September 10, 2018

On September 11, Texas Children’s opened its 12th urgent care clinic, the second of which is located near a Texas Children’s Emergency Center.

The recently opened urgent care is located next to the Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus Emergency Center to help manage the Emergency Center’s low-acuity patient population and to serve patients and families in the West Houston area. The care team includes front office staff, nurses and clinical support staff, and board certified pediatricians and pediatric-focused advanced practice providers.

At 4,250 square feet, the clinic has 11 exam rooms, an X-ray room, and a spacious waiting area covered in murals, providing a relaxing, child-friendly atmosphere.

“A strong collaboration between this Urgent Care and the Emergency Center is going to be critical,” said Sara Montenegro, assistant vice President at West Campus. “It has been great so far as we have simulated ahead of time and practiced best and worst case scenarios to make sure we are as prepared as possible.”

This collaboration with the Emergency Center offers a quicker and less expensive option for low-acuity patients. To be seen at the clinic, patients can go directly there or be transferred from the Emergency Center after being assessed. If they are transferred, patients and their family members will be escorted to the clinic’s location.

“We are very excited to be out here at West Campus,” said Gary Macleod, the clinic’s director of clinical operations. “Hospital-based urgent cares are always really exciting for us. The ability to work hand-in-hand with the hospital makes us more effective.”

The West Campus Urgent Care is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. The “Save My Spot” feature, which allows patient families to reserve a time slot at the clinic from the comfort of their own home, is live and wait times are also posted on the website so families know how long it will be before they are seen. Electronic check in is also available to expedite the registration process and potentially aid in lowering wait times.

“Our mantra is to ensure that patients are getting the right care, at the right place at the right time, and with us specifically, at the right cost,” said Roula Zoghbi Smith, director of Business Operations for the Urgent Care. “The urgent care is typically a more cost effective option for families, than seeking care in the Emergency Center, which is always appreciated.”

For more information about Texas Children’s Urgent Care and its locations, click here.

Texas Children’s Cancer Center showed their “Going Gold” spirit last week in honor of National Childhood Cancer Awareness month.

Patients, families and Texas Children’s Cancer Center employees wore everything gold, the official symbolic color for childhood cancer awareness, and participated in Going Gold parades, ribbon tying events and other festivities at Texas Children’s Hospital in the Medical Center, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands and Vannie Cook Children’s Cancer and Hematology Clinic in McAllen, Texas.

View a photo gallery from the events below.

Dressed in bright gold shirts and donned with gold stars, hats, necklaces, bracelets and other festive gear, participants marched for the worthy cause. Vendors from organizations such as the Periwinkle Foundation were present at all three events offering additional support to patients and families. And, employees with the Cancer Center spoke about how important the celebration is to them, patients, families and anyone and everyone interested in beating this disease.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to have everyone here,” Dr. Susan Blaney, director of Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, said to a packed room on the fourth floor of the Pavilion for Women before the parade at Texas Children’s Medical Center campus. “As you know, there have been significant advancements in oncology, making what was once a fatal diagnosis survivable here in the United States. However, there is still much more work that needs to be done, which is why we are here today.”

Dr. Ricardo Flores, clinical director of the Cancer and Hematology Centers at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, agreed and pointed out that every hour a child is diagnosed with cancer.

“We have made great enhancements, but still need a cure,” he said.

Dr. Deborah Shardy, associate clinical director of the Cancer and Hematology Centers at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, said those we honor and remember this month are the very people who inspire us to continue to look for a cure.

“Texas Children’s Cancer Center was inspired to “Go Gold” several years ago by a young patient, Faris D. Virani, who was perplexed as to why he didn’t see as much gold in September as he saw other colors in months representing other diseases,” she said. “Motivated by Faris’ concern, each year the Cancer Center has increased their level of “gold-ness.”

Faris’ mother, Asha Virani, said she knows her son, who lost his battle with Ewing’s sarcoma, is smiling because of all of the gold that is being shown around Texas Children’s in September.

By the end of this year, it is estimated that over 15,700 children nationwide will be diagnosed with a form of pediatric cancer. Please help spread the message that Texas Children’s Cancer Center is leading the battle against pediatric cancer. To learn more about Texas Children’s Cancer Center, please visit

September 4, 2018

Dr. Michael Blaine Zelisko and Brian M. Davis recently received the Best of the West award. Dr. Zelisko is recognized for his work as Clinical Director of Anesthesia and Assistant Professor of Anesthesia, and Davis for his work as Technical Supervisor of the Blood Bank.

The award recognizes employees each quarter who have exceled at demonstrating Texas Children’s values – leading tirelessly, living compassionately, amplifying unity and embracing freedom. Zelisko and Davis both exemplify the many qualities of Best of the West; they constantly find opportunities to demonstrate the values of the organization.

