Noel Cardenas

The Rotary Club of Humble usually concludes its weekly Zoom meetings with a local COVID-19 update from Memorial Hermann Northeast Chief Operating Officer Noel Cardenas. This week, he included more than his usual weekly reminder to mask up and stay 6 feet apart.

Several personnel changes are underway at Memorial Hermann including the Northeast campus, said Cardenas who has been promoted to chief executive officer of the Pearland and Southeast campuses.

“No replacement has been selected so we’ll continue to live here for a few more months,” said Cardenas, who regularly attends the Humble club meetings.

Josh Urban, the current chief executive officer of the Northeast and The Woodlands campuses, has been promoted to oversee the entire Memorial Hermann system of 14 hospital campuses. He will be replaced as CEO at Northeast and The Woodlands by Justin Kendrick, currently the COO at The Woodlands, according to Cardenas.

During the guest speaker presentation, John Mims brought his passion for birds to 40 Humble Rotarians who were Zooming the Aug. 19 meeting on their laptops. His topic, “Hummingbirds on Parade.”

Filled with fascinating facts, Mims ticked off several of them about one of Lake Houston’s most ubiquitous birds:

-The bird is tiny – only 2-8 inches in size.

-It can only be found in the new world, not in Europe, Africa, Australia or anywhere else.

-There are 330 different kinds but only 16 are in North America.

-A hummingbird brain is the size of a “BB,” which is large for a bird making it one of the more intelligent birds.

“Hummingbirds can fly like a helicopter. Up, down, side-to-side, even upside down,” Mims told the Rotarians. When they fly, they travel non-stop across the Gulf of Mexico to winter in the Yucatan, a 14-hour journey.

“That is amazing for such a little bird,” Mims said. Mims and wife, Susie, own Wild Birds Unlimited Kingwood Nature Shop in the Kingwood Crossing Shopping Center.

Traveling such a distance requires the hummingbird to eat every 10 minutes during the day to fatten up so they can travel at night. All that necessary eating is the perfect opportunity for Lake Houston residents to set up multiple hummingbird feeders in their yards. Multiple is important, Mims said, because a bird will claim a feeder and fight off any other hummingbirds. The more feeders, the more hummingbirds will visit.

Once the hummingbird discovers a feeder, Mims claims that same bird will return to the same spot on the same day one year later. How does he know? Mims told the Rotarians that hummingbirds are tagged and followed. Rotarian Alan Derby asked how the tiny hummingbird can be tagged with such a small leg.

“It’s hard to believe but they do it and you can watch it occur at the annual hummingbird festival held in Tomball at the peak of migration,” Mims said.

Since peak migration is almost here, Mims said now is the time to put out the feeders, set up the water sprinklers – since hummingbirds love to play in the water, and even set up “swings” for the birds so they can watch their feeder and shoo away any interlopers.

In his weekly COVID-19 update at the end of the Zoom session, Cardenas, the Memorial Herman Northeast COO, estimated the number of COVID patients at 50, “…this is a manageable level. What you are doing, masking and social distancing, is making a difference,” he said, “but we are planning in case of a fall surge.”

Cardenas said the Northeast campus is assisting the Humble and New Caney school districts as they make decisions about students returning to their schools. He also encouraged Rotarians to get the flu shot which will be available by mid-September.

“Just remember it takes a while to get it into your system to be effective,” he said.

Joining the Zoom meeting from Vancouver ,Canada was Andre Mello, a past Rotary International Youth Exchange Student. Prior to the John Mims presentation, Club President Mike Kevlin reported that members will continue to meet on Zoom during September and that members will soon vote by email on a proposed name change to the Rotary Club of Lake Houston.

The Rotary Club of Humble meets virtually on Wednesdays at noon. The Summer Creek Satellite Club meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 8 a.m. To learn more about the advantages of being a Rotarian, visit humblerotary.com.

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.

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