All Methodist Healthcare Hospitals in San Antonio earn ‘Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®’ recognition

methodist hcs logoMethodist Healthcare announced that all of its hospitals have been recognized as  2013 Top Performers on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States. Methodist Hospital and its campuses at Methodist Children’s Hospital, Methodist Heart Hospital, Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital, Methodist Texsan Hospital, Metropolitan Methodist Hospital and Northeast Methodist Hospital* plus Methodist Stone Oak Hospital and Methodist Ambulatory Surgery Hospital were recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2014 annual report, “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, and children’s asthma.  Methodist Healthcare is the only hospital system in San Antonio to receive this Top Performer status.

The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma, stroke, venous thromboembolism and perinatal care, as well as for inpatient psychiatric services and immunizations.

Three out of the last four years Methodist Hospital’s campuses have been recognized as  Top Performers.  Methodist Stone Oak Hospital and Methodist Ambulatory Surgery Hospital were recognized two out of the last four years.

To be a 2013 Top Performer, hospitals had to meet three performance criteria based on 2013 accountability measure data, including:

  • Achieving cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures;
  • Achieving performance of 95 percent or above on each and every reported accountability measure where there were at least 30 denominator cases; and
  • Having at least one core measure set that had a composite rate of 95 percent or above, and (within that measure set) all applicable individual accountability measures had a performance rate of 95 percent or above.

“Delivering the right treatment in the right way at the right time is a cornerstone of high-quality health care. I commend the efforts of Methodist Healthcare for their excellent performance on the use of evidence-based interventions,” said Mark R. Chassin, M.D., FACP, M.P.P., M.P.H., president and CEO, The Joint Commission.

“We understand what matters most to patients at Methodist Healthcare is the quality and safety of the care they receive. That is why we have made it a top priority to improve positive patient outcomes through evidence-based care processes,” said Jaime Wesolowski, president and CEO for Methodist Healthcare. “Methodist Healthcare is proud to be named a Top Performer as it recognizes the knowledge, teamwork and dedication of our entire hospital staff,” he continued.

For more information about the Top Performer program, visit

*These hospitals share the same Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provider number with Methodist Hospital and therefore are evaluated as a single entity by The Joint Commission; Methodist Stone Oak Hospital and Methodist Ambulatory Surgery Center, each has its own provider number.

About Methodist Healthcare
Methodist Healthcare System of San Antonio (MHS) began as Methodist Hospital, chartered in 1955 by the United Methodist Church.  Since that time, MHS has grown to what is now the largest health care provider in South and Central Texas with 27 facilities, including nine acute care hospitals serving over 90,000 inpatients and 390,000 outpatients annually, expanding its vision of world class health care to San Antonio and 26 surrounding counties.

The System’s ownership structure is a 50/50 co-ownership between not-for-profit Methodist Healthcare Ministries (MHM) and for-profit Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). With equal partnership control, MHS assures a dynamic balance in its mission: serving humanity to honor God by providing exceptional and cost-effective healthcare accessible to all.

Led by a culture of Methodist Excellence, the over 8,000 staff and volunteers combined with a medical staff of over 2,500, dedicate themselves to continuous quality improvement by committing to live by Methodist Excellence mission, vision and values.

Methodist Healthcare has achieved many awards for clinical excellence and quality outcomes as well innovation and people’s choice awards. Receiving the Texas Award for Performance Excellence in 2014 is a testament to Methodist Healthcare being selected as the most preferred and trusted health care system each and every year.


Raba Kistner Environmental announces hire of Dr. Steve A. Tomka, Senior Archaeologist

PortraitsSteve Jones, CHCM, Senior Vice President and COO of Raba Kistner Environmental, has announced that Raba Kistner has hired Steve A. Tomka, Ph.D. to develop and manage Cultural Resources projects for the firm. As the Senior Archaeologist, Dr. Tomka is working closely with Prehistoric and Historic Project Archaeologists and Field and Laboratory Technicians at Raba Kistner Environmental on several new and exciting projects in the San Antonio area and around Texas.

