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.

December 22, 2015

122315DirectEnergy640At a December 18 celebration, Texas Children’s Hospital announced a $5 million commitment from Direct Energy to the hospital’s Promise Campaign. The gift will be used to help expand Texas Children’s Heart Center in order to serve more children in the Houston community, Texas and the nation.

Direct Energy’s commitment is the largest corporate gift ever made to a Texas Children’s campaign priority. Nearly 200 employees from both institutions gathered at Texas Children’s to celebrate and hear remarks from Mark A. Wallace, president and CEO of Texas Children’s; Michael C. Linn, a member of Texas Children’s Board of Trustees and chair, along with his wife Carol, of the Promise Campaign; and Badar Khan, president and CEO of Direct Energy.

“Direct Energy’s generous support will help ensure Texas Children’s is able to continue to provide highly specialized care to each and every child who comes to us for help – and particularly to those who are the most critically ill and have the most complex needs,” Wallace said.

One of the highest priorities within the Promise Campaign is the expansion of the critical, surgical and emergency care services and facilities at the Texas Medical Center campus, including Texas Children’s Heart Center.

“Texas Children’s is a world-class provider of pediatric care and Direct Energy is proud to join forces with this extraordinary institution and make this meaningful gift,” Khan said. “We know our partnership with Texas Children’s will make a difference in the health and well-being of countless children and families.”

Texas Children’s recently began construction on a new 640,000-square-foot, 19-story pediatric tower. Texas Children’s Heart Center will be expanded and relocated to this pediatric tower to provide complex care more efficiently and serve even more patients. The new facility will also house pediatric intensive care units, cardiovascular intensive care units and operating rooms.

Texas Children’s Heart Center is ranked No. 2 nationally in cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. Each year, Texas Children’s Heart Center specialists see 20,000 patients in outpatient clinics. In 2014, Texas Children’s surgeons performed 900 congenital heart surgeries and 32 heart transplants – more than any other pediatric hospital in the nation. Texas Children’s has also pioneered many of the now-standard cardiac procedures used around the world.

Promise: The Campaign for Texas Children’s Hospital is a comprehensive, $475 million fundraising effort launched in 2014 to help ensure the hospital meets the increasing need for specialized care for Houston’s rapidly growing pediatric community. For more information about the Promise campaign, visit www.texaschildrens.org/promise.

122315PCICS640Intensivists, 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.

Nearly 300 cardiovascular experts from 13 countries met during the two-day multidisciplinary, interactive conference, which includes cutting-edge research presentations and panel discussions. PCICS is an international professional forum for promoting excellence in pediatric cardiac critical care medicine. Through programs, meetings and educational curriculums, the society has a large role in vital research and training that will improve the level of care of pediatric patients with congenital heart disease and acquired cardiovascular disease.

“I’m thrilled so many of our leading Heart Center experts presented and moderated at this year’s conference in front of an international audience,” said Dr. Paul Checchia, medical director of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) at Texas Children’s and president of the PCICS.

Checchia, who also serves as a professor of pediatrics-critical care and cardiology at Baylor, and Dr. Lara Shekerdemian, chief of critical care medicine at Texas Children’s and professor of pediatrics-critical care and cardiology at Baylor, were program directors of the meeting. The 11 Texas Children’s Heart Center experts who presented or moderated throughout the meeting include:

  • Dr. Patricia Bastero, pediatric intensive care physician at Texas Children’s and associate professor of pediatrics-critical care at Baylor, presented: Lessons Learned from Simulation: How to Keep a Safe Environment for Real Life Event Debriefings.
  • Kathleen Carberry, director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Outcomes and Impact Service, moderated: Wave the Magic Wand: What do Bedside Nurses Need to Create a Safer Culture?
  • Dr. Charles D. Fraser Jr., surgeon-in-chief and chief of congenital heart surgery at Texas Children’s and professor of surgery and chief of the division of congenital heart surgery at Baylor, moderated: The Risks We Used to Take: Panel of Innovators.
  • Trudy Leidich, director of quality and safety at Texas Children’s, presented: Reassurance vs. Criminal Charges, How Do We Handle/Talk About Errors?
  • Dr. Carlos Mery, congenital heart surgeon at Texas Children’s and assistant professor of surgery-congenital heart surgery at Baylor, presented: Congenital Heart Disease in Mexico: Building Programs and Changing Paradigms.
  • Dr. Jack Price, pediatric cardiologist at Texas Children’s and associate professor of pediatrics-cardiology at Baylor, presented: Candidate Selection: Different Views from Across the Spectrum – Medical.
  • Dr. Craig Rusin, cardiology research core, physiological signal processing and algorithm development at Texas Children’s and assistant professor of pediatrics-cardiology at Baylor, presented: Capturing Data in CVICU: When is Enough, Enough?
  • Kerry Sembera, CVICU nurse at Texas Children’s, served on the panel: Wave the Magic Wand: What do Bedside Nurses Need to Create a Safer Culture? and presented: Improving Patient Outcomes: Just in Time!
  • Shekerdemian moderated: The Future is Now: Updates on Trials and Research and present: PHN/NIH Update.
  • Dr. James Thomas, pediatric intensive care physician at Texas Children’s and professor of pediatrics-critical care at Baylor, presented: Ethics in ECMO: How to Handle Difficult Cases.
  • Dr. Eric Williams, medical director of quality at Texas Children’s and associate professor of pediatrics-critical care at Baylor, presented: Being Resilient: The Cardiac ICU as a Complex Socio-Technical System.
December 15, 2015

