Houston, TX – May 17, 2017. – EY has announced that Juliet Breeze, MD of Next Level Urgent Care, LLC is a finalist for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Award in the Gulf Coast Area.

The world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, Entrepreneur Of The Year recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

Dr. Breeze, who was selected as a finalist by a panel of independent judges – including entrepreneurs and prominent leaders from business, finance and the local community, is a primary care physician and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in healthcare. She is today the CEO of one of the largest and fastest growing woman-owned Urgent Care organizations in Houston.  It is also one of the few physician-owned urgent care organizations in Houston.

“I am extremely honored to be chosen as one of this year’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists,” said Breeze.

“Building a trusted, cost-effective alternative for after-hours medical care in Houston has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my life. It began as a personal endeavor to fill a gap in healthcare and has grown into an ongoing commitment to convenient care shared by an expansive network of exceptional healthcare providers,” added Breeze.

Award winners will be announced at a special gala event on June 15, 2017 at the Marriott Marquis.  Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National competition.

Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 18, 2017. The awards are the culminating event of the Strategic Growth ForumTM, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

EY, the global organization referring to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, has expanded its program to now recognize business leaders in over 145 cities and more than 60 countries throughout the world.

Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the US by SAP America, Merrill Corporation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In the Gulf Coast Area, sponsors also include Colliers International, DLA Piper, ADP, SolomonEdwards, Chatham Financial, Pierpont Communications and the Houston Business Journal.

Elizabeth and Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale Continue Their Outreach and Support of Houstonians Living with OCD 

WHAT:                 Following Mental Health Awareness Month, Peace of Mind Foundation will host an all-day conference on Friday, June 2, 2017, to educate and support those living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In popular culture, the term OCD has become a casual acronym for “perfectionist” or “neat,” something very different from the stark reality of the mental health disorder that affects the lives of nearly 3 million people in the United States, including children and teens. Although OCD has no cure, its symptoms — which include obsessions and compulsive rituals — can be effectively managed through cognitive behavioral therapy and medication.

Elizabeth and Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale will host the second annual OCD conference in Houston to support those living with OCD. See below for the full conference schedule:

OCD 101 Training:

  • 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm: OCD 101 Training: Learn about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), types of OCD, related disorders, symptoms, diagnoses, treatment options, stigma, OCD cycle and relapse prevention.
  • 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Light snacks and refreshments

Managing Life with OCD:

  • 4:30pm – 5:30pm: “Life with OCD: Family Perspective” by Elizabeth McIngvale, Ph.D, LMSW and Jim McIngvale
  • 5:30 pm – 6:15 pm: “OCD & Families: Learning to Cope Together” by Constantina Boudouvas, LCSW
  • 6:15 pm – 7:00 pm – “OCD Treatment: The Ins and Outs of OCD Therapy” by Thorstur Bjorgvinsson, Ph.D., ABPP

WHO:                    Elizabeth McIngvale, LMSW, PhD – local advocate and founder of Peace of Mind foundation

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale – public speaker, philanthropist, owner of Gallery Furniture

                                Throstur Bjorgvinsson, PhD, ABPP – psychologist and director of Houston OCD program

Constantina Boudouvas, LCSW – OCD specialist 

WHEN:                 Friday, June 2, 2017 from 12:30 pm to 7:00 pm  

WHERE:               The Council on Recovery – 303 Jackson Hill Street, Houston, Texas 77007

For more information on the conference or to register visit,

About Peace of Mind

The Peace of Mind Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to help improve the quality of life of OCD sufferers and caregivers through education, research, support and advocacy. Founded by the Linda and Jim McIngvale family at the request of their daughter Elizabeth. The Foundation created and fully subsidizes the OCD Challenge, a free online self-help website for individuals suffering from OCD.

This summer, we invite you to help us Build a Better World for those in our community. The Maud Marks Library will be collecting nonperishable food and personal items throughout the summer for the Katy Christian Ministries Food Pantry. Come in at any time from June 1- August 5 and place your donation in the cardboard box by the summer reading registration desk. Come help us Build a Better World for the less fortunate in our community.

For more information, call Naomi Haught at 281-492-8592.

Bipartisan “Mother’s Day Gift” seeks to avoid potential nursing home crisis

 AUSTIN, TX – Long term care professionals in Texas are urging the Texas Senate to give elderly Texans a “Mother’s Day” gift by approving the Nursing Facility Reinvestment Allowance, or NFRA, and improve nursing home funding without additional state spending. The NFRA cleared the House with solid support on Thursday with the passage of House Bill 2766, by Gatesville family practice doctor Rep. J.D. Sheffield. In addition to strong bipartisan support, the NFRA is supported by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

“The NFRA is a smart, practical way to address years of underfunding for Texas nursing homes,” said Kevin Warren, president and CEO of the Texas Health Care Association. “The House overwhelmingly approved it and we hope the Senate will do the same. The NFRA will give us the tools we need to enhance the quality of long term care in Texas by addressing issues such as the 90 percent turnover rate of our registered nurses.”

