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GREATER HEIGHTS HEIGHTS GREATER

Who are they? And why are A Healthier they smiling?

Heights

A Healthier Heights in 2013


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EDITOR’S NOTE OURBLOK WINTER 2013

G R E AT E R H E I G H T S

I have always loved the Garth Brook’s song “Unanswered Prayers”. In my lifetime that has certainly been true. Recently the same can be said for “an answered prayer”. Let me explain. A little over three years ago my wife and I embarked on a new journey. After 26 years of selling advertising to small businesses I was convinced that there was a better way. A better way to help small business connect with their neighbors. A better way for businesses who wanted to support their local churches, schools and non-profits. A better way for consumers to know who those businesses were.

BLOKHEAD Scott Talley scott@OurBlok.com DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Holly Grajales holly@OurBlok.com GRAPHIC DESIGN graphics@OurBlok.com FOR ADVERTISING RATES info@OurBlok.com 713-868-2002 WEBMASTER Danielo Rojas danielo@OurBlok.com SALES & MARKETING Lana Hudson lana@OurBlok.com Demarcus Fisher demarcus@OurBlok.com FOR FRANCHISE INFORMATION info@OurBlok.com 713-868-2002 OurBlok Heights has made all reasonable efforts to verify the accuracy of articles and information within. Responsibilities for accuracy of claims and information of our advertisers lie solely with them. Editorial content does not necessarily express the opinions of the publisher. Editorial or advertising does not constitute advice, but is considered information Copyright 2013 by OurBlok Heights. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without the written permission from OurBlok Heights. OurBlok Greater Heights magazine is published quarterly by OurBlok Heights.

2 OurBlok Winter

So we created OurBlok and as part of our core values we wanted to make sure we were giving back to the communities where we operate. Today, system wide, OurBlok is intimately involved with over 84 of these churches, schools & non-profits. Our goal is to increase awareness of the organizations and the talented people behind them such as the principles, pastors, volunteers and coordinators. See, we believe that at the core of every great community are these organizations. In order to reach our goals we need your help. If you are part of any non-profit in the Greater Heights we want to hear from you! Just email our office at info@ourblok.com here in the Heights and provide us contact info on the organization and we will take it from there. As you will see in this issue, there are so many great people doing great work right here in the Heights. If you like the work that Community Director Landrum Turner is doing at the Harriet & Joe Foster YMCA, then we encourage you to request an OurBlok Rewards Card on our website at www.OurBlok.com. The card can be pre-programmed to the YMCA or any non-profit. Businesses are signing on to make cash back contributions based on your spending. You can also pick up a card at Adolf Hoepfl & Son Garage, Monarch Cleaners, Outlaw Dave’s, Sign-A-Rama, One Green Street, or Sammy’s Wild Game Grill, Cafe Brussel’s, Memorial Park Vision, and 610 Pet Lodge. The list of businesses willing to support your cause is growing daily. The program is free to non-profits, free for the card holder and will help local businesses in the area. Oh and yes, we help raise valuable funds for the organizations. Over 90% of the 100+ businesses have an initial coupon to entice you to try their services or products. If you see the you know they are contributing back to your favorite cause. And did I mention most of these businesses offer you cash back rewards on future visits? In closing, I would be remiss if I did not thank Mark & Becky Standridge for the efforts over the last two years. While having lived and officed in 77007 over the last 26 years, I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to once again operate OurBlok Greater Heights. This is an “answered prayer” and we are committed to fulfilling the mission to “connect the people who live, work, play, study & worship here in the Greater Heights”. With your help we can accomplish great things! Scott Talley, Founder


4 OurBlok Winter


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this issue Get To Know the YMCA

FEATURES

16

10

Would You Want to Know?

16

Harriet & Joe Foster Family YMCA

26 Health Care Reform

The Harriet and Joe Foster Family YMCA St. Joes Open in the Heights

36

28

Have “Frites” Will Travel

36 St. Joes Opens in the Heights

DEPARTMENTS 5

Loyalty Rewards

8

Your Blok Cool Hunting

22

Never A Boring Day

30

Heights Business

32 Preferred Service Providers 44 Rants & Raves

26 Healthcare Reform 6 OurBlok Winter 6 OurBlok


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8 OurBlok Winter 8 OurBlok

Found it in The Heights!


