Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital Exemplifies Quality, Comprehensive Healthcare for Women

COVER STORY  | By M.G. Angulo  | Photos by Mary Favre.

When award-winning, comprehensive and quality women’s health care is of the utmost importance, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital is at the top of the list — and for good reason. From pelvic health, maternity and breast care to menopause, bone health and heart health, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land extends leading healthcare technology, expertise and healing for women of all ages in Fort Bend County.

Teresa Criswell, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services, said, “Having comprehensive, full services close to home is convenient with the busy lifestyles of the modern woman. We are busy working and taking care of our families. This allows us to also take care of ourselves more easily and conveniently.”

Enriching the Maternity Experience

Memorial Hermann Sugar Land ensures every woman has a positive, memorable experience at its Birthing Center. The Birthing Center features private and comfortable labor and delivery suites, as well as dedicated labor and delivery nurses who care for the mother during the birthing process. Following delivery, the Family Life Center provides individualized nursing care for mothers and newborns.

From the moment a mother is registered with the hospital, she receives extensive information detailing what to expect during pregnancy and childbirth, resources and educational classes along with breastfeeding support through one-on-one specialized lactation care available for every mother.  The hospital has been designated as a Texas Ten Step facility for the past eight years for its efforts supporting the health of breastfeeding mothers and their children.

Other services include physician-administered anesthesiology, available 24 hours a day, a Level II-B Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a Level II nursery providing 24-hour neonatal care.

High-Risk Pregnancy Clinic

Dina Cavazos, RN; Amy Francis, RN; Stacie Ramirez, RN and Amanda Bagley, RN.

Should concerns arise during a woman’s pregnancy, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land offers high-risk pregnancy care through maternal-fetal medicine specialists who offer advanced services in the management and care for moms-to-be with high-risk pregnancy conditions or current medical complications — as well as babies diagnosed with fetal anomalies.

High-risk obstetrical patients have access to services, such as prenatal testing, genetic consultation, pre-pregnancy counseling and specialized fetal care. Diagnostic testing includes comprehensive and targeted fetal ultrasound, amniocentesis, fetal biophysical profile, non-stress tests, umbilical artery Doppler studies, DNA and enzyme analysis and specialized laboratory diagnostics.

Supporting Menopause, Bone and Heart Health

Menopause is a phase all women will experience, which is why Memorial Hermann Sugar Land devotes itself to identifying menopause symptoms and offering treatment options.

Although menopause traditionally occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, many women begin experiencing symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and irritation, urinary incontinence, urinary tract infections and moodiness two to eight years before menopause.  To assist women through this change, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land offers options from self-care methods to Hormone Replacement Therapy.

Preventing and Treating the “Silent Epidemic”

Osteoporosis is often referred to as the “silent epidemic,” because research shows nearly 50 percent of postmenopausal women have osteoporosis and do not know it.

Although the effects of osteoporosis are typically identified later in life, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land helps educate women on instilling healthy habits, such as proper diet, supplemental calcium and exercise to minimize the risk of suffering from this disease. The hospital’s Imaging Center is also equipped with state-of-the-art technology to perform bone density testing through Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (Dexa).

Addressing the Greatest Health Threat

Michelle Collins, Manager, Pedi IMU; Vise Osial; Dina Cavazos, RN;
Rebecca Joest, Manager, Women’s Services; Megan Bentley; Stacie Ramirez, RN; Beena George; Kartar Diner and Ann Kingrey, Nurse Navigator.

While heart disease is deemed as the greatest health threat for women — heart disease and stroke are listed as the No. 1 and No. 3 threats, respectively — only 13 percent of women even consider their heart health.

At Memorial Hermann’s Heart & Vascular Institute, a team of world-renowned affiliated cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, clinicians, researchers and educators are developing and perfecting innovative techniques to treat any heart disease or condition, including: atrial fibrillation, arrhythmia, heart failure, peripheral artery disease, congenital heart disease and aortic aneurysm.

