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Posts published in “Day: September 11, 2001

HCC graduate pursues opportunities in field of surgical technology

Stella Trimble entered Houston Community College’s Surgical Technology Program in 1972 after die age of 40. Her new career began when she became a Certified Surgical Technologist in 1974.

Surgical technologists, also called O.R. techs or scrub nurses, are well-trained professionals who provide valuable support before, during and after operations. Surgical technologists help to prepare the operating room, assuring that instruments, equipment and supplies are sterilized and in working order. They also ready patients for surgery by prepping the incision area, transporting patients to the operating room, taking vital signs, and helping the surgical team scrub and put on their protective gear. During surgery, surgical technologists1 provide an additional set of trained hands for everything from passing instruments to surgeons to maintaining the supply of blood for the patient.

“Initially surgical technologists were only trained on the job, then formal classes were offered,” said Trimble. “Today, students must graduate from an accredited program to be allowed to take the national certification exam.”

Hospitals employ the majority of trained surgical techs (ST), while many STs find work with clinics, private practices and staffing agencies. Trimble has worked as a surgical technologist at local hospitals, surgery centers and in private doctors’ offices, including those of an oral surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon, but she has also followed other opportunities in the field.

“Since 1996 I’ve been an instructor in Houston Community College’s Surgical Technology Program,” said Trimble. “I tell my students ‘always think of the patient first’ and I encourage them to use their critical thinking abilities.”

Trimble has also served on the Liaison Council on Certification for the Surgical Technologist (1990-1996) and is an inspector for the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
I travel all over the country to inspect programs that are applying for accreditation and ensure that accredited programs are upholding the standards of the industry,” said Trimble. “Being an inspector is not the only opportunity for travel in the field, many STs work with agencies that recruit staff for hospitals and clinics across the country. They work on a contract basis and can choose where and for how long they stay on an assignment.”

Salaries have improved as hospitals have learned to value educated and certified surgical techs. Nationwide, the demand for surgical techs is as high as the demand for nurses and will likely remain high as the country’s population ages and the number of surgical procedures grows.

Historical clothing, Hispanic Celebration at Jones Park

For those people interested in times of long ago, this weekend is sure to be an enlightening one, as Jesse H. Jones Park &. Nature Center presents a pair of programs for the historically minded. Saturday, September 15 at 10 a.m. the park features a Historical Clothing Open House. And Sunday, September 16 at 2 p.m. the stage comes alive with folkloric dancers and Mariachis to commemorate Dies y Seis de Septiembre.

If you’ve been interested in getting into the spirit of Jones Park’s annual festivals – Pionecr Day Saturday, November 3, and Texas Heritage Day each spring – but you aren’t quite sure how to go about it, a good starting point is to develop a time period correct costume. And what better way to get some ideas than a Historical Clothing Open House? Saturday, September 15 from 10 am, to noon, visit with authentically outfitted re-enactors as they demonstrate the types of clothing and accessories worn during a variety of time periods. Representatives of various local re-enactment groups portray the accoutrements of the War of 1812, early Texas pioneers, Civil War soldiers and the 1870s Texas Cowboy era.

Sunday, September 16 beginning at 2 p.m., come and join the fun as Jones Park celebrates Dies y Seis de Septiembre. The outdoor stage resounds with the delightful music and dancing of folkloric dancers and Mariachis to celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain. Visitors can make their own maracas and enjoy Hispanic finger foods, or bring a picnic lunch for a festive afternoon of cultural entertainment.

Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, a Harris County Precinct 4 facility, is located at 20634 Kenswick Drive in Humble. All programs are free of charge and open to the public. For more information on the park or any of its programs, call 281-446-8588.

Tops open house, September 27th

TOPS # TX 547 will be holding a free open house, Thursday evening, September 27th at 7 p.m. at the Polish Home located 103 Cooper. (1 block east of Parker at Airline) Everyone wanting to lose weight or just maintain their weight, is invited to attend our open house to see what TOPS Club, Inc. has to offer. For more information, please call Lynn at 832-593-6847 or Reva at 281-445-1673
TOPS, a non-profit weight loss support organization, offers group support at its very best: Fun and informative meetings, monthly contests and incentives, awards and recognition for losing weight, monthly TOPS NEWS magazine, annual conventions and lots of caring and sharing!

As you follow your personal physician’s diet and exercise plan, TOPS gives you the encouragement and support you need to reach your goal weight. For information on other TOPS chapters call 1-800-932-8677.

Cleanup of Spring Cemetery planned for the fall

A cleanup of the historic Spring Cemetery located at 26206 Aldine Westfield Road is being planned for several dates in the fall.

