December 21, 2016

122116westcampustoydonationpg640Riding on motorcycles instead of a sleigh, members of two area motorcycle clubs recently acted as Santa Clause donating a slew of gifts to Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

Members of the Harley Owners Group/Mancuso Harley Davidson rode up to the hospital on December 3 to present West Campus President Matt Schaefer and Child Life Specialist Susan Eyre with several large bags of toys and a donation on behalf of Cypress Creek Christian Church.

On December 10, the Los Carnales Motorcycle Club arrived with several bags of toys for our patients. The club is comprised mostly of active duty and/or retired law enforcement officials.

Schaefer presented both clubs with framed art from some of our patients in appreciation for their generous donation.

December 20, 2016

122116trainexhibit640The Texas Children’s Choo-Choo Hut nestled into a wall at the entrance of the Abercrombie Building is decked in holiday cheer for all little boys, girls and grownups to see and hear.

The 28-foot-long display features various trains running through multiple scenes, all of which are decorated for the holidays.

Some trains are packed with presents while others are loaded down with doughnuts, cupcakes and candy. Santa can be seen waving to passersby and a snowman gripping a candy cane stands atop a hill looking down at the festive scene below.

You also can see a small sign next to another snowman that says: R.I.P. Craig Sager. The longtime Turner Sports broadcaster died Thursday after a more than two-year battle with cancer, leaving a legacy of sideline reporting and a special place in his heart for Texas Children’s Hospital.

Known as much for his outrageous wardrobe as his relationships with the NBA’s elite, Sager mentioned Texas Children’s Hospital this summer during his acceptance speech for the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at ESPN’s Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) Awards.

During his speech, Sager talked about his journey battling cancer and the comfort he found in the model train exhibit at Texas Children’s Hospital, better known as the Texas Children’s Choo-Choo Hut.

Come see the intricate model train exhibit for yourself this holiday season. The exhibit can be viewed any time and the trains run from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Click here to read more about the history of the Choo-Choo Hut and here to read a personal account of the train’s impact on patients from one of its six original builders.


122116physiciansurveyinside640Texas Children’s shined in a recent survey conducted by the Harris County Medical Society to determine physicians’ perspectives and satisfaction in their relationships with local hospitals. More than 2,000 physicians took the survey, providing results for 30 hospitals in the Greater Houston area.

When asked to rate their overall satisfaction with each of those hospitals, 87 percent rated Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus at the top of their satisfaction list. Texas Children’s Hospital medical center campus was next with 83 percent of physicians giving the hospital high satisfaction marks.

Reputation is another area where the Texas Children’s system stood apart from the rest. When asked how physicians rated the overall reputation of each health system represented in the survey, 91 percent placed Texas Children’s at the helm.

“The results of this survey are incredible and speak to the superb quality of work we do across our entire system each and every day,” said President and CEO Mark A. Wallace. “They also are a testament to the relationships we have built and continue to strengthen with physicians in Houston and beyond.”

The purpose of the survey, according to Harris County Medical Society President Dr. Kimberly Monday, is to identify areas of strength and areas of opportunity for improvement in physician/hospital relationships that will create the opportunity for further discussion and will ultimately enhance collective efforts to improve patient care in the Houston area.

“These results will give physicians and hospital leaders a clear picture of the areas where the most work needs to be done,” Monday said. “These issues are too important to the quality of care we deliver to our patients to be dismissed, and we want to show hospital administrators that physicians are eager to work with them to make meaningful improvements to hospital practices and policies.”

Monday added that the impetus for the study was the decision on behalf of the federal government to tie Medicare payments to long-term patient outcomes instead of process. As physicians and hospitals become financially tied to actual outcomes, she said, doctors must know which hospitals provide a culture of quality and safety.

