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MARCH 22, 2012

Getting to know the man behind Humphrey’s Guns & Caskets


Robert A. Pascasio, FACHE CEO/Administrator Chambers Health



ospitals in Texas are required to conduct a community needs assessment every three years. At Chambers Health we also have a requirement under our federal grants to regularly conduct assessments to insure that we are meeting the needs of our community. This year, with the State of Texas’ changing the construct of certain programs (ie: Medicaid), a local needs assessment will be critical to Chambers Health’s participation in required regional planning. Needs assessments are systematic processes whereby an organization identifies and determines needs, or “gaps” between the way things are, and, where the community wants the organization to be. Measuring the difference between those two points identifies the need. And, yes, Chambers Health is about to kick-off that process here in Chambers County. Wikipedia shares that a needs assessment can help to refine and improve a product or service. “It can be an effective tool to clarify problems and identify appropriate interventions or solutions. By clearly identifying the problem, finite resources can be directed towards developing and

implementing a feasible and applicable solution. Gathering appropriate and sufficient data informs the process of developing an effective product that will address the group’s (in our case, our community – you) needs and wants.” For public organizations like Chambers Health, a community needs assessment is a combination of information gathering, community engagement and focused action with the ultimate goal of organization improvement. A community needs assessment identifies the strengths and weaknesses (needs) of the organization from the community’s perspective. This is often called a SWOT analysis – “S” stands for strength; what do we do well. “W” stands for weakness; what could we do better. “O” stands for opportunity; based on the available resources, what could the organization do to improve itself, its offerings. And, “T” stands for threat, what actions or activities could jeopardize the organization’s ability to deliver on its mission. As our resources here at Chambers Health are certainly limited, needs assessments as part of an overall strategic planning program and

process, can assist us to identify where to allocate those resources to the greatest benefit of the community. So, while the needs assessment is important, it’s only the first step in a very deliberate process to allow us to insure we are taking care of business, and you. So, where do you fit in? Simple. Our approach will be multifaceted: We will be distributing printed surveys to a random sample of community residents. There will be focus groups formed to allow those with “special interests or needs” to be heard. Some of our community leaders will be approached for one-on-one interviews, and, the process will wrap up with a town hall meeting where we’ll discuss what we learned, and allow those who didn’t get a chance to share their thoughts So, what do you think? We may not always be able to be everything to everybody, but it really is important for us to know what you think. We hope that if and when the opportunity presents for you to be involved in the process, you’ll take the time to participate, to help us continue to be “What You Need, Where You Are,” now, and for years to come.

Thinking about healthy living When you think of healthy living, you might think of various ways to stay healthy – from handwashing and vaccines to cancer prevention. Great thinking! Choices we make every day go a long way toward promoting healthy living. It’s just as important to pay attention to signs and symptoms; to know health warning signs that merit medical attention, from unexplained weight loss and/or shortness of breath to sudden headaches. And, of course, regular physical exams or health screening tests are just as important. Early detection is often the key to successful treatment. Many factors affect your health; some such as our genetic makeup and some, our age. By taking steps toward healthy living, we can all

help reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and many other serious diseases. Some of the tips provided by the National Institute of Health include; 1) seeing your healthcare provider for regular screenings, not just when you’re sick, 2) maintaining a healthy weight, 3) eating a variety of healthy foods and limiting the foods containing saturated fat, 3) staying physically active, 4) controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels, 5) smoking cessation, and 6) protecting ourselves from too much sun. Regular screenings are tests or exams done to find a condition before symptoms begin. Screening tests may help find diseases or conditions early enough, when they are easier to treat. Some of the conditions that healthcare

providers commonly screen for include; Breast Cancer or Cervical Cancer in women, Colorectal Cancer, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Osteoporosis, and Prostate Cancer in Men. Your healthcare provider will recommend certain screenings depending on your age, gender, family history and whether you already have risk factors for certain diseases. For example, being overweight may increase the risk in developing diabetes. The National Institute of Health also recommends well-child visits. Well-child visits are the hallmark of preventive care for infants and children. They provide the opportunity for prevention or early intervention of physical, developmental and behavioral problems. Age appropriate health care visits provide the opportunity to update immunizations as recommended by the CDC. Call us at Bayside Clinic to schedule your preventive/wellness visit (for all ages, from pediatrics to geriatrics). We at Chambers Health want to be your partner in healthy living, and will continue our tradition of being “What You Need, Where You Are” so that you and yours can make the most of healthy lifestyle choices.

Gary Humphreys has a gun shop in Del Rio. In the lot next to his shop is a piece of sculpture that has become a Del Rio landmark. It’s a giant silver pistol two stories high. I must tell you that Gary is a likeable guy and knows nearly everybody in Del Rio. He can’t go outside his home or shop without running into all sorts of people who know him. He has tons of friends. Gary is short and stocky, totally unremarkable in appearance. His wife Ginger says he’s just not very impressive. Despite that, Gary has managed to get on just about every important board or committee in Del Rio. He’s been a friend of mine for about half a dozen or so years and I keep peeling off layers of his unique personality. Some sculptors who were having a workshop in Del Rio built his big silver pistol. Gary, who is on the city’s Arts Council, asked them to build him something. So they went out and found all sorts of stuff. “The barrel is PVC pipe,” says Gary. “The cylinder of made from a 55 gallon oil drum. They worked with wood and cement and just sorta made it out of junk.” It is not unusual to see people taking pictures of it. Years ago when the sheriff made news by commenting on some gun laws, a USA Today reporter came to town and took a picture of the sheriff by Gary’s gun statue. The photograph turned up on the front page of the newspaper. Soon Gary’s big gun was showing up in newspapers from the New York Times to the San Francisco Chronicle and on network TV. A female reporter from the ABC television network went down to Del Rio and stayed three days, most of it in Gary’s shop. She had never fired a gun before, so Gary took her out to a gun range and gave her some practice. Gary, who loves Model A’s, is always looking for some mischief to create. His brother had a funeral home so Gary had some caps made with the words HUMPHREYS GUNS AND CASKETS, DEL RIO TEXAS printed on them. Somehow a picture of one of those caps ended up on a cruise ship publication and Gary was

flooded with orders. “I bought a hundred or so just to give away,” says Gary. “But everybody who came in the shop wanted one and they got scarce in a hurry. One guy called from New York and asked me how much a cap would cost. I told him they cost me $12.50 and I’d charge him that plus postage. He ordered a dozen.” Once Gary ran a small ad in the classified section of the Del Rio newspaper with only three words and a telephone number. The words were GUN FOR HIRE. Gary said he got some strange phone calls that usually started out with the caller talking in a low

voice. Gary met a Wrangler executive and started selling Wrangler jeans south of the border. He became the largest Wrangler dealer in southwest Texas. One order in Brazil was for 50 thousand pairs. Gary is so full of surprises I’ve just about stopped being amazed and amused at all the things he does. Tumbleweed Smith’s column in The Hometown Press is presented by


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