May 19, 2015


The Texas Children’s surgical team that facilitated the separation surgery of the conjoined Mata twins was honored at the Texas Capitol in Austin. Dr. Darrell Cass, Dr. Larry Hollier and Head OR Nurse, Audra Rushing, were all recognized on the floor of the State House and the State Senate for their outstanding leadership in preparing for, and successfully executing, the historic separation surgery that occurred for the first time in the Houston area in nearly 20 years. They were also joined by Elysse Mata, the mother of the twins, and members of her family. Houston area State Representative Armando Walle introduced the resolution in the House and recognized the team and family on the House floor while Houston area State Senator Joan Huffman introduced the resolution in the Senate where they were lauded with applause from the Senate gallery.

Click here to see the video of the house presentation of the resolution. (Texas Children’s honored at 26:30)

The Texas Children’s Government Relations team utilized this opportunity to highlight the excellent care provided at Texas Children’s Hospital and the need for increased state funding for children’s hospitals. After the ceremonies, the team met with key State legislators who will be instrumental in crafting the State’s budget for the next two years including State Representative Four Price, State Representative Sarah Davis, State Senator Charles Schwertner, and State Senator Paul Bettencourt.

A link to the House resolution can be found here and a link to the Senate Resolution can be found here.


The American Broncho-Esophagological Association (ABEA) recently honored Dr. Ellen Friedman by renaming its Presidential Citation for Excellence in Foreign Body Management to the Ellen M. Friedman Award for Excellence in Foreign Body Management. The honor was announced at the organization’s 95th annual meeting.

Friedman has been an otolaryngologist with Texas Children’s for more than 20 years. She also is director of the Center for Professionalism in Medicine and is a professor of Otolaryngology at Baylor College of Medicine.

The Ellen M. Friedman Award for Excellence in Foreign Body Management award was named after Friedman to acknowledge her leadership within the ABEA and her expertise in foreign body management. The award is intended to encourage continued leadership in endoscopic foreign body management and it is given annually to a person who submits a winning paper that describes excellence in innovation, skill and education in the management of aero-digestive foreign bodies.

April 28, 2015


Three years ago, Jamie Platt gave birth to what she and her husband thought was a healthy baby boy. Six days later, surgeons at Texas Children’s Hospital were operating on her son’s heart.

Since then, Texas Children’s has become the family’s second home. Logan is doing well but needs extensive therapy and medical care to manage his heart problem and other health conditions.

For the most part, the Platts have had a phenomenal experience here. Their doctors, nurses and medical staff have provided excellent medical care. However, there have been times when Jamie and her husband, Jeremy, wish they had been treated with more compassion.

“When that bedside manner isn’t there, it makes the whole experience different,” Jamie said.

Patient and family experience is more than the medical care we provide. It has to do with how we treat our patients and their families from the moment they call to schedule an appointment with us to the point they leave our care.

During that time, did we help them navigate our halls? Did we look them in the eye when we spoke to them? Did we greet them with a smile?

Chief of Pediatric Hospital Medicine Dr. Roger Nicome said everyone knows we provide the best possible medical care at Texas Children’s Hospital.

“What we want is for people to feel their care was given in a compassionate manner that not only focuses on curing their illness, but also improving their well-being,” Nicome said. To accomplish that goal, Nicome, who is very involved with patient experience initiatives at Texas Children’s, said he treats his patients like they were members of his family.

“If I do that, I know I will go the extra mile,” he said.

For the past six months, employees across the organization have unified forces to focus on improving the patient experience at Texas Children’s. Four core teams – Ambulatory Surgery, Inpatient, Medical Practice and Outpatient – are leading the effort and working on more than a dozen projects that will enhance patient experience. Employees can learn about those projects and how they can help at two upcoming patient experience events:

  • Patient Experience Bridge Event, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, The Auxiliary Bridge, Main Campus
  • Patient Experience Event, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, West Campus

On a daily basis, employees can:

  • Introduce yourself and extend a greeting
  • Commit to sit during patient/family interactions
  • Make eye contact when appropriate
  • Avoid use of personal electronic devices in common areas and find a family to assist
  • Knock before entering an exam room
  • Acknowledge visitors at 15 feet by making eye contact, smiling, nodding, etc. and greet them at 10 feet

“It is essential that all of us consistently demonstrate the Texas Children’s value of living compassionately and put the patient at the center of everything we do,” said Elisa Mozley, assistant director of Patient and Family Services. “If we accomplish that,” she said, “everything else that shapes a positive patient experience should follow.”

April 21, 2015


Green is the new black and Texas Children’s is taking note. As the nation celebrates Earth Day, Texas Children’s Green Team is doing its part to decrease the environmental footprint of the organization.

Here a list of events you can join during Earth Day – Wednesday, April 22.

Texas Children’s Green Team, a team of environmentally-minded leaders, employees and staff, has embarked on an effort to help Texas Children’s go green.
The Green Team has been pivotal in helping the organization go green by taking on cost and energy saving initiatives:

  • Installed LED lamps in all of the Pavilion elevators
  • Reduced campus energy use intensity by 23 percent through the implementation of many Energy Conservation Measures
  • Replaced 5,500 50-watt spot lamps with 7-watt LED lamps. Each LED energy use is 43 watts lower than the standard lamp.
  • Reduced chilled water consumption, used for air conditioning, usage by 20 percent, which gives us better temperature control
  • Reduced steam consumption, used for heating, by 25 percent and lowered the heating water temperatures from 180 degree Fahrenheit to 130 degree Fahrenheit greatly reducing the steam consumption.
  • Use daylight harvesting to reduce bridge lighting requirements. When there is enough light from outside the bridge lights are turned off
  • Automatically turn off lighting and HVAC for unoccupied spaces using the building automation system to schedule the on and off times
  • Installed automatic lighting controls in all environmental services closets
  • Renegotiated our electricity contract to reduce cost by $670,000 annually

Over all, Texas Children’s Hospital has saved $10.3 million in energy cost since 2008.

