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August 2016
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    By Donnelle Storrs, Wesley Nurse As a faith community nurse, I strive to provide compassionate care and consider the spiritual needs of patients while addressing their physical health. I attend Bible studies to meditate on the scriptures, and listen and learn about the Lord without really thinking about the physical body. How amazing is it then to go to a Bible study and have the Lord open my eyes to things I had not seen before? John 9 tells, in my mind, a beautiful story to read. In summary, Jesus and his disciples happen upon a man blind from birth – for ease of reading, we'll call the blind man Bubba. After a short discussion, Jesus spits into the dirt to create mud. He places the mud over Bubba's eyes and instructs him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. Bubba follows Jesus' instructions and is healed. Bubba tells his experience to the Pharisees who are incredulous. They ask for Bubba's parents to give testimony, not believing that he was truly blind before meeting Jesus. The...

  • 23

    By Abel Garcia, research & community impact analyst I grew up in the Coastal Bend region of Texas in a small town called Premont, about 30 miles south of Alice. Not long after graduating high school, I left town for college and I haven't lived there since. Although I've been gone for over 20 years, I still consider Premont my home. I still have a lot of family there including my father, sister, nieces and a whole bunch of primos, tías and tíos. A handful of friends I went to school with still reside there as well. The city of Premont has a great deal of needs, and since graduating with a Masters in Social Work, I've often been conflicted about living so far away and not directly giving back to my community. Growing up in Premont shaped me as a person; it influenced why I became a social worker. Working at Methodist Healthcare Ministries has helped ease that inner conflict. The work I've been doing to support regionalization efforts in the Coastal Bend will ultimately...

July 2016
  • 28

    Methodist Healthcare Ministries Wesley Nurses recently participated in Texas Mission of Mercy - a mobile dental clinic that travels around the state providing basic dental care (including cleanings, fillings, or extractions), free of charge, to uninsured Texans. They provide services without any pre-qualifications; therefore, patients do not have to prove their poverty or residency. The event was held at Brady High School in Brady, Texas, and brought much-needed oral health care to the area. Volunteer dentists (assisted by volunteer dental students, hygienists, and dental assistants) examined and treated 238 patients in attendance. Three Wesley Nurses - Theresa Whitley (Mertzon), Theresa Standage (Kerrville) and Charlotte Johnson (Brady) - served alongside the more than 200 volunteers by registering clients and assisting them with their health assessments. "I am so proud to have been part of this service, especially after listening to patients express how happy they were to be able...

  • 27

    By Pam Castles, MSN, MASF, RN, Wesley Nurse When I started working as a Methodist Healthcare Ministries Wesley Nurse in October 2015, I had so many plans for my new ministry, and then God said, "Not so fast." I lost my mother in January and then my father in February. It has been a difficult start to a new job, to say the least, but I've had wonderful support from many team members. I have also been seeing my spiritual director more frequently which has provided the spiritual support that is so necessary when grieving. My spiritual director and I have talked about many things that play a role in my physical, mental and spiritual health. We've talked about my role as a faith community nurse, the marginalization of the clients we see, and the stress we all experience in this role. Providing care and compassion has both positive and negative impacts. To repeatedly hear stories about traumatic things happening to people opens our hearts in a way that we can relate to others with...

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....

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