September 9, 2014


On September 3, 1,500 guests sipped champagne and cocktails, savored dinner and dessert and shopped the season’s best looks at Nordstrom at The Woodlands Opening Gala. The sold out event’s ticket proceeds and generous donations raised more than $200,000 for Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. The state-of-the-art hospital, slated to open in 2017, is being designed specifically to serve children and families. Guests were the first to preview the new 138,000 square-foot Nordstrom store, which officially opened September 5. The gala was co-chaired by Carol and Phil Garner, and Judy and Glenn Smith. Notable guests included Mark A. Wallace, president and CEO of Texas Children’s and fourth-generation family members Blake, Pete, Erik and Jamie Nordstrom.

DrTracyPatel320Watch the newest “I am Texas Children’s” video featuring employee Dr. Tracy Patel in West Campus – Diabetes and Endocrinology. “Texas Children’s is a wonderful place to learn and practice medicine.

I came here as a trainee in 2007 and decided to pursue my career here. It’s been a rewarding experience taking care of so many diverse patients.”

Check out her video, and find out how you and your coworkers can be featured in the “I Am Texas Children’s” section on Connect.



By: Sherrell Ogletree

Our son, Jaxon Robert Ogletree, was born on July 25, 2013 at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. Dr. Katharine Bolt was my obstetrician and she did a phenomenal job!

The Pavilion for Women was an amazing experience. My labor and delivery room was beautiful and my favorite amenity was the spa-like showers. The staff was very friendly and I even got a celebration cake when Jaxon was born. The nurses were super and the rooms were extremely clean. My room was so huge and the atmosphere really made it feel like home. I am so happy that I was able to have that wonderful experience with my last child.

91014BWjaxon2Once Jaxon was born, I was so excited to hold him and I couldn’t imagine what life would be like without him. He is the sweetest baby and is always full of joy. Having three boys is definitely an adjustment. Sometimes my husband and I look at each other and realize we are outnumbered.

Football season in my house is crazy. The boys rule the television and every so often you will hear yelling as their team scores a touchdown. Jaxon still holds on to his mommy for now but soon I know he will convert.

By Sherrell Ogletree

Being a mother of three boys has brought so much joy and chaos at the same time. After having Jaxon, I decided to start work as a nurse practitioner and I currently work in the Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology department at Texas Children’s. Adjusting to the new position has been great and spending more time on the weekend with the kids has been even better. I still haven’t learned the concept of balance and I still feel like the term is not real. Instead I choose to place my faith, family, and friends as my priorities and everything else seems to fall into place.

Some of the tips that I have for moms are:

  1. Take joy in the good and the bad. It’s a learning experience in which you and your family grow.
  2. Make sure that you make time for your children EVERY day. Life can be hectic but be sure to sit down and spend time with your kids every day. Make sure it is quality time in which they have your undivided attention. That goes for your husband as well.
  3. Never skip date nights. I believe strong marriages build strong families.
  4. Be flexible. Things will go wrong sometimes but you just have to be adaptable and resilient.

Jaxon is getting so big. Recently, he just got his first hair cut. Since he learned how to walk last month, his adventures have included running from mommy and trying to climb the stairs when no one is looking.

He is still learning how to talk but can clearly let you know when it is time for him to eat. He is such a bundle of joy and smiles every chance he gets. He has six teeth and is learning how to bite more than food.

Life is great for me and my husband and I couldn’t be more grateful for my three boys. I am looking forward to the future.

September 3, 2014


On April 11, identical conjoined twin girls were born at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, each weighing about 3 pounds, 7 ounces. Born via Caesarean-section at 31 weeks gestation, Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith share a liver, diaphragm, pericardial sac (the lining of the heart) and intestines. They were welcomed by their parents, Elysse and John Mata and their older brother Azariah.

Now estimated to weigh 10 pounds, 4 ounces each, the girls are being cared for by a team of specialists at Texas Children’s Newborn Center.

