February 7, 2017

2817transplant640Transplant Services at Texas Children’s Hospital continues to prove that we are at the forefront of pediatric transplantation in the United States performing 86 transplants in 2016.

Some of last year’s highlights include:

  • The heart transplant program finished the year as the No. 1 pediatric heart transplant program in the country with 25 transplants.
  • The lung transplant program tied with St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s for the No. 1 pediatric lung transplant program in the country spot with 8 transplants.
  • The kidney transplant program ended the year as the No. 2 pediatric kidney transplant program in the country, experiencing its highest volume since the program’s inception in 1988 with 32 transplants.
  • The liver transplant program performed 21 transplants and the liver and lung programs teamed up to complete a liver/lung transplant.

Dr. John Goss, medical director of Transplant Services, said Texas Children’s Transplant Services continues to earn its reputation as one of the best pediatric transplant programs in the country.

“I believe our success is a testimony to the skill and commitment of our multidisciplinary team, which offers an interdisciplinary approach to all aspects of the transplant process, from initial referral to hospitalization and outpatient management,” Goss said. “We also work closely with patients, families and referring physicians to help make the evaluation process as convenient and efficient as possible.”

Goss added that the success of Texas Children’s transplant program would not be possible without the gifts from our selfless donors and their families.

“They are the ones responsible for providing our patients with a second chance at life,” he said. “We are forever grateful for their unwavering kindness.”

To learn more about Texas Children’s Transplant Services, click here.

Since leaders opened the doors at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus more than five years ago, they have held regular town hall-style meetings to keep their employees informed of the hospital’s progress, challenges and goals as well as to gain feedback from employees and answer their questions.

“Town halls are an opportunity to both provide information and solicit feedback,” said West Campus President Matt Schaefer. “It’s important that we take time to both ‘talk to’ and ‘talk with’ the team of talented folks across our campus.”

View photos below from the first of a series of town hall events and watch the video below to get a glimpse of West Campus’ accomplishments in 2016 and their goals and aspirations for this year.

Walking into a conference room with a standing-room-only crowd, Schaefer kicked off the first town hall meeting at West Campus on February 1 with a congratulatory statement and a thank you for making 2016 “a wildly successful year.”

“2016 was a fantastic year any way you look at it – we grew our capabilities, served more patients than ever, had stronger than ever patient satisfaction and continued high employee engagement results, and grew our team all at the same time,” he said. “But, we recognize there were various challenges each of you overcame to meet our goals and we thank you for that.”

Director of Support Services Amy Cress, director of Outpatient and Clinic Support Services Jennifer DiPrisco and director of Patient Care Services Jennifer Sanders took the stage next and shared plans for continued growth in 2017 and that there always will be challenges to overcome but that because of West Campus’ phenomenal staff anything is possible.

“The fuel to our success is you,” Cress said. “With your help, we, like in years past, we can accomplish anything we set our minds to.”

Cress and the other leaders went on to outline West Campus’ 2017 goals, which include:

  •  Opening the Bellaire Health Center in April
  •  Expanding clinic space on the third and fourth floors of the campus’ Medical Office Building
  •  Opening a new 22-bed critical care unit in October
  •  Starting the planning process for construction of an on-site Texas Children’s Urgent Care next to the hospital’s Emergency Center
  •  Additional town hall meetings are scheduled this week at the Sugar Land, Clear Lake and Cy-Fair Health Centers.

2817DevonwithpatientVT640In case you missed it on Super Bowl Sunday, Texas Children’s patients took center stage right before the on-the-field action during FOX Sports’ pregame show.

The segment highlighting Texas Children’s focused on a very special football-themed party with Houston Texans defensive end, Devon Still. The party, held in December, was a treat for Cancer Center patients and their families.

Devon’s daughter, Leah, who is now in remission following a battle with neuroblastoma, also joined the football-themed fun. The group, gathered at the Cancer Center, played football with Devon, made jewelry with Leah and received signed copies of the book “I am Leah Strong.” The pair also spent time talking with patients in their rooms.

As the father of a child who battled cancer, Devon shares a unique perspective with the families. He offered words of encouragement and let the families know they are not alone in their fight, encouraging words for which one mother was especially grateful.

