Prenatal care at Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic

What is prenatal care?

Prenatal care is the health care you get while you are pregnant. Take care of yourself and your baby by:

  • Getting early prenatal care. If you know you’re pregnant, or think you might be, call 713-674-3326 to schedule a visit.
  • Getting regular prenatal care. Your doctors will schedule you for many checkups over the course of your pregnancy. Don’t miss any — they are all important.
  • Following your doctor’s advice.

Schedule a prenatal appointment today

Dr. Magdalena Brooks joins Vecino Health Centers to lead prenatal care

If Dr. Magdalena Brooks had just one message for young women as they step into adulthood, it would be this: “Good care, even before getting pregnant, is really important. Caring for yourself before pregnancy minimizes the risk for complications.”  

A native speaker of both Spanish and English, Dr. Magdalena Brooks brings expertise in prenatal care to Vecino Health Centers

Dr. Brooks is a native speaker of both Spanish and English and an expert in prenatal care and women’s health. She joins Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic to increase the options for patients who want prenatal care right at the clinic.

An accomplished family medicine practitioner and obstetrician, Dr. Brooks served most recently as Director of Women’s Health and Maternity Care and Faculty Physician for Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program/Memorial Hermann Hospital System.  

More services for pregnancy and birth now at Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic 

Thanks to Dr. Brooks’ leadership, most patients can now get all of their prenatal care right at Denver Harbor Family Clinic. Ultrasounds are available in-house, and many patients with higher-risk pregnancies can continue their care at the clinic. Patients needing c-sections can now also continue their prenatal care at Denver Harbor.

After pregnancy, patients can also get help with postpartum depression and other postpartum care through behavioral health services at the clinic.

Vecino’s Denver Harbor Clinic is now accepting new and existing patients for family planning, pregnancy, and postpartum care. To schedule an appointment with Vecino’s Prenatal Services call 713-674-3326.

Get Care Program

Vecino Health Center’s Get Care program is all about removing the financial barriers that can get in the way of receiving regular health care.

If you’ve become unemployed by the pandemic, we’re here for you! 

Patients enrolled in Get Care can receive medical and counseling services through telehealth or at Vecino’s clinics, as well as in-clinic dental care, without worrying about how much it’s going to cost.

Once enrolled, fees for care are established on a sliding scale, based on your current financial situation.

What’s more, you may be eligible for medical and other health coverage, but knowing your options can be very challenging. We’ll help you understand and apply for the benefits that are available to you.

Get Care and Stay Well!

We care about your health. It’s especially important to make it a priority during these uncertain times of COVID-19. There’s no reason to delay your health care if you’re unemployed.

Call 713-674-3326, or enter your name, and email or phone in the form below and an eligibility specialist will contact you to start the application process.

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Privacy policy: We will only use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information.

What is prenatal care?

Here it comes

Prenatal care is the health care women get when they are pregnant, and it is the foundation for a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery. 

When you are expecting, you need this special care and attention to make sure you and your baby are healthy and strong.

You’ll find the the quality of prenatal care at Vecino is among the best you’ll find anywhere in Houston. And, we’re close to home. We look forward to getting to know you!

Schedule a prenatal appointment today

Safety protocols for prenatal care during COVID-19

In-person prenatal care is important for a healthy pregancy and healthy baby.

A full range of safety protocols are continuously updated to protect patients and staff at Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic. They include:

  • Any patient who is suspected to have been exposed to the coronavirus is isolated from other patients.
  • Check-ins for appointments are by phone and patients can wait in their vehicles for their appointment.
  • Masks are provided and are required of all staff and patients.
  • Social distancing is enforced throughout the clinic.
  • When possible, some appointments will be conducted virtually through our telemedicine platform.

What happens a prenatal exam?

Your first prenatal appointment will probably be a long one. Your provider will give you a complete checkup and will check your blood and urine to confirm the pregnancy and calculate your due date. Depending on how far along you are, your doctor may also perform your first ultrasound to check the baby’s heartbeat.

Other things you can expect at your prenatal appointment include:

  • Your providers will get to know you and your baby
  • You’ll get your blood pressure checked
  • Your baby’s heart rate will be checked
  • Your weight will be monitored
  • You can ask any questions
  • You’ll learn about common symptoms like nausea and vomiting, swelling, cravings, and mood swings, and how to manage them
  • You’ll find out your baby’s sex
  • You’ll prepare for birth

Prenatal care is important for you and your baby

Pregnancy complications can happen even when your health is good. The best way to avoid them and deliver a healthy baby is by getting prenatal care.

Research shows that babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those born to moms who do get prenatal care. 

How much does prenatal care cost?

Most insurance plans, including Medicaid, cover all prenatal care costs. If you don’t have insurance, Vecino can help you apply. We also offer a financial assistance program if you don’t qualify for insurance. Prenatal care is affordable for everyone.