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Would You Want to Know? There has been so much written lately about the ability in the medical community to test for pre-dispositions to various diseases. Challenges we may have to face as we age and the real question today. If you could know what the future holds, would you want to know? The consensus among a number of people I have discussed this with is, “sure I would want to know”. The one disease that seems to give people the most fear and reluctance is Alzheimer’s. So recently when I was offered a testing procedure to check the old ticker out, I thought why not. It can’t hurt to know how healthy the heart is with three children under 12.

My wife might also want to know about the opportunity for any “widow makers” in the near future. The test was scheduled at ALWII, the relatively new Advanced Life Wellness Institute, Inc. located in the Select Building on Ashland Street here in the Heights. As the appointment time grew nearer, obviously my apprehension did as well. I spent the two hours preceding the test trying to think up an excuse to call and cancel. As I headed up the elevator, believe it or not there was a gentleman that was wearing a t-shirt that read “Believe it or Not I want to Live Forever”. So far so good!

I though well that is certainly a sign and a sentiment I often share with one caveat.

As long as... I am healthy!

The test lasted fifteen minutes with about five minutes of prep-time. An initial questionnaire is filled out to help Dr. Carlos Herrera with a thorough understanding of your current physical health. Then it is followed by a quick blood pressure check and weigh in. From there it gets easier, yes easier. The first five minutes go simply. You lie still with a blood pressure cuff on your bicep and each index finger in a small cuff. This may have been the most relaxing five minutes I have enjoyed during work hours in a long time. The next five minutes, pressure is added to your bicep and I was warned I may feel a bit of tightness or pain. On the contrary, I enjoyed and additional five minutes of rest. The particular piece of equipment in this test is an Endopat machine. With the help of bio-sensors on your fingers the test can measure changes in the vascular tone. These changes in tone response are

10 OurBlok Winter


tracked by the pressure applied to your arm. The result calculates blood flow under both normal and restrictive state.

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Without getting highly technical this easy to preform, quick and painless test put my mind at ease about any “widow makers” in the immediate future. Within a few minutes Dr. Herrera had shared the results and recommended a Pomegranate Supplement to keep it all in check. I learned before leaving that ALWII also can test for every single organ in the body. They approach to wellness is second to none and completely inspired by the doctors passion for preventative illness.

Lunch Wednesday – Friday 11 – 3 Dinner Tuesday-Thursday 5:30 – 9 Friday-Saturday 5:30 – 10

So if you answered the question, yes I want to know…I would encourage you to call and schedule a complete health assessment. The setting is more salon like than medical and the entire experience is quick and painless. After all, if you want to live forever, a proactive approach to wellness is the only way!

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www.alwii.org OurBlok Winter 11


. y a W e h t n o e r o M .. .. s e Banks Fe

pes of es to close certain ty Fe er m su on a nt C , especially if within ts According to a rece un co ac umers will ing. If Reports article, cons t time period of open or sh s nk ba fees as nd that is to see more and more you think a way arou e th r fo up ave it e aw the money and le look for ways to mak dr ith w e th st due to will be hit billions they have lo en, most likely you op ns tio la which regu poor economy, new an underbalance fee, ith w ient long as and their own ineffic continue to accrue as ill w ey th ver ways t is open. Don’t co un operations. Here are co ac e th d dime you. it off the bank will charge will look to nickel an d an it counts, e mark on your Increased fees on ac and place a negativ s nk ba y an M including checking. credit report. with free y el tir en ay aw do will are ill impose nsumer should be aw co checking. Or they w y er Ev ying deposits to t they are actually pa increased minimum ha w of , ts en requirem accounts. avoid fees or other es to maintain their fe in ded Those solution recommen like direct deposit. sy ea n A source of ing from deposits are a cheap financial experts rang by d an t an ou al finance funds for them to lo Suze Orman, person ct re di e onsumer make money and th rt and TV host, to C pe ex rd ha it t makes to switch to a deposit requiremen Reports magazine is h. for you to ever switc

edit unions credit union. Most cr of a big offer all the services count access bank, from online ac ks nationwide. to free ATM networ Houston In the Heights area, on has been Highway Credit Uni s since 1952 serving its neighbor e of savings, and offers a full rang more. checking, loans and

