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30 YEARS OF SERVING THE COMMUNITY THE COASTAL BEND WELLNESS FOUNDATION POSITIVE INTERVENTION THE MEMORIES ON CANVAS PROGRAM

COASTAL BEND MEDICAL MAGAZINE

THE PATH TO HEALING HOW TO LIVE WITH GRIEF

ABOVE AND BEYOND

CHRISTUS SPOHN

THE POWER OF PRAYER ONE FAMILY'S

HONORS KINGSVILLE POLICE OFFICERS

STORY OF TRIUMPH OVER CHILDHOOD CANCER

A MISSION TO BETTER HEALTH

pg. 24

FEBRUARY.MARCH 2016 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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CAMARO EVER.

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T:36”

L:35”

B:36.25”

2118 2118 S. Padre S. Padre IslandIsland Dr. Dr. 800-876-9769 800-876-9769 AllenSamuelsCC.com AllenSamuelsCC.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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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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w ww.r i verci t y hos pice.co m I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M


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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FASTEST GROWING

CHEERLEADING AND TUMBLING

GYM IN THE COASTAL BEND!

Call now for more details!

361.452.4712

www.modernamericancheer.com 4

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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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COASTAL BEND MEDICAL MAGAZINE

FEBRUARY.MARCH 2016

PUBLISHER ADRIAN GARZA EDITOR

One-of-a-kind gifts, fine home furnishings, apparel, accessories, and more!

Allison Alvarado

ART DIRECTOR Liv Madison

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND PRODUCTION Holly Duvall

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Steven Alford Sue Cook Bianca Galvan Samantha Koepp-Stemplinger Stephanie Kusy Alana Manrow Dr. Nestor H. Praderio Erin Wilder

PHOTOGRAPHY Gloria Gooding, Paul Marshall

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Morgan Bartel, Brittanie Robertson

SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Morgan Bartel

Extensive local and name brand product lines and collections

www.inspirecoastalbendmag.com Family owned, in business since 2005 • Mon.-Sat. 9-5

For advertising information, please call 361.548.1044 or email adrian@inspirecoastalbendmag.com. For editorial comments and suggestions, please email adrian@inspirecoastalbendmag.com.

7957 Wolverine Corpus Christi, Texas 78414 Phone: 361.548.1044

Located at Old Town Six Points 1710 S. Alameda St., Corpus Christi

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361.881.1091 www.bleufrog.com

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

Copyright © Inspire Coastal Bend Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction without the expressed written permission of the publisher is prohibited.


CONTENTS FEBRUARY. MARCH 2016

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FEATURE 16 The Path to Healing

PATIENT 20 Filling the Gaps

COVER STORY

24 SIX POINTS PHYSICAL THERAPY Physical Therapists Jaime Moreno and Monica Lucido-Clay promote healing and wellness at this stellar practice, offering personalized care and making it a point to treat each patient like family.

PROFILE

28 CHRISTUS SPOHN

HONORS KINGSVILLE POLICE OFFICERS

The hospital system shows their appreciation to two officers for coming through in a big way when they were needed most, providing a better experience for patients and staff alike.

EXPRESSIONS OF INSPIRATION 32 The Power of Prayer

NONPROFIT 36 Positive Intervention 38 Easter Fun for All 40 Matters of the Heart 42 The Power to Move Forward

EVENTS 44 Mixing Things Up in the

Coastal Bend

COVER AND TABLE OF CONTENTS PHOTOS BY: PAUL MARSHALL

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Compassionate care for your special deliveries. Providing the best for mommy and baby. Sophia Ommani, M.D., FACOG

Specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Located at Bay Area Hospital 7121 S. Padre Island Drive, Suite 200, Corpus Christi, TX Call for your appointment today 361.993.6000 ext. 7201 Accepting New Patients 8

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In-house fabrication lab facility on site 

1326 Santa Fe, Corpus Christi, Texas 361-888-7752  Toll Free: 1-888-299-3656 Follow us on Facebook

LATEST ADVANCEMENTS

in Microprocessor Controlled Artificial Limbs, Myoelectric Arms and Energy Storing Feet We accept all insurances

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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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


Emergency Room Now Open

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7

#

It’s not just what you do, it’s who you do it for.

I’m here to help you plan for the future so you can continue all the good you do in your life.

Annie J. Castro, LUTCF, CLU® Agent, New York Life Insurance Company 4466 S. Staples Corpus Christi, Texas 78411 (361) 986-1321 ajcastro@ft.newyorklife.com www.anniejcastro.com Registered Representative offering investments through NYLIFE Securities LLC (Member FINRA/ SIPC), A Licensed Insurance Agency.