 

Coping with stress during COVID-19

If your feel like stress is getting in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row, the licensed professionals on Vecino’s counseling staff can help.

Call 713-674-3326

Ask for a telehealth counseling appointment. New patients are welcome!

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can create anxiety and stress and can feel especially overwhelming for people who were already living in stressful situations. Perhaps you have older family members that you are worried about, or you are among the more than 760,000 Texans whose job status has been affected by the outbreak. Maybe social distancing has got you feeling isolated from your friends and family as you try to keep yourself and your family healthy during this time.

Maintain your emotional health

Regardless of your situation, it’s important to know that it’s natural to feel stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed during these uncertain times. Everyone reacts differently to high-stress situations, but the good news is that there are things you can do to maintain your mental well-being even in the face of this new crisis. Here are four tips for coping with coronavirus stress from licensed professionals from Vecino’s counseling department.

Create a daily routine and stick with it

Creating – and maintaining – a daily routine can help you reduce stress gain back some control. While it’s not necessary to build a detailed routine or plan out every hour of your day, setting some time for carrying out essential tasks like eating, exercising, sleeping, working or doing housework, and spending time with your family can give you structure and help you stay sane during this time.

But also remember that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and worried right now. Be gentle with yourself, and don’t feel guilty if you are not being as productive as you’d like or if you don’t feel like sticking to your routine on some days.

Take a break from the news and social media

Being informed, especially about what’s happening in Houston is important. Reading what experts and trusted sources are saying about the virus can help you make the right decisions on how to protect your and your family’s health.

But there is also a lot of false information and uncertainty, and reading the news or scrolling on social media all day can add to your existing stress and fears.

If you find yourself reaching for your phone more often than ever before, try limiting the number of times you check the news for updates to a couple of times per day. Also, step away from social media if you start feeling overwhelmed and try to use that time to do something else.

Connect with others

Study after study has shown that loneliness and isolation can be bad for your health, increase your stress levels, and put you at risk of developing a chronic disease. So, while right now we must practice social distancing, it’s important to stay connected with family and friends.

We are lucky to be living in a time where we can talk and also see our loved ones even when we can’t get together with them in person. Make it a point to reach out to your friends and family via phone, WhatsApp, text, FaceTime, or other digital platforms frequently.

We’re here for you

Here at Vecino, your health and well-being continue to be our top priority. If you feel like stress is getting in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row, our licensed professionals on the counseling staff can help. Call Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic at 713-674-3326 to make a teletherapy appointment and get the support you need from your own home.

Telehealth: Connect to healthcare from home

As part of Vecino Health Center’s efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and keep our community safe, we are now offering scheduled telehealth services to  established, as well as new, patients. With it, a patient can have a medical or counseling visit with their provider from the comfort of their home.

We want you to know that at your health and safety is our top priority, so now you can get in touch with your provider to address any health concerns you may have, or talk to one of the licensed professionals on our counseling staff to help you cope during these stressful times from your own home.

Schedule a telehealth appointment today!

 Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic: 713-674-3326

Vecino’s Airline Children’s Clinic: 713-695-4013 

New patients are welcome!

What is telehealth?

Telehealth is when you use digital and communications technology – like computers, smartphones, or telephones – to access health care services.

During a telehealth appointment, you will be able to talk to doctor, nurse, counselor, or other provider on your phone, smartphone, tablet, or computer about any health concerns you may be having. Based on your symptoms and your medical history, your provider can prescribe medications, recommend at-home treatments, or ask you to come to the clinic for further examination.

Vecino’s medical providers and licensed professionals on the counseling staff can treat many common conditions for adults and children through telehealth, including the following:

 

Medical care for children, teens, and adults

  • Allergies
  • Cold or sinus infections
  • Constipation
  • Diabetes management
  • Headaches
  • Heartburn or acid reflux
  • Hypertension management
  • Joint pain (shoulder, knee, back, etc.)
  • Medication follow up
  • Pink eye
  • Urinary tract Infections 

Counseling for children, teens, and adults (Behavioral Health)

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Disruptive behavior problems in children and youth
  • Grief
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Stress
  • Panic Attacks
  • Trauma

Answers to common questions about telehealth

Who can get telehealth care?

Telehealth is available to both children and adults from Vecino Health Centers. You don’t have to be an established patient. New patients are welcome.

Is telehealth covered by insurance?

Telehealth appointments are covered by most insurance plans, including Medicaid and CHIP. If you don’t have insurance, please ask about our Financial Assistance Program.

What if I need to refill a prescription?

If you are due for a medical visit to refill your medication, you may be eligible to complete this visit through telehealth. Please call to schedule.

Is Telehealth secure? How will my privacy be protected?

Your privacy and protected health information (PHI) will be protected during your Telehealth visits. Your personal information and visit details are confidential, protected, and secure.

