August 19, 2014


A pediatrician sees hundreds of patients a year. Some stick out in their mind more than others, but for Dr. Michael Bishop, pediatrician at Texas Children’s Pediatrics Grand Parkway, the Stovall family is one that he will never forget.

Last year, while on vacation in Galveston, Bishop experienced shortness of breath which prompted his wife to drive him back to Houston for immediate evaluation. Following a week in the hospital with more questions than answers, he was diagnosed with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), a rare genetic disease that affects kidney function. Once diagnosed, Bishop was given both oral and IV medication, but dialysis four nights per week also was required due to the failure of his kidneys to recover from the illness.

Shortly after the diagnosis, his daughters started a Facebook page to raise awareness about aHUS and the importance of kidney donation. Because the disease is genetic, none of his family members were able to donate, thus the need to broadly share his story. Patients at his practice started asking about the Facebook page and how they could help.

“The support from my patients and their families was overwhelming,” said Bishop. “I believe that I have been blessed by God to be given the privilege of taking care of children and their families. I never thought I’d receive the greatest gift of all from one of them.”

Jennifer Kennedy-Stovall’s three sons have been patients of Bishop’s since they were born. Now 10, eight and four, the boys are frequent visitors to Texas Children’s Pediatrics Grand Parkway whether for a well-child check-up or an acute illness. Bishop had been out of the office during a few of the Stovall boys’ visits and Jennifer wondered if he was battling a serious health issue. When the family saw Bishop during their next visit, they noticed that he just wasn’t the same – he wasn’t cracking jokes, he was more introverted and more than just the physical changes that occurred since his diagnosis, his personality had changed as well. Bishop shared the news of his diagnosis and his need for a kidney. Kennedy-Stovall walked out of the room and had a feeling.

“I walked out of the room and knew that I had to do something to help,” said Kennedy-Stovall. “I began the living donor kidney screening process that day.”

Kennedy-Stovall went through four rounds of intense screening to determine if she was a match for Bishop. Through blood tests, numerous blood pressure screenings, medical history reports, scans, x-rays and consultations with a nephrologist and social worker, Kennedy-Stovall found out that she was a match.

“When I found out I was a match, my husband and I didn’t hesitate,” Kennedy-Stovall recalls. “I felt like this was something I had to do from the moment Dr. Bishop told me he needed a transplant and I couldn’t have been happier to do this for him.”

Ironically, Kennedy-Stovall and one of her sons had a visit scheduled for the next day with Bishop. She went to the appointment not knowing if he had heard the news yet. She asked if he had any news to share and Bishop said there was testing ongoing, but that no match had yet been reported to him. Little did he know that, momentarily, she told him that she was going to be his living donor.

The families prepared, and the surgery was scheduled. The surgery was successful for Bishop and Kennedy-Stovall, and their recoveries were seamless. On July 16, Bishop celebrated his one year transplant anniversary and is thriving. The Bishops and Stovall families have grown incredibly close through their journey, oftentimes sharing lengthy family dinners together.

“I can’t believe it’s been a year,” said Bishop. “So many thoughts come to mind, but unpayable gratitude is at the top of the list. My patients are my second family, and they mean a lot to me. I’m so proud that I can come back to the practice and continue to do what I love because of this unbelievable gift from Jennifer and her family.”


Texas Children’s Hospital has been named one of the Best Places to Work in Houston for eight years in a row by the Houston Business Journal. Earning a no. 5 ranking last year was especially meaningful to me because it was based solely on your feedback. Once again, it’s survey time!

Help Texas Children’s be a 2014 contender by taking a few minutes to complete the Best Places to Work survey anytime between now and 5 p.m. Friday, August 22. Company scores are always quite close, so your voice really does matter.

As you consider each question, focus on your overall experience at Texas Children’s. To begin, click on or copy and paste this link into your Web browser: If you start the survey and need to save and complete it later, you will receive a unique survey password allowing you to do so.

