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NEW-AGE PRODUCTS, OLD-FASHIONED CUSTOMER SERVICE

COASTAL BEND MEDICAL MAGAZINE

CARLA HOFFMAN PG. 18

ANNIVERSARY

ISSUE

HAVEN OF HOPE NEW LIFE REFUGE MINISTRIES FIGHTS HUMAN TRAFFICKING

HEALTH AND WELLNESS 101

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River City Hospice offers high quality, compassionate care to persons who can no longer benefit from curative treatment. Services are provided by a team of trained professionals that include: physicians, nurses, counselors, social workers, therapists, chaplains, nurse aides and volunteers.

ALICE

171 Medical Center Blvd., Building E Alice, TX 78332

361.664.4888

CORPUS CHRISTI

4646 Corona Dr., Suite 160 Corpus Christi, TX 78411

361.882.5900

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Our mission is to provide medical

transport for critically ill or injured persons requiring medical or trauma facilities within our South Texas service area. Emergency assistance is provided to all persons regardless of their ability to pay.

www.haloflight.org 361.265.0509 I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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Corpus Christi MRI Center

Luxury Pet Accessories

Blue Star Radiology Official Radiologists of the Dallas Cowboys

COASTAL BEND MEDICAL MAGAZINE

APRIL.MAY 2015

PUBLISHER ADRIAN GARZA EDITOR Allison Alvarado

ART DIRECTOR Liv Madison

SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Holly Duvall

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Michael B. Jones, M.D., DABR

Diagnostic Radiologist Fellowship in Musculoskeletal Imaging

David T. Larsen, M.D., DABR

Mon-Sat 10-6 7602 S. Staples, Ste. 109 361.537.8200

Diagnostic Radiologist Fellowship in Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Michael E. Patyrak, M.D., DABR Diagnostic Radiologist Fellowship in Musculoskeletal Imaging

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Steven Alford Mark Jordan Rosalyn Mandola Minta Moore Sylvia Slezak Sarah Tindall

PHOTOGRAPHY Steven Alford Dustin Ashcraft Paul Marshall David Olds

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Brittanie Robertson

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DIY Dog Wash

2-3 Hour Stat Interpretations

For advertising information, please call 361.548.1044 or email adrian@inspirecoastalbendmag.com.

10 Years Serving South Texas

For editorial comments and suggestions, please email adrian@inspirecoastalbendmag.com.

se habla español

361-561-0635 8am - 5pm Monday - Friday

3702 S. Alameda

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www.corpuschristimricenter.com I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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7957 Wolverine Corpus Christi, Texas 78414 Phone: 361.548.1044 Copyright © Inspire Coastal Bend Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction without the expressed written permission of the publisher is prohibited.


CONTENTS APRIL.MAY2015

FEATURE 10 Your Business Online

HEALTH & WELLNESS 14 The Bigger Picture

COVER STORY

18 CARLA HOFFMAN

This award-winning hearing aid specialist proudly devotes her time and talents to the Hearing Aid Company of Texas, the largest familyowned and operated hearing health care provider in the area – and the most respected.

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PROFILES

22 ATLS COMES TO

CORPUS CHRISTI

CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Memorial brings the prestigious Advanced Trauma Life Support course to Corpus Christi, which draws trauma physicians from around the country to learn more about the delicate art of saving lives.

24 CHRISTUS SPOHN TAVR

PATIENTS MEET THEIR PHYSICIANS

The health system honors the one-year anniversary of patients undergoing the innovative new heart procedure, which serves as an important step for heart health in the Coastal Bend community.

26 CHRISTUS SPOHN

EMERGENCY MEDICINE RESIDENT PROGRAM

Emergency medicine resident physicians at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Memorial visit the Flour Bluff Volunteer Fire Department as part of the initiative to help physicians and firefighters develop a better understanding of the overall cycle of care for South Texas residents.

NONPROFIT 30 Haven of Hope 32 Raise Your Voice

EVENTS 34 Mixing Things Up in the

Coastal Bend

COVER AND TABLE OF CONTENTS PHOTOS BY: DUSTIN ASHCRAFT

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WE TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN

KEEPING YOUR SMILE BEAUTIFUL For 30 years, over 30,000 patients have placed their trust in the Vela Dental Centers. With three offices in the South Texas area, we make sure excellent dental care is convenient, accessible and affordable. Vela Dental Crosstown, near Spohn Memorial Hospital, serves our downtown, Callalen, Robstown, and Portland areas. Vela Dental Southside, located at Holly and Everhart, serves as our flagship office, providing complex implant and dental rehabilitation for all of South Texas. Vela Dental Kingsville, located at 14th and Henrietta, serves all of Kingsville and the surrounding community. Our highly skilled team of dentists and staff take pride in keeping your smile beautiful or restoring your smile to the way you deserve.

