Joe’s 10th Anniversary

Richmond, Tx– June is a memorable month for OakBend Medical Center’s CEO Joe Freudenberger, not only was he awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year ® for Health Care, but on June 19th he hit his 10-year anniversary with OakBend Medical Center.

Joe began his career in healthcare, spending 10 years with Deloitte Consulting working with major healthcare systems around the country to improve their business operations, 11 years as CFO for two different hospitals and the last 10 years for OakBend.

During his career Freudenberger has, at one time or another, either overseen or reengineered the operations of almost every department in a hospital.  Joe has a track record of successfully implementing operational and organizational change to help community hospitals regain their financial footing.

On June 19, 2007, Freudenberger joined OakBend as their Chief Financial Officer (CF0).  Nine months later, when the hospital’s CEO stepped down, the Board of Directors asked Freudenberger to serve as the acting CEO.  Within two months, he was named the as the new CEO.

During a hospital leadership meeting last week, Freudenberger was presented with a framed photo of the hospital with the well wishes from the leadership team written on the mat surrounding the photo.

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About OakBend Medical Center:

OakBend Medical Center is an independent, nonprofit community hospital based in Fort Bend County, providing quality care and exemplary service with its two full-service hospitals, as well as many specialty centers. As a community hospital, caring for our patients is personal. Our patients are our neighbors, our family, and our friends. We act with integrity and compassion, each of our staff takes ownership of providing the highest quality care and we have an absolute commitment to excellence in all that we do.

OakBend Medical Center distinguishes itself among its healthcare peers in Fort Bend County by housing several unique programs and facilities including:

  • No Wait Emergency Room
  • Hospital-based Skilled Nursing Facility
  • Neonatal ICU – Level II +
  • Advanced Trauma Program
  • Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) Unit
  • Geriatric Psychiatric Program
  • Permanent Hospital-based Air Ambulance


For more information, please visit Connect with us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Houston, June 20, 2017Dr. F. Alex Schroeder, orthopedic surgeon at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at West, threw the ceremonial first pitch at the Father’s Day Astros baseball game on Sunday, June 18. Schroeder’s wife and two children cheered him on as he threw a strike with ease.

Schroeder and his family have been fans of the Astros for as long as he can remember, so not only was he excited by this opportunity but was also impressed by the whole experience.

“I played baseball growing up, and I have spent a lot of time as an assistant coach for my kids’ select baseball and softball teams,” said Schroeder. “The key to staying on top of my game is remembering to stretch and properly warm up before and after physical activity. Despite my competitive spirit, I know it’s important to not throw too hard or too often because that can also lead to shoulder injuries.”

Shoulder overuse is a common injury for avid athletes and weekend warriors alike. In children and adolescents, overuse injuries usually occur due to overtraining in one specific sport. For adults, overuse injuries often occur when they do too much in too few workouts; improper technique and improper use of equipment are also both factors. Cross training, stretching, proper technique and consulting a trainer or physical therapist can help alleviate the risk of overuse injuries at all ages.

Schroeder is an experienced orthopedic surgeon with a focus on knee and shoulder problems. He provides minimally invasive repair and reconstructive procedures allowing for reduced pain and quicker recovery. To schedule an appointment at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at West, visit or call 832.522.BONE (2663).

About Houston Methodist West Hospital

Houston Methodist West Hospital is committed to leading medicine in the West Houston and Katy communities by delivering the Houston Methodist standard of high quality, advanced technology and personalized care. The growing campus offers nearly 200 beds and access to the most innovative medical and surgical care available, including robotic and minimally invasive surgery, full-spectrum heart care, state-of-the-art imaging, cancer care, labor and delivery with a level II neonatal ICU, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics and sports medicine, outpatient rehabilitation, and 24/7 emergency services. For more information, visit

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Last day to submit an application is June 30, loan repayment could pay up to two years of current school loans.

Dallas, TX – The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals is currently accepting applications for student loan repayment assistance. The funds are available for certain eligible mental health professionals providing care to Texans in underserved areas. The deadline for applications has been extended to June 30.

Created in 2015 by the Texas Legislature, the loan repayment program aims to address the state’s critical mental health provider shortage and improve access to mental health services in Texas. Senator Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown) and Representative John Zerwas, MD (R-Simonton) championed the initiative, which provides more than $2 million each biennium. Funds are available to qualified psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed professional counselors, psychiatric mental health advanced practice nurses, and clinical social workers who agree to provide direct care in Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas (MHPSAs).