121615achd640

Falon Wiesner-Jones was just a baby when she had her first visit to the Texas Children’s Heart Center diagnosed with a congenital heart disease that has been a fabric of her life ever since. Now 33, she’s still a patient at the heart center. Today, she sees specialists in the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program, part of the transitional medicine program that allows pediatric patients to continue their care here at Texas Children’s Hospital into their adult years.

“I’ve been here from day one and I’ll continue my care here,” said Wiesner-Jones who now drives to Houston from Dallas to see her doctors. “The doctors are well-versed in my history and it makes it easier to come to one place and receive all of the care I need.”

Wiesner is part of a growing population of adults with congenital heart disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 40,000 babies are born each year with a congenital heart disease. It is the most common birth defect.

“The data shows that people who were born in the 1940s and 50s, before the era of advanced surgical and interventional repairs had only about a 15 percent chance of survival past their first birthday,” said Dr. Wayne Franklin, director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Texas Children’s Hospital. “In the modern area, we’ve reversed that and now 85 to 90 percent survive into adulthood so there is a real need for the right care for these adults who have had heart disease throughout their lives.”

That care now includes women’s care for Wiesner who just delivered her second child at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. When she told her physician, Dr. Wayne Franklin, director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Texas Children’s Heart Center, she was pregnant again, he was thrilled to know her care coordination would take place in the ob-cardiac clinic at The Pavilion where both her cardiology doctors and her obstetrician meet in one place to see her during her monthly appointments.

“Women’s health and cardiology were an underserved area in medicine,” said Franklin. “With the Pavilion, we’re able to offer that to her and all of our other patients. We offer multidisciplinary care that is most crucial to these patients during pregnancy.”

Because the heart has to work harder during pregnancy, patients with heart disease are watched closely by an interdisciplinary team, meeting often in the ob-cardiac clinic for appointments.

“It’s reassuring to know all the resources we need are in one spot, all here to help me deliver safely,” Wiesner-Jones said.

Texas Children’s Hospital offers several programs for adults outside of women’s care including heart disease programs, cystic fibrosis programs as well as a program for survivors of pediatric cancer.

“Texas Children’s is now in the arena of adult medicine,” Franklin said.

November 17, 2015

111815GrandRoundsRev640

Each year, Texas Children’s Heart Center honors its founder, Dr. Dan McNamara, with a grand rounds dedicated to pediatric cardiology. This year’s speaker was Dr. Chris Feudtner from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Department of Medical Ethics and the Pediatric Advanced Care Team. Feudtner spoke to a standing-room only audience of physicians at McNamara Grand Rounds in the Texas Children’s Hospital Auditorium. The subject of his talk, compassionate confrontations: integrating hopes, emotions and duties when confronting serious illness, was a message of giving care to families coping with difficult decisions and grim prognoses.

“Even though I am one of you and I like living and working at the hospital, no parents likes hospitals and we have to remember that,” Feudtner said. “When communicating with parents, we need to remember we’re all feeling beings who have thoughts.”

Feudtner gave several examples of relaying difficult news to patient families. He encouraged providers to ask parents their hopes for their child. Acknowledging that hope as well as the hopes that can be achieved.

“Don’t argue with someone’s hope. Respect and honor patient family’s hopes and allow them to share other hopes that can then help you with the course of action you take with their child’s care,” Feudtner said.

Feudtner suggested to thank parents for sharing their first hopes, which will almost always be false hope characterized by Feudtner as “duty-based hope” that allows parents to remain wishful that the prognosis will improve against all odds. His suggestion, acknowledge the importance of this hope and how as a caregiver, you too wish this were possible, but ask for other hopes which opens the door for dialogue.

“The parents then may say they hope their child is not in a lot of pain,” Feudtner said. “When the second and third hopes are shared, it’s easier for you to say ‘I can help with that.’”

Feudtner ended the conversation by encouraging the health care providers to be in partnering relationships with patients to move forward in care.

October 6, 2015

bench-and-beside-Header2Bench 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.

