January 7, 2019

The Centers for Children and Women at Texas Children’s recently received community pharmacy practice accreditation from the Center for Pharmacy Practice Accreditation (CPPA). This accreditation demonstrates Texas Children’s ongoing commitment to high quality care and patient safety.

With approximately 33,000 community pharmacies located across the United States, The Centers in Greenspoint and Southwest are the first in Texas to gain this esteemed accreditation.

“Gaining this voluntary accreditation is an important way for us to show our investment in continuous improvement of our pharmacy practice,” said Yen Phan, pharmacy manager at The Centers for Children and Women. “Our team worked very hard to meet the rigorous CPPA requirements for accreditation, and we will continue to focus our efforts on providing exceptional patient-centered care.”

The CPPA, a non-profit organization, recognizes pharmacy practices that foster medication safety and effectiveness, ensure continuous quality improvement and facilitate desired patient health outcomes.

The Centers at Greenspoint and Southwest implemented several initiatives to meet the CPPA standards for community pharmacy accreditation including creating a Quality Committee that provides an organized forum to review quality metrics and develop solutions to prevent potential medication errors. The Quality Committee also assessed overall performance and identified areas in need of quality improvement.

“The surveyors were very impressed with our best practices and model of care,” Phan said. “Our hope is that our best practices can serve as a benchmark for other community pharmacies to replicate.”

For more information about the CPPA accreditation process, visit www.pharmacypracticeaccredit.org
For more information about The Center for Children and Women, visit www.jointhecenter.org

May 1, 2018

On April 29, Dr. Lisa M. Hollier became the 69th president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) during the Presidential Inauguration and Convocation ceremony.

Hollier is a professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, serves as chief medical officer of obstetrics and gynecology for Texas Children’s Health Plan and is the medical director of obstetrics and gynecology for The Health Plan’s Centers for Children and Women.

Hollier has held many roles in ACOG over her career. She was assistant secretary of ACOG and served on many college committees and Presidential Task Forces and work groups. She chaired the Committee on Professional Liability, the Committee on Credentials and the Work Group on Women’s Health Care Team Leadership. Additionally, she served as the ACOG representative to the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine board of directors for five years. Currently, she is chair of the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force.

Past president of the Texas Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and past chair of District XI of ACOG, Hollier has throughout her career been dedicated to caring for the underserved and improving women’s health by advancing women’s health policy.

She earned her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine and her master’s in Public Health from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. She completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, followed by subspecialty fellowship training in maternal-fetal medicine at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.

Texas Children’s congratulates Hollier on this well deserved recognition and honor.

Click here to read the text of Hollier’s speech.

March 14, 2017

On February 27 and 28, Primary Nurse Planner Amanda Garey, MSN, RNC-OB, and Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women hosted the 34th Annual Kaleidoscope Perinatal Nursing Conference at the Galveston Convention Center in collaboration with the March of Dimes and Houston Area Collaborative Perinatal Program.

The Kaleidoscope Conference planning committee included 33 perinatal experts and consisted of teams representing the Pavilion for Women and Nursing Professional Development.

The conference featured 52 podium speakers and 17 poster presentations from 13 different organizations throughout the greater Houston area. These presentations highlighted the latest nursing topics related to neonatology, obstetrics and professional practice. Of these presenters, 28 presentations were delivered by Texas Children’s employees or physician partners.

The two-day conference attracted a historic 347 participants and 50 vendors from across the United States. Attendees enjoyed a fun and interactive drawing from sponsorship donations.

The Texas Children’s planning committee members worked tirelessly to make this a unique and memorable event. Special thanks to:

  • Committee Chair Amanda Garey, MSN, RNC-OB, C-OB, C-EFM
  • Lynda Tyer-Viola, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Nan Ybarra, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC
  • Elizabeth Bolds, MBA, RN, NEA-BC
  • Kina Foster, MBA, BSN, RNC-MNN
  • Dionne J. Walker, MSN, RNC-OB
  • Tara Barrick, BSN, RNC-OB
  • Denisse Gonzalez, BSN, RNC-MNN
  • Glenda Patrick, MSN, BN, RNC-OB
  • Jenny O’Dowd, BSN, RNC-MNN
  • Leslie R. Williams, BSN, RN, CCRN
  • Delinda Castillo, BSN, RN
  • Angie Rangel, MSN, RN, CCRN, LNC
  • Jaime Choate, BSN, RNC-OB
  • Sharon Demel, MSN, CNS, RNC-NIC
  • Megnon Stewart, MSN, RN
  • Lindsay Gregory, MSN, RN, CPN
  • Tanya Nelson, BS, RN, RNC-NIC
  • Sonia Alvarado, Administrative Assistant
  • Emily Lamport, Marketing
June 1, 2016

6116TCHPFloodRelief640Recent Houston floods devastated many local neighborhoods, and left Greenspoint families in dire need of emergency assistance. The Centers for Children and Women care about the communities they serve and wanted to help. On May 4, The Center for Children and Women in Greenspoint held a Houston Storm Recovery Distribution Event for local flood victims. Items such as clothing, diapers, toiletries and cleaning supplies were distributed to more than 450 families.

