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COASTAL BEND MEDICAL MAGAZINE

CELEBRATION OF A LEGACY

DR. HECTOR P. GARCIA MEMORIAL FAMILY HEALTH CENTER

FITNESS AND FELLOWSHIP

COLSTON WELLNESS GYM

HEALTH AND BEAUTY OASIS KRISTY ALEMAN

RAW BAR AND HALCYON MED SPA & WELLNESS CENTER JAN/FEB 2017

HOPE FOR THE FUTURE FIGHTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING WITH NLRM CORPUS CHRISTI HERITAGE STXAMA'S AVIATOR MEMORIAL HEALTH AND HAPPINESS THE AHA'S HEARTS IN HAVANA

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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

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CORPUS CHRISTI

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Cornerstone Home Health Cornerstone Home Health can provide a service or a combination of services in your HOME. Along with your physician and our qualified staff, we plan, coordinate, and provide care tailored to your needs.

Services we offered include: Skilled nursing, Physical therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Social Worker, and CNA

If you have any questions or want to make a referral, contact our office at 361-727-2131 or Toll free 1-855-328-2131

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AAdi Home Health is a full service home health agency. We provide quality nursing services and outstanding support services. The staff at AAdi Home Health has the experience, dedication and compassion needed to provide care in a home environment without sacrificing quality or safety.

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

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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 6

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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.

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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

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CONTENTS

PATIENT

16 Health Promotion and Education

18 Elevating Health Care

COVER STORY

22 KRISTY ALEMAN

This R.N. and entrepreneur helps clients maximize their potential to maintain skin and body health at Halcyon Med Spa & Wellness Center and her new launch, RAW Bar.

JANUARY. FEBRUARY 2017

PROFILE

28 COLSTON WELLNESS GYM

Offering customized programs and a dedicated support center, this comprehensive wellness center is dedicated to helping clients meet their fitness goals.

PROFILE

32 DR. HECTOR P. GARCIA

MEMORIAL FAMILY HEALTH CENTER Named after Corpus Christi’s hometown physician, this new, state-of-the-art medical home serves thousands of South Texas families with a focus on education and prevention.

EXPRESSIONS OF INSPIRATION 40 Perserverence through Inspiration

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COVER AND TABLE OF CONTENTS PHOTOS BY: DAVID OLDS FOTOGRAFIE

HEALTH & WELLNESS 46 Top of Their Game

NONPROFIT 50 Healthier and Happier 52 Aviation Landmark 54 Hope for the Future

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MEET THE STAFF

ADRIAN GARZA

Interstate All Battery Center Corpus Christi

CO-PUBLISHER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SALES adrian@ inspirecoastalbendmag.com 361.548.1044

Medical supply batteries...We got it!

COASTAL BEND MEDICAL MAGAZINE

JANUARY.FEBRUARY 2017 CO-PUBLISHER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SALES Adrian Garza

HOLLY DUVALL

CO-PUBLISHER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS holly@ inspirecoastalbendmag.com 479.935.0868

CO-PUBLISHER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Holly Duvall

EDITOR Erin O’Brien

ART DIRECTOR Elisa Giordano

SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Greg Duvall

SOCIAL MEDIA ERIN O’BRIEN

EDITOR erin.editorial@gmail.com

Morgan Bartel

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Anne Booher Jessica Dusek Alexis Mays Dr. Nicholas P. Nilest Paul Romans Erin Wilder

PHOTOGRAPHY ELISA GIORDANO ART DIRECTOR hello@elisagcreative.com 210.716.5320

4903 Ambassador Row, Corpus Christi Texas 361.854.5000

GREG DUVALL

SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT greg@ inspirecoastalbendmag.com 361.944.7336

InterstateBatteriesCorpus.com Store Hours Mon-Fri 7:30am – 6pm Sat 8:30am – 2:30pm Sun Closed Facebook.com/interstatebatteriescorpus Instagram@interstatebatteries_cc

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Marco Aleman Alexis Mays David Olds Fotografie William Russell

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

MORGAN BARTEL SOCIAL MEDIA morgan@ inspirecoastalbendmag.com 620.417.5392

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.


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:

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ALICE

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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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PATIENT

HEALTH PROMOTION AND EDUCATION Nurse practitioners: emphasizing the health and well-being of the whole person SPECIAL TO INSPIRE COASTAL BEND

Primary care NPs help lower health costs for patients as they help reduce the number of emergency room visits, shorten hospital stays and lower medication costs. With more than 870 million visits made to NPs each year, patients report an extremely high level of satisfaction with the care they receive.

WHAT IS A NURSE PRACTITIONER?

Nurse practitioners (NPs) have advanced clinical training beyond their initial professional registered nurse preparation. They must complete a master’s or doctoral degree program. After completion of multiple didactic and clinical courses, they are competent nurses with specialized clinical competency to practice in primary care, acute care and long-term health care settings. NPs provide high-quality care in multiple settings, such as:         

Clinics Hospitals Emergency rooms Urgent care sites Private physician or NP practices Nursing homes Schools Colleges Public health departments

THE ROLE OF NPS

In 2016 alone, more than 916 million Americans visited a medical office to consult NPs for a medical complaint. NPs provide a comprehensive perspective to health care for disease prevention and health management. They are able to diagnose and treat health conditions, including, but not limited to:   

Diabetes Hypertension Hyperlipidemia

The NP profession is distinguished by the emphasis on health and well-being of the whole person. Their focus is geared toward health promotion, disease prevention and health education and counseling. NPs guide patients in making smarter health and lifestyle choices, which, in turn, can lower patients’ out-of-pocket costs.

PRIMARY CARE NPs HELP REDUCE THE NUMBER OF ER VISITS, SHORTEN HOSPITAL STAYS AND LOWER MEDICATION COSTS.

“Every day, I feel the need to increase my knowledge and positively impact patients’ lives,” Garza says. “My vision is to expand my general education, acquire the most recent skills in advanced nursing practice, as well as effectively treat all members of a family. I collaborate with other medical professionals in order to treat acute ailments and target the early identification and prevention of diseases. “Additionally, I enjoy educating everyone on accident prevention and lifestyle changes that improve quality of life. As a family nurse practitioner, I am fully committed to [treating] people in different cultures with sensitivity and respect. My goal is to make a difference in every patient’s life, provide compassionate nursing care and increase health awareness.” A South Texas native, Garza holds a master’s degree in nursing from Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. She practices at CHRISTUS Family Medicine in Portland, Texas. She and Dr. Jorge Ramirez are currently accepting new patients with same- or next-day appointments.

CHRISTUS Family Medicine is located at 311 Buddy Ganem Drive, Ste. A, in Portland, Texas. The practice is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 361-777-0500 or visit www.christushealth.org/portland. *References available upon request.

