DCH News

Driscoll residents use grant to help families at women's shelter

April 30, 2012
Wu
Wu


Encalada
Encalada
CORPUS CHRISTI - This month, two second-year residents at Driscoll Children's Hospital used a grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to vaccinate children, educate families about vaccination and research barriers to vaccination at the Women's Shelter of South Texas.

Shuya Wu, MD and Santiago Encalada, MD received a prestigious Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) grant for $3,000 from the AAP to implement the project.

"We noticed that children at the Women's Shelter oftentimes had not received required vaccinations, leaving them vulnerable to disease," Dr. Wu said.

Lori Anderson, MD, pediatrician at Amistad Community Health Center, served as the continuity clinic physician and mentor for the project, Dr. Wu said. Dr. Anderson also helped by providing supplies for the immunizations and obtaining vaccines from the state. Through their partnership with the Women's Shelter, doctors Wu and Encalada administered questionnaires to families to learn about the barriers they were experiencing in getting vaccinations for their children.

CATCH grants of up to $3,000 are awarded twice a year on a competitive basis to pediatric residents to address the needs of children in their communities. Applicants for the grants must include planning activities for their projects and in some cases implementation activities, according to the AAP.

Advisory Council recognizes Driscoll trauma coordinator

April 26, 2012
Pointer
Pointer
CORPUS CHRISTI - Janet Pointer, critical care trauma coordinator at Driscoll Children's Hospital, recently received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Coastal Bend Regional Advisory Council (CBRAC) for Trauma Service Area U. Pointer, who has served as the education chairperson for CBRAC-U, was recognized for bringing many educational opportunities to the region's medical personnel including those in emergency medical services, nursing, respiratory therapy and other specialties. CBRAC-U's mission is to facilitate coordination of trauma service providers to ensure the most efficient, consistent and expeditious care of anyone who may experience an acute injury by developing and maintaining integrated quality processes in patient care, research, education and injury prevention. Trauma Service Area U represents more than 560,000 people in the counties of Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, Jim Wells, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio and San Patricio.

Credit union helps lucky Driscoll patients see Disney on Ice show

April 25, 2012
WHAT: Twelve Driscoll Children's Hospital patients and their parent or guardian will gather at the hospital's lobby and depart for the Disney on Ice show at the American Bank Center, courtesy of Navy Army Community Credit Union, who purchased the trip for $6,500 at this year's Fiesta de los Niños live auction. Transportation will be provided by TLC The Limo Company.

WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursday, April 26

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital main lobby, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll patient, his mother consider transplant team family

April 23, 2012
Ryan Sepulveda, 17, has had two kidney transplants, the most recent in June 2011 at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Ryan Sepulveda, 17, has had two kidney transplants, the most recent in June 2011 at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Sepulvedas look forward to hospital's annual Transplant Reunion April 28

CORPUS CHRISTI - A gleam comes to Ryan Sepulveda's eyes and a smile to his face when he recalls a three-legged race he ran with Driscoll Children's Hospital physician Samhar Al-Akash, MD at the hospital's Transplant Reunion a couple of years ago.

"I fell down and he had to carry me," Ryan, 17, said as he began laughing. "It was fun. I want to do it again this year."

Ryan is referring to Driscoll's Transplant Reunion that will be held April 28 at West Guth Park - his third to attend. The annual event, a celebration for Driscoll's 55 kidney transplant patients and their families, will include moon bounces, games of all sorts, prizes and food. Most importantly, it will be a chance for the patients and families to visit, share their experiences and have fun. Between 150-175 people are expected to attend.

"This is our way of saying 'thank you' to the families for their trust and for sharing their kids with us not only in sickness but also in health," said Dr. Al-Akash, head of nephrology and medical director of Driscoll's Kidney Center.

Ryan's kidney transplant at Driscoll in June 2011 was his second. He had been sick for a year, said his mother, Amy Sepulveda, because the kidney he received 12 years ago at a hospital in Galveston was failing.

"His body was rejecting the first kidney. We were lucky it lasted 12 years."

Sepulveda said she was relieved when Driscoll began performing kidney transplants in 2007, not least because her family no longer had to travel to Galveston for Ryan's treatment. Her appreciation for Driscoll's transplant team is deep and emotional.

