with injuries or if you have signs and symptoms of a chronic disease, see a physician before starting any exercise program, say sports medicine professionals.You also may seek an expert’s advice for exercise for specific conditions. “If you have arthritis or heart disease, it may make you feel more comfortable knowing that someone who understands your limitations is offering exercise suggestions,” says Dr. A. Lynn Millar, professor of physical therapy at Winston-Salem State University, N.C.

For those who have been sedentary to avoid hurting, start exercising gradually, say experts. An initial routine doesn’t have to be rigorous to be beneficial. Classes in stretching or yoga, for example, may reduce symptoms and improve function in people with chronic low back pain, according to a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Walking is another easy-on-the-body physical activity. “I get patients walking 10 minutes, 3 times a week with a day off in-between. They increase that by 10 percent a week. It’s a gradual increase and very doable,” says Dr. John Pagliano, a Long Beach Calif.-based podiatrist who also is a long-distance runner. Once comfortable walking, add resistance exercise to build muscle. Also include routines that keep the body flexible. “Stiffness is a hallmark of arthritis. Do exercises that take you through a range of motions to keep joints from stiffening,” says Dr. A. Lynn Millar, professor of physical therapy Winston-Salem State University, N.C. Whichever exercises you choose, make them a daily habit. “There’s always a way to get exercise. If you can’t run or walk, do water exercise,” Pagliano says, cautioning: “Doing this once a week isn’t enough.”

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Body, Mind, and Soul

Motivation! The Heart Attack Grill vs. Dieting for Dollars By Marilynn Preston You can’t tell another person what to do. Well, you can, but it’s not very effective in terms of getting someone to choose a healthier behavior. Your wife might plead with you to lose a few dozen pounds. Your kids may beg you to quit smoking. Your doctor can insist you start to exercise ... or else. But healthy lifestyle change only happens when you are ready. This we know. So I’m not going to tell you what to do in this column. I’m going to tell you what not to do. Do not eat at the Heart Attack Grill, in Las Vegas, where the waitresses dress like nurses, the cus-

tomers wear hospital gowns and anyone who weighs over 350 pounds eats for free. I am not making this up. The Heart Attack Grill made the news recently because a man in his 40s collapsed there with a heart attack while eating one of their signature dishes — the Triple Bypass Burger. We’re talking about a stack of three half-pound burgers, with five slices of cheese and 12 slices of bacon, plus bunnage, for a total of 6,000 calories. After the heart attack story made headlines, a do-gooder nonprofit in Washington, D.C., called The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine sent a letter to the owner of the HAG, Jon Basso, and asked him to declare “moral bankruptcy” and close his place down. Ha ha ha, not happening. This is a relatively free country. We can eat anything we want. And we do. The same day I saw this story on the IBTimes. com (International Business) website, I noticed this tiny mention at the bottom of the webpage. “The Hunger Epidemic: 300 children die every hour from malnutrition as the world’s poor cut back on food.” Now that’s heart stopping. You can’t tell another person what to do. Well, you can, but it will go in one valve and out the other. What happened at the Heart Attack Grill may be shocking enough to stick with you, to motivate you, once and for all. I know I’m dreaming, but it’s worth a try. And so, perhaps, is this newest strategy for losing weight, also in the news lately. It’s based on the