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PATIENT

Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital is proud to offer nationally ranked rehabilitative services to the Coastal Bend community. By: DR. NICHOLAS P. NILEST

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and spinal cord injuries and other impairments as a result of injury or illness. Patients who receive rehabilitative services often experience positive results in regaining or improving productivity and independence. For example, a recent national study shows that patients treated in inpatient rehabilitation facilities have better long-term results than those treated in skilled nursing facilities. The study, which was commissioned by the ARA Research Institute, shows that patients treated in rehabilitation hospitals live longer, have fewer hospital and ER visits and remain longer in their homes without additional outpatient services. These patients:  Returned home from their initial stay two weeks earlier  Remained home nearly two months longer  Stayed alive nearly two months longer In addition, patients who were treated in inpatient rehabilitation facilities experienced an 8 percent lower mortality rate

LEAF/BIGSTOCK.COM

ELEVATING HEALTH CARE

The other day, I spent 10 minutes searching for my car keys, only to find them in my jacket pocket. Like most people, I tend not to pay much attention to something until I need it – even if it’s in an obvious place. I think my situation is similar to rehabilitative care. Unless you need it, you may not give it much thought. But did you know that most of us will require at least one rehabilitative service at some point in our lives? Approximately 750,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year, and there are six million stroke survivors living in the United States. Most of these people will require some type of rehabilitation service during their healing process. That’s why we have been pleased to offer rehabilitative services to the community for the past four years through the Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital, a 35-bed, freestanding hospital. It’s the only freestanding inpatient rehabilitation facility in Corpus Christi. Rehabilitation is a medical specialty that helps people recovering from disabling diseases or injuries. It can be effective for a myriad of people, including those recovering from orthopedic injuries, strokes, brain


and 5 percent fewer emergency room visits per nest Health system is provided by the Uniform year. These findings illustrate how significant Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSinpatient rehabilitative care is to a patient’s MR), a not-for-profit corporation that was dehealing process. veloped with support from the National InstiIn addition to improving lives, rehabilitative tute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, care saves money. For example, a component of the U.S Departfor every $1 spent on rehabilitament of Education. It ranks retive care, it is estimated that $11 habilitation facilities based upon CORPUS CHRISTI are saved on long-term disabilicare that is patient-centered, efREHABILITATION ty costs. fective, efficient and timely. HOSPITAL IS THE While I don’t wish for any We continually strive to proof us to need these services, the vide high-quality care to our ONLY FREESTANDING good news is that we have rehapatients, so it’s exciting to be INPATIENT bilitative services available to us recognized as a national leadREHABILITATION through the Ernest Health syser. But what I’m most pleased FACILITY IN tem – of which Corpus Christi about is that patients right here CORPUS CHRISTI. Rehabilitation Hospital has been in our community can receive a member – that is ranked in the the highest level of rehabilitative top 10 percent nationally two care available nationally without years running. That means we need look no having to leave the area. And, through UDSMR, further than our own backyard to find the best we collaborate with our peers throughout the rehabilitative care available in the United States. United States to share information and estabThe ranking for the hospitals within the Erlish best practices for patients. This helps us el-

evate rehabilitative care for everyone across the United States. Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital provides 24-hour rehabilitation nursing care and daily physician management through our fulltime medical director, Dr. Michael Fuentes, who possesses more than 20 years of experience in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He is joined by a highly trained, specialized team of health care professionals, including nurses, therapists and other professionals who create individualized treatment plans to allow each patient to progress at his or her ability level. The hospital also features all private rooms, a well-equipped therapy gym and an outdoor therapeutic courtyard. Patient services include occupational, physical and speech therapy, a stroke program and an amputation program. We treat about 700 people a year whose average length of stay is two weeks. We consider it a privilege to be able to offer high-level rehabilitative care to the Corpus Christi area, and are honored to be a vital part of the community.

Nicholas Nilest, P.T., DPT, is the chief executive officer of Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital. The hospital is a 35-bed, freestanding facility that provides intensive physical rehabilitation services to patients recovering from strokes, brain, spinal cord and orthopedic injuries and other impairments as a result of injury or illness. It’s located at 5726 Esplanade Drive in Corpus Christi, Texas. For more information, call 361-906-3700 or visit www.ccrh.ernesthealth.com.

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In-house fabrication lab facility on site 

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COVER STORY

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OVER THE PAST YEAR, the entrepreneur has been able to blend traditional spa services with cutting-edge technologies, including laser treatments, body sculpting, IV vitamin therapy and facial treatments (laser and photo). She explains that her success has come from getting to know her clients’ past, present and goals for the future, and the methods they have employed in the past that either have or have not worked. This remains a priority. “It’s so ‘rush, rush’ these days,” she describes of the modern-day hustle within much of the beauty industry. Aleman notes that “listening and understanding,” on the part of both her and her staff, provides clients with a delightful spa experience. She says it is like an oasis for clients within their busy lives. “Some people come once a month; others move to a place where they just come in for maintenance,” she explains. For some, it is an emotional experience, as she and her staff assist patients in feeling youthful and more comfortable in their skin. “We also have the option to draw blood – some people don’t go to doctors because it is so expensive even though they know, or should know, that reading someone’s blood gives some baselines and sometimes early warning signs that can do much, including save a life,” she says. “It’s a part of being healthy.” As a solution, Aleman offers this option alongside others to encourage her clients to think about their overall health. Also providing massage therapy and bodywork onsite, she has three massage therapists on her staff. “You are only as strong as your weakest links,” she states. Her staff strengthens the health aspects of clients’ lives with a medical edge. Also supporting her operation, she is assisted by her manager, esthetician and medical director. “I have a great staff!” she says of her team. To stay on the cutting-edge of beauty technology, Aleman attends workshops and learns about new types of treatments that were not known until very recently, and that have proven successful. Offering less invasive treatments than were available in the past and an ever-expanding portfolio, here are just a few of the client favorites at Halcyon:  IV Nutrient Therapy (immunity): This treatment literally provides a vitamin shot that goes deep into the cells. Offerings include the Detox Mix and the Energy Mix. For sports enthusiasts, the Athlete Mix is an ample remedy.  Cancer treatment with high-dose vitamin C: This has been studied for years. It has been shown to slow the growth of many types of cancers, including colon, liver, prostate and pancreatic. Interestingly, it has also been shown to block the growth of some cancers such as ovarian, sarcoma, malignant mesothelioma, liver and pancreatic.  PRP (fine lines): An alternative to Botox and laser facials (also available at Halcyon), the PRP therapy extracts the rejuvenating plasma from your blood. It is then injected back into the facial lines and wrin-

