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The Best Nest North Central Baptist Hospital Enlarges, Renovates Women’s Center

The Nest's spacious rooms are outfitted with luxury linens and comfortable furnishings. By Amy Morgan

Oak is bouncing with babies. Whether S tone the new little bundle of joy wears pink or blue

they’ll be eagerly welcomed at the Nest, North Central Baptist’s Women’s Center, located at 520 Madison Oak Drive.

The Nest is the go-to medical destination for all things related to moms and babies – whether maternal, neonatal, antepartum, or postpartum care. Everything a woman could possibly need to make her delivery experience safe and comfortable is located under one roof, including Baptist Health System’s pediatric specialty physicians and access to the health system’s highest level of maternal and neonatal intensive care (NICU). “We’re motivated to take care of the community,” said Bill Waechter, North Central Baptist’s CEO. “Stone Oak attracts a large number of young families who need women’s services. We want to make sure we always stay a step ahead.” He reports the area is experiencing a baby boom. North Central Baptist delivered 4200 babies in 2020 and now expects an average of 430 a month. It’s 72bed, Level IV NICU offers first-rate maternal and neonate support, while two board-certified OB/ GYN physicians are on premises 24/7.

“All the resources for someone with a high-risk pregnancy or delivery are here. We hope you don’t need them, but we’re leaning forward, ready to go, if you do,” Bill added. OB/GYN physician Kelly Cuen, M.D., with Women’s Partners, appreciates the Nest’s level IV Labor and Delivery unit, as well the facility’s ability to allow NICU moms to room-in, so they don’t have to leave the hospital without their babies.

The Nest offers all the resources for someone with a high-risk pregnancy or delivery.

“This creates really special memories,” Bill said, “and allows the family members to enjoy the delivery and not worry about trying to take a selfie.” Babies don’t stop arriving just because their Nest is being renovated. “There’s no wiggle room for cleanliness and safety,” Rachel said. Rooms will be refurbished four at a time, with a planned completion date of early summer 2022. On-trend colors and artwork encourage moms to relax.

“It is very scary for parents to see their little ones so vulnerable and hooked up to all of those wires/machines. We have a fantastic group of neonatologists and NICU nurses who make it a priority to communicate with parents frequently to keep them informed of everything that is going on with their babies.” Gillian Graham, M.D., with Northeast OB/GYN Associates, delivers babies full-time at North Central Baptist. She applauds the timing of the expansion to increase physical capacity. She also notes the way the Nest meets patients’ emotional needs. The facility is lactation, postpartum and doula friendly, with a 1:1 nursing-to-patient ratio. New parents can enjoy skin-to-skin bonding time with their newborn in their private suite as well as utilize the on-site nursery to rest and recover, she said. The Nest is in the process of a major expansion and big facelift to create more appealing, modern surroundings. The spacious rooms have been refurbished with a sleek design. Neutral, on-trend colors and artwork of Texas plantscapes create a soothing ambiance that encourages moms to relax and enjoy their special event, said Rachel Montgomery, Baptist Health System COO. All the rooms, whether labor and delivery, C-section or postpartum, are sizable and private, outfitted with luxury linens and comfortable furnishings on which a support person and mom can rest. The boutique experience includes a postdelivery candlelit couple’s meal and massage for mom. The Nest offers the option for photography and video to discretely capture the intimate moments and/or take pictures of the newborn.

“You won’t see a ‘Pardon Our Dust’ sign,” Bill said, because there will be no patient disruption. When the project finishes, labor and delivery will expand its 16 rooms to 22, and antepartum will increase its 6 rooms to 10, allowing more space to accommodate those with high-risk pregnancies. Five operating rooms will be dedicated to women’s surgery, allowing physicians flexibility to schedule C-sections as well as accommodate emergencies. The additional rooms also allow for gynecological surgery in space not shared by other types of cases.

The Nest is in the process of a major expansion and big facelift.

Another addition, state-of-the-art surgical Xi robots will conduct minimally invasive surgery for hysterectomy or gynecological cancer, providing better patient outcomes and shorter recovery. Great Expectations concierge dedicated labor and delivery patient navigators are unique to the Nest. These trained professionals are available to answer any questions and ensure the entire pregnancy and delivery experience runs smoothly.

Navigators schedule “time to sit down with parents in a nice warm setting to talk about needs,” Dr. Graham said. Patient navigators can refer expectant moms to an OB/Gyn doctor or pediatrician, set up daddy day camps, breastfeeding support, or handle situations like adoption or surrogacy. “The staff at NCB make it a point to go above and beyond to provide individualized care to help each patient achieve their ideal birth experience, whatever that may be,” Dr. Cuen echoed.

