Women’s health care services pop up in Tomball

The Woman’s Center at HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball opened April 20, touting two stories of women’s services. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Woman’s Center at HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball opened April 20, touting two stories of women’s services. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Woman’s Center at HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball opened April 20, touting two stories of women’s services. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Woman’s Center at HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball opened April 20, touting two stories of women’s services. The center houses 3D mammography, five female obstetricians and gynecologists, a fellowship-trained female breast surgeon and a medical spa still to come, said Renee Ford, the vice president of operations for the hospital. A grand opening for the center, located on Medical Complex Drive adjacent to the hospital, was put on pause due to the coronavirus.

“Women are usually the healthcare decision makers for the family, but they often spend more time on others than on themselves. We need women to stay healthy and strong to continue taking care of their families and serving as leaders within our community,” Ford said. “For that to happen, they need access to additional healthcare resources with all the modern conveniences available we can bring to them.”

HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball spent approximately $5.5 million to renovate the hospital’s former diagnostic building to bring quality women’s care closer to the community, Ford said.

“Previously, women in Tomball, Magnolia, Creekside and the surrounding communities may have had to travel outside the area to received female health services,” she said.

HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball is among several entities eyeing expanded women’s care throughout the Greater Tomball area to improve proximity to quality care, health care leaders said.


Texas ranks No. 49 of 50 states for women’s health, according to America’s Health Rankings Health of Women and Children 2019 Report. The report lists Texas’ high percentage of uninsured women—nearly half—as a challenge to women’s health outcomes in the state as well as the lowest percentage of women ages 21-44 receiving a cervical cancer screening within the last three years and near-lowest percentage of women ages 18-44 having a dedicated health care provider.

Solis Mammography opened within The Woman’s Center in August as a move to provide convenient mammography care to Tomball residents, Solis Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alexander Sardina said. He said only about 55% of women in the U.S. receive an annual mammogram despite insurance providers covering it.

“By us kind of placing strategically focused retail stores near the community where the woman spends most of her time ... our experience has been that we can impact compliance because we’re making it more accessible and more time-efficient for them,” he said.

Recent openings, expansions


Melody Molloy, executive officer of operations and oncology for Genesis Medical Group, added greater access to care can lead to early diagnoses and less stress for patients.

“By providing all of this type of care in the community, it allows patients to focus on their health, not focus on the stressors of additional dollars that are spent in traveling and eating out,” she said. “You find patients have chronic illness—whether it be cancer or diabetes, cardiovascular issues—those patients that don’t have those extra stressors do better.”

Genesis Medical Group moved into its site near Hwy. 249 and Northpointe Boulevard about two years ago, offering radiation and medical oncology, but it expanded last fall to include Venus MRI and Women’s Center, which performs MRI, CT scan, ultrasounds and X-ray services as well as on-site breast biopsies, Molloy said.

“Patients want to be treated close to their home, but they also want to know that they’re getting appropriate treatment,” she said. “They don’t want it to feel like they’re lacking treatment options because they’re not downtown.”

At surrounding hospitals, women’s service expansions are also taking place.

As part of Houston Methodist's $240 million expansion project in The Woodlands—which broke ground in September, according to previous reporting—Houston Methodist The Woodlands will add 32 beds for its childbirth center and 10 beds in its neonatal intensive care unit, according to information from the hospital. Its expansion of women’s services also includes a dedicated space for the hospital’s outpatient lactation consultants, pelvic floor therapy and strategic development of a holistic approach to women’s health.

The Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, located just south of Tomball, is several years into its expansion of women’s services, said Dr. Stephanie Bruce, the hospital’s chief medical officer and a practicing OB-GYN.

“We identified a long time ago that we wanted to be the hospital of choice for women having a baby in the northwest Houston area,” she said. “We really feel the need to expand the physical facilities so we are probably looking at completing all of that work over the next three years.”

