February 2, 2016

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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.

Texas Children’s began ramping up its Ebola preparedness and decided to build a special isolation unit almost a year ago, shortly after an unprecedented outbreak of the disease resulted in the realization that we must be prepared to handle emerging infections as an institution. As a result, the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designated Texas Children’s Hospital as one of several pediatric Ebola treatment centers countrywide.

Texas Children’s Special Isolation Unit is the only one of its kind in Texas and the southwest region, and is among the few in the United States designated just for children. Located on the fifth floor of West Campus, the eight-bed unit is fully equipped to care for any infant or child with a serious communicable disease and has all of the measures available to assure safety of the health care team, other patients and their families.

As a condition of the DSHS grant, members of the National Ebola Training and Education Center (NETEC) – created to ensure health care providers and facilities are prepared to safely identify, isolate, transport and treat patients with Ebola and other emerging threats. – recently visited the Special Isolation Unit. During NETEC’s two-day trip, members of the newly formed federal entity toured the Special Isolation Unit and spoke with leaders in detail about the formation of the unit, its capabilities and its potential usages.

“We were glad to have subject matter expertise tour our facility and provide knowledge and insight that will help us improve patient and staff satisfaction,” said Special Isolation Unit Medical Director Dr. Gordon Schutze. “They were very complimentary of the unit and told us we were fortunate to have leadership that is very supportive of doing what is best for their employees and patients.”

Once received, a portion of the DSHS grant will be used to compensate Texas Children’s for the Ebola preparedness activities undertaken since July 2014. Unit and West Campus leaders are working together to identify the best use of the remaining funds and how they can be invested to better health care professional safety and quality of care.

January 26, 2016

12716FAMILYFUNRUNinside640Are you and your family ready to have some fun that will also help make you healthy? If so, sign up for the fourth annual Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Marathon Foundation Family Fun Run, an event designed to educate and encourage Houston-area children and their families to adopt active, healthy lifestyles.

Families with children of all abilities are invited to participate in the run at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 9 at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

The Family Fun Run will include both a 1K and 3K course. Participants – including those who need walkers and wheelchairs – are welcome. There will not be prizes given to top finishers as all participants will receive an award for taking part in an event designed to educate and encourage Houston-area families to adopt active, healthy lifestyles. Following the run, families can enjoy the H-E-B sponsored Family Fun Zone. The zone will be packed with snacks, special guests and more than 25 attractions.

Click here to register. Registration will close on Monday, March 28.

Additional information, including training guides, a video from last year’s event and volunteer opportunities can be found here.

Good luck and happy running!

January 5, 2016

1616playyard640Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus received a special gift this holiday season from a former patient whose family wanted to thank caregivers for helping their son recover from cancer.

David Lauritzen, now a healthy 5-year-old, came to Texas Children’s a very sick toddler. After being diagnosed with cancer, David was put on an aggressive treatment plan of radiation and chemotherapy, much of which he received at West Campus.

The treatment and the tender loving care he received from Texas Children’s medical staff paid off, sending him into remission about a year after being diagnosed. In appreciation for the staff’s hard work and expertise, the Lauritzen family recently donated a handmade toddler play yard to West Campus.

The red and white play yard was made by David’s great-grandfather, Ronald McKee, who dedicated the toy to his grandson and traveled from Missouri to install the piece of equipment in the Surgery Waiting Room at West Campus.

David’s mother, Samantha Lauritzen, said the play yard is a small token of her family’s appreciation to all Texas Children’s employees who came into contact with her family during her son’s 14-month treatment period.

“They made an extremely difficult situation easier on all of us,” she said of the staff “To me, they are amazing.”

December 8, 2015

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Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus has been recognized as a Top Children’s Hospital by the Leapfrog Group for the third consecutive year. The Leapfrog Group is an organization that provides the only national, public comparison of hospitals across safety, quality and efficiency dimensions. Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus is honored among an elite group of only 12 children’s hospitals and is the only children’s hospital in Houston to be recognized with this prestigious distinction.

