Did you know daylight savings time is even harder on teens?

Teenagers need 8 to 10 hours of sleep “for optimal health,” according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. We all know most teens are getting much less sleep than the recommended hours, and this is before factoring in the additional hours lost due to the implementation of daylight savings time. Due to their youth, many people assume that teenagers can get by skimping on sleep, but the opposite is true. Early school start times, combined with teens’ natural inclination to stay up late, can result in shortened sleep, an increase in accidents, and a higher risk of depression. Parents need to know that these negative effects can be mitigated, but vigilance is needed. Planning for the time change can be key to lessening the impact of time change. Experts say starting an earlier-to-bed routine of 15 to 20 minutes each day for at least several days in advance of the time change can make a difference. If that’s not possible, do your best — every little bit helps. For most younger children, moving their bedtime and wake time by about 10 to 15 minutes earlier, starting three days before the time change, can help them adjust.

Don’t forget about yourself- parents also need to make sure they are getting the rest they need. – Emily Leib, PA, Coryell Health Sleep Specialist

For more information, contact your Coryell Health primary care physician or Coryell Health’s sleep center at (254) 248-6296.

Dr. Townson Becomes Only Board Certified Podiatrist for Reconstructive Rearfoot and Ankle (RRA) Surgery in Coryell County

Dr. Townson recently became the only board certified podiatrist for reconstructive rearfoot and ankle (RRA) surgery in Coryell County. He was already board certified in foot surgery — our physicians go the extra mile to provide excellent care for our patients! Schedule an appointment with Dr. Townson for all your podiatry needs by calling (254) 865-2166.



How to Recognize Heart Disease Symptoms in Women vs Men

Ladies, Listen to Your Heart

A 2019 survey from the American Heart Association found that only 44% of women correctly identified heart disease as a leading threat to their health. Why such a low number?

We often base our understanding of heart disease on male experiences due to the historical underrepresentation of women in clinical trials. It’s important to understand that heart disease presents itself differently in women and men.

How Does Heart Disease Affect Women and Men Differently?

Chest pain, or angina, is the most common symptom of heart disease in both men and women. However, it’s extremely common for women to show more subtle symptoms compared to classic chest pain, including:

  • Jaw, neck or upper back pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Fainting
  • Indigestion
  • Extreme fatigue

These symptoms in female patients may be mistaken for anxiety or gastrointestinal problems. Women’s symptoms may not fit into a “typical” definition of what heart disease looks like and are misunderstood more often than men’s.

Women are also more likely to experience these three less common kinds of heart attacks:

  • Myocardial infarction with nonobstructive arteries (MINOCA): heart attack with a coronary spasm rather than coronary arteries significantly narrowing
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD): results from a tear in the inner wall of an artery, creating a flap or swelling
  • Stress cardiomyopathy (broken heart syndrome): a more subtle heart attack with a lack of blocked arteries like in coronary artery disease, typically resulting from severe physical or emotional stress

Men typically show signs of:

  • Squeezing chest pressure or pain
  • Jaw, neck or back pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath

Why Do Women and Men Show Different Symptoms of Heart Disease?

In addition to women having smaller hearts and more narrow blood vessels than men, women and men experience cholesterol buildup in different parts of the body. Men typically develop plaque buildup in the largest arteries that supply blood to the heart. In contrast, women are more likely to have buildup in the heart’s smallest blood vessels, known as the microvasculature.

Coryell Health Cardiology Can Help

If you think you may be at risk for heart disease, talk to your primary care physician, and they can refer you to a Coryell Health cardiology specialist. Our cardiology team diagnoses heart problems and performs procedures to decrease your risk with the latest medical technology and a personalized touch.

We understand that each patient is unique and may develop heart disease from various factors. We help manage heart disease risk factors like high cholesterol and high blood pressure through expert nutritional advice and listening to your specific needs.

Don’t hesitate — speaking up and going to the doctor could save your life. To make an appointment, call Coryell Health at (254) 865-2166.

Coryell Health’s Respite Care at the Oaks

The Benefits of Coryell Health’s Respite Care

Do your caregiving responsibilities leave you emotionally and physically drained on a regular basis? Do you worry about being away from your loved one in the case of an emergency?

