May 19, 2015


The Department of Surgery recently presented Judy Swanson, assistant vice president of Perioperative Services, with a Distinguished Service Award for her 14 years of work with Texas Children’s.

Swanson has helped the Department of Surgery to develop its surgical community through her true understanding of the department’s clinical needs and goals combined with her ability to provide the resources required to advance the program. She also has been the nursing voice and conscience within the Department of Surgery and across the hospital.

Swanson is providing a foundation upon which the next phase of surgery at Texas Children’s will be built. She is active in the department’s CareFirst project, is working with the Heart Center, and is involved with the building of the new operating rooms and procedure suites.

May 12, 2015


It’s hard to contain the celebration of nursing at a place like Texas Children’s to just one week. Every day there is a story of a nurse who’s going above and beyond to impact patient care, experience and outcomes. A nurse who is holding the hands of a parent who’s received tough news about their child. A nurse who’s by the bedside of a patient whose own family can’t be there during treatments. A nurse who leaves behind his own family on holidays and weekends to be with families in the hospital. A nurse who calms the fears of a mom-to-be as she prepares to give birth to her first child. Nurses leave a lasting impression on every patient and they’re at the core of the experience patients have while in our care.
Each year, as the nation celebrates nurses across the country, Texas Children’s takes a moment to join in and praise the hard work being done across our own community by the Texas Children’s family nurses.

This year’s Nurses Week celebrations included town halls held by Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Lori Armstrong, poster presentations, cookie deliveries, blessing of the hands, a webinar, an education fair, a Fiesta Bar Friday and massages.

Nurses highlighted this week for their dedication to nursing include Nursing Excellence Award winners and Houston Chronicle Salute to Nurses honorees. The nine Nursing Excellence Award Recipients included:
Staff Nurse of the year: Natalie McBain
Preceptor of the year: Lauren Mayer
Rookie of the year: Megan Riordan
Certified nurse of the year: Shannon Frost
Leader of the year: Tarra Kerr
Teams of the Year: Texas Children’s Health Plan – Nurse Family Partnership Program and Texas Children’s System Hospital Acquired Pressure Ulcer Skin Champions
APRN of the year: Jessica Geer
Friend of Nursing: Hasti Taghi

Click here to view the photo gallery of the luncheon

Perhaps the most special moment of the Nursing Excellence award luncheon came as a surprise for Armstrong. The nursing leadership team presented the chief nursing office with a plaque recognizing a new award named in Armstrong’s honor. The Lori Armstrong Patient Experience Award will be given to one worthy nurse annually beginning next year as an acknowledgment of Armstrong’s own dedication to patient experience.

The Houston Chronicle Salute to Nurses included Vicki Wiest from the Meyer Center for Developmental Pediatrics and Donna Daigle Tinsley from Texas Children’s Cancer Center who were both among the top 10 award recipients.

Click here for more on the Houston Chronicle Salute to Nurses honorees

In addition to the two nurses honored in the top 10, 20 other Texas Children’s nurses were recognized as being among the top 150 in the Greater Houston area.

Heidi Aghajani
Denise Allen
Toronda Baker
Emily Garrie
Chelci Gray
Melody Hellsten
Joy Hesselgrave
Amy Jeppesen
Patsy Jones
Michael Jordan
Melanie Knapp
Erica McMillian
Joellan Mullen
Jada Randall
Melissa Silvera
Tammy Stanford
Katharine Tittle
Amy Turner
Elizabeth Wuestner
Nicole Zola


Less than three months after being separated from her twin sister in a 26-hour operation at Texas Children’s Hospital, Knatalye Hope Mata was released to the care of her family.

Knatalye was discharged from the hospital on May 8, just in time for Mother’s Day. Her family lives in Lubbock but will remain in Houston until Knatalye’s sister, Adeline Faith, is able to go home. Doctors anticipate that homecoming to be within the next few months.

Formerly conjoined twins Knatalye and Adeline were born at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women on April 11, 2014 via Caesarean-section at 31 weeks gestation after weeks of extensive prenatal imaging, multidisciplinary consultation and planning at Texas Children’s Fetal Center.

