September 26, 2017

System wide Texas Children’s Cancer Center showed their “Going Gold” spirit throughout the month of September in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness month.

Patients, families and Texas Children’s Cancer Center employees wore everything gold, the official symbolic color for childhood cancer awareness, and participated in Going Gold parades, ribbon tying events and other festivities at our Main Campus in the Medical Center, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands and Vannie Cook Children’s Cancer and Hematology Clinic in McAllen, Texas.

View a photo gallery from the events below.

Dressed in bright gold shirts and donned with gold stars, hats, necklaces, bracelets and other festive gear, participants marched for the worthy cause. Vendors from organizations such as the Periwinkle Foundation were present at all three events offering additional support to patients and families. And, in partnership with the Periwinkle Arts in Medicine Program, representatives from Purple Songs Can Fly showcased a beautiful song – Go Gold – written and produced just for the special occasion.

“Over the years, there have been significant advancements in oncology, making what was once a fatal diagnosis survivable here in the United States,” said Dr. Deborah Shardy, associate clinical director, Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, West Campus. “However, there is still much more work that needs to be done, which is why we are here today.”

Texas Children’s Cancer Center was inspired to “Go Gold” three years ago by a young patient, Faris D. Virani, who was perplexed as to why he didn’t see as much gold in September as he saw other colors in months representing other diseases. Motivated by Faris’ concern, each year the Cancer Center has increased their level of “gold-ness.”

“Going gold is a way for us both to honor the courageous journeys of our patients and families who have been touched by pediatric cancer and to create awareness on a national level about the challenges these children face,” said Dr. David Poplack, director of Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers.

“Personally, the Going Gold campaign is a reminder that each day in our Cancer Center, all our dedicated staff members, including physicians and nurses, researchers, technicians and our support personnel, are diligently looking for ways to improve the cure rate for childhood cancer. We will not quit until we find a cure for every child with cancer and are able to prevent these diseases altogether.”

Faris’ mother, Asha Virani, said she knows her son, who lost his battle with Ewing’s sarcoma, is smiling because of all of the gold that was shown around Texas Children’s in September.

“This has truly been a golden moment” she said after the parade at Main Campus. “I would love for this to spread to other hospitals across the nation and the rest of the world.”

By the end of this year, it is estimated that over 15,700 children nationwide will be diagnosed with a form of pediatric cancer. Please help spread the message that Texas Children’s Cancer Center is leading the battle against pediatric cancer. To learn more about Texas Children’s Cancer Center, please visit

July 17, 2017

Texas Children’s Radiology-in-Chief Dr. George Bisset was recently awarded the Radiological Society of North America’s (RSNA) Gold Medal for 2017.

The Gold Medal is RSNA’s highest honor. It is awarded annually by the Board of Directors to those persons who, in the judgment of the Board, have rendered unusual service to the science of radiology. Typically, three medals are awarded each year in accordance with the RSNA’s Bylaws as revised November 1977. A unanimous vote of the Board of Directors is required.

Bisset is the second Texas Children’s Hospital recipient of this prestigious award. The first recipient was (late) Dr. Edward Singleton, who received the award in 1995.

July 11, 2017

On June 28, Texas Children’s Transplant Services held a celebration in honor of reaching an important milestone – the completion of 1,500 transplants.

The milestone further solidifies Texas Children’s position as one of the most active pediatric transplant programs in the nation, per the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

“Texas Children’s transplant program is key to our medical and academic success,” said Executive Vice President Mark Mullarkey. “This really differentiates us and I can’t thank you enough for that.”

Transplantation began at Texas Children’s in 1984 with a pediatric heart transplant that was performed by Dr. O.H. “Bud” Frazier. Since that time, liver, kidney and lung have been added and countless lives have been saved. Just last year, 86 organ transplants were performed at Texas Children’s – 32 kidney transplants, 25 heart transplants, 21 liver transplants and 8 lung transplants.

The Transplant Team’s 1,500th transplant occurred on May 21 when 17-year-old Joseph McCullough received a new liver, giving him a chance at a new life after battling primary sclerosing cholangitis, a life-threatening disease that causes end-stage liver disease. McCullough was at last month’s celebration and thanked everyone in the crowd.

“When I was little, I loved Super Heroes. Today, I know who the real Super Heroes are and that’s you,” McCullough said. “I am honored to be up here to say thank you and that transplantation is a beautiful process.”

Other transplant recipients in the audience were Amelia Hicks and Carson Kainer. Amelia received a heart transplant when she was an infant. She is now a thriving kindergartener. Kainer received a kidney transplant at Texas Children’s as a young adult and became the first professional baseball player to play after an organ transplant.

“I got to live out my dream after my transplant because of you here today,” Kainer said. “Thank you so much for what you’ve done, what you do today and the lives you will impact in the future.”

When Dr. John Goss, medical director of Transplant Services and surgical director of the Liver Transplant Program at Texas Children’s, took the podium, he thanked all of the donors who make the transplant process possible and his team for making stupendous strides in a complex field.