“It is an honor to again be recognized as a top performing children’s hospital,” said Chanda Cashen Chacón, president of Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. “Our physicians, nurses and employees constantly strive to provide high quality care for our patients while keeping their safety our top priority.”

This year’s list includes 12 Top Children’s Hospitals, 62 Top Urban Hospitals and 24 Top Rural Hospitals. The selection is based on the results of The Leapfrog Group’s annual hospital survey, which measures hospitals’ performance on patient safety and quality, focusing on three critical areas of hospital care: how patients fare, resource use and management structures established to prevent errors. Performance across many areas of hospital care is considered in establishing the qualifications for the award, including survival rates for high-risk procedures and a hospital’s ability to prevent medication errors.

The Leapfrog Group was founded to work for improvements in health care safety, quality and affordability. The annual survey is the only voluntary effort of its kind. The Top Hospitals will be honored at Leapfrog’s Annual Meeting on December 2 in Washington D.C., which gathers key decision-makers from Leapfrog’s network of purchaser members, industry partners, health care stakeholders and national collaborators. For more information, or to see a complete list of The Leapfrog Group’s 2015 Top Hospitals, visit www.leapfronggroup.org/news.

December 7, 2015

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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.

November 3

West Campus gastroenterology team grows

Three pediatric gastroenterologists recently joined the pediatric gastroenterology team at the West Campus. The additional physicians brings the team to a total of four full-time gastroenterologists at the West Houston hospital. More

November 3

Two neurologists, pharmacist receive AES Young Investigator Award

Texas Children’s neurologists Drs. Sunita Misra and Dana Marafie and Clinical Pharmacy Specialist Dr. Mindl Messinger will be presented with the 2015 Young Investigator Award at the upcoming American Epilepsy Society’s Annual Meeting. More

November 10

Texas Children’s participates in largest study on teen weight-loss surgery

The results of research Texas Children’s Hospital participated in were recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine and show teen weight-loss surgery demonstrates the reversal of type 2 diabetes and significant weight loss. More

November 10

Watcher program improves safety across organization

12815watcherprogram300A new program has significantly decreased codes in acute care areas by heightening the awareness of patients in need of extra attention and improving communication amongst caregivers about those who may quickly decompensate. More

 

 

 

November 17

Preidis receives 2-year NASPGHAN research grant for microbiome nutrition study

Dr. Geoffrey Preidis, a pediatric gastroenterology fellow at Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine, received the 2016 Young Investigator Development Award from the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) Foundation and Nestlé Nutrition Institute. More

November 17

Lam recognized with Baylor Rising Star Award

Dr. Sandi Lam, co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Craniofacial Surgery Program, was recognized at a recent Baylor College of Medicine Neurosurgery Grand Rounds with the inaugural Rising Star in Resident Education award. The award is given to a neurosurgery junior faculty member who demonstrates excellence in teaching. More

November 17

Dr. Huynh-Tran joins Department of Surgery

The Department of Surgery is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Amy Huynh-Tran to the Division of Dental Surgery. Huynh-Tran also has been appointed as an assistant professor in the Dental Department at Baylor College of Medicine. Huynh-Tran will see patients in the Dental Clinic at the main campus of Texas Children’s. More

November 17

Drs. Chandy, Musso awarded Master Teacher Certificates

Otolaryngologists Drs. Binoy Chandy and MaryFrances Musso recently received the Baylor College of Medicine Master Teacher Certificate and presented at the Baylor College of Medicine Academy of Distinguished Educators. The Master Teacher Certificate is awarded by the Master Teachers Fellowship Program at Baylor. More

November 17

Pediatric Anesthesiology promotes two high-level faculty, creates new division

The Department of Pediatric Anesthesiology recently made some significant organizational changes, promoting two faculty members to Associate Anesthesiologist-in-Chief and creating a new division dedicated to non-operating room anesthesia. More