The roughly $18 million project includes a new antepartum unit for women who need to be hospitalized during their pregnancy—which opened earlier in 2020—and plans to expand labor and delivery rooms, postpartum rooms, and the hospital’s NICU. Houston Methodist Willowbrook is also making plans to develop low-intervention labor and delivery rooms to provide expectant mothers a home-like setting while still being near emergency services, Bruce said.

“We’re really committed to it being a very state-of-the-art expansion for women’s services. It’s not just about more rooms and more beds; it’s about what kind of services we’re offering,” she said. “Care for women is of the utmost importance because I think care of the community hinges around the women in the community.”

Bruce also said she anticipates some changes to the way women’s care is delivered following the coronavirus pandemic, such as the explosive rise of telemedicine and streamlined procedures.

“There are some things that we have learned and adapted with COVID-19 that are improvements we will never go back from. Our faster office check-in, doing more visit preparation virtually and via phone prior to arrival, has really streamlined office care. There are more virtual obstetric visits now, which as a working mom I would have really appreciated and embraced 10 years ago,” she said. “We were already starting to look at better and more efficient ways to deliver patient care, but this has really escalated it to the forefront.”
By Anna Lotz

Editor, Tomball | Magnolia

Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in the Tomball and Magnolia communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.



MOST RECENT

The city of Houston reported the 14-day moving average for testing positivity was at 24.8% as of June 28, up from 15.4% on June 1. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 1,249 cases, three deaths confirmed July 2

The city of Houston reported the 14-day moving average for testing positivity was at 24.8% as of June 28, up from 15.4% on June 1.

Registration for the voucher program is now available by phone or online. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County COVID-19 testing voucher program registration now available online

Residents may be approved for free testing vouchers after completing an informational form through the county health or hospital district websites.

Broussard Park will host the Dynamo Dash Youth soccer program this fall. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Dynamo Dash Youth soccer to be offered at Broussard Park this fall

Children born between 2002 and 2017 can register for the program.

Houston fireworks display
Here’s how to celebrate Fourth of July across the Greater Houston area

Several Houston-area cities are still planning fireworks shows with drive-in or virtual components this Fourth of July.

Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott: Texans must wear masks in public starting July 3

"COVID-19 is not going away," Gov. Abbott said. "In fact, it is getting worse."

The Kemah Boardwalk will be open Fourth of July weekend. (Courtesy Kemah Boardwalk)
3 Houston-area amusement properties will be open Fourth of July weekend

The Kemah Boardwalk, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier and Downtown Aquarium Houston are offering a joint weekend adventure pass for $29.99.

Episcopal Health Foundation
Survey: Texans support emphasis on improving economy, safety, pollution to address overall health

“COVID-19 is clearly showing what Texans already know: the state needs to address underlying, non-medical conditions that have a dramatic impact on their health,” Episcopal Health Foundation President and CEO Elena Marks said.

One segment of FM 2978 construction is slated to be complete in the third quarter. (Courtesy Fotolia)
ROUNDUP: FM 2978 construction to partially wrap up in third quarter, Hufsmith-Kohrville widening slated

One segment of the widening construction on FM 2978 is slated to be complete in the third quarter of 2020 while the next widening project on part of Hufsmith-Kohrville Road is slated to go out for construction bids in the third quarter.

Montgomery County Memorial Library System will allow Texas residents to access its services through a new online access card. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County Memorial Library System launches temporary online library card system

The new online access card will give residents access to e-book, magazines, movies and more.

The daily total, the third highest in the county's history, came as Texas confirmed a total of 8,076 new cases overall, a new high for the state. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 1,437 new cases confirmed July 1 as Texas Medical Center pushes into ICU surge capacity

The daily total, the third highest in the county's history, came as Texas confirmed a total of 8,076 new cases overall, a new high for the state.

The county has now recorded 2,257 total COVID-19 cases, including 917 that are currently active. (Community Impact staff)
Montgomery County marks highest single-day increases of new, active COVID-19 cases July 1

The county recorded 124 new cases July 1, and its total active case count grew by 85.