Surgeons allowed the girls to grow and gain strength for 10 months before undertaking the difficult task of separating them. During the procedure, the surgical team worked in shifts to separate the twins, who shared a chest wall, pericardial sac, diaphragm, liver, intestines, bladder, uterus and pelvis. Since then, Knatalye and Adeline have been healing quickly and are continuing to progress well as two little girls.

Many of their caregivers, including Dr. Darrell Cass, lead surgeon and co-director of Texas Children’s Fetal Center, and Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye, lead surgeon and co-director of the Texas Fetal Center, came by Knatalye’s room last week to bid her farewell.

Smiles and hugs were exchanged before the 1-year-old was strapped into a car seat in the back of her family’s SUV. Shortly afterward, Knatalye left the only place she has ever known. Although she will be back for follow-up care, Texas Children’s is no longer her primary home. It’s her home away from home, which is exactly what everyone hoped it would become.


Texas Children’s is excited to announce a new partnership with Weight Watchers allowing all Texas Children’s employees to receive 50 percent off all Weight Watchers services.

Weight Watchers programming helps individuals lose weight in a healthy holistic way. This is accomplished by developing healthy routines, creating social support, learning to eat smarter and finding physical activities you enjoy.

51315weightwatcherschart900Texas Children’s is proud to partner with Weight Watchers because both organizations believe that every person has the power to succeed and want to help motivate you every step of the way.

Weight Watchers participants will have access to information, knowledge, tools and support to help them make decisions about nutrition and exercise that are right for them. The program encourages participants to enjoy their relationship with food and their bodies while accomplishing their health and image goals.

According to Weight Watchers, “Weight management is a partnership between our knowledge and your effort, and trust us; your efforts will pay off!”

Partnership Perks

  • 50 percent off monthly at work and community meetings pass
  • 50 percent off monthly online pass
  • Ability to attend unlimited community meetings
  • Hold At Work group meetings at any campus location with 15 or more employee participants
  • Optional weekly confidential weigh-ins to help you stay accountable
  • eTools to track points and activity, browse recipes, and receive social support
  • 24/7 online chat support

Texas Children’s is committed to supporting your health and well-being by creating opportunities for you to thrive in the workplace, at home and in the community. We appreciate your hard work and hope you take advantage of this incredible offering.

For more information about the Weight Watchers program or to enroll, visit the Wellness website on Connect.


Texas Children’s Hospital is excited to announce the addition of Dr. John Dormans as the new chief of orthopedics. Dormans, whose appointment was effective May 1, also will serve as a professor of orthopedic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Dr. Dormans comes to us with an incredible track record of success. His knowledge, leadership and accomplishments make him an exceptional asset to Texas Children’s, and we are confident in his ability to lead our Division of Orthopedics into an exciting new chapter growing our clinical and research programs,” said Surgeon-In-Chief Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr. “Dormans has a proven leadership record of programmatic development, faculty mentoring and managing clinical activity with research to advance care. We are excited to have him here.”

Dormans obtained his undergraduate degree at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. and went on to earn his medical degree at the university’s school of medicine in Indianapolis. He then completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Grand Rapids Michigan State University, followed by a clinical pediatric orthopedic fellowship at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario. He rounded out his post-graduate training with programs at Harvard’s School of Public Health and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

Since 1990, Dormans has been a clinician and leader at CHOP, serving as the hospital’s chief of orthopedic surgery from 1996 to 2014 and as president of the medical staff and president of Children’s Surgical Associates (the CHOP surgical group) for four three-year terms. He focused his clinical work on pediatric spinal deformity and musculoskeletal tumors while providing the leadership to grow the number of specialized and outreach clinics and make CHOP a top ten pediatric orthopedic program.

“I look forward to joining the faculty at Texas Children’s Hospital as orthopedics chief,” said Dormans. “As the largest children’s hospital in the United States, Texas Children’s has had a meteoric rise into the top five ranked children’s hospitals in the country. I look forward to leading the outstanding orthopedic faculty and achieving our full potential for patient care, research, advocacy and education.”