Dr. Tomka has over 30 years of experience in Texas archeology.  In San Antonio and its immediate vicinity, Dr. Tomka has accumulated over 18 years of experience and knowledge working on archaeological projects.  His particular areas of expertise include Archival Research, Historic and Prehistoric Archaeology, NRHP Eligibility Testing and Data Recovery Excavations.

He has worked on prehistoric archaeological sites dating to 10,800 years before the present (BP), as well as 18th and 19th century Spanish Colonial missions and 20th century residential complexes in downtown San Antonio.

“We are very excited that Dr. Tomka is joining our Environmental group,” said Jones. “His very distinguished career, including serving in a voluntary capacity with many historical oversight groups, brings relationships and a level of knowledge about Texas archaeology that is unmatched in our industry.”

Dr. Tomka maintains a strong working relationship with all clients including architectural and engineering firms and City, County, and State agencies.  He has served on the State Board of Review for National Register of Historic Places nominations, and was the Chair of the Antiquities Committee of the Texas Historical Commission, where he served as Commissioner.   In these capacities, he acquired in-depth knowledge of the Antiquities Code of Texas as well as the processes and procedures associated with Section 106 compliance of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Dr. Tomka served as Director, Center for Archaeological Research, University of Texas at San Antonio, for 12 years before coming to Raba Kistner. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Texas in Austin in 1994, and his M.A. from there in 1985. He received his BA in Anthropology from the University of Missouri, Columbia, in 1980.

Dr. Tomka is pre-certified to conduct TxDOT archeological surveys (2.10.01) and has served as a Principal Investigator on multiple TxDOT statewide general services contracts.

About Raba Kistner
Founded in 1968, Raba Kistner, Inc., parent company to Raba Kistner Environmental, Inc., is an Engineering News-Record “Top 500 Firm,” operating in eleven different markets in Texas, Utah, and México. Raba Kistner Environmental is recognized as one of the Southwest’s leading firms offering environmental consulting services. Our technical team consists of archeologists, biologists, engineers, environmental specialists, geologists, GIS analysts, and planners.

Lead your company to new heights!

UTSA_BBE LogoThe Spurs didn’t get to winning championship status in a day. So what is it that makes their team so special and what does this have to do with small business? If you want to learn the same principles that make the Spurs such a unique team and apply it to your small business, keep reading!

The UTSA Small Business Development Center (UTSA SBDC) has partnered with Holt Development Services (a division of HOLT CAT) to conduct a seven-week intensive strategic leadership program designed to support established, strong companies achieve even more growth. Holt Development Services, the organization that used the Values Based Leadership Model to grow Holt® Cat into a 1 billion dollar company and to help the San Antonio Spurs win four NBA championships, will facilitate the program.

UTSA SBDC is now taking applications for their spring 2014 program which will run from February 18th through April 8th (with the exception of March11th due to spring break). Offered annually, the program’s sessions will be held every Tuesday from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm and topics will center on leadership, marketing, human resources and ethics. More detailed information can be found at  You can also contact Yanet Byrom by calling (210) 458-2746 or by emailing

About the Small Business Development Center
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is dedicated to creating jobs, growing businesses and fostering economic development. The SBDC serves all populations based on client needs, local business trends and individual business requirements.