If you are pregnant or considering adding a new family member, find out more about the Nest’s amenities, care and services, located right in your neighborhood. Visit https://www. baptisthealthsystem.com/services/obstetrics to set an appointment with the navigator or take a tour.

If the pregnancy is high-risk or might involve a challenging situation, the navigator will schedule a joint consultation with the right maternal and fetal physician specialists to coordinate a birth plan. “We anticipate any problems, plan and mitigate so mom and baby have the best chance for a great experience,” Bill said.

Dedicated operating rooms allow for gynecological surgery by state-of-the art surgical robots.

Deliver Your Baby at The Nest The Nest at North Central Baptist Hospital provides comprehensive services for the women of San Antonio and the surrounding area. Welcome your baby close to home with access to Baptist Health System’s highest level of maternal and neonatal intensive care (NICU).


Stone Oak Church - Your Neighborhood Church

Stone Oak Church Sunday Service @ 10:30 a.m.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 6:30 p.m.

Children’s Sunday School @ 10:30 a.m. Adult Bible Study Sunday @ 9:00 a.m. Youth Group Meetings Tuesday @ 7:00 p.m. 20024 Crescent Oaks San Antonio, TX 78258 (across from Stone Oak Elementary School) 210-497-7974


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Nutcracker Under the Stars –Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 6:30 p.m. The San Antonio Youth Ballet performs the famous Nutcracker Suite live in an outdoor, drive-in theater. Watch the stage or onscreen. Mission Outdoor Theater, 8069 Challenger Blvd. 78235; www.sanantonioyouthballet.org.

12/5 12/11-12 12/4-5

12/4 12/4-12/20

WinterFest San Antonio - Saturday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Stone Oak festival with Santa Claus, elves, rocking Christmas music, carnival, food, and 50,000 pounds of snow. North Central Baptist Hospital, 502 Madison Oak 78258; https://www. eventbrite.com/e/winterfest-san-antonio2021-tickets-173923769677.

Christmas Tea at the Rosemont Mansion — Saturday, Dec. 11, 1:45 p.m. Enjoy the music of talented harpist Alexis McGehee while sipping tea and mouthwatering confections. The Rosemont Mansion, 7735 Mockingbird Lane 78229; https://www. eventbrite.com/e/traditions-of-christmastea-at-the-rosemont-mansion.



San Antonio Rock ‘n’ Roll Races: marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K – Saturday, Dec. 4, Sunday, Dec. 5, times and courses vary. Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio has become the famous historical landmark-lined course that tours the Tower of the Americas, The Alamo, Mission Concepcion, San Fernando Cathedral and more. Enjoy a finish line concert and live bands. Start on East Commerce St. 78205; www.runrocknroll.com/san-antonio/.


Christmas Pageant at The Fellowship of San Antonio — Saturday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 12, 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. Annual pageant shares the joyous sights and sounds of the season on a stage decorated with 10,000 twinkling Christmas lights. The Fellowship of San Antonio, 23755 Canyon Golf Road 78258; www.thefellowshipofsa.org.

The Stars at Night Races – Saturday, Dec. 18, staggered starts 4:15-5:15 p.m. Half marathon, 10K, 5K. San Antonio’s night races at the JW Marriott Resort on illuminated golf cart paths with fabulous post-race lawn event. JW Marriott Resort, 23808 Resort Parkway 78261; starsatnighthalf.com.


Christmas at the Caverns — Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19. Weekdays, Dec. 20- 23, 4:30-9 p.m. 30foot Christmas tree, 1/3 mile trail of lights, Santa “Spelunker” Claus, 500 square-foot outdoor maze, live music, s’mores. Check the website for hours for specific activities. Natural Bridge Caverns, 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road 78266; www.naturalbridgecoverns.com.

Concordia's Annual Drive-Thru Nativity - Saturday, Dec. 4, Sunday, Dec. 5, 5-9 p.m. Travel with the wise men though Bethlehem and enjoy the story of Christmas from the comfort of your vehicle. Seven decorated sets, more than 60 actors, angelic choirs and live animals. Concordia Lutheran Church, 16801 Huebner Road 78258; 210-479-1477.

Cowboy Christmas on the Riverwalk Sunday, Dec. 5, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saddle up and mosey on down to the Briscoe for holiday fun and pictures with Cowboy Santa, arts and crafts. Briscoe Western Art Museum, 210 W. Market St. 78205; www.briscoemuseum.org.