During his time at CHOP, he balanced both academic and clinical work. As the director of CHOP’s pediatric orthopedic fellowship, Dormans trained 51 clinical fellows and 37 research fellows and participated as an invited lecturer in nearly 50 countries. Additionally, he published more than 340 articles, authored more than 140 chapters and wrote five books. Dormans is an internationally recognized physician and scholar with accomplishments in research and teaching and numerous “best doctors” awards. He previously served as president of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America and International Society of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology (SICOT) and is a past chairman of the Board of Directors of Orthopaedics Overseas. Later this year, Dormans will serve as president of the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) for the 50th anniversary meeting in Minneapolis, Minn.

Texas Children’s Orthopedics is consistently ranked amongst the top pediatric orthopedic programs in the nation by U.S.News & World Report. With seven specialty clinics and more than 20 physicians and physician assistants, this program cares for children across Houston, treating everything from minor fractures to complex disorders, and ensuring the highest level of individualized care for pediatric patients from newborns to young adults.


On Wednesday, April 22, Peggy and Carl Sewell and Mary and David Wolff hosted guests at Sewell Cadillac to learn more about Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

Nearly 50 attendees heard from the hosts as well as Chanda Cashen Chacón, president of Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, and Dr. Jeanine Graf, chief medical officer of Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, regarding the hospital’s expansion plans. Included in the expansion projects is an 8-bed special isolation unit, specifically designed for children with highly contagious infectious diseases, such as pandemic influenza, enterovirus D68, Ebola, and many others.

During his remarks, David Wolff announced a generous $100,000 gift to Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. The hospital, Houston’s first community hospital designed exclusively for children, was created to respond to the growing need for expert pediatric health care in West Houston, one of the city’s most rapidly expanding communities. Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus offers expert care in a location that is convenient and accessible for area families.

May 11, 2015

bench and beside Header

Bench and Bedside is a digest of the previous month’s stories about the clinical and academic activities of our physicians and scientists. We welcome your subsmissions and feedback.

51215icd10300April 28

Countdown to ICD-10: Deadline to meet educational requirements is September 1

On October 1, Texas Children’s and hospitals across the nation will switch from ICD-9 to the ICD-10 coding system to report patients’ diagnoses and procedures. The ICD-10 codes will allow greater specificity and accuracy in describing a patient’s diagnosis and classifying inpatient procedures. Texas Children’s education teams have developed helpful tools to ensure all employees are prepared for this mandatory conversion.

“We believe that communicating the change clearly and consistently will help ensure a smooth transition,” said Texas Children’s Chief Safety Officer Dr. Joan Shook. Read more


April 28

Super Star Physician: Dr. Stephanie Marton

Dr. Stephanie Marton from the Center for Children and Women – Greenspoint is the latest Texas Children’s Super Star physician. “Every day I see patients coming in to the Center, and I directly see the impact that Texas Children’s Hospital is making in this community.” Read more


April 28

Giardino to serve on ABMQ Board of Directors

Texas Children’s Chief Quality Officer and Senior Vice President Dr. Angelo Giardino was recently unanimously confirmed to serve on the American Board of Medical Quality (ABMQ) Board of Directors. The organization is closely associated with the American College of Medical Quality of which Giardino is a distinguished fellow. Read more


April 28

Patel receives distinguished fellowship award

Dr. Akash Patel will be presented with the 2015-2016 Christopher R. Getch Fellowship Award from the Congress of Neuroligical Surgeons Fellowships Committee during its annual meeting in September. This prestigious award provides $100,000 for advanced training and is given to a neurosurgeon or fellow engaged in clinical research that promises to significantly impact the field of neurosurgery. Read more


April 28

Dr. George Bisset receives prestigious award

Radiologist-in-Chief Dr. George Bisset will be honored for his contribution to pediatric radiology at the 45th annual Sociedade Paulista de Radiologia (SPR) meeting held in Brazil. The conference is the biggest diagnostic imaging meeting in Latin America and the fourth largest in the world. Bisset will be the first non-Brazilian to receive honorary membership in this organization. Read more


51215Cainlab300April 21

New Cain Labs website promotes groundbreaking epilepsy research

Texas Children’s has launched a new website dedicated to innovative epilepsy research conducted at the Cain Foundation Laboratories in the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute and other test centers around the world. The website also includes a repository of helpful information about epilepsy treatment programs for patients and their families, including a link to Texas Children’s Level IV Epilepsy Center. Read more