The NFRA is now pending in the Senate, where it is likely to be sent to the Health and Human Services Committee. Members of that committee are Chairman Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown), Vice-Chairman Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio), Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway), Sen. Konni Burton (R-Fort Worth), Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), Sen. Borris L. Miles (D-Houston), Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano), and Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin).

“Improving the quality of long term care is something all Texans can agree on,” Warren said. “The NFRA is a pragmatic way to increase much needed funding for care delivery as well as incentivize improved quality of care, all without additional state spending. It’s a solution all Texans can get behind.”

Texas has lagged behind other states in finding ways to boost funding for nursing homes. Forty-three other states have similar programs in place to supplement health care funding.

The NFRA would accomplish this by implementing a reinvestment allowance from nursing home operators the state can use to draw down federal Medicaid matching dollars Texas now loses to other states. HB2766 statutorily prohibits the NFRA from being passed on to nursing home residents.

In addition to improving Medicaid rates, HB2766 would direct 50 percent of the additional funds toward quality-based payment programs. Nursing homes will be required to meet certain quality standards to receive the full benefit of the program.  The NFRA is intended to incentivize nursing home operators to enhance the quality of care they deliver, while also giving them the tools they need to elevate care, facilities and programs.

Dr. Vincent Nelson, Medical Director of UnitedHealthcare of South Texas

Mother’s Day is an ideal time for families in Texas to think about expectant mothers’ and babies’ health, and raise awareness about how to increase the likelihood of a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery.

One out of 10 babies nationwide each year is born premature, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preterm births represent a small percentage of all births; however, infants born before term represent a large proportion of all infant deaths. In Texas, the infant mortality rate is 5.8 per thousand live births, putting the state at No. 21 nationwide, according to United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings®: The Health of Women and Children Report.

Pregnancy is often a time of excitement and joy; yet, with so much information to consider, moms-to-be can feel overwhelmed. That’s why access to appropriate prenatal, post-partum and well-child care is important for mothers’ and babies’ immediate and long-term health.

Here are five tips to help you and your baby have a healthy pregnancy and birth.

  1. Take charge for your health during pregnancy. This means eating well, staying active, getting rest and limiting stress as much as possible. Share your goals with your maternity care provider and ask for support and suggestions. Your health plan may have free programs and online services that can help you get and stay healthy throughout your pregnancy.
  2. Choose a maternity care provider and birth setting that best fits your needs. Where and with whom you give birth can have a major impact on the care you receive, your health, your baby’s health and your satisfaction with your childbearing experience. That’s why it’s important to look for a maternity care provider and birth setting that meets your goals and preferences. More information on choosing a maternity care provider and birth setting is available at
  3. Learn what happens to your body before, during, and after pregnancy and childbirth – and how certain medical procedures can affect you: Understanding what is normal and healthy when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth can help you identify potential concerns and make informed decisions about your maternity care. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advises against elective deliveries before 39 weeks of pregnancy, including cesarean sections unless medically necessary.
  4. Know your maternity benefits and rights at work: If you work full time and plan to return to your job after your baby is born, it is helpful to know your company’s maternity leave policy so you and your family are prepared. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) enables mothers and fathers who have worked at least one year for a company with 50 or more employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off, while many employers offer full or partial paid leave. Under the law, you are also guaranteed to get your job back after your leave.
  5. Plan for support once your baby arrives: Life with a new baby is a big adjustment, and it’s okay to ask for help. If you are planning to breastfeed, start learning what it entails and what support you might need to get off to a good start. Be sure to call your maternity care provider if you have problems breastfeeding, or other unexpected difficulties, when you’re home with your new baby.

Pregnancy, labor and birth, and the early postpartum period are important times for women and families. By accessing available information and resources, women and new parents can make more informed decisions for themselves and their babies, and experience a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Richmond, TX…May 6 – 12 is National Nurses Week.  And for the seventh year in a row, the VFW Post 3903 Auxiliary held a Nurse Appreciation Luncheon for the nurses of OakBend Medical Center.  The auxiliary invited nurses from all of OakBend Medical Center’s campuses to come to the Jackson Street Campus to be served a hot lunch.