Conducted from May 8 to June 20, the Harris County Medical Society survey asked questions regarding:

  • Safety of medical care
  • Relationships between hospital administration and physicians
  • Hospital policies affecting care
  • Medical staff issues and bylaws
  • Electronic medical records

Texas Children’s system, Texas Children’s Hospital and Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus led several categories in the survey as well and made the top 5 or top 10 list in many others, including leadership and leadership training opportunities, adequate nursing staff and quality of support staff.

“It’s good to hear our partnering physicians view us in such a positive light,” said Matt Schaefer, West Campus president. “Those relationships are extremely important to what we do, which is ensuring the best medical care to our patients and their families.”

Click the links below to view the results of the survey:

2016 Harris County Medical Society physician survey – Texas Children’s Hospital
2016 Harris County Medical Society physician survey – Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus
2016 Harris County Medical Society physician satisfaction survey

122116chdpajamasinside250When Anne Currie was 5-years-old, she underwent her first congenital heart surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital. Following additional procedures, Currie, now in her 30s, leads a happy and healthy life and comes back to Texas Children’s for regular check-ups with the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program (ACHD) team.

Texas Children’s ACHD Program enables patients with congenital heart disease to receive seamless continuation of care from birth to adulthood. Members of the multidisciplinary team, who are trained in both pediatric and adult congenital heart disease, offer a full spectrum of services and advise patients on the wide spectrum of medical problems that patients like Currie experience throughout their lives.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of her first surgery, Currie enlisted the help of her friend and fellow adult congenital heart disease patient, Holly Hancock, to surprise heart patients at the hospital with specially-designed pajamas from Heroic Hearts®, a company Hancock created.

Hancock, who underwent her first heart surgery at just hours old, spent time at Texas Children’s when she was 9 and continues to be seen by Texas Children’s ACHD team, too. As a young patient, she dreaded putting on a drab hospital gown as the excess fabric made it hard to move around and was thin causing her to always be cold. Little Heroes® by Heroic Hearts® offers comfortable, creative, hospital-friendly apparel tailored to young heart patients.

Recently, the pair, alongside Hancock’s husband and parents and Currie’s mom, gifted 10 current Texas Children’s heart patients and their families with pairs of the pajamas. The group shared stories with families about their time in the hospital and inspired them as the families were able to see how well the women are doing today. In addition to the pajamas, patients received stuffed animals named Ruby and Beau, who star in the hospital’s one-of-a-kind animated series of videos designed to educate families about complex heart conditions. To watch the series visit

“My heart is so full and grateful going into this holiday season all because of you,” Currie said of the patients she met during her visit to Texas Children’s. “I hope they all understand that Texas Children’s is for life, not just for kids.”

The Texas Children’s family will always hold a special place in its collective heart for the staff, employees and Board of Trustee member we lost this year. Each will be greatly missed.

122116ssluisrauda175Luis Rauda, October 2016 Employee

Luis Rauda of The Center for children and Women – Greenspoint, is the latest Texas Children’s Super Star employee. “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” Read more of his interview below and find out how you can nominate a Super Star.
Your name, title and department. How long have you worked here?
Luis Rauda, Medical Assistant for the Pediatrics Team. I’ve been with Texas Children’s for about two years. (I was hired in February 2014)

What month are you Super Star for?
October 2016

Tell us how you found out you won a super star award.
My colleagues surprised me, and I was terrified.

What does it mean to be recognized for the hard work you do? How has the organization helped you achieve your personal and professional goals?
A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected. With that being said, I always feel appreciated by my family at The Texas Children’s Center.
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. Overall, this organization has not only helped me achieve personal and professional goals, it also has molded me into the person I am today.

What do you think makes someone at Texas Children’s a super star?
Personal Initiative – A person with personal initiative is self-starting and proactive; works independently of outside influence or control. This also can be applied in Teamwork.

What is your motivation for going above and beyond every day at work?
Self value and quality. The quality of an individual is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.

What is the best thing about working at Texas Children’s?
Texas Children’s is a place where one can self-improve endlessly, both professionally and personally.

