DCH News

New members of Driscoll's Clowns Who Care to be introduced

November 15, 2011
WHAT: For almost 15 years, the Clowns Who Care have been part of the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital, clowning around and bringing smiles to patients, parents and staff. Tomorrow, the group will introduce seven new clowns to the community. The Clowns Who Care, including Corpus Christi City councilwomen Chris Adler and Nelda Martinez and more than 30 other women, visit Driscoll Children's Hospital twice a week. Their tireless and compassionate efforts for the children of South Texas are well-known; they have logged more than 14,000 volunteer hours between them.

New members are:

  • Kyle Cromwell, supporting partner of three oilfield businesses - Cry Baby

  • Kelly Koch Gilmore, attorney - Awesome Blossum

  • Debbi Kelley, stay-at-home mom & substitute teacher - Cha Cha Loca

  • Janice Roberts, banker - Oopsy Daisy

  • Cindy Segrest, small-jewelry business-owner - Cowgirl Pearl

  • Jennifer Susser, gemologist - Strawberry Shorty Cake

  • Stephanie Waterman, Farmers Insurance agent - Mz Glitzy

WHEN: 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16

WHERE: KIII-TV, 5002 S. Padre Island Dr.

Butterfly Room to be dedicated at Driscoll Children's Hospital

November 14, 2011
WHAT: Driscoll Children's Hospital will hold a special dedication for the Butterfly Room, a newly renovated patient room for terminally ill patients and their families. Featuring adjoining rooms - one for the patient and the other for family to stay around the clock - the Butterfly Room is specially designed to offer a peaceful and therapeutic environment. The suite's set-up is conducive to a family's grieving process, allowing private time in the adjoining family room when needed without being too far from their child's hospital room. Renovations include soothing colors and artwork and curtains to strategically hide wall panels with medical equipment in the patient area, as well as a sleeper sofa, compact refrigerator and microwave in the family room. The Butterfly Room renovations were made possible by a donation of $35,000 from the 2010 Valero Texas Open golf tournament.

WHEN: 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, 3533 S. Alameda St., 4th Tower

Driscoll bilingual employees receive national designation

November 11, 2011
(Standing, from left) Evelyn Ferrer, course instructor and director of Interpretation Services at Driscoll Children's Hospital; Maria Gonzalez, Sonia Chapa, Ellen Carruthers, Gricelda Cantu, Lizette Saenz, director of Volunteer Services at Driscoll and Peniel Martinez, course instructor and Patient Relations representative; (sitting, from left) Dora Renteria, Rebecca Garza and Nora Garcia.
(Standing, from left) Evelyn Ferrer, course instructor and director of Interpretation Services at Driscoll Children's Hospital; Maria Gonzalez, Sonia Chapa, Ellen Carruthers, Gricelda Cantu, Lizette Saenz, director of Volunteer Services at Driscoll and Peniel Martinez, course instructor and Patient Relations representative; (sitting, from left) Dora Renteria, Rebecca Garza and Nora Garcia.
McALLEN - A handful of employees and volunteers at Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza - McAllen were recently designated Spanish Bilingual Assistants (SBA) by the National Medical Interpreter Project. The project, dedicated to supporting language access for non-English-speaking families, is designed to provide a bilingual individual with the basic tools for providing interpretation.

Evelyn Ferrer, director of Interpretation Services at Driscoll Children's Hospital and one of the class instructors, began providing the course for hospital employees in 2008. This is the second class offered to Rio Grande Valley employees.

"Our commitment is to facilitate communication between patients and families with limited English proficiency and their healthcare providers in an accurate, complete, professional and confidential manner," Ferrer said.

Three employees and four members of the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital were chosen for the 60-hour curriculum, which covered topics such as introduction to medical interpreting, culture and medicine, legal issues and ethics, basic anatomy and physiology, diseases and conditions and tests and procedures.

Specially trained interpreters are in high demand at Driscoll. Just last month, Driscoll's interpreters logged more than 500 interpretation encounters.

Newly designated SBAs are:

  • Gricelda Cantu, volunteer

  • Ellen Carruthers, volunteer

  • Sonia Chapa, volunteer

  • Nora Garcia, volunteer

  • Rebecca Garza, RN, Driscoll Children's Quick Care - McAllen

  • Maria Gonzalez, LVN, Driscoll Children's Quick Care - McAllen

  • Dora Renteria, Certified Medical Assistant, Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza -  McAllen

Stratton joins Driscoll as geneticist

November 11, 2011
Robert F. Stratton, Jr., MD
Robert F. Stratton, Jr., MD
CORPUS CHRISTI - Robert F. Stratton, Jr., MD, has joined Driscoll Children's Hospital as a geneticist. He was formerly an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Stratton earned his medical degree in 1975 at the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his residency in pediatrics in 1978 at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and performed a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Stratton is certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics and the American Board of Pediatrics.