kles to support the health of the skin. It can also be used for hair restoration. This process is fascinating because, essentially, it is fueled by the client’s own nutrient-rich DNA. Fabulous!  TruSculpt (body contouring): A radio-frequency energy heats layers of skin and fat to smooth and contour problem areas that don’t seem to shrink with diet and exercise. Clients begin to see results after two sessions. Aleman’s health background and attention to her own health supports her business sense. As an extension of her health and wellness focus, Aleman celebrates the launch of her new juice bar, RAW Bar, just next-door to the spa. Its motto is, “Drink. Eat. Live Raw.” Adding a juicing option, RAW Bar incorporates fresh fruits, veggies and healthy foods for patrons. Also offering smoothies and salads, they provide WiFi for health enthusiasts ready to drink up while still attached to their phones. Creating her own concept, RAW Bar was a niche solution Aleman saw to introduce a place that is similar to a traditional coffee bar, but healthy. The facility also provides Halcyon customers the opportunity to walk next-door and grab a juice, as well as other products that are more flavorful and, therefore, wiser decisions for nutritional consumption. The idea stemmed from her personal run-ins with health. Paying attention to her own health needs, Aleman realized that she was allergic to certain ingredients and that “many of our food has preservatives,” she says. “That’s why we have IBS and diabetes. Corpus Christi is top three in amputations.” Future plans for Aleman’s business model include incorporating yoga. Her goal is to help get her clients become active and to, therefore, spread health these habits to the wider community to improve their own heath. In a rippling effect, this will positively influence the health of others.

Strong spirit and entrepreneurship

Growing up in Port Lavaca, Aleman became a mother early on. She credits her daughter with the acceleration of her own personal growth. “I think she was the one who helped me be responsible – it wasn’t just me anymore,” she says passionately. Her driven personality is evident in her success as a local entrepreneur. Yet the mother of two remains humble. “My mom helped a lot,” she says. “I couldn’t have done it without her.” Having her daughter at 17, Aleman began college at Victoria College. “I was a nursing tech while in school. I worked fulltime.” She focused on general medicine, as she wanted to go to medical school. “You are lucky if you get into a spot,” she describes of the competitive nature of medical school. She says she took the MCAT, but decided not to pursue the program and was, instead, led to complete her second Master’s of Science in Nursing as a nurse practitioner at Texas Tech. She graduated in 2013. It was at this time she gained additional experience 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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as a nurse practitioner. As she began doing injections (Botox) and aesthetic enhancements, she began to realize what alternatives existed for patients. “I eventually wanted to open my own business and decided to open up my own med spa,” she says. “It’s like a big leap of faith, never owning a business before.” Halcyon provides a space for clients to feel welcome and comfortable as they learn about more advantageous ways to maintain their health. “You can come in here, relax, unwind and talk,” explains Aleman of

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the therapeutic atmosphere. “It’s kind of like going to the hairdresser; just lay down, and it’s like a different kind of therapist’s chair.” Aleman interacts with her clients as they share current things going on in their lives. She prides herself and her company on genuine customer care, or as she describes it, “very specialized care – actually listening to the patient. What they tell me a lot is, ‘Wow, you actually listened and didn’t just stick the needle in.’” Understanding the patients, she is highly attentive. “If you don’t like it, you’re not going to be happy,” Aleman acknowledges.

Education

Graduating as an R.N. at just 20 years old, Aleman continued to receive her Master’s of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Leadership from A&M Corpus Christi in 2008. That same year, Aleman continued working in the E.R., learning the importance of routine health


checkups and treatments. Her drive and motivation continues, and it is woven into extracurricular activities such as reading and athletics. The business owner has completed three marathons and 20 half-marathons—not to mention five tough-mudders (obstacle courses with ropes, mud and fitness of military sizable proportions). “It’s as though it’s not enough to be women – you have to come more than fully prepared,” she describes of her experience as a female entrepreneur. Drawing her strength from inspirations that include

her family, her favorite book is “Atlas Shrugged,” which is like a scripture that has guided her journey. Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye.” She shares the following insight for other young women entrepreneurs, as she has been in their shoes: “Help each other. We may not know all along, but there is a plan.” Corpus Christi patrons look forward to seeing what plans are in store for Halcyon Med Spa & Wellness Center and RAW Bar.

For more information on services and products, please visit www.halcyonmedspa.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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PROFILE

Colston Wellness Gym offers customized programs to help clients make the most of their time at the gym and meet their fitness goals. By: Alexis Mays Photos by: Marco Aleman

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GOOD FOR EVERY BODY

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IT’S THE MOST COMMON RESOLUTION WE TELL OURSELVES EACH NEW YEAR: “THIS YEAR, I’M GOING TO GET IN SHAPE.” THE STAFF AT THE COLSTON WELLNESS GYM IN KINGSVILLE WANT TO HELP YOU KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS AND SHED THOSE HOLIDAY POUNDS. Studies show it takes more than just a gym for people to get into shape – it takes a dedicated support system. At the Colston Wellness Center, the weights and equipment are just the beginning. It’s the people and the programs that can help you reach your goals. “We are a comprehensive wellness center with customized programs to help you meet your fitness goals,” said Penny Merriman, director of the Colston Wellness Center. “A few of the many services we have at our facility include exercise classes, massage therapy and certified personal trainers.” The Colston Wellness Gym offers everything from state-of-the-art exercise equipment to a quarter-size Olympic indoor pool, indoor walking track, fitness and nutrition consultants and more. Local resident, Xenia Adrian, is among the many people who wanted to try the Colston because of its wide range of services. “I’m a mom and a student, and I’m planning a wedding!” Adrian said. “I’m pretty busy, so I need to make the most of my time when I workout. I was trying to find a gym that’s right for me.” What Adrian said she found when she tried the Colston Wellness Gym is that it’s built with every body in mind. “We have something for everyone at any fitness level,” Merriman added. “[There are] low-impact classes, high-intensity cardio and machines that will workout the entire body. We have programs for everyone from students to pregnant women to seniors.” The Colston is home to a Kinesis Wall with grips, cables and weight stacks, exercise equipment and circuit training. The quarter-size Olympic pool even has a built-in pool treadmill, while the center also offers a variety of daily aerobic and water-aerobic classes. All the choices keep it interesting, according to staff. “Working out can be tedious. Many say they stop going to the gym because the routine too quickly becomes a rut,” said Casey Johnson, a