WE HAVE THE ANSWER TO ALL OF YOUR DENTAL NEEDS • Fix damaged or painful teeth • Replace single or multiple missing teeth • Enhance your smile • Remove wisdom teeth & other bad teeth • Clean and prevent gum disease

BEFORE

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER - 6-unit bridge and fillings

AFTER - full arch rehabilitation with 11 porcelain crowns and 2 implants

AFTER - full mouth rehabilitation with 24 porcelain crowns

Benjamin Vela DDS & Associates • General Dentistry

SOUTHSIDE - 361.994.4900 CROSSTOWN - 361.884.2266 KINGSVILLE - 361.592.4373

veladental.com

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FEATURE

YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE How to make the Web work for you By: SYLVIA SLEZAK

1. Ninety-seven percent of Internet users look for local goods and services online (source: BIA/ Kelsey, User View Wave VII, March 2010). 2. One in five searches is local, which means someone is looking for a product or service nearby (source: Google user data, April 2010). 3. Three out of four smart phone users have contacted a business they found on their phone (source: Google/Ipsos, “The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users,” April 2011). 4. Over the next three years, businesses that make use of the Web expect to grow 40 percent faster than those that don’t (source: BCG Report, “The Connected World: The $4.2 Trillion Opportunity,” March 2012). 5. Fifty percent of Texas businesses do not have a website (source: Google/IPSOS, Survey of businesses with less than 250 employees, October 2013).

HERE ARE A FEW SIMPLE IDEAS TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE. WEBSITE

You know that your business needs a website, but taking your business online can be intimidating when you don’t have any experience with Web design or development. Fortunately, the process for getting your business online isn’t as complicated as it may first seem to be, and can be broken down into these simple steps: • Research and register a domain name. Use an online domain name registrar to search for and purchase the preferred domain name for your business as soon as possible. • Determine what your website will need to do for your business. Your website is a tool that should provide value for your business. If your business will be selling products online, your website will need e-commerce capabilities for a shopping cart. • Develop your website content. Unfortunately, website content doesn’t appear out of thin air

– somebody has to create it. Never assume that your Web developer or designer will do it for you. If you don’t feel comfortable writing effective content and copy for your website, you may want to hire a copywriter to work with you. • Include images, audio and videos. You’ll want to make sure that any media you post on your website is professional and appropriately placed for the context. Also, avoid stock photos wherever possible. Your customers want to see images that are a true representation of your business. • Launch and maintain your website. The switch is flipped, and your website is live! Now you need to make sure that people can find it.

LOCAL BUSINESS DIRECTORY

• This is one of the oldest and most effective ways to market your business online. • Consider listing your business products and services on a directory that is targeted, affordable and accountable. • Your local business should be found on pages that are specific to the services and products you offer.

ONLINE VIDEO

• Provides a wider reach: Gives you access to enormous traffic sources like YouTube and Vimeo and is one of the most cost-effective ways to get the word out about your business. Injects personality: Builds trust and connects with viewers on an emotional level and helps you stand out among mediocre competitors. • More memorable than written content: Internet users are becoming increasingly “blind” to banner ads. Your users are much more likely to remember and respond to videos than written content. • Becomes an SEO boost: Video appears in 70 percent of the top 100 search results listings, so using video to promote your business creates

huge SEO advantages. Search engines like Google are rewarding video producers with free traffic and streams of qualified visitors that can turn into customers.

SOCIAL MEDIA

• In case you’re not fully on board with social media, here are compelling reasons that not using it may be harming your business: • People won’t know how great your business is. On social media, businesses routinely share customer testimonials with their followers. • Don’t know what customers may be saying about you online. Without a social media presence, how can you monitor negative reviews or attempt to answer them and demonstrate a policy of responsiveness? • Lack a method for engaging with your target audience. Social media is interactive and instills customer loyalty. Engagement may include sharing product updates, conducting customer surveys, sponsoring contests, etc. Your advertising dollars can do much more for you. Why not promote your business? Contact CityOf.com to position your products or services in front of more local consumers! Whether you need your business listed in a target-specific local business directory, a website designed or a video produced, get started now by calling 1-888-785-0500 or emailing staff@cityof.com.

This article was written by Sylvia Slezak, director of marketing and social media for www.cityof.com.

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ANGELA_WAYE/BIGSTOCK.COM, ARROW123/BIGSTOCK.COM

MANY BUSINESSES IN TEXAS cannot be found online. These five statistics show why your business should be online.


Welcome to the SOUTH TEXAS BRAIN AND SPINE CENTER. Our surgeons provide neurosurgical care in many of the major hospitals in Corpus Christi, Texas. Our surgeons and staff provide individual and conservative treatment using the most effective and modern technologies available in the world.

SOUTH TEXAS BRAIN AND SPINE CENTER 1227 3rd Street, Corpus Christi, TX 78404

361.883.4323

www.southtexasbrainandspine.net I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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APPAREL

HOME

DESIGN SERVICES

1700 State Highway 361, Suite E | Port Aransas, TX 78373 | 361.749.1881 www.coastalclosetportaransas.com 12

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Offering care right in your community as an alternative to congested hospital ER’s. Where our doctors wait on you

Hours: 24/7 365 days a year

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HEALTH & WELLNESS you better understand what wellness is and what it can provide for your health, outlook and overall sense of purpose and well-being. Wellness is about more than diet and exercise. Many believe that if one has a handle on physical and nutritional modifications, everything else falls into place – yet every year, we start with good intentions toward diet and exercise, and many of us fall short. In falling short, we may think that things should be done differently next time, but what about addressing more than just diet and exercise? Thinking that it only takes physical and nutritional preparation to reach your potential can often result in falling short of your goals, without completely understanding why. Maybe bringing other factors into the picture could allow you to have more tools for the bigger picture that defines wellness.