Driscoll is first hospital in Corpus Christi to go green

November 10, 2011
Mary Silvas, linen control supervisor, and John Watson, director of Environmental Services, show off a recycling bin that will become a common sight at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Mary Silvas, linen control supervisor, and John Watson, director of Environmental Services, show off a recycling bin that will become a common sight at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Beginning Nov. 14, Driscoll Children's Hospital is going green. Driscoll will implement single-stream recycling throughout the hospital campus, making it the first hospital in Corpus Christi to have a recycling program. Single-stream recycling means that all recyclable material such as clean, dry paper, empty plastic containers and empty aluminum and tin/steel cans, is collected in the same container and sorting is not required.

Driscoll's Employee Advisory Group (EAG) received several requests from employees about developing a recycling program at the hospital. The group, made up of employees from various departments, began researching the project and found that a recycling program would save the hospital approximately $40,000 a year.

John Watson, director of Environmental Services at Driscoll, said employee feedback has been positive. "Our Driscoll employees have been excited and very supportive," he says. "Recycling is the right and responsible thing to do. It shows that we are good citizens of our community and that we have our eye on the future."

Driscoll, H-E-B join to make grocery shopping therapeutic

November 09, 2011
Project will be the first of its kind in a children's hospital

CORPUS CHRISTI - The regular trip to the grocery store - a life's chore that is tedious for some adults and perhaps enjoyable for others - will in the near future be a part of Driscoll Children's Hospital's rehabilitation therapy program.

With some extra space to fill in Driscoll's Rehabilitation Services Department, staff members recently brainstormed on what to do with it. Their goal was to have a place for pretend-play. A member mentioned seeing an H-E-Buddy Market at the Children's Museum of Houston, which gives children the grocery shopping experience in miniature. The group realized the therapeutic possibilities the activity would offer to Driscoll patients.

"When you put it all together, the grocery store would help us create a series of events that are encountered in the real world," said Susan Fields, director of Driscoll's Rehabilitation Services Department. "Children learn best when they don't know they are working."

A meeting with representatives from H-E-B followed, and the company enthusiastically decided to donate $30,000 toward an H-E-Buddy Market at Driscoll. Tomorrow, officials from H-E-B will present a check to Driscoll officials for the project and display items from the H-E-Buddy Market. When completed, it will include small grocery carts and baskets, shelves of child-friendly food packages, plastic produce, a refrigerated food section, check-out stand, a touch-screen cash register and more.

H-E-Buddy Markets in children's museums such as those in Houston and Laredo are designed to engage children in activities that will help them learn and grow, said Shelley Parks, manager of Public Affairs for H-E-B.

"The museums offer children a chance to make decisions based on healthy eating, menus, what they can buy for the money they have to spend and how to count and make change. There are a lot of learning activities that go into the museums."

Fields said several rehabilitative therapies can be employed in the mini-market as well. With Driscoll's physical therapists, children can improve their standing and balancing ability by reaching and picking items from high and low shelves. Pushing a grocery cart can help those who need to work on walking. In a play kitchen next to the grocery store, they can choose where to store the food. Speech therapists can help children improve language skills by having them name, match, categorize or describe products. And with Driscoll's occupational therapists, children can work on problem solving by planning a meal, purchasing items, making change and generally improving their fine motor skills.

"All these goals can be addressed while playing in a first-class, pretend-play environment," Fields said. "We're taking something H-E-B has done very well and we're going to apply it to helping the children in the community that we both serve."

Parks said incorporating an H-E-Buddy Market into a children's hospital for rehabilitative purposes hasn't been done before.

"H-E-B is proud to be able to partner with Driscoll on this unique program. The idea that children will learn to improve their balance and dexterity by using grocery carts, pulling items off of shelves, ringing up items, etc....is a wonderful example of creative thinking that works."

When completed, the H-E-Buddy Market at Driscoll will be available to any child in the community who needs rehabilitation therapy. For more information, call Driscoll's Rehabilitation Services Department at (361) 694-5678.

