January 26, 2016

When two patient families came through the Texas Children’s doors looking lost and confused, Feba Payne from Facilities wanted to help. Neither family spoke English, but Payne wasn’t about to point them in the direction of their clinics and leave them to figure out the rest on their own. She stopped what she was doing in the lobby and personally accompanied each family through the hospital to their appointments.

Every day at Texas Children’s, people like Payne take time to make a difference. Whether for our patients or colleagues, these small acts often determine the experience we create. Payne’s kindness not only made the stressful time less difficult for the families, but also caught the attention of one of her team members who shared the story on a Caught You Caring card. With the launch of Caught You Caring, Texas Children’s aims to recognize the work we all do to make a difference.

Caught You Caring is an organization-wide initiative to recognize those every day acts of compassion. The program began in ambulatory surgery and has been incredibly successful among staff and physicians, recognizing hundreds who have gone above and beyond.

“It’s so easy to tell stories or complain about what went wrong,” said Erica Diaz, a child life specialist. “We thought maybe a way to change our culture is to change our conversation.”

Patients, families and employees are encouraged to catch someone who is making a difference. Boxes and cards will be placed throughout all Texas Children’s sites for patients and families to recognize staff. Employees can fill out a Caught You Caring form on Connect. Cards and online submissions will be distributed to leaders for staff recognition.

“I’ve had a chance to write a lot of thank you cards to the recipients of Caught You Caring and I can’t tell you how surprised these individuals are, how happy they are, and that has a ripple effect on those around them,” said Chief of Plastic Surgery Dr. Larry Hollier.

Join the Caught You Caring launch events at Main Campus from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, January 27 on The Auxiliary Bridge, and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, January 28 at West Campus on the first floor near the cafeteria.

Will you get caught caring?

12716FAMILYFUNRUNinside640Are you and your family ready to have some fun that will also help make you healthy? If so, sign up for the fourth annual Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Marathon Foundation Family Fun Run, an event designed to educate and encourage Houston-area children and their families to adopt active, healthy lifestyles.

Families with children of all abilities are invited to participate in the run at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 9 at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

The Family Fun Run will include both a 1K and 3K course. Participants – including those who need walkers and wheelchairs – are welcome. There will not be prizes given to top finishers as all participants will receive an award for taking part in an event designed to educate and encourage Houston-area families to adopt active, healthy lifestyles. Following the run, families can enjoy the H-E-B sponsored Family Fun Zone. The zone will be packed with snacks, special guests and more than 25 attractions.

Click here to register. Registration will close on Monday, March 28.

Additional information, including training guides, a video from last year’s event and volunteer opportunities can be found here.

Good luck and happy running!

12716telehealth640For epilepsy patients who receive primary care at The Center for Women and Children in Greenspoint, heading to their neurology appointment just got a lot easier. Instead of making the 20-mile trek to the Texas Medical Center, patients can “see” their neurologist without leaving their primary care clinic.

Texas Children’s Division of Neurology and The Center in Greenspoint recently launched Telehealth, an interactive telecommunications system that uses real-time video technology to create a communication link among the primary care physician (PCP), specialist and family during a patient visit. Implementing this new technology has enhanced access to patient care and facilitated the coordination of care for Greenspoint patients enrolled in Texas Children’s Health Plan.

“Even though our patients live in urban areas, access to care can still be challenging,” said Dr. Heidi Schwarzwald, a Texas Children’s pediatrician at The Center in Greenspoint. “The struggle getting to and navigating through the medical center could lead to missed appointments, poor medication adherence and increased emergency room visits, all of which telehealth aims to resolve.”

So, how does a telehealth visit work?

After a patient checks into the clinic, the patient is directed to a room just like any other visit except the neurologist is seen on a video screen. At the end of the visit, the PCP enters the room and performs the physical exam while the neurologist observes remotely from a telehealth room at main campus. Together, the PCP, family member and neurologist develop the care plan for the patient which is then printed out for the family. Medication adjustments and prescriptions are completed and sent to the in-house pharmacy at The Center. If lab work is needed, blood tests are drawn at the clinic and the results are both visible to the PCP and the neurologist via the shared electronic medical record. The neurologist bills for the office visit the same as any other office visit but a modifier is applied to distinguish the visit as telehealth. The PCP bills a facility fee but not an office visit.