WE CAN DO “ANYTHING” – FOR THREE WEEKS

THE BIGGER PICTURE

Health and wellness: how something so big is so much easier when made small By: MARK JORDAN

WE ARE WELL INTO 2015! How many of us had wellness goals in mind when we made New Year’s resolutions a few months ago? How many of us had plans to achieve those goals? How many are still on track with those plans? How many are not? Come to think of it, how many really know what I’m talking about when I say the word, “wellness”? As an avid exercise and health enthusiast (for more than 40 years) who has been involved in the wellness industry for the last six years, I plan to provide a series of insights designed to help 14

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I have always believed that if you have an end in sight, many things are possible. Another way of putting it is to imagine being able to “see the light at the end of the tunnel” for each endeavor you encounter – even if you have to make that endeavor shorter to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As an example, when I talk with people about what I do for nutrition, I break it down into small time units. I say that I can do any nutrition routine for three weeks. Once I’ve achieved that “mini goal,” I say that I can repeat what I just did for another three weeks because I know how it feels and I know the results it gives me. Taking it in three-week intervals allows you to make the initial changes you need to make, without having to see the change as Mark Jordan recently the first day lasting the rest of your life, with no end attempted to set a in sight.  new record by doing So when we consider that wellness involves 4,321 pull-ups within more than diet and exercise to improve our overall 24 hours at age 54! For more information well-being and consider an initial plan lasting three about wellness weeks, you can see the total plan as a series of threeconsultations, meetings week intervals. These series or steps can become and presentations, much easier to manage than one life-long plan. The contact Jordan at info@ markkjordan.com or visit light at the end of the tunnel is seen after each threewww.markkjordan.com. week cycle and it makes the entire time (e.g. nine to 12 weeks) more manageable and practical.  

WHERE THE MIND IS, THE BODY WILL BE, AND WHERE THE MIND AND THE HEART GO, THE BODY WILL FOLLOW

The mental and emotional parts are critical when reaching goals that are new, especially those that are considered unreachable or out-of-this-world. Let’s face it: None of us have physical bodies that are actively performing 24 hours a day, yet our minds never shut down. When you think about it, our minds and emotions are in awareness mode at all times. I believe it’s just a matter of channeling that awareness in a positive direction to allow your physical body to reach the desired goal. Have fun and congratulate yourself on your achievement each step of the way. Remember that the Internet provides access to delicious and healthy recipes. Make your three weeks interesting! In upcoming issues, I will provide experience-based benefits related to the use of three-week cycles (or intervals or steps) in the areas of physical, emotional and overall well-being, so stay tuned. And remember: You can do almost “anything” if it’s only going to last three weeks!


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SIX POINTS PHYSICAL THERAPY PROMOTING HEALING AND WELLNESS

Our mission is to return the patient to a productive lifestyle by offering individualized therapy promoting healing and wellness

TREATMENT PROGRAMS Pain Management // Orthopedic Rehabilitation // Pre and Post Operative Rehabilitation Neurological Injuries // Respiratory Therapy // Fibromyalgia // Wellness Maintenance // Arthritis Tendon Repair // Sports Injuries // Carpal Tunnel // Sprains/Strains

Jaime Pato Moreno PT

Monica Lucido-Clay PT, DPT

701 Park Avenue Corpus Christi, Texas 78401 Phone: (361) 879-0006 // Fax: (361) 879-0702

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Brad Walker MSPT

5017 Saratoga, Suite 139 Corpus Christi, Texas 78413 Phone: (361) 993-0441 // Fax: (361) 993-0452


Specializing in New Construction and Renovations

ART RAMIREZ President /Builder

R.O. Construction Group  (361) 813-6520 www.roconstructiongroup.com  www.facebook.com/artthebuilder

There is an Art to building your dream home, let’s do it together! I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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COVER STORY

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HEARING HEALTH FOR LIFE

They put patients first with a combination of new-age products and old-fashioned customer service – and with eight locations all over South Texas, Carla Hoffman and the Hearing Aid Company of Texas clearly have the formula for success. By: Sarah Tindall Photos by: Dustin Ashcraft

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CARLA HOFFMAN NEVER THOUGHT SHE’D BE

working in the health care industry, nor did she ever think she would be able to make such a huge impact on people’s lives or find her work so rewarding. When you hear her talk about her patients, it’s like she’s talking about family, and she gets choked up every time she tells you about the life-changing events that happen in her office every single day.

“WE STRIVE EVERY DAY TO PUT OUR PATIENTS FIRST AND DO THINGS RIGHT.”