The challenges of being a caregiver can take a toll on your physical, mental and emotional well-being. If you find yourself neglecting your needs, it might be time to explore respite care with Coryell Health.



1. Caregivers receive a much-deserved break.

Respite care with Coryell Health provides a break for caregivers, offering temporary relief from caregiving responsibilities and burnout. Whether it be for a couple days or a couple weeks, caregivers can take time off to run errands or go on vacation without worrying about leaving their loved one alone.

2. Respite care provides assistance in an emergency.

If you’re a primary caregiver for an elderly loved one, an unexpected event that requires you to step away can be stressful. Coryell Health’s respite care can be a simple solution when other obligations take you away from caregiving.

3. Residents receive personal attention from professional caregivers.

Respite care provides professional assistance with a personal touch to ensure your loved one’s well-being. Coryell Health’s program provides a variety of benefits for families, including medication management, fall prevention, meal preparation and memory care. You’ll never have to worry that your loved one won’t receive the care they need when you’re gone.

4. Respite care is one of the most flexible care options.

Although you do have to arrange timing with us slightly ahead of time, respite care with Coryell Health allows caregivers to take time off whenever they need to. Our flexibility makes it easy to schedule times that work for you and your loved one.



If you don’t take care of yourself, how are you supposed to care for your loved one? There is no need to feel guilty about taking a well-deserved break from caregiving now and then. With care available under the same roof and on the same campus as our hospital and clinics, respite care from Coryell Health provides your loved one with a highly trained staff ready to meet their needs in a safe and secure environment. Some residents enjoy it so much that they keep coming back to our respite care program after their first stay.

“We had a family who brought their loved one to stay with us several times when they went on vacation,” said Susie Keeney, CALA, CDP, Director of Assisted and Independent Living at The Oaks. “When it came time for their loved one to stay full-time, it was an easy transition because she already knew the staff and residents.”


Consider the benefits of respite care with Coryell Health. Call us at (254) 248-6293 to learn more about our respite care program and
discover the relief it can bring.

Coryell Health Awarded a 5-Star Rating by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Coryell Health was recently awarded a five-star rating by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“We are honored to receive a five-star rating because it is a true reflection of our dedication to providing quality healthcare,” said Lauren Shelton MSN, RN – Chief Quality Officer. “I am exceedingly proud of the work that our physicians and team members do on an ongoing basis to ensure that the most current, evidence-based treatment protocols are in place at Coryell Health.”


“CMS utilizes a Five-Star Quality Rating System to provide the public with an easy-to-understand summary of Hospital Quality,” Shelton said. The overall quality rating is based on five areas of quality measures. All hospital systems participating in Medicare and Medicaid are rated from one star to five stars. This information is then publicly reported on https://www.medicare.gov/care-compare/?redirect=true&providerType=Hospital.

Help for the Holidays

Have a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season With These Tips


As the holiday season approaches, our calendars become full of festivities and cherished moments with loved ones. It’s also a time when our physical and mental well-being can easily take a backseat.

Coryell Health understands the importance of maintaining balance during this time of year. From healthy eating advice to combating loneliness and serving the community, we have tips to help you thrive during the holidays.



Healthy Holiday Eating Tips from Coach Mardi

Do you enjoy holiday food or practice healthy habits? The answer: both! Mardi Mason, our Ideal Protein and weight loss expert, has some invaluable tips to help you indulge without compromising your health.

1. Plan Ahead

You’re not always in control of what food you’ll be served. Plan for family gatherings and parties accordingly by bringing a healthy dish with you. If you’d like to eat a dessert, cut back on carbs during the meal.

2. Avoid the Buffet

When faced with an assortment of yummy foods, grab a small plate of the items you enjoy most and walk away. Eat vegetables first to help curb your appetite. Then, feel free to dig into the rest of your plate!

3. Enjoy Your Favorites

There is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy Grandma’s famous pumpkin pie. Choose small servings of the dishes you love and can’t get any other time of year. Treat yourself!