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Interview with Landrum Turner Community Executive Director In every community in the country there are these sleeping giants.These great organizations doing great work that often go unnoticed. At OurBlok we think these groups make up the core of our community and without them the world and our neighborhoods would not be the same.Sure we love the quaint shopping here in the Heights. I seldom hear any one complain about all the new great restaurants. White Linen Nights. Heights in the Lights and the Crawfish Festival work for me but in the end the entire community is better off with the work many do in charitable capacities. It is our pleasure to bring you up to date on one of these groups.The Harriet and Joe Foster FamilyYMCA. How many families are part of the YMCA at your location? We currently impact around 4,000 families in the Northwest Houston/ Heights community through involvement in one of our many program areas. What types of local programs are available? The Y focuses on three important aspects in developing our community. The Y is for Youth Development, for Healthy Living, and for Social Responsibility. The Foster YMCA accomplishes these goals not only through Health and Wellness activities, but also offers programs such as Youth Sports, Summer Swim

16 OurBlok Winter 18 OurBlok 2012

Lessons, Summer Day Camp, Afterschool Childcare, Active Older Adult Activities, Apartment Outreach sites and Bible Study programs. What would people be surprised to learn about the YMCA? I feel that some of the most impactful things we do are outside of the Facility’s walls. We have 3 apartment outreach sites in the Tidwell / Hollister corridor. The children in these apartment communities are identified as at risk kids. We offer a free program after school and during the summer for these residents in order to provide homework assistance, physical activities, positive role models and access to activities and experiences that may be out of their financial reach. We strive to make all of our programs and services available to anyone in this great community regardless of their ability to pay. We have a membership for all program that offers our membership at a reduced rate depending on the family’s income. Also, we have an open doors program that allows people to apply for subsidy for any of our activities at the Foster YMCA. Tell us about you after school program? We currently offer our programs in 4 local elementary schools: Sinclair, Garden Oaks, Durham and Stevens. Our program runs from dismissal to 6pm at each of the schools. Not only do we provide services such as homework assistance, educational and recreational curriculum, enrichment activities and a healthy snack; we give children opportunities to build confidence, develop assets and grow in a safe and nurturing environment. This past year we gave out over $75,000 in program subsidy to those who needed help accessing childcare. We are proud to say that we do our best to remove any obstacles that would prevent a parent from finding a safe and fun place for their child to go after school.


Harriet and Joe Foster Family YMCA

Summer programs? We offer a fantastic summer day camp program each week of the summer. This past summer we were able to serve about 300 children per week in our summer day camp. 70% of the campers were able to have a safe, fun and impactful summer at our camp due to financial assistance through our Partners Campaign. Other programs include family fitness, youth sports and, the other most popular summer program, Swim Lessons. The Foster YMCA is a great place to be during the summer. With all the programs going on for children and families, this place stays very active from open to close each day of the week. If someone donated 1/2 million dollars to your organization what would the YMCA apply the funds to? Wow, what a great question. I feel like one of the most underserved populations in this community is teens. I would love to have a place for teens to come when not in school, to be around positive role models and mentors. I

would like to utilize multi-media activities and a music lab to keep them engaged and interacting with each other. It would be great to teach them about social responsibility and the value of serving the community that they live in. When donations are made to the YMCA can they be contributed to the local community or does it go through national YMCA? All contributions made to the Foster YMCA stays in this community. We do not send it to a general fund, we use it to serve families and individuals it our service area. What is your favorite part of your job? There are so many facets of this job that are my favorite. I love seeing the look of relief on a parent’s face when you tell them that they do not have to worry about where their child will go, after school or during the summer, while they are at work. I love seeing children and families getting stronger as