Life Insurance. Retirement. Investments. SMRU1614160(Exp.08/07/2016) © 2013 New York Life Insurance Company, 51 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010

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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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TOTAL JOINT SURGERY

HAND SURGERY

SPECIALIZING IN COMPREHENSIVE ORTHOPAEDIC CARE

SPINE SURGERY

SPORTS MEDICINE

6118 Parkway Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas 361-883-2000 www.orthocentercc.com

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QUALITY ORTHOPAEDIC CARE SINCE 1978 I N S P I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M

James R. Dinn, M.D.,P.A. Robert Q. Lewis, M.D., P.A. Jeffrey R. Schlimmer, M.D., P.A. Miguel A. Berastain, Jr., M.D., P.A. Charles S. Clark, Jr., M.D., P.A. Brian L. Patterson, M.D., P.A. Aimee L. Schimizzi, M.D., P.A. Andrew A. Indresano, M.D., P.A. Camille M. Barton, PA-C Christian P. Ehrhard, PA-C Edward B. Zey, FNP-C


WE WILL PUT YOU BACK IN THE GAME OF LIFE

TREATMENTS AND PROGRAMS FOR: Musculoskeletal Injuries Pregnancy (Pre/Post Natal Care) Diabetes Fall Prevention Neuropathy Cardiovascular Therapy Osteoarthritis Vertigo (Dizziness) Osteoporosis Athletic Rehab (Sport Specific) Thoracic-Outlet Syndrome Orthotic Evaluation/Fabriation Pre-Op/Post-Operative Therapy

ALL 6 LOCATIONS OFFER CAREFULLY DESIGNED AND SUPERVISED EXERCISE PROGRAMS IN STATE OF THE ART GYMS AND LARGE INDOOR HEATED POOLS:

1

CORPUS CHRISTI

2

CALALLEN

3

ALICE

5026 Deepwood Cir. • 361.854.2278 4040 Five Points Rd. • 361.241.7399 1302 E. 5th St. • 361.664.9675

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PORTLAND 114 Lang Rd. • 361.643.8243

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ARANSAS PASS 2150 W. Wheeler Ave. • 361.758.5199

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ROCKPORT 1811 Broadway (a.k.a. Fulton Beach Rd.) 361.729.8777

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FEATURE

THE PATH TO HEALING

There is life after loss. This is a quote by Kahlil Gibran that says so much: “When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” When you lose someone you love and experience the pain of sadness, loneliness, confusion, despair and the inevitable, “Where do I go from here,” question, there is another question: “How long will this grief last?” There is no one answer for all the questions that arise during the grief process. There are ways that can help this journey as you take one step forward and sometimes one step back. It is not like the shirt that says, “One size fits all.” There is only the unique journey that is called “yours” that matters, and the journey can take many turns and twists until you discover your own path on the road of healing. Here are some suggestions in taking one step forward to this newness of living. Remember these are suggestions alone, not a recipe to be followed ingredient by ingredient. Grief is a necessary, normal and natural process in our healing. Give yourself permission to grieve, feel, love and be lost and in pain. Be kind to yourself, and move at your own pace; no one has a formula. This is the one time in life where you can be still, talk, cry and express yourself in the ways that feel appropriate to you. You can ask for help from others if you wish and talk about the loss of your loved one. Telling your story to someone who is truly willing to listen can be very comforting.

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MEMORIES ARE AMONG OUR GREATEST ASSETS IN HEALING.

By: SUE COOK

Pay attention to what you seem to enjoy (which may be nothing for a while), and do not overdo. Understand that foggy thinking can be part of the process, so postpone making major decisions whenever possible. Schedule time to be around people, and take time to be alone. Eat well, get sleep (even if it is interrupted), drink plenty of fluids and please know that you will survive. Weekends and nights can be very long and lonely, so schedule a few activities that you may enjoy. Be patient with yourself, establish a routine and know that your experience does not have to compare to that of others, for this is your path to healing. Everyone experiences grief differently, and to add to this confusing experience in one’s loss and trauma is grief’s unpredictability. Grief can show up in physical, emotional and spiritual ways. There can be difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, aches and pains, lapses of memory, anxiety and fear, difficulty with decision making, anger and the list goes on. One minute (in life) can be one way, and then some trigger (an odor, a song, a thought, a familiar event like dinner or bedtime) can bring a wave of grief crashing over us. Our bodies have their own way of responding: Some weep uncontrollably, some feel helpless and hopeless, some feel utter despair, some feel loneliness and some experience pervasive sadness and even fatigue and euphoria. Each one of us will have different feelings, emotions and physical changes at various times. We may feel a full range of responses on this journey, as we pick up the fragments of self. This journey of loss is to be acknowledged as one of life’s most difficult periods, as is the hard work of reconstructing life into the next day.

OCUS FOCUS/BIGSTOCK.COM, SERG64/BIGSTOCK.COM

A letter to those living into the next day of life with grief at their side


One way to start the healing process is to ask ourselves every day, “How am I today?” and respond with honesty. We cannot begin to deal with this new life without recognizing where we are in the moment, so we can decide what to do with the next one. We can choose to acknowledge love and the loss and what seems to work for us in order to take that step into tomorrow. We can be kind to ourselves by enjoying a few minutes each day even if it is to acknowledge our own breath. Breathe. Make a memory box to put treasures of the past on a shelf to be accessed when needed, or keep a journal. Reach out to a friend who listens without judgment, or call my office for a consultation and visit at 361-994-3450. Community bereavement is a service provided by CHRISTUS Hospice at no charge. Materials and visits by phone or in person are available. Memories are among our greatest assets in healing. We can remember at will and take our beloveds with us while we create each next day. We are not forgetting them, but answering life’s invitation to collect our fragments and step into a new life. Grief fades, yet it can surprisingly return and startle us, but with continued acceptance and honoring of the past, we can walk forward and answer the call of living.

