May 5, 2015

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Here at Texas Children’s, we proudly embrace the role of trailblazers to accelerate health care for our patients and their families. Unified in our infinite passion for the mission, we continuously innovate ourselves to meet new medical challenges and situations.

In December, we announced our plan to build an eight-bed special isolation unit at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. The unit is designed for children with highly contagious infectious diseases. Similar to the four other biocontainment units in the country, the one at Texas Children’s will be one of the only in the United States designated just for children.

5615SIUinside640“Having the best qualified people running the special isolation unit is key to its success,” said Dr. Gordon Schutze, the unit’s medical director. “Everyone involved will be specially trained in infection control, hospital epidemiology and management of infectious diseases in this special care setting.”

This elite Special Response Team will include physicians, registered nurses, medical technologists and environmental services technicians. The physicians and registered nurses will make up the care team while the medical technologists will perform special specimen testing in a state-of-the-art lab within the special isolation unit. In addition, the environmental services techs will handle waste processing from the unit through an autoclave.

The leaders dedicated to selecting the members of the Special Response Team have begun the process and are asking those who are interested in being a part of this unique and exciting team to raise their hands.

“Being part of this elite team will be an honor and a privilege,” said Dr. Judith Campbell, one of the unit’s associate medical directors.

Dr. Amy Arrington, the unit’s other associate medical director, agreed and said those who are selected to be on the Special Response Team will be getting the chance of a lifetime to impact care delivery. “The care that will be given inside the special isolation unit will be state-of-the art,” she said.

Texas Children’s leaders would like to have the members of the Special Response Team chosen and in place by this summer. At that point, the team will begin a series of ongoing training exercises that will ready them to be deployed to the SIU if it were to be activated.

To learn more about joining the Special Response Team, click here.

About the Special Isolation Unit

Since the decision to build a special isolation unit was made five months ago, members of a multidisciplinary team created specifically for the unit have visited two of the premiere biocontainment units in the country at Emory University in Atlanta and Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

Many of the lessons learned by these organizations have been incorporated into the design of the special isolation unit at Texas Children’s and can be seen in a mock-up of the unit that was recently built on the fourth floor of West Campus. Construction of the unit is anticipated to begin in May and the unit should be fully operational in October.

“This unit will help us do what we do best and that is care for children with some of the most serious and complex medical conditions,” West Campus President Chanda Cashen Chacón explained. “The organization’s decision to create a special isolation unit illustrates the level of competency and skill we have here at Texas Children’s.”

April 21, 2015

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A grey sky and clouds didn’t stop Texas Children’s employees and Houston-area residents from making the 3rd annual Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Marathon Foundation Family Fun Run at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus a huge success.

42215FAMILYFUNRUNinside640On April 11, 3,500 people of all abilities, including those needing walkers and wheelchairs, participated in the non-competitive 1K and 3K courses. Following the race, participants enjoyed the Family Fun Zone, presented by H-E-B, which featured more than 40 attractions including food, refreshments, activities and games.

  • Get a first-hand look at the fun by flipping through a photo gallery of the event below.
  • Race day photos from Spring Action Photos are available for order by clicking here. You can search by your bib number or last name to find your photos (if any exist). There are also hundreds of unidentified photos to sort through in the Lost & Found section. You can also browse the entire event, if desired.
  • Take a look at our Facebook photo album from Saturday by clicking here.

Gallery:

March 10, 2015

Watch the newest “I Am Texas Children’s” video featuring employee Tiffany Strawn in Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus – Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

“I enjoy working at Texas Children’s West Campus and seeing the progress children have made in physical therapy,” Strawn said. “This is probably the best place to work where everybody brings different approaches to sports medicine and physical therapy.”

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

March 3, 2015

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Since Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus opened almost four years ago, it has become one of the most active pediatric hospitals in the Houston area, and all indications point toward continued growth.

To keep meeting the steady increase in demand and community growth, Chanda Cashen Chacón, West Campus’ new leader, recently announced an aggressive capital improvement project. The project, approved by Texas Children’s Board of Directors, will cost an estimated $50 million and will focus on three key areas – inpatient capacity, ambulatory capacity and supporting hospital infrastructure.

“At the West Campus we are dedicated to the patients and families we serve, the process in which we serve them and our overall outcome,” Chacón said. “To accomplish all three of these things well, we need to continue to expand the facility that allows us to further our commitment to the community. This capital expansion project will ensure that promise continues.”

