July 18, 2017

Ashley King, January – March 2017 Leader

Your name, title and department. How long have you worked here?
Ashley King, Patient Care Manager, Otolaryngology Department. I’ve worked for Texas Children’s Hospital for 10 years.

What month are you Super Star for?
First Quarter (January – March) 2017

Tell us how you found out you won a super star award.
I arrived to our scheduled “staff meeting” and was greeted by smiling faces, balloons and a red carpet. When I entered the meeting everyone yelled “Congratulations!” Confused, I responded, “For what?” That’s when I learned I had won the super star award. I was completely surprised!

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?
It’s extremely rewarding to be recognized by such a great team of hard working individuals who I admire and enjoy working with. Throughout my 10 years with Texas Children’s, I have been surrounded by influential people – from preceptors to coworkers to managers to providers. These people have mentored me and continually challenged me to do more. And when new opportunities at Texas Children’s have presented themselves, they’ve encouraged me to continue moving forward in my career. If not for the excellent and supportive people that I’ve had the privilege of working with at Texas Children’s, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

What do you think makes someone at Texas Children’s a super star?
A super star is a person who leaves you with a memorable impression. They actively listen to others. They do more than what is asked of them. They strive to provide quality patient care. And they do all of these things with a smile.

What is your motivation for going above and beyond every day at work?
My motivation is my team, our patients, and our patients’ families. I strive every day to make our clinic an enjoyable place to work. I also work very hard to ensure that our patients and their families have a positive experience. When my team is happy and our patients are happy, I’m happy!

What is the best thing about working at Texas Children’s?
For me, the best thing about Texas Children’s is the children. No matter their circumstance, they still manage to smile and be kids. Their resilience is empowering!

What does it mean to you that everyone at Texas Children’s is considered a leader? What is your leadership definition?
It means that Texas Children’s cares about the success of its employees. That we are all considered leaders is a testament to the investment that Texas Children’s has made in each of us by providing us the training, support, and resources that we need to help carry out our fundamental mission: “To create a healthier future for children and women throughout our global community by leading in patient care, education and research.” What is your leadership definition? Leadership means listening to, inspiring, and empowering others. Leadership is serving the people around you by giving them the tools they need to be successful.

Anything else you want to share?
I am proud to work at Texas Children’s and am looking forward to continuing to grow here.

July 17, 2017

Dr. Jane Edmond has been selected to serve as president of the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus in 2020.

The organization’s goals are to advance the quality of children’s eye care, support the training of pediatric ophthalmologists, support research activities in pediatric ophthalmology, and advance the care of adults with strabismus.

Edmond is board certified and a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. She is a member of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and has held many offices within the organization. She is an oral board examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of AAPOS. She is the author of numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. She is a frequently invited presenter at national and international professional society meetings and conferences. She is the recipient of the Secretariat and Achievement Award, presented by the American Academy of Ophthalmology; and an Honor Award, presented by the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. She is considered a national expert in craniofacial disorders and pediatric neuro-ophthalmology.

Edmond’s interests and specialties are:

  • Pediatric neuro-ophthalmology (brain-based vision abnormalities, optic nerve disease, pupil problems, visual impact of brain tumors or other intracranial insults)
  • Craniofacial disorders and their ocular and impact to the visual system
  • Childhood and adult eye strabismus, medical and surgical treatment (all forms of eye misalignment, double vision, eye misalignment secondary to thyroid eye disease)
  • Amblyopia

More than 50 Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands employees, physicians and their families loaded up on an oversized “wagon” and participated in the South Montgomery County July 4th parade. The annual event attracted more than 18,000 spectators who lined the 1.3 mile parade route through The Woodlands.

With over 150 parade entries competition was tough, but Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands came away with two top wins: “Best Youth Entry” and “Facebook Fan Favorite.”

“There’s only so many things you can do with a float, but we fell in love with the wagon idea because we use wagons all over the hospital to transport our patients,” said The Woodlands Community Liaison Jenny Hiser, adding there were many creative entries from other organizations. “And for this being our first year, we felt really honored to be able to win anything. It was totally unexpected.”

While some were riding on the “wagon,” others were walking along the side handing out patriotic pinwheels, tattoos, and fliers with information about the hospital.

“Although it was a hot day, my daughter and I enjoyed being a part of this community event with our Texas Children’s The Woodlands family,” said The Woodlands President Michelle Riley-Brown. “I am looking forward to doing it again next year!”

Dr. Huda Zoghbi, director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Institute at Texas Children’s and professor in the departments of pediatrics, molecular and human genetics, neurology, and neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, received the 2017 Switzer Prize from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA for excellence in biological and biomedical sciences research.

The Switzer Prize recognizes discoveries in basic research in the biological and biomedical sciences that have the potential to inspire transformative breakthroughs in medicine. It is awarded annually to an individual investigator whose recent work has revealed new paradigms, illuminated biological processes or pathways, or explained the origins of pathologies or diseases.

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA established the prize to promote the importance of basic sciences research, which advances the understanding of biological systems and human physiology. Such research – a priority at UCLA – is essential to continued improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of illnesses.

The Switzer Prize is named in recognition of the generosity of Irma and Norman Switzer, who made a major gift to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Zoghbi’s research includes identifying a gene mutation that causes Rett syndrome, a severe genetic disorder that mostly affects girls. She will deliver the Switzer Prize lecture at UCLA in February 2018.

Texas Children’s Radiology-in-Chief Dr. George Bisset was recently awarded the Radiological Society of North America’s (RSNA) Gold Medal for 2017.