Besides enhancing patient care access, Dr. Gary Clark, Texas Children’s chief of Neurology and Developmental Neuroscience, says Telehealth serves a much larger purpose than just visiting with a patient over the video system.

“Through Telehealth, we’re impacting patient care and improving outcomes by offering an educational and supportive environment for our patients,” Clark said. “By including an educational component in the telehealth visit, the neurologist and PCP are helping to co-educate patients on the importance of taking their seizure medication, thereby reducing unnecessary hospital admissions and emergency room visits.”

Since Texas Children’s Health Plan covers more than 390,000 lives spread throughout Harris and Jefferson counties, many of the patients do not live near the medical center, which is why The Center in Greenspoint was selected as the first launch site for the telehealth initiative.

Future plans are underway to expand the telehealth service to patient families at The Center for Children and Women Southwest, who are also members of Texas Children’s Health Plan.

The American Girl doll store gave Texas Children’s 200 American Girl Dolls to donate to patients. Child Life hosted an American Girl Doll tea party in the Child Life Zone for patients. All girls attending received a doll.

12716Pederson175Texas Children’s Hospital is excited to welcome Dr. William Pederson, a highly-regarded pediatric hand surgeon, to the Department of Surgery. Pederson, whose appointment was effective in January, is also a professor of surgery and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.

“With the addition of Dr. Pederson to our internationally renowned team of experts, we will further expand the highly-specialized, multidisciplinary care offered to children, adolescents and families who seek treatment at Texas Children’s,” said Dr. Larry Hollier, chief of plastic surgery at Texas Children’s and Baylor.

Pederson’s clinical interests include the management of vascular problems in the upper extremity, nerve injury and repair including brachial plexus, Volkmann’s ischemic contracture, facial paralysis and microsurgical reconstruction of complex extremity defects.

A native Texan, he is an honors graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and received his medical degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. He completed an internship and residency in surgery at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. Pederson continued his medical education with training in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina and was a Christine Kleinert Fellow in hand surgery in Louisville, Kentucky. Following this, he completed a one-year fellowship in microsurgery at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.

Pederson was previously on the faculty at Duke and subsequently served as chief of plastic surgery at the U.T. Health Science Center in San Antonio. He later joined Dr. David Green at The Hand Center of San Antonio. He was the Hand Surgery Fellowship Director at this center for the past 10 years and has helped train more than 80 hand surgeons in the past 25 years.

A member of numerous professional organizations, and in recognition of his many contributions to the field, Pederson was elected president of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery in 2005. He also has served on the executive council of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and is currently vice president of the American Association for Hand Surgery. Pederson was named a director of the American Board of Plastic Surgery in 2013, and serves on the Combined Committee on Surgery of the Hand with members of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. He is also on the executive council of the World Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery.

Pederson has authored more than 60 papers in peer-reviewed literature and 40 textbook chapters. He is an editor of the textbook “Green’s Operative Hand Surgery,” and serves on the editorial boards of the “Journal of Hand Surgery” and the “Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery.” Pederson serves on the dean’s advisory council of the College of Natural Sciences at U.T. Austin and is a consultant to the Texas Medical Board. He was recently appointed by the state to the Texas Medical Disclosure Panel. In 2011, Pederson was selected as a visiting professor for the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and was selected in 2012 as a visiting professor for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

12716Threecardiologistsinside640Texas Children’s Heart Center has welcomed three new pediatric cardiologists to the team. Drs. Tobias Schlingmann, Betul Yilmaz and Justin Zachariah joined Texas Children’s in July.

