December 22, 2015

122315EAPinsideTwo new counselors have joined the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), strengthening the services it offers to employees during their time of need.

“We are ecstatic to have Allison Bell and Lakeisha Gatling on our team,” said EAP Program Manager Brent Lo Caste-Wilken. “Their talent and experience will allow us to better serve employees across the organization.”

Bell is a licensed clinical social worker and a licensed clinical supervisor. She earned her undergraduate degree in anthropology from Tulane University and received her Masters in Social Work from Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. Before joining Texas Children’s as a contract employee in 2008, Bell worked in schools, child protection, early intervention, military, mental health and other hospitals. She has been a family advocate, medical social worker, parent educator, therapist and a counselor. In addition to her degrees and certifications, Bell is certified in Critical Incident Stress Management, Applied Suicide Intervention Training Skills Teacher, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.

Gatling is a licensed master social worker. She earned her undergraduate degree from St. Joseph’s College New York in Community Health and Human Services and her Masters of Social Work from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Gatling has worked as a medical social worker for a local behavioral health hospital. She also has more than seven years of experience with both internal and external employee assistance programs, providing individual counseling, case management and brief crisis intervention.

The EAP offers confidential, professional services to assist employees in solving personal difficulties affecting their personal lives and work. To learn more or to contact Bell or Gatling, call Ext. 4-3327.

122315missouricitygroupinsideTexas Children’s Pediatrics recently opened a practice in Missouri City, bringing the total number of locations in its network to 52. Located at 5819 Highway 6, the new practice is run by Dr. Dean Gmoser.

Prior to joining Texas Children’s Pediatrics, Gmoser ran a private pediatric primary care practice in Missouri City. He said he joined Texas Children’s Pediatrics to enhance and expand his practice vision and to immerse himself in a system he has been a part of since completing his residency in the early 1980s with Baylor College of Medicine affiliated hospitals, include Texas Children’s Hospital.

“I have always been associated with Texas Children’s since I did all of my pediatric training there,” Gmoser said. “In practice, I continued to admit patients there and mentor continuity residents from the program.”

A native of Wisconsin, Gmoser earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin and his bachelor’s degree from Marquette University. Gmoser specializes in ADHD behavior, infants and healthy eating.

“My goal is to help you acquire the tools and methods to become self-confident as a parent and to use me as a resource to raise a confident, healthy and well-adjusted child,” Gmoser said. “I truly enjoy the ability to interact with patients and their families.”

In addition to Gmoser, nurse practitioner Ann Poulin will be seeing patients at the new practice twice a week.

Texas Children’s Pediatrics is a group of board-certified, expert pediatricians who have extensive training in children’s health care. With convenient locations throughout the greater Houston area, the group provides the finest pediatricians dedicated to meeting the healthcare needs of infants to teenagers.

For more information about Texas Children’s Pediatrics, visit

122315SurgicalResearchDay640Plans are underway for the sixth annual Edmond T. Gonzales, Jr., Surgical Research Day which will be held on May 6, 2016.

In addition to a half day of presentations, there will be a moderated poster session on May 5, 2016, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 pm. At this session, poster authors will have an opportunity to present their research to reviewers as scoring takes place.

Anyone involved in surgery-related research is encouraged to participate. The deadline to submit abstracts is Friday, January 15, 2016. Abstracts can be submitted here. For more information, call Research Administration at Ext. 4-3335.

93015JohnDormans175Chief of Orthopedics Dr. John Dormans was recently awarded the L.E. Simmons Chair in Orthopedics. Provided by the Houston Endowment in recognition of Simmons, who served as chairman of Texas Children’s Board of Trustees from 2003-2004, the purpose of this chair is to support orthopedic research, education, clinic program development and advocacy at Texas Children’s.

“I’m extremely honored to be awarded this distinction,” Dormans said. “My vision is for Texas Children’s to be the best place in the world for families to receive pediatric orthopedic care.”

Dormans has distinguished himself nationally and internationally as a leader in the field and is a highly regarded clinician and surgeon with accomplishments in research and teaching. His primary clinical focus is on the treatment of complex spinal disorders and orthopedic oncology care. He previously served as president of the following organizations: Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America; International Society of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology (SICOT-USA); the Board of Directors of Orthopaedics Overseas; and the Scoliosis Research Society’s 50th anniversary meeting. He is current president of World Orthopedic Concern. In addition, he served as president of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Medical Staff (1999-2001).

Dormans obtained his undergraduate degree at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana 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 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, CHOP and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dormans has been an invited lecturer in more than 50 countries, published more than 340 articles, authored more than 140 chapters and wrote five books. He has received numerous awards including the Jesse T. Nicholson Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching from CHOP, where he served as chief of orthopedic surgery prior to joining Texas Children’s and Baylor, and the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching from Penn.

With seven specialty clinics and more than 20 physicians and physician assistants, the Texas Children’s pediatric orthopedics program cares for children in Houston, across the nation and internationally, treating everything from minor fractures to complex disorders, ensuring the highest level of individualized care for pediatric patients from newborns to young adults.

December 15, 2015


On December 1, Texas Children’s opened an urgent care clinic on Main Campus, creating a system-wide solution to effectively manage the Emergency Center’s low acuity patient population.

The 4,100-square-foot facility is located on the second floor of the Abercrombie Building and has a dedicated staff of physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses and clinical support staff, all of whom have previously worked in either emergency or urgent care settings. The walls of the clinic’s 11 exam rooms, X-ray room and waiting area are covered in space-themed murals, providing a relaxed, child-friendly atmosphere.