A Dickens Celebration in Boerne Weihnachts, Saturday, Dec. 4, Sunday, Dec. 5, starting at noon, parade at 6 p.m. A Toast of Olde Town, movie in the park, Wednesday, Dec. 8. Shopping and wassail, Friday, Dec.10, Saturday, Dec. 11, 5-9 p.m. Kinderfest, Friday - Sunday, Dec. 17-19. Cookie Crawl and Scavenger Hunt. A Hill Country Christmas event of epic proportions, Boerne’s Main Street transforms into a vintage Christmas experience complete with great shopping, visits with Santa Claus, children’s craft activities, unique vendors, food trucks, snow on Main Street, ice sculpting, music, theatrical performances and an amazing 60-foot snow slide for sledding. Main Street, Boerne 78006; www.dickensonmain.com.



8 Annual Christmas on the Don Strange Ranch — Friday-Sunday, Dec. 3 – 19; Monday-Friday, Dec. 20-24, 6 – 10 p.m. Drive through 4.5 million dazzling lights, enjoy food, drinks, shopping and photos with Santa. Don Strange Ranch, 103 Waring Welfare Road, Boerne 78006; https://www.donstrangeranch.com.

Holiday Hunger Run – Saturday, Dec. 4, 9 a.m. ‘Tis the season to help others. Run a 5K to benefit Provisions Outreach. Prizes awarded for best holiday costume. Bulverde City Park, 29815 Bulverde Lane Bulverde 78163; provisionsoutreach.org.



Old West Christmas Light Fest — Thursdays – Sundays, Dec. 2- 24, also Dec. 20-23. Weeknights, 6 – 9 p.m., weekends, 6-10 p.m. Synchronized light and music show, lighted maze, Christmas carols, shopping, and Santa’s Holly Jolly Herd of Texas Longhorns. Enchanted Springs Ranch, 242 SH46 West, Boerne 78006; www.christmaslightfest.com.


Ford Holiday Boat Caroling – Thursday, Dec. 2- Thursday, Dec. 23, Monday -Thursday, 6-8:15 p.m.; Friday- Sunday, 6 – 9:30 p.m. Sing in the holidays with family and friends from a boat on the Riverwalk. International Center Building, 203 S. St. Mary’s St. 78205; thesanantonioriverwalk.com.



Community Calendar

NEISD Winter Break Dec. 20-31, 2021 2021 Valero Alamo Bowl Game December 29, 8:15 p.m. Watch the college football match-up between the number one contendors from the Big 12 and Pac-12 conferences. Alamodome, 100 Montana St. 78203; https://www. alamobowl.com/tickets.

Send your upcoming events to StoneOakInfo@gmail.com.


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Don't Delay Dental Benefits Expire December 31 By Amy Morgan


ecember is the month for holiday parties, gift-giving, and dental check-ups. What? Dental check-ups? Who wants to visit the dentist in such a busy month? You do, because you've worked hard all year to pay for your dental benefits. If you don’t use them by the end of the year, they will go to waste. To make it easier for you to fit in care for your whole family, 7to7 Dental & Orthodontics is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. This year, Christmas and New Year’s Eves both fall on Fridays, so the office located at the corner of Stone Oak Blvd. and Evans Road will be open for normal business hours until 7 p.m. As an added incentive, 7to7 Dental will provide a free tube of tooth-whitening gel to each patient after cleaning. What better way to ensure your smile looks its best for your holiday events? “We want to be there for our patients to make sure their benefits are maximized,” said Travis DeZuba, Director of Marketing. “We’re open even all the way to 7 p.m. New Year’s Eve!” 7to7 Dental upgraded its membership plan to make dental care even more affordable for existing and new patients alike. Unlike traditional insurance that expires on the calendar year, 7to7 Dental’s in-house plan allows patients to begin anytime. “It starts when you are ready and continues for a year from that date,” Travis said. Individuals and families who might have missed an employer’s enrollment period or changed jobs can sign up and be treated immediately. “There’s no waiting period or annual maximum,” Travis added. Patients can consider which of the three plans best fit their family. Monthly payment is easy. Sign up for a bank draft or credit card charge just like for your gym membership. 7to7’s Dental’s plans cover cleanings as well as fillings, extractions, crowns, implants and orthodontics. Businesses who aren’t able to afford the cost of traditional coverage for their employees can set up a private link through Travis to offer a 10% discount. Contact Travis at DentalCoverage@7to7Dental.com to compare the value of 7to7 Dental’s plan with the cost of current dental coverage. The results of your gym membership don’t necessarily show up on those Zoom meetings, but your healthy smile does. Don’t put off investing in your oral health today! The professionals at 7to7 Dental & Orthodontics care about your oral health and are available 7 a.m.- 7 p.m., seven days a week, for dentistry for the whole family and emergencies. 7to7 Dental is a local business grown in 13 years from the practice of one dentist and six staff, which now employs 240 San Antonio community members. Co-Owners Tiffany Winburn, D.M.D., and Justin Coke live in Stone Oak with their families and are part of the community.

