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 texaschildrens.org/legendarycare. 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

Spaday0008_jpg

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.

 

 

Bone-Marrow-Transplant-Unit-Teen-Lock-in-E_jpg
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.

July 6, 2016

7616ChroniclePhilanthropy250Texas Children’s is the honored sponsor for every Tuesday’s “Houston Legends” series. For more than 20 weeks, 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 texaschildrens.org/legendarycare. The website will change weekly to complement the newspaper ad, which will be published in section A of the Chronicle on Tuesdays for the next 16 weeks. We also will spotlight this special feature weekly on Connect, so stay tuned to learn and share our rich history.

Click here to visit the Promise website.

April 5, 2016

When a patient comes to Texas Children’s looking for an answer to their medical woes, lab work plays a big part in the diagnosis and treatment of that patient and their family.

A recent report by the Institute of Medicine has highlighted the need for improved diagnosis in healthcare. We at Texas Children’s want to continue to lead in that effort and build on our wide range of consultative services on clinical tests that are vital in guiding the diagnosis and therapy of patients.

That’s why we have partnered with Quest Diagnostics to provide outpatient reference lab services to our patients receiving care at our locations or any Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Center in the greater Houston area. Hospital patients will continue to utilize the Texas Children’s Pathology department for lab services.

“Many providers have been frustrated with the idea of dealing with 60-plus reference labs and trying to figure out how to provide the best possible care and quality to our patients,” Executive Vice President John Nickens said. “We took this as an opportunity to look at the market as one entity, as one Texas Children’s experience.”

As a result of our partnership with Quest Diagnostics, a pediatric trained phlebotomist will be available at most Texas Children’s Pediatrics, Health Centers, and The Centers across the Houston area. The partnership will allow Texas Children’s to take advantage of the company’s technical expertise and pair it with our medical knowledge to improve the quality of testing for our patients.

“As we look ahead in the 21st century, we know we’re going to need to be even more accurate and more refined in terms of diagnosis so we can deliver the very specific treatment each patient needs and deserves,” Pathologist-in-Chief Dr. James Versalovic said. “This partnership will allow us to do that and to foster innovation in a way we weren’t able to do before.”

If you would like more information or have questions about the partnership between Quest Diagnostics and Texas Children’s, please contact Cindy Beckley, project manager, at chbeckl2@texaschildrens.org or Ext. 4-5115.

February 16, 2016

An armadillo with thick, long eyelashes whistles as she notices a problem with the blood flow in a child’s heart. Almost immediately an army of robot-like caregivers race into the hospital room and fix the problem.

No, this is not your typical medical setting. This is an imaginary world made to help children with heart problems better understand their diagnosis and potential treatment options. Created by a team led by Chief of Cardiology Dr. Daniel Penny, the series of almost 40 animated videos features Ruby, an armadillo; Beau, a bison; and a group of caregivers called Blings.

Ruby and Beau’s role in the videos is to identify the problem with a child’s heart, call in the Blings for help and explain – in very simple terms – what’s happening and how it’s affecting the patient. The Blings fix whatever is wrong while hopping in and out of colorful cars and using a cadre of MacGyver-like tools.

“The aim of our project is to improve the health literacy of the children and parents who come to us with heart disease,” Penny said. “If we can empower them through information, we can likely improve their treatment outcome and overall quality of life.”

To effectively communicate complex issues such as ventricular septal defect and patent ductus arteriosis, Penny is working with Michael Liddy, a friend and Australian animator, to script the 4- to 7-minute videos and create their characters, sound effects and musical score, all of which are done very intentionally and with the young age of the viewer in mind.

An additional bonus to the production of the videos, which is being funded by a grant from ExxonMobil, is the voices of Ruby and Beau are recorded at Texas Children’s Hospital by employees Hasti Taghi and Dr. Stuart Hall.

“We were very lucky to get the voices of Ruby and Beau in house,” Penny said. “They definitely add a special touch.”

To date, six of the videos in the series have been completed and were unveiled at a February 15 red carpet premier at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women (click here to view a video). Doctors, patients and families across the organization and beyond can access the videos via Texas Children’s website at http://www.texaschildrens.org/hearteducation.

