Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital ICU Nurse Christie Purviance was named one of 50 Mazda Heroes and earned a new Mazda for her compassionate work with COVID-19 patients. Photo by Tom Broad

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Christie Purviance is more than a Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital ICU nurse. She is a Lake Houston hero and a savior to her COVID-19 patients.

She was featured in an emotional video shown to more than 150 viewers participating in Partnership Lake Houston’s Dec.10 Summer Creek BizCom. The video was introduced by Memorial Hermann Northeast COO Nikki Roux, who told the group that Purviance was named a Mazda Hero, “…one of 50 selfless individuals who’ve done heroic things for their communities.”

The video was a moving experience as Purviance cared for a COVID-19 patient who spent 30 days in the hospital, 18 days on a ventilator, and survived. During this time, Purviance was isolated at home, away from her own family and her 7-month-old baby in order to care for her patients.

The video ended on an upbeat and touching moment as she met the patient she had cared for and the patient, holding back tears, thanked her for saving his life – then proudly announced that Purviance had been nominated for, and been named, a Mazda Hero as he handed over the keys to a new Mazda MX5 Miata.

Roux, who previously was chief nursing officer at Memorial Hermann Northeast, announced that she is now the hospital’s chief operating officer, replacing Noel Cardenas who was promoted to another position within Memorial Hermann.

During the meeting, Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen had good news to report about Humble ISD.

“Some districts’ student censuses are down. That affects state reimbursement,” Fagen said. “We are up in attendance and I am very proud of our students and their parents.”

Statistics she shared show year-over-year enrollment is up; 45,537 students this year compared to 45,078 last year. Thirty percent of students are learning online while the rest are on campus or learning online but still participating in UIL programs, Fagen also pointed out that the small number of COVID-19 positive tests were a result of “community-spread” rather than from the classroom.

“I want to compliment our parents. They’ve been very responsible when they know their children have been exposed,” she said. “We have exceptionally low numbers. Our number-one focus was to partner with our two health-care systems to not put pressure on them. We do not have classroom-spread issues. Our goal is to do what is best for our students and having our campuses open is best for them.”

Dr. Fagen shared a “Psychology Today” magazine article outlining the mental health impact of COVID-19.

“We learned that school closures are detrimental to kids and staff,” she said, “so we’ve learned to make our spaces safe, including open windows on buses, good ventilation, for example.”

The number of COVID-19 cases on campus can be viewed on the district’s website, humbleisd.net; click on the COVID-19 Dashboard icon.

One bonus from the pandemic is that the district has saved “ … a lot of money by moving forward and continuing our improvements and new buildings. Nearly every project came in under budget,” Fagen said, so that enough money was saved to rebuild North Belt elementary using current bond money.

Principal Paul Edwards of Fall Creek Elementary School No. 30 gave a tour of the school which is under construction on the east end of Fall Creek and can be seen from Beltway 8.

Fagen also previewed a rendering of what will become Guy M. Sconzo Early College High School, the former Quest High School which was located at Humble High and will soon have its own building. The school is named after the district’s longtime superintendent.

For Amy Franks and Margaret Cruz of the Women’s Council of Realtors the pandemic has turned out to be a busy time.

“We were concerned just as everyone was, but by June, the pent-up demand and the low-interest rates led to an advancing economic recovery,” said Frank, pointing out that two of the top 30 master-planned communities in Texas are in Lake Houston, Balmoral and The Groves.

Franks and Cruz projected that Lake Houston will continue to see a robust economy in part because Generation Park and growth along FM 1960 are bringing in new businesses which will, in turn, bring in new residents.

BizCom attendees took virtual tours of Balmoral and The Groves. Mike Miller with Ashlar Development discussed The Groves’ new commercial development which will include West Lake Church, a 318-luxury apartment complex called the Pavilion, and a major grocery site which Miller said has been leased but the tenant cannot yet be revealed.

Monica Levitz gave a tour of the Blue Lagoon Bar and Grill located inside the clubhouse of the Balmoral Amenity Village overlooking the 2-acre crystal clear lagoon, the first lagoon-side restaurant in the nation.

Pedestrians in Summerwood soon will have nearly 2 miles of new sidewalks on both sides of West Lake Houston Parkway from Beltway 8 to Broncroft. The $1.1 million project is a joint effort of Harris County Pct. 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis and several MUDs. Juan Cardoz-Oquendo with Pct. 2 said the walkway includes 3D crosswalks, painted with 3D paint, which encourage drivers to slow down, making it safer for pedestrians to cross.

Timber Forest Drive is being extended to south of Greens Road. A four-lane bridge will be constructed over the railroad tracks and a walkway or trail is being built for pedestrians who will be able to walk or bike from Summerwood to Deussen Park.

The 2021 BizCom dates and times are listed on the Partnership Lake Houston webpage, .lakehouston.org. Summer Creek BizCom can be viewed on the Partnership Lake Houston Facebook page.

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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