Inmon Respiratory Services, Inc. is committed to working closely with Physicians, Home Health Care Agencies, and other Health Care Professionals to consistently provide the best care possible for the patient at home. We have a full range of respiratory, sleep and hospital equipment, plus we also have a fulltime respiratory therapist and RN on staff to help if you or your patients should have any questions.

We are all different and our recovery periods also differ, so think about where you are today:  I have barely begun my grief journey.  My progress is slow, but ongoing.  I’m on my way to healing.  I’ve made significant progress.  In looking back what has been helpful for me?  What is it that I can do or need to continue my healing process? As Henri Nouwen once said, “A friend who can be silent with us in a moment of confusion or despair, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not healing, not curing – that is a friend indeed.” With warmest regards for your continued journey,

Sue Cook CHRISTUS Hospice and Palliative Care is located at 6200 Saratoga Blvd., Ste. 104. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We are a nonprofit health care organization that is dedicated to the well-being of the community and offers bereavement services to those in grief at no charge. For more information, contact Sue Cook, bereavement coordinator, at 361-994-3450 or sue.cook@christushealth.org.

Locally owned since 1997 Full service medical equipment company ¸ Specializing in respiratory ie: CPAP and Oxygen ¸ Full time RN and RT on staff ¸ Accept most insurances ¸ Three locations CC, BV and Victoria ¸ ¸

4639 Corona Drive , Ste. 43 Corpus Christi, Texas 361.225.0052 www.inmonrespiratory.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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TM

9

Health Appearance

10

out of Americans consume too much sodium.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE is a leading risk factor for death in WOMEN in the United States, contributing to nearly

WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

200,000 female deaths each year.

That’s more than five times the 42,000 annual deaths from breast cancer.

65% 25% 10%

supermarkets, convenience stores

restaurants

3,400

milligrams

1,500

milligrams or less

other sources

the amount of sodium the average American consumes in a day

77.9 million American ADULTS have high blood pressure.

KIDS who have a high-sodium diet are twice as likely to develop high blood pressure as kids who have low-sodium diets

recommended daily allowance of sodium

Your HEALTH

Your APPEARANCE

Excess levels of sodium/salt may put you at RISK for:

Excess levels of sodium/salt may cause:

STROKE

KIDNEY STONES

HEART FAILURE OSTEOPOROSIS

ENLARGED HEART MUSCLE

INCREASED WATER RETENTION, LEADING TO:

STOMACH CANCER

HEADACHES

• Puffiness • Bloating • Weight gain

KIDNEY DISEASE

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©2013. American Heart Association. 4/13DS6324

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heart.org/sodium


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PATIENT

The Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation celebrates 30 years of serving the community. By: BIANCA GALVAN

SINCE THEY BEGAN, THE CBWF HAS HELPED HUNDREDS OF PATIENTS WITH HIV/AIDS IN THE COASTAL BEND AREA GAIN EDUCATION, SUPPORT AND MEDICAL SERVICES. 20

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF COASTAL BEND WELLNESS FOUNDATION

FILLING THE GAPS

he Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation (CBWF) is celebrating 30 years of providing services to the Coastal Bend community. Wanting to help people who were dying of AIDS, the CBWF (originally the Coastal Bend AIDS Foundation) began in 1986, with a group of people hand-delivering food and blankets from the trunk of a car. As time went on, the severity of AIDS became more significant, leading to a higher number of those affected by the disease, offering new funding for agencies, such as the CBWF, to grow and offer additional support and educational services for those living with HIV and AIDS. Since it began, the CBWF has helped hundreds of patients with HIV/AIDS in the Coastal Bend area gain education, support and medical services. “I love working for the Wellness Foundation,” said J.R. De La Garza, director of clinical services. “Since I started, it’s been phenomenal, and I never look back. We have multiple patients, one of which allowed us to share their family story at World AIDS Day last year.” In 2014, the parents of a 17-year-old boy admitted their son into Driscoll Children’s hospital, where he was diagnosed with HIV; he basically gave up on life after the information he received from the hospital. “I made a choice [then] to be there always if he made it through, or accept what was meant to be if he didn’t,” the young man’s mother admitted in her personal testimony. After a few days in ICU, her son was moved back into a regular room, where a representative from the CBWF visited the family. “[De La Garza] is a very special person – someone that let off the acceptance, peace and calmness we needed at that moment – someone that had the kind of information we needed and could understand,” the mother said. After their first visit with Dr. Kasper, the CBWF’s physician who specializes in HIV/AIDS, the family found a new hope. “Our first visit to the foundation was amazing … you instantly felt the love and passion this group of people have for what they do,” said the mother. The CBWF immediately began helping the young man gain control of


the disease and the family live their lives again, even if it wasn’t your average kind of life. “Up until this point, HIV was something that happened to other people; it was not something that could ever happen to my family,” the mother said during her testimony of her family’s journey. “HIV does not only happen to someone else; it is not prejudice to you. It can happen to anyone! The Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation has so much information. Get informed! Get tested! Don’t wait until you have to!” The CBWF services 388 people in the Coastal Bend region with HIV/AIDS, although the most recent statistics show that there are at least four times that amount of patients who have tested positive for the disease, but are not receiving support or medical services. Today, the CBWF provides additional services to the 12 counties of the Coastal Bend, including outreach programs in youth education, women’s health, behavioral health, LGBT health and sexual health and testing. The main focus of the foundation is to identify gaps in the care systems of our community and fill those needs.