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certified personal trainer and exercise fitness technician at the Colston. “That’s what makes the Colston different. There’s always a new workout to do.” One of the most cutting-edge pieces of equipment you’ll find in the Colston is the TechnoGym. It’s the latest and greatest equipment in the fitness industry, according to staff. The machines are designed to target several muscles at once, offering a more comprehensive workout every time, and making the most of time in the gym. The Colston Wellness Gym also is proud to be an advocate for the health and wellness of Kleberg County residents, so every member who joins the gym receives a complimentary consultation with a complete health and fitness assessment from trained professionals. They help you develop a personalized exercise routine to ensure it’s customized for your needs. “We talk about wellness because what we do is more than fitness,” Merriman said. “Wellness is inside and out. Wellness is when your body looks good, but feels good, too.” What also feels good for members of the Colston is the fellowship and friendship. Studies show those who workout in groups or with friends are more likely to get in shape and stay in shape. The daily sessions of Zumba and walking groups and cardio hour are just a few of the classes the Colston holds every week. “It’s a family,” Adrian said. “One of the reasons I stay on track with my workout is because of the people there. I’ve taken my friends with me to workout, and they’re always really surprised by how much the Colston Gym has to offer.” Housed on the second floor of the Colston Family Physical Rehabilitation and Wellness Center at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Kleberg, the Colston Wellness Gym is right off South Highway 77, making it convenient for residents of Kleberg County and students of Texas A&M University – Kingsville. “The location of the gym is really easy to get to,” Adrian said. “I just head there right after work. I’ve been going for 11 months, and I’ve lost 15 pounds to date.” Working out can be hard to work into your schedule, which is why the hours accommodate everyone’s schedule. The Colston opens Monday through Friday at 5:30 a.m. and has full locker rooms and showers so people can get their workout in first thing in the morning and get ready for work. But if you’re not a morning person, the Colston is also open weekdays until 8 p.m. so members can stop by after work or dinner. They’re open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. The Colston Wellness Gym is the place to go for all who want to turn their resolutions into realities. There are various memberships available and no long-term contracts. Interested in learning more or touring the gym? Call 361-595-9409 to get started. You can also try today for free – bring in this magazine for a free one-day pass.

WE HAVE SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE AT ANY FITNESS LEVEL.”


To learn more about the CHRISTUS Spohn Cancer Program, please visit www. christusspohn.org/colston gym or call 361-595-9409.

About CHRISTUS Spohn Health System 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

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and a new medical home for South Texas families is officially open. The Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center opened its doors in January, and the timing couldn’t have been more appropriate. “It’s been a privilege to open the health center the same month as Dr. Hector P. Garcia’s birthday,” said Justin Doss, chief operating officer of CHRISTUS Spohn Health System. “We are proud to honor his legacy of caring for all in this community.” Dr. Hector P. Garcia was a civil rights leader and health care pioneer who made a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of Americans. He was committed to caring for people from all walks of life. Garcia’s family says he would be proud to see his legacy reflected in the new health center, which bears his name. “My father cared for patients that lacked the ability to pay for medical care and treated everyone who walked through his own clinic doors,” said Cecilia Akers, daughter of Garcia and Hector P. Garcia Memorial Foundation president. “It is such an honor that this facility will be named after Corpus Christi’s hometown physician.” The new, 43,000-square-foot Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center will serve as a medical home for thousands of South Texas families, offering a range of primary care services, including Memorial Quick Care, a walk-in clinic with extended hours. The focus of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Center is education and prevention, a shift that is being seen in the health care industry nationwide – reaching and caring for patients before they are ill. That means managing chronic conditions, such as diabetes, before they reach a critical point. Located on the grounds of CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi - Memorial, the health center is conveniently located in a setting that gives patients and their families easy and timely access to health care. Here, patients can access a range of medical and wellness services, including lab, radiology and pharmacy services in-house. The Memorial Quick Care walk-in clinic is a component of the health center open 24/7 Thursdays through 8 a.m. on Sundays. It all adds up to a new, state-of-theart medical home for South Texans. “Health care is going through unprecedented change,” said Humberto Ramos, director of clinic operations. “I am excited to be involved in the opening of a new center that will focus on wellness and illness prevention, and not just on the intervention for an illness already in progress.” Education is another key component of the new health center, with educa-

tors in chronic condition management such as diabetes and heart disease available onsite, providing information and education programs to patients and their families. The center also features benefit-resource counselors to answer questions about insurance and other benefits, as well as care-transition counselors who help patients and their families keep up with healthy living practices after a hospital stay. CHRISTUS Spohn leaders say the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center will serve as a one-stop location where patients can receive high-quality care and learn more about maintaining a healthier life. “Dr. Garcia’s legacy in the community has been a tremendous positive influence on all of us,” Ramos said, “and we are honored to play a role in continuing his work going forward.”

To learn more about the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center, please visit www.ourpathforward.org. And for more information on CHRISTUS Spohn Health System, please visit www.christusspohn.org.

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happiness is why. Everyone has a reason to live a longer and healthier life. What is yours?

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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.

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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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EXPRESSIONS OF INSPIRATION

PERSEVERANCE THROUGH INSPIRATION With deep and sincere love for one another, Scott Humpal and his family turn tragedy into empowerment. By: PAUL ROMANS Photos by: WILLIAM RUSSELL

A

pproaching the home to meet with Scott Humpal and his family, I saw some unusual lights in the distance on the far side of the driveway behind the ranch-style house. After I got out of the truck and walked around back, it made perfect sense. Sophomore tennis sensation and state champ, Sara Humpal, was still hard at it hitting serves with her coach. Upon noticing me, she stopped what she was doing and jogged over to greet me. “Hi, you must be the interviewer,” she said. “Let me take you to my dad.” In meeting Scott, Dillon and Sara, one can’t help but feel the affinity they have for each other. Their love is deep and sincere. They seem to know exactly what each other is thinking almost in unison. They end each other’s sentences and fill in missing moments when necessary. Their positive energy is quite

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NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE HUMPALS ALWAYS STEP UP AND RISE TO THE OCCASION.”

infectious. Scott tells me later that sometimes when he watches the kids play sports, he is so grateful that they are healthy enough to enjoy sports and lead a normal life. He also feels they are far more emotionally strong than he is. Dillon Humpal is a well-mannered, handsome young man. He exudes confidence and intelligence well beyond his years. He has won the state championship in tennis three times. He won once in Division 1A, as a freshman defeating the defending state champion at regionals in a playback match just to make it to state. He lost in the regional final match badly, being defeated 6-0, 6-1 by very good lefty. Dillon had about three weeks to prepare for the state tournament. He really didn’t have huge expectations, but he did want to see just how far he could advance. He played impressively for being much younger than his opponents. He made the final and was matched up with the same player who would beat him so badly at regionals. This time, though, he was much better prepared for this opponent. He triumphed against overwhelming odds. The crowd was against him, and he was facing the favorite. He lost the first set and was behind in the second set. It was match point as his competitor raced toward the net after his volley. Dillon became nervous and lobbed his return, which appeared long. His adversary merely waited for it to go out, but a divine wind placed it in bounds and Dillon would go on to win the set. He was down 8 match points, but he persevered. It was the longest state finals match in Texas history. Dillon would go on to win two more state championships in Division 2A, and he will have the opportunity to win a fourth state championship in Division 3A this year. Sara is an accomplished athlete in her own right. She not only has her mother’s beauty, she also shares Gaby Humpal’s competitive spirit