November 17

Passionate confrontations subject of annual McNamara Grand Rounds

12815mcnamara300Speaking to a packed auditorium, visiting physician Dr. Chris Feudtner shared his insight on speaking to parents of critically ill children with compassion during the annual McNamara Grand Rounds. More

 

 

 

 

November 24

Stein elected president of the American Academy of Pediatrics

12815Stein300Dr. Fernando Stein, medical director of the Progressive Care Unit, has been elected President of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). This is the first time in the AAP’s 85-year history that a Texas pediatrician has been elected to the post. As AAP president, Stein will represent all pediatricians and subspecialists across the U.S. and serve as Texas Children’s voice on national issues impacting the health and safety of the millions of patients and families we serve. More

November 24

Ribbon cutting held for special isolation unit at West Campus

12815SIU300More than 70 people from across the organization, city and state attended the Special Isolation Unit ribbon cutting and open house last week at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. Attendees got a close-up look of the state-of-the-art facility, which allows Texas Children’s to care for children with highly contagious infectious diseases. More

 

 

November 24, 2015

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Supporters of Texas Children’s efforts to treat children with highly contagious infectious diseases gathered last week to applaud the opening of the organization’s Special Isolation Unit at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

More than 70 people from across the organization and the state attended the unit’s ribbon cutting and open house, during which they got a close-up look at the state-of-the-art facility and heard from people who were critical to the unit’s creation.

“This is an exciting day, a landmark day, in the history of Texas Children’s,” said Physician-in-Chief Dr. Mark W. Kline. “This unit is a real resource for the city of Houston, the state of Texas, for the region, the nation and the world.”

Texas Children’s began working on the unit almost a year ago, shortly after an unprecedented Ebola outbreak that resulted in the realization that we must be prepared to handle emerging infections as an institution. As a result, the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designated Texas Children’s Hospital as one of several pediatric Ebola treatment centers countrywide.

Texas Children’s special isolation unit is the only one of its kind in Texas and the southwest region, and is among the few in the United States designated just for children. Located on the fifth floor of West Campus, the eight-bed unit is fully equipped to care for any infant or child with a serious communicable disease and has all of the measures available to assure safety of the health care team, other patients and their families.

Children coming to the special isolation unit will receive top notch care from a team of highly-trained nurses and doctors, led by the unit’s medical director, Dr. Gordon Schutze, associate medical director’s Dr. Judith Campbell and Dr. Amy Arrington, and nursing leader, Sondra Morris.

“I am honored to say that when problems threaten our community and our children, Texas Children’s always leads strong,” said West Campus President Chanda Cashen Chacón. “We do not shy away from those who need us the most.”

More than 70 people gathered for the official ribbon cutting held last week for special isolation unit at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

November 17, 2015

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The sound of helicopter blades chopping through the air will be a common occurrence at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus now that the hospital’s helipad has been activated and staff has been trained on how to receive a patient arriving via air transport.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to have helicopters land at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus,” said Dr. Jeanine Graf, the hospital’s chief medical officer. “It’s been an innovative first for Texas Children’s to begin bringing in children via rotacraft helicopter transport.”

Previously, patients coming to West Campus via helicopter would land at an adjoining facility and then be brought to Texas Children’s via ambulance. Having access to the hospital’s helipad will allow for faster transport and subsequently quicker treatment.

“It’s one more way for us to be there for every child no matter what their needs are,” Graf said, adding that all four predominant helicopter services in southeast Texas now know they can bring patients to Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. In the near future, they also will be able to land at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands and on the roof of Pediatric Tower E in the Medical Center.

Since late October, four patients have been brought to West Campus via the hospital’s helipad and many more are expected. Before activating the helipad, West Campus received between 10 and 20 helicopter transports a month from nearby facilities. “Now that patients can be brought straight to West Campus’ doorstep, there’s sure to be more and we are happy to be able to serve them,” Graf said.