WE FEEL THAT IF ONE PERSON CAN GET BETTER, THEN WE ARE SUCCESSFUL.”

In August 2015, the foundation was pleased to announce that they are a fulltime primary health care facility, including pediatrics (children’s health), which serves 444 patients at this time. “We [CBWF] help anybody that walks through our doors,” De La Garza said. “We’re a health center, but we don’t have the ‘clinic’ mentality. Everybody is treated with dignity, and the utmost importance is placed upon them whether they can pay or not.” With a goal of providing health care services to at least 3,000 residents of the Coastal Bend, the CBWF is hoping to have a mobile facility up and running throughout the region by March, according to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bill Hoelscher. “Our philosophy is, ‘One person at a time,’” Hoelscher said. “We feel that if one per-

son can get better, then we are successful.” In order to raise funds for the many services available to the Coastal Bend, the CBWF hosts an Annual Red Ribbon Gala, which was started 12 years ago by Laurie Lee Yates, a generous volunteer. “The gala was created to help the foundation raise unrestricted funds for many of our services,” Hoelscher said. According to the CBWF, 100 percent of the monies that are raised or donated during any fundraising events, such as the gala, are used to fund their programs and keep them running for years to come. “We have to raise these unrestricted funds to help us keep programs alive,” Hoelscher said. “Our food pantry is one of the services we provide to the community that stays open on a month-tomonth basis, because we aren’t always certain that we will have the funds for the program.” The 2016 Annual Red Ribbon Gala will be held at the Corpus Christi Country Club on Saturday, Feb. 27, from 7 to 11 p.m. In the spirit of putting the “fun” in fundraising, the CBWF has decided to update last year’s disco theme and celebrate with “Disco 2.0.”

For more information on receiving services, volunteering or donating, please visit the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation, located at 5633 S. Staples, Ste. 700; contact their office at 361-814-2001; or visit their website at www.cbwellness.org.

24 Hour Skilled Nursing Care | Peritoneal Dialysis | Short-Term Rehabilitation Long-Term Care | IV Therapy & Trachs | Advanced Wound Care | Hospice & Respite Care Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy | PICC Line & In-House X-Ray Services

Compassion & Excellence

in patient rehabilitation & recovery 4713 Business 181 North | Beeville, Texas 78102 (361) 358-5612 | nursingrehabbeeville.com

CONTRACTED FACILITY

24-Hour Admissions Hotline (361) 205-9677 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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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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Map data Š2015 Google


At the Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital, we specialize in rehabilitative services for patients with functional deficits, such as stroke, trauma, spinal cord injury, brain injuries, cardiac, orthopedic, complex medical conditions and other disabling impairments. Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for its Stroke Program by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care. The certification award recognizes CCRH’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards. Learn more at CCRH.ernesthealth.com.

To learn more about CCRH and our services, visit our website at

I R E C O A S TA L B E N D M A G . C O M 5726 Esplanade Drive • Corpus Christi, TX 78414I N •S P361.906.3700

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COVER STORY

Health and Healing 24

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Physical Therapists Jaime Moreno and Monica Lucido-Clay are united in a mission to guide their patients to recovery while treating each one like family at

SIX POINTS PHYSICAL THERAPY. By: Stephanie Kusy Photos by: Paul Marshall

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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xperience and personalized care pave the way to success. This concept applies at Six Points Physical Therapy in more ways than one. For starters, patients can expect to find a multitude of treatment options at Six Points. From pain management and orthopedic rehabilitation to neurological pathologies, their physical therapists know their craft and carry the supporting certifications to prove it. The “hands-on” treatment provided by the physical therapists, all licensed by the state of Texas, provides the patient with the feeling of complete trust. All patients can take absolute comfort knowing they are being treated by experienced and caring professionals. “Every time a person comes into the office for help, I think of him or her as if they are one of my own family members, so that is how I treat them,” says the owner and physical therapist, Jaime Moreno. Moreno has been running the business and treating patients at the Corpus Christi clinic since 2000. “We carefully provide a personalized experience for each individual we see,” he says. The reality is he has been successful in helping patients overcome their injuries for more than three decades. Moreno grew up in Temuco, Chile. He studied physical therapy in the Universidad de la Frontera in Chile and graduated in 1982. He enjoyed athletics and played both soccer and volleyball. His interest in a career as a physical therapist developed after he and so many others he knew dealt with some sort of sports injury. “You notice a lot of barriers or factors preventing people from getting well,” he says. “I find it to be challenging – learning how people work and how their own bodies best resolve their injuries.” The experience he gained in Chile helped him establish the Corpus Christi clinic. In 2009, the Six Points Physical Therapy team relocated to a new space in the uptown district of Corpus Christi at 701 Park Ave. “I think little by little, the community began to realize that our patients were receiving customized treatments,” Moreno explains. “Patients started sharing positive feedback about their experience at Six Points, this being the kind of experience that lies beneath the philosophy behind the work we do. Despite the diagnosis, we understand every patient is faced with a different healing process.” Moreno saw that the south side of Corpus Christi was growing rapidly and wanted to accommodate the needs of the community. Therefore, in 2013, he decided to open a second location on Saratoga Boulevard. “I wanted to offer more convenience to my existing and prospective patients,” he states. One year after opening the south side clinic, Moreno hired a Corpus