The initial restoration of the cemetery was begun in 1999 by a group of North Harris College Honors students.

The Spring Historical and Genealogical Society has now joined the restoration efforts in preparation for the installation of a Texas Historical Landmark, which was awarded to the cemetery by the Texas Historical Commission in August of 2000.
Information about the project is on display at the Spring Historical Museum. Photographs and additional information concerning the cemetery is currently being sought. Please call Maryann Readal at 281-618-5497 for further information.

Applying to college online: tips from an insider

As more and more admissions departments are allowing – even encouraging – students to fill out online applications, applying to college can seem almost as easy as sending an e-mail.

You can go straight to a college’s Web site to apply, rather than waiting for a form to arrive in the mail. You don’t have to worry about your messy handwriting or inability to use a typewriter. And neatness is no longer a concern – you can’t accidentally spill a cup of coffee on an online application.

Still, there are some pitfalls to watch out for, warns Ted O’Neill, Dean of College Admissions at the University of Chicago and a nationally known admissions expert.

“Electronic communication is characterized by both speed and informality,” says O’Neill. “It seems very ephemeral, but a college application is not an ephemeral document. Thinking of it that way can hurt your chances of admission.”

Before you hit the “send” button, O’Neill says, here are some key points to consider:

• Do take the application essay seriously. You will probably need to write several drafts before your essay is ready to submit. Remember, it’s not an e-mail, so don’t be tempted to use sentence fragments or colloquial language.

• Do proofread your work carefully. Even minor proofreading errors make a poor impression on admissions officers. Since it can be difficult to spot errors on-screen, print your completed application and proofread the hard copy.

• Don’t limit your communication to electronic media. If you need to ask questions or discuss special problems, feel free to contact the admissions office by phone or letter.

• Don’t submit the same application to a number of different colleges. “You wouldn’t do that if you were looking for a job,” says O’Neill. “Just as every company is different, every college is different. When students apply to the University of Chicago, we want to know they’re writing to us.”

• Don’t wait until the very last day to submit your application. Online communication may be instant – but not if your computer crashes or the server is down.

• Don’t worry about whether your application was received. Many colleges will issue you a password so you can check the status of your application online.

• Don’t rely entirely on the Web for information – choosing the right college is much too important. Be sure to request a college brochure (known as a “viewbook”), which will include more information than the college’s Web site. Even better, visit the colleges that interest you, says O’Neill: “A virtual tour is no substitute for a real tour.”

Houston CPAs sponsor tax relief seminars for flood victims

The Houston Chapter Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants will sponsor three evening seminars on tax issues concerning disasters in areas hardest hit by flooding. Representatives of the Internal Revenue Service, Texas Workforce Commission, Harris County Appraisal District and Harris County Flood Control District will participate in the panel discussion format, followed by questions and answers.

The seminars will be 7:30-9 p.m. at each location: Sept. 18, St. Peter’s Claver Catholic Church, 6005 N. Wayside near Sims Bayou; Sept. 19, Northwest Assistance Ministries, 15555 Kuykendahl in northwest Houston and Sept. 20, at First Baptist Church of Friendswood, III East Heritage, Friendswood.

“The CPAs will be describing the documentation needed and requirements necessary for a taxpayer to take disaster losses on his tax return” said Harrie Marie Pollok Operhall, chairman of the taxation-special projects committee and an independent CPA with a practice in southwest Houston. “We also will be helping taxpayers determine whether to file amended returns for 2000 or take the loss in 2001.”
Government representatives will discuss relief available through the various taxing authorities.
For more information about the seminars or the Houston CPA Chapter please call 713-622-7733 or visit the chapter’s website at www.houtscva.otg.

The 8,200 member Houston CPA Chapter, with members in 13 surrounding counties, is the third largest local organization of CPAs in the nation. The Houston Chapter has donated millions of dollars to Make-A-Wish through its golf tournament and to other youth charities through its charity event. In addition to providing professional education to its members, the Houston Chapter also delivers toys to 5,000-6,000 children each year through Santa CPAs and supports education. Each spring the Houston CPAs provide free tax help to disadvantaged citizens, including those with low income, physical impairments, non-English-speaking ability or elderly status.

They provide ongoing help to other nonprofit organizations by lending skills to charity auctions, tallying results for KUHT-TV public television drives and providing accounting advice.

New criminal laws adopted to increase public safety

Notable Texas criminal laws that took effect September 1:

•SB 656 abolishes the statute of limitations for sexual assault-if DNA was collected and tested during the investigation without identifying a named suspect. It also increases the statute of limitations from five to 10 years for other sexual assaults.