COVID-19 screening and testing

Vecino Health Centers’ outdoor screening for people who are determined to be potentially at risk for COVID-19 is available—by appointment—at the Denver Harbor Family Clinic location*. Call 713-674-3326 to make an appointment.

Call 713-674-3326 before coming to the clinic

The outdoor screening and testing are conducted by appointment for patients and other community members who are determined to be at risk for COVID-19, following a phone screening process. Calling ahead helps the clinic in protecting staff and other patients.

Who is at risk for COVID-19?

People who are at risk for COVID-19 are those who have had contact with someone known to have tested positive and who are exhibiting symptoms.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Vecino Health Centers recommends that those who are determined to be at risk for COVID-19 call to get an appointment, get tested through the outdoor site, and then place themselves in isolation.

Special note for people at higher risk for severe illness

People who are 60 years or older, pregnant, or have underlying medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease may be at higher risk of getting very sick. If they have been exposed, it is important to contact their health care provider. Their health will be monitored more closely.

Are you concerned?

If you are concerned that you or someone in your family may have contracted COVID-19, the first step is to call your clinic.

Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic: 713-674-3326

Vecino’s Airline Children’s Clinic:  713-695-4013

How long does it take to get the COVID-19 test results?

All tests are sent to a laboratory for processing. Results are available within approximately three days.

Not everyone who is sick needs to be tested for COVID-19

If you are experiencing mild symptoms and have not been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or traveled to one of the countries where infection has spread, and are not at high risk, you should isolate yourself, monitor your symptoms, and follow instructions from your health care provider. 

Is the testing free?

Testing is covered by most insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare. That means no cost to patients. If you don’t have insurance, fees are affordable and determined on a sliding scale based on your income level.

What is coronavirus disease COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus. The most common symptoms of the disease are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Most people with COVID-19 will have mild disease but some people will get sicker and may need to be hospitalized.

For more information about COVID-19 please visit:

*The full cash price for the PCR COVID-19 lab test is $51. Insurance coverage and/or discounts may apply via financial assistance.

Postponed – Nutrition class series scheduled to start March 26th is postponed

Spring nutrition class postponed

In light of safety concerns related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Nutrition Class series at Vecino’s Denver Harbor Clinic, scheduled to start on March 26th, has been postponed indefinitely.

We are committed to keeping our patients, neighbors and their families safe.

We look forward to rescheduling the series as soon as possible. If you’d like to be notified when the new dates are set, please provide your email address below.

Healthy recipes available online

In the meantime, there are many for healthy meals from the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, including a video on how to make a “Berry Good Pizza.”

I'm interested in future free nutrition classes

5 + 9 =

Call Margarita Reyes at 713-343-5509 for more information.

Learn to make small changes and get big results

You’re invited to Nutrition Class Series at Vecino Health Centers!

Join us, it’s FREE and lots of fun. Let’s exercise together and learn how to cook healthy food that tastes great!

You’ll get free books, cooking recipes and more!

Many people enjoy the classes so much they sign-up again, so don’t wait to reserve your spot by calling Mrs. Margarita Reyes at 713-343-5509.

This series of classes is provided by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and will be presented in Spanish. 

If you are interested in taking the classes in English, please let us know

The spring series is posponed due to the coronavirus. Future dates will be set as soon as possible.

Through the series you will explore how to:  

  • Cook more meals and snacks at home
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Be more active with your family
  • Reach and/or stay at a healthy weight
  • Save money on groceries
  • Control portion size
  • Have more energy
  • Keep food safe.

There is no charge to participate, it’s free!

For more information: Mrs. Margarita Reyes, 713-343-5509, or complete the form above.

Graduates of Spring 2019 Nutrition Class Series at Vecino’s Denver Harbor Clinic presented by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Answers to questions about coronavirus COVID-19

COVID-19 screening and testing is available by appointment

COVID-19 testing

You may be feeling concerned about the coronavirus, also called COVID-19. Vecino Health Centers is committed to keeping our patients, staff, and families safe. We are taking proactive steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at both of our clinics, and  want everyone to have current information about how to protect yourself and get the care you may need.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

It can take as little as two days or as long as 14 days for symptoms of COVID-19 to appear. Keep in mind that your symptoms could also be related to allergies or the more common flu.

If you are concerned that you or someone in your family may have COVID-19, please call us: 713-674-3326

Do I need to be tested for COVID-19?

Not everyone who is sick needs to be tested.  If you are experiencing only mild symptoms and have not been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or traveled to one of the countries where infection has spread, you do not need to be tested.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you should call your doctor if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and have recently traveled to countries or regions where the coronavirus is spreading or have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

What if I feel sick but don’t need the COVID-19 test?

Call the clinic at 713-674-3326 or contact Houston Methodist Virtual Urgent Care. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19,  please don’t come into the clinic or go to the emergency room. After discussing your symptoms, clinic staff will confirm whether or not you need to be tested and will advise you on how to treat your symptoms from home.

