Houston Woman Wire

NEWS Houston Public Library schedules variety of events for Hispanic Heritage Month

The Houston Public Library invites the community to its Third Annual Houston LibroFEST on Saturday, Sept. 27 at two library locations.

LibroFEST will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by bringing Latino literature and culture to the Bayou City with cultural activities and presentations by authors and musicians.

Featured authors include Richard Blanco, the fifth inaugural poet of the United States, and Rolando Hinojosa, recipient of the National Book Critics Circle’s Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations continue through October with lectures and exhibits. All events are free and open to the public.

For more details visit www.houstonlibrary.org or call 832-393-1313.

EVENT Women Who Empower Luncheon slated for Sept. 25


Continuing the celebration of its 10th anniversary, the Houston West Chamber of Commerce Women Driving Business Committee will feature Janine K. Iannarelli, founder and president of Par Avion Ltd., at its Women Who Empower Luncheon on September 25. Par Avion, an aircraft marketing firm that specializes in the exclusive representation and acquisition of business aircraft.

Additionally, two special guests will be attending the luncheon – Mary Sue Koontz Nelsonauthor of the cookbook, Stolen Recipes, and Dian Stai, who was named one of the Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World in 1997. The businesswoman and philanthropist continues to support many organizations, including the Houston Grand Opera and the Texas Historical Foundation. Stai co-founded Owen Healthcare, Inc, with her late husband in 1969.

And, for the first time ever, the WDB Committee will allow a mysterious gentleman into the midst of almost 200 professional women. Affectionately known as the “Most Interesting Man in the Room,” this distinguished Houstonian has allowed the chamber to reveal a few clues about his identity: he’s an entrepreneur, philanthropist and not involved in the energy industry. For 20 years he has used his expertise to help children in need, in both the United States and Mexico.

The "Interesting Man" credits much of his success to the support of women throughout his career, making him an ideal guest at this traditionally female-only event. Not only does he have a staff led by women, but his close attention to detail, along with skill in blending art with science have made him a sought-after expert in his field. And when "The Most Interesting Man in the Room" is off the clock, he enjoys playing golf, flying his private jet and spending time on the water, where “sharks hold a week in his honor.

Luncheon attendees will have a chance to take home luxurious gift baskets, ranging in value from $500 to $5,000. 

For more information on this event and the Houston West Chamber of Commerce, please call 713-785-4922 or visit www.hwcoc.org.


NEWS HDHHS to receive $1.8 million to help uninsured area residents


The Houston Department of Health and Human Services will receive $1.8 million to help uninsured area residents sign up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

HDHHS plans to use the federal grant funds to organize about 500 outreach events, produce and distribute promotional materials, set up a call center and visit community sites such as grocery stores, day care centers, businesses and places of worship in neighborhoods with high rates of uninsured people.  

It will also hire about a dozen workers to augment the number of employees trained to help people enroll in health care coverage and use its 11 multi-service centers, four health centers, and 14 Women, Infant and Children (WIC) sites as convenient education and enrollment centers.

Open enrollment for the 2015 plan year begins November 15.

An estimated 1.1 million residents in Houston and Harris County lack health care coverage, representing 19 percent of the uninsured in Texas. Houston’s poverty rate is also high, at 23 percent, compared to 15 percent nationwide. Fifty-three percent of Hispanics in Harris County have no health insurance coverage.

HDHHS will serve again as the lead agency for the Gulf Coast Health Insurance Marketplace Collaborative, a consortium of local organizations it brought together in 2013 to coordinate and facilitate enrollment efforts during the first ACA sign up period.

The collaborative’s strategies helped Houston reach 197,650 enrollments by April 15, surpassing the initial Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services target of 138,000. The agencies, as part of the collaborative, also reached out to more than 500,000 people and visited one-on-one with more than 150,000 residents.

Other collaborative agencies are the Association for Advancement of Mexican Americans, Change Happens, Gateway to Care, Enroll America, Harris County Healthcare Alliance, Harris Health System, Houston Area Urban League, Memorial Hermann Health System, One Voice, SRA International, Texas Organizing Project, Texans Together and Vecino Health Centers.

Last year, HDHHS received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the enrollment campaign. 

EVENT Walk Like MADD and MADD Dash set for October 4

Registration for the fourth annual Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash – The Woodlands, presented by Milstead Automotive & Collision, is still open. All walkers simply need to register online.

The Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash – The Woodlands is a family and pet-friendly 5K walk and 5K chipped run at Northshore Park on Saturday, Oct. 4.  In addition to the walk/run, there will also be live entertainment, food and activities for kids, teens and their parents, as well as a Doggie Den for our four-footed friends!

According to Heather Smith, special events manager for MADD Southeast Texas Affiliate, “Drunk driving deaths are the primary cause of death on Texas highways.” All proceeds raised from this event will benefit MADD of southeast Texas and provide critical funding for community outreach programs, law enforcement training and victim support throughout a 10-county area, including Montgomery County.

There are numerous opportunities to get involved for those who want to walk and help, but can’t be there in person.

Smith said, “Supporters can either walk virtually, make a donation or support a participant or team.”

Smith hopes to exceed this year’s goal of raising $50,000.

"We had a great turnout last year and this year we want to take it over the top!" said Amy Milstead. "I'm asking everyone to please register for this event and join me and the Milstead Team to Walk Like MADD."

For more information on sponsorships or to register, visit www.walklikemadd.org/thewoodlands or call Smith at 281-590-2222.


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