Health tips just for women

Health tips just for women

Women often juggle many responsibilities, making it a challenge to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Yet, small daily habits play a significant role in sustaining health and strength. Here are five tips from Vecino’s women’s care team to promote good health at every age.

Health Tip: prioritize sleep

Health tip #1: prioritize sleep

Women need at least seven hours of sleep each night to feel rested. Not getting enough sleep can significantly impact your overall health, mood, and energy levels. To improve your sleep, consider these tips:

    • Avoid caffeine after 2 p.m.
    • Establish a consistent sleep schedule
    • Keep screens out of the bedroom
    • Avoid heavy meals before bedtime
Health tip: Get a well-woman exam every year

Health tip #2: Get a well-woman exam every year

Well-woman exams, or women’s wellness visits, are preventive medical checkups for women. Unlike a doctor’s appointment when you are sick, these visits focus on evaluating your whole-body health to catch health issues early before they become a bigger problem. Well-woman exams usually include a physical evaluation, a pelvic and breast exam, and a conversation with your doctor or nurse about any health concerns you may have. 

Women’s health services are available at Airline Children & Women’s Health Center and Denver Harbor Family Health Center

Health tip: Eat a balanced diet

Health tip #3: Eat a balanced diet

A balanced diet is the foundation of a healthy life, regardless of size. So, instead of categorizing food as “healthy” or “unhealthy,” focus on nourishing your body with foods that provide lots of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. 

There’s no need to deprive yourself of your favorite foods to maintain a nutritious diet. Try adding nutritious elements to your meals, like a salad before dinner or a piece of fruit with your breakfast. 

Canned, frozen, or dried fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as fresh produce – opt for ones with little or no added sugar and salt.

Health tip: Move your body every day

Health tip #4: Move your body every day

Physically active women tend to have a lower risk of developing chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

.Even if you only have ten minutes, make it a point to move your body daily. Take the stairs as often as possible, play with your kids, or go for an early morning or evening walk around the block. Regular physical activity will go a long way toward supporting your physical and mental health now and in the future

Health tip: Take care of your mental health

Health tip #5: Take care of your mental health

Mental health is just as vital as physical health for women. Neglecting it can lead to sleep problems, high blood pressure, stomach troubles, and more. Seek help and support when needed, especially if you are overwhelmed or need help managing a stressful life situation.

Vecino offers behavioral health services at Airline Children & Women’s Health Center and Denver Harbor Family Health Center, providing individual, group, family, and couples therapy in English or Spanish.

It’s never too late to make health a priority

Good health isn’t just for you; it’s a gift to your family and friends! By integrating these healthy habits into your life, you can enjoy improved physical and mental well-being, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and enhanced vitality. 

Vecino Health Centers supports women at every stage of life, helping your health shine every day. Your well-being matters to us, and we’re committed to providing the care and resources you need to thrive. 

New patients are always welcome.

Vecino receives national recognition for quality

Vecino receives national recognition for quality

Congratulations to Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Health Center staff on this national recognition for the fourth consecutive year!  This award is a tribute to the dedication of all staff at Denver Harbor Family Health Center and Airline Children & Women’s Health Center.

HRSA Gold-Tier Health Center Quality Leader

Vecino Health Centers (Houston Community Health Centers, Inc.) has received the 2023 Health Center Quality Leader award at the Gold Tier by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). 

Performing in the top 10% of health centers nationwide

This award marks the fourth consecutive year Vecino has received the gold tier recognition. The gold level is awarded to Health Center Quality Leader recipients achieving overall clinical performance in the top 10% of health centers nationwide. 

“This recognition reflects the high standard of care we consistently provide to nearly 12,000 patients irrespective of their economic circumstances,” says Dr. Enjoli Benitez, Chief Medical Officer of Vecino Health Centers. “Achieving this level of care is a concerted effort that requires dedication from every team member across all departments.”