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Hoffman’s mother and father-in-law founded the Hearing Aid Company of Texas more than 25 years ago, and now Hoffman and her two brothers-in-law run the company. This family-owned and operated business has maintained a strict policy of treating all patients as if they, too, are part of the family since its inception. That extends to the rest of their employees, as well, whom Hoffman says are hired based on their “can do” attitude, core values and ethics and “customer first” treatment. This old-fashioned customer service, combined with the new-age products the Hearing Aid Company has to offer, has resulted in a successful, thriving business. With eight locations all over South Texas, the company has grown to be the largest family-owned and operated hearing health care provider in the area, as well as the most beloved. “We strive hard every day to put our patients first and do things right. If we do the right thing every moment of every single day, this is how we measure success,” says Hoffman, the recipient of the Hearing Aid Dispenser of the Year Award at the 66th annual THAA Convention. Hoffman’s story started years ago in the snow of Minnesota, where she grew up. A trip down to South Texas in 1993 to visit her sister and get some respite from the wintry weather was momentous; her sister asked her why she was going to stay up there in the cold when she could move down here and be close to family, and the rest, as they say, is history. Hoffman moved to Corpus Christi and started work on her MBA at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She fell in love, got married and has been here ever since. Her career in health care came along because of family, also. After she gave birth to twins, her father-in-law, the founder and CEO of the Hearing Aid Company of Texas, asked her to step in and help out in the back office. “We had such a small staff back then, with only three non-family employees,” she says. “I thought I never wanted to do anything health care related, but then God said, ‘You think you have a plan, but not so!’ I knew the day I arrived that this was my calling.” Hoffman goes on to tell the story of how she


knew that her career in the hearing industry was meant to be. “I walked in that first day, and there was an older man waiting to be helped in the front office. Everyone was busy, so even though I had no experience whatsoever, I knew I needed to figure it out and help him, using my customer service background to do my best. I took his hearing aid into the lab, said a prayer and figured out how to take it apart and get the two ports cleaned out. They were full of earwax! I didn’t even know to check them to see if they were working, but they were squealing, so I figured it must be a good sign. “I took them back out to him, said another prayer asking that they would work, and he popped them back in and could hear! He was so grateful, and told me he had come in to get them repaired because his daughter was coming into town, and they hadn’t talked in years. Now he could talk to her! I saw what a difference it made in his life, and I was hooked.” That was 1999; that same year, Hoffman went back to school to get the technical degree she needed to be a hearing aid specialist at the Hearing Aid Company. She spent two years training under her father-in-law and brother-in-law at Hearing Aid Company of Texas, passed her boards to become certified and trained for two more years before becoming fully licensed. Since then, the Hearing Aid Company of Texas has expanded its product line from only two hearing aid models to encompassing the full range of audiology devices available. They are now able to offer their patients any hearing device from any major manufacturer in the world. The company is also a full diagnostic clinic, where patients can get everything from preliminary to full testing. But some things never change: The Hearing Aid Company of Texas has always offered free hearing checks and free cleaning and inhouse repairs on their products, and they still honor that tradition to this day. The most important thing to know, according to Hoffman, is that a hearing aid is a very specialized and individualistic piece of equipment. “These are not like cheater glasses that you can pick up at the pharmacy and use,” she says. “No two human ears are alike, and therefore, the way we choose, fit and program a hearing aid is very unique to the person, much like a prosthetic limb. We base our choice of device on many things: lifestyle, communication needs, work or volunteering, family members’ needs, dexterity, eyesight and cognitive comprehension, to name a few.” This means that Hoffman and the staff must identify medical issues that will affect

hearing down the road, including things like heart disease, diabetes and stroke risk, to determine what a patient’s hearing needs will be, because all of those conditions can affect a person’s hearing over the long term. Therefore, it is imperative that the staff at the Hearing Aid Company of Texas is well educated and ready to address all of these concerns with their patients, while at the same time ensuring that patients feel comfortable and at ease during treatment. “You don’t just buy a hearing aid from us,” Hoffman says. “You get hearing health care for life.” And that attitude is what has kept their business expanding for the past 25 years. Hoffman enjoys making meaningful change happen in the lives of her patients every single day. “There’s a reason we keep tissues in all of the exam rooms,” she explains. “When a child hears a mother’s voice for the first time, or someone gets tested and realizes the reason they did poorly in school was because they just couldn’t hear the teacher like the other kids, or someone hears a spouse for the first time in years – those are amazing moments that our patients have every single day. We’ve fixed hearing aids in the middle of the night so a dying man can hear his loved ones tell him goodbye. We have a 24-hour hotline for that very reason – that’s how important what we do is to us.” Thanks to advances in technology, the devices themselves are easy to conceal and affordable. Hoffman recommends that everyone come in at age 40 to get a baseline hearing test. The patient’s hearing can then be monitored every few years to see if there has been any change. Early intervention and treatment allows people to live their entire lives able to hear and enjoy living. But improving the quality of their patients’ lives isn’t all that the Hearing Aid Company of Texas is doing. Hoffman goes on to explain that “I used to say that what we did was not saving lives, but we’ve identified and referred so many cases of skin cancer, tumors, heart disease, diabetes, you name it, that now I know that we do. We also have patients tell us we’ve helped save their marriage. We take our jobs and our patients’ lives very seriously, and it makes us proud to come to work every day.” Hoffman’s job also keeps her extremely active in the community. She and her family support many local charities, especially those that make a difference for her patients: the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and – most especially, of course – the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Center. For more information about the Hearing Aid Company of Texas or to find out how to schedule a visit, go to www.hearingaidcompany.com or call 800-571-3058.