when it comes to tennis. She excels at volleyball, too, but tennis is her true passion. Sara started playing tennis shortly after she learned to walk. Since this early age, her mom would be on the court with her, bouncing balls so she could hit them over the net. Scott says Gaby was always stirring their competitive nature. If there was time enough to play, they could be seen outside hitting tennis balls. This practice would pay off because last year, Sara won the State 2A Tennis Title for London. The Humpals pulled off a rare feat with brother and sister winning singles titles in the same year. The Humpal family often took annual trips to Steamboat Springs, Colo. They had been going there since Dillon was 5 years old. One of Sara’s memories was falling down on the black diamond trail that she wasn’t supposed to be on, and recovering in a pile of snow. Dillon recalls taking the gondola to the halfway point in the middle of a heavy snowstorm with his older brother, Tad. They decided to take the road less traveled. The snow was thick, and they could barely move, so what usually would take about five minutes to get down ended up taking them 25 minutes. Steamboat Springs was always a place of fun and memorable experiences for the Humpal family. However, when they traveled there in February 2012, the trip would be most memorable, but not of that which any family would want to endure. During their flight in on a small charter plane, they stopped in Dalhart to refuel. The pilot told them they would arrive at the airport just ahead of a storm front. They had to circle in the clouds over the airport a couple of times waiting on planes to take off. Scott started experiencing a little anxiety. The plane popped out of the clouds and was on the approach to the runway. The weather was clear. They were hit with a windshear that drove the plane straight up right before they crashed less than a hundred yards away from the runway. The media made a big deal about their landing in the middle of a snowstorm, but that was not true. When they gained consciousness, Dillon was behind Scott, Sara was in Gaby’s lap and Tad was up in the windshield of the plane. Their pilot was dead. Scott moved Sara and performed CPR on Gaby. Dillon called 911 while Scott was giving CPR to Gaby. Dillon handed the phone to Scott, and he told the dispatcher they had crashed short of the runway in Hayden; she didn’t believe him initially because no reports of a plane crash had been reported yet. The dispatcher said she would send the first responders. Tad finally got out of the plane and ran to the fire truck via the emergency exit. The family had to wait a while on the paramedics because they had to park on the tarmac

and walk through the snow in order to get to the wreckage. Scott performed CPR on his wife until EMS showed up. Dillon and Sara were sent out to the wing of the plane. At this time, Scott didn’t know Sara had a T-6 fracture of the spine. The bone was shattered in six or seven pieces, and a huge piece of the bone had broken off in her spinal canal. The move she made from the inside of the plane to the wing while waiting could have left her paralyzed. She was lucky. The EMS transported the injured in two separate ambulances to the Yampa Valley Hospital (YVMC) in Steamboat Springs. Tad and Sara were in one, and Scott and Dillon in the other, all of them enduring a bumpy, 45-minute ride before arriving at the hospital. Scott was of the impression that Gaby had possibly passed away. He would not see Sara again for more than two days. Sara was later transported to the Children’s Hospital in Denver. She was listed in critical condition and would undergo several surgeries to fix fractures and damaged muscles from compression syndrome in her leg. Her lungs

had also collapsed, and she had a subdural hematoma (a type of hematoma usually associated with traumatic brain injury; blood gathers between the dura mater and the brain), a lacerated kidney and liver, a broken collarbone, a broken neck and an “unstable fracture” of the T6 vertebrae. Scott said that if Dillon hadn’t called 911 so quickly, she likely would not have made it to the hospital alive with two collapsed lungs. He feels confident that angels must have been around the survivors once they hit the ground. Tad, Dillon and Scott remained at the Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs. Dillon and Tad had compression fractures in his spine and some cervical pain and instability. Scott suffered pain in his back and neck, and had several broken ribs, as well as an ankle sprain and a broken ankle. At the hospital, they let Scott know that Gaby had passed. Apparently, she and the pilot, Hans Vandervlught of Refugio, were wearing seatbelts and the impact from the crash ripped their aorta right off their hearts. They 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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died almost instantly on impact. Scott and the children were not wearing seatbelts. Scott said what was unusual was that more times than not, Gaby didn’t wear a seatbelt. Scott was able to get Gaby’s sister and her husband on the phone to help out with the funeral arrangements. When Sara got to Denver, where she was airlifted in haste due to the severity of her injuries, she had major problems with her leg. She had tissue and muscle damage, and she was intubated and highly medicated for the first week. Gaby’s sisters and brother and Scott’s sisters and brother were there with Sara while she was recovering. Scott’s first sight of Sara after the crash was of a group of family members loving and praying over her. Sara was oblivious to it all; she was just trying to survive. Before he could navigate Sara through her recovery, Scott and the boys would travel back to Corpus Christi to lay Gaby to rest. Scott and the kids were overwhelmed and gracious by the magnitude of family, friends and

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community that helped make this tragic time a little more bearable. Following the funeral, the boys returned to school and Scott flew back to Denver to take care of Sara. He decided to proceed with the necessary steps in getting Sara ready and able to travel back to Corpus Christi. He wanted the intubation removed, and he was insistent on removing the morphine therapy. It was not easy because the hospital was fighting him on these demands. When Sara finally came to, Scott had to tell her that her mother was in heaven. Sara had moments of lucidity, but initially, she was in and out of reality. Scott began to assess her himself as far as muscle activity and reflexes. There was still major concern about her head injury, but the more she came down off of the morphine, the more Sara acted normally. Sara did have major problems with the wound healing on her leg, and they wanted to do skin grafts, but family was insistent on forgoing the skin graft. They wanted to wait to schedule a skin graft. Scott felt it was time to move her out of the ICU, but was met with opposition on this issue. The nurse in charge of the ICU said they couldn’t do it because it was Saturday. After some debate and rumblings, Scott got his wish. He compared the effort to an act of Congress, considering the number of approvals they needed to get her moved. Scott discovered the quality of the rehab facilities there were inadequate for the level of rehabilitation Sara was going to need. This set in motion his networking skills in effort to return his daughter to her hometown Corpus Christi. He posted his situation on Facebook, and found many friends eager to help. He called the airport in Corpus and explained his predicament as suggested by friends. By now, everyone was familiar with the accident and the situation, and as a community, everyone was eager to help. He asked about two leer jets he knew were in the hangar; the secretary told him who owned them, but when he asked for the phone number, the dispatcher told him to let her worry about that. Five minutes later, she called him back and asked him when he wanted them there; it was taken care of. When Scott informed Sara’s nurse that there would be a plane there by noon, she was adamant that Sara not leave the hospital or travel. He had the plane on the way with a doctor oxygen, etc., but the hospital would not budge. In the morning, he was at it again, trying to convince the nurses, but they remained headstrong against her leaving. When he finally got the permission to transport Sara, she was positioned plank-style and flat on her back for the flight, strapped in. Many doctors who renewed Sara’s scans felt it was an emergency and she needed spi-


nal fusion surgery, but Scott thought it was worth the risk to just keep her in a brace and be extra careful and see if the spine would heal on its own. If it didn’t, he knew she would need the surgery later. He kept her in a plastic back brace for quite some time, and in a hospital bed in her room for her recovery. Fortunately, they had plenty of help from friends and family. Dillon also helped out with his sister, like a nurse taking care of a patient. As the years pass since this tragedy, the Humpal family continues to heal. “As an outsider looking in, it is really good to see whenever difficult times hit, the family truly bands together,” said London High School Principal Rebecca Hitchcock. “At the core, the family is truly beautiful on the inside and outside. Both Dillon and Sara love their daddy immensely. They come to all of each others’ events, and they are extremely close and supportive.” At the ceremony for the new athletic complex and weight room at London High School, which bears Gaby and