Advancing Health Information Technology and COVID-19 Public Health Champion

In addition to the Quality Leader badge, Vecino has earned badges for Advancing Health Information Technology (HIT) for Quality and COVID-19 Public Health Champion.

The HIT badge is bestowed upon health centers that have fully leveraged their Health Information Technology services to enhance the quality of patient care. Vecino met comprehensive criteria, including adopting an electronic health record (EHR) system, offering telehealth services, enabling electronic clinical information exchange, engaging patients through health IT, and gathering data on patient social risk factors. 

The COVID-19 Public Health Champion badge recognizes the top 10% of health centers providing COVID-19 vaccinations or testing to the largest percentage of patients. 

Providing quality healthcare services to patients at two locations in northeast Houston.

Vecino Health Centers provides quality health care to the medically underserved in northeast Houston in Harris County, Texas, through Denver Harbor Family Health Center and Airline Children & Women’s Health Center and outreach at six school-based sites

Notification to patients from Dr. Gutierrez

December 28, 2023

Dear Vecino Health Centers patient:

This is to inform you that as of February 1,  2024, I will no longer be seeing patients at Vecino Health Centers.  I am resigning from my position with Vecino Health Centers.  It has been my pleasure to work here, and I appreciate the opportunity you gave me to work with you and your families.    

I want to encourage each of you to continue receiving health services at Vecino Health Centers.  We have an excellent team of doctors, counselors, and other health professionals who will continue to provide you and your families with the best possible care.  Your care at Vecino will continue seamlessly.  If you have insurance that requires you to list a Primary Care Provider (PCP), our staff will assist you to make the change to another of our wonderful Vecino doctors.

Once again, thanks to each of you for allowing me to be one of your doctors.  I truly value the trust that you have placed in me, and I hope you will continue to trust Vecino Health Centers with your health care needs.

Wishing you all the best of health!

Alondra Gutierrez, MD


Getting blood pressure under control

Patients are reducing their risk for heart disease and stroke with help from Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Health Center

Call 713-674-3326

to schedule an appointment

Texas has one of the highest rates of high blood pressure in the country. 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. 

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.

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.

If your screening results indicate a potential issue, it’s important to follow the recommendations and 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


Vecino Health Centers Mitigates Impact of MOVEit Cyber Attack

Vecino Health Centers Mitigates Impact of MOVEit Cyber Attack

Patient medical records are not compromised, and patient care services are not impacted

HOUSTON, TX: August 7, 2023 — Vecino Health Centers announced today it was affected by the recent MOVEit cyber attack impacting several industries across the US and worldwide. The information impacted included names, dates of birth, and prescription dates for a segment of Vecino’s patient base. The incident did not impact any of Vecino Health Centers patients’ electronic medical records or compromise any patients’ social security numbers, bank account information, or other financial information.

“We take the safeguarding of patient information and, thus, the occurrence of this event very seriously” said Daniel Montez, CEO of Vecino Health Centers.  “Taking steps to prevent future attacks is an ongoing priority.”

Patients with information impacted by the breach are being notified by mail. Additional information on steps individuals can take to monitor and protect their personal information is provided. Patients who receive a bill or phone call seeking payment from anyone claiming to be representing Vecino Health Centers are encouraged to contact their home clinic — Denver Harbor Family Health Center or Airline Children & Women’s Health Center — to verify that the request is legitimate.

The cyber attack occurred on May 30, 2023 on a MOVEit server. MOVEit is a managed file transfer software program used by Harris Health. Vecino Health Centers shares information with Harris Health and thus was also affected by the vulnerability. On June 23, 2023, Harris Health informed Vecino Health Centers that our patient data was impacted. Harris Health has taken steps to help prevent something like this from happening in the future. Harris Health has implemented all patches that the provider of MOVEit has made available and taken other remediation steps to secure its MOVEit server and will continue to look for ways to enhance its secure file transfer protocols.

Individuals with questions can contact Vecino Heath Centers toll-free at 866-236-4316.