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Christi native to help service the patients. Physical Therapist Monica Lucido-Clay joined the Six Points Physical Therapy family. After graduating from Carroll High School, Lucido-Clay had ventured to New York to study dance at Hunter College. A lot of the patients do not know this, but she is a talented and skilled Mexican folk dancer. After graduation, she began teaching dance to children with disabilities in an after-school arts program. She became fascinated with watching them move and wanted to learn more about the scientific aspect of it. “I had several things driving me towards the direction of physical therapy, “Lucido-Clay says. Her interest was piqued after undergoing her own physical therapy due to dance injuries. She went on to study physical therapy at Long Island University, where she received her doctorate in 2009. Now at the Park Avenue location, she follows her passion of helping others. “I love having the opportunity to help patients improve their quality of life and get healthy,” Lucido-Clay says. “It is rewarding to see their results. It makes me feel like I am making a positive difference in many lives.” Lucido-Clay thoroughly enjoys getting to know her patients, guiding them on a path toward wellness and, most importantly, watching their progress. “Since I have been here, I find the patients return because they feel comfortable here and they are well cared for and attended to,” she


“WE CAREFULLY PROVIDE A PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCE FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL WE SEE.” says. “Returning to Corpus Christi and working with people in this community is like working with family. It makes me want to put my best foot forward into guiding them to recovery.” Lucido-Clay has certification in the Pilates method of conditioning, including mat work and equipment. This year, she will pursue additional certification in manual therapy. On a personal note, Moreno and Lucido-Clay are both very dedicated to their families. Moreno and his wife have two grown daughters and are proud grandparents of two. Lucido-Clay and her husband keep their hands full with twin daughters, but Lucido-Clay also finds time for yoga. Both physical therapists deliver comprehensive plans to help their patients feel better faster and to treat them as family by transcending the values of their personal passions into their professional lives.

Six Points Physical Therapy has two locations: 701 Park Ave. and 5017 Saratoga Blvd., Ste. 141 (the south side location). For more information, you can call the Park Avenue location at 361-879-0006 or the south side location at 361-993-0441. You can also “like” Six Points on Facebook to find the latest tips on staying healthy.

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PROFILE

LENDING A HELPING HAND CHRISTUS Spohn honors Kingsville Police Officers Lonnie Brown and Justin Dodd for going above and beyond the call of duty when both patients and staff needed them most. By: Steven Alford

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THESE GUYS SAVED MY LIFE. I THINK THEY DO AN OUTSTANDING JOB, AND IT’S MY PLEASURE TO HELP THEM OUT ANY TIME I CAN.”

PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHRISTUS SPOHN HOSPITAL

WHEN FIVE PEOPLE were rushed to the emergency department at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Kleberg following a multiple-vehicle wreck, everyone there pitched in to help. That included Kingsville Police Officers Lonnie Brown and Justin Dodd, who were on duty during the sudden surge of patients. The veteran officers assisted hospital staff wherever they could – directing traffic, reassuring families and helping nurses treat and move patients. It was an added layer of protection that the CHRISTUS Spohn associates were very grateful for. To show their appreciation, the hospital honored the two officers recently during a special ceremony held in the emergency department. “To see the smiling faces of our police officers here – it lets our nurses and our patients know that we are safe,” said Dr. Ricky Thomas, emergency department director at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Kleberg. Thomas presented the officers with a commemorative plaque to honor their service for going above and beyond when patients and staff needed them most. Brown credits the CHRISTUS Spohn Emergency Department team with providing exceptional care when he, too, suffered a life-threatening episode more than a year ago. “These guys saved my life,” Brown said, smiling. “I think they do an outstanding job, and it’s my pleasure to help them out any time I can.” More than a dozen emergency department clinicians gathered to take photos with the officers, thanking them for their service and sharing stories over punch and cookies. It’s a special bond that makes for a better experience for staff and patients alike, according to CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Kleberg President David LeMonte. “It makes our associates feel good knowing they have a community partner right here with us,” LeMonte said. “We can’t thank them enough for stepping up and helping out.”