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OurBlok Winter 17


they participate in programs with each other. I love watching the community of members we serve, interact with each other everyday in various activities. Most of all, though, I love the fact that the YMCA strives to allow all to have access to everything we do. No one knows who receives assistance financially and who doesn’t. Everyone who participates at the YMCA is on a level playing field. Tell us about your dedicated staff? I work with a fantastic staff team and board of volunteers. I believe that I am surrounded by people that really want to serve. Currently we employ about 100 full and part-time staff members. Our Volunteer Board is made up of 18 individuals from this community. I am so blessed to be able to work with such a great group of people. If you had one program you wish you had the funds to begin, what would it be? As mentioned before, a multi-media arts program would be a great way to engage the teens in this area. Some YMCA’s across the country are using technology to teach teens how to produce videos, music recording and web site development. Some of these programs have even gotten attention from companies such as Apple. These teens are producing promotional material and videos that help spread the word about all the great things the YMCA is doing. What does 2013 hold for the YMCA? We are really focused on engaging and connecting with our members and other health seekers in this community. We want to be the place that helps them change their lives on their journey to good health. We plan to continue our outreach programs and focus on mentoring the children in those communities so that they develop positive assets that will help them succeed as they grow. Our Partners Campaign goal is $160,000 this year and we plan on involving members of the community to help us surpass our goal and serve those in need. Our summer day camp program is staged to have more participants than ever before. We plan to help prevent drowning by teaching children water safety through our swim lessons and WaterWise program. Our hope is that the Harriet & Joe Foster Family YMCA continues our legacy by furthering our reach and strengthening our grip on this community that we have served since 1939.

So we do not have that half a million to donate but there is hope. If you are moved by this article and the work that Landum and his staff are performing. You can help out. Go to www.OurBlok. com and request an OurBlok card. Activate the card and “pick the YMCA as your passion” Every time you use the card at participating merchants a cash back contribution from the business is made to the Y in your name. So log on activate and help Landrum and his team reach their goals! 18 OurBlok Winter


OurBlok 19


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20 OurBlok Winter

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Never a boring day i MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

Urban Animals in the Heights

Houston Telephone Museum

Karaoke Night with Nina Lombardo

Urban Pickins Farmer’s Market

Buffalo Wild Wings

Intro to Zen Sitting

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HHA’s Jan 14 General Mtg Heights City Hall & Fire Station 107 W. 12th Street Doors open at 6:30 Humans may accompany their Pets and enjoy booths by local business members and organizations

1714 Ashland 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. every Tue.

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Baby Time

Heights NeLibrary 1302 Heights Blvd Interactive Storytime 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

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THURSDAY Wabash Antiques & Feed 5701 Washington Avenue Every Thursday, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Bingo at Lodge 88

every Thursday night Doors open at 5:15pm. 1435 Beall St. Get there early for parking & good seats!

Heights Young Professionals Org

January 31 HYPO social will be held from 6-8 pm at Solea for $5 tapas, wine and wellls! Come join us for some networking!

Arts & Crafts Thursday at Menchie’s

11:00 AM → 1:00 PM 512 W 19th St. Each week is something new. www.mencies.com

EAT DRINK DANCE LISTEN WAT 22 OurBlok Winter 22 OurBlok


in the Greater Heights FRIDAY 360 Sports Lounge 4601 WASHINGTON Happy Hour Mon-Fri 3p-7p $2 Drafts, $5 Calls $4 Appetizers

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69 Heights Blvd. Happy Hour 11am – 7pm every day. $9 Domestic Light Pitchers. $14 Domestic Buckets & $4.00 Wells. $2.75 Select Domestic Bottles Free wi-fi!

SATURDAY SUNDAY Outlaw Daves

Live Broadcast 6502 Washington Ave Every Sat 7p-9p

Saturdays with Scouts

Scout’s Honor Rescue monthly adoption day the first Saturday of every month. 1128 Heights Blvd (between 11th & 12th Streets) from 10AM 3PM.

The La Fuente Winery Tastings

Cafe Brussels

Sunday Brunch 1718 Houston Ave 11 am - 3 pm cafebrusselshouston.com 713-222-6996

The Social Lounge & Patio Bar 3730 Washington Social Sundays with rotating dj’s every week with Houston’s hottest. Never a cover. Drink specials all night. Party starts at 5pm.Free Parking. Never a cover! www.thesocialinfo.com

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Keep an eye out for new events and venues... there’s always plenty to do in the Greater Heights!

Have an event you want to post? Send events and listings to info@ourblok.com

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Then & Now

2013 Houston Heights Association Home & Garden Tour and Candlelight Dinner & Auction (Friday, April 5, 2013) Saturday & Sunday April 6 and 7, 2013 Noon to 6 p.m. Six Houston Heights homes will go on tour in one of Houston’s most cherished neighborhoods, rich in its diverse mix of architectural styles and inviting gardens. The annual event attracts crowds of locals and is a popular springtime tourist destination.

