April 29, 2019

Ella Grace Hurlbut, who was born prematurely at 27 weeks and who passed away at just 50 days old, has been the catalyst for bringing joy out of sorrow – most recently at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. Little Ella was the first neonatal intensive care unit baby that nurse Christina Snell cared for who passed away.

“I had a really hard time with it, and I didn’t know what to do with the pain that was having,” Snell said. “So, I decided I would do something good with it.”

That “something good” has culminated in the opening of a bereavement room called the Garden Room at The Woodland’s NICU. Designed by Snell and funded by her parents, Steve and Tammy Barr, the room is a non-sterile, peaceful environment where families have the chance to spend extra time saying goodbye to their child. The room also can be used by families who are getting used to caring for their MICU baby’s needs before going home.

Similar to the Butterfly Room at Main Campus’s NICU, the Garden Room features a crib, couch, two gliders, a chest full of clothes to dress their little ones in and a Caring Cradle. Donated by the Hurlbut family, the cradle cools a baby’s body after passing, therefore prolonging the amount of time a family can spend with their baby.

“Christina helped us make molds of Ella’s hands and feet, and to this day, those are my most treasured possessions,” Katie Hurlbut said. “I knew it wasn’t a coincidence when we found out she was the one leading the development of the bereavement room in The Woodlands.”

In addition to the Caring Cradle, the Hurlbut family also donated stuffed bears, clothes and linens to the Garden Room. Two artists, Alicia Kowalki “Los Queridos” and Genie Mack, provided beautiful pieces for the room’s walls.

“We are extremely thankful for the time and effort of those who contributed to this special space,” said Susan Romero, assistant clinical director of the NICU in The Woodlands. “It will give many families a great sense of peace.”

Dr. Nilesh Desai, Division Chief of Neuroradiology at Texas Children’s, recently received the Edward. B. Singleton Award. This prestigious award acknowledges faculty within Radiology whose outstanding leadership and/or contribution to the mission of the department has a significant and positive impact on advancing patient care, education, research or Texas Children’s core values.

Desai is committed to providing excellent patient care by his willingness to speak with families outside the reading room and will offer support in this manner if needed. He has given families his personal cell phone number to follow-up with him anytime on concerns and does not shy away from interacting with patient families. He is very helpful and pleasant when contacted by technologists for assistance and is supportive of the leadership team. He is a respectful and passionate leader who motivates others to challenge themselves on seeking new ways on how to approach challenges and improve results.

Desai performs all aspects of neuroradiology and fetal imaging. His research interests include brain injury in congenital heart disease, non-accidental trauma and sickle cell anemia. He is a member of numerous organizations including the American College of Radiology, American Societies of Neuroradiology and Pediatric Neuroradiology, Children’s Oncology Group and the Society for Pediatric Radiology.

This award was named in memory of Dr. Singleton, an early pioneer in radiology and long-time physician at Texas Children’s.

April 23, 2019

During its first year, the Global HOPE initiative made tremendous progress at creating an innovative pediatric hematology-oncology treatment network in sub-Saharan Africa. Learn more by visiting our 2018 virtual Annual Report.

Following Washington State Senator Maureen Walsh’s “card-playing” comment undermining the role of nursing, Amanda Wenger shares why every nurse at Texas Children’s should be proud of the work they do for our patients. Read more

On his blog, Mark Wallace shares the story of how a group of NBA all stars became the Dream Team, and why they remind him of our one amazing team. Read more

Know a team member who exemplifies our mission and core values? Help us recognize and reward your colleague as a Super Star! To nominate, click read more.

April 22, 2019

Texas Children’s launched online scheduling in English and Spanish to allow current, new, and referred patients to schedule appointments via DocASAP, our online scheduling partner.

After clicking the online scheduling button on Texas Children’s homepage, patients are directed to the new texaschildrens.org/appointment page where they can view all scheduling options available. Patients also can access online scheduling directly from provider profiles and department pages.

Since implementing this feature, over 1,400 appointments have been scheduled online. This online scheduling service is available at Texas Children’s three campuses – Medical Center Campus, West Campus, and The Woodlands Campus – and our specialty care locations in Houston and Austin.

Texas Children’s is the only pediatric hospital of the top five on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll to offer this easy and convenient online scheduling tool for patients and their families.

Click here to watch a video tutorial on how to schedule appointments online at Texas Children’s.

About Texas Children’s Patient Access Initiative

Launched in August 2017, Texas Children’s Patient Access Initiative is an on-going, collaborative effort to improve patient access across the organization. Since then, Texas Children’s has made significant progress to ensure patients easily and conveniently get in the door so we can provide the care they need, when they need it.

Click here for a list of other tools and features we’ve implemented across the system to improve access, care coordination and patient experience at Texas Children’s.