“An overwhelming majority of Texans – one in four – live in the 199 counties with workforce shortages, defined as more than 30,000 Texans per clinician,” said Dr. Andy Keller, president and CEO of the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute. “The Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals is an important incentive to help build our mental health workforce in underserved communities and ensure all communities in Texas are served with proper care and professional treatment options.”

There are 185 Texas counties that do not have a psychiatrist. Additionally, 241 counties are fully or partially designated geographic or population-based MHPSAs, or have at least one facility-based MHPSA. Over 80 percent of these counties are rural counties.

THECB is now accepting online applications for the Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals on their website. All applications must be received by the June 30 deadline.  For more information on the program, please call THECB at 1-800-242-3062or visit:

About the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute provides data-driven, nonpartisan policy research and technical assistance to improve behavioral health services in Texas. For more information, please visit



As part of a national effort dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of workplace safety and health programs, Memorial Hermann is proud to continue its efforts to provide leading-edge occupational medicine resources across Greater Houston.

More than 4 million workers sustain job-related injuries or illnesses every year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In an effort to curb this trend, OSHA dedicated June 12 to 18 as its inaugural “Safe + Sound Week”, aimed at encouraging organizations to effectively promote and champion workplace safety.

Memorial Hermann Employer Solutions has long been a community leader in offering a comprehensive network of providers specially trained to serve the occupational health needs of employers throughout the region. Recently, Memorial Hermann expanded its efforts to create a healthier workforce in Houston with the opening of a new clinic, Memorial Hermann Katy Occupational Medicine Clinic, dedicated exclusively to occupational medicine for area employers. Additional clinics are expected to open across Houston in the coming months.

“When it comes to treating and preventing workplace injuries, Memorial Hermann has an excellent reputation thanks to our knowledgeable occupational medicine specialists who have the expertise necessary to promote worker safety,” said Dr. David James, Senior Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Medical Group. “We are able to provide an experience like no other, with care tailored to fit the needs of both employee and employer, while consistently maintaining our key focus on keeping employee populations healthy and safe.”

Because workplace injuries differ from other injuries, occupational medicine specialists are suited to manage these health needs because they often have an established partnership with employees/employers and they understand government requirements and protocols regarding these incidents.

In addition to work-related injury assessments and treatments, Memorial Hermann’s occupational medicine specialists are also able to provide physicals, disability evaluations, biometric screenings and immunizations, among other specialized services.

Learn more about Memorial Hermann’s efforts to foster a healthier workforce in Houston.


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Fort Bend County Health & Human Services is conducting a routine public health investigation as a result of active tuberculosis at George Bush High School

Tuberculosis is a disease caused by bacteria. It typically causes a disease of the lungs, but can affect other organs of the body. While tuberculosis can be spread from person to person, it usually takes prolonged close contact with a person with active disease. It is not spread as easily as a cold, flu or measles, but may be spread if droplets coughed or sneezed into the air reach the lungs of another person.

Health department protocol requires an investigation for possible infections from the source case. First, family members are tested and then, if necessary, those who have the closest contacts are tested, which may be at a work or school setting. Depending on the results of the testing, the investigation may be over, or more testing may be recommended.

Health department and other staff will conduct testing at George Bush High School on Monday, June 19th. Testing for TB Infection will be conducted using a blood test. Information has been sent to those families who have a student who needs to be tested. A different letter stating that no testing is needed was sent to the rest of the families, i.e., those families whose students do not need to be tested.

A positive test does not mean that the person is ill with active TB disease; it simply means that they have been exposed to the bacteria and are infected. They may never develop TB disease and cannot spread the disease to anyone else while only having a positive test for infection.

Symptoms of tuberculosis disease include persistent and productive cough lasting more than two weeks, unexplained fevers, night sweats, unexplained weight loss or coughing up blood. Anyone with these symptoms should go to their health care provider. Others who are not considered to be at risk, but who desire a medical evaluation, may visit their private physician or a health department clinic.

Fort Bend County Libraries’ Cinco Ranch Branch Library will present a special program on “Zika Virus Awareness & Prevention” on Saturday, July 1, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, in the Multipurpose Room of the library, located at 2620 Commercial Center Blvd in Katy.

