April 19, 2016

42016DrOrange175Chief of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology Dr. Jordan Orange was recently named president of the Clinical Immunology Society (CIS). Orange will serve the CIS as president for a one-year term, during which he plans to focus his initiatives around advocacy for patients and immunologists.

CIS was established in 1986 and is devoted to fostering developments in the science and practice of clinical immunology. CIS works to facilitate education, translational research and novel approaches to therapy in clinical immunology to promote excellence in the care of patients with immunologic/inflammatory disorders.

April 12, 2016

41316FunRun640Texas Children’s employees and Houston-area residents came out in full force to participate in the 4th annual Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Marathon Foundation Family Fun Run at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

On April 9, more than 4,000 people of all abilities, including those needing walkers and wheelchairs, participated in the non-competitive 1K and 3K courses. Following the race, participants enjoyed the H-E-B sponsored Family Fun Zone, which was packed with snacks, entertainment and close to 40 attractions.

“We are excited to have this event at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus,” said West Campus President Chanda Cashen Chacón. “It’s a great way to show families that we are committed to the West Houston community.”

Executive Vice President John Nickens agreed and said the run’s stellar turnout is an example of the community’s support of Texas Children’s.

“Four thousand runners is amazing,” he said. “It’s definitely something to be proud of.”

Get a first-hand look at the fun by:

  • Flipping through a photo gallery of the event below.
  • Ordering your race-day photos from Spring Action. You can search by your bib number or last name to find your photos (if any exist). There also are hundreds of unidentified photos to sort through in the Lost & Found section. You can also browse the entire event, if desired.
  • Taking a look at our Facebook photo album from Saturday by.
  • Watching a video of the run.

41316MEGScanner640Texas Children’s is the fourth pediatric hospital in Texas to offer magnetoencephalography (MEG), a non-invasive brain imaging technology that assists neurosurgeons in developing more precise surgical plans for patients with epilepsy and other seizure disorders, ultimately enhancing their long-term outcomes.

The MEG scanner records very tiny magnetic fields produced by electrical activity in the brain to identify the sources of normal and abnormal brain function with millimeter precision. Unlike X-ray and CT scans, MEG does not emit radiation. Instead, it works like a very sensitive microphone that records magnetic fields emitted by brain cells instead of sound.

“MEG is an invaluable tool in evaluating epilepsy patients for potentially curative brain surgery,” said Texas Children’s neurologist Dr. Michael Quach. “Prior to MEG, the only technology capable of localizing brain activity with such high temporal and spatial resolution was intracranial EEG monitoring, which requires exposing the surface of the brain with surgery in order to implant EEG electrodes. With MEG technology, we can achieve similar localization without the need for open brain surgery.”

When patients come in for a MEG scan, the MEG technician places electrodes onto the patient’s scalp before positioning the patient’s head into the scanner where the machine collects information from 306 sensors simultaneously every millisecond. The MEG images are superimposed on the MRI to correlate where the magnetic activities of brain function occur in relation to the patient’s brain structures.

When MEG and MRI are analyzed together, physicians can identify the sensory regions of the brain – like speech, touch, vision and motor function – and can localize the sources of seizures and other abnormal brain activity. With this combined information, surgical procedures can be planned more precisely to remove abnormal brain tissue while minimizing damage to parts of the brain that function normally.

“One of the great things about MEG is it gives pediatric patients a chance to qualify for epileptic surgery,” said MEG technician Michael LaRose. “With this increased data, our neurologists and neurosurgeons have a better chance of coming up with a surgical plan that may help these children with seizures.”

The MEG procedure usually lasts about an hour and a half but the amount of time it takes to complete the scan varies for each patient. Since the MEG lab opened last November, Texas Children’s has performed 25 MEG procedures.

Since very few hospitals in Houston are equipped with this advanced imaging technology, Texas Children’s also offers this service to Baylor College of Medicine physicians who treat adult patients.

41316malaria640The Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) and Texas Children’s Global Health have been helping meet the health care needs of mothers and babies across the globe for years. With global health programs and projects in more than 20 countries, BIPAI and Texas Children’s Global Health have developed a network of partners who are sometimes called on to respond to emergency situations. For these scenarios, we often turn to Medical Bridges, a Houston-based non-profit that provides medical supplies and equipment to support our work.

Recently, BIPAI and Texas Children’s Global Health addressed pediatric emergencies in Papua New Guinea and during the Ebola crisis, in Liberia, with the help of Medical Bridges. Presently, there is an outbreak of malaria among pediatric patients in Luanda, Angola.

To address this health emergency, BIPAI, Texas Children’s Global Health and Texas Children’s Pediatric Hematology & Oncology program have partnered with Medical Bridges, Chevron and SonAir, an Angolan national air services company, to provide drugs, supplies and equipment to the Hospital Pediatrico David Bernardino (Bernadino Pediatric Hospital) in Luanda and to the hospital in Cacuaco. These much-needed drugs and supplies will help the staff at the hospitals address the recent outbreak of malaria among the pediatric population.

“BIPAI and Texas Children’s Global Health are fortunate to have partners like Chevron and Medical Bridges that can mobilize and respond proactively to public health emergencies around the world,” said Michael Mizwa, leader of BIPAI and Texas Children’s Global Health.

Ali Moshiri, president of Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production Company, said the company is proud to be able to help mitigate public health situations such as these.

