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February 2021

Pecan Grove monthly

A publication of the


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Contents and Staff February 2021

6 FEATURE STORY Pecan Grove resident Arlene Velez says mosaics have the power to transform any


surface into something beautiful.

Pecan Grove


CHAIRMAN, EDITOR & PUBLISHER Clyde King cking@hartmannews.com ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR Marquita Griffin mgriffin@fbherald.com ADVERTISING Stefanie Bartlett sbartlett@fbherald.com Ruby Polichino ruby@fbherald.com GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Melinda Maya mmaya@fbherald.com

8 IN THE SPOTLIGHT Hope For Three reflects on a decade

Rachel Cavazos rcavazos@fbherald.com

of promoting and supporting youth


diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

10 TALK OF THE TOWN Army veteran Dillon Cannon receives a new wheelchair ramp thanks to community members.


WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS Scott Reese Willey Averil Gleason Ryan Dunsmore TO ADVERTISE If you are interested in advertising in the Pecan Grove Monthly, please call 281-342-4474 for rates, information and deadlines. PHOTO & ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS We are looking for fresh story ideas and enjoy publishing your articles in the Pecan Grove Monthly. If you have an story idea or photo to publish please send your information to mgriffin@fbherald.com with “Pecan Grove Monthly” in the subject line. © 2021 Pecan Grove Monthly. All Rights Reserved. Pecan Grove Monthly is a sister publication of Fulshear Living Monthly, Greatwood Monthly, West Fort Bend Living and is a publication of the Fort Bend Herald. Our publishing headquarters is 1902 S. Fourth Street, Rosenberg Texas 77471.

16 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Free online programs will highlight the Chinese Lunar New Year.

January 2021

Peca n Grove monthly


4 • Pecan Grove Monthly


Inspired Illustrations artist Scenic sights captured by in Richmond Nina Struthers are on display

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MELODIA by Arredo











Feature Story 6 • Pecan Grove Monthly

Arlene Velez

Follow Arlene Velez @arlenesmosaicstudio




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In the Spotlight

Darla Farmer

8 • Pecan Grove Monthly

Brenda Perry | Dr. Temple Grandin (far left) had the chance to meet the Montgomery family — triplets Lauren, Londyn and Lakin, Hope and her husband Eric and their son Collin in 2015 at a Hope For Three benefit.

Diana Nguyen | In this 2018 photo the team "Everyday I'm Puzzling," which consisted of teammates Ashley Johnson, Lauren DeShazo, Emily Westerburg and Ashleigh Tremblay, shown with Hope For Three’s Darla Farmer and autism advocate Grant Manier, won second-place at Hope For Three's "Jigsaw Puzzle Competition" at the Insperity Club at Constellation Field in Sugar Land.

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Talk of the Town


Disabled Army veteran ‘at a loss for words’ over community members’ construction of wheelchair ramp by SCOTT REESE WILLEY | swilley@fbherald.com


here was a time when Dillon Cannon would gladly join others in the community who helped veterans with projects around their homes. But those days ended when a sniper shot Dillon in the throat while he was serving in the Army in Iraq. Now some members of the community are repaying Dillon for his service to the nation by helping him get in and out of his Richmond home. They’re building a sturdy ramp to his home, and are planning to install an automatic door to help Dillon, who lost all use of his legs and limited use of his arms on Dec. 29, 2006. “I’m at a loss for words,”Dillon,34,said as he watched the carpenters cutting and nailing planks to the ramp outside his home in the Bella Vista Subdivision off FM 359. “I’m very thankful we have such people who take care of veterans like me. I used to help veterans myself at one time. “I would still do it today if I could.” Dillon, who grew up in Pecan Grove, joined the Army in April 2005. “I was in high school when I saw the Twin Towers fall, and I made a promise to myself right then and there that I would enlist and defend my country against terrorists,” he said, referring to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He was serving with the military police in December 2006 when he was shot. “I was helping to guard a roadside bomb — waiting for the bomb disposal crew to arrive — and I was sitting in an armored truck with just my head outside the turret.Then I stood up and a sniper shot me right in the neck.” Long afterward, Dillon and his fellow soldiers reconstructed the attack and realized that standing up may well have saved his life. “Had I remained sitting, the sniper would have shot me right between the eyes,” Dillon surmises.“He was aiming at my head, and had fired the shot, the second I stood up.” The bullet fractured his vertebrate, and sent bone shards into his

