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June 2016
  • 21

    By Sandy Doughton, grant development managerIf your doctor only had one number they could choose from to best predict your health what would it be? Would it be your HbA1c level, cholesterol, weight, or complete blood count? What if we could rule out all medical tests, then what would this number be? As it turns out, your zip code number, or where you live, is the greatest predictor of how long you'll live. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association analyzed income data and mortality rates for the U.S. population using federal income tax records and Social Security records for every individual from 1999 through 2014. The study titled "The Association Between Income and Life Expectancy in the United States" found that the richest American men live 15 years longer than the poorest men while the richest American women outlive the poorest women by 10 years. Not only does the income gap play a role in longevity, but also this research lifts up the...

  • 08

    By Anne N. Connor, director of community grants In 2015, two Methodist Healthcare Ministries funded partners, the Gateway Community Health Center in Laredo and the Texas A&M Health Science Center - Coastal Bend Health Education Center, did remarkably well at controlling HbA1c levels in diabetic patients.The term HbA1c refers to glycated haemoglobin. It develops when haemoglobin, a protein within red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body, joins with glucose in the blood, becoming 'glycated.' By measuring glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), clinicians are able to get an overall picture of what our average blood sugar levels have been over a period of weeks/months. For people with diabetes, this is important, since the higher the HbA1c the greater the risk of developing diabetes-related complications.  Both partners did well at controlling HbA1c in their adult diabetic patients. The rate of uncontrolled HbA1c in Gateway patients was 7%, and the Coastal Bend...

May 2016
  • 13

    On May 7, during National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. teamed up with longtime funded partners the Bexar County Health Collaborative and the San Antonio Clubhouse for a mental health focused art event, A Beautiful Mind. The unique art experience combined expressive art, discussion, and testimonies to facilitate a dialogue on mental health realities and stigma in Bexar County. Artists of various backgrounds exhibited work that interpreted what it's like living with mental health struggles – to bridge the gap and create a connection with audience members. High school students from the Henry Ford Academy Alameda School for Art + Design also supported by participating as contributing artists. More than 120 people were in attendance, all encouraged to take action by getting involved and raising awareness. Methodist Healthcare Ministries President & CEO, Kevin C. Moriarty sat down with Focus South Texas to speak...

  • 05

    By Rhonda Hunnicutt, RN, Wesley Nurse We always need sunscreen! According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, daily use of sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15 (but higher is better) reduces the risk of skin cancers by as much as 40-50 percent. Again, some of my favorite nursing words to pass along ... prevention and avoidance. The damage from ultraviolet (UV) radiation is cumulative and can occur whenever our skin is exposed to damaging rays. Most of us are at an age where the sun damage that occurred to our skin previously now has the risk of manifesting as some type of skin cancer. Even people with darker pigmentation can still develop skin cancers. Though I try to avoid being in the sun without protection like the plague, in my younger days I would ride horses or play outside all day, and of course, my fair skin would burn. I have been lucky that I've only had a basal cell carcinoma (cancer). Sadly I've known friends and family members who have battled the...

April 2016
  • 25

    By Jessica C. Muñoz, director of communications On April 5, a cadre of advocates, elected officials, health care providers and volunteers came together to plant nearly 5,000 blue pinwheels on the rolling green lawn at Methodist Healthcare Ministries' corporate headquarters in San Antonio in observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The memorial preceded an assembly which brought together leaders and decision-makers in San Antonio to discuss how to prevent child abuse and neglect in our community. As I listened to the speakers talk about the 4,941 confirmed victims of child abuse in Bexar County last year, my eyes were drawn to the blue and silver pinwheels, glittering under the sun and spinning thanks to the breeze blowing that morning. Standing among the sea of pinwheels conjured memories of my high school graduation. There were 705 students in my graduating class. I thought about the class photo we took that day, and how I had never seen so many people in one place; it...

  • 20

    By Rhonda Hunnicutt, RN, Wesley Nurse I don't think anyone would argue what beautiful weather we had this spring. I've lived in and traveled to different areas of the country and the world, and the proud Texan in me thinks there's nothing more beautiful than our own Texas bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes and other wildflowers blooming in all of God's majesty. The spring flowers have faded now, and in their place are those pesky little mosquitos. Last year brought light to a species of mosquitoes and the frightening advent of the Zika virus, moving out of Africa and Southeast Asia towards South and Central America. It is important to note that although there have been small numbers of the Aedes mosquitos detected in southern states, there are currently no locally acquired vector-borne cases in the U.S. And the same mosquitoes that carry Zika, also carry the dengue and chikungunya viruses that we've heard about in past years. There are cases of Zika that have been diagnosed in the U.S....

  • 19

    Fiesta is now underway! Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. is proud to introduce our exclusive 2016 Fiesta medal. As an organization that has been headquartered in San Antonio for more than 20 years, Fiesta is a grand celebration that is important to us, as well as the longstanding tradition of Fiesta medals. Last year, Methodist Healthcare Ministries opened a competition for its more than 350 employees to design the organization's 2016 Fiesta medal. The winning medal, chosen by team members, was designed by Federal Grants and Programs Assistant Mae Barajas. "Fiesta is a colorful and lively time, and designing this medal gave me the chance to express how proud I am of my city," said Barajas. "I wanted to incorporate San Antonio's artistic landmarks and to reflect how Methodist Healthcare Ministries is a huge part of our city's prosperity." The medals were given as a gift to employees and community partners making its way through the 74 South Texas counties...

  • 18

    By Jane Hevezi, grants specialist Many clinics that Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. supports through community grants share the common problem of patient missed appointments and no-shows and are searching for solutions. In alignment with Methodist Healthcare Ministries' strategy to increase access to care, an innovative solution was implemented in Bandera, Texas by one of our funded partners, the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic, addressing this very issue and empowering patients to engage in their health care. The clinic's executive director, Bruce Hanks, was determined to find a solution to the chronic no-show problem since many patients face issues such as transportation limitations and are unable to keep an appointment or need to reschedule. He adapted a technological solution - a mobile patient engagement app called CareMessage that has the ability to send appointment reminders via text, send surveys, collect data from any patient population, manage...

  • 01

    By Wesley Nurse Perla Rivera, RN  "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV) I start off with this verse because April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. We know, however, that we must prevent and address abuse each and every day. Having worked as a behavioral health nurse, I am acutely aware of the devastating and destructive effects that physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse has on a child's life. It is up to the community, agencies, schools, and churches to protect and strengthen families because these institutions have a great influence on family life. Children thrive on attention, affection, and having their needs adequately met by their parents. They depend on parents to nurture, guide, instruct, and support them on a daily basis and throughout their life span. Children need parents to be a part of their...

March 2016
  • 09

    By Wesley Nurse, Lindsey Floyd, RN As a Methodist Healthcare Ministries Wesley Nurse in Edna, TX, I encourage good nutrition and exercise. My role involves being committed to helping the least served in our community through education, health promotion, and collaboration to achieve improved wellness through self-empowerment. Walking, in particular, is a great form of exercise since it is inexpensive and is an easy way to get fit. This year, I, along with Jackson County Hospital District, recruited people in Jackson County to participate in Walk Across Texas – a free 8-week statewide program designed by Texas A&M Agrilife Extension to help Texans establish the habit of regular physical activity. The goal is to "walk across the state of Texas" in eight weeks – 830 miles. In order to stay on track, everyone on a team (up to eight people) must walk nearly 13 miles each week. Our initial goal was to form 10 teams. We are proud to say that we now have 30! We started our challenge...

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