The SBDC supports San Antonio and 10 surrounding counties with one on one business advising and training geared towards the small business owner’s experience and needs. Experienced business advisors have expertise in marketing and sales strategy, budget promotions and analysis, cash flow management, brand development and many more topics. presents new technology for older adult care at National LeadingAge Annual Conference

MM Main logoThe imminent tidal wave of baby boomers is here. The oldest baby boomers have already turned 65, and the older population of the U.S. is beginning to swell. The age-65-and-older population grew 18 percent between 2000 and 2011 to 41.4 million senior citizens, according to a recent Administration on Aging report. These numbers are expected to further balloon over the coming decade as baby boomers continue to reach traditional retirement age. So, how will we care for these seemingly unfathomable numbers of older adults? One of the answers to how to care for our seniors as they age is in the empowerment of caregivers through technology., a program of Morningside Ministries, provides free online video training for family caregivers, pastoral care providers and healthcare professionals caring for seniors. Developed in 2006, offers over 300 free online training programs for caregivers of older adults. Thousands of viewers have taken Web courses, read blogs or watched online videos about geriatric care. One such program is a series called “Ask the Geriatrician,” developed to address the shortage of geriatric physicians available to older adults and their caregivers in the United States. Geriatricians specialize in preventing and treating health issues in adults ages 65 and older, yet many caregivers never have an opportunity to speak with one. bridges the gap between seniors, caregivers and physicians with online training and educational videos that improve the quality of care received by older adults.

LeadingAge is a national association comprised of non-profit organizations that provide services to seniors. To expand the world of possibilities for aging, LeadingAge members and affiliates touch the lives of 4 million individuals, families, employees and volunteers every day. The LeadingAge community ( includes 6,000 not-for-profit organizations in the United States, 39 state partners, hundreds of businesses, research partners, consumer organizations, foundations and a broad global network of aging services organizations that reach over 30 countries.

Maria Wellisch, V.P. of Corporate Training, will present on Online Education and Training for Caregivers on Sunday, October 27, 2013 between 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. at the LeadingAge Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas.

About Morningside Ministries
Morningside Ministries is San Antonio’s oldest and largest not-for profit, faith-based, senior care organization dedicated with the specific mission of “Caring For Those Who Cared For Us.” Morningside Ministries has served the San Antonio community since 1961 with Morningside Ministries at the Meadows, Morningside Ministries at The Manor and Morningside Ministries at Chandler Estate. In May of 2004, Morningside Ministries extended the ministry to induce Morningside Ministries at Menger Springs in Boerne. Today we continue to serve over 800 residents in retirement, assisted living, nursing and memory care and a senior community center.

Water conservation success!

180x150-SAWSBy Mark A. Peterson

Ever wondered if it’s possible to save money, water and still have an aesthetically pleasing landscape? One glance at the North San Antonio Chamber Headquarters and the answer is a definite yes.

SAWSpic1In June 2011, the North SA Chamber participated in the Commercial Irrigation Design Rebate program. Together with SAWS staff, Chamber personnel determined that capping one zone and converting six zones to multi-stream rotating heads would reduce water consumption considerably.

SAWSpic2In 2010, their annual consumption was about 350,000 gallons — or an average of 29,000 gallons of water per month. After the retrofits were completed in June 2011, consumption per month dropped to 16,830 gallons over 12 months. Comparing 2010 to 2012, consumption was reduced by 69 percent.

As part of SAWS rebate program, customers receive monthly e-mails on their conservation progress. This helps the customer and SAWS monitor water usage throughout the year and discover potential savings or system malfunctions.

Another key feature of SAWS rebate program is the performance criteria, or recommended water use. Initially the customer’s account is credited a percentage of the rebate and then water usage is monitored for 12 months. If water use meets or is less than the recommended water use, the customer receives the remaining percentage of the rebate.

For more information on the Commercial Irrigation Design Rebate, or other rebate programs visit our website at Or, call us at 210-704-SAVE.

For minor illnesses and injuries, urgent care may provide quicker, more affordable alternative to emergency rooms

Humana KenMalcolmson1

Humana green logoBy Ken Malcolmson
Regional CEO of the Employer Group Business Segment, Humana’s West Region

When people are sick or injured – whether bogged down by the flu or dealing with a sprained ankle – the last thing they want to do is wait to get better. Not realizing that there are other options, however, many patients go straight to hospital emergency rooms (ER), where the average wait time is nearly an hour and average visit time is more than four hours. [i]

Wait times are likely to get worse, due to about seven percent of ERs nationwide being forced to close in the past 10 years and about 90 percent of the rooms either at or over capacity.[ii]  ER visits have increased by 32 percent over the past decade, according to statistics from the Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA).[iii] And, the number of people seeking care will only increase due to an influx in individuals expected to enter the health care system over the next few years.

