June 26, 2018

Staff with Texas Children’s Heart Center and Texas Children’s Pulmonology celebrated Tuesday after learning they were ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report in their respective specialties.

Heart Center staff gathered in a conference room on the fourth floor of Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women to learn their ranking and cheered in delight when they found out they remained No. 1 in the nation in cardiology and congenital heart surgery.

“The Texas Children’s Heart Center team displays an unparalleled commitment to our patients each and every day through the exemplary care we provide from diagnosis through treatment and follow-up,” said Dr. Daniel Penny, chief of pediatric cardiology. “We are honored to once again be recognized as the best place for children with heart diseases to receive care.”

In a conference room on the 10th floor of Wallace Tower, the Pulmonology team gathered to laud their well-deserved milestone. Pulmonology, which first debuted in the top spot in the 2016 rankings, is now once again ranked No. 1 in the nation.

“At Texas Children’s, we built our program to serve the needs of children with all types of lung disease, from common ailments to the most complex, and we have become the best program for children in need of pulmonary care,” said Dr. Peter Hiatt, chief of pulmonary medicine. “Our relenting commitment to providing life-changing and life-saving treatments to children is what motivates us every day.”

Click here for more information about the Heart Center and here to learn more about our pulmonology program.

May 15, 2018

The 2017 Texas Children’s Annual Report website highlighting last year’s growth and success with compelling stories, videos and graphics about our patients, staff, clinical programs and expanding facilities is here! This is the second time the Texas Children’s annual report has been released in a website format offering a dynamic representation of the breadth, depth and growth of our organization.

Titled Texas Children’s Strong, this year’s website illustrates in a special section how Texas Children’s successfully weathered Hurricane Harvey with strong leadership, a unified culture and fierce determination. It also includes an archive page that houses previous Texas Children’s annual reports, giving readers a centralized location to find such rich information about our organization.

Each section of the site – news, notes and numbers – gives readers an opportunity to experience how and why Texas Children’s health care system continues to set records organization wide. You also can hear directly from our President and CEO Mark Wallace in a video address about our accomplishments and what’s to come.

“I’m pleased to share some of the amazing work and triumphs that happened last year at Texas Children’s,” Wallace said. “We were incredibly busy in 2017.”

Read all about it at texaschildrensannualreport.org. Share the link to the online report with friends and colleagues, and encourage them to do the same.

February 6, 2018

Just in time for Heart Awareness Month, Texas Children’s Hospital’s No. 1-ranked Heart Center by U.S. News & World Report launched its very own Facebook page!

Packed with information about the Heart Center’s roots, expertise and exciting future in providing top notch care, the page will provide an avenue for Heart Center medical staff and leaders to share information with various audiences, including former, current and future patients and families. The page also will allow members to provide feedback about their experiences at the Heart Center and ask questions about our level of care.

“We are excited about having a new way to reach people who want to know more about who we are and how we do things at the Texas Children’s Heart Center,” said Dr. Wayne Franklin, a cardiologist with Texas Children’s Heart Center and director of Texas Children’s Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program. “It’s also a great opportunity to help more children and families who are dealing heart problems and are looking for information.”

With more than half a century of experience in caring for children’s hearts, Texas Children’s Heart Center combines cutting-edge technology with compassion and a family-centered approach to pediatric cardiac care.

The Heart Center has a team of world-renowned leaders in pediatric cardiology, congenital heart surgery, cardiovascular anesthesiology, and cardiac critical care, performing more than 1,000 surgical procedures, 1,200 cardiac catheterizations, and having more than 26,000 patient encounters annually.

Texas Children’s is ranked No. 1 nationally in cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News and World Report, and is also one of only four pediatric hospital’s with heart programs that are named as a Pediatric Heart Failure Institute in Texas by The Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium. The Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Program is also just one of 13 programs in the country to be a Comprehensive Care Center for ACHD.

Later this year, the center will move into Legacy Tower, allowing clinical staff and leaders to serve even more children with critical heart conditions from the Houston community, across Texas and throughout the nation. The 19-floor vertical expansion will house eight floors dedicated just to the Heart Center, including four new cardiac operating rooms, four cardiac catheterization labs, 48 cardiovascular intensive care unit beds, and a cardiac acute care floor.