Tad’s names, Scott was deeply moved and inspired by the connection with the community. Dillon led the ceremony at “See You at the Pole,” which is an annual gathering of Christian students at a flagpole in front of their local schools for prayer. Hitchcock is impressed by Dillon and Sara’s resilience, and how they have taken a tragedy and turned it into empowerment. “No matter what the circumstances, the Humpals will always step up to help out and rise to the occasion,” she said. “They make no excuses as a family.” Hitchcock has heard Dillon say that this is what his mom would have expected him to do. Pastor Bill Cornelius and his wife, Jessica, have known the Humpals for years. They treat the Humpal children as if they were their own, as Scott and Gaby always had treated the Cornelius children. “Any time, day or night, if any one of Scott’s kids came to his door, they would be welcomed in, and vice versa,” Bill said. “What is really special is how much the Humpals love

IT IS REALLY SPECIAL HOW MUCH THE HUMPALS LOVE AND TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER.”

and take care of each other.” Bill mentioned Gaby’s spiritual relationship with Christ, how excited she was about what Jesus was doing in her life and how she flew to Mexico to spread the news of her salvation and her love for Christ. He said he was told that Gaby was reading her Bible on the plane while they were circling the runway in Hayden. “It was like she knew Jesus was in heaven waiting for her, and that she had brought more people to my church than any one person before and after her death,” Bill said. “She would always bring up her spirituality, but not in an arrogant or puffedup way – more of in a way of sharing the good news.” In his heart, Bill feels there is no doubt that Gaby’s guardian angel is still looking over Scott, Dillon and Sara. Bill was on the phone with Scott the night Gaby passed away. He felt the pain and anguish that Scott was going through at the onset of this tragedy. He went on to say, “What is really significant about Scott is how his spiritual side has not died. We all know of spiritual men that shake their fist at God when a loved one dies unexpectedly. If anything, he has grown closer in his walk with God. Scott has taken on the reins of being both mom and dad seamlessly with love and vigor. He did truly experience a loss, but he pours all of his time into his kids.” As strange as it seems after his senior year, Dillon’s future won’t be with a tennis racquet in his hands. He doesn’t plan on playing tennis in college; he wants to be an orthopedic surgeon. He has steady hands that will fit nicely around a scalpel. Dillon is at the top of his class right now academically, and he plans on going to Texas A&M next fall. Scott encourages him to focus on academics, which they both feel will take up most of his time anyway. Dillon wants to have time to focus on grades solely. He is taking all AP classes right now, which makes him familiar with the demands of being one of the best. Sara is still engaged in tennis and volleyball fulltime. Her promising athletic career is just getting started. The halls of London High School are fortunate to have her as part of their student body for a few more years. 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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HEALTH & WELLNESS

TOP OF THEIR GAME

Smoothie King Corpus Christi shares inspiration and advice from three stellar athletes. SPECIAL TO INSPIRE COASTAL BEND

Vico M eza

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It was hard do drop all my bad habits, but it all comes down to what you want more, and I wanted it more than anything in the world. I gave it everything I had and ended up coming in second place in my class! Little did I know, this was only the beginning of my fitness journey. Here I am, four shows later, nationally qualified x2 and getting ready for my first National NPC Men’s Physique show. Also, along the way, I managed to get sponsored by Smoothie King! I had always been a fan of their delicious smoothies and loved what they stood for: helping people change their lives for a better, healthier version of themselves. Then when I found out they also sold the best quality supplements, I was hooked. My favorite protein smoothie is the Strawberry and Kiwi Gladiator; it’s amazing! My go-to supplements that I make sure to stop by and pick up every month to keep fueled after my workouts would have to be their ISO pure protein, BCAA Optima and their C4 mass; it’s a must for growing good lean muscle. If I could give advice to anyone trying to compete or even just trying to get in better shape, it would be, “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.”

Fitness to me is not only a passion, but it’s my lifestyle. My friends and family are my biggest motivation. It’s an amazing feeling to know that you can have a positive impact on someone else’s life. I would have never imagined that I would be competing and become an IFBB Pro in Men’s Physique. It is important to follow the proper nutrition plan in order to get the best results. Businesses such as Smoothie King that make it convenient to help aid you in your fitness goals. 

WHATEVER IT IS YOU ARE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH, IF YOU GIVE IT YOUR ALL, YOU WILL SUCCEED.”

PHOTOS COURTESY OF SMOOTHIE KING

Fitness is my lifestyle, and I love it! I am here because I want to inspire people and share the message that whatever it is you are trying to accomplish, if you give it your all and don’t give up, you will succeed. I classify myself as a power builder, a personal trainer and a fitness enthusiast. I have competed in many sports over the years, as well as power lifting, bodybuilding and the new division, Classic Physique. This past July, with the amazing support of Smoothie King, I competed at the NPC Battle on the Bay. I competed in Corpus Christi’s first-ever Classic Physique competition where I took first place and won the overall Men’s Classic Open. Growing up, I was a smaller kid on the lighter side of the scale. I was never the strongest, biggest or even fastest. The moment my hands ever touched weights for the first time, something in me just lit up. I realized that even though I might not be the strongest, biggest or fastest kid, if I worked hard, I could be just a little bit better. I had the tools in front of me to sculpt myself. Very quickly, it clicked to me that weakness was a choice. One thing I could control was myself – by starting that day, I could create myself and make a new ending. I am honored to be part of the Smoothie King family because we have a purpose, and that is to help people live healthier, more active lives.

