November 11, 2014


Chief of Plastic Surgery Dr. Larry Hollier has been appointed to two new and exciting positions in the Department of Surgery – surgical director of patient experience and surgical director of the operating rooms.

Patient experience and operating room efficiency are critical areas of focus in our aspiration to deliver the highest level of service and care to our patients. Hollier has been instrumental in catalyzing improvements in these areas and in collaborating with colleagues from surgery, anesthesia, and operating room leadership. These new roles formalize our structural commitment to these efforts.

As surgical director of patient experience, Hollier will continue the exceptional work being done to improve patient and family experience. To date, he has played a key leadership role in implementing same-day appointments and direct scheduling for the Department of Surgery. These initiatives have helped improve our Texas Children’s Pediatrics referral processes and time to the third available appointment. Hollier also has led the following pilot projects to improve the experience of a patient’s arrival on the day of surgery:

  • New wayfinding system to help families find the different surgical areas;
  • Streamlined pre-surgery instructions to ensure consistent messaging for families; and
  • Addition of greeters to help families upon their arrival at the hospital.

As surgical director of the operating rooms, Hollier will partner with Dr. Steve Stayer and Judy Swanson in leading our operating theaters. This team will continue to work to improve efficiency in scheduling and the implementation of best practices, including developing focused specialty teams of nurses, anesthesiologists, and surgical staff.

111214ChesterKoh175-2The Auxiliary to Texas Children’s Hospital recently awarded Dr. Chester Koh and Dr. Robert Williamson with $75,000 research awards.

Koh, a pediatric urologist at Texas Children’s and the director of the organization’s Robotic Surgery Program, earned the Denton A. Cooley Fellowship in Surgical Innovation Award, which is given to a physician whose surgical research focuses on innovative ways to help children and to save lives. Williamson, an otolaryngologist with Texas Children’s and a professor with Baylor College of Medicine, received the Outcomes Fellowship Award, which supports patient care, education and research.

Koh is an internationally recognized expert in minimally invasive surgery, and has been instrumental in developing minimally invasive techniques with both laparoscopic surgery and da Vinci® robotic surgery to treat children. The hospital’s program serves as a pediatric robotic surgery research and training center that collaborates with other institutions in the Texas Medical Center.

Williamson studies functional outcomes of cochlear implants and the effects of language spoken by the implant team and by the family of the child who receives the implant. Little data is available on outcomes in implant recipients where the native language spoken in the home is different from that spoken by members of the cochlear implant team.

Williamson’s study will retrospectively analyze and compare cochlear implant recipients from non-native English-speaking households to recipients from English-speaking households, and analyze outcomes from patients with similar clinical characteristics.

Two research residents with the Department of Surgery were recently recognized at the International Pediatric Surgical Oncology and International Society of Pediatric Oncology meeting in Toronto.

Dr. Yan Shi won best overall paper for his work on “MDM4 is a Potential Novel Therapeutic Target in Hepatoblastoma.” Shi is a research resident in the lab of Dr. Sanjeev Vasudevan, a pediatric surgeon at Texas Children’s and an assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Yesenia Rojas’ paper, “Adrenocortical Carcinoma in Children: A Review of the National Cancer Database,” was chosen as one of four papers presented in the “Best of International Pediatric Surgical Oncology” session and will be fast-tracked for rapid publication in “Pediatric Blood and Cancer.” Rojas is a research resident in the lab of Dr. Jed Nuchtern, who is chief of pediatric surgery at Texas Children’s.

November 4, 2014


Advanced Practice Providers got a special visit from Dr. Patch Adams at their annual luncheon. Adams gained fame after being portrayed by Robin Williams in the Hollywood movie named for him.

Award recipients were:

Nurse Practitioner of the Year: Jessica Geer
Physician Assistant of the Year: Teri Baierlipp
Advanced Practice Provider Preceptor of the Year: Lois Tracy
Advanced Practice Provider Novice of the Year: Jennifer Barrera
Physician Partner of the Year: Dr. Terry Yen


Dr. Joshua Shulman recently received the prestigious Grass Foundation-American Neurological Association (ANA) award in Neuroscience at the annual ANA conference in Baltimore. This award recognizes young investigators for their outstanding contributions to neuroscience research.

Shulman is an investigator at the Jan and Dan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s and an assistant professor of neurology, neuroscience, and molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine.

His current research explores the genetic susceptibility and pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. His work integrates genetic investigation in human subjects and fruit fly models, with the goal of understanding brain function and aging, and improving the treatment of neurologic disease.

Shulman received a B.A. in biochemical sciences from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in genetics from Cambridge University in Cambridge, MA. He earned his medical degree and M.M.Sc degree in clinical investigation from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively.

Shulman completed his residency and fellowship training in the Harvard/Partners Neurology Program at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Before moving to Houston, he was an associate neurologist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and assistant professor in neurology at Harvard Medical School.

Among his previous honors, Shulman received a Career Award for Medical Scientists from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the C.W. Cotterman Award from the American Society of Human Genetics.

Click here to learn more about Shulman’s research at the NRI.

October 14, 2014

Watch the newest “I am Texas Children’s” video featuring employee Rachael Walker in West Campus – Child Life.

“I’ve worked at Texas Children’s for almost 10 years. What makes it a great place to work are the people, the services we provide and the stellar reputation that we have in the community.”

Check out her video, and find out how you and your coworkers can be featured in the “I Am Texas Children’s” section on Connect.


Dr. Larry Hollier, Jr., chief of Plastic Surgery at Texas Children’s, was recently appointed chairman of Smile Train’s medical advisory board. Smile Train is the largest cleft charity in the world with a mission of identifying teams of physicians and healthcare providers worldwide who are capable of performing surgery on children with cleft lip and palate problems.

In his role as chairman of the organization’s medical advisory board, Dr. Hollier supervises a group of physicians and healthcare providers from countries around the world to ensure Smile Train provides the safest care for these children.

Dr. Hollier has been on numerous trips sponsored by Smile Train to Haiti, both before and after the earthquake in 2010. With the help of other local organizations, he also has traveled to Southeast Asia, Central America and Africa to care for children with cleft deformities and serious burn injuries. Texas Children’s plastic surgeons Dr. Laura Monson traveled to Egypt and Dr. Edward Buchanan traveled to Tanzania to treat these children as well.

Cleft deformities and serious burn injuries often are left untreated in less developed countries, leading to a lifetime of disfigurement. Smile Train tries to help resolve some of these issues and is involved in 87 countries with 2,100 partner surgeons in more than 1,100 hospitals. The organization’s team of physicians and healthcare providers have treated more than 1 million patients since Smile Train was created a decade ago. This year they already have cared for more than 120,000 children.