What does it mean to you that everyone at Texas Children’s is considered a leader? What is your leadership definition?
True Leaders don’t create followers… they create more leaders. What better way to lead than to lead by example?

Anything else you want to share?
I’m not quite sure how I got picked to be a super star, but I believe that my entire family at The Center for Children and Women (Greenspoint and Southwest Location) are all super stars as well. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to reach “super star status.” They allow me to be my best self and reach my full potential on a daily basis. For that reason, they also should be recognized. Please and thank you.

122116pathologyvietnaminsideSince 2005, the Department of Pathology & Immunology at Baylor and the Department of Pathology at Texas Children’s Hospital have played an important role in global health initiatives, first in Africa and later extending their outreach to Southeast Asia.

The Global Pathology Program at Texas Children’s launched a collaboration with the Vietnam Vascular Anomalies Center in Ho Chi Minh City in 2013, focusing on improving medical care for people in Vietnam through diagnostic pathology.

“One of our major goals is to improve medical care for the people in Vietnam by raising the standard of practice of pathologists who provide diagnostic workup for patients,” said Dr. Thuy Phung, associate director of Global Pathology at Texas Children’s and assistant professor of pathology & immunology at Baylor College of Medicine. “This includes improving physician training and pathology laboratory practice.”

Participants of the Global Pathology Program and the Vietnam Vascular Anomalies Center returned to Vietnam earlier this year for their sixth annual trip, accompanied by a team of more than 30 physicians, medical residents and students from the United States, South Korea and Thailand. Together they held a three-day CME conference in dermatology and skin and gynecologic pathology to train more than 90 pathologists on developing more accurate diagnosis.

Using the new technology of telepathology, participants were able to view digitalized images of stained tissue sections on their own computer monitor as if they were viewing through a microscope. Telepathology gives pathologists from anywhere in the world the opportunity to connect with one another through the internet to show and share pathology cases for diagnostic consultation, teaching and training. The consultation can take the form of a live videoconference, webcast or one-on-one discussion.

“Logistically, how this works is when pathologists in Vietnam have difficult skin biopsies, and they want my input as an experienced skin pathologist, they scan the tissue glass slides and send me the digital files,” Phung said. “With the digital files, I am able to view the slide image and move the virtual slide around to see different areas of the tissue. This imaging technology allows me to digitally view tissue in any way I want so that I can make the correct histologic diagnosis for the patient.”

Through telepathology, Phung has been able to provide expert consultation to pathologists in Vietnam in real time with high accuracy. She holds weekly live videoconferencing with Vietnamese pathologists to view the cases together.

“We view the digital images together and discuss the cases, and I share my opinion of each case,” she said. “Each week, we do this for about one hour, and usually look at 10 to 12 tissue biopsies that pose diagnostic dilemmas for the Vietnamese pathologists.”

Phung and her team have been holding weekly video meetings for a year and have broadened their training with pathologists in Ho Chi Minh City to include pathologists in other major cities in Vietnam such as Hanoi, Hue and Danang. “By conducting live telepathology, we not only provide correct tissue diagnosis in real time for patients in Vietnam, but equally important, we can use this approach to enhance the training of Vietnamese pathologists in diagnostic skin pathology,” she said.

“My hope is that they will become experts themselves in the future and be able to help even more patients than I can do myself here in the U.S.” said Phung.

There are now six Vietnamese pathologists who regularly participate in telepathology with Phung, and she believes their efforts will provide them the knowledge base to be experts in skin pathology in their own right.

“I like to think of this as innovation in global medical education involving virtual and interactive learning that has been enabled by today’s state-of-the-art technology in telemedicine and digital pathology,” she said. “This is a way to practically apply advanced technology and medical expertise that we have here at Baylor and Texas Children’s to help improve medical diagnosis and medical education in other countries, no matter where in the world.”

Currently, the Global Pathology team and the Vietnam Vascular Anomalies Center are working on expanding their work to Can Tho and Da Nang, two major provinces in Vietnam.