Here are some tips for you to join the Texas Children’s green initiative yourself:

  • Power off – If you have a Texas Children’s computer, be sure to power off at the end of the day to conserve energy. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 75 percent of the computer’s energy use comes from the monitor. Just turning off your monitor any time you won’t be at your computer for an extended period of time can save.
  • Think before you print – Not everything needs to be printed. Consider organizing your files on your computer and cut back on filing papers when appropriate. Use the back of old print outs for note taking to save paper.
  • Eat green – Bringing lunch to work in reusable containers is likely the greenest (and healthiest) way to eat at work. Getting delivery and takeout almost inevitably ends with a miniature mountain of packaging waste. But if you do order delivery, join coworkers in placing a large order (more efficient than many separate ones). Also, bring in a reusable plate, utensils, and napkins.
  • Minimize trash – Consider using reusable cups and mugs throughout the day as you’re filling up on water and coffee instead of plastic bottles or disposable cups.
  • Ride green – Coming soon, you’ll be seeing green as Texas Children’s debuts its new propane-fueled shuttle buses, which significantly lower emissions.
March 31, 2015


The Department of Pediatrics has been selected to edit the 23rd edition of the classic textbook Rudolph’s Pediatrics. First written in 1897 as Disease of Infancy and Childhood by L. Emmett Holt, M.D., the book is today one of two principal textbooks of pediatrics used around the world.

“This is a major milestone in the transition of editorial responsibilities for an iconic 119-year-old pediatric text- the first such editorial transition in more than 30 years, Said Physician-in-Chief Dr. Mark W. Kline. “It is also a potentially transformative event in the history of Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor Pediatrics.”

The most recent, 22nd edition published in 2011 by McGraw-Hill Professional includes 2,488 pages and a companion DVD featuring more than 1,700 figures, 1,100 tables and 30,000 references.

Abraham M. Rudolph, M.D., now professor of pediatrics emeritus at the University of California San Francisco, assumed the editorial reins in 1977 with the 16th edition of the book, then known simply as Pediatrics. In 1991, with the 19th edition, it was renamed Rudolph’s Pediatrics in his honor. Editor-in-chief for the 22nd edition was Abraham Rudolph’s son, Colin, Rudolph, M.D., Ph. D., vice chair of Clinical Affairs of the Department of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

“It’s a huge honor to be selected for editorial responsibility for such a high profile textbook,” said Physician-in-Chief Dr. Mark W. Kline. “It takes a big, diverse department like this one to pull this off.”

March 24, 2015


State Rep. Donna Howard honored Dr. Julie Boom, director of Texas Children’s Immunization Project, before the State Legislature earlier this month for being named Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Childhood Immunization Champion for Texas.

This annual award, given by the CDC Foundation and the CDC, honors exemplary childhood immunization advocates across the 50 U.S. states, eight U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States, and the District of Columbia.

“This prestigious award recognizes individuals across the United States who have worked to protect the health and safety of children by ensuring that vaccination is a priority,” Howard said to her legislative colleagues. “After being nominated by her peers, Dr. Boom was chosen by health care professionals, community supports and other leaders for her contributions to pediatric health care in our state.”

When Boom was a medical resident, she treated a 3-year-old girl who died of meningitis. This experience inspired her to devote her career to promoting immunization through education, research, and the development of improved immunization technology and practices. Boom led the development of an automated software tool that forecasts what vaccines each child will need and when, according to the recommended schedule. To remind parents about the importance of vaccines, she helped create Vaccine-Preventable Disease: The Forgotten Story, a book featuring 20 families affected by vaccine-preventable illnesses.

To watch a video of Boom being honored on March 4 during the 84th Legislative Session, click here and go to time code 34:06.

March 17, 2015


To prepare for the opening of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, Texas Children’s has leased space on Lake Robbins Drive for human resources, development and marketing.

The new office, located at 1501 Lake Robbins Drive Suite 130, opened March 2 and is being used to recruit future employees, on-board staff and educate donors, said Jill Pearsall, assistant vice president of facilities, planning and development. The space will not be used for clinical services.

“We are very excited to have this new office in The Woodlands,” said President of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands Michelle Riley-Brown. “It will allow us to have greater visibility in the community and to share information about the new hospital, which is scheduled to open and be fully operational in 2017.”

Once completed, The Woodlands facility will be a 560,000-square-foot complex and will offer inpatient and outpatient specialty pediatric care. Facilities will include 18 emergency center rooms, 85 outpatient rooms, five radiology rooms, four operating rooms and 32 acute-care and 12 PICU beds with future expansion plans for up to 200 beds.

Along with serving families throughout The Woodlands Area, Texas Children’s anticipates serving families in counties throughout Greater North Houston, including Montgomery, Walker, Grimes, Liberty, Harris, Polk, San Jacinto and Hardin.

In November, Riley-Brown was named president of the hospital and Dr. Charles Hankins was named chief medical officer of the institution. Riley-Brown and Hankins assumed their positions as The Woodlands leadership team in January.