Advance Tickets

$20

www.houstonheights.org 24 OurBlok Winter

Homes on Tour Deb Parks & Mark Bouzek Home, 1617 Columbia Gayle & Mike Klaybor Home, 1615 Cortlandt Marylou Erbland & Robert Woods Home, 709 E. 19th Karen & Bob Derr Home, 2310 Rutland Noelle & Eric Reed Home, 1532 Tulane Katrina Stilwell & Jonathan Elton Home, 235 W. 18th St.


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W

Health Care Reform

ith the arrival of 2013, group health administrators are hearing a lot about 12/1 renewal dates. Is this a bunch of hype? Why should a group health plan with a renewal date in the beginning of the year consider a early 12/1/13 renewal next year? The reason is that most of the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA” aka “Obamacare”) more onerous provisions go into effect in your plan year that begins after January 1, 2014. This includes the following: the pay or play penalty, the 90 day waiting period, the ban on pre-existing exclusions, the caps on deductibles and cost-sharing, and the rating restrictions (aka “community rating”). No one knows exactly what the effect of this perfect storm of regulations and rules will be, but no one is eager to be first in line for the experience. Think of it this way. If you were on the Titanic and the last life boat just left (that was November 6th, by the way), would you want to be in the back of the boat or in the front? Remember, the rules will not apply to your group until your first plan year after January 1, 2014. So, if your plan year (i.e., renewal date) is in the first four months (1/1, 2/1, 3/1, or 4/1) of 2014, you will be the first pig to the slaughter. Is there an alternative? 26 OurBlok Winter

Some carriers (not all) have realized that their insureds are not eager to be the first lemming off the cliff and are offering in 2013 only an early 12/1/13 renewal date for their insureds with renewal dates in the first half of the year. So, instead of being the first one to figure out the impact of all these rules and regulations, a 12/1 renewal date in 2013 means that those same rules and regulations will be delayed for 11 months, until 12/1/14. Of course, this is only a delay in the application of those rules and regulations, not a reprieve. Is it really necessary, given that we are talking about a delay of less than 365 days? We believe the impact will be greater for those with renewal dates early in the year rather than later. Having a renewal date in the early part of 2014, will not allow any time for new regulatory or legislative changes

that may be necessary once January 1, 2014 hits. The hope is that a later date will at least offer some time to fix some of the major snafus. So far, the carriers offering this change have only done so for their customers with renewal dates in advance of 5/1.

Contact your insurance representitive or carrier and assess whether a 12/1 renewal makes sense for you!

Provided by: Andrew A. Adams General Counsel, Adams Insurance JD, CIC, CRM


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Have “Frites” Will Travel Some people have a knack for turning out great food. My mom is like that at 80 years old. Provide her a few simple ingredients, heat, and a little time and she turns out great meals that inspire and awe. The Heights is blessed to have our very own, Catherine Duwez. Café Montrose couldn’t keep her. Broken Spoke didn’t break her, and finally she lands on her feet in control of her own destiny for the first time in a very long time. Only two weeks after the closing of Dharma’s Café, Catherine is taking Houston Ave. by storm and If you know Catherine that is the only way she takes things. When life gives her lemons, she makes mussels! Lunch starts at about $7 for crouques and Belgian sandwiches while dinner is traditional Belgian fare at $12 to $15. The Tartare de Saumon topped with her unique country vinaigrette is a great starter. Famous for her mussel dishes, Catherine steams them to perfection and offers ample portions. I have enjoyed the le Petit Pave de Bruxelles (great steak) as well as the le cordon bleu. Cafe Brussel's is one of those places where even the small house

salad stands out. Regardless, of the dish do not, I repeat do not, leave without an order of the golden Belgian fries and whatever you do, don’t call them French fries! Fresh cut and fried at two different temperatures, they are the best “frites” in town. Catherine has traveled from Café Montrose and Broken Spoke, shed some extra baggage along the way but now has a home here in the Heights and we hope she is here to stay. The best selection of

Belgian beers on draft, attentive service, casual atmosphere, and a desire to create some noise on Houston Ave. One more reason to love living in the Heights.

Café Brussels also participates in the OurBlok Rewards Program and generously supports our neighborhood organizations.


