April 22, 2014

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The BP MS 150 is a two-day bicycle ride from Houston to Austin organized by the National MS Society: Lone Star Chapter to raise funds to fight against the devastating neurological disorder multiple sclerosis. Since 2006, Texas Children’s Hospital has sponsored its own team of riders who have helped raise more than $1.53 million to date for the cause.

In 2014, Team Texas Children’s consisted of 218 registered riders, with 183 actually completing the ride on April 12-13. The 2014 team will raise more than $220,000 this year. In addition to the riders, approximately 100 employees and community volunteers gave their time to hand out snacks, haul luggage, blow up air mattresses, set up the overnight tent in La Grange and provide other much-needed and much-appreciated support.

Did you know?

  • The BP MS 150 is the largest event of its kind in North America.
  • The first MS 150 Houston to Austin bike tour was held in 1985, with 237 cyclists raising just over $100,000.
  • Since 2007, the wildly popular event has been capped at 13,000 riders.
  • Since surpassing the $15 million mark for the first time in 2008, the BP MS 150 has raised an average of $16 million per year.
  • This year’s ride is expected to raise around $18.5 million for MS.
  • A “fashion show” of sorts, teams compete to have the most creative, colorful and distinctive jersey designs.
  • Team Texas Children’s is among the most popular and most recognizable, winning multiple competitions for Best Jersey in recent years.
  • In 2014, four of the top 300 fundraisers rode on Team Texas Children’s.
  • In 2014, Team Texas Children’s riders ranged in age from 12-74 years old, with seven children under the age of 18 participating.
March 25, 2014

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Out West is a story of tremendous growth. Over the past three years, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus has been serving one of the fastest growing pediatric populations and as the population grows, so has the community hospital. To meet the needs of the community, the hospital has expanded its services already and continues to look at the patients to determine what programs, services and initiatives may make the most impact in West Houston.

More than 400,000 patients have taken advantage of the Texas Children’s brand of care provided through West Campus since it opened its doors in 2010. The campus which sits on 55 acres, houses 19 subspecialty outpatient clinics, inpatient hospital services and the only 24/7 dedicated pediatric emergency center in the West Houston area.

Most recently, West Campus opened a new eight-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, allowing the hospital to accommodate patients with higher acuity. Because of the increasing demand for emergency care, the hospital also doubled the number of beds in the emergency center which is staffed by board-certified pediatric emergency medicine physicians. In addition, a 28,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art sports medicine clinic was built, which houses a 3,000-square foot gym, two x-ray rooms, three casting bay sand 16 exam rooms for seamless, patient-centered service. The new space houses advanced technologies, including robotic dynamometry for isokinetic testing, motion recording and analysis to enhance rehabilitation.

Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus has been successful for many reasons, including the dedicated staff. There are currently more than 500+ passionate, hard-working team members who care for patients each day. The team of nurses, child life specialists, imaging technologists, therapists, renowned physicians, and many others are specially trained to diagnose, treat and care for children.

The success story is in part due to the support of the West Houston community. From the beginning, leaders and staff have cultivated these relationships, ensuring that patient families know about the care that is being provided in their own backyard.

Don’t expect the growth to stop any time soon. As leaders and West Campus employees continue to assess the needs of patients, families and the community, they will determine what programs, services and initiatives are most beneficial in the community setting.

March 4, 2014

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There are always people who stand out. Who go the extra mile even without being asked. Who stay late to comfort a patient family. Who have a passion for the mission and give their all to ever part of their job. Texas Children’s is full of these employees. That’s what makes us such a special place to work and the best place to receive care.

West Campus leadership is looking for those people amongst us. They’re developing a plan to recognize and honor those individuals who excel in exhibiting the characteristics outlined in the Texas Children’s Hospital Guiding Principles, demonstrate excellent customer service attributes, and deliver the finest possible work to our patients and their families.

As West Campus continues to grow, it is very important to recognize employees who work diligently each day to provide that WOW! customer service experience, treats everyone they meet with courtesy and respect, and always exhibits trustworthiness in all aspects of their job.

This new award will be named “Best of the West” and will be presented quarterly to a deserving West Campus employee, contractor or provider.

Read the criteria and fill out the nomination form now!

You may fill out the electronic form online and submit it, or you may place paper nominations in one of five (5) ballot boxes located around the campus. Ballot boxes are located in the Human Resources suite, within the third-floor Chapel lobby area, outside the entrance to DOTS Kitchen, within the Main Lobby, and in the second-floor corridor nearest the Emergency Center entry area.

Recipients of the “Best of the West” award will receive:

1. Use of specialized parking spot for the quarter
2. A paver stone with their name inscribed on it installed on the West Campus grounds
3. Their picture and biography on the monitor mounted outside of the Conference Center leading to DOTS Kitchen, and
4. Coupons for a free meal at DOTS Kitchen and a free drink from The Coffee Spot.