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Money Motivation Model, aka “dieting for dollars,” meaning show me the money ... and I’ll show you my self-control. Behavior-change research has proven that small cash rewards triple the effectiveness of weight-loss programs. That’s why financial health incentives are all the rage now, with more than 50 percent of selfinsured employers in the U.S. offering some kind of cash incentive as part of their health care program. One U.S. company actually specializes in this: HealthyWage (HealthyWage.com) offers Americans three ways to earn money for losing weight. First is the BMI Challenge. You “invest” $300, and if you move from an obese BMI (Body Mass Index) classification to a normal BMI over 12 months, checking in weekly and following a few rules, HealthyWage will pay you $1,000. If you prefer to take the BMI Challenge for free, with no upfront “investment,” and you succeed in dropping the weight, the company will pay you $100. The second way to earn-while-you-burn is a Matchup competition, with teams of five people competing for the greatest percentage of weight lost over a three-month period. And most recently, HealthyWage created the 10 percent Challenge, open to anyone who will pay $100 for the chance to double their money — earn $200 — for losing 10 percent of their body weight within six months. Weight loss wagering is a gimmick that’s here to stay because, for some people, it really works. At least short term. In 2011, HealthyWage says it paid out nearly a half-million dollars on weightloss wagers to players who collectively lost more than 880,000 pounds. Jana Weeks is one of them. She did a Matchups competition to help slim down for her wedding and lost 106 pounds. “The thought of winning the money for my wedding and not letting my teammates down was constantly on my mind,” Weeks explained. “It gave me accountability ... and with my competitive nature it got me where I needed to go.” Where do you want to go? What motivates you to get there? ENERGY EXPRESS-O! BE SURE NOT TO TRY THEIR FLATLINER FRIES “Taste worth dying for.” — the motto of the Heart Attack Grill Marilynn Preston has a website, marilynnpreston.com and welcomes reader questions, which can be sent to MyEnergyExpress@aol.com.

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Body, Mind, and Soul

A closer look at alcohol Having a healthy lifestyle all of the time can sometimes be a challenge for individuals. There are, however, many things we can cut out of our routine and use more sparingly which may increase our likelihood for a healthier, longer, and more fulfilling life. One lifestyle choice that most individuals would benefit from cutting out is alcohol. Alcohol does not provide any nutrients to aide our bodies and can cause serious health concerns when overused. Liver disease is highly linked to alcohol consumption. In addition, breast cancer can be made worse by alcohol. Educating ourselves on the risks of certain lifestyle choices is necessary if we plan to live healthy lives. Alcohol is the primary cause for liver disease and is one of the leading causes of death especially among adults over the age of 45. The liver is the main metabolizer of alcohol. When alcohol use is abused, it can have a toxic effect on the liver. Even as few as three drink at a time can have a toxic effect when combined with over the counter medications that contain acetaminophen (National). There are 3 stages of liver disease, stage one consists of fatty liver or steatosis. This is shown by excess fatty buildup around the liver and can be reversed when alcohol consumption is ceased. Heavier drinking for longer periods of time can cause hepatitis

and eventually cirrhosis of the liver. Liver cirrhosis was the 12th leading cause of death in 2000 and the 4th leading cause for individuals between the ages of 45-54 (National). Women are at an even greater risk because they have a harder time metabolizing alcohol and the same amount can stay in a woman’s blood stream longer than in a man’s. This slower rate of metabolism causes the liver to be exposed to toxic levels of alcohol for longer periods of time. Alcohol consumption has also been shown to increase the likelihood of breast cancer for women who consume even a moderate amount. There have progressively been more studies done which show the correlation between alcohol consumption and breast cancer prevalence. Through these studies professionals are able to determine the negative impacts that alcohol can have, especially for women. On April 30, 2010 the Science Daily reported a research study done with rats pertain-

ing to alcohol consumption and prevalence of alcohol consumption. In this study the rats were given a moderate amount of ethanol for four weeks which is equivalent to about two drinks per day www.infinitieplus.com

for humans. The results showed that a moderate amount of alcohol significantly increased the tumor size (by weight) of the cancer by 1.96 fold (American). An article published in Cancer Letters claims “breast cancer risk increases by approximately 10% per drink per day” (Hong). The same article also notes that there may be some advantages to consuming a small amount of alcohol which includes increased insulin sensitivity to decrease type 2 diabetes. On the contrary, alcohol consumption has been shown to increase the levels of estrogen in the body which can increase the risk of developing breast cancer (Hong). Taking a further look at exactly how alcohol can increase the risk of breast cancer, a study published by the Journal of National Cancer Institute demonstrated the pathway in which alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. The researchers were able to conclude through observation of 2,944 breast cancer patients in 2005, that the risk of hormone-sensitive breast cancer was more prevalent among those who consumed more alcohol than other non hormone related subtypes of the disease (Li). Through an additional study, it is contradicted that a moderate amount of alcohol may be less harmful, but that binge drinking and those reporting to drink more than the normal or average amount per week had a much higher increase in the risk of developing breast cancer (Mørch). These results were found by a study published in the European Journal of Public Health. Although alcohol consumption can have many other effects on our bodies, breast cancer and liver dis-