No organization is perfect, but thankfully an open and honest dialogue helps Texas Children’s grow stronger. Remember, all responses are anonymous and cannot be traced to individuals. Quantum Workplace, Inc. will roll all responses into one organizational report; results will not be reported by group or leader. Company rankings will be announced in mid-October.

If you have questions or technical difficulties, please do not call the IS Service Desk; instead, call Karen Jumonville in Human Resources at Ext. 4-6656.

Thank you again for helping to remind the Houston community that Texas Children’s delivers extraordinary care because of our extraordinary people and their infinite passion for our mission.


Imagine preparing more than 600 syringes or bottles of milk every day for an average of 80 hungry infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Texas Children’s Newborn Center. That’s roughly eight feedings per day for each baby in the NICU who receives human milk prepared by the Milk Bank.

Preparing milk for these fragile newborns is more than just pouring it into a bottle. Our Milk Bank technicians follow strict procedures and high quality standards to ensure the right milk is delivered to the right baby.

“It’s one of the hardest jobs to fill because it requires meticulous attention to detail, exceptional math skills, the ability to multi-task and follow procedural guidelines at the same time,” said Kristina Tucker, manager of Texas Children’s Lactation and Milk Bank Services. “Our technicians spend most of their time on their feet preparing the milk that will nourish our tiniest and most vulnerable NICU patients.”

82014MilkBankinside640After the mothers’ expressed milk is delivered to the Milk Bank on either the fourth floor of the West Tower or the eighth floor of Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, our technicians verify the information on the labeled bottles, scan it into the system, and store the mother’s breast milk and pasteurized donor milk in large freezers and refrigerators until they are ready for use.

Every day is a busy day at the Milk Bank. From the time our technicians begin their 10-hour shift at 7:30 a.m., they’re working around the clock to ensure all feed orders from physicians are filled and ready for delivery to the NICU at 5 p.m. Despite working in a fast-paced environment, there is no room for error. Every order, which contains the physician’s instructions, is examined numerous times before the milk bottles and syringes are sent to the NICU nurses who feed the babies.

“Sometimes physicians will request that certain fortification products be added to the milk,” said Michelle Jones, a Milk Bank technician at Texas Children’s. “Since each baby’s nutritional needs are different, our primary goal is to make sure the babies receive the right fortified milk which is critical to their care.”

When fortifying the milk, technicians may add complex proteins, carbohydrates and minerals including Prolacta® products which include a cream supplement made from human milk fat that is added to the diet of premature infants who weigh less than 3.3 pounds. These products are derived from pasteurized donor breast milk and when added to mother’s own milk, provide an exclusive human milk diet for these small, vulnerable infants thereby protecting them from infection and disease.

“Most premature babies require these additional additives to help them grow,” said Nancy Hurst, director of Women’s Support Services at Texas Children’s. “The fortifiers add calories and nutrients to the milk without changing the volume since premature babies can tolerate only a certain amount of feedings.”

Once the milk is mixed, prepared and delivered to the NICU, the mission is accomplished.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many hours these Milk Bank technicians work or how much their feet hurt from standing all day. What matters the most to them is that all the babies receiving breast milk have been fed.

“It’s all about feeding the babies,” said Jones, who has worked at Texas Children’s Milk Bank for eight years. “It brings me great joy to see the positive impact that my colleagues and I have on these infants, and the trust that the parents have in us to ensure their babies’ nutritional needs are met.”

KTRK recently spotlighted a Houston-area family whose NICU baby benefited from Texas Children’s Milk Bank services. Click here to watch the video.

For more information on how to donate breast milk to the Milk Bank, click here.


At Texas Children’s we value your well-being, your family, and our patients. This year, we are excited to participate in Miracle Marathon to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and we invite you to participate.