“We value our partnership with BIPAI and Texas Children’s Global Health,” Moshiri said. “This contribution underscores Chevron’s long-standing commitment to fight malaria and to the children of Angola who are most at risk for the disease”

The Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) and Texas Children’s Global Pediatric Hematology & Oncology program started an Angola Sickle Cell Initiative (ASCI) in 2011 with generous support from Chevron, aimed at bringing neonatal Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) screening and care to two regions in Angola: Luanda and Cabinda. To date, 135,000 babies have been screened and, in 2015, with a donation from Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), the first organized Hydroxyurea (HU) treatment program for Angola was begun.

41316drshilt175Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Jeffrey Shilt as chief surgical officer. Shilt is also a member of the Division of Orthopedics.

“Dr. Shilt brings an exciting combination of academic, surgical and community practice experience which will be a tremendous asset to us as we open our hospital in The Woodlands,” said Texas Children’s Hospital Surgeon-In-Chief Dr. Charles D. Fraser Jr. “I am excited to welcome him to the team and I look forward to the outstanding pediatric surgical leadership he will bring to The Woodlands community.”

Shilt comes to Texas Children’s from St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise, Idaho, where he was an active pediatric orthopedic surgeon and director of the hospital’s Spasticity Clinic and motion analysis lab for children and adults. Prior to his time in Idaho, Shilt held positions as associate professor and residency program director at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. When Wake Forest established Brenner Children’s Hospital, Shilt served as the director of pediatric orthopedics where he assisted in the further development of pediatric specialty care. His research interests include management of spasticity in cerebral palsy, sports performance and the treatment of endurance sports injuries.

As a recognized leader in both academics and clinical practices, Shilt brings a breadth of experience to the Texas Children’s team. While he served as the program director of the Wake Forest University orthopedic surgery residency he participated in pioneering work in the treatment of children with spastic cerebral palsy, as well as sports medicine applications of tissue engineering. He has presented numerous lectures, both nationally and internationally, and serves on various committees and advisory boards. Additionally, he has served as the team physician for the USA triathlon team at the two world championships, two years as a team physician for a professional cycling team, and as a medical consultant for multiple World Champion athletes, Olympians & gold medalists, and multiple professional ironman and other endurance athletes.

A Missouri native, Shilt obtained his medical and undergraduate degrees at the University of Missouri – Kansas City six-year combined BA-Medical Degree program directly out of high school. He then completed his general surgery internship and orthopedic surgery residency at the Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans, as well as a year of basic science research at the Pediatric Research Institute at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis. This was followed by a pediatric orthopedic fellowship at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. After completing his clinical training, Shilt took part in the personalized leadership development program at Wake Forest University Babcock Graduate School of Management’s Institute for Executive Education in Winston-Salem.

Slated to open in 2017 under the leadership of President Michelle Riley-Brown, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Charles Hankins and Shilt, the 560,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility is being designed specifically to serve children and families. Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands will offer inpatient and outpatient specialty pediatric care in areas including: cancer, cardiology, neurology, orthopedics, diabetes and endocrinology, urology, sports medicine, gastroenterology and nutrition, pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, otolaryngology, allergy and immunology, dermatology, adolescent medicine and physical rehabilitation.

The facility will open with 25 emergency center rooms, 72 outpatient rooms, 12 radiology rooms, four operating rooms, 28 critical care beds and 32 acute care beds with plans to add up to 200 additional beds in the future to meet community needs. In addition to serving families throughout The Woodlands, Texas Children’s anticipates serving families in counties throughout Greater North Houston including Montgomery, Walker, Grimes, Liberty, Harris, Polk, San Jacinto and Hardin counties and beyond.

41316WCAmbulatoryOpenHouse640Practice administrators and all Health Center community leaders recently attended an open house at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus to focus on ways to embed “systemness” into our leadership structure.

In order for Texas Children’s to successfully expand across the Houston metropolitan area, it is critical that all leaders partner across the system to enhance the patient experience. These core ideas tie with the efforts around creating practice councils, which are ensuring patient care across the system is consistent at each location.

The day included a teambuilding activity, updates from West and The Woodlands, formal rounding expectations and a tour of West Campus.

41316pieMOD640Last Thursday, the Facilities Planning and Development team hosted a “Pie your Leader Day” outside the Meyer Building to raise money for the March of Dimes. For $4 a pie, employees smooshed pies of whipped cream on their leaders’ faces to support a worthy cause – helping to improve the health of babies.

March for Babies Walk

You can show your support by participating in the 2016 March for Babies walk on Sunday, April 24, at 9 a.m. at the University of Houston. Whether you join a Texas Children’s team or start your own team, the five-mile walk promises to be a fun day out with people who share our passion for improving the health of babies.

Last year, Texas Children’s March for Babies team was no. 9 among corporate teams for the walk, collectively raising more than $64,000. This year, as a Signature sponsor, Texas Children’s goal is to raise $120,000 that will support the March of Dimes.

“If each hospital department/unit raises an average of about $1,500, with 35 participating teams, we will reach our goal,” said Judy Swanson, vice president of Texas Children’s Newborn Center. “Texas Children’s is off to a great start with a $75,000 contribution from the system to date.”

At the March for Babies walk, there will be family teams, company teams and people walking with friends. To donate or sign up for a Texas Children’s team, type TCH in the team search bar and select your team.

If you want to build your own team, please identify a spirited organizer in your department to be a team captain for Texas Children’s. Once identified, please send their contact information to Sharla Weindorff. Contact Sharla at Ext. 4-2011 if you have further questions.

To learn more about March for Babies, click here.