All of this and more can be found on the Heart Center’s new Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/texaschildrensheartcenter.

“We encourage you to like the page on Facebook and share with your family and friends,” Franklin said.

December 12, 2017

For the fourth year, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus has been named one of the 10 top children’s hospitals in the nation by The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog organization. The award recognizes achievements in patient safety and quality and is widely acknowledged as one of the most competitive and exclusive honors an American hospital can receive.

“We are honored to again be recognized as a top performing children’s hospital by The Leapfrog Group,” said Michelle Riley-Brown president of Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and executive vice president of Texas Children’s Hospital. “Our entire team of physicians, nurses and employees strive to provide a safe environment where we can deliver the highest quality care possible for our patients and their families. We applaud our team for their tireless work and the incredible care they provide for the children in our community every day.”

In the survey, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus received a Top Children’s Hospital distinction and was recognized nationally alongside 45 Top General Hospitals, 18 Top Rural Hospitals, 36 Top Teaching Hospitals and only nine other Top Children’s Hospitals.

“We are proud to recognize Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus as a 2017 Leapfrog Top Hospital,” said Leah Binder, president and Chief Executive Officer of Leapfrog. “This demonstrates extraordinary dedication to patients and the local community. The entire staff and board deserve praise for putting quality first and achieving results.”

The Leapfrog Group is an organization that provides the only national, public comparison of hospitals across safety, quality and efficiency dimensions. Performance across many areas of hospital care is considered in establishing the qualifications for the award, including infection rates, maternity care, and the hospital’s capacity to prevent medication errors.

To see the full list of institutions honored as 2017 Top Hospitals, visit www.leapfroggroup.org/tophospitals.

April 11, 2017

We’ve all heard the saying, “Hard work pays off.”

That old adage certainly rings true for Texas Children’s Newborn Center leadership and staff. On April 7, Texas Children’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) became the first hospital in the state to achieve Level IV NICU designation by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

“As a Level IV NICU, our neonatal team has the resources and expertise to deliver the highest level of care available for premature and critically ill newborns,” said Texas Children’s Chief of Neonatology Dr. Gautham Suresh. “This designation helps ensure our neonates, who require highly specialized resources and 24/7 multidisciplinary care, are treated in the right level of NICU to achieve the most optimal outcomes.”

The designation process comes as a result of legislation passed in 2013 requiring Texas to establish and implement neonatal and maternal level of care designations by March 1, 2018. Texas is one of the first states requiring NICUs to undergo a site visit to verify they meet the Neonatal Levels of Care classifications as defined in the Texas Administrative Code. Completing the designation process is a requirement in order to receive Medicaid reimbursement for neonatal services by September 1, 2018.

Reaching this milestone was no easy task. The process required tremendous collaboration among NICU leadership, staff and employees, as well as various support services that help the neonatal team care for these critically ill babies including pharmacy, respiratory, physical therapy, lactation, nutrition and social services.

“In June 2016, we started a weekly work group that included members from neonatology and various ancillary departments across the organization,” said Project Manager Sohail Azeem. “We led them through the Neonatal Level IV designation guidelines impacting each area and gathered all of the necessary materials and documentation to prepare for the 2-day site visit and for the application process that followed.”

Several key requirements for Level IV NICU designation included the development of a Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) committee and a program plan outlining the Newborn Center’s breadth and depth of services, policies, procedures and structure for prioritizing quality improvement initiatives. While the Newborn Center already had an active quality and safety program, it was incorporated into the QAPI program.

In addition to meeting these Level IV designation requirements, Texas Children’s also participated in a rigorous survey site visit conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics NICU Verification Program in November 2016.

“The 2-day site visit included interviews with NICU nursing and physician leadership among others, as well as reviews of our policies, medical records and credentialing process,” said Newborn Center Director Heather Cherry. “Surveyors also toured all of our level NICUs and other hospital areas that support neonatal services.”

As the largest NICU in the nation, Texas Children’s is proud to receive this designation. As a Level IV NICU, Texas Children’s Newborn Center meets all level III capabilities plus has the ability to care for infants born earlier than 32 weeks gestation and weighing less than 1,500 grams, provide life support, perform advanced imaging including MRI and echocardiography and provide a full range of respiratory support, among many other criteria.