“The twins still require some respiratory support but they are doing well, and we don’t expect them to have any significant setbacks,” said Chief of Neonatology Dr. Stephen Welty.

Plans for surgical separation are being discussed among a team of multidisciplinary specialists. The Mata family and the care team’s goal right now is for the babies to continue to grow and gain weight.

“I expect it to go well,” Welty said in an interview with KHOU on Tuesday. “Will it be easy? No. The best thing to do is to do the safest thing, which is grow them up, get them bigger and healthier with great nutrition and great developmental care and then separate them at a time which is as safe as possible.”

Waiting a few months after the babies’ birth before proceeding with separation helps optimize the lung and organ function, which can minimize the risk of complications.

“Although other facilities have reported early separations, each case is different with regard to the number of organs that needs to be separated,” said Dr. Darrell Cass, co-director of Texas Children’s Fetal Center. “Also, in some instances those cases have experienced complications due to the early separation, which I believe can be avoided.”

Doctors anticipate beginning the twins’ separation process between the ages of 6 months and 8 months. First, our plastic surgery team will place tissue expanders to help induce the growth of additional skin that will be needed once the two babies are separated. The process of tissue expansion is six to eight weeks. Afterward, a multidisciplinary team of specialists will proceed with separation of the twins. The separation will involve many surgeons, including those from Pediatric General Surgery, Urology, Plastic Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Cardiac Surgery and Gynecology.

“There will be two surgical teams,” Cass said. “One team will start, and then once the babies are separated, the teams will separate to work on each infant and finish the reconstruction.”

The surgical teams include:

  • Anesthesiology: Dr. Helena Karlberg and Dr. Steve Stayer
  • Pediatric General Surgery: Dr. Darrell Cass (team lead) and Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye
  • Pediatric Urology: Dr. Patricio Gargollo and Dr. Chester Koh
  • Pediatric Plastic Surgery: Dr. Ed Buchanan and Dr. Larry Hollier
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery: Dr. David Antekeir and Dr. Frank Gerow
  • Pediatric Gynecology surgery: Dr. Jennifer Dietrich

Cass said the surgery is risky, as there always is the risk of death for one or both children. However, he believes the risk is small and the team is anticipating an excellent outcome.


10 West Tower, the epilepsy monitoring unit, recently celebrated 365 days without a hospital acquired pressure ulcer and kept achieving their goals making it now to 445 days without one. It was a team effort which helped improve patient care and outcomes for those who are receiving EEG or electroencephalography monitoring.

Top six ways EMU reached 445 without a HAPU:

  • Process and Practice modifications were implemented with the EMU patients, the techs received skills competency training
  • EMU nurses perform a skin assessment prior to the techs placing the EEG leads on every EMU patient and after the leads are removed
  • The patient is prepped with a less abrasive solution and the patient head is no longer wrapped
  • Use of disposable leads
  • Collodion TM-soaked gauze is applied to the top of the lead over the skin and dried in place.
  • Gel electrodes are utilized for the cheeks due to the sensitivity of this area.


Nurses perform skin assessments twice a shift during prolonged EEG monitoring and at the completion of the study, which include tests for blanching and checking skin integrity. If there is an abnormal finding in the skin assessment, the physician is notified to consider removal of leads, and a referral to a wound care specialist is made.


Hormonal changes during and after pregnancy may trigger depression in some women. In fact, between 10 and 15 percent of pregnant women and new mothers may experience some symptoms of depression. But their condition can be far more than simply feeling “blue” or “down.” For many, it can have a debilitating effect on their health, their family, their careers and their relationships.

To address the need for earlier screening and treatment of maternal depression, the Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women launched a pilot program in May to screen patients multiple times throughout their pregnancy and postpartum period. The effort is part of the Women’s Mental Health Delivery System Reform Incentive Payments (DSRIP) program, focusing on expanded access to health care services.

