February 17, 2015


Due to our success in treating the most severe cases of morbidly adherent placenta, Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women continues to attract numerous patients from across the country. With the rise of caesarean births in the U.S., this potentially life-threatening condition is becoming more common among pregnant women.

Morbidly adherent placenta – known as placenta accreta, increta or percreta, depending on the depth of uterine invasion – occurs when the placenta and its blood vessels grow deeply into the wall of the uterus and is unable to detach after childbirth. Women who have had prior caesarean sections (C-sections) or other uterine surgeries are more at risk for this pregnancy complication since the placenta latches on to the surgical scar too firmly. About 5 to 7 percent of women die due to massive hemorrhage.

“The number of women with morbidly adherent placenta that we care for is rapidly escalating as our outcomes continue to attract a growing number of referrals,” said Texas Children’s OB-GYN Chief Dr. Michael Belfort, a world-renowned placenta accreta expert and founder of the Morbidly Adherent Placenta Program at Baylor College of Medicine. “Our success is rooted in our ability to work as a team.”

Women with morbidly adherent placenta receive multidisciplinary care from a diverse group of specialists representing maternal-fetal medicine, gynecologic oncology, anesthesiology, urology, neonatology, radiology and blood bank services.

“Our multidisciplinary team works closely with the hospital’s blood bank to ensure adequate supply of blood products is available for surgery and to help manage transfusions,” said Texas Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist Dr. Karin Fox. “We rely on our anesthesiology team to administer blood and draw labs to ensure electrolytes remain stable in addition to keeping the patient comfortable. Urologists provide expertise when the placenta embeds itself into the urinary system.”

The approach that gynecologic oncology surgeons use to remove uterine cancer inspired the technique used to treat placenta percreta since the abnormal placenta acts like a cancer invading the outside of where it is supposed to be growing.

“We take a wider approach when we perform a hysterectomy to reduce the potential for blood loss,” said Texas Children’s gynecologic oncologist and surgeon Dr. Concepcion Diaz-Arrastia. “We remove the uterus and cervix in a modified radical hysterectomy along with a small amount of the tissue that attaches the uterus to the pelvis as if it were cancerous.”

Khadajah Winchester credits the Pavilion for Women’s highly skilled team of physicians who meticulously prepared and planned for her emergency surgery. She was airlifted from a hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana to the Pavilion for Women.

Winchester – who had two previous caesarean deliveries – had placenta percreta where the placenta invaded part of her bladder. Physicians made an incision high on Winchester’s uterus to avoid touching her placenta. Despite minimal bleeding during the actual delivery of her 6-pound 7-ounce baby girl Brooklyn, Winchester began bleeding profusely from the numerous vessels that had fed her invasive placenta and required a 25-pint massive blood transfusion.

“I hardly had blood pumping through my veins and if I had not gone to the Pavilion for Women, I would have died,” Winchester said. “Hospitals in smaller communities don’t carry the large volume of blood that I needed to survive.”

The Pavilion for Women – world renowned for its comprehensive, multidisciplinary care and focus on high-risk pregnancies – has treated 27 cases of placenta accreta in the last 12 months.

“Patients with risk factors for placenta accreta should consult with specialists early – ideally by 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy,” said Texas Children’s Maternal-Fetal specialist Dr. Alireza Shamshirsaz. “Early diagnosis prior to delivery is crucial to allow time for planning and preparation to enhance the best possible outcomes for mother and baby.”

Click here for more information about Baylor’s Morbidly Adherent Placenta Program at the Pavilion for Women.


Texas Children’s Hospital recently participated in Junior Achievement’s largest youth gathering called JA Inspire to provide thousands of eighth graders hands-on exposure to some of the region’s best employers.

Representatives from Human Resources, Nursing and the Emergency Center spent three days at the event’s career fair in Pasadena and another three days at the event’s career fair in Cypress encouraging students to explore and prepare for potential career opportunities in health care. They talked to the students about how multi-faceted the health care industry is and provided the students with information that will help them learn about relevant coursework and curriculum as they prepare for high school and beyond.

“It was so nice to see the look on the students’ faces when we described working at a pediatric hospital,” said Liz Wuestner, a clinical specialist for the Emergency Center. “These young people are our future health care providers, and it was a great opportunity to inspire them to pursue a degree in nursing.”

Chief of Emergency Medicine Dr. Paul Sirbaugh was a featured speaker at the event in Cypress and said afterward that he “had forgotten how rewarding it is to interact with middle school students who have so much passion and excitement for the future.”

“They see no barriers, only possibilities,” he said.

The JA Inspire event is just one of the many ways Texas Children’s Hospital continues to grow its footprint in the community. Our organization will continue to have a presence at events similar to JA Inspire to help build the future talent pipeline.


Texas Children’s Pediatrics is proud to announce Texas Children’s Pediatrics Kingsland as its newest practice.

Located at 21715 Kingsland Blvd., Suite 103, in Katy, Texas Children’s Pediatrics Kingsland is open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to noon. The location is among six practices in the Texas Children’s Pediatrics Community Cares Program.

As part of its goal to build a community of healthy children, the Community Cares Program provides trusted, high-quality pediatric medical services for children who otherwise would seek care from emergency rooms or possibly go without care or treatment due to low family incomes and/or lack of health insurance. Regardless of the family’s financial situation, the program provides health care to children from birth to age 18 and offers the opportunity to develop a trusting, long-term relationship with a board certified pediatrician.