Yaneth Calderon, Public Health Information Specialist with the Fort Bend County Health & Human Services Department, will provide an overview of the Zika virus, which can be spread by mosquitos. Learn how the Zika virus is transmitted, the precautions that pregnant women should take, and preventive tips to reduce the risk of mosquitos spreading the disease.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Cinco Ranch Branch Library at 281-395-1311 or the library system’s Public Information Office at 281-633-4734.



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With more than 5 Million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, Houston is uniting to raise awareness and encourage early detection.

 June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, and the Alzheimer’s Association® is partnering with Mayor Turner, City Officials, Community Leaders and the University of Houston to help to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death.

Right now Houstonians are facing this deadly and devastating disease. More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and over 15 million are serving as their caregivers. In 2017, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $259 billion – by 2050, these costs could triple to over $1.1 trillion. The costs associated with Alzheimer’s can be staggering for families, with average out-of-pocket costs for health care and long-term care services not covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance exceeding $10,000 annually.

Mayor Turner, Police Chief Acevedo, Assistant Fire Chief Alexander, METRO Board Chair Patman, Councilman Gallegos, Reverend Appelberg of the Center for Spirituality of Aging at UTMB, Reverend Denkins of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Pastor Endress of Chapelwood United Methodist Church, Imam Khan of the Mercy Islamic Center and Rabbi Strauss of Congregation Beth Yeshurn have joined the Alzheimer’s Association Houston and Southeast Texas Chapter in raising awareness and concern about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias during Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month.

As part of the initiative, the city officials and community leaders joined the fight to end Alzheimer’s by appearing in a series of Public Service Announcement videos. Created in collaboration with the University of Houston’s Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, the PSAs cover Alzheimer’s disease facts and figure, the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s and the importance early detection. In addition to the videos, printed public service announcements will also appear on METRO buses, shelters, and trains with flyers available at the METRO office.

“We think it is important for people to know that Alzheimer’s disease is not just a normal part of aging.” shares Richard Elbein, CEO of the Houston and Southeast Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. “Alzheimer’s disease is fatal and it is the only one of the top 10 leading causes of death with no way to prevent, cure or treat it. We are so grateful for the outpouring of support; we see this initiative as a great opportunity to urge Houstonians to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and the 10 warning signs.”

The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting Houstonians to go purple and help raise awareness this June. Get inspired by the stories of caregivers and advocates by visiting and then join them by sharing your story on social media with #MyAlzStory and #ENDALZ.

About the Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information, visit the Alzheimer’s Association at or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.



Pictured: left to right: Nicholas Maresh – Another Time Soda Fountain, Hong Zhou – Ninja Japanese Cuisine, Andres Novoa– La Cocina, Joe Freudenberger – CEO, OakBend Medical Center, Jimmy Cantu – Pier 26, Terry Gaul  – Sandy McGee’s, Kris Stolte – Japaneiro’s

Final Amount Check Restaurant

Richmond, TX…Memorial Day marked the final day of OakBend Medical Center’s first Restaurant Week.  The event took place from May 19-May 29 and included 14 restaurants in Fort Bend County.

The fundraising idea was the brainchild of Jimmy Cantu of Pier 36, Andres Novoa of La Cocina and Daniel Ornelas of Ol’ Railroad Café. For the 11 days of Restaurant Week, participating restaurants offered a special 3-course Restaurant Week menu. The 14 restaurants made a donation to OakBend Medical Center for every meal ordered off the special menus during regular business hours. The participating restaurants included:

Another Time Soda Fountain

Bull Creek Cafe & Grill

Clancy’s Public House

Dekker’s Mesquite Grill


La Cocina

Lomonte’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria

Ninja Japanese Cuisine

Ol’ Railroad Cafe

Pier 36

Sandy McGee’s

The Ginger Mule

The Swinging Door

Veritas Steak & Seafood

With final numbers in, the 896 special menu meals that were sold during the event raised $5,114 for the hospital’s Vision 2020 campaign. Vision 2020 is a comprehensive renovation campaign that will bring the most advanced concepts for a healing environment to OakBend Medical Center. Launched in May 2015, the campaign has already resulted in significant improvements at OakBend’s historical home in Downtown Richmond. Progress from the campaign was seen immediately beginning with updates to the building’s exterior and landscaping in the fall of 2015. Additional projects that have been completed as part of the campaign include renovations to the Jackson Street Emergency Care Center and the Skilled Nursing Facility. Major renovations are currently planned for the hospital’s two largest medical-surgical units on the fourth and fifth floors. Future Vision 2020 projects include the expansion of the ACE Unit, additional upgrades in the Skilled Nursing Facility, and renovations to the hospital’s common areas including main hallways, restrooms and cafeteria. When complete, Vision 2020 will create an environment of care that inspires patients and their families and fosters faster healing.

