December 19, 2017

Sky High, a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating pediatric cancer, made a generous donation of $725,000 to Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers during a Christmas Carnival the organization hosted on the 14th floor of Wallace Tower for cancer and hematology patients and their families.

“Days like today keep us doing what we do,” said Brittany Hebert, the founder and chief executive officer of Sky High, which raises funds by hosting a variety of events including concerts, golf tournaments and sporting clay tournaments. “We are happy to here and be able to help.”

Dr. ZoAnne Dreyer, an oncologist with the Cancer Center, said the money donated by Sky High will go toward developing a tumor biology lab and will undoubtedly play a significant role is helping research and treat childhood cancer.

“We are so appreciative of your generosity,” Dreyer told Hebert and her team of elves who helped secure the donation and who made the Christmas Carnival a hit with patients and families. “We are privileged to have a relationship with such a great organization.”

Texas Children’s Physician-In-Chief Dr. Mark W. Kline echoed Dreyer’s comments and said that he too is proud to be a part of Sky High, an organization dedicated to such a noble cause.

To learn more about Sky High, click here.

Each year, about 50,000 people across the United States make donations ranging from a few dollars to $10,000 or more through the Office of Philanthropy’s Direct Mail program. Often, donors send heartfelt notes wishing our patients, clinical staff, and other team members well, or they mention fond thoughts of their own children or grandchildren.

To help capture that spirit during the holidays, which can be a tough time for those not able to spend it at home, the program offered its donors the opportunity to sign and return paper origami cranes as a way of sending good wishes and hope to our patients and their families.

Japanese legend has it that mystical cranes can live for 1,000 years, and because cranes represent good health, people often work together to create 1,000 paper cranes – called senbazuru – to promote the health of someone special to them.

In honor of our patients and families, a Tree of Hope decorated with 1,000 cranes will remain in the lobby of the Mark A. Wallace Tower throughout the holidays. Patients and families are welcome to take a crane as a gift from our donors, each of whom stopped during a busy time of year to think about Texas Children’s and our mission.

Representatives from the Otolaryngology, Pulmonology, Audiology, and Speech, Language and Learning groups at Texas Children’s Hospital presented and attended the 2017 SENTAC (Society for ENT Advances in Children) Annual Meeting in Toronto.

Otolaryngologist Dr. Carol Liu, former fellow Dr. Annabelle Tay Sok Yan, resident Dr. Tanner Fullmer, Sr. Audiologist Barbara Novak, and medical student Mark Michael gave presentations during the conference.

Dr. Rodrigo Silva and Dr. Tony Hughes from Otolaryngology served as session moderators and Dr. Shailendra Das from Pulmonary was a panelist.

Barbara Novak received the 2017 SENTAC Quality Care Award for the highest scoring abstract at the conference.

At the conclusion of the conference, Texas Children’s Dr. Deepak Mehta received the SENTAC President’s Bell to ring as he assumed the SENTAC presidency for 2018.

The Texas Children’s contingent also attended an event at the Hockey Hall of Fame and had a group photo taken with the Stanley Cup. The 2018 Annual Meeting will be held in Houston with Texas Children’s as the host site.

December 13, 2017

Dr. Carla Davis has been appointed the new head of the Section of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology and Chief of the Allergy/Immunology Service in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Jordan Orange, who currently holds this position, will be leaving Texas Children’s to become the new Chair of Columbia University’s Department of Pediatrics. Until his departure in the Spring 2018, Orange will work closely with Davis to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.

Davis earned an M.D. degree from Duke University Medical School in 1997. She completed pediatric residency training at Baylor and Texas Children’s, followed by postdoctoral fellowships in Allergy and Immunology (2001-2003) and HIV/AIDS Clinical Research (2000-2001 and 2003-2004). She joined the Baylor faculty as an assistant professor in 2005 and was promoted to associate professor in 2015. Davis is certified by both the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. She is an internationally recognized authority and investigator in the field of food allergies.

“Under Dr. Davis’ leadership, I have no doubt that our outstanding programs in Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology will continue to flourish,” said Texas Children’s Physician-in-Chief Mark W. Kline. “Please join me in thanking Dr. Davis for her willingness to take on this important leadership role.”

From January 22 to 24, Magnet appraisers will conduct a site visit at Texas Children’s, which represents a huge milestone in the hospital’s journey towards achieving Magnet redesignation, the gold standard for nursing excellence. A staff notice has been posted on Connect for details on what to expect during the visit. Click above for visit details.

December 12, 2017

A lot happens behind the scenes before patients are wheeled into the operating room at Texas Children’s Hospital to undergo surgery. Technicians disinfect the OR from top to bottom and a team of people with the Sterile Processing Department clean, prepare, assemble and sterilize surgical instruments for patient care.

At Texas Children’s Main OR in the Medical Center, the sterile processing team handles instruments for close to 80 procedures a day Monday through Friday and around 15 procedures on the weekends. The procedures can require anywhere from two to 12 sets of instruments each with a numerous amount of single instruments.

The team processes more than 17,000 instruments a day. To be able to handle this and keep up with the demands there are 3,200 plus sets of instruments. Sterilization of the instrument sets can be accomplished by steam, hydrogen peroxide, or ethylene oxide. Each requires special quality assurance monitoring and designated time for completion.

There are also operating rooms designated for cardiovascular cases, at Wallace Tower, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands that have their own sterile processing areas.

Click here to watch Channel 11 KHOU’s story about Texas Children’s sterile processing team.

On December 8, Texas Children’s posted the 2017 Pension Plan deposit into the account of eligible employees. To see how much your pension plan has grown, log into your Mercer account. For new users, you may register by clicking on “Get Started.” On the Mercer website, you will also find useful tools to help you view your balance, estimate your future pension plan balance and verify/update your beneficiary information.

This pension plan is designed to provide a foundation for your retirement and is fully funded by Texas Children’s. You are automatically enrolled in the plan on April 1 or October 1 once you reach 21 years of age and have worked 1,000 hours or more during the 12 consecutive months after your initial date of hire. Contributions are vested according to the schedule shown in the image above.

To learn more about Texas Children’s Pension Plan, visit our Benefits website or call 800-752-8230 to speak with a Mercer representative.

Texas Children’s 403(b) Savings Plan

The IRS has increased the retirement contribution limits for 2018. The maximum amount an employee can contribute to their Texas Children’s 403(b) Savings Plan during 2018 is $18,500. Employees turning age 50 or over can contribute an additional $6,000 during 2018.

Texas Children’s matches 50 percent on the first 6 percent of your pre-tax contributions per pay period, to a maximum of $8,250 for 2018. Employer contributions are vested according to the schedule shown in the image above.

If you are not already enrolled in the 403(b) savings plan or not contributing at least 6 percent, you should consider doing so now. To update your contribution elections or to enroll, please visit the Fidelity NetBenefits to access your online account. If you are registering online for the first time, please click on “Register as a new user” in the log in area.

To learn more about Texas Children’s 403(b) Savings Plan, visit our Benefits website or call 800-343-0860 to speak with a Fidelity representative.