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November 02, 2023


It is hard to believe that we are nearing the end of 2023, and St. Luke’s Health has a lot to be grateful for. We are excited to finish the year on a strong note, and look forward to what’s to come in 2024. 

In the meantime, we want to share some news about the high value, high quality services at our St. Luke’s Health facilities throughout the greater southeast Texas region. As a reminder, St. Luke’s Health is in-network with Cigna and all major insurance carriers in Houston. 

Several of our facilities recently received accolades, including the Sugar Land Hospital being recognized for trauma care by the state of Texas, and The Woodlands Hospital being nationally recognized for its commitment to high quality stroke care and being redesignated as a Comprehensive (Level I) Stroke Facility by the Texas Department of State Health Services. This year Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center had another very strong showing in the annual U.S. News & World Report’s national hospital rankings. In addition to being ranked No. 2 in the Houston Metro Area and No. 3 in Texas, Baylor St. Luke’s ranked nationally in six specialties:

  • Cardiology, Heart & Vascular Surgery (The Texas Heart Institute), No. 17

  • Diabetes & Endocrinology, No. 32

  • Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, No. 38

  • Geriatrics, No. 38

  • Neurology & Neurosurgery, No. 36

  • Urology, No. 29


November's Health Observances

We make it a point to share helpful information as part of our monthly health observances. Please share with your own audiences and contact us if you would like further information or materials:

  • Bladder Health Month

    • There is no standard screening test for bladder cancer, but there are several tests that can be used to diagnose the disease.

    • If bladder cancer is diagnosed early, the St. Luke’s specialists who are ranked 29 nationally in urology, say the disease is highly treatable.

  • COPD Awareness Month

    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) includes lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.

    • An estimated 24 million Americans are affected by COPD, but half of those people are not aware they have it.  

  • Lung Cancer Awareness Month and Great American Smokeout

  • National Alzheimer’s Month

    • The number of people with Alzheimer's disease doubles about every five years beyond age 65.

    • When it comes to people who are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s, researchers are discovering which activities can help slow the progression, like doing a crossword puzzle every day, reading, or journaling.

  • National Diabetes Month

    • The nationally ranked (#32) diabetes specialists at St. Luke’s Health take a multidisciplinary approach to address possible complications caused by diabetes.


St. Luke's Health Cardiologists Provide Extraordinary Care

Clifford Green had no idea he had 100% heart blockage until he collapsed at home in the middle of the night. He is grateful to be alive today after a massive heart attack, an hour of CPR, multiple organ failure, eight weeks in ICU, five surgeries and the hard work of a multidisciplinary medical team at St. Luke's Health-The Woodlands. Watch his story here

Dovie Burnett Bates, a farmer and vegetable canner from Lufkin, TX, recently became the 500th patient to undergo robotic heart surgery performed by Dr. Liao, Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center's Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Transplantation & Circulatory Support and the Lester and Sue Smith Endowed Chair at Baylor College of Medicine. Just weeks after the procedure, Dovie is already well into her physical therapy journey and looking forward to returning to the monthly farmers market in Kountze, TX.

Workforce Challenges in the Health Care Industry
These are just two examples of why the Texas Heart Institute is ranked No. 17 in the United States.

Giving a meaningful voice to our workforce is an important part of supporting, retaining, and recruiting the best talent. Episode 9 of ExamiNATION, our docuseries exploring Houston’s journey toward health equity, explores why supporting the health care workforce is vital to our economy. Watch now and learn more here.

The Importance of Annual Exams

St. Luke’s Health wants to help our patients be proactive with their physical and mental health. One way to do so is to access the care our physicians provide through annual exams and screenings. As we get deeper into flu season, St. Luke’s Health encourages patients to schedule a visit with their physician to stay current on their vaccinations.

On the Horizon

Looking forward to 2024, we are busy preparing for the year’s end. Open enrollment periods, staffing shortages and the vigilance required to stay abreast of developing issues keep us busy. If there is any particular issue that St. Luke’s Health can help with, please let us know.  


Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season.

Doug Lawson, PhD

President, South Region, CommonSpirit Health 

Dianne Grussendorf

Division Vice President, Payer Strategy and Relationships - Texas, CommonSpirit Health


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