51215cooley300April 21

Surgeon-in-chief speaks at Texas Surgical Society meeting

Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr. spoke at a Texas Surgical Society meeting on April 11 in Galveston. Fraser, who is the son-in-law of Dr. Denton A. Cooley, talked about the hospital’s 60-year history of pediatric heart surgery and the roles played by Cooley and himself. More



April 20

Texas Children’s Hospital helps determine standard of care for children with cleft lip and palate

Representatives from Texas Children’s Hospital: Dr. Laura Monson, pediatric plastic surgeon; Christy Hernandez, director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Outcomes and Impact Service; and Dr. John Wirthlin, craniofacial orthodontist, joined an international group of medical professionals, patients and parents to determine a standard set of outcome measures for children born with cleft lip and palate. These guidelines will help all institutions develp a standard treatment of care of this population of patients and will be available for implementation starting in February. Read more


51215wesleylee300April 14

Lee recognized for his contribution to fetal imaging advancements

Dr. Wesley Lee, co-director of Texas Children’s Fetal Center and section chief for women’s and fetal imaging at Baylor College of Medicine, recently received the William J. Fry Memorial Lecture Award from the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM). Read more


51215PAPRs300April 14

New PAPRs help provide full complement of PPE

Texas Children’s recently acquired 30 powered air purifying respirators (or PAPRs) to protect emergency responders from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents. This addition to our PPE inventory helps ensure the safety of our health care professionals when they are treating patients with highly contagious infectious diseases. Read more


April 1451215AAP300

Texas Children’s, AAP partnership helps physicians advocate for their patients

Texas Children’s and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) signed a first-of-its-kind partnership agreement whereby every eligible faculty member of the Baylor College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics is a member in the AAP and the Texas Pediatric Society (TPS). Since this partnership began a year and a half ago, the following Texas Children’s faculty have been actively involved with the AAP and TPS to champion the health, safety and well-being of children: Dr. Robert Voigt, Dr. Robert Ricketts, Dr. Mark Gilger, Dr. Fernando Stein, Dr. Carol Tapia, Dr. Mark Ward, Dr. Krithka Lingappan and Dr. Bruno Chumpitazi. Read more


April 14

Texas Children’s Hospital receives Healthcare Informatics Magazine’s 2015 Innovator Award

Texas Children’s Hospital has earned second place in Healthcare Informatics Magazine’s fourteenth annual Innovator Awards. The award was given to Texas Children’s for its quality improvement work to identify, deploy and measure new best practices and improve outcomes for children with appendicitis.

“We felt there was an urgent need in the health care industry to accelerate the identification and deployment of shared guidelines of care,” said Dr. Charles Macias, Texas Children’s Chief Clinical Systems Integration Officer and Evidence Based Outcomes Center director. Read more


April 14

New pediatric urologist joins Department of Surgery

Dr. Duong Dai Tu has joined Texas Children’s as a new pediatric urologist. Tu, who started April 1, has been appointed assistant professor of urology and attending surgeon in urology at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Dr. Tu is bringing an exciting vision to the surgery team that will help us continue to develop a preeminent program, enabling us to better serve our patients and their families,” chief of Urology, Dr. David Roth said. Read more


April 7

Texas Children’s welcomes new surgeon and researcher, Dr. Sundeep Keswani

Dr. Sundeep Keswani joined Texas Children’s as a pediatric and fetal surgeon and an associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine. He also is the principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded laboratory. Read more


51215transplantnos300April 7

Transplant team perform 95 organ transplants in 2014

Transplant teams with Texas Children’s Hospital performed 95 solid organ transplants in 2014, continuing to serve as one of the largest, most active and successful pediatric transplant programs in the nation. The heart and the lung transplant programs were the largest in the country last year with 32 heart transplants and 16 lung transplants.

“Texas Children’s Transplant Services continues to earn its reputation as one of the best pediatric transplant programs in the country,” said Dr. John Goss, medical director of Transplant Services. Read more


April 7

CRC presents resarch award to Dr. Srivaths

The Clinical Research Center presented the Clinical Research Award for First Quarter 2015 to Dr. Poyyapakkam Srivaths, Department of Pediatrics – Renal, Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Srivaths’s research activities in the CRC focus on investigating cardiovascular morbidity associated with end stage renal disease (ESRD) in children. Read more