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By Caty Millburg Nutrition Expert

BalanceDiet in Longview is committed to helping educate individuals on all areas of health. Our nutrition experts display credible knowledge when recommending all food groups as part of a healthy diet. With all of the misinformation available in today’s society, it is refreshing to get sound nutritional advice from individuals committed to creating a healthier society. East Texas is especially in need of some information regarding healthy nutrition because it contains some of the Nation’s unhealthiest individuals. American’s across the nation could benefit by committing to become more educated about what constitutes a healthy lifestyle. To start your own journey, stop by BalanceDiet located near the Target Shopping center in Longview, or call (903) 663-5900.

ease are of high concern. To prevent problems associated with alcohol consumption, start limiting your intake to only 2-3 per week. Studies are constantly being done regarding the effects of alcohol on all areas of our health. In addition to the health concerns associated with consumption, alcohol also contributes 7 calories for every gram of pure alcohol. Most alcoholic beverages contain more than just pure alcohol, therefore we get a lot of unnecessary calories from these. While these calories don’t necessarily give us any nutrients, they can contribute to excess weight gain and fat storage.

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Grubs Up

Family Features Easter is a time for honored family traditions. From Easter hats, egg hunts and meals shared with those you love, each celebration creates its own special memories. Here are ways to bring some familiar flavors to the Easter table in a whole new way, including savory Slow Cooker Marmalade Pork Tenderloin, a family favorite from Tamie J. of Prosper, Texas, last year’s Grand Prize Winner in the Spreading Smucker’s® Traditions Recipe Contest; as well as sweet Citrus Apple Tart, a favorite dish from the Smucker family cookbook. These easy, delicious recipes can be made or prepared in advance, leaving more time to enjoy your family’s cherished traditions. For more Easter recipes to help your family celebrate, visit www.smuckers.com.

Slow Cooker Marmalade Pork Tenderloin Cook Time: 4 hours Prep Time: 20 minutes Yield: 8 servings 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 pounds pork tenderloin 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce 1 cup chicken broth 1 10-ounce jar Smucker’s® Sweet Orange Marmalade 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated 1/4 cup brown sugar 3 cloves garlic 1 large onion, sliced 1 package fresh mushroom caps 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown tenderloin on all sides. In blender, mix teriyaki sauce, chicken broth, orange marmalade, fresh ginger, brown sugar and garlic. Blend until a smooth sauce. Put browned tenderloin into 26

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slow cooker. Slice onion and add to slow cooker. Add mushrooms, pepper, salt and pepper flakes. Cover with the teriyaki sauce mixture. Cook on high for about 4 hours. Turn tenderloin a couple of times while cooking. When done, remove the tenderloin and let rest for about 10 minutes. To serve, slice diagonally and pour sauce, mushrooms and onions over top.

Strawberry Spring Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes Yield: 6 servings 1/2 cup Smucker’s® Strawberry Syrup 2 tablespoons Crisco® Pure Canola Oil 2 tablespoons white vinegar 1 5 oz. package spring salad greens or other salad greens mix 4 green onions, thinly sliced 1 tangerine or small orange, peeled, seeded, cut into bite-size pieces 12 strawberries, sliced vertically 1/4 cup sunflower kernels 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled Combine syrup, oil and vinegar to make vinaigrette. Whisk until blended. Place salad greens, green onion, orange pieces, strawberries and sunflower kernels in a large salad bowl. Add vinaigrette. Toss lightly. Crumble blue cheese over top. Serve immediately.

Triple Berry Baked Brie

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Yield: 12 servings 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed 1/3 cup Smucker’s® Orchard’s Finest™ Northwest Triple Berry Preserves 8 ounces round baby wheel brie cheese 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts or pecans 1 large egg 1 tablespoon water i n finitie plus

Assorted crackers, pear slices and/or apple slices Heat oven to 400°F. Unfold puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Roll gently to seal any cracks in pastry. Spoon preserves onto center of pastry. Place cheese on top of preserves. Sprinkle evenly with nuts. Fold pastry up over the cheese to cover. Trim excess pastry and press to seal seams. Reserve pastry scraps. Whisk egg and water in small bowl. Brush seams with egg mixture. Place seam-side down on baking sheet. Cut pastry scraps into decorative shapes and arrange on top, if desired. Brush with egg mixture. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 20 minutes before cutting. Serve with crackers and sliced fruit.