4. Stay Active

Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Your exercises don’t have to be hardcore — going on walks with loved ones after a holiday meal can help combat stress and calorie intake!

5. Get Your Rest

The holiday season can cause a lack of sleep. Sleep loss may make it harder to manage your blood sugar. When you’re sleep-deprived, you tend to eat more and prefer foods high in sugar and fat. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night to prevent mindless eating.



How to Avoid Loneliness During the Holidays

While the holidays are a time of togetherness, they can also be challenging for those feeling isolated. Here are some strategies to foster connection and combat loneliness.

1. Get To Know Your Neighbors

Building a sense of community starts with a friendly “hello.” Strike up conversations, exchange contact information and consider organizing a small gathering to foster connections with those living near you.

2. Phone a Friend

The holidays are the perfect time to rekindle relationships. Take the time to catch up with an old friend or family member. Share stories, reminisce and let them know they’re in your thoughts during this special time of year.

3. Share a Meal

There’s nothing that brings people together quite like food. Invite a neighbor or friend over for a cozy meal. Whether it’s a potluck-style gathering or a home-cooked dinner, sharing a meal creates a space for conversation and bonding.

4. Join a Club

Whether it’s a hiking club, book club or another hobby-based group, joining a club allows you to meet new people who share your passions. Engaging in activities you love alongside like-minded people can create meaningful connections.

5. Create a Holiday Bucket List

Encourage yourself to get out there and try new things with a holiday bucket list! Activities could include attending local events, preparing new recipes or engaging in acts of kindness. This list can serve as a guide to ensure you make the most of the season.



Give Back This Season

When you help others, you can’t help but help yourself. According to the Mayo Clinic, volunteering leads to lower rates of depression and anxiety, especially for people 65 and older. Here are a few opportunities to serve the Gatesville community and to connect with others.

1. Gatesville Care Center

Nearly 46,000 Central Texans rely on the Central Texas Food Bank each week for nutritious meals. Volunteer with their local food pantry at the Gatesville Care Center to provide food for families in need.

1. Boys & Girls Club of Gatesville

Help mold the future by volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club of Gatesville. Volunteers are able to assist in all areas of their youth development programs. Become a homework helper or tutor to a child who needs it! Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

2. Keep Gatesville Beautiful

Help keep our community clean through Keep Gatesville Beautiful. From improvement projects to educational presentations, Keep Gatesville Beautiful has plenty of opportunities to help out. 

3. Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet

While our soldiers care for us, you can care for their pets. Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet provides opportunities to foster a service member’s pet while they’re deployed. If you can’t foster a pet, you can still help! Visit their website for more information.

4. Friends of the Gatesville Public Library

Join a group of educators, homemakers, students and retirees in making our community a better place to live by providing access to a first-rate library. Check out their website to learn more about the Friends of the Gatesville Public Library.

5. Coryell County Museum and Historical Center

The Coryell County Museum is a hidden gem containing the largest collection of spurs in the country and other interesting attractions. To volunteer, visit their Facebook page.


Don’t let your health slip through the cracks during the holidays. Contact your Coryell primary care physician for more wellness tips and personalized advice. For individualized weight loss coaching, call (254) 404-2556 or email weightloss@coryellhealth.org to schedule a consultation with Coach Mardi.

From all of us at Coryell Health, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!

Give Yourself the Gift of Sleep This Holiday Season

Rest Easy With These Sleep Tips


A recent survey of 2,000 Americans found that hosting family and friends during the holidays can lead to losing two and a half hours of sleep per day. The combination of stress, excitement and time spent cooking and shopping makes sleep especially valuable during the holiday season.

Lack of sleep may negatively affect your hormone levels, mood, weight and more. Our American Academy of Sleep Medicine-accredited sleep center has these tips on how to catch some extra Zs!

1. Stick to a sleep schedule.

Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, including weekends. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep/wake cycle. The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is at least seven hours, so aim for eight hours each night.

2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink

Avoid large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. Limit your nicotine, caffeine and alcohol intake, as the stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine may interfere with sleep. Alcohol may make you sleepy at first, but it can disrupt sleep during the night.

