DCH News

Press Releases

MEDIA - FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Mike Bratten, (361) 548-6073

Driscoll Health Plan: Improving healthcare with cell phone assistance for members

January 18, 2013
RIO GRANDE VALLEY - For most people, finding a medical care provider and making doctor's appointments is as easy as picking up a cell phone. But for some Medicaid-eligible individuals and families, access to cell phones - and quick communication with healthcare providers - may be difficult or impossible. Driscoll Health Plan (DHP) strives to bridge the communication gap by providing all members assistance in applying for a free cell phone.*

"Communication is essential when it comes to access to good healthcare for the vulnerable population we serve," said Mary Dale Peterson, MD, MSHCA, chief executive officer of DHP.

As part of the free cell phone* program, qualifying members will also receive the following services at not cost:

250 free voice minutes each month
250 free text messages each month;
A voicemail account;
Call waiting and caller ID;
9-1-1 access.

In addition to these services, DHP provides 250 extra minutes** each month and, for certain members, text messages with general health tips, notices about free events and other helpful information.

"This is a win-win situation for our members who qualify to receive free cell phones," Dr. Peterson said. "DHP continues to develop ways to provide more value to our members."

Cell phones obtained through DHP are made available by Assurance Wireless, a federal Lifeline program that is part of the Universal Service Fund.*

DHP has more than 50,000 members in the Hidalgo Service Delivery Area (SDA), which includes the counties of Cameron, Duval, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Maverick, McMullen, Starr, Webb, Willacy and Zapata. It is the only non-profit, provider-sponsored plan in the Hidalgo SDA. For more information about DHP, families can go to www.driscollhealthplan.com or call 855-425-3247. This is the third in a series of four press releases about DHP's value-added services.

* Members must qualify to receive a free cell phone. The cell phone is not a value-added service.
** Restrictions and/or limitations apply on this value-added service.

Driscoll Children's Hospital's annual Fiesta de los Niños promises to be another crowd-pleaser

January 03, 2013
Flint Hills Resources presented a $50,000 check to Driscoll Children's Hospital Jan. 3 for the upcoming Fiesta de los Niños. Pictured from left are Fiesta chairs Allison and Tom Hunt; Martha St. Romain, Driscoll vice president of Development; and Fiesta chairs Phil and Vicki Gaarder. Phil Gaarder is also vice president of South Texas Operations for Flint Hills Resources.
Flint Hills Resources presented a $50,000 check to Driscoll Children's Hospital Jan. 3 for the upcoming Fiesta de los Niños. Pictured from left are Fiesta chairs Allison and Tom Hunt; Martha St. Romain, Driscoll vice president of Development; and Fiesta chairs Phil and Vicki Gaarder. Phil Gaarder is also vice president of South Texas Operations for Flint Hills Resources.
CORPUS CHRISTI - Fiesta de los Niños, which began as a small, grassroots effort 21 years ago, has evolved into a high-profile event that many South Texans return to year after year. On Feb. 8, Driscoll Children's Hospital's 21st 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 - all with the mission of offering 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 21 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 2012, with more than 1,400 people in attendance, Fiesta raised $600,000 for the renovation and expansion of the Emergency Department.

Proceeds from the 2013 Fiesta de los Niños will touch several key specialty areas throughout Driscoll Children's Hospital, including the Rehabilitation Services Department, with a new, therapeutic music room; the Radiology Department, with the installation of a special, interactive program that entertains and distracts children during imaging procedures; and Driscoll Health System - Pediatric Cardiology, with new, state-of-the-art, child-specific echocardiogram machines.

Guests at Fiesta de los Niños will enjoy silent, live and bid-board auctions, a barbecue dinner and entertainment by country music artist Johnny Lee, singer of the 1980 hit, "Lookin' For Love." 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 the Fiesta de los Niños page.

What: Driscoll Children's Hospital's 21st annual Fiesta de los Niños
When: 6:30 - 11:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 8
Where: American Bank Center Exhibit Hall, 1901 N. Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christi

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, Johnny Lee

Driscoll Children's Hospital to announce details of 21st annual Fiesta de los Niños

January 02, 2013
WHAT: A press conference will be held at Driscoll Children's Hospital at which details of the 21st annual Fiesta de los Niños will be announced. The event, to be held Feb. 8 at the American Bank Center, is one of the hospital's largest annual fundraisers, with proceeds from this year's event going toward several key specialty areas throughout the hospital, including the Rehabilitation Services Department, Radiology Department and Driscoll Health System - Pediatric Cardiology. Fiesta's headline entertainer will also be announced.
WHEN: 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, 7th floor lobby, 3533 S. Alameda St.

In pursuit of excellence, Driscoll residents far outpace total pass rate for American Board of Pediatrics certification

December 20, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Driscoll Children's Hospital is proud to announce that all of its graduating residents who took the latest American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) certification exam in general pediatrics passed on their first attempt, continuing a trend that surpasses the total annual pass rate. Certification through the exam, administered once a year in October, has one objective - to promote excellence in medical care for children and adolescents.