Citrus Apple Tart

Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes Yield: 8 servings 1 9-inch single Classic Crisco® Pie Crust 4 medium Granny Smith apples (about 2 pounds) 1/2 cup sugar 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons butter, diced 1/4 cup Smucker’s® Sweet Orange Marmalade OR Smucker’s® Organic Orange Marmalade Prepare recipe for single crust pie. Roll out dough, place in a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press to fit without stretching dough. Trim edges even with tart pan. Chill until ready to fill. Heat oven to 350°F. Peel and core apples. Cut in half, end-to-end. Slice apples crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Combine sugar, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. Add apple slices and toss to coat. Randomly place about 1/2 of apples into bottom of crust in two layers, cutting apples as necessary to fill all gaps. Arrange row of apples lengthwise along outside edge of pan, overlapping the slices about 1/8 inch. Fill in center with smaller pieces of apples. Dot with butter. Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until apples are fork tender and edges of apples begin to brown. Cool on wire rack. Heat orange marmalade in small microwave-safe bowl on HIGH for 20 seconds; stir. Brush marmalade over tart.

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Local Business And I am proud to stand beside our Board, 150 dedicated staff and community stakeholders who have helped build our wonderful organizational service mission. It is a service mission that has and will continue to positively touch our community’s families’ lives- one family at a time.

Chief Executive Officer Carl Walters II, Wellness Pointe

New CEO

debuts at

Left to right: Justin Waite, Chief Operating Officer, Clinical Services; Eric Niemeyer, Chief Financial Officer; Carl Walters II, Chief Executive Officer; Dr. John Kirk, Chief Medical Officer; Hope Echols, Human Resource Director; and Aliceson Pinkerton, Chief Operating Officer, Social Services. 28

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By Joycelyne Fadojutimi

L

jfadr@infinitieplus.com

ongview’s Wellness Pointe has hired a new Chief Executive Officer. Carl I. Walters II took over his new post March 12, 2012. As a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), Wellness Pointe supplies integrated and comprehensive Family Practice, OB/GYN (delivery included,) Dental, WIC, Mental Health, Pediatric, Family Planning and various Social Services for patients in the region. During 2011 Wellness Pointe produced approximately 60,000 patients encounters and they are committed to ensuring all of their system patients received quick, personalized, prompt medically appropriate and cost-effective care. Wellness Pointe’s service area encompasses a city radius of about 20 miles (though they pull patients from a 100 mile radius) and is part of the nation’s Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) network, which provides core comprehensive primary care services for more than 20 million medically uninsured and/or low-income persons nationwide. By his own admission Walters could not have come to a better location. “I love this town. The people are very hospitable,” he said. “It has everything that a young family would want and need.” There are other local aspects that strike his fancy. “It is a beautiful town. First and foremost, the people are nice. It is ‘Yes, sir, Yes, ma’am,’ and people are polite, friendly and helpful. He holds a B.S. in hospital administration from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, a masters degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix, Utah. He is a former naval officer (Medical Service Corps) with executive leadership experience in the U.S. Navy. He also brings U.S. Navy outpatient clinic command leadership experience. He is the eldest son of retired U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and former Tuskegee airman Major Carl Walters. He and wife Jennifer have two children--son Carl and daughter Brigettee. He points out that some towns feel stuffy, or the people hardly speak to each other. As a seasoned healthcare Executive he has seen and toured many, many communities, so his opinion carries weight. He has also traveled widely through his many earlier management positions. With 26 years experience in for-profit and non-profit health systems Walters has become known at community and state levels for his skill in the areas of integrated health care delivery systems re-design. He is well respected for his expertise in strengthening health systems from a fiscal, organizational branding and market-share enhancement efforts. Of late he has served as Vice-President of Clinic and Outpatient Services, Mercy Medical Center (Williston, North Dakota,) Chief Executive Officer of Tri-City Community Health (Pasco, Washington,) Chief Executive Officer of Alexian Brothers PACE Community Services Division (St. Louis, Missouri,) Chief Operating Officer, St. Louis Connectcare, and Divisional Practice Administrator, HCA, Utah Physician Services Division (Ogden, Utah.) Walters explains that 1900 Federally Qualified Health Centers serve as our nation’s frontline primary care network for the nation’s uninsured and under-insured. Wellness Pointe main objective is to ensure everyone in their service area has access to quality affordable, primary care services. He points out that even though Wellness Pointe offers care www.infinitieplus.com