“I want you to understand how special you are,” Goss said. “We do a lot of very complex procedures here and we’ve gone from doing about 20 a year to around 100 and I foresee us doing even more in the future.”

For more information about Texas Children’s Transplant Services, click here. To register to become an organ donor, click here.

June 26, 2017

 The results of the 2017 U.S. News & World Report survey of Best Children’s Hospitals are in, and Texas Children’s Hospital maintained the No. 4 ranking overall. The scores were exceptionally tight among the top children’s hospitals, but Texas Children’s is again listed on the honor roll.

“We’ve dedicated six decades to conducting innovative research and providing the most advanced treatments possible to children in need of specialized care,” said Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark Wallace. “Our pioneering culture, coupled with our commitment to quality, service and safety, have led us to become one of the nation’s premier pediatric hospitals and unquestionably the best in Texas.”

The teams within Texas Children’s Heart Center also received some big rankings news this morning – Texas Children’s is now ranked No. 1 in cardiology and congenital heart surgery. Ranked second in the nation for the past two years, Texas Children’s Heart Center has stepped into the No. 1 spot, surpassing Boston Children’s Heart Center, which had held the top ranking for the past 19 years.

Texas Children’s has 8 specialties ranked in the top 10 this year, and the hospital improved outcomes across all specialties. There are approximately 190 children’s hospitals in the U.S., and this year, U.S. News ranked the top 81 pediatric centers in 10 specialty areas, so being recognized within the top 10 is no small feat. Here are a few highlights of this year’s rankings for Texas Children’s:

  • GI Surgery developed an advanced hepatology training program this year and added a fellow to the program, which helped move Gastroenterology and GI Surgery up to no. 4.
  • Quality improvement drove excellent outcomes in Endocrine, which moved Diabetes and Endocrinology up to no. 6.
  • Neonatology closed major gaps, had an overall improvement in unintended extubations, and over the last 3 years, had a 55 percent decrease in central line associated blood stream infections, moving neonatology up to no. 11.
  • Orthopedics continued upward movement in the rankings and is now ranked no. 16.

The rankings are the result of a methodology that weighs a combination of outcome and care-related measures, such as nursing care, advanced technology, credentialing, outcomes, best practices, infection prevention, and reputation, among other factors.

“From a measurement perspective, our survey results demonstrate how hard we’re working as an organization to deliver high quality care to our patients,” Wallace said. “The more consistently we deliver high quality care and the safer we deliver that care to our patients, the better their outcomes are, and the better our overall numbers are.”

Texas Children’s 2017 U.S. News rankings

#1 Cardiology and heart surgery

#2 Pulmonology

#4 Cancer

#4 Gastroenterology and GI surgery

#4 Nephrology (kidney disorders)

#4 Neurology and neurosurgery

#6 Diabetes and endocrinology

#6 Urology

#11 Neonatology

#16 Orthopedics

Learn more about the U.S. News rankings here:


October 26, 2016

102616chroniclenowad250Texas Children’s is the honored sponsor for every Tuesday’s “Houston Legends” series. We will showcase the legendary care Texas Children’s has provided since 1954, and focus on milestone moments in our unique history. Also, a complementary website offers a more detailed look at our past, our story and our breakthroughs.

On the right is the Texas Children’s ad that is featured in this week’s Chronicle. Click the ad to visit our companion website at The website will change weekly to complement the newspaper ad, which will be published in section A of the Chronicle on Tuesdays for one more week. We also will spotlight this special feature weekly on Connect, so stay tuned to learn and share our rich history.

July 26, 2016


On Friday, July 22, the Still Strong Foundation hosted a Spa Day for Texas Children’s Cancer Center patients and their families. Houston Texans defensive lineman Devon Still and his daughter, Leah, created the foundation in 2015 following Leah’s diagnosis with neuroblastoma.

During the event, patients enjoyed face painting, decorating flip flops and face masks, and spending time with Still and Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Parents relaxed with manicures and massages and shared common experiences with Still, the father of a cancer survivor.

The Still Strong Foundation provides grants to families affected by childhood cancers to allow them to spend less time worrying about non-medical bills, like mortgages and utilities, and more time supporting their child to a victorious fight against cancer.

Click here to watch the Houston Texans video highlighting Spa Day at Texas Children’s.



Texas Children’s Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) Unit hosted its first annual BMT Teen Lock-in from 7 p.m. on Friday, July 15, to 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 16. Patient played tons of games, had fun in the photo booth, had their face pained on a rock, watched movies and learned how to make Texas Roadhouse bread.

Transplant patients undergo a long period of social isolation and that’s why peer-to-peer interactions and socialization are so important. Hosting an event to foster socialization with others who are experiencing a similar life event, gives transplant patients a chance to meet and have fun with peers also experiencing some of the challenges of a bone marrow transplant.