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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EXPRESSIONS OF INSPIRATION

THE POWER OF PRAYER A local family sheds light on childhood cancer. By: STEPHANIE KUSY Photos by: PAUL MARSHALL

WHILE CELEBRATING Alondra Vela-Gamez’s 2nd birthday in Mexico, family members noticed she was not feeling well. Fatigue, with a slight fever and what looked like a few bug bites on her arms did not initially concern her parents, Drs. Ben Vela and Carla Gamez-Vela. After they returned from their trip and Alondra started coughing, her mother decided to take her to a clinic. The doctor said she appeared fine, but did not like Alondra’s pale complexion and those mysterious bug bites. She ordered blood work and sent the family home, assuring them they would have the results within a couple days. Carla got the call two hours later. “They just said that I needed to take her to the hospital,” she recalls. “I did not really know what was going on. First off, I was not expecting that call, and I did not know what they were talking about.” Lab work revealed Alondra was severely anemic. Stressed out and beginning to panic, Carla quickly packed a bag and made the drive that still haunts her to Driscoll Children’s Hospital. A medical team awaited their arrival. The doctor waited for her to husband to arrive before delivering heartbreaking news. “The doctor did not say anything at first,” says Carla, as her voice becomes uneasy. “They just checked her out, her lymph nodes and spleen. Then the doctor just looked us in the eyes and says she has leukemia. That is the last thing I remember. It is a blur. My husband and I could not really talk about it. It’s weird. You

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just want to hold the baby and hold each other and ask a lot of questions, but you do not even know what to ask.” Leukemia, the most common type of cancer in children, affects the white blood cells. Abnormal white blood cells form in the bone marrow. They quickly travel through the bloodstream and crowd out healthy cells. That night, Alondra had four blood transfusions to prepare her for surgery the next day. She would go on to spend the next eight days at Driscoll before beginning a long road of intense treatments. Amidst the terror of learning their toddler had cancer, something extraordinary also happened. Several prayer

FOR WHERE TWO OR THREE ARE GATHERED TOGETHER IN MY NAME, I AM THERE IN THE MIDST OF THEM.” – MATTHEW 18:20


groups began forming; most notably, a group of 20 women in Carla’s hometown of Acuña, Mexico, gathered to pray for the child the day she went in for surgery. To this day, these women still congregate to pray together every Wednesday. Carla’s strong Catholic faith helped her and the family make it through these difficult months. With the exception of doctors’ appointments, Carla, Alondra and newborn daughter, Loriana, rarely left their home since treatments

eating organic produce. Carla says she has never smoked nor drank alcohol. It still baffles her. “It makes me feel special and honored that He chose her, but it’s still hard to accept,” she says. “It brought us closer as a family. It made us not take life for granted.” Thankfully, Alondra responded positively to treatment. After receiving infusions for nine months she began taking chemo pills orally. Her beautiful, big, expressive, light-brown eyes

made Alondra especially susceptible to illness. They constantly sanitized their home and even converted their living room into an indoor park, filled with toys and trampolines. Carla’s mother moved in to help during the first year of intense treatments. Carla’s husband, a local dentist who owns Vela Dental Centers, cut back on hours to tend to his daughter. Everyone made sacrifices. Since family and friends could rarely visit, Carla says they would often leave food and other items on their front porch. “I never questioned my faith, but after all the support and all the love, I think our Lord was in need of prayer,” Carla says. “I think He was missing that, so he chose her because he knew a lot of prayer would come from it.” Carla often referred to her favorite Bible verses for comfort. Her family would come together and pray Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them.” While her faith remained strong, she still could not understand how her daughter got cancer. The Gamez-Vela family lives a healthy lifestyle, often

never stopped sparkling. “Alondra loved going to the doctor,” Carla says. “She was very polite. She would always tell the nurse ‘thank you’ after they poked her.” Two years, two months, and three days after the initial diagnosis, Alondra completed treatment. In November 2015, doctors declared her cancer free. “It was a life-changing experience,” Carla says. “You don’t know until you’re there. Not that I want anybody to be there, but you don’t understand the extent of how it affects the parents and extended family. It hurts deep inside. I cried so much, and I still cry.” These days, it is more tears of joy. The Vela-Gamez family welcomed their third daughter, Paulina, last August. Alondra, now 4, still doesn’t understand she is a cancer survivor. She recently enrolled in prekindergarten and proudly shows other students her port where doctors once injected a potent concoction that saved her life. For now, she doesn’t understand, and Carla is OK with that. Instead of explanations, the Vela-Gamez family bows their head and says a prayer. 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

Gloria Gooding and Elizabeth Figueroa

POSITIVE INTERVENTION Face to Face’s Memories on Canvas program makes art expression a way of communicating and tying families together. By: DR. NESTOR H. PRADERIO Photos by: GLORIA GOODING

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A CAREGIVER stated that, “Mom is always so aggressive, but when she does the artwork with watercolors, it makes her calmer and I can enjoy my mom.” These are the little meaningful things that Memories on Canvas has done for the family, the caregiver and the artist. Learning new stories about their loved one that they didn’t even know existed provides deeper insight into their loved one’s past. One artist did not know what to paint. All he wanted to do was touch the paint and feel the wetness of the paint on his fingers. He was having such fun that the caregivers described watching him as something “amazing.” Another artist wanted yellow, yellow, yellow, and when asked why she liked yellow so much, her reply was, “Because yellow will get you a fellow.” Then she put down her brush and, looking at her artwork, asked, “Who painted that?” When she was told it was her, she continued, saying, “Yellow! Yellow will get you a fellow!” The artist’s expression calls out to us in a way which we cannot ignore. They create an awareness of this Alzheimer’s – this dementia. Our loved ones are educating us by revealing a unique interpretation of their memories through their artwork. Sharing this experience leads us to become more patient, understanding and compassionate with them because we want to learn more about who they are and, in turn, says much about who we are.