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PhD, MBA Joan Ifland, ls Program Victory Mea

heights business

Your Neighborhood, Your Health

Many people think they would choose foods wisely if only they had more will-power. However, research shows that your neighborhood may have an impact that will-power cannot overcome. Lots of fast food in your neighborhood means more overweight. Fortunately, the Heights is welcoming a cutting-edge prepared meals center, Victory Meals which makes healthy, unrefined meals readily available. It’s just become easier to eat well in the Heights . Research reveals is that the availability of fattening foods in a neighborhood correlates with higher rates of overweight. A number of studies found that people who live close to a fast food outlet are heavier than people who live further away. Studies have also found that children who attend school near a fast food outlet are heavier than children who do not. On one level, these findings just make sense. People eat what’s most convenient. If what’s most convenient is fattening, then people gain weight. On a deeper level, research shows that when availability is combined with lots of advertising, particularly on television, chronic cravings can develop which lead to overeating and weight gain. Add low prices to availability and advertising, and cravings with the power of an addiction can develop. Will-power alone does not seem to overcome these intense cravings. Victory Meals was created with this neighborhood research in mind. Research nutritionist and founder, Joan Ifland, PhD, is an expert in the field of how and why people choose foods to eat. She focused on the availability and affordability issues by developing a system of daily deliveries in a meal subscription format. By making and customizing three meals per day in a 3-week rotating menu, she has been able to provide variety while keeping prices low so clients can afford to stick with deliveries for the long-term. Meals come in an insulated pack so clients

30 OurBlok Winter

can take them wherever they go, thus making the meals the most available food consistently throughout the day. To make the Victory Meals Program even more irresistible, Ifland recruited Executive Chef Jessica Lynn who is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. “Now clients tell us they would subscribe even if the meals weren’t healthy just because they’re so beautiful and delicious,” says Ifland. To understand the source of cravings, Ifland studied foods that research shows cause the release of craving chemicals in the brain. These include all sweeteners, flour, salt, processed fats, dairy and caffeine. She took all of these ingredients out of the meals. Chef Jessica replaced them with healthy spices designed not just to make the meals delicious, but also to improve immune and inflammation control. Ifland modeled portion sizes on the decades of practical experience of Overeaters Anonymous. Full portions designed to stave off hunger between meals are the result. The bottom line is that now the Heights has a marvelous new way to maintain new heights of health, conveniently, enjoyably and affordably.

Victory Meals is located at 300 Shepherd Drive at Dickson, just north of Memorial Drive. For more information: customerservice@victorymeals.com call or text Dr. Ifland at 713 446 3663. Visit the website at www.victorymeals.com


TCPA325_Heights_Layout 1 4/26/12 11:43 AM Page 1

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OurBlok’s goal is to provide a list of“Preferred Service Providers”(PSPs) to consumers that reside in the area. These OurBlok PSPs have agreed to deal with each and every customer with respect, honesty, timeliness and fair pricing. More importantly, they understand that as an OurBlok PSP, they are being held to a higher standard. A consumer’s ability to provide comments at OurBlok.com will enhance the quality of service we all receive.


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ST JOES OPEN IN HEIGHTS

By Greg Densmore

E

xpanding its Houston footprint for the first time since opening its doors in 1887, St. Joseph Medical Center is poised to bring emergency medical care back to the Heights. St. Joseph Medical Center in the Heights occupies half the first floor, as well as the fifth and sixth floors of the existing Select Specialty Hospital located at 1917 Ashland Street. According to Fritz Guthrie, vice president of marketing and community services at St. Joseph, the opening of the new facility will fill a void caused when the old Heights Hospital closed down its short-term acute patient care almost 20 years ago.’’We’re answering the call of the Heights community, which has been without emergency medical care for a long period of time,’’ she said. ‘’We’re grateful to be partners with Select Specialty in this endeavor and look forward to serving this historic neighborhood.’’ Jeff Bielik, who has been part of Select Specialty’s administrative staff, will serve as administrative director of St. Joseph Medical Center in the Heights. ‘’It’s wonderful to be able to bring emergency medical care back to the Heights,’’ he said. According to Guthrie, St. Joseph had been actively

