DCH News

Driscoll Children's Hospital's annual Fiesta de los Niños celebrates 20 years of making miracles happen for South Texas children

January 05, 2012
On Jan. 5, Flint Hills Resources donated a check for $50,000 toward Driscoll Children's Hospital's 20th annual Fiesta de los Niños. Pictured, left to right, are: Manette Scanio, president of Driscoll's Development Foundation; Edgar L. Cortes, MD, medical director of Driscoll's Emergency Department; Donna Quinn, Driscoll vice president of Operations & Quality; Rich Tuttle, director of External Affairs for Flint Hills Resources; and Phil Gaarder, vice president and refining manager, Flint Hills Resources-Corpus Christi Complex.
On Jan. 5, Flint Hills Resources donated a check for $50,000 toward Driscoll Children's Hospital's 20th annual Fiesta de los Niños. Pictured, left to right, are: Manette Scanio, president of Driscoll's Development Foundation; Edgar L. Cortes, MD, medical director of Driscoll's Emergency Department; Donna Quinn, Driscoll vice president of Operations & Quality; Rich Tuttle, director of External Affairs for Flint Hills Resources; and Phil Gaarder, vice president and refining manager, Flint Hills Resources-Corpus Christi Complex.
CORPUS CHRISTI - Fiesta de los Niños, which began as a small, grassroots effort two decades ago, has evolved into a high-profile event that many South Texans return to year after year. On Feb. 3, Driscoll Children's Hospital's 20th annual Fiesta de los Niños will be held at the American Bank Center Exhibit Hall. It will include its signature combination of fun, food and music, and its mission remains the same as it did 20 years ago - to enable Driscoll to offer more and enhanced services to children in the community.

"Because of the support from community partners such as Flint Hills Resources, Driscoll Children's Hospital is able to continue to enhance its services and carry on the vision to be the regional leader in children's services through innovation and excellence in healthcare, advocacy, education and research," said Martha St. Romain, vice president of Development at Driscoll Children's Hospital.

Led by long-time title-sponsor Flint Hills Resources, Fiesta de los Niños is a major annual fundraiser for Driscoll Children's Hospital. Each year, 100 percent of the funds raised from the event directly benefit the hospital. For the past 19 years, through community support of Fiesta, Driscoll has been able to develop and improve its services and programs in order to better serve the children of South Texas. In 2011, with more than 1,200 people in attendance, Fiesta raised $575,000 for the renovation and expansion of the Emergency Department (ED).

Proceeds from this year's event will again go toward the ED project in order to enhance overall patient care and provide a state-of-the-art department. The proposed expansion will include two trauma rooms, 20 private exam rooms, six private, fast-track rooms, two triage areas with ideal visibility to the waiting room, an expanded central nursing station and a new ambulance vestibule and weather protection canopy. In 1987, Driscoll became the first hospital in South Texas to offer emergency services specifically for pediatrics, and the ED currently serves almost 40,000 children each year.

Guests at Fiesta de los Niños will enjoy silent, live and bid-board auctions, a barbecue dinner and entertainment by country music artist Tracy Lawrence. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails, silent and bid-board auctions and live music by Still Crazy.

For more information or table sponsorship, call Driscoll's Development Department at (361) 694-6405 or visit www.driscollchildrens.org/giving.


  • What: Driscoll Children's Hospital's 20th annual Fiesta de los Niños

  • When: 6:30 - 11:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 3

  • Where: American Bank Center Exhibit Hall

  • Information: (361) 694-6405


Event schedule:
6:30 p.m. - Doors open, reception, silent & bid-board auctions open, dancing to Still Crazy

7:00 p.m. - Western barbecue dinner served

8:30 p.m. - Live auction begins, silent auction closes (Bid-board remains open until 10 p.m.)

9:30 p.m. - Featured entertainer, Tracy Lawrence

Press conference to include check presentation, details on Driscoll's 20th annual Fiesta de los Niños

January 04, 2012
WHAT: A press conference will be held at which officials from Flint Hills Resources will present a check for $50,000 to Driscoll Children's Hospital for the renovation and expansion of the hospital's Emergency Department, and details will be announced about the 20th annual Fiesta de los Niños, to be held Feb. 3 at the American Bank Center. Proceeds from Fiesta de los Niños will also go toward the Emergency Department project.

WHEN: 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, 4th Floor Playroom, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Woerner elected to statewide hospital association board

January 03, 2012
Steven F. Woerner, president and chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Hospital
Steven F. Woerner, president and chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Hospital
CORPUS CHRISTI - Steven F. Woerner, president and chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Hospital, has been elected to the Texas Hospital Association's (THA) Board of Trustees. He took office Jan. 1 for a three-year term.