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PROFILE

CUTTING-EDGE

TRAUMA MEDICINE

CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Memorial brings the prestigious Advanced Trauma Life Support course to the Coastal Bend, enabling area physicians to learn more about providing better care to critically injured patients. By: Steven Alford Photos by: Steven Alford

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hen trauma patients are brought to the emergency room, it’s critical that trauma doctors have the latest technology and best practices at their fingertips. That’s why the trauma team at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Memorial has worked to bring the most advanced trauma course to South Texas, teaching local and state physicians the latest in cutting-edge trauma medicine. The hospital recently hosted the Advanced Trauma Life Support Class (ATLS), which draws physicians from around the country to learn more about the delicate art of saving lives. Through his work with the ATLS of San Antonio and the Coastal Bend Regional Advisory Council, CHRISTUS Spohn Trauma Medical Director, Dr. Osbert Blow, and his staff worked for more than four years to train local instructors and acquire resources to the bring the prestigious course to Corpus Christi. “We are here to inspire and teach everyone to be better trauma providers and to do more to protect injured patients in our state, our country and our world,” Blow said between training sessions at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Memorial.

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A plane crash in 1976 led to what is now an internationally adopted course from the American College of Surgeons aimed at teaching standardized initial assessment and management of the traumatized patient. After orthopedic surgeon, Dr. James Styner, and his family were seriously injured in a plane crash, the initial care they received exposed the need for a consistent, standardized approach in caring for victims of trauma. These findings led to the beginning of the ATLS course, which is now taught worldwide. Blow and his team at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Memorial continue that mission in the Coastal Bend, sharing their knowledge and the best practices of the ATLS course with other practitioners ultimately to provide better care to critically injured patients. “Our mission is to reduce death and disability, related to trauma, injury and disaster through education, and well-planned and coordinated disaster and emergency response systems,” Blow shared. And during the course in March, the CHRISTUS Spohn trauma team got a little help from Moody High School students who were invited to dress up as injured patients during actual

WE ARE HERE TO INSPIRE AND TEACH EVERYONE TO DO MORE TO PROTECT INJURED PATIENTS IN OUR STATE, OUR COUNTRY AND OUR WORLD.”

training exercises with physicians. The young students got their own firsthand look at trauma medicine in action. It’s the hope of Blow and his team that this inside peek into what emergency room physicians and nurses experience will inspire the next generation of trauma surgeons in South Texas. “When I got involved in medicine, I was about their age as well, and it inspired me,” Blow said. “I think courses and partnerships like these are imperative if we want to have a succession plan for future generations of health care professionals.”


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CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is the region’s largest hospital system in South Texas, consisting of six hospital campuses throughout the Coastal Bend. The health system is consistently ranked a health care leader in the area, and it has received national recognition for several pioneering programs, including trauma, cardiac care, clinical excellence and oncology. For more than 100 years, CHRISTUS Spohn has been distinguished by its high-caliber staff and affiliated physicians, its comprehensive and innovative services and its long history of responding to the needs of the community it serves. For more information, visit www.christusspohn.org.

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1/ Trauma physicians from around the country recently attended the Advanced Trauma Life Support course at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Memorial, which teaches the latest in cutting-edge trauma medicine. 2/ CHRISTUS Spohn Trauma Medical Director, Dr. Osbert Blow, and his staff pose for a group photo with Moody High School students who participated as mock patients in training exercises with trauma physicians at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Memorial. 3 & 4/ The trauma team at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Memorial recently hosted the Advanced Trauma Life Support Class, which draws physicians from around the country to learn more about the delicate art of saving lives.

To learn more about the CHRISTUS Spohn trauma team, please visit www.christusspohn.org/traumaemergencyservices. I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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PROFILE

AN IMPORTANT STEP FOR HEART HEALTH

CHRISTUS Spohn reunites patients with their clinicians for their oneyear anniversary of undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement, an innovative new heart procedure that just might be the future of cardiology. By: Steven Alford // Photos by: Steven Alford

Cardiologist Dr. Srikanth Damaraju thanks members of the TAVR and cardiac team during a special ceremony honoring the oneyear anniversary of the first 18 patients to undergo the new lifesaving heart procedure at CHRISTUS Spohn.

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t was a heartfelt reunion at CHRISTUS Spohn as one year after introducing a breakthrough, minimally invasive heart procedure, the health system reunited the first 18 patients to undergo the procedure with the doctors who made it happen. The heart patients received the star treatment at the event, held at the ultra-modern Dan A. Hughes Family Hybrid Surgical Suite where

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the procedures take place. There, CHRISTUS Spohn physicians and administration honored the group with a heart healthy meal, and crystal heart-shaped awards etched with the date of the reunion. “It really means a lot for our TAVR team to reunite with these patients and see how this new procedure has improved their health and changed their lives,” said Kristine Hungate, chest pain center coordinator at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Shore-

I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

I’M SO THANKFUL FOR THIS WONDERFUL GROUP OF DOCTORS AND NURSES. I WOULD NOT BE HERE TODAY IF IT WERE NOT FOR THEM.”