discussing such an expansion and the talk became more serious when IASIS Health Care purchased a 72 percent interest in the 792bed health care facility in downtown Houston last year. Physicians affiliated with St. Joseph own the other 28 percent interest. ‘’We’d been talking for some time about expanding our footprint for the first time and the discussions became real serious when IASIS came aboard,’’ Guthrie said. Guthrie said St. Joseph hopes to be ‘’an involved’’ member of the Heights community. ‘’We’re real proud of our heritage and we’re looking forward to the future.’’ St. Joseph is also considering expansion into other parts of Houston, she added. According to Guthrie, St. Joseph Medical Center in the Heights will offer both in-patient and out-patient services. Among those services will be: • A fulll, seven-bed emergency room taking up one-half of the facility’s first floor • Four operating rooms, an endoscopy suite, imaging lab, pharmacy and radiology services (including CT scanning and ultrasound testing) • 48 in-patient beds Guthrie indicated many of the Heights area physicians and medical staff will work at the Heights facility. ‘’We’re also going to have several new physicians over there, including a new endocrinologist, two new obstetricians and some primary care doctors,’’ she said. ‘’We’ll also have physicians from our cardiology department in support.’’ Heights patients who need a higher level of medical care will be transferred to St. Joseph’s comprehensive medical center in downtown Houston, she added.

36 OurBlok Winter 36 OurBlok

Doctors and other medical personnel in the Heights have expressed their excitement about the move, said Guthrie. ‘’One doctor in the Heights, Dr. (William) Spears, said the Heights medical community had been waiting for more than 18 years for this to occur,’’ she noted.


Georgia Meija, a Heights resident who just recently passed her NCLEX, the examination that measures the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively as a newly licensed, entry-level nurse, wrote on her Facebook page that she was ‘’great excited... and would love to work’’ at St. Joseph Medical Center in the Heights. Celebrating its 125th year of operations, St. Joseph lays claim to a number of firsts in Houston, including opening the city’s first emergency room, first teaching hopsital and Houston’s first maternity and x-ray departments. According to Guthrie, more than a half-million babies have been born at St. Joseph. ‘’Back in the early days, nine of every 10 births in Houston happened at St. Joseph,’’ she said. ‘’Even today, about 5,000 babies are born here each year.’’ Heights residents were served by Heights Hospital for decades. That hospital was founded by Dr. T.A. Sinclair, Dr. Mylie Durham and several other associates and was in operation until the early 1990s.

For more information on St. Joseph Medical Center visit: www.sjmctx.com For questions or comments write: sjmcanswers@sjmctx.com


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RANT: It always cracks me up when consumers treat shopping local as an act of charity. The other day I had a customer who came into the store stressing out and indicating "I am almost finished with my Christmas shopping and trying to get everything from local merchants." Our conversation went down a path where it was obvious her focus was on what she thought was an act of charity or doing merchants in the area a favor. In reality the quality and originality in the Heights area stores is so great that this should be a refreshing experience. Think about it the next time you shop. No lines, easier parking, unique and one of a kind selection, friendly and knowledgeable service. What part of this sounds charitable? Greg Nolte, Gen’s Antiques Greg we could not agree more. I am amused by American Express " Shop Small" campaign one day a year. OurBlok thinks a better campaign is " Shop Big at Small Stores Every Day of the Year. " And oh yea go ahead and use that AMEX card! RANT: I am glad to see all of the new eateries popping up in the area which offers more choices for my family. However, I am not enthused about the traffic that all of the new establishments has created. That I could do without but convenience comes with a price. Ah striking the perfect balance with this new found Urban Jungle. Just remember a number of these places deliver so you can always let them call on you. After reading the article on page 32 I think I will be brown bagging it more often! RANT: So this holiday I took the liberty of giving myself a gift. I spent the better part of an hour unfriending all of the people on my Facebook page who clutter, bore and over post while taking advantage of my good nature! If you are curious if I have unfriended you then just ask yourself....Did you post where you ate breakfast, lunch or dinner in the past year? Did you tell me how much you love your pet? How about what movie you saw this weekend. If any post was made for your own self gratification or to promote yourself then most likely you were unfriended. Here is hoping that in 2013 I will be a bit more inspired to get on my Facebook page to connect with people I really care about. Amen, well said. We feel your pain!

If you have any Greater Heights Rants or Raves Please submit to INFO@OurBlok.COM 44 OurBlok Winter


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OurBlok Greater Heights: A Healthier Heights in 2013