•SB 1380 requires DPS to use a registered sex offender’s driver license photograph for the registered sex offender Web site and post card notification projects. It also requires sex offenders who are subject to registration to submit DNA samples to the DPS DNA database.

•SB 654 requires sex offenders to disclose which professional licenses they currently hold or intend to seek, and directs DPS to forward that information to the appropriate licensing agency.

•SB 199 creates a state offense (Class A misdemeanor) for possession of a firearm for an individual under a protective order or convicted of certain family violence offenses. (This is already a federal offense.)

•SB 139 adds e-mail, fax or pager harassment to the existing prohibition on telephone and written harassment. (Class B misdemeanor). It also increases the penalty for stalking from a Class A misdemeanor to a third degree felony.

•SB 68 adds “dating violence” to the family violence protective order statute. (Minimum Class A misdemeanor.)

•SB 18 prohibits interference with an emergency telephone call by threats or damage to the telephone. (Minimum Class A misdemeanor.)

•HB 587 expands the definition of “hate crimes.” It clarifies that the law applies to race, color, disability, religion, national origin (or ancestry), age, gender or sexual preference-when it is determined to be the reason a victim or their property was targeted in a crime. In those cases, the punishment can be enhanced one level under certain circumstances. The bill also provides for a “hate crimes” protective order.

•HB 195 requires a copy of an investigative report to be sent to DPS for analysis if the investigation involves thefts or frauds targeting the elderly.

•HB 3351 makes it an offense to possess chemicals with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance (i.e. methamphetamine, crack cocaine, ecstasy). Punishments vary.

•HB 776 creates a new database that will be used to record verified threats made against peace officers. It will be part of DPS’ Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC) and will be electronically available through TLETS (Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunications System) to all peace officers in the course of their routine duties.

•SB 795 provides for asset forfeiture for the profits received from the sale of notorious crime memorabilia.

•HB 84 makes it a third degree felony for a convicted felon to possess metal or body armor that is obviously designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of protecting a person against gunfire.

•SB 1074 defines and prohibits racial profiling, setting forth broad guidelines for data collection on law enforcement traffic and pedestrian stops. If a statewide bond issue is approved by voters in November, DPS will administer an $18.5 million grant to provide funding for county and municipal police agencies to purchase audio and video equipment to record traffic and pedestrian stops.

•HB 1925 makes it a third degree felony to possess most weapons, including an illegal knife or club, within 1,000 feet of a place of execution on the day of the scheduled execution.

•SB 214 increases the statute of limitations from three to 10 years for injury to a child, elderly individual or disabled individual. The texts of these bills can be found at Select the enrolled version.

Hillcrest United Methodist Church

Perhaps you did not know the Methodist Women at Hillcrest are a bunch of sew and sews. They meet at Hillcrest on Wednesday mornings to make quilts and other unique crafts. Here Orine Greer and Frances Ridings put their loving touches on a quilt. If you would like to do quilting or crafting, you’ll be happy with this group. Hillcrest membership is not required. Hillcrest UMC, 4234 Mount Houston Road, at 9:30 a.m. almost every Wednesday. For more information, call Pastor Jacks at 281-852-3210 or 832-721-7462.

Who’s the Celebrity?

Can anything more newsworthy occur at Worsham Elementary? Well, with new Principal Norma Leza at its helm, Worsham has an added layer of celebrity-status.

On August 13, 2001, the first day of school, Principal Norma Leza was interviewed on campus by Good Morning America.

Norma Leza’s heroic climb from migrant worker to college graduate with two Master’s degrees is a powerful testimony for all.

With a spirit of inclusiveness, Norma embraces Aldine Independent School District’s 2001-2002 Vision of Producing the Nation’s Best Students by daily imbuing students and parents with her “CAN DO, WILL DEMONSTRATE ACADEMIC AND SOCIAL EXCELLENCE MOTTO!”

Principal Norma Leza begins the school day with her curbside greeting of staff, parents, and students. Next, Principal Leza visits the classrooms and further challenges students to excel before retreating to her office to handle other administrative duties.

“I want my students, families, and staff to know that they are high achievers who will make a difference and I applaud their best efforts!” says Principal Leza. She places the spotlight on both the academic and social excellence of her students.
Hurry, you probably want to get an autograph from Principal Leza and her students!

Grantham presents Parenting Skills Workshop

Michael W. Jones, a Channel 2 Saturday morning newscaster, will present a special “Parenting Skills” workshop at Grantham Academy for Engineering on Tuesday, September 18th at 7:00 p.m.
The focus of the program will be effectively parenting your teen/adolescent to create positive outcomes. All parents, guardians, and grandparents are cordially invited to attend this informative session.

For more information you may call 281-985-6590.