“We are extremely grateful to the 14 local restaurants that participated in OakBend Medical Center Restaurant Week,” stated Joe Freudenberger, CEO of OakBend Medical Center. “Their commitment to the hospital and to the community is touching and we are appreciative of all their help. It is not often that you get to eat a great meal and raise money for your community hospital and we are overwhelmed with the generosity of these participants and want to thank everyone that took the time to visit one of these local restaurants and support OakBend Medical Center.”

Pier 36 owner, Jimmy Cantu, said “It was an honor to be part of this adventure.  We were happy to step forward and make a commitment to help our local hospital achieve its goals and to raise money for Vision 2020. It was a great success and we look forward to being able to do this again next year and to raise even more money.”


About OakBend Medical Center: 

OakBend Medical Center is an independent, nonprofit community hospital based in Fort Bend County, providing quality care and exemplary service with its two full-service hospitals, as well as many specialty centers. As a community hospital, caring for our patients is personal. Our patients are our neighbors, our family, and our friends. We act with integrity and compassion, each of our staff takes ownership of providing the highest quality care and we have an absolute commitment to excellence in all that we do. 

OakBend Medical Center distinguishes itself among its healthcare peers in Fort Bend County by housing several unique programs and facilities including:

  • No Wait Emergency Room
  • Hospital-based Skilled Nursing Facility
  • Neonatal ICU
  • Advanced Trauma Program
  • Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) Unit
  • Geriatric Psychiatric Program
  • Permanent Hospital-based Air Ambulance

For more information, please visit Connect with us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Dear Friends of Christ Clinic,

Lara Hamilton
Christ Clinic

I am pleased to serve as the Interim Executive Director here at Christ Clinic. I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and to update you on our exciting upcoming plans.

I am a Registered Nurse and have been with Christ Clinic for over five years. As a nurse, my occupation is taking care of patients. As a member of the Christ Clinic team, caring for the underserved in our community is my passion. It is difficult, but worthwhile work and we rely on the continuous support of our community.  Many people travel the world to serve with medical missions and I admire anyone who helps provide medical care to those in need.  The sad and often underestimated reality is that there are members of our own neighborhoods that lack access to quality health care and Christ Clinic served more than 5,000 individuals just last year to help fill that void.  Christ Clinic depends on numerous volunteers, donors and employees who are inspired to serve in their own backyards.  We cannot do it alone.

100% of our funding each year comes from churches, local hospitals, grants and private donors; you can understand how important your support is to our organization. We have many exciting ideas to raise community support for Christ Clinic in the upcoming months. We would love to start having smaller fundraising events in donors’ homes where we can adequately share the inspiring miracles that we witness every day at Christ Clinic.

We certainly have our work cut out for us and we truly appreciate every gift of time, talent and money. If you have any questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact me or anyone on our team.

My sincerest thanks

Lara Hamilton

P.S. Save the Date: Sixth Annual Breakfast for a Blessing! – September 22, 2017 at Omni Hotel Westside. Reserve a table to support the efforts of Christ Clinic. Check for updates.


The Master Wellness Volunteer (MWV) program is an engaging 4 day series, designed to provide participants with 40 hours of research -based education, delivered through engaging and interactive workshops.

The training topics are: nutrition, dietary guidelines, food safety, heart disease, diabetes, healthy lifestyle choices, adult and child health and much more.

MWV is ideal for individuals in organizations interested in living healthier lives and positively impacting their families, churches, communities, and worksites to educate and promote health, active lifestyles, nutrition, and wellness.

Participants also gain skills to assist with public speaking, conducting food demonstrations, and becoming advocates for Healthy individuals & Communities.


2017 Series Dates:

June 15 – Harris Co.

June 22 – Self Study

June 29 – Harris Co.

July 5 – Self Study

July 13 – TBA

Time: 9:00am – 3:00pm


Harris County Extension 3033 Bear Creek Dr.

Houston, TX , TX 77084

Cost: $60 (Covers registration, background check, educational supplies and resources.)

Please sign up by June 12.


For more information or to receive an application, please contact Victoria Zwahr by email or by phone 281-342-3034,


Please see flyer for more details.