Veterans help out a disabled Army veteran Dillon Canon by building him a wheelchair ramp behind his Richmond home. From left are Lonnie Hoffmann, Bernie Brezina, Cannon, Bonita Shumake with Home Depot, Stan Hruska, Bunky Ward, Wayne Jakubik Marcus Schulte and John Guidroz.

10 • Pecan Grove Monthly

spine, crippling him. Declared a paraplegic, Dillon’s hopes of serving his country in uniform were ended. He misses the Army, the camaraderie of his fellow soldiers, and serving and protecting his country. “I really miss the brotherhood — and it was truly a brotherhood.We were like brothers,” he said.“I’d still be there with them if I could.” A storm knocked down a giant oak tree behind his home in July. It fell on his wheelchair ramp and destroyed it. His mom knew a friend with carpenter skills. Bernie Brezina had no problem convincing other members of the Knights of Columbus Hall 2801 to donate some time and energy to the project. Home Depot donated all the supplies — wood and nails, etc. Bunky Ward of Richmond, a woodworker well known to the KCs, agreed to turn the remaining tree stump into a table. The group would like to install an automated door to help Dillon enter his home. “He doesn’t have full use of his hands or arms so he has a problem going in and out,” Bernie said. The door would cost about $5,000. Anyone who would like to contribute funds to the worthwhile project is encouraged to contact Bernie by phone at 713-826-2528 or via email at BernieB@brezinaclaims.com. “I appreciate what all these people are doing for me,” Dillon said. “They didn’t even know me.They only knew I was a veteran in need and they could help me.”

Two Million Pounds and Counting: Catholic Charities food distribution underscores need for food assistance


ichmond’s Mamie George Community Center recently surpassed the two million-pound mark in food distribution since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The community center is the hub for services provided by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, which includes food and financial assistance, plus a robust program for seniors. “During the pandemic, Catholic Charities is distributing four times as much food as usual to families in need,”said Gladys Brumfield-James, the Mamie George Community Center executive director.“The lines are long for help from our food pantry because COVID-19 drained resources for families all across Fort Bend County.” Brumfield-James notes that the center is seeing many families who were financially stable before the pandemic, but lost jobs and wages reduced their savings, and plunged them into crisis. “We’ve had people coming in who never thought they would be struggling to feed their families,” said Brumfield-James. The community mobilized to distribute 2,110,400 pounds of food over nine months from the center in Richmond.The Houston Food Bank provided food. Scores of volunteers reported week after week to help load cases of fresh produce, protein items, and non-perishables into long lines of vehicles.The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department provided officers to untangle traffic, and the center’s neighbors opened their parking lots as staging areas. In all, the effort fed 154,341 Fort Bend families in need. For seniors and other clients unable to leave their homes during the pandemic, the center is working with DoorDash to make deliveries of food to homebound clients through a program funded by the United Way of Greater Houston.

Additionally, center staff and volunteers have been checking in with senior clients regularly since the pandemic began. The Mamie George Community Center will continue to distribute food as the pandemic wears on. Early last month, the center transition from a first-come, first-served approach to allow families to make appointments to receive nutritious food. Families will still be served in the safety of their vehicles via drive-through distribution, receiving food that will be reserved for each family. Appointments can be made forTuesday throughThursday mornings by visiting CatholicCharities.org/food. For additional information, call 281-202-6289.