“We had the honor and privilege of meeting Leah [and Devon] tonight at Texas Children’s, and we also met more fighters and parents of cancer patients,” she said. “Once again, I am deeply moved, and my emotions rise to see the grave and harsh realities of childhood cancer. Being back on the ninth floor is the most humbling experience. I continually pray for a cure for all cancer.”

2817mainstreetlot640Preparations to celebrate the topping out of the Pediatric Tower structure are underway.

The Main Street Lot, located across from Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women at 6650 Main Street, will be closed beginning at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, February 7, until 7 a.m. on Friday, February 10.

All cars must be out of the lot by 6 a.m. on Tuesday, February 7.

Alternative patient and visitor parking is available in the following areas:

  • Valet parking at Pavilion for Women
  • Garage 21 (Pavilion for Women)
  • Garage 16 (Clinical Care Tower)
  • Garage 12 (West Tower)
  • Garage 1 (Methodist Hospital)
  • Garage 2 (St. Luke’s Hospital)

Employees: Please park in your assigned location.

2817Vasudevan175Pediatric surgeon Dr. Sanjeev Vasudevan recently received a grant from the Macy Easom Cancer Research Foundation to forward his research on pediatric hepatocellular malignancy, an aggressive liver cancer.

The grant is for more than $130,000 and will provide funding for Vasudevan’s second year of research on his project titled: “Real-time vascular and tumor visualization as an adjunct to liver surgery for pediatric hepatocellular malignancy.”

Vasudevan’s research uses new imaging techniques to investigate intra-operative, real-time visualization of a tumor and blood vessels. This research is a collaborative project with the departments of Radiology and Surgery. Ketankumar Ghaghada with Radiology is the co-principal investigator on this research project. The project team is made up of multi-disciplinary specialists from both departments.

In other news, Vasudevan was named vice chair of the surgery subcommittee of the Pediatric Hepatic International Tumor Trial. The Pediatric Hepatic International Tumor Trial is an international prospective clinical trial on pediatric liver tumors through the Children’s Oncology Group.

For more information about Vasudevan, his expertise and clinical and research interests, click here. For more information about Ghaghada, click here.

2817SohailShah175Pediatric surgeon Dr. Sohail Shah was recently awarded the Texas Children’s Hospital Auxiliary Denton A. Cooley Fellowship in Surgical Innovation award for 2016-2017. The award is for $75,000 and is given to a physician whose surgical research focuses on innovative ways to help children and to save lives.

Shah will use his reward to create, implement and evaluate an innovative health care delivery model that engages patients and families in the choice of how they receive postoperative care (in-person, telephone, tele-health, or as needed).

To learn more about Shah and his research and clinic areas of expertise and interest, click here.

2817LaurenKANE175Congenital heart surgeon Dr. Lauren Kane was recently awarded the Carolyn E. Reed Traveling Fellowship from The Thoracic Surgery Foundation (TSF). Kane is the first congenital heart surgeon to receive the distinguished honor.

Established in 2013 in conjunction with Women in Thoracic Surgery, The Carolyn E. Reed Traveling Fellowship is an annual award presented to an established female thoracic or cardiac surgeon. The award provides recipients the opportunity to travel to another institution to learn a new skill or technology.

“I am truly honored to receive this award,” Kane said. “Carolyn was a wonderful, well-respected and beloved leader in the field of cardiothoracic surgery. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to pay tribute to her legacy as I collaborate with surgeons internationally who share my passion for enriching the lives of children with congenital heart disease and defects.”

Kane plans to travel to New Delhi, India to collaborate with an outstanding program there focused on advanced congenital heart disease.

“Dr. Kane is a vital member of our team and I am proud that she has been recognized with this coveted fellowship,” said Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Charles D. Fraser Jr. “I look forward to her returning from her travels with a unique perspective of the keys to success of international programs similar to ours.”

Texas Children’s Heart Center is ranked No. 2 nationally in cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. The Congenital Heart Surgery Service offers a comprehensive surgical program that includes every procedure available for the treatment of pediatric heart disease and defects. The team cares for children of every age, including preterm and low-birth-weight newborns, tailoring procedures and treatments to the needs of each individual child and his or her family. During surgery, this individualized approach includes cardiopulmonary bypass and neuroprotection strategies customized to each patient’s condition and needs, helping to ensure optimal outcomes are achieved. For more information visit texaschildrens.org/heart.

For more information about the fellowship visit TSF’s website.