“Many of our patients and our community still have a lot of needs after the recent floods, so our staff members decided something needed to be done to help our community, said Dr. Heidi Schwarzwald, chief medical officer pediatrics of Texas Children’s Health Plan. “We are pleased that we were able to help so many families through the thousands of supplies donated by our employees and by generous local companies.”

Houston Food Bank provided emergency kits that included canned goods and water. Attendees also could receive application assistance for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). All donations were provided by Texas Children’s Health Plan and Center employees, Nestle and Kroger.

March 1, 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.

February 2

Texas Children’s, Rice University team up to develop new way to repair birth defect

Bioengineers at Texas Children’s Hospital and Rice University have won a National Institutes of Health grant to develop a new generation of patches to repair the damaged hearts of infants. The $1.9 million, 5-year grant will allow Jeffrey Jacot and his team to take the next steps in a long-running drive to improve the survival rates of such infants, many of whom are diagnosed in utero and require surgery soon after birth.

February 2

Department of State Health Services to award Texas Children’s $1 million grant for SIU 3116SIUTraining300

Texas Children’s is set to receive a $1 million grant from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to put toward its newly constructed Special Isolation Unit at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. The funds, to be delivered during the next five years, will specifically go toward Ebola preparedness activities that bolster employee safety and quality of care.

February 2

Texas Children’s convenes task force, urges employees to educate themselves on Zika

3116zikamosquito300In light of the multiple confirmed cases of Zika infection in Texas due to foreign travel, Texas Children’s leaders encourage employees, particularly pregnant women, to refrain from traveling to areas where the outbreak is growing and to follow precautionary measures to protect themselves from Zika exposure. Since the mosquito-carrying virus has been known to increase the risk of microcephaly, a neurological fetal birth defect, Texas Children’s recently convened a task force to develop management and research strategies based on screening criteria outlined by the Centers for Disease Control for pregnant women who may have been exposed to the Zika virus.

February 2 Kline: Children deserve access to best care

Many patients have been left scrambling to find a new medical home when a number of insurance companies decided not to provide in-network coverage for many hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, including Texas Children’s Hospital. Physician-in-Chief Dr. Mark W. Kline talks about how all children deserve access to the best care.

February 2

Zoghbi to receive medal for pioneering advancements in neuroscience research

3116zoghbilab300Dr. Huda Zoghbi, director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s, will receive the 2016 Jessie Stevenson Kovalenko Medal from the National Academy of Science in April for her achievements in neuroscience, which includes unlocking the genetic and molecular mysteries behind rare neurological disorders.


February 2

Clinical Research Center presents research award to Dr. Anvari

The Clinical Research Center will present the Clinical Research Award for First Quarter 2016 to Dr. Sara Anvari, physician, Allergy and Immunology. Dr. Anvari is a dedicated clinical scientist for the food allergy research trials at Texas Children’s Hospital.

February 9

Three NRI researchers recognized for their contributions to neuroscience research

Drs. Michael Wangler and Shinya Yamamoto recently obtained a research grant from the Simon’s Foundation for Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) to advance their study on autism spectrum disorders. Their study titled, “In vivo functional analysis of autism candidate genes” is one of five projects selected for research funding by the SFARI. Dr. Andrea Ballabio, founder and director of the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM), Italy, professor at Baylor and faculty member at the NRI, has been selected to receive the 2016 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine. He will share this award with biochemist John Diffley, associate research director at the Francis Crick Institute, United Kingdom.

February 16

Study finds premature infants benefit from exclusive human milk-based diet

3116NEC300A recent Baylor College of Medicine study led by Texas Children’s neonatologist Dr. Amy Hair, and published in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine, found that premature infants weighing less than 1,250 grams at birth showed improved outcomes after being fed a human milk-based diet.




February 16

Mata twins celebrate one-year anniversary after historic separation 3116MataFamily300

A year after being separated in a marathon surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital, formerly conjoined twins Knatalye and Adeline Mata are healthy, lively toddlers. Several members of our medical staff involved in the girls’ care got to see how much they have grown and how far they have come during a recent visit to Texas Children’s for their follow-up appointments with pediatric subspecialists monitoring their health and development. Hear some of their reactions and see for yourself how much the girls have progressed.