3. Create a restful environment

Keep your room cool, dark and quiet to promote better sleep. Avoid using light-emitting screens 1-2 hours before bedtime, and consider using earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.



4. Limit daytime naps

Between cooking, shopping for loved ones and playing a bit of Thanksgiving football in the backyard, opportunities for physical activity are plentiful during the holidays. Regular physical activity can promote better sleep, so incorporate it into your daily routine!

5. Include physical activity in your daily routine

Between cooking, shopping for loved ones and playing a bit of Thanksgiving football in the backyard, opportunities for physical activity are plentiful during the holidays. Regular physical activity can promote better sleep, so incorporate it into your daily routine!

6. Manage your worries

It’s easier said than done, especially during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. However, try to resolve your worries or concerns before bedtime. Jot down what’s on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.


Coryell Health Can Help

Our sleep center offers full-service, comprehensive care for sleep disorders. We provide board certified sleep physician consultations, diagnostic testing and treatment services for over 80 sleep disorders, including:



If you suffer from sleep apnea and CPAP is ineffective, our ENT specialist, Dr. Holland, can insert an Inspire device. Inspire is the only FDA-approved obstructive sleep apnea treatment that works inside your body to treat the root cause of sleep apnea.


Have sweet dreams this holiday season. If you want to learn more about how Coryell Health’s Sleep Center can improve your quality of life, contact your primary care physician.

Hearing Preservation Tips From Dr. Ashley Brindley, Au.D.

Listen Up For Advice From An Expert

October is National Audiology Awareness Month, and Dr. Ashley Brindley, Au.D. is sharing valuable hearing preservation tips. Although we may be unaware of it, prolonged exposure to everyday noises above 85 decibels (dB) may contribute to hearing loss. There are ways to enjoy activities you love without compromising your hearing.


Tips to Prevent Hearing Loss

1. Turn the volume down

Listening to music near maximum volume repeatedly over time can lead to hearing loss. Music still sounds great on a lower volume!

2. Walk away from the loud noise

Move away from the main noise sources at events to protect your hearing. You can still enjoy loudspeakers, cannons, fireworks and other sources of noise from a distance.

3. Take breaks

Your ears need to rest between exposures to noise. Try to give yourself moments of quiet time each day. One of the most effective ways to protect your hearing is to avoid loud settings.

4. Use hearing protection

If you can’t avoid noise, use adequate hearing protection. Earplugs create an airtight seal in the ear canal, and earmuffs may also shield you from hearing damage. Read more from the CDC on which kind of hearing protection is best for you.

I always recommend earmuffs because there is less user error,” Dr. Brindley says. “You can also purchase custom hearing protection that is molded specifically to your ear. If you have concerns about the quality of your hearing protection, I can verify they are functioning appropriately.”


How Much Noise is Too Much?

If you need to shout to be heard by someone standing an arm’s length away, sound may damage your hearing over time. Prolonged exposure to sounds above 85 decibels (dB) may cause hearing loss. Take a look at a few everyday noises and how they affect your hearing:



There is no medical or surgical treatment for hearing loss caused by noise, and damaged hair cells don’t grow back. If you already have hearing loss, taking the appropriate steps to preserve your hearing is essential.


Services Offered

Audiology is the branch of medicine dedicated to treating hearing and balance issues. Although both audiologists and ENT doctors may deal with the ear canal and inner ear, audiologists have more specialized knowledge regarding hearing loss.

Dr. Brindley provides:

  • Diagnostic hearing evaluations
  • Hearing aid fittings
  • Treatment for tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

As of fall 2022, U.S. consumers may purchase over-the-counter hearing aids for mild to moderate hearing loss. These products may not be suitable for those with severe hearing loss. If you’d like to take advantage of this option, visit an audiologist before shopping to tailor your hearing device to your needs.

“I think it’s important to schedule a hearing test to have a baseline. It’s easier to track hearing loss when we have something to compare,” Dr. Brindley says. “Seeing an audiologist may seem inconvenient, but your older self will thank you later.”

If you’re experiencing hearing loss or related issues, please call (254) 865-2166 to inquire about scheduling an appointment with Dr. Brindley.