line. Often, patients never get a chance to meet the physicians and clinicians who perform the procedure, she added. “This is a great way to bring them all together to say ‘thank you.’” The procedure is called transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR for short. The procedure foregoes the traditional open-heart surgery methods, to instead place a tiny artificial heart valve inside a patient’s chest by accessing a vein


in the thigh. It means less risk for the patient’s health, and a much shorter recovery time. “I’m so thankful for this wonderful group of doctors and nurses,” said 93-year-old Evelyn Nichols, the very first TAVR patient in South Texas. “I would not be here today if it were not for them.” The new minimally invasive procedure is only offered at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Shoreline, and it adds important years to patients’ lives who might not have any other options to repair congestive heart disease. To date, transcatheter valves have been implanted in more than 70,000 patients worldwide. The procedure is best suited for those patients who are not ideal candidates for traditional heart-valve replacement procedures. The TAVR procedure forgoes opening the chest to access the heart, an operation that can cause complications for patients such as seniors who are already weakened, or those with other underlying health conditions. And it might just be the future of cardiology. “There’s much less risk involved with this procedure,” said Dr. Srikanth Damaraju, a cardiologist who practices at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Shoreline. “Right now we’re looking to improve the lives of our elderly patients, but I suspect this will soon be the standard for all ages.” It’s an important step for the health for the community: Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, taking the lives of approximately 600,000 Americans each year, while more than five million Americans are diagnosed with heart valve disease each year. It’s a life-changing operation that can add years to a person’s life, something TAVR patient Erasmo De la Rosa said he and his family are very grateful for. “This truly was blessing,” De la Rosa said. “Thank you.”

Chest Pain Center Coordinator Kristine Hungate honors the first 18 TAVR procedure patients with a special ceremony commemorating one year of renewed health at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Shoreline.

LEFT: Members of the CHRISTUS Spohn cardiac team visit with 93-year-old Evelyn Nichols, who was the very first patient in South Texas to undergo the new TAVR heart procedure at CHRISTUS Spohn. BOTTOM: CHRISTUS Spohn heart patients were honored with a commemorative crystal heart to mark one year since undergoing the revolutionary new TAVR heart procedure.

CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is the region’s largest hospital system in South Texas, consisting of six hospital campuses throughout the Coastal Bend. The health system is consistently ranked a health care leader in the area, and it has received national recognition for several pioneering programs, including trauma, cardiac care, clinical excellence and oncology. For more than 100 years, CHRISTUS Spohn has been distinguished by its high-caliber staff and affiliated physicians, its comprehensive and innovative services and its long history of responding to the needs of the community it serves. For additional information, visit www.christusspohn.org. I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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PROFILE

UNDERSTANDING

THE CYCLE OF CARE In keeping with its long tradition of training resident physicians in South Texas, CHRISTUS Spohn gives future emergency room physicians the opportunity to use lifesaving technology alongside local firefighters, building bonds for providing better patient care. By: Steven Alford // Photos by: Steven Alford

THE EMERGENCY ROOM doctors of tomorrow got a firsthand look at the lifesaving technology of today during a recent exercise at the Flour Bluff Volunteer Fire Department. More than 20 emergency medicine resident physicians from CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Memorial learned what happens during an accident before a patient arrives at the hospital. They RIGHT: CHRISTUS even got to try out Spohn resident the “Jaws of Life” physician Craig themselves on a few Pederson gets a chance to use the donated junk cars. “Jaws of Life” on It’s all part of an a vehicle. annual training program to give local doctors and firefighters a better understanding of what each does in the cycle of care for South Texas residents. “As emergency physicians, we need to know what happens in the field so we can better work with our emergency responder partners and provide the best possible care for our patients,” said Dr. Tom McLaughlin, emergency medicine resident program director. “It’s great to be able to build those bonds.” The CHRISTUS Spohn emergency medicine residents gathered around and snapped pictures as Deputy Fire Chief J. P. Hominick and his crew demonstrated how airbags deploy, and the kinds of injuries that can occur during a car wreck. The resident physicians enjoyed suiting up in full firefighter gear to try using the pneumatic extraction device themselves known commonly as the “Jaws of Life.” The large metal pliers are a lot heavier to hold than you might think, according to third-year resident, Dr. Kelly Dowey. “It was a fun experience, and it makes a lot more sense for you when you actually get to try it for yourself and see what it

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THIS IS REALLY GOOD FOR THE COMMUNITY, BECAUSE THESE RESIDENTS GET TO SEE WHAT WE DO BEFORE THESE PATIENTS ARE BROUGHT TO THEM.”

ABOVE: CHRISTUS Spohn resident physician Kit Mock uses the “Jaws of Life” on a vehicle during exercises with the Flour Bluff Volunteer Fire Department.


Emergency medicine resident physicians from CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Memorial got a firsthand look at the lifesaving technology of today during exercises at the Flour Bluff Volunteer Fire Department.

CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is the region’s largest hospital system in South Texas, consisting of six hospital campuses throughout the Coastal Bend. The health system is consistently ranked a health care leader in the area, and it has received national recognition for several pioneering programs, including trauma, cardiac care, clinical excellence and oncology. For more than 100 years, CHRISTUS Spohn has been distinguished by its high-caliber staff and affiliated physicians, its comprehensive and innovative services and its long history of responding to the needs of the community it serves.

takes to pull someone out of a vehicle,” Dowey said. “It gives you an idea of just how hard our firefighters work.” CHRISTUS Spohn has a long tradition of training resident physicians in South Texas, dating back to the creation of the family medicine residency program at Memorial in the early 1970s. In 2007, CHRISTUS Spohn expanded the program to also include the emergency medicine residency program, both of which provide residents with a full spectrum of care needed by the communities they serve. The three-year program enrolls 12 new residents each year, for a total of 36 residents at any given time. Hominick said he enjoys the annual training sessions with the emergency medicine residents because it helps the two groups trade best practices and information, which ultimately means better patient outcomes. “This is real-

ABOVE: Emergency medicine resident physicians from CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Memorial got a firsthand look at the lifesaving technology of today during exercises at the Flour Bluff Volunteer Fire Department.

ly good for the community, because these residents get to see what we do before these patients are brought to them,” Hominick said. “It helps us all to be on the same page and work together even better.”

For additional information, visit www.christusspohn.org. I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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NONPROFIT

HAVEN OF HOPE

New Life Refuge Ministries works to fight the horrors of human trafficking and to help survivors in South Texas. By: MINTA MOORE // Photo by: DAVID OLDS

Right to left: Director: Minta Moore 2015 Event Chair: Melanie Jennings 2014 Event Chair: Meridith Carter

HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS THE FASTESTGROWING AND SECOND-LARGEST ILLEGAL INDUSTRY IN THE WORLD.

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WHAT IS New Life Refuge Ministries, and what is it doing to combat human trafficking in South Texas and help survivors? New Life Refuge Ministries is a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works to educate the public on domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST), and that is working to build a shelter to help survivors. New Life Refuge Ministries speaks to the community and students in high school and junior high about the issue. In addition, it partners with many other organizations such as Traffick911. Through that partnership, it presents Traffick911’s “Traps of the Trafficker” curriculum twice a month to girls in the Juvenile Detention Center. New Life Refuge Ministries is working to build a home of hope for the survivors. It will be a safe home-like environment where girls can heal from their trauma and learn their true purpose in life. The home will offer individual programs that will include counseling, life skills training, onsite schooling and many different therapies. A home

such as New Life Refuge Home of Hope is paramount for the recovery of survivors. To further elaborate on the need for such housing in our area, on March 4, 2015, the Corpus Christi Police recovered a 15-year-old girl who was being sold out of a local hotel room on SPID. There was no safe place for her to go in the Coastal Bend to get the care she needed. On April 17, 2015, the Celebration of Courage Gala will benefit New Life Refuge Ministries and its efforts to build the New Life Refuge Home of Hope. They hope you have the courage to support this event to help those who survive. So let me ask: What do you know about human trafficking? Did you know it is modern-day slavery? Did you know it comes in many forms, including labor trafficking, organ trafficking, domestic servitude and sex trafficking? Did you know it is a more than $125 billion-a-year industry worldwide? Did you know it is the fastest-growing and second-largest illegal industry in the world, and that it comes in just behind illegal drug dealing? Did you know that the average age a girl is lured into sex trafficking in the United States is 12 to 13 years old? Did you know that one in three kids who run away will be approached by a trafficker within 48 hours of leaving home? These are all things that people are learning, as well as how to spot a victim who is often “hidden in plain sight.” While human trafficking is not a new industry, it is just becoming more recognized. As a result, more victims are getting rescued. In addition, laws are being made to protect and better serve victims such as the federal Trafficking Victims Protections Act.* This bill needs your support. It has passed the House of Representatives and is now in the Senate. Please let your senator know you think it is important that this bill becomes a law. Another bill in the Senate is bill 532, which would allow assets forfeiture in cases of human trafficking. In other words, anything being used to conduct human trafficking can be seized, and the assets can then go to the victims as compensation. Know who you need to contact if you suspect someone is a trafficking victim. If the victim is under 18, it is mandatory by federal law to report the sexual exploitation. Report it to the Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-3737-888. »


State Anti-Trafficking Legislation HB 112, James White Makes a murder committed in the course of human trafficking a capital felony, meaning the punishment is life without parole or the death penalty. Filed. HB 188, Senfronia Thompson Requires the local law enforcement agency, district attorney or county attorney that assists in the prevention of human trafficking to collect statistical data with respect to cases involving human trafficking or prostitution; and requires the human trafficking prevention task force to develop recommendations for addressing the demand for human trafficking. Filed.

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HB 416, Debbie Riddle Requires that personnel, including volunteers, of abortion facilities complete training on human trafficking. It also requires the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to make training available to everyone who is applicable. Filed. HB 418, Gene Wu Allows counties and/or municipalities to establish safe houses for minors who have been found to be victims of human trafficking and sets some standards for these safe houses. Also permits certain courts to enter findings in emergency, initial or adversary hearing to place minors in safe houses established under this bill if the minor is a human trafficking victim, and if it is in the child’s best interests. Filed. HB 498, Ana Hernandez / SB 147, Jose Rodriguez / SB 352, Brian Birdwell Adds human trafficking to the statute relating to violations of protective orders and/or bond conditions. Filed (HB 498); Referred to the Criminal Justice Committee (SB 147); Referred to the Criminal Justice Committee (SB 352). HB 517, Joe Moody Requires certain witnesses to provide testimony in human trafficking prosecution, provides immunity to the witness regarding the matters testified about and allows a conviction of human trafficking based on uncorroborated testimony. Filed.