About Vecino Health Centers

Vecino Health Centers is a private nonprofit organization committed to making quality healthcare accessible and sustainable to the medically underserved in Houston. Established in 1999, Vecino is a Federally Qualified Health Center operating two community health centers in northeast Houston: Denver Harbor Family Health Center and Airline Children and Women’s Health Center.  

Denver Harbor Family Health Center welcomes Dr. Kaizeen Mody 

Vecino Health Centers is pleased to announce Dr. Kaizeen Mody’s arrival to the Denver Harbor Family Health Center staff.

Committed to women’s and maternal health

Trained as a family medicine physician, Dr. Mody comes to Denver Harbor after completing additional training through a fellowship in obstetrics. Obstetrics is a branch of medicine and surgery focused on childbirth and the care of women giving birth. She provides care to women before and during their pregnancy, delivery, and after birth and can be the doctor for their babies. 

“Women have such an important role in taking care of their families; they often don’t think about their health, ”says Dr. Mody. “It is important that they know how vital their health is to themselves, their families, and our community.”

Caring for patients through all stages of life

Dr. Mody looks forward to providing care to all family members. Her interest in medicine and community health care comes naturally. She is a sixth-generation doctor in her family and draws on particular inspiration from her grandfather, a beloved community family doctor.

“It’s special to be able to take care of people through all stages of their lives,” she says. “It is rare these days, especially in large cities like Houston.”

A multilingual doctor of osteopathic medicine

Dr. Mody speaks English, Spanish, and Gujarati. She earned her medical degree at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2018. She completed her residency in family medicine at Adventist Health White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, in 2021 and her obstetric fellowship at AdventHealth Family Medicine in Orlando, FL, in 2022.   

Osteopathic medicine is a branch of medicine dedicated to treating and healing patients as a whole, rather than focusing on one specific condition or body part. Read more about osteopathic doctors.

“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Mody on the medical team,” says Dr. Enjoli Benitez, chief medical officer of Vecino Health Centers. “Her commitment to patient care and expertise in women’s health are invaluable in improving the health of our patients and the community.” 

Teaching other doctors

Besides treating patients, Dr. Mody is passing her expertise on to other doctors as a faculty member of the Houston Methodist Family Medicine Residency Program, located at Denver Harbor Family Health Center.

Accepting New Patients

Dr. Mody is currently accepting new patients.
Call 713-674-3326 to make an appointment.

What’s the difference between a DO and an MD?

Some doctors have MDs after their names, others have DO. Like MDs, DOs are fully licensed physicians trained to diagnose, treat and prevent illnesses and medical conditions. Keep reading to learn about the similarities and differences between a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) and a medical doctor (MD).

What is an osteopathic doctor (DO)?

Like MDs, DOs go to medical school, where they spend several years learning how to care for patients of all backgrounds and ages. Osteopathic medicine is dedicated to treating and healing patients as a whole, rather than focusing on one specific condition or body part. As part of their medical training, DOs learn to look beyond your symptoms to see how your lifestyle (i.e., diet, physical activity, emotions, stress levels, etc.) impacts your health and well-being.

DOs have extra education, usually about 200 hours, to learn osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM). It is also called osteopathic manipulative technique (OMT). DOs learn how bones, nerves, and muscles work together and influence people’s health. OMM focuses on methods to relieve back pain, neck pain, strained muscles, and other conditions.

DOs practice in all medical specialties, including family medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, surgery, and many more. After graduating from medical school, they train in the same internship/residency specialty programs as their MD colleagues. They take the same exams to quality to practice medicine. 

DOs are fully trained and licensed doctors

Both DOs and MDs are equally qualified to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication. As a matter of fact, other than having different letters in their name tags, most people can’t tell the difference between an MD and a DO when receiving care. 

Vecino Health Centers’ doctors, whether DO or MD, are dedicated to your and your family’s good health. Our doctors provide care to patients of all ages, including infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. Some of the services they provide include diagnosing and treating illnesses and injuries, health screenings and tests, immunizations, prenatal and postnatal care, and helping your with lifestyle changes to prevent health conditions before they develop. 