February 16

Heart Center launches series of educational animated videos 3116animation300

Featuring an armadillo, a bison and robot-like caregivers called Blings, a series of animated videos created by Texas Children’s Heart Center aims to help educate patients and their families about various heart conditions and treatment options. Six of the videos were unveiled at a February 15 red carpet premier and can be accessed on the Texas Children’s website at http://www.texaschildrens.org/hearteducation.

February 23

CVICU physician performs CPR, saves man’s life during spin class

When Dr. Natasha Afonso clipped in to a bike for a spin class on a recent Thursday evening, she didn’t know the skills she uses each day to treat patients in the CVICU would mean the difference between life and death for a fellow rider. Toward the end of the 45-minute, high-intensity class, Afonso heard 50-year-old Scott Corron collapse and fall off his bicycle. Because he wasn’t breathing and had no pulse, Afonso immediately started CPR, an action that ultimately saved Corron’s life.

February 23

New in situ simulation program enhances role clarity in high-risk emergencies 3116sitasim300

Texas Children’s Simulation Center recently launched the first-ever Neonatal Comprehensive In Situ Simulation Program for NICU providers at the Pavilion for Women. The program focuses on improving crisis resource management skills, one of which is role clarity, to ensure all code team members know each other’s specific roles when delivering care to patients during high-risk medical emergencies.

February 23

Texas Children’s helps develop nation’s first hospital-based rapid test for the Zika virus

3116zikalab300Pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists at Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Methodist Hospital developed the nation’s first hospital-based rapid test for the Zika virus in a matter of weeks as part of the L.E. and Virginia Simmons Collaborative in Virus Detection and Surveillance. Pathologist-in-Chief Dr. James Versalovic and Dr. James Dunn, director of medical microbiology and virology, led Texas Children’s Zika test development team. The new diagnostic test identifies virus-specific RNA sequences to detect the virus and can distinguish Zika virus from other virus infections like Dengue, West Nile or Chikunguny.

February 23

Blaney receives Pioneer Award for contributions in pediatric neuro-oncology The Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation honored Dr. Susan Blaney with the Pioneer Award for Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, celebrating her 25 years of dedication to the search for new and better treatments for children with brain and spinal cord tumors. Blaney’s extensive experience in clinical translational research focuses on developing new treatment strategies for children with brain tumors and other refractory cancers. Blaney has been instrumental in developing more new agent clinical trials than anyone in the field of pediatric oncology.

February 23

Dietrich voted president-elect of North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology

Chief of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Dr. Jennifer Dietrich has been voted president-elect of the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Her tenure as president-elect begins in April. She will be voted in as president in April 2017.

February 23

Texas Children’s Health Plan Center for Children and Women earns accolades for CenteringPregnancy® program Texas Children’s Health Plan’s Center for Children and Women has earned site approval for its CenteringPregnancy® program. The Centering Healthcare Institute (CHI) has awarded both the Southwest and Greenspoint locations the official designation for closely following the CenteringPregnancy® model.

February 8, 2016



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.

January 5

Zoghbi to receive Vanderbilt prize in Biomedical Science

2116zoghbilab300Dr. Huda Zoghbi, professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, and director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s, will be honored with the 2015 Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science. This award is given by the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine to recognize women scientists with a stellar record of research accomplishment who have also mentored other women in science. More

January 5

Second location of The Center for Children and Women celebrates milestone

2116TheCenterAnniv300Texas Children’s Health Plan recently celebrated the first anniversary of The Center for Children and Women in Southwest Houston. During the past 12 months, the Center has provided care to more than 5,800 patients, including 356 births, demonstrating The Center’s remarkable footprint in the community. More




January 12

Dr. Sanjeev Vasudevan selected for Baylor Young Alumni Award

Dr. Sanjeev Vasudevan will receive the 2016 Young Alumnus Award from the Baylor College of Medicine Alumni Association. Vasudevan is a pediatric surgeon and researcher specializing in pediatric cancers such as neuroblastoma, liver cancer, renal tumors and sarcomas. More

January 12

Harpavat receives ASSLD award for study on newborn screening tool to detect biliary atresia earlier

Dr. Sanjiv Harpavat, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine, received the 2015 Jan Albrecht Clinical and Translational Research Award in Liver Diseases from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Foundation. His study titled, “Assessment of a Novel Newborn Screening Tool for Biliary Atresia,” explores a new strategy to detect infants with biliary atresia earlier. More