How do I keep my family safe from COVID-19?

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Wash your hands with soap and water regularly
  • Cover your cough and sneezes
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with sick individuals
  • Disinfect and clean commonly touched surfaces
  • Avoid nonessential travel to at-risk countries

Getting blood pressure rates under control

Target BP Program at Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic helps patients control their blood pressure. 

Texas has one of the highest rates of high blood pressure in the country, and African American adults are at greatest risk. Patients at Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic in Houston can make an appointment for a screening and work with clinic staff to control their blood pressure.

High blood pressure is called “the silent killer.” And for good reason. Nearly half of all adults in the US have high blood pressure, which leads to problems like heart attack and stroke. But many people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it. This is because it usually has no symptoms.  

High blood pressure is treatable, and staff at Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic want to help every patient get theirs under control. The clinic is now part of Target BP, a program of the American Heart Association and American Medical Association.

As a Gold Level participant in Target BP, we already helped many patients lower their blood pressure. And we have the tools to help more patients do the same. 

With proper treatment and management, you can control your high blood pressure to help you live a long and healthy life.

Call 713-674-3326

to schedule an appointment at Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic.

How do I know if I have high blood pressure? 

Getting a blood pressure test is the only way to know for sure if you have high blood pressure. It is important to get a screening every year. A blood pressure test is a routine part of most medical appointments.

Free screenings and heart health information are also available at health fairs throughout Houston. If your screening results indicate a potential issue, it’s important to follow the recommendations and schedule an appointment with a health care provider as soon as possible so we can help you take steps to get it under control and prevent issues before they become serious. 

Learn more about high blood pressure

If you have high blood pressure, you are not alone and there are many resources available to help.

What is High Blood Pressure Fact Sheet from the American Heart Association – English

What is High Blood Pressure Fact Sheet from the American Heart Association – Spanish

 

 

4 myths about pregnancy, busted!

Four myths about pregnancy and prenatal care that every mom-to-be should know

If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, you might be hearing a lot of advice coming from all kinds of sources. For instance, your mom might be telling you one thing, your friend who has just had a baby tells you another, and the internet says something else. Of course, this is all well-meaning advice, but it’s easy to get confused and wonder if what you hear is true.

Myth about pregnancy #1: Prenatal care is too far away and expensive

False! Did you know that if you live in northeast Houston, you don’t have to travel far to get good prenatal care? Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic offers quality prenatal care from the time you start thinking about having a baby or when you find out you’re pregnant, all the way through delivery.

At Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic, you can get all your pregnancy related care, including regular checkups, ultrasounds, postpartum care, circumcision, and behavioral health. Regular checkups are important to make sure you and your baby are healthy and strong throughout the pregnancy.

Vecino's Denver Harbor Family Clinic

If you are worried about how much your care will cost, note that most insurance plans cover the cost of prenatal care. If you don’t have insurance, Vecino offers a financial assistance program to establish an amount you pay at each visit that is affordable for you. You won’t have to worry about any unexpected charges for tests or procedures.

Schedule a prenatal appointment today:

Call 713-674-3326

Myth about pregnancy #2: Pregnant women are happy all the time

Pregnancy is a time of physical and emotional changes, and somedays you are not going to feel like yourself. That’s okay! Pregnant women don’t have to be happy all the time. There will be some days when you are going to miss the things that you did when you weren’t pregnant or feel cranky and sad for no reason at all. Let yourself feel all the emotions – both good and bad – and don’t feel guilty about feeling down or blue from time to time.

If you notice that you are feeling sad most days or you are having trouble controlling your emotions, Vecino is here to help. To make an appointment with one of our counselors, call 713-674-3326.

Myth about pregnancy #3: Pregnant women should avoid having sex

It is not true that pregnant women should avoid having sex. It is safe to have sex during all three trimesters of your pregnancy as long as you feel comfortable doing it and your doctor hasn’t advised against it.

However, you could still get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) when you are pregnant. An STI during pregnancy can be very dangerous for you and your baby. Even if you have been tested for STIs in the past, you should get tested again when you find out you are pregnant.

These are some ways you can reduce your risk of an STI:

  • Have sex only with a long-term monogamous partner who has been tested for STIs
  • Use condoms and dams regularly
  • Don’t use drugs or alcohol – using drugs or alcohol during pregnancy can harm your baby and put you at a greater risk of engaging in unsafe sex.

Myth about pregnancy #4: Prenatal vitamins are not necessary

All women, regardless of their age, race, or number of pregnancies, should take prenatal vitamins to make sure their baby gets a healthy start. To prevent severe birth defects, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid for all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Most prenatal multivitamins have the recommended dosage of folic acid and other essential vitamins and minerals for your baby’s development.