Depending on the health condition and situation, patients should consider going to one of the many urgent care centers located in San Antonio, which are often faster, less expensive and more accessible, while providing personalized care.

At urgent care centers, which increased in number nationwide by more than 16 percent from 2008 to 2012, wait times are usually less than 20 minutes, no appointments are necessary and parking is convenient. [iv], [v] Most offer extended weekend and evening hours and some, like Humana’s Concentra, can connect with a patient’s primary physician to share information about the visit and create a greater continuum of care.

Going to the ER – or calling 911 – is the right course of action for life-threatening situations where patients exhibit severe symptoms or have a serious injury or illnesses, including head trauma, chest pain, loss of consciousness and severe burns. However, research shows up to half of ER visits usually don’t require an ER.[vi] Fortunately, urgent care centers provide quality service for common injuries and illnesses, such as ear infections, strep throat, cuts requiring stitches, minor burns and most other non-life-threatening problems. Additionally, urgent care centers are increasingly offering diagnostic testing and flu immunizations.

Urgent care centers, which accept most insurance, Medicare and cash payments, can also provide a considerable service to patients’ wallets. The cost for medical care at these centers is, on average, six times less than receiving the same care at an ER, according to the UCAOA.[vii] Insured patients often have lower co-pays and out-of-pocket costs, and non-insured patients who choose urgent care over ERs can also see about 80 percent in cost savings. For example, treatment for an ear infection typically costs about $60 at an urgent care facility, while the same service costs about $320 at an ER.

In all, San Antonio residents are encouraged to visit urgent care centers for timely and affordable care. Anybody interested in guidelines on when it is best to go to an urgent care center and when an emergency room is recommended can visit Understanding the differences will help you make the right decision for you and your family.

Ken Malcolmson is the chief executive officer of Humana’s West Region, where he is responsible for the overall management and strategic planning for the company’s Employer Group benefit products in a 14-state region.

[i]  CDC: Wait Time for Treatment in Hospital Emergency Departments –

[ii]  American College of Emergency Physicians –

[iii]  Urgent Care Association of America –

[iv]  Kaiser Health News –

[vii]  Urgent Care Association of America – 2010 Urgent Care Benchmarking Survey Results (no link available)

St. Mary’s University unveils Mechanical Engineering Program

StMarys_StackedLogo_WhiteSt. Mary’s University has established an undergraduate Mechanical Engineering program, which received Southern Association of Colleges and Schools approval in August.

St. Mary’s is one of two institutions in San Antonio to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. What makes the St. Mary’s offering unique is its Catholic, liberal arts emphasis that educates the whole person.

“I am pleased to see Mechanical Engineering, one of the oldest and most fundamental of engineering disciplines, come to St. Mary’s,” said Winston Erevelles, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Science, Engineering and Technology. “This program will allow us to serve the needs of a broad range of constituencies including the energy, biomedical manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, semiconductor and HVAC sectors that are critical to our region and the nation.”

Jobs for mechanical engineers are expected to increase 9 percent from 2010-2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a jump of 62 percent in biomedical engineering jobs.

Other signature features of the program are a required internship, a senior design project sponsored by industry, and preparation for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam – the first step toward becoming a licensed engineer. Unlike many other institutions, St. Mary’s houses its engineering disciplines in one synergistic department, allowing students and faculty to work together in multidisciplinary teams.

In designing the program, the School of Science, Engineering and Technology consulted with organizations including CPS Energy, Southwest Research Institute, Caterpillar, the National Renewable Energy Lab and the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment to learn what knowledge and skills they expect their employees to possess.