Commander Ken Dillon, Joe Fruedenberger and Margie Dillon, President

The Auxiliary of VFW Post 3903 has provided lunch and dessert for the nurses in the OakBend hospital system showing their appreciation for all that the nurses do every day.  Each year, they get food donated for this appreciation event and the volunteers gladly come forward to setup, serve and thank the nurses.  This year, the chicken fajita, and fixings were generously donated by Ben’s Chuck Wagon in Wallis.  Ben Pustejovsky has donated the food for the past several years to help the VFW Auxiliary say thank you to those nurses that work so hard for the community.  The Auxiliary provided the chocolate and vanilla cakes for a sweet ending to the event.

The Auxiliary awarded a plaque to the hospital which reads:

Appreciation Award

Presented to OakBend Medical Nursing Staff

In appreciation for your

Outstanding dedication to patients.

VFW Post 3903 Ladies Auxiliary

May 2017

“This is one of the reasons I love our community.  We are so honored to be recognized and thanked by these ladies each year,” said Joe Freudenberger, CEO of OakBend Medical Center. “They are so kind for taking the time to do this for our nurses and to personally come forward to serve and thank everyone that comes through the line. Our nurses greatly appreciate the recognition, the food and the well wishes.”


The Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) Unit at the Jackson Street Campus of OakBend Medical Center filled with family and friends Wednesday night as the hospital unveiled the dedication of the ACE Unit in honor of Jack & Billie Wendt.

“We are here tonight to express our gratitude and appreciation to Billie Wendt and her late husband, Jack Wendt.  Thirty years ago last month, Mrs. Wendt was the first woman to be elected to the hospital’s board, leading the way for change,” said Jeff Council, the current president of OakBend Medical Center’s Board, “We are truly blessed to be here to honor this great family.”

The program began with an opening prayer given by Pastor Jeff Gantz, Senior Pastor of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Richmond followed by a few remarks from Joe Freudenberger, CEO of OakBend Medical Center and Mrs. Wendt’s son-in-law, Jay Martin.

“Billie Wendt is a kind, gracious and genteel woman who is a pillar of our community,” said Freudenberger, “Over the years, she has supported many organizations throughout Fort Bend County.  She is truly a role-model and we are grateful that she has chosen to continue her support to OakBend Medical Center.”

Mrs. Wendt, along with her four daughters, two son-in-laws and her niece and husband unveiled the new sign in the ACE Unit which marks the renaming to:

Jack & Billie Wendt

Acute Care for the Elderly

Once unveiled, guests mixed and mingled and had the opportunity to enjoy food and wine while congratulating Mrs. Wendt and her family.

Nearly 16 years ago, the tragic deaths of the five children of Andrea and Rusty Yates helped create a new era in women’s mental health.  Today, as a society, we recognize and more closely focus on maternal mental health and associated issues such as education, awareness, legislation, treatment and care of mothers affected with perinatal mental illnesses including postpartum depression (PPD) and the even more serious postpartum psychosis.  While we are making strides in this area of women’s health, the realization is so much more still needs to be done.  A mother’s mental health is critical to the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of herself and her children.

For Houstonians, the Yates tragedy happened in our hometown, in our backyard, but it impacted the world.  But, for the more than a decade and a half since this family’s loss, the Yates Children Memorial Fund (YCMF) for Women’s Mental Health Education at Mental Health America of Greater Houston and a core group of mental health and primary care professionals and organizations are helping create a generation of empowered mothers and a community energized to change the landscape of women’s mental health in our city and state.

This May is National Mental Health Month and also Texas Postpartum Depression Awareness Month.  Advocates in Houston and across the Lone Star State are raising public awareness on the serious impact untreated or under-treated postpartum depression can have on the safety and healthy development of our state’s mothers, children and families.

With program efforts dedicated to perinatal mental health and family wellness the collective efforts of this group, primarily comprised of volunteers, to educate women, mothers and those who encounter mothers to understand postpartum mental health issues, to eliminate stigma that prevents some mothers from seeking help, and to identify resources available to help mothers before, during and after a crisis.  As a group, the volunteer efforts of YCMF includes educating and training thousands of mental health and primary care professionals and  professionals newly entering the workforce, improving mental health literacy of more than one million mothers and families through the distribution of informational brochures hosting an international perinatal mental health conference in Houston.

This year, the Yates Children Memorial Fund for Women’s Mental Health Education at Mental Health America of Greater Houston, celebrates the Year of the Mom and powerful advocacy stance of mothers helping mothers to elevate the awareness of issues associated with the cause.  This May, YCMF debuts its first ever feature short film on postpartum depression. The film, created as an educational companion piece for community-based trainings, workshops and presentations, will be made available to the public through the Yates Children Memorial Fund for Women’s Mental Health Education at Mental Health America of Greater Houston.  It features the postpartum depression experiences of area mothers, Molly Hackett LaFauci, a dedicated volunteer in the field of behavioral and mental health and LaShonta Edwards, founder and director of A Mother’s Sanctuary.