Prediabetes is preventable and reversible

Are you at risk for prediabetes?

Take the one-minute test to find out if you or someone you care about is at risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes is common. Most importantly, it is preventable and reversible with early detection and simple lifestyle changes.

Are you at risk for prediabetes?

Schedule a Checkup Today!

Screenings for diabetes and prediabetes are part of your healthcare checkup.

New patients are welcome!

While many people know that type 2 diabetes is a serious health concern, far fewer people know about prediabetes. Prediabetes is a serious but reversible condition that affects 84 million —more than 1 in 3 — American adults.

Nearly 90% of people with prediabetes don't know they have it

If you are African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, or Pacific Islander, you are at higher risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

People with prediabetes have much higher than normal blood glucose levels but are not high enough yet to be considered type 2 diabetes. Basically, when you have prediabetes you’re on the road to developing type 2 diabetes and are also at increased risk for other serious health problems such as stroke and heart disease. 

Prediabetes can be prevented and reversed

But it’s not all bad news. With the right steps, prediabetes can be prevented and even reversed. The first step is to find if you’re at risk. 

Are you at risk for prediabetes?

Take the one-minute test to find out if you or someone you care about is at risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

If you score 5 or higher, you’re at risk for having prediabetes and are at high risk for type 2 diabetes. However, only your doctor can tell for sure. It’s important to schedule an appointment to talk with your doctor so you can get support and start taking steps to prevent or delay prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Fight the flu

Flu vaccinations are included, at no additional cost, with checkups at Denver Harbor Family Health Center.

Flu vaccines are also free to patients who have already had a checkup this year. Call to schedule a nurse visit. 

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Flu vaccine can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, hospitalizations and has been shown to be life-saving. Fight the flu and get vaccinated!

fight the flu, vaccination
Will a flu vaccine protect me against COVID-19?

No. Flu vaccines do not protect against COVID-19. Flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death in addition to  other important benefits.

Likewise, getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection against COVID-19, but those vaccines do not protect against flu. Visit the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions page for information about COVID-19 vaccinations.

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine during the same visit?

Yes, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time. If you have concerns about getting both vaccines at the same time, you should speak with a health care provider.

What to do if you think you or someone in your family has the flu

If think you or your children have the flu, make an appointment to see a doctor at the clinic or online through telehealth. This is especially important for pregnant women, young children, and people over 65. New patients are always welcome at Vecino Health Centers.

Flu symptoms

Symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

And finally, if your doctor says you have the flu, take your medication and stay home! People are usually contagious for 24 hours after a fever is gone.

Schedule an appointment today at Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic. Call: (713) 695-4013

We accept Medicaid, CHIP, and other insurance. Assistance is available for uninsured patients.

Unemployed or uninsured?

Don’t worry. Vecino Health Centers offers financial assistance so everyone in your family can get the checkups and other care they need. You may even qualify for other benefits, we’ll help you understand your options.

Just ask about our Get Care program

Notification to patients

Dr. Zeerak Qureshi and Dr. Magdalena Brooks will be moving on from Vecino Health Centers as of April 1, 2022. We are grateful for their contributions and patient care and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

If you are a patient of Drs. Qureshi or Brooks, we look forward to providing a smooth transition to another excellent provider for your medical care. Please call 713-674-3326 at your earliest convenience and we will assist you.

Denver Harbor Family Clinic welcomes Dr. Irma Tamayo

Dr. Irma Tamayo

Many patients at Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic already recognize the newest doctor on staff. Dr. Irma Tamayo spent three years at the clinic during her medical residency with the Houston Methodist Family Residency Program

Patients and staff are glad to see her return, this time as a permanent staff member.

“Patients really appreciate Dr. Tamayo’s ability to understand what they are going through and the time she takes explaining their medical issues,” says Vecino’s CEO Daniel Montez. “She is a great fit for Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic.”

