January 30, 2018

On January 22 to 24, four appraisers from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) evaluated Texas Children’s for Magnet® re-designation. The Magnet® appraisers had very busy schedules during the site visit and were kept on track by the Texas Children’s staff nurse escorts. The appraisers visited and held sessions with a variety of the Texas Children’s patient care areas including the Medical Center Campus, West Campus, The Woodlands campus, health centers and maternal fetal medicine clinics. The appraisers will write a summary of their site visit and send to the Magnet® commission for review and final approval of re-designation.

Since 2003, Texas Children’s has been a Magnet-designated organization. Every four years, the hospital applies for Magnet® re-designation, which is the highest and most prestigious recognition provided by the ANCC, and reflects Texas Children’s commitment to providing excellence through quality, safety and outcomes that positively influence patient and family-centered care.

“This successful site visit was a true team effort, and we are well on our way to Magnet® re-designation,” said Texas Children’s Chief Nursing Officer Mary Jo Andre. “We will learn the status of our official re-designation in a couple of months, and we have every confidence we will be receiving good news.”

What Magnet® appraisers noted

The appraisers remarked that our nurses’ teamwork, collaboration with interdisciplinary teams, dedication to the care of their patients and supportive practice environment were apparent throughout the organization.

Texas Children’s nursing excellence was seen throughout the organization. Here are some of the appraisers’ positive feedback:

  • Nurses are proud to work for Texas Children’s
  • Nursing Shared Governance – bi-directional communication
  • Family Centered Care – staff live it; patients/families know it
  • Continuity of care across all setting and facilities
  • Response to Harvey
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration was seen throughout the organization
  • Legacy Tower – input provided by staff on design and workflow, staff participation in simulation
  • Great leaders cascades down throughout the organization

“We are very proud of our nursing and interdisciplinary team members and are grateful for their participation in making the Magnet® site visit very successful,” said Texas Children’s Magnet® Program Director Emily Weber. “During the site visit, our nurses and entire health care team shared their accomplishments, highlighted our great partnership, exceptional care delivery and collaboration to enhance patient outcomes.”

Texas Children’s helped push almost 40 runners across the finish line of the Houston Marathon and Half Marathon January 14 in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center. As part of the Texas Children’s Running Team, the runners signed up for the 26.2 mile or 13.1 mile race not only to hit the pavement but to raise money for a good cause – Texas Children’s.

The team – comprised of Texas Children’s employees, patient family members and others who have been touched by the organization – raised close to $30,000 for the organization.

“We are so appreciative of everyone’s participation and enthusiasm for our mission, which is to provide the best possible care for women and children in the Houston area and beyond,” said Eric Blackwell, manager of special event for Texas Children’s. “Your donations and efforts will directly impact the lives of countless children.”

This is the third year Texas Children’s Hospital has been an official charity for the Houston Marathon and Armaco Half Marathon Run for a Reason program, giving people a way to participate in the race of their choice with a guaranteed entry – on behalf of a charity.

Runners, or walkers, can participate either as a Hero Runner, making a one-time tax-deductible donation of at least $350, plus the cost of registration, or as a fundraiser, committing to bring in at least $500 and race registration, which is $140 for marathon and $125 for the half marathon.

“Running for Texas Children’s Hospital is not just about the race, it’s a promise to our patients,” Blackwell said. “By becoming a member of our team, you allow us to expand our care to even more children and women who need our help.”

Registration for the 2019 Houston Marathon and Half Marathon is open and filling up fast! To join the Texas Children’s Running team and participate in the Run for a Reason program, click here and scroll down to the Texas Children’s Hospital logo. To see who participated in the 2018 race click here. For more information, email Tarryn Lankford.

Dr. Huda Zoghbi was awarded the National Order of the Cedar, Knight grade by Lebanese President General Michel Aoun at a ceremony held in January at the Presidential Palace in Baabda.

Zoghbi is the founder and director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (NRI) at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and holds the Ralph D. Feigin, MD, Endowed Chair in Pediatrics.

This prestigious honor touches close to home as Zoghbi was born and raised in Beruit, Lebanon’s capital and largest city. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from American University Beirut (AUB).

“It is an honor for AUB and indeed for Lebanon that the President of the Republic of Lebanon has conferred on Huda Zoghbi the Order of the Cedar,” said American University Beirut President Fadlo R. Khuri. “Thus, the greatest and most decorated scientist to have completed her undergraduate education at our university over the last several decades, a woman whose work is transforming the science and medicine of some of the world’s most serious neurological diseases, is now recognized by her native country’s highest award.”

Zoghbi’s hard work and dedication to the medical field spans through Texas Children’s and beyond. The National Order of the Cedar is a public service award and Lebanon’s highest honor.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this great honor,” Zoghbi said. “I owe a lot of gratitude to my family who shaped me and to the institutions that educated me: Makassed and the American University of Beirut. I feel fortunate that I grew up and spent my formative years in Lebanon and I hope the culture that inspired me to seek knowledge will continue to inspire and empower the youth of Lebanon.”

Texas Children’s Hospital recently received a $1.9 million grant from The Robert J. Kleberg Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation to support Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development (CVD), advancing the efforts to develop a vaccine against Chagas disease.

Chagas is a tropical disease caused by a parasite transmitted to people and animals through insects. The most impacted people are in the poorer areas of Latin America, and the Americas, including Texas. Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine are working together to find ways to eliminate this disease.

“Because of its link to poverty, new interventions for Chagas disease are not generally of great interest to the industry, so it falls to organizations like our Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development to take the lead on developing a vaccine,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, director of the CVD.

Hotez is a distinguished physician with a passion for tropical medicine. He took on this project alongside CVD Deputy Director Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi to insure that quality research and solid outcomes are developed when it comes to neglected tropical diseases.