Some of Zelisko’s colleagues and patient families have said the following about him:

  • “He has done a great job taking over as clinical lead for the campus.”
  • “He is a clinical superstar with strong skills in the regional anesthesia program at West Campus.”
  • “He is engaging and thoughtful with significant system growth in radiology surgery.”
  • “He leads his staff with integrity and empathy, making every effort to make each day a smooth operation.”
  • “He gives his all to his work, his patients, and his staff.”
  • “He is always open to new ideas and supports changes that improve our system.”
  • “He is an exceptional provider and is often requested by families.”

Some of Davis’ colleagues and patient families have said the following about him:

  • “Brian has improved workflow for the staff and easily accessible guides to accomplish their jobs.
  • “Brian created a Massive Transfusion Protocol (MTP) lab testing form and MTP guides for staff, and trained the staff of the new protocol.”
  • “Brian monitors Blood Bank activity closely and responds to issues by reaching out to stakeholders to both understand the issue and then to develop a resolution to the issue.”
  • “He is very responsive not only to Pathology staff but also to the nursing staff and their leaders.”
  • “Brian is very dedicated and provides the best quality services.”
  • “His attention to detail and passion for his work is evident in the processes that he has developed and the effectiveness of the Blood Bank processes.”

Please join West Campus in congratulating and thanking Zelisko and Davis for showing us what it takes to be the best of the west.

August 2, 2018

Dr. Allen Milewicz, chief surgical officer at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and chief of Community Surgery, recently assumed a new role within the Department of Surgery – associate chief of Clinical Affairs.

“Dr. Milewicz is uniquely positioned for this important new role,” said Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Larry Hollier. “After operating at Texas Children’s for more than 25 years, he has experienced the growth of both the hospital and the Department of Surgery, has helped guide community outreach efforts for the department, and has a keen understanding of the needs of our referring providers.”

Aligning activities for one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive pediatric surgery programs – with 120 surgeons, over 130 highly skilled advanced practice providers and 800 staff working across three different campuses – requires continuous oversight and attention to detail. In his new position, Milewicz will work closely with Hollier and other hospital leadership to provide that high level of oversight, as well as enhanced medical, operational and strategic leadership across the entire surgical enterprise, ensuring continuity of the efficient, high-quality care for which Texas Children’s Department of Surgery is known.

“I have had the good fortune to spend my entire career at Texas Children’s Hospital, and the growth of the organization has been tremendous and inspiring,” Milewicz said. “We want our Department of Surgery to be top of mind as the standard whenever a parent, pediatrician, health care specialist, resident, medical student or medical school faculty member thinks about surgical challenges in children.”

Additional aspects of the position will be the continued professional development of Texas Children’s surgeons and advanced practice providers, and improved patient and family experiences.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help guide and serve,” Milewicz said. “We have so many talented, motivated people in our department that I think the best thing I can do is make it easier for everyone to do the job they come here to do. This means simplifying processes, facilitating flow and communication, and utilizing technology to improve access and help patients navigate our large organization. Of course, this must all be done under the umbrellas of safety and compassion. In everything we do here, whether it’s a highly complicated procedure or a condition that requires a simpler solution, I’m proud that we always remember that the child and the family are our focus.”

In addition to his new role, Milewicz will retain his duties as chief surgical officer at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and chief of Community Surgery.

Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark Wallace is committed to meeting every employee at Texas Children’s, and one way he does that is during a New Employee Pep Rally.

New employees at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus hired between January 1 through June 30 attended the most recent Pep Rally on July 30, and from the moment team members arrived, they shared their excitement to be with Texas Children’s!

New employees, leaders, and assigned “buddies” mixed, mingled, and snapped selfies around the room. To close the event, team captain – Wallace – celebrated what our team had accomplished and what’s ahead as our One Amazing Team keeps growing!

June 5, 2018

On May 18, B.I.G. Love Cancer Care teamed up with Kendra Scott to bring the Kendra Cares Program to Texas Children’s Hospital.

The program allows patients to experience the customizable Color Bar by Kendra Scott, a popular jewelry boutique, to pediatric hospitals across the country. The 2-hour event was held at the West campus location, where they provided refreshments and offered patients and their family members an opportunity to make a customized jewelry piece at no cost to them.

B.I.G Love Cancer Care Services is a non-profit, volunteer based organization committed to providing basic necessities and personalized care to cancer kids and their families.

To date, the program has donated over six thousand pieces of jewelry and has rapid national growth plans.

May 29, 2018

The Department of Emergency Management is presenting its 2nd Annual Emergency Management Corridor event:

  • Thursday, May 31, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – West Campus – First-floor corridor near conference center

Emergency Management will be on hand to help you prepare for hurricane season by offering tips and resources, getting your emergency supplies ready, and making sure you know where to go and what to do during a disaster. There also will be opportunities to join the volunteer Decontamination Team, HAM Radio Club and/or Moulage Team.

Plan to stop by this event to learn safety tips to help you prepare yourself, your family and your patients for the 2018 hurricane season.