Don't Throw Your Hard Earned Dollars Away! We Have Appointments Available 7 Days A Week


& ORTHODONTICS 210-495-2000 www.7to7Dental.com Facebook: 7 to 7 Dental & Orthodontics

Instagram: @7to7Dental


Holiday Hazards Physicians Premier Cuts Time to Emergency Treatment By Amy Morgan


rash! The creaky ladder you were using to hang your Christmas lights cracked, sending you tumbling. How do you determine if more than the bulbs are broken? After carrying heavy boxes of decorations down from the attic, you feel short of breath. Just the result of too many helpings of pumpkin pie, or something more concerning? Is your accident or troubling symptom worth braving the traffic and a potentially hours-long wait in a hospital emergency room, especially during the holidays? There’s a better option. Drive north just 15 minutes on US Highway 281 to Physicians Premier, a freestanding emergency room located west on Highway 46 near the HEB Plus. Physicians Premier offers all the capabilities of a hospital emergency room without the wait or the crowd. In an emergency, timing is crucial, according to seasoned emergency room veteran Dr. Lonnie Schwirtlich, Physicians Premier founding partner. He describes a “golden hour” — the first hour when treatment is optimized for best outcome. You don’t want to waste that time sitting in a waiting room. “Falls are common during the holidays,” agreed Sebastian Cerna, M.D., an emergency medicine physician who’s worked with Dr. Schwirtlich since Physicians Premier opened their first facility in Corpus Christi in 2014. He recommends not using kitchen chairs (with their tendency to break) as stepstools. If you must get on a ladder, make sure someone holds it steady and stands ready to help if something does go wrong.

“You only have a certain window of time to save the heart muscle,” Dr. Cerna added. Physicians Premier is staffed by board-certified emergency room doctors, unlike many urgent care facilities, and nurses with years of emergency training will immediately triage each arrival. “We’ve all worked busy hospital ER’s,” said Nurse Manager Aaron De La Paz. “Here we can look out for the interests of the patient and family.” Rather than spending time waiting, patients are seen, treated, and on their way.

The physician-owned and operated facility accepts all insurances and commits to work with the patient to make sure charges are billed appropriately with the least amount of out-of pocket expense. They also offer a discounted self-pay rate. Physicians Premier has secured temporary authorization for Medicare and Tri-Care due to the COVID emergency. “We are If a slip results in potential broken bones or numbness proud to take care of our veterans in the extremities, call 911 for assessment and and heroes in the military,” transportation. Physicians Premier can handle any Dr. Schwirtlich said. type of traumatic injury or illness, both pediatric and adult. The facility includes on-site X-rays, CAT scans, Physicians Premier allows patients a full laboratory and ultrasound. to access the care they need when they need it, saving time, money, Broken bones, including ribs, can cause internal alleviating concern and allowing bleeding or puncture vital organs, Dr. Cerna said, for a healthier patient and and head and back trauma should be evaluated for community. Find them at concussion or spinal cord injury. Blood work can tell MDpremier.com. the story of whether shortness of breath is related to a cardiac problem. Sebastian Cerna, M.D


