Pecan Grove - January 2022

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January 2022

Pecan Grove monthly

A publication of the


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Contents and Staff January 2022

6 FEATURE STORY With time on his hands and musings in his mind, retired police officer Forrest Rippey

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releases his first work Baby Blues, followed up by Tugboat Blues.

Lunches of Love presents its annual Taste of Fort Bend fundraiser which supports the nonprofit's battle against childhood hunger in Fort Bend community.

9 TALK OF THE TOWN Fort Bend community helps distribute

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monthly™

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

9

Pecan Grove

meals to neighbors in need.

Rachel Cavazos rcavazos@fbherald.com WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS Marquita Griffin Scott Reese Willey 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.

14 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT The Felicia Smith Jigsaw Puzzle Competition

December 2021

Peca n Grove monthly

happens this month.

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4 • Pecan Grove Monthly

Like Us On Facebook @fortbendherald

20 HEALTH A publication of the

A healthy soup can offer different benefits. Tell us how we’re doing! Email: mgriffin@fbherald.com


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Author Forrest Rippey

6 • Pecan Grove Monthly

A photo of Rippey’s son Matthew holding his son Mateo serves as the cover of “Baby Blues.”


Forrest Rippey is also the author of Tugboat Blues: Tragedies and triumphs survived by the very old and the very young. In this 90-paged book, biography morphs to fact-based fiction. The synopsis of the book reads: “An aging retired police detective, living on a World War Two former Navy tugboat, works through a tragedy with a 10-year-old orphaned boy, who has no place to go. But he does live on his own fifty-four foot sailing yacht in Galveston, Texas. The maritime setting provides an exotic backdrop for the bond that forms between the very young, and the very old.” Tugboat Blues is also available on Amazon.com. To advertise, call 281-342-4474

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In the Spotlight 8 • Pecan Grove Monthly


story and photos by SCOTT REESE WILLEY | swilley@fbherald.com

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udge Walter G. Armatys typically hears cases involving, well, the tragic side of life: murder, robberies, thefts, illegal drugs. On, however, in November he was involved in a truly heart-warming case — the adoption of three brothers, Elijah, 1, Jacob, 4 and Noah, 5, by two Lamar Consolidated ISD educators. “We fell in love with them,” said first-time parent Katie Marchena, 39, executive director of teaching and learning for LCISD.“They were such sweet boys we couldn’t help but want to keep them for ourselves.” Katie and her husband Antonio, 43, have been fostering children for the past seven years — 12 kids in all. “We fell in love with numbers 10, 11 and 12,” said Antonio, the math Three brothers, Elijah, 1, Jacob, 4, and Noah, 5, opened gifts from grandma in the hallway of the Fort Bend County Justice Center after they were formally adopted by Antonio and Katie Marchena.

Antonio and Katie Marchena beam minutes after formally adopting three brothers who they fostered for the past year. Judge Walter G. Armatys, center, conducted the adoption hearing in his 328th judicial district courtroom inside the Fort Bend County Justice Center on National Adoption Day. From left are Noah, 5, Jacob, 4 and Elijah, 1.

Talk of the Town

‘We fell in love with them’ say foster parents who adopted three little boys

and science coach at Smith Elementary School. “In the year we fostered them, they brought a lot of joy to our lives.” The adoption event, one of 13 adoptions to take place at the Justice Center on National Adoption Day, was arranged in part by Child Advocates of Fort Bend County. Armatys, along with Judge Janet B. Heppard and Judge Kali Morgan, helped make the lives of more than a dozen foster children richer and the lives of their new parents fuller, Child Advocates of Fort Bend executive officer Ruthanne Mefford said at the conclusion of the ceremony. “This is the most wonderful day of the year, the day all these children found their forever homes.”