“We are thrilled to welcome three new cardiologists,” said Dr. Daniel Penny, chief of cardiology at Texas Children’s Hospital and section head and professor of pediatrics-cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine. “Drs. Schlingmann, Yilmaz and Zachariah bring expertise which will help us continue to remain a preeminent cardiology program and better serve our patients and their families.”

Schlingmann, who also serves as an assistant professor of pediatrics-cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine, received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Hamburg, Germany. He completed his residency in pediatrics and fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Boston Children’s Hospital. Furthermore, he completed a senior fellowship in non-invasive cardiac imaging at Boston Children’s Hospital. Schlingmann’s clinical interests include the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease in infants, children, and adolescents in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.

Yilmaz, who also serves as an assistant professor of pediatrics-cardiology at Baylor, earned a combined Bachelor of Science and medical degree at Istanbul University. She did basic research in genetics at the University of Chicago Medical Center and completed a pediatric residency at Washington University in St. Louis and a pediatric cardiology fellowship at Columbia-Cornell University Medical Centers. She also completed an advanced imaging/fetal cardiology fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Yilmaz’s clinical interests include utilization of advanced cardiac imaging modalities such as echocardiography and fetal echocardiography to improve the diagnosis and management of congenital heart disease in fetuses and in pediatric population.

Zachariah, who also serves as an assistant professor of pediatrics-cardiology at Baylor, earned Bachelor of Arts degree at Rice University and medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine. He earned a Masters of Public Health from Harvard University and completed his pediatric residency at the University of California San Francisco. He also completed a clinical cardiology fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital and a visiting research fellowship with the Framingham Heart Study, supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Zachariah’s clinical interests include preventive cardiology in order to help patients avoid future cardiac disease and events such as heart attack and stroke through early detection and intervention.

January 19, 2016

12016HoustonMarathon640Texas Children’s helped push more than 70 runners across the finish line of the Houston Marathon and Half Marathon January 17 in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center. As part of the Texas Children’s Running Team, the runners signed up for the 26.2 mile or 13.1 mile race not only to hit the pavement but to raise money for a good cause – Texas Children’s.

The team – comprised of Texas Children’s employees, patient family members and others who have been touched by the organization – has raised almost $60,000 for Promise: The Campaign for Texas Children’s Hospital. Members have until mid-February to continue fundraising. If you would like to give to those who went the extra mile, click here.

In their own words

Members of the Texas Children’s Running Team explain why they chose to run the Houston Marathon and Half Marathon in support of Texas Children’s. To read more, click here and click on a runner’s name to read their story.

As a new father it is hard to imagine a greater cause than supporting a healthier future for children and women. As a new father it is hard to imagine a greater cause than supporting a healthier future for children and women.” Ryan Springmeyer

I am privileged to be able to use this focus to try to pay back to TCH some of what they gave us in helping our son to live longer and fuller during his years on earth.” Valerie Locher

“We are incredibly grateful to TCH for giving us our rambunctious 2 year old girls! And now it’s time to give back and run 26.2 for every mama, fighting to save her babies… and for the amazing staff at TCH!” Julie Burroughs

“Texas Children’s Hospital helped bring a miracle into our lives, and I want that for as many families as possible. Will you contribute with me and help make those miracles possible!!” Jacqueline Bryant

“My patients and the people that love them are the reason I run this year. Each mile is dedicated to them. They are some of the bravest and strongest people I will ever encounter. And we are here to serve them. It’s one of the reasons I love being a part of Texas Children’s Hospital – because it operates with a servant like attitude. My patients and the people that love them are the reason I run this year. Each mile is dedicated to them. They are some of the bravest and strongest people I will ever encounter. And we are here to serve them. It’s one of the reasons I love being a part of Texas Children’s Hospital – because it operates with a servant like attitude.” Gabby Mueller

I was able to volunteer at the Texas Children’s Hospital here in Houston a while back, and was moved to want to do more for them than just volunteer some of my time. I was able to volunteer at the Texas Children’s Hospital here in Houston a while back, and was moved to want to do more for them than just volunteer some of my time.” Logan Mace