This is an opportunity to recognize the dedication of the entire team that is making Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus the very “Best of the West!”

February 18, 2014

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On February 7, West Campus was awarded the top honor at the Houston West Chamber of Commerce’s 16th Annual Economic Development Summit and Star Awards. Michelle Riley-Brown, president of West Campus, accepted the 2014 Pillar Award which recognizes a business or organization that consistently and tirelessly supports the business community, exemplifies the determined spirit of the Houston West Chamber and promotes a superior quality of life in our community.

“I was truly honored and humbled to receive the highest award on behalf of Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus,” said Riley-Brown. “We have grown tremendously since we opened our doors three years ago, and we look forward to continuing to treat children and families in the West Houston community.”

The Pillar Award is voted on by the Star Award Events Committee. West Campus also served as a sponsor of the event.

Watch a video about West Campus.

A new eight-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at West Campus is now open. The unit will allow the hospital to accommodate patients with higher acuity and meet the needs of the community. The PICU will be staffed 24/7 with experience, board-certified critical care physicians, PICU nurses and support staff.

“We want to provide a higher level of care here at West Campus after seeing the needs of the community,” said Shannon McCord, director of West Campus Patient Care Services. “This allows even more patients to receive their care closer to home.”

West Campus is now able to care for patients with conditions including but not limited to:

  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Meningitis
  • Respiratory failure
  • Seizures
  • Shock

And neonates (<30 days) diagnosed with:

  • ALTE
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Hyperbilirubinemia
  • Suspected sepsis

Patients in need of care that is outside of the scope of care for West Campus will still be transported to Main, but this new expansion will impact the ability of the West Campus facility to do more surgical procedures and admit more patients from the Emergency Center who before were triaged to Main Campus.

February 11, 2014

21214drmilewicz640Dr. Allen L. Milewicz has been appointed chief of community surgery at West Campus. Milewicz, whose appointment was effective January 6, will continue his role as assistant professor of surgery and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM).

As a leader in the field of pediatric surgery for more than 20 years, Milewicz has distinguished himself in his academic, clinical and research roles. His primary research focus is on cardiac surgery, liver transplantation, and hepatobiliary disorders. Additionally, Milewicz has advanced training and extensive experience in skeletal malformations of the chest and in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

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 and Texas Children’s Health Centers.

“Dr. Milewicz’s leadership will be vital to the expansion of the Department of Surgery and to meeting our mission of providing surgical care to children in need,” said Dr. Charles D. Fraser Jr., surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital and professor of surgery and pediatrics at BCM. “He will be a tremendous asset to our renowned surgical team.”

Board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Milewicz received his undergraduate degree from City College of New York and earned his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine and completed his general surgery residency program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

“Throughout my tenure at Texas Children’s, I’ve always been honored to be part of a world renowned surgical team. I’m excited to have the opportunity to take on this new leadership role,” said Milewicz. “My focus is to grow Texas Children’s community enterprise while ensuring that each patient receives the experience, expertise, and clinical outcomes for which Texas Children’s is known.”

January 30, 2014
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“West Campus was a blank canvas,” said Child Life Specialist Rachael Walker.
 
Imagine stark white rooms with lots of medical equipment. Not a very inviting place for young patients who are already timid and nervous. Walker said the white walls provided a great opportunity for Child Life Intervention with the help of a talented artist named Larry Crawford.
 
Places like radiology, pathology and the emergency center got a facelift as beautiful murals transformed the rooms making them inviting and familiar for kids.
 
Getting kids to step into the CT room used to be a challenge, now Walker uses the  underwater mural to invite kids in. Kids and parents are intrigued and calmed by the murals.
 
“When the CT Mural was installed  we started to see a reduction in the number of kids who were sedated for CT scans,” said Walker, “Kids started to come in more willingly to search and find Nemo. Before, Child Life Specialists might have spent a lot of time convincing them to come in but now kids step in more willingly as they gaze at the beautiful underwater scene.”
 
The art is planned with children’s interests in mind. The goal is to use the murals for distraction or guided imagery and story telling. Crawford incorporated familiar images, characters, things for counting to create a more calming atmosphere. The mural project was implemented to put kids at ease in the hospital and make the setting more child-friendly.
 
The entire project was funded by the community. Different organizations came together to raise money for West Campus and the donations were used to brighten these rooms and create this kid-friendly atmosphere.
 
“You decorate your home and office to create a certain mood. This is the same thing in a different setting,” said Walker.
 
Walker and the other child life specialists have seen the positive effects of the murals and were able to share the incredible project with those who contributed to it. Community donors were invited to the hospital for a special tour of the special rooms.
 
“The murals create a less threatening environment for our patients and families,” said Walker, “The child life department plans to continue enhancing West Campus one wall at a time.”