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

12915leapfrog640

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

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.

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

112515SIURibbonCutting640

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

111815helipad640

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.

October 13, 2015

101415SIU640Pastel paint, shiny floors and spacious rooms equipped with the latest scientific and technological approaches to biocontainment are just a few of the features of the soon-to-be-finished Special Isolation Unit at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. The 8-bed unit designed for children with highly contagious infectious diseases is part of an 18-bed expansion of the hospital’s Acute Care Unit, which will open in mid-October.

“We are very excited about this state-of-the-art facility opening and serving our community’s most fragile patients,” said West Campus President Chanda Cashen Chacón. “The unit allows Texas Children’s to effectively and safely provide the best possible care to a patient who has a highly communicable disease while ensuring the health and safety of our team and other patients and families throughout the hospital.”

The decision to build a special isolation unit came last year after an unprecedented Ebola outbreak, resulting 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 unit will be fully equipped to care for any infant or child with a serious communicable disease, with all of the measures available to assure safety of the health care team, other patients and their families.

Each of the patient rooms, for example, has an antechamber, where doctors and nurses will put on personal protective gear. After treating a child inside the room, they will leave through a separate door and enter a third room, where they will take off the gear. Nurses will observe the entire time through large glass windows.

The unit also will have its own biosafety Level 3 laboratory, which allows for safe, on-site rapid identification of both usual and unusual pathogens. There’s also a separate medical waste room, where carts of used clothing and equipment can be wheeled inside 6-foot autoclaves.

Some of the unit’s additional features include:

  • Negative pressure rooms and isolated air handling
  • High-protocol workflows designed around a “clean-to-dirty” workflow
  • Observation windows into patient rooms to limit staff exposure
  • Specialized technology and communication devices to communicate as a team
  • Staff locker room where caretakers will show before leaving the unit after each shift
  • Child life play room for patient siblings and young visitors

In addition to a state-of-the-art facility, children coming to the Special Isolation Unit will receive top notch care from a team of highly-trained nurses and doctors. At least six members of the team, called the Special Response Team, will be assigned to each child, and one of them will act as a family liaison.

Children being treated in the unit will be able to use tablet computers to talk with their families via video chat, and will be able to see them through the large windows. To make the unit’s patients feel as comfortable as possible, a special doll is being developed that will wear a mini-version of the personal protective equipment the doctors and nurses wear.

The goal there, said Special Isolation Unit Assistant Director Dr. Judith Campbell, is to soothe even the youngest children, and help them understand: “Yes, we’re dressed up a little differently, but their little doll has similar attire on.”

The specialized unit will be led by Dr. Gordon Schutze, who will serve as medical director, as well as Campbell and Dr. Amy Arrington, who will be the unit’s associate medical directors. Sondra Morris will lead the team’s nursing staff. The unit will be run by a Special Response Team comprised of physicians, nurses, medical technologists and environmental service technicians who have been trained in infection control, hospital epidemiology and management of infectious diseases in the critical care setting.

“The team has completed up to 24 hours of specialized training to date to be ready to care for these patients safely,” Arrington said. “Additional training will be ongoing.”

When the Special Isolation Unit isn’t activated, it will be used as a new acute care unit for West Campus. Morris will lead the area when the Special Isolation Unit isn’t being used.

For more information about the Special Isolation Unit and the infectious diseases that might be treated there read this blog written by Campbell.

The finishing touches are being put on Texas Children’s Special Isolation Unit, an 8-bed unit designed for children with highly contagious infectious diseases. View the unit that is scheduled to open in mid-October.