Graeber named 2021 County Fair president


orty years after he first volunteered to cook and sell food for the Jaycees at the Fort Bend County Fair, Brian Graeber has been elected to lead the county’s biggest event of 2021. The 2020 Fort Bend County Fair president Sean Gutierrez and the fair board made it official in December by electing Graeber to serve as the 85th president of the

Fort Bend County Fair Association. “Brian is a tremendous force at the Fort Bend County Fair, from overseeing large events such as the barbecue cook-off during Fair days to the crawfish boil held in the spring,” Gutierrez said. “He has put in the time, muscle, and sweat to our Fair over the years.” For 40 years, Brian has been involved with the Fort Bend County Fair. In 1980, the year of Urban Cowboy and Gilley’s fame, Brian Graeber was busy giving back as a Needville Jaycee. He volunteered in the Jaycees’ food booth in the original livestock barn during fair time. He participated in the barbecue cook-off for several years and joined the committee in 2005. He then went on to become the cochairperson, overseeing one of the largest barbecue cook-offs in the region. It was 2014 when Graeber became a member for the board of directors for the Fort Bend County Fair Association. As a director, he has been involved with the parking committee, barbecue committee, the advanced tickets sales committee, Boots and Buckles on the Bay Fishing Tournament, and the crawfish boil fundraiser. Graeber also has served several times as an emcee and has assisted in several media interviews on behalf of the Fair. He has been serving on the executive committee for several years and enjoys many fair activities such as rodeo action, the exceptional rodeo, livestock shows, live concerts and the parade. Graeber and his wife Patty have supported the junior livestock auction and the school art auction either as sole buyers or through a buyers’ group.

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Fair days for the Graebers is family time. From barbecue culinary competition to the corn dog eating contest, Graeber’s family is well represented with his children and grandchildren. He and Patty live in Guy and continue to support the fair, the community and their church. The 2021 Fair is set to run from Sept. 24 to Oct. 3, 2021.

Hike into the new year at Brazos Bend State Park

advised, and having sanitizer was encouraged. State parks and natural areas across Texas host First Day Hikes to help visitors commit to their New Year’s resolution to become healthy. These events are part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative which took place in every state in the nation. For more information about the Brazos Bend State Park visit tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/brazos-bend or 979-553-5101.

story & photo by AVERIL GLEASON | agleason@fbherald.com


he community was invited to start 2021 with a walk on the wild side by participating in a guided stroll through a Texas state park as part of the national First Day Hikes initiative. Brazos Bend State Park, 21901 FM 762 near Needville, was among many parks that participated in First Day Hikes last month. The first hike of the new year began at 9 a.m., and ended with the last hike departing at 11 a.m. The 1.2-mile hike featured events that ranged from brisk strolls on scenic trails, bike rides, short treks with adoptable pups and meditation walks to more strenuous hikes for more experienced visitors. The hikes also featured guides who educated guests about local plants and animals along the trail. The hikes had their limitations, though. A sign-up sheet was required, and volunteers led groups of 10 in staggered times to adhere to social distance regulations. Masks were strongly

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Using her hiking sticks, Jessica Loflin shows plants to her son Liam at Brazos Bend State Parks’s First Day Hike on Jan. 1, 2020. Behind them, naturalist David Heinicke leads the guided hike.

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Livestreamed program will highlight how to grow fruit trees


ort Bend County Libraries will present an online program, “Success with Growing Fruit in Fort Bend County,” on Saturday, Feb. 6, beginning at 10 am. This program will be live-streamed via Webex; it will not be in person. Fort Bend County Master Gardener Deborah Birge will talk about varieties of fruit trees that can thrive in the Gulf Coast climate. Hear about proper planting techniques and recommended maintenance tips to encourage fruit production, including pruning, feeding, and watering. Birge has been a master gardener for nearly 20 years and holds specialist certifications in Citrus Culture, Home Fruit Production, and First-Detector Plant Disease. The program is free and open to the public. Registration is required. A link to view the presentation online will be emailed to all participants who register. To register online at the library’s website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the program. Participants may also register by calling the library system’s Communications Office at 281-633-4734. Deborah Birge


whose flowers come from the growth of the prior year. Examples include Redbud and the deciduous varieties of Magnolias. These you can prune, if needed, after they bloom in the spring. (For fruit tree pruning information visit aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ extension/fruit.) Some of the most important procedures for pruning your young trees are: • First, prune any dead limbs.This can be done at any time of the year. • When pruning diseased limbs, clean your tools with alcohol or TSP between cuts. • Try to keep the natural shape of the tree if possible. • Remove limbs that cross over or rub each other. • Remove suckers that occur low on the trunk or in the ground near the trunk. • Remove excessive vertical sprouts.These sprouts grow straight up from horizontal branches. • Remove main limbs that compete. • Don’t prune the single main trunk or “leader.” (There are exceptions to this found in the reference links below.)


Pruning young trees

by ANITA MADDOX | Fort Bend County Master Gardener


aybe you planted trees in your landscape in recent years, or you moved into a home with new landscaping, and you want to make sure to take good care of these plants. Usually, pruning young trees improves their health and appearance if done correctly. Proper pruning can also supply additional energy to develop the flowers, fruit, and limbs that remain on the plant. Pruning early in the life of the tree to train it will also avoid problems later on. Late winter, before spring growth begins, is the best time to prune your young trees. The exception to this rule is when pruning spring-blooming trees,

Image Courtesy of Texas A&M Forest Service

• Don’t leave stubs after cutting limbs. Cut up to the “collar” at the base of the branch. The collar is the raised area around the branch where it meets a larger branch or the trunk. If this collar is cut off or severely damaged, the tree’s natural healing cannot occur. And, once

Continued on page 17

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Art & Entertainment



ort Bend County Libraries will have special programs in recognition of the Chinese Lunar New Year in February.These virtual events will be online; they will not be in person. Journey Through China | Feb. 6 (prerecorded video) This dance performance is presented by Dance of Asian America, in conjunction with Young Audiences of Houston. Discover the rich cultural heritage of China through authentic Chinese dances. The vast land of China consists of the mainland and 56 ethnic sub-regions, each with its own dance forms that directly reflect each group’s lifestyle and customs. Classical and folk dances are a precious part of China’s cultural heritage and serve as a wonderful tool for learning about its various traditions, history, and culture.This performance is recommended for families with children of all ages. Celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year| Friday, Feb. 12 (pre-recorded video) The Lunar New Year marks the start of China’s Spring Festival. Each day of the Spring Festival has special meanings and traditions. In this video, library staff welcome in the Year of the Ox while sharing interesting facts about how the days are celebrated. To view the programs, go to the Fort Bend County Libraries website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the programs on the scheduled dates. For more information, call FBCL’s Communications Office at 281633-4734.





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he Adult Services Department at Fort Bend County Libraries will have several virtual game-day activities for adults and teens in February.These virtual events will be online; they will not be in person. “Virtual Board-Game Day: Love Letter” | Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. In this virtual event, players will participate online in a game of Love Letter — a card game in which one attempts to deliver a love letter to the princess by knocking opponents out of each round.The rules of the game are explained here: www.ultraboardgames.com/love-letter/ game-rules.php.This event will be livestreamed via Webex; registration is required. “Black History Month Digital Scavenger Hunt”| Thursday, Feb. 11 (all day) History sleuths must use their knowledge of African-American history and their research skills to complete this scavenger hunt.This online activity can be accessed through FBCL’s website on the day of the event; registration is not required. These events are free and open to the public. Registration is required for two of the programs; a link to the Webex meeting will be emailed to all who register.To register online at the library’s website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the programs. For more information call 281-633-4734.



his winter, Fort Bend County Libraries (FBCL) will offer fun, online programs specifically designed for high schoolage teens in grades 9 through 12. The programs will be either livestreamed via Webex or prerecorded videos. Registration is required for the livestreamed programs only. An email with the link for the Webex meeting will be sent to all who register on FBCL’s online virtual calendar. To register for a livestreamed program or to view the how-to videos, go to the Fort Bend County Libraries website – www. fortbend.lib.tx.us – click on the “Classes and Events” tab, select “Virtual Programs,” and find the virtual program on the dates listed. YOUNG ADULT ADVISORY COUNCILS YA Advisory Council | Tuesday, Feb. 9, 4-4:40 p.m.; Wednesday, Feb. 17, 4-5 p.m.; or Wednesday, Feb. 24, 4-5 p.m.. This event will be livestreamed via Webex at the designated time. Teens can earn volunteer-service hours by expressing ideas,organizing upcoming activities, and suggesting new programs and books that would be of interest to young adults at the library. Registration is required. YOUNG ADULT BOOK CLUBS YA Book Club| Wednesday, February 10, 4-5 p.m This event will be livestreamed via Webex at the designated time. This month, readers are invited to talk about the genre of their choice. Registration is required. YA Book Talk| Thursday, Feb. 18 (pre-recorded video) FBCL library staff share news & views on some captivating Young Adult lit for teens.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Continued on page 18

Continued from page 14 this area is damaged, it is damaged for good.

Image Credit: nyrp.org

Photo Credit: hort.ifas.ufl.edu

• When cutting branches that are more than 1-1/2 inches in diameter, use a three-part cut to prevent the bark from peeling from the weight of the cut limb.The first step is to saw an undercut from the bottom of the branch about 6 to 12 inches out from the trunk and about one-third of the way through the branch. Make a second cut from the top, about 3 inches further from the undercut, until the branch falls away.The resulting stub can then be cut back to the collar of the branch.

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• Never top a tree. • Painting the cut ends of branches is generally not recommended in our area. • For limbs that grow upward, cut them on a slant to prevent water from collecting in the cut. • Leave the pruning of large trees involving climbing to the arborists who have experience, knowledge, the correct tools, and insurance.The main reason for pruning large trees is for safety when people could be injured or buildings could be damaged, for sanitation, or to restrict size. • For much more info about pruning and maintenance of trees see texastreeplanting.tamu.edu/PruneYoungTree and aggie-horticulture. tamu.edu/earthkind/landscape/proper-pruning-techniques/ Fort Bend County Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in educating the community using research-based horticultural information.


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Continued from page 16 YA Book Club | Wednesday, Feb. 24, 4-5 p.m. This event will be livestreamed via Webex at the designated time. This month, readers may discuss To Kill a Kingdom, written by Alexandria Christo. This book selection is available on OverDrive and in print. Registration is required. YOUNG ADULT ONLINE GAMING YA Game Hour: Ultimate Disney Trivia | Thursday, Feb. 18, 4 p.m. This event will be livestreamed via Webex at the designated time. Teens aged 13 and up who enjoy the challenge and excitement of a trivia competition are invited to join in this virtual event, putting their knowledge of Disney to the test. Registration is required. YOUNG ADULT CRAFTS AND ACTIVITIES YA: Coffee-Filter Valentine Craft | Friday, Feb. 5 (prerecorded video) In this video tutorial, learn how to make personalized Valentines with coffee filters. YA Craft: Making a Valentine Wreath | Tuesday, Feb. 9 (pre-recorded video). Learn how to use Deco Mesh to make a stunning wreath that is weather-proof and sturdy enough to use outdoors, yet delicate and beautiful enough to use indoors as well. The materials that will be used include: 2 rolls of Deco Mesh of any color (21 inches x 10 yards), matching pipe-cleaners, ribbons and other decorative accessories, floral wire, and a 16-inch wire wreath frame. YA Basic Embroidery | Friday, Feb. 12, 2 p.m. In recognition of National Embroidery Month, FBCL will host a livestreamed class for teens who would like to learn the basics of embroidery. Learn about the tools needed and the different stitches that can be used for a variety of purposes. Meet other teens who also share an interest in embroidery! Registration is required. YA Craft: Origami Valentine | Friday, Feb. 12 (prerecorded video) Discover how these delicate art forms are made by twisting and folding paper into unique shapes. In this episode, learn how to fold a 3-D heart that can hold a small gift. YA: Update Your Wardrobe with Embroidery | Wednesday, Feb. 17 (pre-recorded video). In recognition of National Embroidery Month, library staff will demonstrate how simple embroidery can transform ordinary garments into extraordinary wearable art. YA Craft: Glitter Shoes |Thursday, Feb. 18 (pre-recorded video) Learn how to use Mod-Podge® and glitter to dress up an old pair of shoes. YA: DIY No-Bake Dog Biscuits | Tuesday, Feb. 23 (prerecorded video) Learn how to make dog-treat biscuits from scratch. YA: Popcorn Cupcakes | Thursday, Feb. 25 (prerecorded video) The activities are free and open to the public. Registration is required for the live Webex sessions only; a link to the Webex session will be emailed to participants who register. To register online at the library’s website (www.fortbend.lib. tx.us), click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the program on the date indicated. For more information, call the Fort Bend County Libraries’ Communications Office (281-633-4734).

18 • Pecan Grove Monthly



ooking enthusiasts of all ages and experience levels – from beginners to advanced –find Fort Bend County Libraries’ monthly Cookbook Book Clubs a great way to share ideas and discover new culinary tips. Different cooking genres are explored each month. In February, the Cookbook Clubs will take place virtually, so that cooking enthusiasts around the area can enjoy and participate online from the comfort and safety of home. Here is the schedule of Cookbook Clubs, as well as some other how-to videos for food lovers, courtesy of FBCL’s librarians. Easy Ramen |Thursday, Feb. 4 (pre-recorded video) Learn how Ramen noodles can be used in a variety of ways, from soup to salad. A link to the video will be posted on FBCL’s online calendar on the designated date, and it can be viewed at any time. •University Branch Library’s Culinary Book Club |Wednesday, Feb. 17, 1:30 p.m. (livestreamed) The theme for this month’s online meeting is “Fish & Shellfish.” Share tips, get ideas, and enjoy the camaraderie of other individuals who have an interest in cooking and good cuisine! This activity will be live-streamed in real time via Webex. Registration is required; an email with a link for the Webex session will be sent to all who register. Mission Bend Branch Library’s Food for Thought Cookbook Club |Thursday, Feb. 18. (pre-recorded video) The theme for this month is “Cake Pops.” A link to the video will be posted on FBCL’s online calendar on the designated date, and it can be viewed at any time. How to Make Arabic/Turkish Coffee | Monday, Feb. 22 (prerecorded video) Learn how to brew and serve coffee in the traditional Arabic or Turkish way. Discover coffee’s meaningful role in hospitality. Grain-Free, Nut-Free Cookies |Wednesday, Feb. 24 (pre-recorded video) Baking delicious cookies while needing to avoid certain ingredients is possible! Library staff will demonstrate how to make chocolate-chip cookies without using any grain or nut products. A link to the video will be posted on FBCL’s online calendar on the designated date, and it can be viewed at any time. The video episodes and meetings are free and open to the public. Registration is required for the Culinary Book Club so that a link to the Webex session can be emailed to participants who register. To view the videos or to register online, go to the library’s website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the program on the date indicated. Participants may also register by calling the library system’s Communications Office (281633-4734).

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ort Bend County Commissioners Court appointed Judge Juli A. Mathew, County Court at Law No. 3, the necessary approval to begin a new specialty court, the Juvenile Intervention and Mental Health Court. During the public comments, Shariq Abdul Ghani, representing the Minaret Foundation, Fort Bend Transformation Church, and the Fort Bend Interfaith Community spoke in support of this court. The JIMH Court began servicing the qualified youths of Fort Bend County last month. The program has the support of all of Judge Juli A. Mathews the County Court at Law Judges, Juvenile Probation, Texana as well as other professional and treatment providers. “The program is set to help the most vulnerable in our community, to help rehabilitate and reduce recidivism,” Mathew said. Mathew was elected to County Court at Law 3 in November 2018 after having been an associate municipal judge in Arcola and a practicing attorney for 15 years with experience in mass tort, civil litigation, probate, and criminal matters in Fort Bend and surrounding counties including Harris, Montgomer y, Galveston, and Brazoria.