The clinic made a positive impression on Dr. Tamayo. 

“There is such a sense of community here,” she says. “Denver Harbor Family Clinic feels like home.”

Native Spanish speaker and first-generation immigrant

Dr. Tamayo is a first-generation immigrant and native Spanish speaker. She is one of four children raised in the Rio Grande Valley by a single working mother. 

With that background, she quickly understands and appreciates the challenges that many of Vecino’s patients face. 

“The first time I left the valley was for college. It was a culture shock even though I was still in Texas.”

Growing up, two of Dr. Tamayo’s uncles were doctors in Mexico. When she or her brothers got sick, her mother took them over the border to one of their clinics. She remembers sitting and playing with the medical tools as a child. This is when she first started thinking about a career in medicine. 

Also during her childhood, Dr. Tamayo’s maternal grandmother died from a heart attack at just fifty nine. After this experience, she knew for sure she wanted to be a doctor. 

“I saw how my grandmother’s death affected my family, and I knew I wanted to prevent other people from feeling that pain.” 

A “small-town feel” at Denver Harbor Family Clinic

One of the things Dr. Tamayo likes best about Denver Harbor Family Clinic is the small-town feel. It reminds her of working at a rural clinic in Texas while in medical school.  

“I like the fact that I get to see the mom, the grandma, the baby, and get to know the whole family,” says Dr. Tamayo. “There is such a sense of community. Denver Harbor Family Clinic feels like home.”

Dr. Tamayo knows many working families and uninsured patients at Denver Harbor Family Clinic can’t take time off work for specialist appointments outside the clinic, or afford expensive tests and labs. Because of this, she says she and the other doctors operate like a small-town clinic. 

“We do as much as we can for patients during one appointment, right here at the clinic. We meet patients where they are and serve their healthcare needs in a way that really works for them.” 

Unemployed or uninsured?

Don’t worry. Vecino Health Centers offers financial assistance so everyone in your family can get the checkups and other care they need. You may even qualify for other benefits, we’ll help you understand your options.

Just ask about our Get Care program

Leadership Spotlight: Chief Medical Officer Dr. Enjoli Benitez

“At Vecino, we work to promote a healthy lifestyle not just with our patients, but in the community through advocacy. I hope to expand this even more. This is my community — I want to see it thrive.” – Dr. Enjoli Benitez

With roots at Vecino Health Centers and in the Denver Harbor community, Dr. Benitez takes her role to heart. 

As Vecino’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Enjoli Benitez is an advocate not only for patients, but also for her own community. As a longtime resident of Houston, and of the Denver Harbor neighborhood, she takes this role to heart.

“I feel very connected to this community,” says Dr. Benitez. “I want to make sure it is a place where people can come see a good doctor. I want people to know there is a great clinic right around the corner.”

Vecino is committed to quality

This commitment to quality at Vecino is something Dr. Benitez knows well. She began her medical career as a resident in the Houston Methodist Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program, housed at Vecino’s Denver Harbor Family Clinic. When it came time to take a position as attending physician, she decided to stay.

“Truly, Vecino’s call to quality drew me to stay on as staff. That’s what motivates me” says Benitez. “Patients aren’t just a number here. They are seen as whole people.”

Dedication to family medicine

Since 2013, Dr. Benitez served as attending physician at Denver Harbor Family Clinic, Faculty Physician at The Methodist Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Texas A&M. In 2017, she received a prestigious New Faculty Scholar award from the Society of Teachers in Family Medicine. She also holds a Masters in Public Health with a focus on community medicine.

Focus is on improving health for all

In her role, Dr. Benitez is responsible for the quality of medical care within the entire Vecino organization. She is passionate about continuing the culture of quality at Vecino and working to ensure patients receive a complete service.

With her roots firmly planted at Vecino, Dr. Benitez knows well the needs of patients and of the greater community of Houston. She hopes to use this knowledge to help shape the health of this community.