The Gold Medal is RSNA’s highest honor. It is awarded annually by the Board of Directors to those persons who, in the judgment of the Board, have rendered unusual service to the science of radiology. Typically, three medals are awarded each year in accordance with the RSNA’s Bylaws as revised November 1977. A unanimous vote of the Board of Directors is required.

Bisset is the second Texas Children’s Hospital recipient of this prestigious award. The first recipient was (late) Dr. Edward Singleton, who received the award in 1995.

July 11, 2017

When a patient is transferred to or from Texas Children’s Hospital, several wheels are set into motion to make the process run smoothly for our patients and their families.

People from various areas of the organization jump into action to make the best decision on where the patient needs to go and how they should get there.

For decades, the transfer process has prevailed using little to no technology to transfer an average of about 1,300 patients a year to and from Texas Children’s Hospital in the Medical Center, West Houston and The Woodlands. On April 19, all that changed with the opening of Texas Children’s Nerve Center, a communications hub for everyone involved in the transfer process and beyond.

“This is another great day at Texas Children’s Hospital,” said Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark A. Wallace at the center’s grand opening ceremony. “This Nerve Center is distinctive, innovative, forward thinking and a great example of the amazing leadership we have here at Texas Children’s.”

Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, the Nerve Center is located in a large, high-tech room on the third floor of Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. Half of the room is occupied by representatives from the hospital’s security and facilities departments. The other half houses representatives from the departments of Room Management, Transport Services and Critical Care.

View photos of the Nerve Center below.

When a call about a transfer comes into the center, representatives from all teams work together to assure an efficient, rapid and accountable, transfer occurs that provides the highest quality and safest care possible for Texas Children’s high risk maternal, neonatal and pediatric population.

“We have all the people in the room we need,” said Assistant Director for Transport Services Deborah D’Ambrosio. “It’s so much easier to coordinate, be efficient and supportive to families in referring hospitals.”

One notable change made with the opening of the Nerve Center was the splitting of responsibilities for transfers and transports. Transfers deal with patients who are either coming or going to acute care and transports handle patients who are much sicker and either need a physician or a higher level of care while being moved to where they need to be. At the Nerve Center, transfer calls go to one team and transport calls go to another. The team that handles the transport cases includes a transport charge nurse and a critical care physician.

“At the Nerve Center, you have one directive and no distractions by competing interests,” said Dr. Mona McPherson, the Nerve Center’s medical director. “Your sole focus is on the transport team and getting the patient where they need to be safely and quickly.”

In addition to getting everyone in the same room and a few organizational tweaks, the biggest change to Texas Children’s transport process was the implementation of technology that enables everyone in the Never Center to do their job better.

When you step into the Nerve Center, there are many different pieces and types of technology. Each workstation has four monitors displaying information vital to the transport process. There is a huge LED display at the front of the room showing a list of patients coming and going from Texas Children’s, the location of all Texas Children’s ambulances, each of the organization’s two, soon to be three helipads, and census data. And, there are several systems operating behind the scenes that connect everyone in the room with the most up-to-date information needed to make the best decision possible about a patient coming to or leaving Texas Children’s.

“We’ve taken a department that was using very little technology to one that uses a lot in various ways, all of which are able to improve their outcome,” said Melissa Witt, a registered nurse and a senior system analyst for Texas Children’s Information Services. “We’re already seeing good results.”

During the first month the Nerve Center was launched, the Transfer Team reduced their time from dispatch to pick up by 20 minutes. It used to take the team 50 minutes to get out the door. Now it takes them 29 minutes. In addition, the number of transfers has gone up, breaking a record in May with 151.

“We’ve had more than one community ER doc say, ‘Wow, this is the easiest I’ve ever been able to get a child into Texas Children’s,” McPherson said. “And that really is our mission central here. We want to make people want to call us, not because we’re just good and give excellent care, but because it’s really easy to get a patient in here.”

For two weeks in June, Camp For All 2U brought the joy of summer camp to patients at Texas Children’s Hospital’s Main and West Campuses.

The program transforms areas of the hospital into camp, providing patients who may not get the experience of camp outside of the hospital the opportunity to enjoy a variety of games and activities. With a different theme each day, camp activities include archery, a petting zoo, arts and crafts and much more.

“We are so excited to have Camp For All 2U here at Main Campus for the second time,” said Child Life Specialist Sarah Herbek, who collaborated with Camp For All to bring the experience to Texas Children’s. “For many of these patients, this is the only opportunity they will have to experience camp this summer due to their current medical condition.”

Camp For All Program Supervisor Allen McBride said he was thrilled to be back at Main Campus and, with the generous support of the Wood Group, to be able to expand the program to West Campus.

“We are grateful to be able to give these patients the chance to temporarily forget what they are going through and just enjoy being a kid,” McBride said.

And, enjoy they did. Many of the patients didn’t want to leave camp and signed up to attend for multiple days.

View photos from Camp For All 2 U below.

Child Life Specialist Riley Hammond was key to getting the camp at West Campus and said “It is huge for staff and parents to see these kids having so much fun. In terms of normalization in the child life world, camp has tremendous positive impact on patients and families.”

It wasn’t just the children who were having fun. Camp counselors, volunteers and hospital staff were overcome with smiles, laughter and child-like joy as well. Some even went so far as to let the camp goers throw a pie in their face just for laughs.

Andrew Stewart, CEO of the Wood Group, was one of those volunteers and said he and his executive team wanted to participate in something extraordinary that would support the amazing work that’s already being done at Texas Children’s.

“We’ve had a wonderful time,” he said. “And, I think the children have as well.”

For more information about Camp For All, visit www.campforall.org.