What is Miracle Marathon?
Miracle Marathon is a challenge anyone can complete. You, your friends, family and anyone else who wants to join the team can walk, run or simply move on average one mile every day, for 27 days for a total of 27.2 miles – and complete a Miracle Marathon. A marathon is 26.2 miles, so why 27.2? Because it’s a marathon, plus an extra mile for the kids! Starting Tuesday, September 16 and continuing until Sunday, October 12, join Team Texas Children’s Hospital as we get active and help local kids get well. All funds raised will go toward the expansion of services of Texas Children’s in The Woodlands.
*Fundraising is optional.

What is Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals?
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is a network of 170 children’s hospitals across North America. Texas Children’s is part of this network. Learn more about these hospitals at

How to sign up!

1. Visit, click “register” and follow the online instructions

2. Register as a Miracle Maker and receive your starter kit full of great prizes

All TCH badge holders:

    • Click “Yes” when asked if you are a hospital employee
    • Include promo code: TCHEMPLOYEE to receive your starter kit for free!

Directions for your family and friends:

    • Click “No” when asked if you are a hospital employee
    • Do not include the promo code, but you can still receive a starter kit for $27.20

3. Then join our team: Texas Children’s Hospital

4. Choose “Texas Children’s Hospital” as the hospital you would like to support

5. Finish the registration process, to receive your personal, online fundraising page

Once you are registered, you will receive more information about Miracle Marathon, and the children you will be helping. To learn more about Miracle Marathon, or to register, visit the Wellness website on Connect (This link will only open internally).

Should you have any questions, feel free to contact our Wellness Coordinator, Jenna Sneed at: 4-3244 or


By Amber Jacques

Recently, we celebrated our daughter’s first birthday. It’s so amazing how fast time flies! Fourteen months ago, I remember my husband, Sam, and I, rushing to Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women for the birth of our beautiful daughter, Sydney. The contractions were getting pretty intense, but I was determined not to deliver in the car. As manager of Security Services at the Pavilion, I’ve seen moms deliver right as they pull up to the concourse. Fingers crossed, I didn’t want that to happen to me. I instructed my husband, “I am not having this baby in the car, and I don’t want to have this baby without medication. Hurry!”

82014BWfamily640 - 2Sure enough, we arrived at the hospital 35 miles later. The security guard placed me in a wheelchair as we headed up to my labor and delivery room. By that time, I was nine centimeters dilated. The nurses were wonderful and made sure I got my epidural like I requested. After a couple of pushes, Sydney made her grand debut! Our daughter was born June 8, 2013, at 7:55 p.m. weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces and 21 inches long.

For my husband, Sam, and me, Sydney is our miracle baby.

At a very early age, I knew getting pregnant would be impossible. While in my mother’s womb, an ultrasound revealed that my right ovary was severely cystic and doctors removed it when I was a mere 10 days old. As a teenager, I remember my mom telling me, “Maybe we should look into freezing your eggs if you decide to have children one day.” But, I vetoed that idea because it was a non-issue back then, since I wasn’t thinking about children.

Fast forward to 2008 when I faced another health scare that jeopardized my chances of having a baby. Out of nowhere, I started having debilitating headaches, eye pressure pain, teary eyes and uncontrollable nose bleeds which spewed out of me like a fire hydrant. The emergency room doctor diagnosed me with severe allergies and suggested I take over-the-counter medication for relief. He also discovered a tiny polyp inside my nose, but didn’t treat it at the time. So, I just packed my nose with ice to stop the bleeding.

It wasn’t until later, when my symptoms got worse, that I realized this polyp in my nose was growing out of control. When I arrived at the University of Michigan Hospital, doctors performed an MRI and noticed the tumor in my nose had grown behind my eyes, punctured my dura and grew across my face into my sinus cavity. The tumor had ruptured which caused the profuse bleeding in my nose.

I underwent two surgeries to remove the tumor and a frozen biopsy revealed it was cancer. I had a subcranial resection where I was cut from ear to ear. Surgeons cut a big chunk of my forehead and part of my nose. I ended up losing my sense of smell and taste in the process, but I was so happy to be alive.

The lengthy surgery, which lasted for 15 hours, was nothing compared to the burning pain from the radiation treatments.