Additionally, Aarti Sequeira, winner of Food Network’s number-one series, The Next Food Network Star, and host of the cooking-variety show, Aarti Paarti, will share her personal experience and journey through postpartum depression and how she has become a powerful advocate for maternal mental health at the “Year of the Mom,” dinner event on May 11 from 5-7 pm at MATCH Theater in Houston.  She is also slated to participate as a panelist along with LaFauci, Edwards and leading mental health experts, Rhoda Seplowitz, a psychiatrist and diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc., and member of the American Board of Medical Specialties;  Patricia Perrin, PhD,  a licensed psychologist in Texas, specializing in treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders; and Lorissa Eichenberger a mother of four, and self-proclaimed, “birth nerd,” with a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth. It is a serious illness that affects the quality of life of approximately 1 in 8 women. Research shows, a woman is at the highest risk in her lifetime of developing a new mental illness in the first year after a baby is born. At least 15 percent of new mothers experience significant postpartum mood disorders and many more report important difficulties in coping and adjusting.

We encourage others to join the efforts to improve mental health for mothers and families.  Volunteers are needed to identify risk factors, develop and deliver culturally appropriate trainings to ensure that all women experiencing perinatal mental health issues are properly screened, diagnosed and treated.

Learn more online at


Another historical record was created by our animal-loving citizens in Fort Bend County this weekend! 18 is the new adoption record number for events with reduced adoption fees. Fifteen dogs and three cats do not have to sleep alone in shelters anymore because they now have safe homes! We know for a fact that love comes in all sizes, forms, and colors. Of the fifteen dogs adopted, nine of them were larger breeds, which are typically perceived as more challenging to place. There were also over 30 families who enjoyed the low-cost micro-chipping service provided by the Katy Community Chip Clinic.

The Fort Bend Shelter Pet Expo is an event that generates connections among local business owners, for-profit companies, non-profit organizations, and private citizens. This type of collaboration helps our local municipal shelters by bringing their impounded companion animals to compassionate people in a high-traffic area. In modern animal shelter management, marketing for our voiceless creatures is the key to saving their lives. Our dogs and cats know how to find their way into our hearts, so bringing them in front of a great crowd gives them an opportunity to work their charm! Thanks to Reliant Energy for being our Pack Leader Sponsor who helped make this a great success!

Ms. Tori  MacFarlan, representing Congressman Pete Olson, checks on a young kitten that will be ready for adoption in a few weeks at Missouri Animal Shelter with Holly Frazier, a volunteer with Fort Bend Pets Alive!

Volunteers from left to right (Christina Hernandez, Sarah Travis and Ingrid Otero) celebrating another chronicle of successful events. They know hard work pays off. They also admit that the reward of the feel good factor is amazing!

FBPA! strives to fill the void that was not filled for a long time in our county. We are a compassionate community. Becoming part of the solution to save lives of our companion animals attracts positive attention and results in making Fort Bend County better and stronger.

Join the No-Kill movement today!

About Fort Bend County Pets Alive!

FORT BEND PETS ALIVE! is a non-profit, 501(C)3 organization, dedicated to helping make Fort Bend a no kill community through promoting programs such as adoptions, education and community outreach, low cost spay and neuter surgeries, fostering, Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender (PASS), and rescuing from euthanasia list .

Donate on line:

‘With passage of the AHCA in the House, we have a way forward to do away with government-mandated, one-size-fits-all health care.’ 

‘And now that the House has passed this legislation, it’s up to the Senate to do our job and to keep our promises.’ 

 ‘So we will work together with all of our colleagues that are willing to work with us, but that means that Republicans are going to be working with 52 Republicans to get this bill passed.’ 

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today spoke on the Senate floor following last week’s House passage of the American Health Care Act and discussed the way forward to repeal and replace Obamacare in the Senate. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video of his remarks can be found here.

“Last week, our colleagues in the House made a first, necessary step to delivering on our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare and to restore individual choice for a health insurance product that people choose that fits their actual needs, rather than one mandated by Washington, D.C.” 

“They passed the American Health Care Act, a bill that provides relief to Americans all across the country. With passage of the AHCA in the House, we have a way forward to do away with government-mandated, one-size-fits-all health care.  And now that the House has passed this legislation, it’s up to the Senate to do our job and to keep our promises.”

“I believe we can and we must do better to deliver affordable care that people choose, that meet their individual needs, and not health care that they buy simply because the government is coercing them into doing so. So we will work together with all of our colleagues that are willing to work with us, but that means that Republicans are going to be working with 52 Republicans to get this bill passed.” 

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.