Journaling and support groups are proven methods of stress relief and a positive intervention for caregivers. Memories on Canvas is designed to reflect the reality of the Alzheimer’s and/or dementia patient’s perspective and strengthen family relationships. The creation of Memories on Canvas Twelve years ago, Gloria Gooding had an art program working with seniors. Her friend, Marge, who had dementia, was part of the original group of seniors meeting at the mall for the watercolor artwork session. Marge created a watercolor art piece, titled “Spring Spectacular” part of which was used in the logo creation. I was impressed with the program’s potential and asked Gooding to develop a similar program specifically for Alzheimer’s and dementia. After writing the program, Gooding introduced me to Elizabeth Figueroa, an artist, and during our meeting, I shared my vision for Memories on Canvas. We discussed the logo and chose the painter’s palette, and Figueroa took a piece of Marge’s work and blended it into the logo. Memories on Canvas is in its fourth year of showcasing the artists and their creations at various galleries. The caregivers and the artists attend these exhibits, and families are touched by having “something to remember” their loved one by. People always inquire about purchasing the artwork, but the artwork is not for sale because families want to take it home, especially if the artist has passed away. That is a legacy that is left behind, and they can say, “That is what I go back to.”

MEMORIES ON CANVAS IS DESIGNED TO REFLECT THE REALITY OF THE ALZHEIMER’S AND/OR DEMENTIA PATIENT’S PERSPECTIVE.


How the Memories on Canvas program works We get started in March by contacting various facilities and inviting their activity directors to a workshop, usually at the Corpus Christi Art Center. Gooding goes over the outline and discusses the program’s details and criteria. Those who are interested in the Memories on Canvas program will attend a second workshop, where an activity director from Mirador, who is also an artist, provides handsMemories on Canvas® on demonstrations. At this workshop, each activity director becomes the artist in order to get a feeling of what it may be like when asked to paint. Examples are given on how to bring visuals out and teach techniques. The program includes the following strategies:  How to encourage and praise  The kinds of paint brushes to use types of watercolor paper needed  The kinds of framing and mattes to use  The framing color (always black) and how to present it, with suggestions by the Corpus Christi Art Center  Helpful hints with pencil, watercolor and supply lists

Gloria Gooding and Nestor H. Praderio, M.D.

Activity directors and/or program coordinators facilitate the Memories on Canvas program workshops from March through October at their respective centers, then submit the artwork for the annual exhibit held November through December. Each piece of artwork must include a title, the artist’s name, the original artwork and an art memory. While the artist is painting, the caregiver writes down the narrative and captures the stories of what the artist is reminiscing or talking about, whether it makes sense or not.

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For more information or participation, call Face to Face at 361-238-7777 or visit us online at www.texasfacetoface.com. “Memories on Canvas” is a registered service mark of Face to Face LLC, whose cofounders are Gloria Gooding and Nestor H. Praderio, M.D. Face to Face LLC is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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NONPROFIT

EASTER FUN FOR ALL

T

he Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) Bomb Squad, South Texas Lighthouse for the Blind and DARS-Division for Blind Services have joined forces to host a unique Easter egg hunt for children who might otherwise struggle to keep up with their sighted peers when it comes to finding Easter treasures. On Saturday, March 19, more than 30 children who are blind or visually impaired and their immediate family will participate in the third annual Beeping Eggstravaganza for the Blind at Buc Stadium. This is a free event for the children and their families. So how do children who are blind or visually impaired find Easter eggs? The larger-than-average, brightly colored eggs beep, allowing the children to use their hearing to guide them to the eggs. This year, siblings will also have the opportunity to be placed under blindfold and use canes to hunt for the beeping eggs so that they can better relate to what their brother/sister lives with on a daily basis. Family members and/or volunteers will also be on hand to assist the children if needed. So your next question must be, How do you make the eggs beep? CCPD Bomb Squad technicians constructed the beeping eggs using a switch buzzer, a 9-volt battery, a toggle switch and that little “whatchamacallit” that keeps the pizza

IT IS OUR PLEASURE TO BE INVOLVED WITH THIS EVENT, AND WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO GROWING IT YEAR AFTER YEAR.”

box from falling in on your pizza. “It is our pleasure to be involved with this event, and we are looking forward to growing it year after year,” said Capt. David Cook of the CCPD. All three presenting organizations are working hard to make this a most memorable event for all participants. Other activities include a petting zoo, pony rides, arts and crafts, inflatables, a duck pond and lunch. Donations from the community are most welcome so that we can make this a memorable event for all participants!

If you have any questions about the event or the presenting organizations, please call Alana Manrow at 361-815-2218.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF BEEPING EGGSTRAVAGANZA FOR THE BLIND

Children with visual impairments join in on the Easter festivities at the third annual Beeping Eggstravaganza for the Blind. By: ALANA MANROW


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NONPROFIT

MATTERS OF THE HEART The American Heart Association celebrates American Heart Month. By: ERIN WILDER