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trio Buck e n m

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Help us Build a Refuge for Healing. We are working to end Domestic Minor Sex-Trafficking

Master of Ceremonies: State Representative Todd A. Hunter Honorary Chairs: Judges Deeanne & Bobby Galvan

Friday, January 27th at the Solomon P. Ortiz International Center Corpus Christi, Texas 6:30-10pm

Dinner // Live Texas Country Music Silent & Live Auctions Roping Steer // Get Your Boots Shined

Christian Comedian

For Tickets or Sponsorship & Underwriting Opportunities Contact (479) 935-0868 or visit www.newliferefugeministries.org

Mike Williams Corpus Christi’s Texas Country Music Artist

Jake Ward

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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4th Annual Sky High Rollers Casino Night Presented by Riviera Telephone Co. and Benefiting HALO-Flight

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Sponsorships Available www.haloflight.org

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Michelle Gallegos (361) 446-4809

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NONPROFIT ADDITIONAL TOP SPONSORSHIP COMES FROM:

The Corpus Christi chapter of the American Heart Association preps for the Corpus Christi Heart Ball, Hearts in Havana, which will raise much-needed funds to continue the fight against heart disease and stroke.

 

By: ERIN WILDER

T

he closing of one year and the beginning of another is always a great opportunity for reflection. How can we make the coming year healthier and happier for both ourselves and our community? Individual New Year’s resolutions often make it all the way to Jan. 3. But when you resolve to get involved with a mission or a cause, you are more likely to make your commitment stick! Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of all Americans, but through research, outreach, education and advocacy, your contribution of time or talent

to the American Heart Association (AHA) can make a huge difference in the lives of families across the Coastal Bend. This time of year, the Corpus Christi chapter of the AHA is making plans for their annual Heart Ball gala event in February. Heart Ball is the AHA’s premiere fundraising event in the region to drive critical ongoing cardiovascular and stroke research. Last year’s event raised nearly $400,000, and this year, we hope to contribute even more to the fight against heart disease. The annual event attracts more than 500 of the city and state’s community leaders in medicine,

WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF FAMILIES ACROSS THE COASTAL BEND THROUGH RESEARCH, OUTREACH, EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY. business and philanthropy, and celebrates local volunteers and supporters and the many successes they have achieved together in fighting heart disease and stroke. Hearts in Havana, the Corpus Christi Heart Ball, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, at the Solomon P. Ortiz Center. The black-tie optional, guayaberas-recommended gala event will include dinner, dancing and a silent and live auction. Co-chairs Drs. Nelly and Osbert Garcia Blow and Tony and Jennifer LaMantia say attendees will enjoy a swanky, romantic night in Old Havana with the eclectic sounds of modern rumba

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  

AEP Texas Drs. Nelly and Osbert Garcia Blow Bonilla and Chapa, P.C. Coastal Cardiology PLLC Driscoll Physicians Group Memorial Anesthesia Kleberg Bank L&F Distributors Obstetrical and Gynecological Associates of Corpus Christi MCCI Medical Group Pulmonary Associates of Corpus Christi River City Hospice San Jacinto Title Services South Texas Brain & Spine Center

SUPPORT ALSO COMES FROM:  Alice Heart and Vascular Center  Ambulatory Adult Neurology, J. Felipe Santos, M.D.  American Bank  Bay Area Oral and Facial Surgery  B.E. Beecroft Co. Inc.  BMW of Corpus Christi  Buckley and Associates  Cardiology Associates of Corpus Christi  Carlisle Insurance/ Port of Corpus Christi  Corpus Christi Medical Center  Corpus Christi Women’s Clinic  Driscoll Children’s Hospital  Dugan Eye Institute  Humpal Physical Therapy  Rep. and Mrs. Todd Hunter  The John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Foundation  Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson LLP  Scott and Thelma Mandel  Post Acute Medical Specialty Hospital  Dr. Enrique Cisneros Ramos Jr.  Joe and Debbie Sevilla  Star Orthodontics  Susser Family Foundation  Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi  Texas Eye Care Network – Dr. Christopher Majka  Tom and Diane Gates  Valero Bill Greehey Refineries

PHOTOS COURTESY OF AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION

HEALTHIER AND HAPPIER

       


and Cuban jazz, delectable food, cocktails and entertainment – all while supporting a great mission and honoring local luminaries Lt. Gen. Marc Cisneros & Mrs. Eddy Cisneros and Drs. Shamim Badruddin and Srikanth Damaraju for their heartfelt contributions to the Coastal Bend community.

ABOUT THE HONOREES

Lt. Gen. Marc Cisneros and his wife, Eddy Cisneros, will be honored for their many contributions to our city. Both were born and raised in South Texas ranching communities. After 35 years as a decorated Army officer, Marc Cisneros served as president of Texas A&M University-Kingsville for three years and then as CEO of the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation for 15 years of service through philanthropy. Eddy, as a cancer survivor, has committed herself to healthy living causes. Marc is also a survivor of two heart bypass operations. Drs. Srikanth Damaraju and Shamim Badruddin are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary this year, and the Heart Ball is celebrating their many years of contributions to cardiovascular medicine. Both studied at Baylor College of Medicine institutions in Houston and achieved chief resident status before bringing their talents to Corpus Christi. Damaraju has practiced in Corpus Christi since 1999, and has been instrumental in advancing cardiovascular interventions in the city, including performing the first carotid stent, abdominal aortic aneurysm exclusion therapy and transcutaneous aortic valve replacement. Badruddin specialized in echocardiography and nuclear cardiology, and has several key publications to her credit. Both have made Corpus Christi a heart-healthier city.

ABOUT THE HEART BALL

The 2017 Corpus Christi Heart Ball is presented by legacy sponsor CHRISTUS Spohn Heart Institute and sponsored by Citgo, Peggy and Avinash Ahuja, Larry and Karen Urban and Repcon, Inc./Analytical Testing of Texas Inc.

Get involved! Whether you are a supporter, a donor or a volunteer, we welcome any contribution. Individual tickets and sponsorship opportunities are also available. To learn more, go to www.corpuschristiheartal.heart.org or call us at 445-3190.

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

AVIATION LANDMARK

H

alf of all Navy and Marine Corps aviators train in Corpus Christi. That means half of all aviators currently fighting ISIS, flying missions in dangerous areas and heading out on deployment have spent a significant amount of time in this Sparkling City by the Sea. Whether they’re here for six months, three years or longer, they attend school here, worship here, find love here and have babies here, and some return to Corpus Christi to call it home. They leave their mark on this city, and Corpus Christi leaves its mark on them. This also means half of all Navy and Marine Corps aviators who give their lives in service to their country have Corpus Christi roots.

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HALF OF ALL NAVY AND MARINE CORPS AVIATORS WHO SERVE THEIR COUNTRY HAVE CORPUS CHRISTI ROOTS.