Woerner is a former member of THA's Council on Policy Development, and he served a one-year unexpired term on the THA board in 2011.

With more than 30 years of healthcare experience, Woerner served as the CEO of Corpus Christi Medical Center before joining Driscoll. He also previously served as CEO of Denton Regional Medical Center and was responsible for the operations of six hospitals in North Texas owned by Epic Healthcare Group.

Woerner is involved in numerous charitable and civic activities in Corpus Christi and has served as a medical missionary for Clinica Corpus Christi in Guatemala.

He earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree in healthcare administration from Trinity University in San Antonio.

Driscoll's annual Holiday Spectacular is a chance for rehabilitation patients to shine on stage

December 13, 2011
CORPUS CHRISTI - For many school children, performing in a holiday play is a rite of passage. Children receiving rehabilitation therapy at Driscoll Children's Hospital are given the same opportunity every year during the annual Holiday Spectacular, a tradition that began eight years ago to entertain hospitalized patients and their families. Performers in the show, to be staged Dec. 14, will be patients from Driscoll's Rehabilitation Services Department, their siblings and guest performers from the community.

This year's show will be directed by Driscoll's Christine Carter, a speech-language pathologist and dancer with the Corpus Christi Concert Ballet, and Heidi Lathrop, a physical therapist at Driscoll and former dancer.

"Each year, it is amazing to see our special children give a performance to a standing-room only audience," Carter said. "It is a heartwarming performance that embodies the spirit of Christmas. Our children, who have physical, emotional, mental and linguistic disabilities, seem not to be aware of their own limitations, but are excited to work on their roles and to give a performance sure to spread joy for all who come to see."

In 2004, Driscoll's rehabilitation patients were invited to perform with the Corpus Christi Symphony's holiday show, then conducted by Lee Gwozdz. The children were given a standing ovation and since then, the show has been performed each year by the children of Driscoll's Rehab Department for the hospital's patients and families.

Carter said this year the children will be performing "The Magic Toyshop," "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and excerpts from "The Nutcracker" featuring guest artists. The show will end with a special nativity scene. Additional performances by the Corpus Christi Concert Ballet will take place between the children's performances.

  • What: Driscoll Children's Hospital's annual Holiday Spectacular

  • When: 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14

  • Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital auditorium, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll collects more than four tons of food during food drive

December 05, 2011
Employees from many departments helped load a U-Haul truck for Driscoll's annual food drive.
Employees from many departments helped load a U-Haul truck for Driscoll's annual food drive.
This year, Driscoll Children's Hospital's employees came together in a big way to collect nearly 4.4 tons of food for donation to KIII-TV. On Dec. 1, numerous departments delivered packages of food and beverages they collected to a U-Haul truck outside the hospital. With the coordination of the Patient Relations Department and the Fun Bunch Committee, all items were weighed and recorded. Then, employees rolled up their sleeves and loaded the truck. The food was delivered to KIII the next day.

Patient Relations recorded which departments collected the most food according their size:

  • Small department: Driscoll Children's Urgent Care - Corpus Christi, 263.80 lbs.

  • Medium department: 6th Tower, 440.22 lbs.

  • Large department: Information Systems, 958.10 lbs.


To make the food collection a little fun, a contest was held for which department created the most original food containers. The winners were:

  • First place: Transport Team, for a mini-Driscoll ambulance.

  • Second place: Environmental Services, for elaborately decorated Smurf-themed boxes.

  • Third place: 4th Tower, for a snowman-decorated barrel.


"All of the participants showed their dedication to making Driscoll the very best it can be," said Evelyn Ferrer, director of Patient Relations. "Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks again to everyone for SHARING YOUR CHRISTMAS!"

Nearly 550 Coastal Bend residents receive pneumonia vaccine through Task Force's pilot project

November 30, 2011
CORPUS CHRISTI - In June, it was announced that the newly created Coastal Bend Community Health Needs Task Force, led by Corpus Christi's three largest hospital systems, had assessed the major health needs of the Coastal Bend area through a study conducted by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

The assessment led to the Task Force's first project, pneumonia vaccinations. Beginning in September, vaccinations began being offered to the community - including people without health insurance - at area H-E-B pharmacies and various health centers in Corpus Christi, Portland, Robstown, Freer, Beeville and Sinton. The Task Force recommended that residents of the Coastal Bend ages 50 and above and those with chronic health conditions get vaccinated. They also emphasized that children ages 5 years or younger who haven't been immunized against pneumonia be vaccinated, as well as newborns receiving booster shots at two, four and six months.