January 12

Pediatric Surgeon Dr. Sundeep Keswani awarded visiting professorship

Dr. Sundeep Keswani, pediatric surgeon, was chosen by the Association for Academic Surgery to receive the 2016 International Visiting Professorship Award to attend the Columbia Surgical Association Congress in Bogota, Colombia, in August 2016. Keswani is the principal investigator for the Texas Children’s Laboratory for Regenerative Tissue Repair. More

January 12

Family Fertility Center advances innovative research to improve IVF process

2116FFC300From exploring the metabolic factors impacting egg quality to the genetics of embryo implantation, Family Fertility Center researchers at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women are engaged in several fascinating studies to help infertile couples achieve successful pregnancy outcomes. Read about the various studies in progress. More



January 19

Three Texas Children’s Cancer Center researchers receive prestigious ASH awards

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) recognized three researchers from Texas Children’s Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine for their work in advancing our understanding of disease pathogenesis and exploring novel innovative approaches for the treatment of pediatric cancers. More

January 19

Texas Children’s uses advanced orthopedic imaging, less radiation exposure

2116EOS300Texas Children’s is the first pediatric hospital in the southwest to offer advanced orthopedic imaging that provides full body, 3-D views of a patient’s bone structure using less radiation. Because of the low radiation dose, EOS imaging is beneficial for orthopedic patients with scoliosis and other spinal deformities who require frequent imaging to monitor disease progression. More


January 26

Texas Children’s Hospital welcomes expert pediatric hand surgeon

Texas Children’s Hospital is excited to welcome Dr. William Pederson, a highly-regarded pediatric hand surgeon, to the Department of Surgery. Pederson, whose appointment was effective in January, also is a professor of surgery and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. More

January 26

Texas Children’s Heart Center welcomes trio of cardiologists

Texas Children’s Heart Center has welcomed three new pediatric cardiologists to the team. Drs. Tobias Schlingmann, Betul Yilmaz and Justin Zachariah joined Texas Children’s in July. More

January 26, 2016

12716telehealth640For epilepsy patients who receive primary care at The Center for Women and Children in Greenspoint, heading to their neurology appointment just got a lot easier. Instead of making the 20-mile trek to the Texas Medical Center, patients can “see” their neurologist without leaving their primary care clinic.

Texas Children’s Division of Neurology and The Center in Greenspoint recently launched Telehealth, an interactive telecommunications system that uses real-time video technology to create a communication link among the primary care physician (PCP), specialist and family during a patient visit. Implementing this new technology has enhanced access to patient care and facilitated the coordination of care for Greenspoint patients enrolled in Texas Children’s Health Plan.

“Even though our patients live in urban areas, access to care can still be challenging,” said Dr. Heidi Schwarzwald, a Texas Children’s pediatrician at The Center in Greenspoint. “The struggle getting to and navigating through the medical center could lead to missed appointments, poor medication adherence and increased emergency room visits, all of which telehealth aims to resolve.”

So, how does a telehealth visit work?

After a patient checks into the clinic, the patient is directed to a room just like any other visit except the neurologist is seen on a video screen. At the end of the visit, the PCP enters the room and performs the physical exam while the neurologist observes remotely from a telehealth room at main campus. Together, the PCP, family member and neurologist develop the care plan for the patient which is then printed out for the family. Medication adjustments and prescriptions are completed and sent to the in-house pharmacy at The Center. If lab work is needed, blood tests are drawn at the clinic and the results are both visible to the PCP and the neurologist via the shared electronic medical record. The neurologist bills for the office visit the same as any other office visit but a modifier is applied to distinguish the visit as telehealth. The PCP bills a facility fee but not an office visit.

Besides enhancing patient care access, Dr. Gary Clark, Texas Children’s chief of Neurology and Developmental Neuroscience, says Telehealth serves a much larger purpose than just visiting with a patient over the video system.

“Through Telehealth, we’re impacting patient care and improving outcomes by offering an educational and supportive environment for our patients,” Clark said. “By including an educational component in the telehealth visit, the neurologist and PCP are helping to co-educate patients on the importance of taking their seizure medication, thereby reducing unnecessary hospital admissions and emergency room visits.”

Since Texas Children’s Health Plan covers more than 390,000 lives spread throughout Harris and Jefferson counties, many of the patients do not live near the medical center, which is why The Center in Greenspoint was selected as the first launch site for the telehealth initiative.

Future plans are underway to expand the telehealth service to patient families at The Center for Children and Women Southwest, who are also members of Texas Children’s Health Plan.