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Families Helping Families Thousands of families recieve meals

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xcitement permeated the air as hundreds of volunteers gathered during the early morning hours at Fort Bend ISD’s George Bush High School to help distribute a week’s worth of groceries and a Thanksgiving dinner to neighbors in need during 9th annual Families Helping Families Houston. This holiday grocery giveaway, intended to ease food insecurity, was supported by Fort Bend families and local law enforcement agencies as well as a well-organized contingent from CMA CGM and CEVA, who provided 3,000 turkeys. “There is a lot of unfortunate people in the world today, and we are very fortunate and able to give back,” said CEVA’s Logistics President & Managing Director Shawn Stewart. “That’s the heartbeat of our group CMA CGM. And, when we are able to do it, it’s absolutely important.To see the smiles on the families’ faces, to know they are going to have groceries, and it’s something they don’t have to worry about.” Many of the counties’ dignitaries and their staff also showed up to lend a hand. Representatives from U.S. Congressman Al Greens office presented congressional certificates to FHF Founder Qunicy Collins and other county officials including Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan, Precinct 1 Constable Mike Beard, and Precinct 4 Constable Chief Deputy Jimmy Evans. The Honorable Valerie Baraban Consul General of France in Houston also made an appearance to recognize the work of all the volunteers from the French-based company, CMA CGM and CEVA. A special thanks was also extended to the sponsors, HEB, volunteers from the local school districts including Alief, Fort Bend and Lamar Consolidated, as well as, communities like Stafford, Sugar Land, Richmond, Rosenberg and Missouri City. “Not all heroes wear capes, but I was proud to join Quincy and a group of inspirational neighbors who worked overtime to make sure those in need don’t go hungry this holiday season,” said Fort Bend County Judge K.P. George regarding the wellorchestrated and coordinated effort. Families Helping Families Houston also extended its reach to several other Fort Bend agencies that feed those less fortunate. Renae Johnson with My Brother’s Keeper Outreach Center thanked FHF Houston for providing 54 boxes of food and 16 turkeys:“I want to share that your effort helped us feed a couple hundred families in need.”

CEVA staff preparing turkeys to load Family helping a PCT 1 Constable in cars. load groceries into a car.

10 • Pecan Grove Monthly

Chamber announces appointments to executive committee

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he Central Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce has appointed three new members to the chamber’s 2022 board of directors and named its 2022 executive committee. The board and committee members’ terms began on Jan. 1. The slate of executive committee members and the new board members were approved unanimously at the fall board of directors meeting. Courtney Diepraam with Memorial Hermann Healthcare System will lead the 2022 board of directors as chairman of the board. The other executive committee members will be Matt Breazeale, a professional engineer with Jones|Carter, chair-elect; Luis Garcia, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, treasurer; Kim Sachtleben, Costello, Inc., secretary; Beth Johnson, University of Houston, past chair; and Kristin Weiss, IOM, president and CEO of the chamber. “It has truly been a privilege to be a part of this incredible chamber under the leadership of Kristin Weiss and the guidance of outgoing board chair Beth Johnson, who have both influenced Fort Bend County in such a positive light over the last year,” Diepraam said. “With that said, I cannot begin to tell you how honored and excited I am to lead the Central Fort Bend Chamber Board in the coming year. “The challenges may certainly pose themselves, however, I am truly confident this incredible group will prevail in every facet imaginable and continue to make this amazing community and its businesses even greater.” New board members for 2022 include Tia Baker, LJA Engineering; Tony Francis, A.L. Francis & Associates; and Steve Sams, Johnson Development. These new members will take the place of the 2021 retiring board members John Kennedy, Texas State Technical College; Josh Merritt, Merritt Media;Trey Reichert, Johnson Development Corp.; Patrick Sexton, Legacy Ford and Wes Wittig, Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office.

Rain doesn’t keep walkers, runners from Turkey Trot

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ore than 400 walkers and runners showed up for the annual 5K Turkey Trot fundraiser in Pecan Grove on Thanksgiving morning. The rain stopped minutes before the 8 a.m. start and didn’t return until after the event, which is organized annually by The Thankful Ones and sponsored by individuals and businesses. As a result of participants paying a fee to walk or run the 3.1mile trek through Pecan Grove, more than $75,000 has been raised from the annual Thanksgiving benefit and donated to Child Advocates of Fort Bend. Almost $100,000 in fees and donations have been returned to the community, said organizer Matthew Martin to the crowd. “We couldn’t do what we do without your help,” he told runners and walkers. The Thankful Ones is a nonprofit organization that helps

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Leading Medicine

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Gardening

Gardening Resolutions You’ll Want to Keep by SANDRA GRAY | Fort Bend Master Gardener

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t the beginning of the year, I typically make a number of resolutions that I’ve discarded by the end of January (or sooner).This year will be different. I am only making gardening resolutions I really want to keep. Here are some of mine, which you are free to adopt. ❧ Have a specific spot in my garden for a plant before I buy or adopt it.This ensures I always choose the right plant for the right place, which is key to helping the plant thrive. When I grab plants just because I love the way they look, I often struggle to put them in the right place. Ultimately, I have killed a lot of plants this way (and wasted a lot of money). Learn how to read a plant label at https://ffl.ifas.ufl.edu/ resources/ffl-minute-radio/2020-archive/july-2020/reading-plantlabels/. Fort Bend County is in Hardiness Zone 9a. Confirm your Hardiness Zone at https://gpsr.ars.usda.gov/phzm/vm/SC_reg_300. jpg. ❧ Prune plants each in their own time. Different plants have different times to be pruned and, by respecting this time, I will spread pruning out over the whole year rather than one big back-breaking major pruning. For example, shrubs that bloom during last year’s growth (e.g., Redbud, Azalea, Viburnum) should be pruned after flowering. Oaks should only be pruned from August through January to prevent the spread of Oak Wilt disease. Learn about proper pruning techniques at https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/ landscape/proper-pruning-techniques/. ❧ Add plants native to our area.These plants will benefit native fauna and do well in our varied weather. I will add flowers for the pollinators, plants with berries for the birds, and a few herbs and veggies for the native humans. Information about native plants can be found at http://npsot.org/wp/houston/native-plant-info/ . Learn about gardening for local fauna at https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/ library/landscaping/using-plants-to-attract-wildlife/. ❧ Don’t water the sidewalk or street. I will do an irrigation audit to ensure the spread of water is done efficiently but with complete coverage.This should be done two to four times a year and can save money without depriving my landscape but even once a year will have benefits. Learn about irrigation audits at https:// fortbend.agrilife.org/new-years-resolution-an-irrigation-audit/. ❧ Get a soil test.This is relatively inexpensive and only needs to be done once every 2-3 years.This year is going to be the year.This might save money by knowing whether or what I need to fertilize. Learn

about soil tests at https://soiltesting.tamu.edu/. ❧ Fertilize only the plants that need it. Most of my trees and shrubs are well established and thriving so they don’t need fertilization. When I add any new plants,I will check whether they need fertilization or not and mark my calendar accordingly.This will save money and work while protecting the environment. Learn about garden fertilization at https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/library/gardening/ fertilizing/. I will also use fallen leaves as slow-release fertilizer by mowing them or using them as mulch. Learn more at https://aggiehorticulture.tamu.edu/extension/homelandscape/dontbag/ DONTBAG.html. ❧ Respect the Southern sun when working in the garden. Skin cancer, sunstroke, heat exhaustion, and other heat and sun dangers should be enough motivation for this goal. Learn how to protect yourself at https://today.tamu.edu/2015/06/02/7-tips-forhaving-a-safe-cool-summer/. ❧ Enjoy the beauty and peace my garden brings to my family and me. It is well documented that gardening helps improve mental health. However, it is easy to forget to appreciate your garden as a place of beauty and peace – and give yourself credit for achieving it. I plan to do better and hope you can too. Learn how gardening can help your mental health at https://agrilifetoday.tamu.edu/2020/05/18/ gardening-can-influence-and-benefit-your-mental-health/. 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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12 • Pecan Grove Monthly

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Continued from page 9 families with adoption expenses and brings awareness to adoptions and addiction and how children are affected by both. Parents battling addiction often give up their children to adoption. Dignitaries joining the runners-walkers this year were Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton and state Rep. Jacey Jetton. The event included a timed portion for professional runners and a timed portion for young people. To learn more about The Thankful Ones or to donate, go to the organization’s website at https://www.thethankfulones.org.

The Kean-Wallace family took part in the annual Pecan Grove Turkey Trot. From left are Caleb Kean, Lyla Kean, Ella Martin, mom Jessica Kean, grandmother Laurie Wallace, all of Richmond, Wallace’s brother David Chaisson and friend Denise Pulley, both of Houma, Lousiana.

Pecan Grove Elementary School third-grader Elyse Aubrey Foley, 9, walks the annual Pecan Grove Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving morning with dad Sean and mom Blair. Family dog Turtle also made the 3.1-mile trek. More than 400 people participated in the fundraiser, sponsored by The Thankful Ones.

To advertise, call 281-342-4474

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Art & Entertainment

THE FELICIA SMITH JIGSAW PUZZLE COMPETITION IS SET FOR JAN. 22

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he historic Landmark Community Center in Missouri City is set to be the backdrop of this year’s Felicia Smith Jigsaw Puzzle Competition presented by LearningRx Sugar Land. The jigsaw puzzle piece was formerly internationally represented as a symbol to show the complexity of autism spectrum disorder and how many people work tirelessly to put together the pieces to find better research, support, and understanding for families with children on the spectrum. Hope For Three, a local nonprofit and advocacy organization, works to raise community awareness and provide resources and support to families with children diagnosed with autism. It hosts the Felicia Smith Jigsaw Puzzle Competition event annually to raise funds for the families and children that the organization serves. Each piece is different in a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle, just like the diversity of individuals with autism. This symbolic competition consists of teams of four with puzzlers ages ten and up. Each team opens their puzzle, donated by Robert Poppy Lampkin, at the sound of a bell at 10 a.m. and has until noon to complete the challenge. First through fifth place awards immediately follow, and raffle prize winners are drawn.

This year’s competition is set for Jan. 22. “The venue is one of the oldest buildings in Missouri City,” shared Board Member and Councilwoman At-Large Lynn Clouser. “The transformation is nothing short of magical, and now with a new purpose to serve communities.” Proceeds from registrations and sponsorships help local children with autism gain access to valuable resources, therapies, and support they might otherwise go without. For more information, to register a team, or receive autism resources and referrals, visit www.hopeforthree.org/events.

Courtesy Hope For Three | In 2021 the competition was held virtually and resulted in 52 teams of four participating from six states. First-place winners, “Puzzle Twist and Shout,” from St. Paul, MN completed the 500-pc puzzle in a record-breaking time of 37 minutes.

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FORT BEND CELEBRATES DIVERSITY OVER DIVISION MURAL

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fficials with the University of Houston, the Sugar Land Office of Economic Development, and the Fort Bend County Judge’s office were on hand to unveil a new mural celebrating the diversity of the Fort Bend community. The Diversity Over Division Mural features the work of six international artists, under the direction of Houston artist Reginald Adams. “Our hope was to have a standing legacy to the diversity of our region,” said Jay Neal, associate vice president for academic affairs and chief operating officer for UH at Sugar Land. “Our university, like our city and county, celebrates diversity. We are proud to have this mural on our instructional site.” The piece is installed on the east windows of UH at Sugar Land’s Brazos Hall, across from the University Branch Library. The sixteen window panels feature the six colorful depictions of unity, diversity, and community—children embracing, women’s maternal energy, diversity in nature, and the compelling and compassionate gaze from an indigenous boy. Six artists from Texas and around the world contributed their work: Ami Mehta, Samson Adenugba, Laura Cano Lopez, Tony Parana, Dandee Warhol, and Rhonda Radford Adams.

Weaving through the piece are words from Houston’s former poet-laureate, D.E.E.P., from her poem ‘Growing Tomorrow in a Field of Today’ written specifically to accompany the visuals:We choose to not live in the monochrome of our ignorance but in the Technicolor of our diversity. The words complement the visuals and support the themes of diversity and inclusion. “Poets are record keepers of the times, town criers who remind people of their responsibility and make them more aware of the things they can’t see or refuse to see for themselves,” she said. “This artwork, and the programming planned to go along with it, reflects all of us,” said Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman.“It opens the door for us to continue the conversation about working together for the benefit of our community.” Diversity Over Division is a collaboration between the Fort Bend County Judge’s Office, the Fort Bend County Libraries, and UH at Sugar Land. “Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization,” said Fort Bend County Judge K. P. George, quoting Mahatma Gandhi. For more information, visit uh.edu/sugarland/diversity.

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• 15


On The Fort Bend Scene

Going nuts over the Pecan Festival & the first Pecan Fest pageant winners Pageant winner photos courtesy of LAURA SCARLATO Pecan Festival photos courtesy of SCOTT REESE WILLEY

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Kaylee Rader, Rosie Salazar, 3rd, and Hannah Detert, 4th. The competition took place in front of the Historic Moore Home. Vendor booths lined Fourth Street in Historic Downtown Richmond. Brynlee Stephens was crowned Little Miss Walnut. From left are Brynlee Stephens, Gianna Torres, 3rd, Hattie Munn, 2nd, and Sadie Case, 4th. A tiara for Little Miss Acorn | Payton Stinson was crowned Little Miss Acorn. She competed against other girls ages 3-4. From left are Payton Stinson, Sadie Martin,

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Kaylee Rader was crowned Little 4 1Pecan Miss Pecan during the fifth annual Festival in November. She competed among girls ages 7-8. From left are Alli Ferguson, 2nd,

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9 4th, Avery Johnston, 3rd, and Presley Cano, 2nd. The annual Richmond Pecan Festival included the alwayspopular car show on Morton Street. Retired state trooper Joe Stegint and wife Liz tempt festival-goers with a jar of pickles and fresh pastries at the annual Richmond Pecan Festival in Historic Downtown Richmond. The Stegints own and operate L & J Farms in Simonton. Among the vendors at the annual Richmond Pecan Festival was Glos Gardens of Richmond. From left are Tammy Weller, Amy Marinucci

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and farmer Al Glos. Glos Gardens also sells its products at the Farmers Market on Grand Parkway. Mariachi Traditión de Jalisca was one of the bands performing at Wessendorff Park. Folks line up at the food trucks parked along Fourth Street in Historic Downtown Richmond. The annual Pecan Festival also ran down Sixth Street, Preston Street and Morton Street. Sisters Alaina Lish, 2, and Avery Lish, 4, of Sugar Land, enjoyed listening to the live music and getting their faces painted.

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WCJC

Fund your Future

CLASSES BEGIN JANUARY 18

ENROLL TODAY

WCJC’S Fund Your Future resources are limited in availability for qualified students enrolling with WCJC for the Spring 2022 semester. Visit wcjc.edu for details. M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation Scholarships

Students enrolled in Allied Health majors, Pre-Allied Health majors or in Emergency Medical Services courses may qualify for a $1,000 scholarship for Spring 2022. To qualify, a student must be a high school graduate or have a high school equivalency certificate and reside in one of 15 specific counties – Aransas, Bee, Calhoun, Colorado, Dewitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Karnes, Lavaca, Matagorda, Refugio, Victoria, Waller or Wharton – or within the Needville Independent School District. The scholarship application will be open through Jan. 21, 2022.

Spring 2022 First-Time in College Scholarship

This scholarship opportunity is for first-time in college students enrolling for Spring 2022! All incoming first-time in college students who complete admission requirements will receive a $1,000 scholarship, which will be applied to their Spring 2022 tuition and fees balance. Students must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify. No scholarship application is necessary. This scholarship will award $1,000 toward a student’s Spring 2022 tuition and fees balance for enrollment in 12 or more credit hours (fulltime enrollment) or $500 for enrollment in 6-11 credit hours.

Tuition & Fee Installment Plan

For early enrollees, WCJC’s Tuition & Fee Installment Plan enables students to pay 25 percent of their tuition and fees up front, plus a $35 non-refundable enrollment fee, and then spread out the remainder of their tuition in equal monthly installments. All registered WCJC students can apply for an installment plan.

Discounted Tuition & Fees Program

Additional assistance is being provided for WCJC students who take more than 13 hours of academic transfer courses. Under this policy, tuition and fees will be waived for any courses above the 13 credit hours. For example, an in-district student taking 19 credit hours will pay roughly $1,214 – the same amount paid by a student taking only 13 hours.

Federal Direct Student Loans

Students who have a complete financial aid file at WCJC and are achieving Satisfactory Academic Progress may qualify for subsidized and/or unsubsidized student loans. The fixed interest rate on 2020-2021 direct student loans is a low 2.75 percent.

Financial Aid Special Condition Request

This request enables qualified students to receive an increased Pell Grant award and possibly additional subsidized loan funds. It’s aimed at WCJC students who have faced a reduction in household income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pell Grants

Students who display exceptional financial need may be awarded a Federal Pell Grant. A Pell Grant is a form of “gift aid” that does not have to be paid back.

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18 • Pecan Grove Monthly


To advertise, call 281-342-4474

• 19


Health

Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital receives Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification

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emorial Hermann Southwest Hospital received certification from the Joint Commission as a Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC). CSC status is the highest level of care of all stroke certifications and is awarded to hospitals with specific abilities to receive and treat the most complex stroke cases. Memorial Hermann Southwest is the first hospital outside of the Texas Medical Center to receive the Joint Commission’s CSC designation.With this announcement, four hospitals in the Memorial Hermann Health System have now received CSC certification, the highest number of CSC-designated hospitals in the same health system in Houston. “Achieving this designation was a team effort by the stroke team at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital who all had the common goal of providing outstanding care to stroke patients,” said Heath Rushing, Vice President of Service Lines at Memorial Hermann.“We are proud to have four Memorial Hermann hospitals in the Greater Houston area recognized with this designation.” This certification recognizes a hospital’s ability to have state-of-theart infrastructure, the most advanced services, specialists in stroke and cerebrovascular disease, and training to receive and treat patients with the most complex strokes.All of the hospitals provide rapid and timely care for patients and are dedicated to the best outcomes in the

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Greater Houston community. “As the population in our community continues to grow, Memorial Hermann Southwest is committed to providing high level quality care to those we care for,” said Malisha Patel, Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Hermann Southwest and Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital.“This designation speaks to our team’s ongoing efforts to be there for our community.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, adult disability in the United States. Each year, nearly 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke and every 40 seconds someone has a stroke in the U.S. The Joint Commission’s CSC Certification is based on standards set forth by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association, and affirms that the hospital addresses the full spectrum of stroke care – diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and education – and establishes clear measures of excellence to evaluate outcomes. For more information on stroke treatment at Memorial Hermann visit http://neuro.memorialhermann.org/stroke.

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital welcomes Dr. Svetang Desai

H

ouston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital announced gastroenterologist Svetang Desai, M.D. has joined Houston Methodist Gastroenterology Associates at Sugar Land, located in Medical Office Building 1, Suite 250 on the Houston Methodist Sugar Land campus. Dr. Svetang Desai Desai earned his medical degree at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, in Memphis,Tennessee. He completed his internal medicine residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston,Texas. Desai also completed two fellowships, including a gastroenterology fellowship at Duke University and an advanced therapeutics fellowship at Duke University. Desai’s clinical expertise includes abnormal liver functions, colon cancer prevention, endoscopic ultrasound, inflammatory bowel disease, liver/biliary disease and therapeutic endoscopy. “My goal as a gastroenterologist is to listen closely to my patients and create a strong therapeutic relationship with the goal of improving health. I enjoy creating partnerships with my patients and the other members of the treatment team with the goal of improved wellness,” said Desai.“I’m excited to join Houston Methodist Gastroenterology Associates, where I will offer the same quality and patient-centered care that patients know and expect from Houston Methodist Sugar Land.” To schedule an appointment with Dr. Desai or another gastroenterologist, visit houstonmethodist.org/spg or call Houston Methodist Gastroenterology Associates at 281-801-9303. Visit houstonmethodist.org/sugarland to learn more about Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.

Healthy soup offers many different benefits

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ood is a critical component of healthy living, helping people to reduce their risk for illnesses and even helping them to overcome colds and other ailments.The properties of soup, for


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example, can chase away chills and offer other benefits. Soup is hydrating, and the ingredients included in the recipe may be able to do everything from tame coughs to reduce mucus to boost the immune system. This recipe for “Navy Bean and Collard Greens Soup” courtesy of John La Puma, M.D., ChefMD, includes collard greens. When one chops or chews collard greens, he or she gets the powerful, helpful chemicals isothiocyanates and indole-3-carbinol. They can help the liver produce enzymes that detoxify cancer-causing toxins in the body. In addition, the soup includes tofu, which will adopt the flavor of other ingredients and add a form of lean protein along with the beans.

INSTRUCTIONS Combine broth, collard greens, carrots, and chili garlic puree in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until greens are nearly tender. Stir in tofu and beans; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Ladle into shallow bowls; top with cheese. TIPS: Great northern or cannellini beans may replace the navy beans and Swiss chard may replace the collard greens if desired.Also, look for chili garlic puree or chili paste with garlic in the ethnic section of the supermarket. Because the beans are unsalted, there is no need to rinse them before adding to the soup.

Try a Healthy vegan lunch

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eganism is marked by a choice to abstain from the use of animal products, including in one’s diet. It is different from vegetarianism because vegetarians may consume some animal products, namely eggs, milk and honey, while vegans will not.

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NAVY BEAN AND COLLARD GREENS SOUP

Serves 4 INGREDIENTS • 3 cups vegetable broth, such as Pacific Organic brand • 4 cups coarsely chopped stemmed collard greens, preferably organic (1 bunch 10 to 12 ounces) • 1½ cup packaged julienned (matchstick) carrots • 1½ teaspoons chili garlic puree or chili paste with garlic • 1 (12 ounce) package extra-firm tofu, cubed in bite-size pieces • 1 (16 ounce) can unsalted navy beans, drained • ¼ cup grated Romano cheese

Serves 2 INGREDIENTS • 2 cups baby spinach leaves • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced • ½ cup button mushrooms, sliced • ½ cup alfalfa sprouts • 1 tomato, chopped • ½ small cucumber • 2 tablespoons olive oil Juice of • 1 lemon Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste • 2 whole-grain pita pockets

INSTRUCTIONS Combine all the vegetables, olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl, and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Toss the salad until well mixed. Stuff the vegetable mixture into the pita pockets and serve immediately.

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COMPLEX NEUROLOGICAL CONDITIONS Treated in Sugar Land

At Houston Methodist Neuroscience & Spine Center at Sugar Land, our physicians collaborate across specialties to diagnose and treat common to complex neurological disorders. With innovative and advanced treatment options, we provide personalized comprehensive care — close to home. Our team of physicians treats a variety of conditions, including: • • • •

Alzheimer’s disease and memory disorders Aneurysms Brain tumors Neuropathy

• • • •

Parkinson’s disease and tremors Sleep disorders Spinal disorders Stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA)

Your health is our priority. You can be confident we are taking every necessary precaution to keep you safe, including requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all of our physicians and staff.

SCAN HERE

TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT To schedule an appointment, scan the QR code, visit houstonmethodist.org/neuro-sl or call 281.274.7979.


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