Nearly 550 residents of the Coastal Bend took advantage of the pneumonia vaccinations. In September, 195 people were vaccinated and 354 in October, for a total of 549.

"This was a successful pilot project for the Coastal Bend Community Health Needs Task Force," said Eddie Read, Vice President of Finance at Driscoll Children's Hospital. "More than 500 people received a vaccination that could keep them out of the hospital. As word spreads about the work we're doing and more resources become available, the Task Force partners hope to keep offering these health initiatives to the community. Most importantly, we aim to keep them available to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay."

The Task Force's complete report can be found at www.coastalbendhealthfinder.com. The website is designed to be a one-stop source of information about services available for the health and well-being of residents in 15 Coastal Bend counties.

The Coastal Bend Community Health Needs Assessment Task Force is made up of community leaders from CHRISTUS Spohn Health System, Driscoll Children's Health Plan, Driscoll Children's Hospital, Corpus Christi Medical Center, the United Way of the Coastal Bend and the Nueces County Medical Society & Alliance.

Driscoll's Kidney Center marks 50th transplant

November 30, 2011
Program began on Feb. 14, 2007 with brother donating to brother

CORPUS CHRISTI - On Sept. 29, a 6-year-old boy from McAllen received a new kidney at Driscoll Children's Hospital, making him the 50th kidney transplant recipient since the hospital started performing the procedure in 2007. His was also the third living donor transplant.

Fifty successful transplants is a praiseworthy achievement by Driscoll Children's Kidney Center because for many years, South Texas children with kidney failure had no place to obtain healthcare services, said Chief of Staff Bill Allen, MD.

"These children originally had to drive to Galveston for dialysis and transplant services. Within the last 25 years services were developed in Houston and then San Antonio, but still there were no services in South Texas for children with kidney disease."

Over the past decade, Driscoll developed the first dialysis services and kidney transplant program in South Texas. With clinics staffed by board-certified pediatric nephrologists in

Laredo, Brownsville, Harlingen, McAllen and Corpus Christi, Driscoll can now provide

South Texas children with the same quality services that would be available in Denver,

Los Angeles or anywhere in America, Dr. Allen said.

"There is a sense of accomplishment and real joy in being able to provide the very highest standard of care for all south Texas children with kidney disease," he said.

Here are some interesting facts about Driscoll's Kidney Transplant Program:

  • The first transplant on Feb. 14, 2007 was a brother donating a kidney to his brother.

  • The majority of transplant recipients live in the Rio Grande Valley.

  • Three mothers have donated kidneys to their sons; one donated to her daughter.

  • An aunt donated a kidney to her nephew.

  • Two fathers donated to their sons; one dad to his daughter.

  • Two sets of brothers have had kidney transplants.

Presentation to focus on need for donor breast-milk

November 29, 2011
WHAT: Mom's Place, a breastfeeding resource center and donor breast-milk collection site at Driscoll Children's Hospital, invites the community to a presentation on non-profit milk banks and the safe processing of donor human milk for medically fragile babies. The goal of the presentation is to bring awareness to the community about the use of donor milk for premature babies and sick children and to increase the number of women who donate their milk. Presenter will be Kim Updegrove, executive director of the Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin. RSVP is required (see below).

WHEN: 9 - 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 12

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

RSVP: Laurie Beck, (361) 694-5338

Carr promoted to assistant vice president at Driscoll

November 21, 2011
Patricia Carr
Patricia Carr
CORPUS CHRISTI - Patricia Carr has been promoted to assistant vice president of Patient Care Services at Driscoll Children's Hospital. Carr has been a nursing leader at Driscoll as the director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Transport Team. She has been at the hospital since 1993 and in a NICU leadership position for 16 years. Carr has been instrumental in developing a family-centered and developmental care approach within the organization. She is currently working toward a doctorate at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Driscoll gains child abuse pediatrician

November 18, 2011
Ada Booth, MD
Ada Booth, MD
CORPUS CHRISTI - Ada Booth, MD, has joined Driscoll Children's Hospital as a pediatrician specializing in child abuse. She most recently graduated from a child abuse pediatrics fellowship at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Previously she was a pediatrics resident at University Hospitals and Clinics in Columbia, Mo. Dr. Booth received her medical degree in 2006 from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. She is certified in pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics.