March 29, 2017

Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus celebrated its 6th birthday this month with an employee bake off fit with birthday cake-themed treats.

As part of the day, West Campus leadership donned birthday hats and helped judge the employee bake off birthday celebration. The entries from various employees/departments of the hospital included tiered cakes, brownies and other creatively designed treats.

The winners of the contest were:

  • Best Taste: Deborah Parrott, Cancer Center – Westie Bestie Brownies
  • Best Presentation: Lauren Ivanhoe, Clinical Training and Development – ‘Anf Many Smores’ Cake
  • Best Theme: Sarah Schelnick, Occupational and Physical Therapy – Rolling in the Chocolate Brownies

“We had a great day here at West Campus celebrating six years of hard work,” West Campus President Matt Schaefer said. “We look forward to continuing to grow and serve those in need of pediatric care in West Houston and beyond.”

The celebration continued on March 20 at the campus’ daily operational briefing, which was attended by Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark A. Wallace as well as Texas Children’s Executive Vice President Michelle Riley-Brown.

Both Wallace and Riley-Brown, who was president of West Campus when it opened in 2010, expressed sincere appreciation to the hospital’s current leadership team for a fabulous six years.

“The work you all have done here is tremendous,” Wallace said. “Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus is doing a great job of providing the right care at the right time at the right place.”

Riley-Brown agreed and said with each passing year West Campus adds more services, staff and expertise to better serve its patients and families.

“You should be proud of your accomplishments,” she said to the leadership team.

The West Campus officially opened hospital services on March 7, 2010. Today, the campus sees more than 1,000 patient encounters per day.

“The Bump Watch blog was such a great sense of community for new moms and a great forum to come together to share ideas and experiences,” said Texas Children’s employee Emily Klein, who delivered her daughter, Audrey, two days after Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women opened five years ago.

Launched by the Corporate Communications team in March 2012, the Bump Watch blog was designed to educate employees about the wonderful Ob/GYN services, programs and amenities offered at the Pavilion for Women while generating excitement for the opening of the new hospital dedicated to the care of women and babies.

As we celebrate Bump Watch and the Pavilion for Women turning five on March 26, we revisited three of our Bump Watch families – the Clarks, the McDades and the Kleins – to see just how big their babies have grown since we first met them.

“I think the best thing about participating in the Bump Watch blog was the documentation of my first pregnancy,” said Erin McDade, whose son Aiden is now 5 years old and a big brother to his sister who was born at the Pavilion for Women two years ago. “To have photos of my pregnancy and the video of the ultrasound, these memories were unique and very special.”

Besides promoting the services at the Pavilion for Women, the Bump Watch blog was also a great employee engagement tool across the organization. Readers, commenters and bloggers embraced the blog as a place to share their baby’s first milestones, first birthdays and surprise announcements including their experiences delivering their newborns at the Pavilion for Women. Employees shared their pregnancy challenges and offered advice for new and expectant parents.

In the blog’s first three months, Bump Watch generated more than 100,000 views and over 560,000 views until its bittersweet farewell in September 2015.

Dr. Huda Zoghbi, director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine, is being honored by the Gairdner Foundation with the 2017 Canada Gairdner International Award for seminal discoveries and contributions to biomedical science. This award recognizes some of the most significant medical discoveries from around the world.

Zoghbi, who also is professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at Baylor, is one of five individuals given this award. She is being recognized for her work surrounding the discovery of the gene responsible for Rett syndrome.

After years of treating patients, Zoghbi began to focus on finding the genetic causes of the disease, which strikes after a year of normal development and presents with developmental regression, social withdrawal, loss of hand use and compulsive wringing of the hands, seizures and a variety of neurobehavioral symptoms.

Zoghbi identified that mutations in MECP2 are the cause of Rett syndrome, revealing the importance of MeCP2 for the function of various neuronal subtypes. Her work showed just how sensitive the brain is to the levels of MeCP2 and that doubling MeCP2 levels causes progressive neurological deficits. This disorder is now recognized as MECP2 Duplication Syndrome in humans.

Her recent work showed the symptoms of adult mice modeling the duplication disorder can be reversed using antisense oligonucleotides that normalize MeCP2 levels.

The discovery of the Rett syndrome gene provided a straightforward diagnostic genetic test, allowing early and accurate diagnosis of the syndrome. It also revealed that mutations in MECP2 also can cause a host of other neuropsychiatric features ranging from autism to juvenile onset schizophrenia. Further, it provided evidence that an autism spectrum disorder or an intellectual disability disorder can be genetic even if it is not inherited.

Her discovery opened up a new area of research on the role of epigenetics in neuropsychiatric phenotypes. Her use of an antisense oligonucleotide to lower MECP2 levels provides a potential therapeutic strategy for the MECP2 duplication syndrome and inspires similar studies for other duplication disorders.

Zoghbi will be presented her award at a gala in Toronto on Thursday, October 26. Each award carries an honorarium of $100,000 to support continued research.

On March 24, country singer-songwriter, RaeLynn, celebrated the release of her debut album, WildHorse, at Texas Children’s Hospital. The day was filled with excitement as the Baytown native made her first donation from The RaeLynn Diabetes Fund to the hospital, which she credits for saving her life when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 12.

Dr. Jake Kushner, chief of diabetes and endocrinology at Texas Children’s, accepted the gift on behalf of the hospital and thanked RaeLynn for her support of patients just like her.

“We are honored to have this emphasis on Type 1 diabetes, which is a special source of passion for us at Texas Children’s Hospital,” Kushner said. “For those of us who have spent our lives dedicated to the children who have Type 1 diabetes, it’s also very important to us to see adults who are living with the disease, too.”