About Dr. Ashley Brindley

Dr. Ashley Brindley, Au.D., earned her associate degree from Victoria College and her bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology and audiology from the University of North Texas. She received her doctorate in audiology from the University of North Texas. Dr. Brindley is certified by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and a member of the Texas Academy of Audiology.

Coryell Health Welcomes New Audiologist

Coryell Health is excited to welcome Dr. Ashley Brindley, Au.D., to our Gatesville clinic! Dr. Brindley has practiced audiology in Central Texas for over nine years, and we’re grateful that she’s joining the Coryell team. Audiology is a new Coryell Health service that will complement ENT (ear, nose and throat) services provided by Dr. Bradford Holland.


Originally from Victoria, Texas, Dr. Brindley earned her associate degree from Victoria College. She received both her bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology and audiology and her doctorate in audiology from the University of North Texas.

She completed her residency at the Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System and worked there for four more years following her residency. Dr. Brindley moved to Waco with her husband, Ben, where they worked at Waco Otolaryngology and Associates for five years.

Dr. Brindley is certified by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and a member of the Texas Academy of Audiology.

When she’s not treating patients, she enjoys volunteering within the community and spending time with her husband and her two children.

If you’re experiencing hearing loss or related issues, please call (254) 865-2166 to inquire about scheduling an appointment with Dr. Brindley.

Welcome, Dr. Brindley! We’re thrilled to have you!

First Aid 101: What You Need to Know

When disaster strikes, you are the help until help arrives. Having a first aid kit available and knowing how to use it helps protect you and your loved ones in the event of an emergency.

First Aid Kit Checklist

It’s best practice to have a first aid kit handy at home and in the car. You never know when you, your loved ones or a pedestrian might need care on the go.

Consider your family members and consult your family medicine physician when customizing your first aid kit to meet your family’s unique healthcare needs.

Example 1: Equip your kits with antihistamine medicine and an epinephrine injector if someone has a severe allergy.

Example 2: Include a juice box, glucose tablets and an emergency glucagon injection kit if someone in your household lives with diabetes.

Download and print your first aid kit checklist here.


Put Your Kit to Use

A first aid kit is only as effective as the person using it. Here’s how to put your first aid kit to use in treating several common injuries:

Keep Your Kit Updated

Make sure to use and replace any supplies in your first aid kit before they expire. Set a reminder to update the supplies in your kit every six months and/or as the healthcare needs of your family change.

If you or your loved ones experience a serious emergency, call 911. For minor injuries that a first aid kit can’t fix, contact Coryell Health family medicine for personalized healthcare. Our family medicine physicians build meaningful relationships with patients, ensuring a comfortable and welcoming experience. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (254) 865-2166 today.

Coryell Health to host a FREE Lunch & Learn: Medicare 101

An Open Enrollment Educational Seminar – The ABCs of Medicare Basics

Coryell Health will host a Medicare 101 Lunch & Learn at the Gatesville Civic Center on October 3, 2023 from 11:30am – 1:00pm. Join us for the free seminar where seniors citizens and caregivers will have an opportunity to speak with both Medicare and benefits counselors and have questions answered by Central Texas area experts.

Event Key Takeaways:

  • The difference between Original Medicare, Medicare Supplements, and Medicare Advantage plans.
  • An Explanation of the four parts of Medicare (A-D).
  • What does Medicare cost?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of Medicare Advantage Plans?


Advantage Plan Health insurers are flooding the potential Medicare Advantage market again this fall with enticing offers of plans with no monthly price tag. Sounds good—but be wary. Choosing between the two requires careful consideration of your finances and health needs. Advantage plans can carry hidden risks, especially for people with significant health issues.

“Some people in Medicare Advantage end up paying unexpectedly high costs when they become ill or find their network lacks the providers they need,” says David Byrom, CEO of Coryell Health. “Our seniors deserve access to timely, affordable care in their home communities. Making an informed choice about your health insurance coverage depends on having all the information. We encourage our Medicare-eligible residents to ask questions before selecting a Medicare Advantage plan.”

Register to attend at www.coryellhealth.org/medicare101 or call (254) 248-6380.