To be seen at the clinic, patients may self select urgent care, or may initially present to the EC, where they will be assessed and then, if appropriate, transferred to the urgent care clinic. If they are transferred, the patient and their family will be escorted to the urgent care clinic’s location.

“Having this option to send low acuity patients to our onsite Texas Children’s Urgent Care clinic permits our EC faculty and staff to devote all of our time, effort and resources to providing the highest quality care to the sickest patients without inconveniencing our lower acuity arrivals,” said EC Medical Director Dr. Paul Sirbaugh. “To put it simply, the clinic will allow us to provide the Right care, at the Right place, at the Right time, for the Right price.”

After just two weeks of being open, the clinic already is lightening the load of the EC, seeing, on average, about 30 patients, or 25 percent of the EC’s patient volume, a day. In addition, wait times for patients with a low-acuity illnesses has decreased dramatically.

“Some low-acuity patients would wait 10 plus hours in the EC before being seen,” said Jeremy Trainer, the manager of the new urgent care clinic. “Now, these patients can be seen at the clinic in an hour or less.”

Karrianna Yu, a physician’s assistant who works in both the EC and the Main Campus Urgent Care Clinic, said the response from everyone – patients, their families and caregivers – has been overwhelmingly positive.

For the patients and their families, Yu said they are pleased because they are seen sooner, they get more time with their caregiver and they are treated quicker in a lower stress environment than the EC. For caregivers, it allows them to focus on what they really need to be doing, which is taking care of high-acuity patients in the EC and low-acuity ones in the urgent care clinic.

“It’s a win for all involved,” Yu said.

Hours of operation
Monday through Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday through Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.

Types of conditions treated

  • Allergic reactions
  • (Mild) Asthma
  • Broken bones (Simple fractures)
  • Cough
  • Croup
  • Ear pain
  • Fever
  • Flu
  • Minor Lacerations
  • Minor burns
  • Pink eye
  • Rashes
  • Sinus infections
  • Skin infections
  • Sore throat
  • Sprains and strains
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

What types of procedure can be performed?

  • Antibiotic injections
  • Breathing treatments
  • Fracture care and splinting
  • IV fluids
  • Lab services (on-site and send-out labs)
  • Laceration repair (stitches, staples and skin glue)
  • Urine catheterization
  • Wound care
  • X-rays on site


Dr. David Poplack, director of Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, and numerous members of his medical staff helped write the recently published, 7th edition of the textbook, Principles and Practice in Pediatric Oncology, the leading textbook in the field.

This thoroughly updated edition contains 54 chapters, more than 1,300 pages, and is the most comprehensive resource on the biology and genetics of specific childhood cancers including recent advances in the diagnosis, multimodal treatment and long-term management of cancer in young patients.

“Since the first edition was published 26 years ago, the biology and treatment of pediatric cancers have become increasingly more complex, which has made it more challenging to produce a textbook of this magnitude,” Poplack said. “There was immense collaboration involved to bring this exciting project to fruition.”

Besides being used by all medical schools, pediatric oncologists and institutions pursuing pediatric oncology research around the world, this textbook also provides helpful information geared specifically to caregivers and families of children with cancer, which adds to the unique quality of the book.

“This resource guide also comes in an e-book format,” Poplack said. “We will have periodic updates on the major chapters that will be available electronically to subscribers.”

Click here for more information about this textbook.


Falon Wiesner-Jones was just a baby when she had her first visit to the Texas Children’s Heart Center diagnosed with a congenital heart disease that has been a fabric of her life ever since. Now 33, she’s still a patient at the heart center. Today, she sees specialists in the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program, part of the transitional medicine program that allows pediatric patients to continue their care here at Texas Children’s Hospital into their adult years.

“I’ve been here from day one and I’ll continue my care here,” said Wiesner-Jones who now drives to Houston from Dallas to see her doctors. “The doctors are well-versed in my history and it makes it easier to come to one place and receive all of the care I need.”

Wiesner is part of a growing population of adults with congenital heart disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 40,000 babies are born each year with a congenital heart disease. It is the most common birth defect.

“The data shows that people who were born in the 1940s and 50s, before the era of advanced surgical and interventional repairs had only about a 15 percent chance of survival past their first birthday,” said Dr. Wayne Franklin, director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Texas Children’s Hospital. “In the modern area, we’ve reversed that and now 85 to 90 percent survive into adulthood so there is a real need for the right care for these adults who have had heart disease throughout their lives.”

That care now includes women’s care for Wiesner who just delivered her second child at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. When she told her physician, Dr. Wayne Franklin, director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Texas Children’s Heart Center, she was pregnant again, he was thrilled to know her care coordination would take place in the ob-cardiac clinic at The Pavilion where both her cardiology doctors and her obstetrician meet in one place to see her during her monthly appointments.

“Women’s health and cardiology were an underserved area in medicine,” said Franklin. “With the Pavilion, we’re able to offer that to her and all of our other patients. We offer multidisciplinary care that is most crucial to these patients during pregnancy.”

Because the heart has to work harder during pregnancy, patients with heart disease are watched closely by an interdisciplinary team, meeting often in the ob-cardiac clinic for appointments.

“It’s reassuring to know all the resources we need are in one spot, all here to help me deliver safely,” Wiesner-Jones said.

Texas Children’s Hospital offers several programs for adults outside of women’s care including heart disease programs, cystic fibrosis programs as well as a program for survivors of pediatric cancer.

“Texas Children’s is now in the arena of adult medicine,” Franklin said.