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Carl Wa Chief Exec

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Local Business Wellness Pointe is not a health system for “those people” – we are a highquality, integrated healthcare delivery system that is here to serve all people. Carl Walters II, Chief Executive Officer to the uninsured, it also provides care for those with insurance. He invites the whole community to take advantage of the integrated primary care services that Wellness Pointe offers. “Our staff has a high level of clinical competency,” he said. “We are an integrated health care delivery system with medical, dental, behavioral, social services, pharmacy and a host of enabling services. Our staff are very customer serviceoriented as we want to ensure every visit our valued patients have with us is a positive one.” He also stresses that another focus

of the Federally Qualified Health Centers is to reduce inappropriate and unnecessary ER visits. Federally Qualified Health Centers have also demonstrated their ability to provide core comprehensive primary care services at lower costs to the healthcare system as a whole, which is why the federal government now helps fund over 1900 of Centers like Wellness Pointe across the country. Wellness Pointe also takes pride in employing seasoned and respected clinicians to staff their clinical team. “Our dedicated clinicians are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of our community families we are entrusted to serve as a primary care medical home for,” Walters adds. Walters is also upbeat about the health systems strong and collaborative stakeholder partnerships, who collaborate effectively with them to ensure a coordinated and integrated care approach for their patients such as Community Healthcore,

Good Shepherd Medical Center, Buckner Services, United Way info line, the East Texas Council on Drugs and Alcohol Abuse; school districts and Special Health Resources for Texas Inc. Chief Operating Officer for Social Services Aliceson Pinkerton sums up this cooperative effort. “We have good working relationships with the school systems,” she said. Chief Operating Officer Clinical Services Justin Waite outlines how Wellness Pointe is a family-oriented, primary care health system. “We connect people to the best specialists in town,” he said. “We want to remove any stigma that the care at Wellness Pointe is substandard.” Walters is working with his Board, Executive Team and system staff to outline a strategic plan for the system to better meet the community’s healthcare needs. He also personally invites anyone who is in need of a primary care medical home to try their system. “We take most major insurances and we welcome the opportunity for community families in need of a medical home to utilize our system services,” Walters adds. “Regardless of whether you might need Pediatric, Family Practice, Dental Services, OB/GYN Services, Behavioral Health Services and/or Social Services, we would be honored if you would entrust Wellness Pointe with your family’s healthcare needs,” Walters states. “Oftentimes health systems like Wellness Pointe are erroneously viewed as somehow being not as good as other health systems. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Walters continued. “Our network of healthcare professionals are just as dedicated, clinical outcomes focused, clinically competent, and culturally-sensitive as any you will find in the area,” said Walters. “We are here to serve our entire community and the entire community is

encouraged to utilize our compliment of integrated healthcare services available,” he said. One of Wellness Pointe main missions is to combat chronic health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Wellness Pointe provides screenings for diabetes, high blood pressure, juvenile diabetes and diabetes related illnesses. “We are committed to lowering the incidences of juvenile diabetes, adult diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease in our community,” Walters adds as “we remain committed to improving the quality of life for our valued community constituents lies, a commitment which has remained unchanged over our 20 year history.” “We wish to thank our valued community families who have entrusted us with their care, our valued community stakeholders who continue to partner with us to ensure our community constituents receive their care in an integrated, seamless, and compassionate manner and we thank our funders who know they can count on Wellness Pointe to use such funds afforded to help improve the quality of life for our valued community families,” Walters continued. “Our mission is a proud community service mission – one we have and never will lose sight of, “said Walters.” Wellness Pointe is not a health system for “those people” – we are a high-quality, integrated healthcare delivery system that is here to serve all people,” he said. Walters adds, “And I am proud to stand beside our Board, 150 dedicated staff and community stakeholders who have helped build our wonderful organizational service mission. It is a service mission that has and will continue to positively touch our community’s families’ lives – one family at a time.”