“A lot of hard work went into achieving our Level IV NICU designation and I am so proud that our teams pulled together,” said Newborn Center Vice President Judy Swanson. “This collaborative milestone solidifies our reputation in providing the highest level of neonatal care to our tiniest, most fragile patients and their families.”

February 28, 2017

Texas Children’s Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) Program recently earned national accreditation from the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA). Texas Children’s is among only six pediatric programs nationwide, and the only one in the southwest, to be awarded this high level of distinction.

“This accreditation is a recognition of the care that our program provides for children who suffer from PH,” said Texas Children’s pulmonologist Dr. Nidhy Varghese. “It is an honor to collaborate with other PH specialists across the country to advance the understanding and treatment of this lung condition that can affect heart function.”

The PHA designation means a lot for patient families like Jessica Johnson, whose 11-year-old daughter Kayleigh, was diagnosed with PH two and a half years ago.

Prior to her daughter’s diagnosis, Kayleigh experienced multiple fainting episodes with exercise. After seeing several pediatric cardiologists in their home state of Louisiana, Kayleigh finally received a diagnosis of PH, but her condition was so far advanced that she was in severe right heart failure. Since their local hospital did not have the resources to treat her condition, the family came to Texas Children’s Hospital for treatment.

“To know that my child is receiving state-of-the-art treatment reassures our decision in choosing the PH team at Texas Children’s as Kayleigh’s care facility,” Johnson said. “My husband and I are extremely happy to hear that Texas Children’s received accreditation from PHA.”

In order to be designated an accredited PH Care Center, a program must demonstrate dedication to making a proper diagnosis and have the capacity to appropriately and comprehensively manage PH patients through a set of criteria established by the PHA’s Scientific Leadership Council and PHCC Oversight Committee.

“PH is a rare disease which requires care from highly trained specialists,” said Dr. George Mallory, director of the PH Program and medical director of the Lung Transplant Program at Texas Children’s. “PHA-designated comprehensive care centers are committed to providing state-of-the-art care and therefore achieving the best possible outcomes.”

Since Kayleigh’s treatment at Texas Children’s through the PH Program, Johnson says her daughter has made great progress.

“She runs, plays, rides her bike and has gone back to taking dance lessons,” Johnson said. “Kayleigh has not had another episode since her diagnosis and she is doing many of the things she enjoyed prior to her diagnosis. I truly believe the doctors and staff at Texas Children’s saved my daughter’s life. For that, I am forever grateful.”

Texas Children’s Pulmonary Medicine is ranked No. 1 nationally by U.S. News & World Report. For more information on the PH Program, click here.

February 7, 2017

2817transplant640Transplant Services at Texas Children’s Hospital continues to prove that we are at the forefront of pediatric transplantation in the United States performing 86 transplants in 2016.

Some of last year’s highlights include:

  • The heart transplant program finished the year as the No. 1 pediatric heart transplant program in the country with 25 transplants.
  • The lung transplant program tied with St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s for the No. 1 pediatric lung transplant program in the country spot with 8 transplants.
  • The kidney transplant program ended the year as the No. 2 pediatric kidney transplant program in the country, experiencing its highest volume since the program’s inception in 1988 with 32 transplants.
  • The liver transplant program performed 21 transplants and the liver and lung programs teamed up to complete a liver/lung transplant.

Dr. John Goss, medical director of Transplant Services, said Texas Children’s Transplant Services continues to earn its reputation as one of the best pediatric transplant programs in the country.

“I believe our success is a testimony to the skill and commitment of our multidisciplinary team, which offers an interdisciplinary approach to all aspects of the transplant process, from initial referral to hospitalization and outpatient management,” Goss said. “We also work closely with patients, families and referring physicians to help make the evaluation process as convenient and efficient as possible.”

Goss added that the success of Texas Children’s transplant program would not be possible without the gifts from our selfless donors and their families.

“They are the ones responsible for providing our patients with a second chance at life,” he said. “We are forever grateful for their unwavering kindness.”

To learn more about Texas Children’s Transplant Services, click here.