Because of RaeLynn’s special contributions to the city of Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner was on hand to proclaim March 24 “RaeLynn Day.”

“On behalf of the city of Houston, we are so proud of you and know that your best days are ahead of you,” Turner said. “I’m always thrilled to support the amazing talent that comes from the city of Houston.”

Following the proclamation, patients joined RaeLynn in the hospital’s Kids’ Own Studio to listen to songs off of her album and smile for photos.

“The care that this hospital gave me at such a young age and the confidence it gave me to just be really comfortable with my diabetes is just absolutely incredible,” RaeLynn said. “I’m so honored to be able to stand here today and give from my diabetes fund on a day that is so special to me.”

More about RaeLynn

RaeLynn’s breakthrough came after appearing on NBC’s hit show, The Voice, in 2012. Since then, her career as soared with her current single “Love Triangle” reaching sales milestones and the music video racking up more than 5 million views. Recently nominated for the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards fan-voted THE FRESHEST! – BEST NEW ARTIST COUNTRY and selected as a 2017 “Country Artist to Watch” by Pandora Radio, Napster and Billboard, RaeLynn has tallied 104 million plus cumulative career streams.

She is poised to follow in the early success of her Top 10, GOLD-certified song “God Made Girls” that has racked up more than 925,000 track equivalent sales and has been streamed more than 48 million times. The track was nominated in 2016 for Radio Disney’s Favorite Country Song, earned her recognition as one of CMT’s Next Women of Country and was the highest charting debut single by a solo female in 2014. The music video has accumulated more than 28 million views and earned her a pair of CMT Music Award nominations for Female Video of the Year and Breakthrough Video of the Year in 2015.

More about Texas Children’s Diabetes and Endocrine Care Center

The Texas Children’s Diabetes and Endocrine Care Center is a leader in the research and treatment of children with diabetes and endocrine disorders. The center provides diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of endocrine dysfunctions, including:

  • congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • growth hormone deficiency
  • hypo/hyperthyroidism
  • hyper/hypocalcemia
  • precocious puberty

We also treat and educate both established and newly diagnosed diabetes patients and their families in self-management of all aspects of types 1 and 2 diabetes.

It’s time to lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement! Texas Children’s and the Houston Marathon Foundation Family Fun Run are hosting the inaugural family fun run event this year in The Woodlands. Registration is open but spots are filling up fast. So, sign up today to guarantee a spot for you and your family.

The Family Fun Run event at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands will be on Saturday, April 29. The event will offer a 1-mile course and will be in celebration of the April 11 grand opening of the new hospital. Post-race activities will follow until 11 a.m.

Registration for the The Woodlands Family Fun Run will close at 5 p.m. on Monday, April 17 or whenever we reach our maximum event capacity of 1,500 runners. Click here to register.

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.

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

Good luck and happy running!

On March 26, 2017, Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women reached an incredible milestone – five years of delivering high quality and comprehensive care to women and newborns.

Since opening the hospital’s 1.3-million square foot facility, it’s amazing how much we have accomplished in just five short years. The thought and careful preparation that went into creating the Pavilion for Women has led to unprecedented access and a full range of services for women and newborns, all in one location.

As a premier destination for women and babies across the country, the Pavilion for Women continues to deliver miracles and is recognized as a leader in obstetrics, gynecology and fetal intervention.

To commemorate this five-year milestone, the Corporate Communications team developed this animated timeline video spotlighting some of the Pavilion for Women’s greatest accomplishments over the last five years which would not have been possible without the dedication from our employees, staff and leaders.

Over the last five years, the Pavilion for Women has reached many notable milestones:

  • 27,000 births and counting (exceeded 6,000 deliveries in 2016)
  • 902 sets of multiples delivered
  • 6,700+ babies have received NICU care
  • Performed groundbreaking two-port fetoscopic repair to treat spina bifida in the womb
  • Received Baby Friendly Hospital designation
  • First women’s hospital to become CNOR strong internationally
  • Launched one-of-a-kind Neurosonology Ultrasound Specialty Program

“We really have evolved and have become a much more comprehensive Pavilion for Women,” said Pavilion for Women’s Senior Vice President Cris Daskevich. “The future is bright for our hospital and we are excited about the next five years, the next 10 years and what that can hold.”

March 26, 2017

Five years ago today on March 26, 2012, Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women opened its 1.3 million square foot facility dedicated to the delivery of high quality care for women and newborns.

Since our opening, the Pavilion for Women has delivered many miracles and has proven itself as a leader in obstetrics, gynecology and fetal intervention, and is a premier destination for women and babies.

This week on Connect, we will look back at some of the Pavilion for Women’s greatest accomplishments over the past five years and celebrate our employees and staff who made these milestones possible.

  • Monday, March 27 – Pavilion for Women 5-year milestone timeline video
  • Tuesday, March 28 – A look back at the Bump Watch blog
  • Wednesday, March 29 – In the Voice of Nursing blog, Dawn Miranda reflects on the hospital’s opening as a nurse and what it means to her today
  • Thursday, March 30 – New website dedicated to the Pavilion for Women’s 5-year anniversary
  • Friday, March 31 – In his blog, CEO Mark A. Wallace shares his reflections on the Pavilion for Women and our trajectory for the future

To commemorate this remarkable milestone, a special celebration will be held in the Pavilion for Women fourth-floor Conference Center from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, March 27.

And, don’t forget to share your memories and congratulatory comments on the Pavilion For Women’s Facebook Page.