“To tackle Chagas disease, the evaluation of novel and innovative technologies is an essential step. The support from the Kleberg Foundation will be transformational and will allow to accelerate the development of important control tools against this devastating disease,” Bottazzi said.

The Robert J. Kleberg Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation awards grants to institutions that further the vision of the Klebergs, such as improving quality of life through community support, innovation and scientific research.

“We are extremely grateful for our Kleberg Foundation funding, which will allow us to harness the innovative capacity of the Texas Medical Center in order to apply it towards the first vaccine for this devastating condition,” Hotez said.

The first steps have been taken in the vaccine development process, and the CVD hopes to advance the first vaccine candidate to final manufacture and clinical testing within the next few years.

Many of The Department of Surgery’s conglomerate of advanced practice providers (APP) recently attended the department’s first APP Mentorship Program Showcase.

The January 10 event held at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, highlighted work accomplished over the past year by mentors and mentees that have come to build long lasting relationships across the Texas Children’s system.

Supported by Ryan Krasnosky, director of the department’s APP program, and organized and run by APP Project Manager Jordan Rodriguez and APP Clinical Lead Amee Moreno, the goal of the mentorship program is threefold:

1. To promote the benefits of mentoring in the career of APPTo promote the benefits of mentoring in the career of APP
2. Build collaborative relationships throughout the organization
3. Provide a structured mentoring program for surgical APP leaders and future leaders. Provide a structured mentoring program for surgical APP leaders and future leaders.

“We had a great turnout, including support from Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Larry Hollier, Senior Vice President Dr. Angelo Giardino and Chief Pediatric Surgeon Dr. Jed Nuchtern,” Krasnosky said. “Many mentors were present to support the mentees and congratulate them on the enormous success for the year.”

“We would like to thank all of the mentors and mentees who supported the program this year,” Krasnosky added.” “We are looking forward to another successful year of mentorship and building new and lasting relationships in the organization.”

January 24, 2018

On Monday, President Trump signed legislation extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years as part of the continuing resolution passed earlier in the day by Congress. This extension will ensure access to a range of pediatric services — from preventative visits to life-saving treatments — for millions of children in working families.

This is especially good news for health care organizations like Texas Children’s. More 71,000 of our patients are covered by the program.

“Since 1997, CHIP has provided essential health care to children of working families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford private health insurance,” said Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark Wallace. “Texas embraced this program in 1999 and has seen it help improve the lives of millions of Texas children. This extension will continue to ensure strong, stable funding for state CHIP programs and the children and families it supports.”

The budget for CHIP ended on September 30 without lawmakers having reauthorized it as they had done intermittently several times within the past two decades since the program’s inception. The spending bill that the Senate and House adopted Monday provides six years of federal money for CHIP to fund coverage for nearly 9 million children and 375,000 pregnant women across the U.S. More than 430,000 children in Texas are covered by CHIP.

Before Congress created CHIP 20 years ago, 14 percent of American children simply went without health insurance. Nationally, the number of uninsured kids has been cut in half since Congress created CHIP.

“CHIP plays a critical role in health care coverage for kids,” Wallace said. “It has dramatically reduced the number of kids without health insurance, and it has given so many families access to the right care at the right time for their children. Monday’s legislation provides peace of mind, and that’s a win for our children.”

January 23, 2018

Texas Children’s Hospital is proud to announce the opening of its ninth Texas Children’s Urgent Care clinic. Located at 12620 Woodforest Blvd., Suite 160, Texas Children’s Urgent Care East offers high-quality, efficient and affordable pediatric care at a convenient location.

Texas Children’s Urgent Care East is open Monday through Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m. The clinic is staffed by board certified pediatricians who diagnose and treat a wide variety of ailments, illnesses and conditions, including: asthma, strep throat, fever, minor burns, influenza, ear infections, allergic reactions and more. Procedures provided include: antibiotic injections, breathing treatments, fracture care and splinting, IV (intravenous) fluids, lab services, laceration repair and X-rays onsite.

Oftentimes, families turn to an emergency center after hours, on weekends or perhaps even during the day, when a significant event occurs with their child. Though the emergency center is the right place for some incidents or ailments, the majority of the time minor illnesses can and should be treated at a pediatric urgent care facility.

Texas Children’s Urgent Care accepts major insurance plans and has self-pay rates, which are less than emergency center charges, and there are no hospital fees. A complete list of insurance plans is available on the website. Texas Children’s Urgent Care specializes in after-hours care, but does not replace the need for children to have a general pediatrician. Routine physical exams and vaccinations are services that should be obtained from a general pediatrician, and these services are not available at Texas Children’s Urgent Care.

Texas Children’s Urgent Care has eight additional convenient locations:

  • Cinco Ranch, 9727 Spring Green Blvd., Suite 900 Katy, TX 77494, 281-789-6300
  • Memorial, 12850 Memorial Drive, Suite 210 Houston, TX 77024, 832-827-4000 Memorial
  • The Woodlands, 4775 W. Panther Creek Drive, Suite C300 The Woodlands, TX 77381, 281-417-0870
  • Main Campus, 6621 Fannin, Suite 2240 Houston, TX 77030, 832-824-2000
  • Pearland, 2701 Pearland Parkway, Suite 190, Pearland, TX 77581, 281-485-6400
  • The Vintage, 10420 Louetta Road, Suite 104, Houston, TX 77070, 281-251-0269
  • Fairfield, 28070 Highway 290, Suite 100, Cypress, TX 77433, 281-758-4770
  • The Heights, 2200 Yale Street, Houston, TX, 77008, 713-861-6104

For more information about Texas Children’s Urgent Care, click here.