Founded in 2015 by a small cadre of Navy pilots, the South Texas Aviator Memorial Association (STXAMA) plans to build a bronze statue and memorial gardens in Ropes Park on Ocean Drive to honor the sacrifice of fallen aviators and aircrew and give a visual representation of Corpus Christi’s contribution to military aviation. Familiar locations in Corpus – including Rodd Field, Brownlee Drive, Cabiniss Field and Waldron Road – are all namesakes of American military heroes, some of whom were aviators aboard the Naval Air Station. Corpus Christi holds a rich heritage of supporting military service members, and it does not go unnoticed. The memorial itself will include a 7-foot statue of an aviator in flight gear, standing at the ready. He will be placed on top of a large pedestal featuring the seals of each military branch. While the statue is not based on any one person, it is meant to

PHOTOS COURTESY OF SOUTH TEXAS AVIATOR MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION

The South Texas Aviator Memorial Association honors Corpus Christi’s rich heritage with the Aviator Memorial. By: ANNE BOOHER


represent pilots, flight officers and aircrew from each branch of service. The statue will be surrounded by a brick walkway, filled with the names of loved ones and local supporters. Six benches will surround the aviator, providing a place to enjoy an unobstructed view of the Bay. Ropes Park also holds special significance to those pilots currently flying and training aboard Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, since the statue will be visible on their final approach course to runway 13R. Buy a brick, donate or volunteer Through hard work of dedicated volunteers, the association has successfully raised $87,000 toward its $105,000 goal toward construction. There are many opportunities to get involved and leave your mark on what is to be a Corpus Christi landmark. Bricks are being sold to line the walkway leading to the memorial, and they are laser engraved, making it easy to include any logo or artwork. Whether you’d like to honor a lost loved one, honor a former squadron or unit or feature your company logo, these bricks will be cherished parts of the memorial. Donations are appreciated in any amount, and a few sponsorships are still available. Sponsorships include having your business, family name or tribute placed on a plaque that will be featured on the side of one of six benches surrounding the statue. Some include a small-scale replica statue of the aviator. Volunteers are what make STXAMA successful. If you’d like to donate your time or skills toward the completion of this project, please contact one of the associate directors for more information. Keep the legacy going Corpus Christi cares deeply for its military, and while this park will be a landmark, it will be much more than an attraction. When the last brick has been laid and Ropes Park becomes the aviator’s permanent home, that doesn’t mean the work is done. STXAMA plans to continue its fundraising efforts to establish an ongoing educational scholarship fund for children of fallen aviators. With all the worry and concern that follows when a child loses a parent, the STXAMA wants to alleviate the financial burden that comes with paying for college. Please make a donation today, and be a part of bringing our aviator home to Ropes Park.

For more information, please visit www.stxama.com or www.facebook.com/southtexasama, or call 252-714-7724. 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

HOPE FOR THE FUTURE

January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and New Life Refuge Ministries has some great opportunities for you to help bring awareness to the issue of domestic minor sex trafficking.

D

id you know domestic minor sex trafficking victims endure tremendous physical and emotional abuse? They are isolated from society and brainwashed to believe no one cares about their well-being. They are robbed of their self-esteem and their ability to think for themselves, and they are led to believe that “turning tricks” is all they are good for. This crime does not discriminate, and the victims can be girls or boys of any race and from wealthy or poor families. The most important needs these kids have are food, rest and a safe place to live. That is where the Home of Hope being built by New Life Refuge Ministries (NLRM) comes in. We are working to provide a safe, home-like environment for rescued victims where they can heal from their trauma and learn their true purpose in life. NLRM offers individual programs that include counseling, life skills training, schooling and many different therapies. These young victims are manipulated into believing that this way of life is only temporary and is the means to an idyllic end. Traffickers say things like, “Once we build our empire together, you and I can get married and start a family, and you can have everything you dreamed of.” Simultaneously, they label them as “whores” and make it clear they can never go

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back to being normal now that they have sold themselves for sex. Often, the only hope a victim sees for a future is the one the sex trafficker promises, and that will only happen if the captive keeps up her end of the bargain and brings in the money. The need for a place such as the NLRM Home of Hope is paramount for the recovery of a young person who has endured this level of trauma. Texas has the second highest reported incidences of trafficking of youth in our nation, and there are only 26 beds that are specified for this population in the state of Texas. There are currently no beds in South Texas for underage victims of sex trafficking. To further elaborate on the need for housing in our area, on multiple occasions, Corpus Christi police have recovered teenage girls being sold. There were 29 underage victims of sex trafficking identified in our city last year, and victims continue to be frequently identified in our area. The police had no safe place to take them to get the care they needed. Please join us as we praise the efforts of our local law enforcement and district attorney’s office for the arrest and conviction of the first tried sex trafficker in our region. He was found guilty of continuous sex trafficking of a minor and sentenced to 40 years in state prison, and he will not be eligible for parole until 2036.

ARADAPHOTOGRAPHY/BIGSTOCK.COM

SPECIAL TO INSPIRE COASTAL BEND


About New Life Refuge Ministries New Life Refuge Ministries is a 100 percent volunteer-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The organization is run by Minta Moore, executive director, and an executive board of directors led by Katie Howell, board president, and Cathy Cole-Perez, board vice president. Other directors include Kate Bean, board secretary, and John Moore, board treasurer. The board of directors also includes: Amie Riner, Claudia Schmidt, Sarah Murphy, Meridith Carter, Cassandra Strom, Nathan Hardin and Holly Duvall. We also have an active advisory committee and multiple volunteers in the community.

WE ARE WORKING TO PROVIDE A SAFE, HOME-LIKE ENVIRONMENT FOR RESCUED VICTIMS.

If you are interested in volunteering for or fundraising with New Life Refuge Ministries, visit our website at www.newliferefuge. com, and please attend the following events: Proclamation at City Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 10; Julian Gold Fashion Show on Friday, Jan. 13; and Celebration of Courage Boots and Bling Ball on Jan. 27.

This article was provided by New Life Refuge Ministries Executive Director Minta Moore. For more information, visit New Life Refuge Ministries online at www.newliferefuge.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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• DEPRESSION

• ADHD

• ADOLESCENT CONDUCT DISORDERS • ALCOHOLISM

• ANXIETY

• DRUG ABUSE

• EATING DISORDERS

• SCHOOL FAILURE

• STRESS

Raul R. Capitaine, MD, PA Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry 6000 S. Staples St., Suite 406 (361) 993-4835 Additional Offices in Alice - Beeville - Victoria 1-800-217-9238

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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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THE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION LUNCHEON Honoring Dr. Hector P. Garcia will be held on

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at The American Bank Center Starting at 11:15 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Complimentary Valet Parking will be provided Keynote Speaker: The legendary TV celebrity and film actor, Tony Plana The Hector P. Garcia Memorial Foundation would like to express great thanks to Presenting Sponsor Citgo Refinery

For Ticket and Sponsor Information Contact Anna Flores at (361) 241-4535 The proceeds from this event are used for scholarships and assistance for veterans and the continuing effort of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Center at TAMUCC. 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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