National Wear Red Day The first Friday of February is National Wear Red Day, a day to raise awareness of heart disease in women. Many think of heart disease as an older men’s condition, but in reality, it kills more women every year than all forms of cancer combined, and it is women’s No. 1 health threat. Awareness is key to transforming women’s lives and helping them mitigate their risk factors. All women – and the men who love them – are invited to participate in National Wear Red Day on Friday, Feb. 5, by wearing red and sharing on social media with the hashtag, #CorpusGoRed, to amplify this lifesaving message. The Harbor Bridge will be lit up to mark the day. Little Hats, Big Hearts Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect in the United States, but thanks to advances in science and technology, more and more of these littlest hearts are surviving – and thriving. Volunteers for the American Heart Association spent the past holiday season knitting and crocheting little red hats, one for every baby born in Corpus

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CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES AND STROKE ARE STILL THE NO. 1 AND NO. 5 KILLERS OF AMERICANS, RESPECTIVELY. Christi in the month of February (an estimated 800 little ones) to raise awareness of congenital heart defects and share infant heart health info with newborns’ families. This is the first year this national project has taken place in the Coastal Bend, but the American Heart Association hopes to expand it in future years.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION

V

alentine’s Day isn’t the only time in February you should be tending to matters of the heart. February is officially American Heart Month, recognized as such annually by every president since LBJ first started the tradition in 1964. Cardiovascular diseases and stroke are still the No. 1 and No. 5 killers of Americans, respectively, but the American Heart Association is celebrating 50 years of successes with extraordinary advances in cardiovascular health and consecutive annual declines in heart-related deaths. These successes, and the continuous need for further education and outreach, continue in Corpus Christi this February. Our local chapter of the American Heart Association will be busy around town all month; here’s where you can catch them:


Heart of Rock & Roll Heart Ball The annual Corpus Christi Heart Ball attracts more than 500 of the city’s community leaders in medicine and business and is the American Heart Association’s premier fundraising event in the region. This year’s “rock & roll chic” soiree includes an elegant dinner, silent and live auctions and live music. Local volunteers, supporters and donors will be recognized, along with the night’s honorees Sue and Dr. Robert

Madry, Jr. and Dr. Rosie and Ruben Bonilla. The 2016 Corpus Christi Heart Ball is presented by Citgo. Nationwide, the Heart Ball campaign raises more than $50 million annually, allowing the American Heart Association to fund cardiovascular and stroke research on a scale second only to the federal government. You can get involved You can learn more about the American Heart Association and American Heart Month by visiting www.heart.org. Or you can get involved locally in the mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, by following the American Heart Association online at www.facebook. com/ahacorpus.

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For more information, visit www.heart.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

THE POWER TO MOVE FORWARD

Court Appointed Special Advocates of the Coastal Bend hosts the 11th Annual Superheroes Race Against Child Abuse in an effort to help children in foster care find safe and loving permanent homes. By: SAMANTHA KOEPP-STEMPLINGER  Photos by: PAUL MARSHALL

T

he clock does not stop for children who have been abused and neglected and are placed in foster care. They are always wondering when and if they will find a forever home. To help end the waiting for these children and give them the power to move forward, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the Coastal Bend is enlisting all of the superheroes in our community to join forces at the 11th Annual CASA Superhero 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, April 30, 2016, at 8 a.m. at Heritage Park. All of the proceeds will go toward recruiting and training volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children in foster care in order to find them safe, loving permanent homes. Presented by the Edwards Law Firm, the 5K will be kicked off by Mayor Nelda Martinez and State Rep. Todd Hunter. In addition to the 5K, there is a Kids’ 1K, a costume contest for both big and little superheroes and an exhibitors’ area full of family-friendly activities provided by community partners. Awards will be presented to the top finishers of their respective categories for the 5K run. Last year, more than 600 superheroes united to raise over $40,000 to support local children in foster care. The goal for this year is to have more than 1,000 individuals participate in the event. More than 740 children were in CPS custody in 2014 – enough to fill 30 elementary classrooms. Of those children, only 40 percent had a CASA to speak up for them in court. CASA’s mission is to provide an advocate for every child in foster care, and in order to do so, the organization needs more volunteers. CASA volunteers are giv-

en an in-depth, professional training that prepares them to be assigned to one case at a time. They get to know the child and everyone in the child’s life so they can make recommendations to the judge that helps determine the child’s fate. To register for the CASA Superhero 5K Run/Walk, visit www.casaofthecoastalbend.org. For adults who register before March 31, the registration fee is $25. Be-

MORE THAN

740 CHILDREN WERE IN CPS CUSTODY IN 2014 – ENOUGH TO FILL 30 ELEMENTARY CLASSROOMS.

ginning April 1, the fee increases to $30, then on April 28, it is $40 and the day of the event, the race fee is $45. For children ages 12 and under participating in the 5K, the fee is $10. The Kids’ 1K is for children ages 8 and under, with a registration fee of $10 per child. Registration can be done in-person at the CASA office, submitted through mail or completed online up to April 27 (a processing fee will be applied to online orders). For more information call the CASA office at 361-884-2272.

CASA of the Coastal Bend trains volunteers to advocate for the best interest of children who have been abused or neglected and are in the foster care system. The next training begins on March 1. For more information about CASA or to sign up for training, contact Samantha Koepp-Stemplinger at samantha@coastalbendcasa.org, call 361-884-2272 or visit www.casaofthecoastalbend.org.

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EVENTS

MIXING THINGS UP in the Coastal Bend

Networking with Inspire Photos by: PAUL MARSHALL

NOV.

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