“Our goal is to identify women with maternal depression as soon as possible and get them into care because maternal depression is treatable,” said Dr. Lucy Puryear, medical director of The Women’s Place – Center for Reproductive Psychiatry and Baylor College of Medicine psychiatrist, who oversees the program. “How we deal with this can have a profound impact not only on the physical and emotional well-being of the mother, but on the life of the child and the family overall.”

As part of the program, women are screened for maternal depression using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale multiple times throughout their pregnancy (during the first and third trimesters) and postpartum (at two weeks in the pediatrician’s office and at six weeks by their obstetrician), and those requiring follow-up mental health services are referred for care.

“Our overriding goal is to learn from the patients we’re currently screening in order to develop a model for the early diagnosis and treatment of maternal depression using several combined strategies,” said Dr. Puryear. “Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women is uniquely positioned to oversee this project because of the unique Reproductive Psychiatry program and faculty at Baylor College of Medicine.”

Dr. Lisa Valentine, a Baylor College of Medicine psychiatrist hired to treat patients as part of this program, practices at The Women’s Place at the Pavilion for Women, The Center for Children and Women at Greenspoint and at Pearland Ob-Gyn. Two Texas Children’s Pediatrics practices, Pearland and Shadow Creek Ranch, are serving as pilot sites for the project. Providers and staff at these pilot sites have been trained to implement standardized screening and referral.

At Texas Children’s Pediatrics Pearland, every new mother is screened for postpartum depression at the initial well-child visit, which occurs approximately two weeks postpartum, referring those needing services. Referrals are processed quickly and most patients are seen within seven days of being screened. Select providers at Texas Children’s Pediatrics Shadow Creek Ranch have also begun standardized screening.

Future plans focus on educating and training staff at obstetric clinics and additional pediatric clinics to implement standardized screening and referral; adding additional providers, including a psychiatrist, therapist and social worker; and expanding to additional sites with the intent of integrating maternal mental health services where women are already seeking treatment.


By Dr. Charles Hankins

As a Texas Children’s neonatologist, I have treated many premature and critically-ill infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). When babies are born prematurely, their lungs and other organs are still developing. They are entering the most critical stage of their young lives. Their parents entrust their newborns to us to provide the highest level of care possible.

Our mission at Texas Children’s Hospital has always been to build a healthy community of children. In some cases, this begins in premature and critically-ill infants. To achieve the best neonatal outcomes, Texas Children’s has partnered with community NICUs in the Greater Houston area to ensure these patients receive the right care at the right time and in the right place.

As chief medical officer for Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, I serve as the primary medical liaison to community physicians and work closely with them to expand access to patient care in the community setting, which is particularly important for the families of our NICU patients.

With a commitment to family-centered care, every effort is made to keep these infants close to their families in the community. Texas Children’s provides these local NICUs with administrative and clinical support, giving patients access to the latest treatments available in neonatal and pediatric care, state-of-the-art equipment and pediatric subspecialists.

If a child is born in one of the community hospitals and needs care offered only in a Level IV NICU, that baby is transferred immediately to our main campus at Texas Children’s Newborn Center, ranked No. 2 in the nation. When these babies graduate to a lower level NICU, the family can request transfer back to their community hospital and maintain the continuity of care which is so vital to helping these newborns thrive.

Texas Children’s is proud to work with these hospitals to provide high-quality care to newborns:

  • Houston Methodist West Hospital
  • Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital
  • Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital
  • Houston Methodist
  • St. Joseph Medical Center
  • CHI St. Luke’s Health – The Woodlands Hospital
  • CHI St. Luke’s Health – The Vintage Hospital

More than 2,000 NICU infants are cared for each year at Texas Children’s Newborn Center, making us one of the largest, most experienced NICUs in the country. Partnering with community NICUs in the Greater Houston area will ensure our critically-ill babies receive high-quality care, while helping us carry out our mission of creating a community of healthy children.