20475 Highway 46, Suite 100 Spring Branch, TX 78070 (830) 438-6911 MDPremier.com


Passionate Performer Student Inspires Through Music

By Amy Morgan


ozart’s Canon in D is easily recognized in its first few notes. The classical piece scores commercials and starts weddings. But how many 17-year-olds would consider it their favorite? Music drives the passion and purpose of Ronald Reagan High School senior Michelle Cervantez, who participates in Varsity Orchestra and serves as president of the school’s Texas Music Educators’ Club. Michelle was inspired by music the first moment she heard a worship team practice at church. She chose the violin as her primary instrument when she started orchestra at Lopez in the sixth grade because its sound most closely mimics the human voice. (Michelle also plays guitar, piano and sings). As president of the educators' club, Michelle arranges for speakers to enlighten students about teaching careers in music. “I want to help young people fall in love with music like I did,” she said. Michelle plays second violin in Reagan’s Chamber Orchestra. She looks forward to playing a few pieces with the San Antonio Symphony and attending national competition, held this year in New York City in March. The trip’s expensive, so she created a website called Michelleviolinist to raise funds by playing private engagements like weddings, bridal showers, romantic dinners and quinceañeras. “It’s really taking off,” she said. “I’m able to put to work the thing that I love.” Others know Michelle through Cornerstone Church, where she plays in the main sanctuary on Sunday nights, for the women’s ministry worship team and sings for the youth ministry. “I had a really good mentor who helped me grow into the different musical styles of worship,” she said. Michelle and her family currently travel monthly to the border of Mexico, where they minister at the Nueva Creation church. She’s been able to share music at the worship night and encourage bullying and suicide prevention. The close-knit family considers it important to give back, as they are “living the American dream.” Michelle’s father, once a migrant worker, serves with the Customs and Border Protection Office. He and Michelle’s Mexico-born mother met at Uvalde Southwest Texas junior college.

Michelle plans to study music education at college. Oral Roberts University and Incarnate Word have both offered her scholarships. Reagan teachers Mr. Sharplin and Mr. Elizondo have played a big part of her musical journey, “mentoring me and pushing me to be the best player I could be,” she said. Prior to moving to Stone Oak, Michelle’s father’s job took the family to the Bahamas, where she attended the private international school Lyfor Cay, best known for teaching the children of pop star Shakira. Michelle sang the National Anthem at the Memorial Day Remembrance for the Customs and Border Protections Embassy in the Bahamas while only in the fourth and fifth grades! This year, she repeated the anthem on violin for an event that the embassy live-streamed nationwide.


Pup Pleasers

Ten Holiday Gifts to Help Fido Beat Boredom

By Camp Bow Wow


ne way we show our affection and care is by giving gifts. Don’t forget your furry family member this holiday season. Fido’s been by your side through thick and thin. But with in-person activities returning, our pets may feel a little lonely. What better time to take advantage of the holiday deals and splurge on double duty items that demonstrate love and keep your pup occupied while you are out? Jenny Hollander wrote on marieclaire.com that most of the items on this list passed the test of the best for both she and her pup. Find them on Amazon or through patch.com. 1) Wickedbone Smart Bone – an interactive dog toy that plays with your pup when you can’t. The smart robot toy “jumps away when your pup chases” and “teases” Fido when he stops playing. $69.99. 2) Dual Layer Bone by Playology. Although they look and feel like a normal toy, dog-pleasing scents like cheese, peanut butter, beef or chicken are embedded in the fiber of the toy to entice your pup to keep chewing. $16.98. 3) Furbo Dog Camera – The HD camera perched on a treat reservoir tower allows you to keep an eye on your pup while you are away and remotely reward him by shooting out goodies from afar. $168.00. 4) Wild One by Bolt Bite is another treat-loadable bone, with a twist. Billed as “the ultimate chew toy for dogs,” the ends are hollow, so you can stuff it with treats. The middle is reinforced

with rubber, so it is virtually indestructible. BPA free and dishwasher friendly. $12.99. 5) Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy looks like a cute and cuddly companion for your lonely pup, but it mimics the comfort of a real cuddle because it warms to touch and includes a heartbeat. $39.95. 6) Doggie Pal Crab Interactive Toy almost defies description. The toy looks like a red stuffed animal crab, complete with furry mohawk and claw mittens. Switch it on, and it will squeal and jump around when Fido tries to pounce. Jenny swore it became her pup’s BFF. $16.95. 7) The treat toy from Diggsdiggs.pet will make crate time more enjoyable for your pup. It attaches through the wires like a giant rubber popsicle pacifier. You can stuff it with treats, freeze it, or fill it with peanut butter to keep Fido happy when you are away. $32.00. 8) Food Network suggests an Interactive Nosework Feeding Mat. Your pup will be so proud to follow his nose to find the prize of treats at the end. Machine washable, so cleanup is easy. $30.99. 9) The turquoise dragon goDogDragon squeaker toy is made with Chew-Guard technology so even the most persistent pup will have a hard time tearing it apart. Soft fleece and floppy feel make it irresistible. $13.59. 10) Interactive Puzzle Game Dog Toy by Outward Hound Dog was created by longtime dog puzzle maker Nina Ottosson. The food-safe toy boasts three treat-hiding compartments with different access keys to provide hours of enjoyment. $14.32.

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