3415westcampusinside640The first phase of the project includes a $16 million, 18-bed expansion of the hospital’s acute care capacity. The new unit will include an eight-bed special isolation unit designed for children with highly contagious infectious diseases, such as pandemic influenza, entervirus D68, Ebola and many others. The design for the acute care and special isolation unit is in the approval process and construction is anticipated to begin in May. The unit should be up and running by October.

“This unique unit will be an indispensable resource to our local community, Texas and our region,” Chacón said. “Taking care of some of the sickest children in our hospital system is one of our top priorities.”

In addition to the new acute care and special isolation units, the first phase of the capital project will include the following five projects, which are estimated to cost $6.9 million and be completed by the end of the year:

  • Create dedicated suite for Interventional Radiology services
  • Design shell space for OR/PACU expansion
  • Convert 13 offices within existing clinics into clinic exam space
  • Build office and administrative support space for dedicated physicians and providers

The second phase of the capital improvement project will include the following four projects, which are estimated to cost $27.1 million and be completed by the end of 2017:

  • Build additional 24 acute-care beds
  • Build four additional operating rooms and expand pre-operative and post-operative areas
  • Equip all beds in critical care unit
  • Expand clinics to support OR expansion

“Most of these projects are in the design phase or will be soon,” Chacón said. “We look forward to continuing to serve our patients and families.”

February 10, 2015

Watch the newest “I Am Texas Children’s” video featuring employee Eduardo Hernandez in Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus – Pediatric Radiology.

“I work in the Radiology Department at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus,” said Hernandez. “I love the work environment and my coworkers, and I get to take care of patients and their families every day.”

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

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Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus is proud to announce Dr. Allen Milewicz as chief surgical officer of the hospital. In his new role, Milewicz will be responsible for organizing Texas Children’s surgery within the community, focusing on Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. Additionally, he will be working in conjunction with the entire Texas Children’s Department of Surgery to optimize surgical service for patients, families and referring physicians.

“I look forward to expanding surgical services in the community while ensuring that each patient receives the experience, expertise and clinical outcomes for which Texas Children’s is known,” Milewicz said.

Board-certified by the American Board of Pediatric Surgery, Milewicz received his undergraduate degree from City College of New York and earned his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. After completing his general surgery residency program at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, he went on to pursue specialized training in pediatric surgery. Milewicz is a member of the American Pediatric Surgery Association and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He also is an associate professor of pediatrics-surgery at Baylor.

December 23, 2014

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Michelle Riley-Brown and Dr. Charles Hankins received a heartfelt goodbye December 16 from the people they have served during the past four years at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

The farewell came as a surprise to the leaders, who will be moving to Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands at the beginning of the new year. Soon after they arrived at what they thought was a routine leaders meeting, a room packed with colleagues directed their attention to a video about the history of West Campus and how Riley-Brown and Hankins have been key to its success.

“The Woodlands is lucky to get such a great team,” one employee said in the video.

“It’s because of you that we are the best of the west,” another employee said.

“Please come back!” another employee jokingly pleaded.

With tears in their eyes, Riley-Brown and Hankins watched the video and the many other gestures of appreciation their colleagues made during the hour-long affair.

Some of those gestures include:

  • A framed photo of a large group of West Campus employees standing next to a large “Thank You” sign.
  • A T-shirt with Riley-Brown’s signature saying, “That’s how we roll.”
  • The unveiling of a “That’s how we roll” program that will give children coming into the hospital the opportunity to hitch a ride to their appointment in a toy car.
  • The announcement that Riley-Brown and Hankins are the Best of the West winners for the month of December.

“I am going to miss every one of you,” Riley-Brown said at the meeting. “It’s been a true blessing working with you.”
Hankins said he would take all of his colleagues at West Campus with him to The Woodlands if he could, but that wouldn’t be the right thing to do.

“The reason I wanted to go to The Woodlands is because I didn’t want to compete, I wanted to cooperate,” he said. “We all are going to work together to make Texas Children’s better for the whole community.”

Riley-Brown will become president of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, and Hankins will become chief medical officer of the institution, which will open its doors to outpatient care in the fall of 2016 and inpatient services the following year. Riley-Brown and Hankins will assume their new roles in January.