July 22, 2014


Each year, around 5,000 children are admitted to the Texas Children’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Units. These are the patients who require the highest level of medical care. Until just a few months ago, a portion of our admissions were children who were transferred from West Campus because of their need for a higher level of care which was not yet available in the community hospital.

In March, partially funded by a generous $1million donation from the Lauren and Lara Camillo Family Trusts, West Campus opened an eight-bed PICU to meet the evolving needs of patients in the community. The family, who’s known in West Houston for their thriving business in homebuilding, Legend Homes, made the donation to create the much-needed intensive care unit which will help care for the growing number of cases being seen at West Campus. This was the second $1million donation from the family, who also donated to the construction of West Campus, said they are giving back to the community that has helped them thrive. Only a few months after opening, Chief of Critical Care Dr. Lara Shekerdemian said it is meeting a great need that has been present for a long time. Already, there has been a steady increase of patients using the West Campus PICU with an average daily census of anywhere between five and seven and an 80 percent occupancy just a few months into opening.

“We’re delivering the right care in the right location for all of our patients who require critical care,” said Shekerdemian.

The unit is staffed by intensive care physicians and advanced practice providers who are all on Faculty at Baylor College of Medicine, Section of Critical Care. All of our caregivers, including our nurses, have experience and training at main campus PICU. Some of the West Campus PICU nurses transitioned from Main Campus and others were recruited from other intensive care units. The new positions were met with enthusiasm and there was no lack of interested individuals who were excited about working in this new setting. Shekerdemian stresses the care at West Campus is equivalent to the main campus intensive care with the same guidelines and protocols, and a highly trained team of providers. The addition of the unit will impact the ability of the West Campus facility to perform more complex surgical procedures, and to admit more patients from the Emergency Center. The unit is not only helping the great need in West Houston, it ensures that we have more space to care for the sickest children across the City.

“We have had to turn down patients at Main Campus needing our critical care services as recently as last winter before the opening of the West Campus PICU,” said Shekerdemian. “This is something that we are very uncomfortable with; we feel a moral discomfort at having to deny admission to any child that’s critically ill.”

Dr. Moushumi Sur, medical director of the West Campus PICU, said this is a situation we hope to ease this winter, with a proposed plan to increase staffing and beds.

“The number of transfers from the Emergency Center at West Campus and from other hospitals in the area to the Main Campus ICU has decreased since we opened the new PICU,” said Sur. “We’ve made an impact in terms of taking care of patients at the same level in a community setting. This is exactly what we hoped.”

Dr. Shekerdemian said while the transfers have decreased, the Main Campus PICU has not seen a major decrease in patient volumes. In fact, she said a proportion of the patients in need of intensive care at West Campus are new to the Texas Children’s Hospital system. As for the build out of the unit at West, Dr. Sur said it’s a breath of fresh air.

“There is more natural light in the unit which helps overall morale not only for our staff but for the patients and their families,” said Sur. “The visibility is also improved and enhanced. The ability for the nurses to have their eyes on their patients even when they’re outside the room is extremely important.”

With an already busy West Campus PICU, the critical care team is planning for the future. Sur is on a committee for The Woodlands Campus to plan an intensive care unit, making sure the facility is built to support the opening of a PICU within the first few months of the campus’ opening.

July 8, 2014


The West Campus Sports Medicine program sponsored its first symposium June 26 to educate athletic trainers, coaches, physical therapists and school nurses on common sports-related healthcare issues in pediatric and adolescent athletes.

In a filled-to-capacity seminar, the Sports Medicine clinical care team spoke on topics that ranged from common injuries and rehabilitation to concussions and nutrition.

“The seminar was an excellent opportunity for participants to gather information on how to keep their athletes healthy and to let them know that our Sports Medicine program can provide help when needed,” said Dr. Megan May, a Texas Children’s orthopedic surgeon and one of the organizers of the symposium.

Attendees were asked to complete surveys at the end of the seminar. Overall, the enormous feedback was very positive with one participant commenting, “This was a top rated first class seminar from start to finish. I was very impressed with the dedication and expertise of all the speakers. Way to go TCH.”

Texas Children’s Sports Medicine program uses an interdisciplinary team approach to diagnose and treat young athletes while placing an emphasis on wellness and injury prevention. It’s the only sports medicine program in the Houston area that focuses exclusively on the unique needs of child athletes.

If you haven’t checked out the Sports Medicine Clinic at West Campus in Katy, you’ll be impressed. Our facility houses a 3,000-square-foot gym, two radiology exam rooms, three casting rooms and 16 exam rooms, and offers advanced technologies, including robotic dynamomentry for isokinetic testing, motion recording and analysis to enhance rehabilitation.

Click here to learn more about Texas Children’s Sports Medicine Clinic.

April 29, 2014


After announcing the new quarterly, “Best of the West” recognition program, West Campus leaders received numerous nominations for worthy employees. The “Best of the West” program was designed specifically to recognize and honor those individuals at West Campus who excel in exhibiting the characteristics outlined in the Texas Children’s Hospital Guiding Principles.

Ruth Avila, a patient interpreter liaison, has been selected as the first ever “Best of the West” recipient. Ruth joined Texas Children’s in 2003, and she has been a part of the West Campus team since its inception. Ruth’s nomination describes her work as a volunteer co-facilitator for a support group of Spanish speaking families whose children are being cared for in the Hematology & Oncology Center at West Campus. She is described as always having a positive attitude that is contagious to those around her. Her nomination also describes her empathy and cultural sensitivity for our patients and their families. Below are some words shared about Ruth:

“Ruth is the perfect person to obtain the first “Best of the West” award as she is one of the first employees at West Campus and is known for her compassion and professional approach. She transferred to West Campus from the Main Campus and continues to maintain excellent relationships with Language Services at Main Campus which supports seamless care for our patients. Last year, Ruth completed oral and written examinations and achieved certification as a national medical interpreter, ahead of many of her peers. Ruth is an expert in all aspects of her profession including interpreting, translation of written documents, telephonic and video procedures. Ruth often tells me she loves her job and it certainly shows!”

Congratulations to Ruth. Take time to nominate the next Best of the West employee(This link will only open internally)

April 22, 2014


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


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


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


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.