Our network of healthcare professionals are just as dedicated, clinical outcomes focused, clinically competent, and culturally-sensitive as any you will find in the area. Carl Walters II, Chief Executive Officer 30

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Opinion

Taking care By Susan Estrich The news from Sloan Kettering that colonoscopy measurably saves lives will certainly make me feel better when I start drinking the liquid the night before mine. But really, what my doctors have been telling me from their own experience is why, as much as I hate doing it, I’m pretty religious about the timetable.

Just for Chuckles

When I say I hate doing it, I don’t mean the night-before business, about which even doctors try to reassure you. What bothers me is not the discomfort. Any woman who has ever had a child, or watched, knows that discomfort is not a reason not to do something worth doing. It’s the fear: the moment before the doctor tells you the baby looks great, the screen is clear, no cancer was detected. Earlier this week, I had my regular mammogram, and the wonderful tech, a woman named Gloria at Cedars-Sinai, asked me over and over again during the compression whether she was hurting me. I laughed. “Do women really complain about this?” She rolled her eyes. Ridiculous. Of course it hurts, but so what? We’re talking about saving lives, ladies. Katie Couric has done more than anyone to promote colonoscopy — and yet still smart people don’t always listen. I just learned that an old friend, a wonderful woman who is smart, sensible and, yes, amply insured, is suffering from untreatable colon cancer, has used up all options and is at home with 24/7 care. I asked our mutual friend whether she’d had a colonoscopy. Nope. Well into her 60s and she never had one. Why? Because she’d heard it was unpleasant, because she didn’t have time, because she was too busy taking care of everyone else to take care of herself, because she trusted in fate. It doesn’t matter. There is no good answer. When my friend Judy died of lung cancer 12 years ago, everyone asked me whether she smoked cigarettes. It drove me slightly crazy. She didn’t. Neither did my beloved Rosie, who helped me raise my children (and is now taking care of the Estrich dogs) and is, knock on wood, approaching three years clean. But really, would it matter so much if they had? Would they then deserve what they got, or would it just make us feel better about our own chances? When I speak at graduations, I always tell the students that it’s not the hand you’re dealt but how

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you play it; how you adapt to what you cannot change. I was raped before my college graduation. I didn’t go to my law school graduation because my father had died and I was already working and didn’t have the money to fly back. Some hands are better than others. Having parents who live to see their 90s is a good hand. Having a father die at 54, which is what happened to mine, is less good. But he smoked and drank, and he didn’t exercise, and he didn’t take his blood pressure medicine, which doesn’t mean he deserved to die, but it should be a red flag for his children. The older you get the clearer it is that you can do everything right — get the tests and the checkups, eat the right foods, take the right vitamins, work out and meditate and the rest — and it won’t necessarily save you. Most of the oldest people I know tell me that luck matters. Of course it does. But counting on luck is pure foolishness. There are no guarantees, but regardless of your hand, there are better and worse ways to play it. We need a system in which everyone has access to health care so that all Americans have the chance to play their hands well. But having access is no guarantee. I have too many sad stories that prove it. For adults to avoid a colonoscopy because they can’t face a night in the toilet is sheer foolishness. To skip a mammogram because you don’t like having your breasts squeezed between two plates is just silly. It’s easy to start smoking when you’re young and stupid; it’s hard to stop smoking when you’re older and addicted. Believe me, I know. I tried eight times before I finally succeeded in quitting at 33, and I still wince every time I get a chest X-ray. But we all do hard things in life. We face days so much more difficult than one without a cigarette, or than a night spent in the toilet or an afternoon with your breasts squeezed between two plates. Get a good book, and get a colonoscopy. I’m told you only have to drink half as much liquid as you used to. Take care.

april 2012

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