The affiliated heart and vascular specialists also offer a broad spectrum of comprehensive and advanced evidence-based services like cardiac rehabilitation, minimally invasive valve surgery, vascular surgery, heart transplant and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).


Obstetric Emergency Center

Sharon Smith, RN and Ann Kingrey, Nurse Navigator.

Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital has opened a 24/7 Obstetrical (OB) Emergency Center providing expectant mothers and families in the area round-the-clock access to specialized care.

“The needs of mother and baby in a medical emergency can vary drastically and may be impacted by any number of unique factors that aren’t present in a typical adult or pediatric emergency room visit,” said Teresa Criswell, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services. “Our OB ER gives patients immediate access to a physician and staff who can best meet their healthcare needs.”

The Family Life Center patient room.

Common reasons to visit the OB ER are suspected pre-term labor, vaginal bleeding, complications related to high-risk pregnancy, infection, pelvic pain and abdominal pain. An average of 150 pregnant patients visit the Memorial Hermann Sugar Land obstetrical triage each month.

The Memorial Hermann Sugar Land OB ER is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week with dedicated nurses and a McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) OB/GYN hospitalist team.  Beyond providing immediate care, the OB ER staff can consult, coordinate and communicate with the patient’s OB/GYN when possible. Patients should notify their OB/GYN prior to coming to the OB ER, if possible.

“In order to provide the best care possible, it’s really important to work with a patient’s dedicated OB/GYN to gain a better overall understanding of all health aspects of the pregnancy,” Criswell said. “That interaction with the patient’s OB/GYN ultimately ensures the best possible outcome for the mother and the baby.”

Advanced Breast Care Services

Through a combination of advanced technology and specialized radiologists, patients are routinely provided with high-quality, patient-centered treatment at Memorial Hermann’s Breast Care Center.

Developed as a partnership with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, with interpretation and consultation services provided by affiliated, subspecialized, fellowship-trained breast radiologists from MD Anderson, the hospital’s Breast Care Center provides breast MRI, biopsy and ultrasound, screening, diagnostic mammograms and 3-D mammograms. Breast radiologists interpret all the tests and assist in precise diagnosis and effective treatment and follow-up for breast cancer patients.

In addition to the expertise of affiliated board-certified physicians and advanced technologies, patients at the Breast Care Center are privy to the comfort of a spa-like environment with private changing rooms and a women’s only waiting area with refreshments and even warmed robes. Breast Care Center patients benefit from having access to a team of specialists in oncology, radiology and surgery, along with a range of breast services in one location.

Customized Care: The Pelvic Health Program

For women who have pelvic floor disorders, such as urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, over active bladder and pelvic organ prolapse, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land offers a holistic approach to these common yet controllable issues.

Nearly 25 percent of women in the United States are affected by these issues, according to the National Institutes of Health, which is why Memorial Hermann Sugar Land features a Pelvic Health Program Team — which includes two affiliated physicians, fellowship-trained in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery — whose sole purpose is to make sure these issues do not become a way of life for patients.

Memorial Hermann Sugar Land’s Pelvic Floor Health Program features multidisciplinary teams of specialists and comprehensive, state-of-the-art imaging and diagnostic services and treatment programs. With this program, specialists have the ability to not only identify a patient’s disorder but to also created a customized plan of care, which can include minimally invasive, outpatient procedures, treatments and therapies aimed at improving quality of life for patients.

Knowing Where to Begin

To assist women with questions or guidance about their health concerns, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land offers a Women’s Service Nurse Navigator.

“It is a joy to use my skills and many years of experience in women’s health care to guide women through options, answer questions and provide one-on-one assistance,” said Kingrey. “Whether patients need help with appointment scheduling, information about available resources or something else, having a single point of contact to navigate them through the process not only improves their overall experience, it can relieve stress and save time. And for most patients, it’s comforting to know they have someone knowledgeable and helpful to reach out to and speak with.”

To schedule an appointment or learn more about women’s services at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, call 281.725.5PFD (5733). Memorial Hermann Sugar Land is located at 17500 West Grand Parkway South, Sugar Land, Texas 77479.