St. Mary’s also offers Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Software Engineering, Engineering Management and Engineering Science programs.

The Mechanical Engineering program is important to achieve the vision for the School of Science, Engineering and Technology and to foster excellence in STEM education – a vital part of the Gateway Strategic Plan, which calls for the University’s increased role as a partner in the region’s bright future, Erevelles said.

St. Mary’s University repeatedly has been nationally recognized for its commitment to service and community engagement. The Carnegie Foundation has given St. Mary’s its prestigious Community Engagement Classification, and St. Mary’s has received the Presidential Award from the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition for service in higher education. St. Mary’s University is a Catholic and Marianist university with a tradition of academic excellence.

Musi leads Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies

UTHealth_BarshopCenterNew director says a top priority is translation of discoveries to patient care

UTHealthScience_MusiNNicolas Musi, M.D., a physician-scientist in the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, became director of the Health Science Center’s world-recognized Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies, effective Sept. 1.

Dr. Musi, professor of medicine and a faculty physician with UT Medicine San Antonio, joined the Health Science Center in 2003. He occupies the Sam and Ann Barshop Endowed Chair in Translational Research and directs the Center for Healthy Aging within the Barshop Institute, and is director of the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center within the South Texas Veterans Health Care System. Fellowship-trained in endocrinology and metabolism at the Joslin Diabetes Center of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Musi sees diabetes patients on a weekly basis while conducting translational research that focuses on aging and metabolism and the cellular and molecular effects of exercise.

“I want to make sure that the Barshop Institute maintains and even enhances its stature as one of the leading institutes in the basic biology of aging,” Dr. Musi said. “As we do this, we will have a more comprehensive program that will include a strong translational component to move the research conducted at the lab bench and apply it at the bedside.”

David Weiss, Ph.D., vice president for research at the Health Science Center, stated: “Dr. Musi has an exceedingly well-funded research program. Although his emphasis is on research, he also provides patient care and is an attending physician at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System and University Hospital. Dr. Musi has the credentials, experience, vision and demeanor to not just maintain, but advance, the already stellar reputation of the Barshop Institute.”

Dr. Musi is succeeding Arlan G. Richardson, Ph.D., the founding director of the Barshop Institute. The institute, established in 2001 to coalesce the many investigators studying aspects of aging and age-related diseases at the Health Science Center, perennially is among the leaders in National Institute on Aging grants in the basic biology of aging. The institute is also riding the crest of a wave of good news.

William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, president of the Health Science Center, recently announced the Texas Legislature’s approval of $4 million in exceptional-item funding over the 2014-2015 biennium to establish a Translational Aging Research Program within the Barshop Institute. This program will focus its efforts on developing the strategies, personnel, infrastructure and study populations to evaluate whether interventions targeting the fundamental processes of aging can delay the onset of chronic diseases and disabilities in humans.

The National Institute on Aging in July announced a $3.4 million training grant to the Barshop Institute. The five-year grant will enable 10 graduate students and six postdoctoral fellows to pursue novel research on the basic biology of aging. It is the largest training grant of its kind in the biology of aging in the country.

Existing programs will continue, Dr. Musi noted, including the Comparative Biology of Aging Program, which uses species’ differences in aging rate as an investigative tool to try to understand what mechanisms govern the rate of aging; the San Antonio Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging, which serves as a core resource for scientists; and the Interventions Testing Program, which evaluates treatment strategies such as the drug rapamycin that are likely to prevent or delay adverse age-dependent changes in cells and tissues and to diminish the burden of disease in old age. Each of these programs is funded by the NIA and other sources.

The Center for Healthy Aging, which continues under Dr. Musi’s leadership, is progressing toward becoming a center of excellence for integrated, interdisciplinary geriatric care, translational and clinical research, and geriatrics and gerontology education.

All endeavors add up to the overall goal: making lives better.

“The individuals working at the Barshop Institute will be dedicated to realizing the vision of a world where people live long and enjoyable lives,” Dr. Musi said.