"The whole team is awesome, from the girls at the front desk to the social workers and the doctors," Sepulveda said, her eyes welling up. "They make you feel like family. Dr. Al-Akash cared about Ryan like he was his own child. Oh my God, I can't say anything better...we couldn't do without this hospital."

Ryan, a high school sophomore, said he feels fine these days. He hopes to become a catcher in major league baseball. Asked if he's been scared during the surgeries he's endured, including gall bladder removal by Driscoll pediatric surgeon Stephen Almond, MD, he put on a carefree face.

"I wasn't scared because of the way (the doctors) talked to me. They told me everything was going to be OK. I believed them."

Dr. Al-Akash is looking forward to the April 28 Transplant Reunion and, as he said, "... blending together as humans, friends and families, not patients and doctors. The reunion celebrates these kids and their families and reminds us what is important in life."

What: Driscoll Children's Hospital's annual Transplant Reunion
When: Noon Saturday, April 28
Where: West Guth Park, 9725 Up River Rd.

Driscoll patients go to Spurs game courtesy of generous donors

April 20, 2012
WHAT: Five Driscoll Children's Hospital patients and their parents or guardians will gather at the hospital's lobby and depart for San Antonio to see a Spurs game as part of a live auction package purchased at this year's Fiesta de los Niños. Steve and Jessica Johnson of JSJ Services, Inc. purchased the package for $35,000 and will be attending the game with the patients. Transportation will be provided by TLC The Limo Company.

WHEN: 2:45 p.m. Sunday, April 22

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital main lobby, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll Children's GALA kicks off tonight in Mercedes

April 20, 2012
WHAT: Driscoll Children's Hospital and Whataburger present Driscoll Children's GALA, a fundraiser to be held tonight at the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show Event Center in Mercedes. Formerly known as Fiesta de los Niños, the GALA will benefit Driscoll's Rio Grande Valley clinics and the children who are treated there. It will include cocktails, a barbecue dinner, silent and live auctions and dancing to the music of Scott Randolph & The White Lightning Band.

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 20

WHERE: Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show Event Center, 1000 N. Texas Ave., Mercedes

INFO: Reagan Florence, (956) 688-1239 or reagan.florence@dchstx.org

Driscoll's volunteers motivated by more than just care, generosity

April 18, 2012
Dick Hinman, a Driscoll volunteer since 1994, does a magic trick with rubber bands for patient Isaiah Wicke.
Dick Hinman, a Driscoll volunteer since 1994, does a magic trick with rubber bands for patient Isaiah Wicke.
Celebration honoring them to be held at the hospital May 24

CORPUS CHRISTI - For several hours a week, Valerie Caldwell's smiling face is the first thing visitors see at Driscoll Children's Hospital's Welcome Center. Caldwell became a volunteer at Driscoll a year and a half ago after being urged by some friends who are also volunteers.

"You get to see a lot of people coming in and see what's going on in the hospital," Caldwell said of the Welcome Center. "Working here gives me insight into the heart of Driscoll Children's Hospital. And it's a big, compassionate heart. There is a family-oriented feeling here," she went on to say before she stopped to help a visitor sign in.

Caldwell is one of 340 volunteer members of the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital who are being recognized for their efforts during National Volunteer Week, April 15-21. On May 24, Driscoll will host a celebration for them with cake and door prizes in the hospital's auditorium. The party's theme will be "A world of diversity...one purpose."

Volunteer Joe Lugo, a Navy veteran, shows Driscoll patient Enrique Llanas, Jr. how to mix colors to paint his papier-maché mask.
Volunteer Joe Lugo, a Navy veteran, shows Driscoll patient Enrique Llanas, Jr. how to mix colors to paint his papier-maché mask.


Driscoll volunteer Valerie Caldwell helps a visitor check in at the hospital's Welcome Center.
Driscoll volunteer Valerie Caldwell helps a visitor check in at the hospital's Welcome Center.
"The Auxiliary's contributions to the hospital are priceless," said Lizette Saenz, director of Volunteer Services at Driscoll. "We could not do what we do without their thoughtfulness and commitment. I believe the volunteers enrich not only the lives of our patients and families, but their own lives as well."

Saenz's belief rings true with volunteers like Joe Lugo. He can be found helping out in the hospital's fifth floor classroom, where long-term patients keep pace with their school curriculum. While helping some children mix colors to paint the papier-maché masks they were making, Lugo explained that he first began volunteering in the communities he lived in while he was in the Navy.