Sustache and Ahmeduddin welcomed to Houston Methodist Primary Care Group



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ouston Methodist Primary Care Group welcomed Gilberto Sustache, M.D., and Naureen Ahmeduddin, D.O., in January. Sustache and Ahmeduddin join Asisat Ope, M.D. and Ali Sawal, D.O., at the Brooks Street practice in Sugar Land. Sustache is a board-certified family medicine physician providing preventive care and wellness maintenance. His clinical expertise includes health screenings, minor procedures, men’s health, as well as thyroid concerns. Sustache received his medical degree from the University of Massachusetts in Worcester, Massachusetts, then completed his residency at Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program in Sugar Land. “Having served in this community for 20 years, I look forward to joining Houston Methodist and partnering with my patients in their plan of care,” said Sustache. As a board-certified family medicine physician, Ahmeduddin specializes in acute and chronic care,including men’s health,complete physicals, preventive care, and women’s health. Ahmeduddin earned her medical degree from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Henderson, Nevada, and finished her internship at Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program in Sugar Land.She completed her residency at Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program in Sugar Land, where she also served as a chief


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medical resident. “My goal is to provide personalized care to all my patients,” said Ahmeduddin. “I prioritize open communication and patient education so that my patients can take ownership of their health. Naureen Ahmeduddin, D.O., Gilberto Sustache, M.D. Houston Methodist Primary Care Group at Brooks Street is located at 1201 Brooks St., Suite 100 in Sugar Land.To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sustache or Dr. Ahmeduddin, or to find a Houston Methodist Primary Care physician in the Fort Bend County area, visit houstonmethodist.org/ pcg/southwest or call 281-930-6639. Visit houstonmethodist.org/sugarland to learn more about Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital recognized for higher quality in bariatric surgery


ouston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas with a Blue Distinction ® Centers for Bariatric Surgery designation, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated health care facilities that show a commitment to delivering high quality, patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community and leading accreditation and quality organizations. Houston Methodist Sugar Land provides a full range of bariatric surgery care, including surgical care, post-operative care, outpatient follow-up care, and patient education. Bariatric surgeries are among the most common elective surgeries in the U.S. — with more than 252,000 bariatric surgeries performed in 2018 based on a report from the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 42.7 percent of U.S. adults and 18.5 percent of youth are obese and are impacted by

obesity-related health conditions. With obesity reaching epidemic levels among U.S. adults, a significant opportunity exists to improve quality care for bariatric surgeries within the national health care system. Houston Methodist Sugar Land is proud to be recognized by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas for meeting the rigorous quality selection criteria for bariatric surgery set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. “Our commitment to unparalleled safety and quality begins with appropriately trained staff and surgical experts who participate in the development of our program by continuously seeking opportunities to enhance the structure, process and outcomes of the center. I am very proud of the team we have assembled. We are dedicated to delivering superior care for bariatric patients in Fort Bend County and surrounding areas,” said Nabil Tariq, M.D., board-certified bariatric surgeon and medical director of bariatric surgery at Houston Methodist Sugar Land. The annual health care spent on obesity and obesity-related conditions is expected to rise by 2030 if the rate of obesity in the U.S. continues to climb. Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for severely obese patients because it allows for substantial, sustained weight loss, which leads to improved or resolved obesity-related comorbidities like type 2 diabetes. On average, health care costs were reduced by 29 percent within five years following bariatric surgery, due to the reduction or elimination of obesity-related conditions, based on findings by ASMBS. To receive a Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery designation, a health care facility must demonstrate success in meeting patient safety measures as well as bariatric-specific quality measures, including complication and readmission rate for laparoscopic procedures in sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass. All designated facilities must also be nationally accredited at both the facility and bariatric program-specific levels. For more information about the program and for a complete listing of designated facilities, visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction. TAKE THE NEXT STEP WITH WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY You can start now from the comfort and safety of your own home. We are committed to you, even during these challenging times. Our bariatric surgeon now offers online orientations and virtual visits. Watch the online orientation at houstonmethodist.org/surgicalweightloss or call 832.667.5673 for more information. Nabil Tariq, MD




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