Penny and his team will continue to add to the animated series and work on another series of videos that educate patients on certain types of routine procedures done at the average heart center.

“We hope that having a program like this any child who enters a heart center will be able to get a feel for what they are going to experience,” Penny said.

January 5, 2016

bench-and-beside-Header2

Bench and Bedside is a digest of the previous month’s stories about the clinical and academic activities of our physicians and scientists. We welcome your submissions and feedback.

December 1

Texas Children’s Fetal Center celebrates 400 miracles at patient reunion

Hundreds of families from around the country traveled to Houston to attend Texas Children’s Fetal Center family reunion. Since its inaugural event in 2007, the reunion provided an opportunity for physicians and staff to reunite with patient families who received life-saving medical and surgical care at our fetal center.

December 1

Texas Children’s awards pediatric pilot grants to 10 promising researchers

Ten promising researchers received the 2015 Pediatric Pilot Awards Research grants worth up to $50,000. The grants will provide initial start-up funding for research projects that have the ultimate goal of enhancing patient outcomes.

December 8

Dr. Mary Brandt elected to ACS Medical Student Education Committee

Dr. Mary Brandt, pediatric surgeon and director of the Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program and the Anorectal Malformation Clinic at Texas Children’s, has been elected to the Medical Student Education Committee of the American College of Surgeons, which addresses the educational needs in surgery for medical students during all four years of medical school.

December 15

Texas Children’s Special Isolation Unit earns award from Texas Department of Health Services

Texas Children’s Special Isolation Unit, the only pediatric-focused unit of its kind in Texas and the Southwest, was recently awarded the Texas Department of Health Services 2015 Texas Preparedness Leadership Award. The annual award recognizes exceptionally meritorious achievements in local, regional or state Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Healthcare Systems Preparedness Programs.

December 15

Texas Children’s Main Campus Urgent Care opens

1516MCUrgentCare300Texas Children’s recently opened a 4,100-square-foot urgent care clinic on the second floor of the Abercrombie Building, creating a system-wide solution to effectively manage the Emergency Center’s (EC) low acuity patient population. The clinic has a dedicated staff of physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses and clinical support staff. The new urgent care has already helped lighten the load of the EC, seeing about 30 patients a day, or 25 percent of the EC’s daily patient volume. Wait times for patients with low-acuity illnesses also have decreased significantly.

December 15

Texas Children’s oncologists contribute to leading textbook in field

1516PoplackBook300Dr. David Poplack, director of Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, and numerous members of his medical staff helped write the recently published, 7th edition of Principles and Practice in Pediatric Oncology. This leading textbook provides the most comprehensive resource on the biology and genetics of childhood cancers.

 

December 15

Spotlight on Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program

1516achd300About 40,000 babies are born each year with a congenital heart disease, the most common birth defect. These children grow up with their conditions and are part of a growing population of adults with congenital heart disease. Texas Children’s Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program allows patients to continue their care at their childhood medical home as adults.

 

December 22

Heart Center experts present at Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society 11th International Meeting

1516PCICS300Intensivists, cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, nurses, and outcomes and quality experts from Texas Children’s Heart Center and Baylor College of Medicine served as presenters and moderators during the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society (PCICS) 11th International Meeting held December 9 through 11 in Houston.

 

December 22

Surgical Research Day 2016 to feature new poster session

Plans are underway for the sixth annual Edmond T. Gonzales, Jr., Surgical Research Day which will be held on May 6, 2016. At this session, poster authors will have an opportunity to present their research to reviewers as scoring takes place.

December 22

L. E. Simmons Chair in Orthopedics awarded to Dr. John Dormans

Chief of Orthopedics Dr. John Dormans was recently awarded the L.E. Simmons Chair in Orthopedics. Provided by the Houston Endowment in recognition of Simmons, who served as chairman of Texas Children’s Board of Trustees from 2003-2004, the purpose of this chair is to support orthopedic research, education, clinic program development and advocacy at Texas Children’s.