  • What: H-E-Buddy Market display and check presentation

  • When: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 10

  • Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital, Rehabilitation Services Department, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Fergie recognized by American Academy of Pediatrics

November 02, 2011
Jaime Fergie, MD, FAAP, FIDSA
Jaime Fergie, MD, FAAP, FIDSA
CORPUS CHRISTI - Jaime Fergie, MD, FAAP, FIDSA, director of Infectious Diseases at Driscoll Children's Hospital, recently received an award from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in Boston in recognition of the distinguished service he rendered as an elected member of the executive committee of the Section on Infectious Diseases from 2005 to 2011. Members of the Section on Infectious Diseases, founded in 1990, meet to develop ideas and generate educational forums that will improve the care of infants, children and adolescents. They also serve in a liaison capacity to the AAP board of directors. Dr. Fergie has been a member of the AAP for 20 years and has practiced at Driscoll Children's Hospital since 1994.

Driscoll hires Patient Financial Services director

November 01, 2011
Lori Davis
Lori Davis
CORPUS CHRISTI - Lori Davis has joined Driscoll Children's Hospital as director of Patient Financial Services. Davis comes to Driscoll from Conifer Health Solutions in the Dallas area, where she gained extensive experience in revenue cycle as the Revenue Cycle Ethics and Compliance director.

Driscoll patients trick-or-treat in the hospital during the Pumpkin Parade

October 28, 2011
WHAT: The 11th annual Pumpkin Parade is a chance for patients at Driscoll Children's Hospital to get dressed up in their Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating within the hospital. Driscoll employees will line the route with toys for the children as they parade by. Representatives from Stripes convenience stores and naval aviators from the Pilot for a Day program will also participate.

WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31

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

Driscoll Children's Health Plan expands further into South Texas

October 26, 2011
Steve Woerner, president and CEO of Driscoll Children's Hospital, announces the expansion of Driscoll Children's Health Plan Oct. 26 in McAllen with Mary Dale Peterson, MD, CEO of the Health Plan.
Steve Woerner, president and CEO of Driscoll Children's Hospital, announces the expansion of Driscoll Children's Health Plan Oct. 26 in McAllen with Mary Dale Peterson, MD, CEO of the Health Plan.
Membership will be available to about 400,000 people in 10 counties

CORPUS CHRISTI - Many children and their parents who need healthcare coverage in 10 South Texas counties have new health plans to choose from. Among them is Driscoll Children's Health Plan (DCHP), one of four that were recently awarded a Medicaid managed care contract in South Texas by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).

Being selected for the contract was no small feat, according to DCHP President and Chief Executive Officer Mary Dale Peterson, MD.

"DCHP was chosen over many competitors including other non-profit entities and very large, publicly traded, managed care organizations," she said. "This shows that the Health and Human Services Commission trusts us to deliver quality care to the South Texas population."

DCHP covers 10 counties in South Texas, referred to as the Hidalgo service delivery area (SDA). It's available to the Medicaid-eligible population, of which there are approximately 400,000 people. Driscoll's is the only non-profit, provider-sponsored health plan in the Hidalgo SDA. DCHP has a dedicated team of pediatric and adult doctors, and the plan accepts members regardless of any pre-existing health conditions.

DCHP comes with a name that is synonymous with high-quality healthcare in South Texas. Clara Driscoll bequeathed her family fortune to the creation of Driscoll Children's Hospital, which opened in Corpus Christi in 1953. In later decades, the hospital opened specialty clinics in Laredo, Brownsville, McAllen and Harlingen. Driscoll offers care to children regardless of their family's ability to pay.

DCHP will increase access to healthcare for many children, Dr. Peterson said. It's now being assessed how many additional physicians and healthcare providers will be needed in the Hidalgo SDA.

The HHSC also recently renewed DCHP's contract in the 14-county Nueces SDA, making it one of three managed care health plans in that area. The Nueces SDA is where DCHP established its solid history of delivering quality healthcare.

"DCHP has a proven track record," Dr. Peterson said. "I'm confident that our expansion into South Texas will improve care to many children, which was Clara Driscoll's mission all along."

Counties in the Hidalgo SDA are:
  • Cameron

  • Duval

  • Hidalgo

  • Jim Hogg

  • Maverick

  • McMullen

  • Starr

  • Webb

  • Willacy

  • Zapata

For more information on DCHP, call (361) 904-0955 or 1-877-DCHP-KIDS or go to www.dchpkids.com.