»»»»

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*The Trafficking Victims Protection Act clarifies current law and codifies court decisions that the conduct of buyers who “solicit” and “patronize” commercial sex with a child are committing the crime of sex trafficking. Buyers of sex acts with children fuel the sex trafficking markets; without demand, traffickers will lose their profits and countless children will be spared the horrors of sexual exploitation.

For more information on New Life Refuge Ministries, visit www.newliferefugeministries.org.

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NONPROFIT

Go Red for Women: empowering women to take charge of their heart health By: ROSALYN MANDOLA

T

en years ago, the American Heart Association (AHA) faced a difficult challenge: Cardiovascular disease was claiming the lives of nearly half a million American women every year, yet women were not paying attention. Many still dismissed heart disease as an older man’s ailment. But the reality is that since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and stroke and the gap continues to widen. Heart disease causes one in three women’s deaths each year, killing more than all forms of cancer combined. To dispel the myths and raise awareness of heart disease as the No. 1 killer of women, the AHA created Go Red For Women, a passionate social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health. Because the good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Go Red For Women encourages awareness of the issue and inspires action to save more lives. It challenges women to know the risk factors for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk. It also gives them the tools they need to lead a heart-healthy life. The Go Red campaign advocates for more women-specific cardiovascular research and swifter action from governments and the medical community to address women’s heart health. Ultimately, the movement calls on all women to band together to collectively wipe out heart disease. Since the campaign was launched just over a decade ago, the AHA has reported a 34 percent decrease in deaths – that’s more than 627,000 lives that have been saved. But there is still work to do.

           

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

When you Go Red, you raise your voice with millions of women nationwide and make a real difference in the lives of our mothers, sisters and daughters who are fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke. The annual Corpus Christi Go Red For Women luncheon is coming on May 13. The AHA and their volunteers turn the Solomon Ortiz Center into a fun, fabulous girls’ day out, awash in red. You can help raise funds by bidding in the “Purse-Onality” auction featuring fabulous

      

Flint Hills Resources Bay Ltd. AEP Texas Port of Corpus Christi Corpus Christi Caller-Times KRIS News Inspire Coastal Bend magazine CHRISTUS Spohn Health System Ensemble Group H-E-B Legamaro Financial Services Lyondell Basell NavyArmy Community Credit Union Radiology & Imaging of South Texas Vishal Raju Bhagat Foundation Corpus Christi Medical Center Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson, LLP Valero Bill Greehey Refinery First Community Bank

Call 361-445-3190 or visit www.corpuschristigored.heart.org for details, tickets and more.

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION

RAISE YOUR VOICE

themed purse packages. Luncheon attendees will enjoy a heart-healthy lunch and networking with others committed to women’s health, and they will have opportunities to check their heart health with screenings from local health care providers, and to learn small, easy steps to get on the path to a healthy lifestyle. Doors open at 10 a.m. with breakout sessions and health screenings, and the luncheon program will begin at 11:30 a.m. Jennifer Lira, KRIS News anchor, will once again serve as the master of ceremony, and inspirational speaker and comedienne Jan McInnis is the keynote speaker who is sure to prove that laughter is always the best medicine. The Go Red For Women luncheon is sponsored nationally by Macy’s (which will be onsite to do Macy’s Makeovers) and locally by:


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EVENTS

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Networking with Inspire Photos by: PAUL MARSHALL

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CCRH is the

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Acute Rehabilitation Hospital in the Coastal Bend Area You have a choice We understand that YOU HAVE A CHOICE when it comes to your rehabilitative care. At Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital (CCRH) we value teamwork and are connected at our core by the treatment needs of our patients. We are proud to be a freestanding acute rehabilitation hospital serving Corpus Christi, providing attentive and compassionate patient care to the community in which we serve.

Brain Injury • Amputations • Stroke • Neuro • Orthopedic CCRH is now part of the Ernest Health network of facilities. Eight of Ernest’s rehabilitation hospitals have consistently ranked in the top 10% of Inpatient Rehab Facilities in the United States by UDSMR®. Ernest Health strives for all their hospitals to receive this recognition. To learn more about CCRH and our services, visit our website at

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Let’s Go Red For Women® to fight heart disease and stroke! Enjoy a fabulous luncheon with keynote speaker comedienne Jan McInnis. Visit CorpusChristiGoRed.heart.org or call 361-445-3190 for tickets and sponsorship opportunities.

The Go Red For Women luncheon is locally sponsored by:

CHRISTUS Spohn Health System • Ensemble Group • H-E-B • Legamaro Financial Services Lyondell Basell • Navy Army Community Credit Union • Radiology & Imaging of South Texas Vishal Raju Bhagat Foundation • First Community Bank Courpus Christi Medical Center • Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP • Valero Bill Greehey Refinery I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

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Inspire Coastal Bend MD Apr/May 2015  
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