"Some of the kids I've encountered in the past didn't have a father figure," said Lugo, who retired after serving 20 years in the Navy. "I encourage these children, praise them and they appreciate it. What I've learned over the past year at Driscoll is that these children are more of a blessing to us than we are to them."

Volunteer Dick Hinman, 81, has roamed Driscoll Children's Hospital since 1994, entertaining patients with antics and magic tricks. He never leaves a child without a smile.

"This is like recess for me," Hinman said with a kind, grandfatherly voice. "I'm a big kid." A toy mouse peeking from the pocket of his blue smock is Stuart Little's big brother, he pointed out. Then, with seriousness, Hinman echoed the sentiment of other Driscoll volunteers.

"Some of these kids are very sick. Some are having surgery. If you can make their day better it makes yours better too. I enjoy it, the kids enjoy it. It's nothing complicated."

By the numbers:
  • Number of volunteers at Driscoll Children's Hospital: 300
  • Number of volunteers at Driscoll's McAllen and Brownsville clinics: 40
  • Age range of adult volunteers: 18 - 90
  • Number of Driscoll's summer 2012 Volunteens: 85


  • What: Driscoll Children's Hospital Volunteer Celebration
  • When: 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 24
  • Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital auditorium, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Fergie promoted to professor at A&M College of Medicine

April 16, 2012
Fergie
Fergie
CORPUS CHRISTI - Jaime Fergie, MD, FAAP, FIDSA, director of Infectious Diseases at Driscoll Children's Hospital, has been promoted to professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in College Station.
His promotion is based on the quality and importance of his contribution to research, education and clinical care missions. Dr. Fergie, who has practiced at Driscoll Children's Hospital since 1994, is a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Lance is new director for Driscoll Children's Health Plan

April 11, 2012
Lance
Lance
CORPUS CHRISTI - Michael Lance has joined Driscoll Children's Health Plan as the senior director of operations. He comes from Annapolis, Md. and has more than 30 years of experience in healthcare, including 23 years as an executive in health plan management with Medicaid, Medicare, Commercial and TRICARE. Lance, a certified public accountant, earned his degree at Arizona State University in Tempe and has worked in hospital systems and multi-specialty practice groups.

Community supports children through donations to Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza - McAllen

April 02, 2012
Ellen Carruthers, Driscoll Auxiliary chair (left) receives plush toys from Tina Coddington, Central Christian School computer and music director.
Ellen Carruthers, Driscoll Auxiliary chair (left) receives plush toys from Tina Coddington, Central Christian School computer and music director.
McALLEN - The Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza - McAllen recently received generous donations from local businesses and a school that will benefit the young patients of the Rio Grande Valley.

EZ PAWN and their charitable foundation, EZ Corp., donated a check for $2,598 to the Auxiliary. The funds were used to decorate the Medical Plaza's new Nuclear Radiology Clinic with wall art and a waiting area with a TV and large playscape.

The staff at Barnes & Noble Booksellers at Palms Crossing donated more than 1,700 reading and activity books to the Auxiliary that will be given to patients as birthday and holiday gifts. The books will also be available in the Medical Plaza's waiting areas for children to enjoy while they're waiting to see a physician.

Also, more than 350 plush toys were donated by the students, administration and staff members of Central Christian School. The toys will be given as gifts to patients at the Medical Plaza throughout the Easter holiday.

The Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza - McAllen relies on contributions from the community to help make medical treatment a positive experience for South Texas children. To donate or inquire about volunteer opportunities, contact the Volunteer Services Department at (361) 694-5011 or 1-800-DCH-LOVE or go to www.driscollchildrens.org and click on "Volunteer."
Woerner
Pictured, left to right, are Gloria Martinez, Driscoll Auxiliary member, Pasqual Rodriguez, Mario Ortiz, Israel Cerda, Vidal Hernandez and Miguel Duran, all with EZ PAWN, and Aida Escobar, Driscoll Auxiliary vice chair.


Menendez
Norma Martinez, assistant store manager at Barnes & Noble Booksellers (left), delivers books to Ellen Carruthers, Driscoll Auxiliary chair, and George Carruthers, Driscoll Auxiliary member.