10615PaintingGroup300September 2

Pulmonary hypertension team hosts the painting party, proceeds benefit PHA

Physicians and staff with Texas Children’s Pulmonary Hypertension Program hosted a tile painting party on August 22 where patients transformed ceramic tiles into colorful pieces of art. The event benefited the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. Read more

September 9

Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus expands urology services

Urology services at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus have been extended to meet the needs of patients in Houston and its surrounding area. Read more

September 9

Dormans sets sights high for future of Orthopedics Department

Chief of Orthopedics Dr. John Dormans joined Texas Children’s three months ago and has already developed a plan to make the Texas Children’s Orthopedics Department one of the top programs in the world. His plan focuses on three main areas – recruitment, operations and facilities, and reputation and expertise. Read more

10615drhairaward300September 9

Hair receives 2015 Clinical Faculty of the Year Award

Dr. Amy Hair, a neonatologist and director of neonatal nutrition at Texas Children’s, recently received the Baylor College of Medicine’s 2015 Clinical Faculty of the Year Award for demonstrating “exemplary performance of activities that are above and beyond the scope of assigned responsibilities.” Read more

September 9

New program offers emotional healing for parents of special-needs children

Texas Children’s Geneticist Dr. Christian Schaaf and his colleagues developed a support program that helps parents cope with the emotional challenges of caring for children with developmental disabilities by learning to let go of things they cannot control. Read more

September 15

Clinical Research Center/Research Resources Office presents research award to Dr. Wenderfer

The Clinical Research Center/Research Resources Office presented the Clinical Research Award for Third Quarter 2015 to Dr. Scott Wenderfer, Department of Pediatrics-Renal, Baylor College of Medicine. Wenderfer’s research activities focus on Inflammatory Kidney Diseases and Lupus Nephritis. Read more

10615summercamps300September 15

Texas Children’s patients, staff create shared memories at Camp Spike N Wave, Camp Periwinkle

Every summer, Texas Children’s staff and their patients make the 90-mile trek to Camp for All, a 100-acre, barrier-free recreational facility where children with complex medical conditions experience the thrill of camping just like other kids their age. More than 185 children with epilepsy attend Camp Spike N Wave and roughly 185 patients from Texas Children’s Cancer Center go to Camp Periwinkle. Read more

September 29

Dormans presides over 50th annual meeting of SRS

Dr. John Dormans, chief of Orthopedics at Texas Children’s Hospital, completed his year as president of the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) at the 50th anniversary meeting in Minneapolis September 30 to October 3 and presented one of six special lectures titled, “Neural Complications in Spinal Deformity: Detection and Avoidance.” Read more

September 29

Dr. Swathi Bataji joins Pediatric Surgery

Dr. Swathi Balaji has joined the Pediatric Surgery Research Laboratory at Texas Children’s Hospital. Balaji also has been appointed assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. Read more

September 29

ICD-10 debut: New coding system launchess at Texas Children’s October 1

On October 1, Texas Children’s and other hospitals around the world switched to the ICD-10 coding system that will allow greater detail and precision in reporting patients’ diagnoses and procedures. For more than a year, Texas Children’s ICD-10 preparedness teams worked diligently to ensure all employees were prepared for the mandatory October 1 conversion. Read more

10615PICS300September 29

Heart Center physicians perform two cases broadcasted to live audience

Heart Center physicians performed two pediatric interventional cardiac care cases for the Pediatric and Adult Interventional Cardiac Symposium. The cases, which were performed at the Main Campus, were transmitted live to the conference in Las Vegas, Nevada via satellite. Read more

September 29, 2015

Physicians from around the world attending the Pediatric and Adult Interventional Cardiac Symposium in Las Vegas, Nevada were invited to watch two live cardiac catheterization cases performed by the Texas Children’s Heart Center team. The cases, which were performed at the Main Campus, were transmitted live to the conference via satellite. The purpose of these cases is to showcase the surgical techniques of the different hospitals and encourage greater collaboration. Texas Children’s was among nine hospitals from around the world chosen to participate in these live cases.

The conference, held in Las Vegas, focuses on opportunities for greater integration between congenital heart and adult structural heart disease specialists. Texas Children’s Heart Center is ranked #2 nationally in cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.

Led by interventional cardiologist Dr. Henri Justino, The Charles E. Mullins Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at Texas Children’s Hospital include three dedicated labs and a team of five dedicated interventional cardiologists. In 2014, the team performed more than 1,150 cardiac catheterization procedures and more than 98 percent of cases occurred without complication.

“We are thrilled to showcase Texas Children’s specialized pediatric interventional cardiac care on an international level,” Justino said. “Our team performed two procedures on patients with extremely complex cardiovascular malformations which will further highlight the depth and breadth of minimally invasive transcatheter treatments we provide to our patients every day.”

Justino was joined by Dr. Athar Qureshi, associate director of the Mullins Catheterization Laboratories at Texas Children’s along with the team. The first case involved a patient with Abernethy malformation with portopulmonary hypertension. The team plans a percutaneous splenic vein puncture, splenoportography and possible placement of an additional device in the large congenital portosystemic shunt. The second case features a patient who has pulmonary vein stenosis due to Cri-du-Chat syndrome, a chromosomal condition that results when a piece of chromosome 5 is missing. The team plans balloon dilation and/or stenting of the right pulmonary vein stents with possible intentional stent fracture.