“We are thrilled to welcome Texas Children’s Pediatrics Kingsland to our system,” Texas Children’s Pediatrics President Kay Tittle said. “As Houston expands further, we look forward to continuing to care for the children in our community.”

Dr. Punita Sunder serves as the primary physician at Texas Children’s Pediatrics Kingsland. Board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, Sunder received her undergraduate degree from Rice University and earned her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. She earned her doctorate in philosophy from The University of Texas Medical Branch and completed her residency at Baylor. Sunder is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Texas Medical Association and Harris County Medical Society.

Texas Children’s Pediatrics Kingsland provides care for children of all ages including well-child and illness examinations; vaccinations and immunizations; preventative health care; school and sports physicals; hearing and vision screening; assistance applying for insurance programs including Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Harris County Gold Card; social work support who can link families with needed medical and social services; and health care and nutrition education for children and families.

New patients are currently being accepted. To make an appointment, or to learn more, call 281-398-7353 or visit texaschildrenspediatrics.org.

February 10, 2015


Texas Children’s Talent Acquisition team is partnering with Nursing to recruit talented nurses in the Emergency Center, Critical Care (ICUs) and the operating rooms, and you can help.

We will have a job fair this week and again later this month, targeting recruitment of nurses in these areas. These upcoming job fairs are part of a broader effort – 100 nurses in 100 days campaign –  to recruit professionals in roles where there is critical need.

  • This week’s job fair is 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, February 13, on the fourth floor of Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women.
  • The second job fair is 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, February 24, at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

Recruit and E.A.R.N.
Tell family and friends about the job fairs, and share your positive experiences as a Texas Children’s employee. If you’re successful in helping us fill one of these positions, you’ll even be rewarded through the E.A.R.N. (Everyone’s A Recruiter Now) employee referral program. The E.A.R.N. program pays up to $5,000 for specific job referrals.

100 Nurses in 100 Days E A R N Flyer – Hot Jobs

If you have friends who are interested in joining the Texas Children’s nursing team, please encourage them to visit jobs.texaschildrens.org/nursing.


Texas Children’s, are you ready for some football?

Beginning in the 2015-2016 NFL season, we will team up with the Houston Texans to help children lead healthier, more productive lives.

21115texansinside250The exclusive pediatric health care partnership with the beloved sports team will kick off Sunday, April 19 at the Houston Texans Kids Triathlon, an event that is expected to draw 3,000 youth.

For the next seven years, Texas Children’s and the Houston Texans will work together to build a community of healthier kids, focusing on increasing community engagement and the education of youth on the importance of nutrition and physical activity.

We will host numerous sports camps, programs and events, including Texas Jr. Cheer, Running of the Bulls: TORO Kids 1K run/walk, Youth Football Camps, Heads Up Football Program, TORO’s Training Table and Play 60, the NFL initiative to encourage children to exercise at least 60 minutes every day. We also will visit more than 25 Houston-area elementary schools each year to teach children about healthy eating and lifestyles.

Together, we will reach our goal of building a community of healthier kids.

Stay tuned for updates about this unique partnership.


Family, friends and former colleagues of the late Dr. Edward B. Singleton, Chief Emeritus of the Edward B. Singleton Department of Pediatric Radiology, gathered to celebrate the life of the late physician and relive their favorite memories of the jovial Singleton.

Browse the photo gallery to see some of the moments from this tribute ceremony.



Living with pelvic health issues isn’t easy. Many women are too embarrassed to talk about it. Some simply don’t know where to turn, while others struggle to find a physician who will listen to them.

Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women is changing that, and the lives of our patients.

In partnership with Baylor College of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women recently launched the Pelvic Health and Wellness Program to improve the quality of life for women suffering from pelvic disorders and sexual dysfunction.

While incontinence, overactive bladder, pelvic organ prolapse and low libido are more common in women over 50, these conditions affect women of all ages. Studies estimate more than 40 percent of women will experience symptoms related to incontinence, prolapse, or pain with intercourse in their lifetime.

“We understand the toll these disorders can take on a woman’s physical and emotional well-being,” said Dr. Anuja Vyas, a Texas Children’s gynecologist and obstetrician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of vulvovaginal disorders. “Our team takes the time to listen to our patients’ needs and tailor a customized treatment plan for every patient to achieve the best possible outcomes.”

Many patients who are referred to the Pavilion for Women have already seen countless physicians who have unsuccessfully treated their condition. When they come to our facility, they receive comprehensive care from a multidisciplinary team of specialists representing diverse areas of expertise:

  • Urogynecology
  • Vulvovaginal health
  • Menopause health care
  • Reproductive psychiatry
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery (cutting-edge technology)

The Pelvic Health and Wellness team also includes nurse practitioners, licensed biofeedback therapists, massage therapists and sexual counselors, all collaborating to improve the health of women during every stage of their reproductive lives.

From diagnosis to treatment – whether it is physical therapy, mental health, or minimally invasive surgery – women receive the full complement of services in one centralized location.

“We know what our patients are going through and we want to help them,” said Texas Children’s surgeon Dr. Francisco Orejuela, a urogynecologist who is board certified in female pelvic medicine and reproductive surgery, and specializes in treating women with pelvic floor disorders. “The sooner they come to us, the greater our success in treating them, and the faster they can return to their normal lifestyle.”

For more information about the Pelvic Health and Wellness program, click here.

Click here to watch a video spotlighting the world-class, gynecologic care provided to women of all ages at the Pavilion for Women.