Dr. Musi received his M.D. degree with honors from Universidad Anahuac in Mexico City in 1995. He then completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Miami.

For current news from the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, please visit our news release website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 29,000 graduates. The $762.2 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit

Capital Group associates help millions prepare for retirement … and invest in their own future

Capital Group_vertical_Color_Large_600Capital Group, one of the world’s largest investment firms with more than $1 trillion in assets under management, helps millions of people around the world invest through pensions and retirement plan accounts.

So, how do associates, whose job is helping others invest, plan for retirement? Capital associates likely have more in their nest egg than the general population. According to Aon Hewitt, the average Capital associate’s retirement account held nearly $300,000 at the end of 2012—compared to a national average of $81,000.*

“Something about working in the industry makes us keenly aware of the need to prepare for retirement,” shares Erika Ivanyi, Co-General Manager of Capital’s San Antonio office. “We’re also fortunate to have a very generous company-sponsored retirement plan.”

The firm contributes 15% of total annual compensation (up to regulatory limits) into each associate’s retirement plan.

How well do associates at this investment management firm invest? The median rate of return for Capital associates in 2012 was 15.7%—compared to the industry average of 11.9%*.

For Capital associates, retirement is all in a day’s work.

*Aon Hewitt 2013 ICB Summary

Thinking about applying for a small business loan? Consider opportunities through SBA Lending

AmegyBank_RGB_rWhether they are starting a new business, expanding an existing one or simply need additional working capital, many business owners are utilizing credit to grow their businesses. There are many ways to structure financing, but one option that has grown in popularity in recent years is SBA lending.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency that supports small businesses through a variety channels, such as education, disaster relief assistance and its most widely known resource: SBA loan programs. The SBA does not provide loans directly, but guarantees default against a specific portion of the loans made by banks and other lenders that follow the SBA guidelines. These loans are intended to assist businesses that may not be able to acquire financing under traditional terms.

The two most popular types of SBA loans are the 504 and 7a programs; both of which can be used by small businesses of all kinds.  Money acquired through 504 loans must be used to improve the community and economy. These loans may be used to purchase real estate, finance construction, or purchase equipment with the goal of helping the business to create jobs. Because these loans are applied to the treasury market, interest rates are typically fixed. Loan amounts are usually capped at $5 million.

Financing secured through 7a loans can be used for the same purposes as 504 loans; however, 7a loans may also be used for working capital, to open lines of credit and, in some cases, refinancing. These loans are tied to the prime rate, so interest rates tend to be variable. Loan amounts are typically capped at $1 million.  There are advantages to both loan programs, and selecting the right one for your business will depend on many factors, including how much collateral the owner has, how much money is needed and the purpose of the financing, to name a few.

Business owners are using SBA loans for a variety of purposes, including starting a new business, acquiring another business, refinancing, construction, as well as the purchasing of real estate, equipment and supplies.

The SBA does have some requirements that must be met in order to qualify for one of the loan programs, such as limits to the number of employees a business has and the total annual revenue the business makes. The business must also be independently owned and operated. Loan terms like the amount of the loan and the interest rate will vary. Specific requirements will also depend on the industry of the business, type of loan and the project the loan will finance.

Remember, applying for a loan can be a complex process, and there are many financing options available today for businesses. Business owners should talk to their banker to find out if they meet SBA eligibility requirements and determine if SBA loans are the right fit for their business.

Amegy Bank is a leading Texas bank with more than $12 billion in assets. Founded in 1990, Amegy has a strong tradition of relationship banking, local decision making and financial expertise. Amegy specializes in banking businesses of all sizes, and has the resources to provide financing, investment management, treasury management solutions, international banking, as well as other specialized services. Equally important, the Bank offers individuals and families a wide range of depository, lending, mortgage, wealth management, trust and brokerage services. With more than 80 locations across Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, Amegy is dedicated to serving Texas communities, families and businesses. To learn more about Amegy, visit