I underwent radiation for my head and neck to ensure there were no miniscule cancer cells lurking, since this type of cancer – estheseioneuroblastoma – can easily spread to the thyroid gland.

Although I successfully beat cancer – which I am grateful for – the radiation treatments damaged my pituitary gland, which impacted my left ovary’s ability to function normally.

My husband and I tried for five years to have a baby, but we realized we needed help. When we moved to Houston in 2009, my OB-GYN recommended that we meet one of Texas Children’s fertility specialists, Dr. William Gibbons. She said, “I really want you to meet him. He’s not only the best in his field, but he’s just fantastic to work with.”

When we met Dr. Gibbons for our consultation appointment at Baylor Clinic – before the Family Fertility Center opened in the Pavilion – he reassured us, “It may be tough, but we’re going to make it happen. I have no doubts that we will be successful.” That’s the encouragement my husband and I so desperately needed.

Before we started fertility treatments, I underwent surgery to remove scar tissue that built up in my right fallopian tube as a result of the ovarian removal surgery I had as an infant. Dr. Gibbons wanted to make sure my fallopian tubes were flowing freely before we started intrauterine insemination (IUI).

After three rounds of IUI, which took us a year to complete, I got the miraculous news that we were waiting to hear, “You are PREGNANT!” Sam and I were so excited and shocked at the same time. After taking a whole bunch of home pregnancy tests, we called Dr. Gibbon’s office, and sure enough, an ultrasound confirmed we were expecting!

82014BWfamily640 - 3

Since the first day we laid eyes on her, Sydney has brought our family so much joy. At 14 months, she’s learning to walk, so we’re locking down the house at this point.

Sam always makes fun of me and says that I’m a paparazzo because I take so many pictures and videos of our miracle baby. But, you have to, because she is growing up too fast!

Every day, I am grateful for Dr. Gibbons and his team for helping me, and other families, conceive their dream of motherhood.

Sometimes life throws obstacles in our path, but we are bigger than any obstacle. We can triumph over any circumstance by staying positive and focused on achieving our goals.

Dr. Milton Finegold (right), chief emeritus, Department of Texas Children’s Pathology, congratulates Finegold Award recipients Cherish Sullivan (from left), daughter of Yovaletta Sullivan, Labor and Delivery; Kayla Evans, daughter of Danyalle Evans, Nursing Float Pool; and Paolo De Jesus, son of Ruby De Jesus, 10 WT/Neurology/Neurosurgery/Epilepsy Monitoring Unit.

Finegold established the scholarship in 1985 in memory of his wife, Joan, a nurse, to help the children of Texas Children’s registered nurses fulfill their educational goals. The applicant (registered nurse) must be an employee of Texas Children’s for a minimum of two years on or before May 1 of the year of application.


Dr. Ellis M. Arjmand has joined Texas Children’s Hospital as the new chief of Otolaryngology and the director of practice standards and faculty development for the Department of Surgery. Arjmand will also be appointed the Bobby Alford Endowed Chair in Pediatric Otolaryngology and professor of Otolaryngology at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Dr. Arjmand is bringing an exciting vision to the surgery team, with plans to grow the otolaryngology division to better serve our patients and their families,” said Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr., surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital. “We’re confident that his leadership will continue to advance the national prominence of our otolaryngology team as well as assist our entire surgical faculty in meeting their career aspirations.”

Arjmand’s clinical interests include pediatric ear disease, congenital and acquired hearing loss, airway disorders and sinus disease. He is internationally known for his research on pediatric hearing loss and for his expertise in the areas of health economics and health care quality improvement.

Arjmand joins Texas Children’s Hospital from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he was director of the Ear and Hearing Center and Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program, medical director of the Liberty Campus of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and chair of the hospital’s peer review committee. He was also professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

He earned his bachelor’s, medical and doctor of philosophy degrees from Northwestern University. Dr. Arjmand completed his otolaryngology residency and pediatric otolaryngology fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis and the St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He also holds a master of medical management (MMM) degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.