"ABP certification provides a standard of excellence by which the public can select pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists," according to the ABP. "Although certification is voluntary, nearly all qualified pediatricians seek this recognition."

The ABP certification pass rate for pediatric residents at Driscoll Children's Hospital for the past three years has been 98 percent, ranking them in the top 5 percent of the more than 200 pediatric residency programs in the country, said William Dirksen, MD, Driscoll chief of staff. In contrast, the total pass rate for candidates taking the ABP general pediatrics exam in 2009, 2010 and 2011 was 79.1 percent, 76.1 percent and 75.7 percent, respectively, according to the ABP.

The ABP certification exam is a one-day test given to physicians who have finished three years of pediatric residency training. Physicians must have a valid, unrestricted, permanent medical license to be eligible to sit for the test. Certification is valid for seven years after which physicians must recertify by taking the ABP's Program for Maintenance of Certification in Pediatrics recertification exam.

Here are some additional facts from the ABP:

The ABP has certified 77,328 diplomates in general pediatrics and 14,707 in pediatric subspecialties.

Among the pediatricians who take the ABP test, 66 percent go into general pediatric practice and 24 percent go into pediatric subspecialties.

An average of 3,007 pediatricians take the ABP exam every year. Of these, American medical graduates accounted for 82.5 percent and international medical graduates accounted for 17.5 percent. Gender-wise, 40 percent were males and 60 percent were females.

The total number of pediatric residents currently in training programs in the United States is 9,731.

The average age at the time of ABP certification for pediatricians is 32 years for American medical graduates and about 36 years for international medical graduates.

The success of Driscoll's residency program can be attributed largely to the hospital's governing board, administration, faculty and staff, all of whom are dedicated to fostering excellent pediatricians.

"I have been blessed to have the necessary support to create an environment where aspiring physicians can be trained to become the best pediatricians in the world," Dr. Dirksen said. "Driscoll faculty has been outstanding in their commitment to the teaching and mentoring of our residents."

Driscoll's Emergency Department expansion project will get boost from Halliburton donation

December 18, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - On Wednesday, Dec. 19, representatives from Halliburton will present a $25,000 check to Driscoll Children's Hospital for the redesign and expansion of its Emergency Department (ED). This donation was made possible by funds raised from the 19th annual Halliburton Charity Golf Tournament, which was held recently in Houston.

Almost 40,000 children visit Driscoll's ED annually and, while good use has been made of the existing space, more is needed. The expansion calls for two new trauma rooms, 20 private exam rooms, six private, fast-track rooms, two triage areas with visibility to the waiting room, an expanded central nursing station, a new ambulance vestibule and a weather protection canopy.

"The redesign and expansion is a multimillion dollar project, and donations like that from the Halliburton Charity Golf Tournament are helping make it possible," said Martha St. Romain, vice president of Development at Driscoll. "We are grateful for this gift."

Each year, Halliburton partners with vendors, suppliers and employees to host its Charity Golf Tournament in Houston. Throughout its history, the tournament has given nearly $5.5 million to charities across the United States.

"Halliburton, its employees, suppliers and vendors strive to help the neighborhoods our company calls home," said Joe Foster, Halliburton vice president of Business Development for the Southeast area. "I'm proud to say we have been able to support Driscoll Children's Hospital."

What: Halliburton check presentation
When: 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19
Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital, main lobby, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Mendoza joins Driscoll as Emergency Department manager

December 13, 2012
Mendoza
Mendoza
CORPUS CHRISTI - Victor Mendoza, RN, BSN, has joined Driscoll Children's Hospital as manager of the Emergency Department. Mendoza has more than 19 years of emergency room experience in adult, pediatric and military hospital settings. He was previously an emergency room coordinator and trauma and stroke coordinator at a hospital in El Paso.

Rehabilitation patients to take stage for annual Holiday Spectacular

December 13, 2012
WHAT: Patients from the Rehabilitation Services Department at Driscoll Children's Hospital will take part in the pageantry of the ninth annual Holiday Spectacular. The show will include performances of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and excerpts from "The Nutcracker." It will be directed by Driscoll employees Christine Carter and Heidi Lathrop, and performances by the Corpus Christi Concert Ballet will take place between the children's performances.
WHEN: 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital auditorium, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll's North Pole Network will connect patients with Santa Claus

December 12, 2012
WHAT: Driscoll Children's Hospital's seventh annual North Pole Network will be buzzing tomorrow as local ham radio operators and Driscoll employees connect patients with Santa Claus from their hospital rooms. The patients will be provided a radio so that they can discuss their Christmas wishes with Santa, who will be communicating with them from the "North Pole."
WHEN: 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 13
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll to light its annual holiday tree as Santa Claus arrives

December 04, 2012
WHAT: Santa Claus will arrive on a fire truck Wednesday as Driscoll Children's Hospital lights its annual holiday tree in front of the hospital. Patients, Driscoll employees and their families will be in attendance for the 19th annual event, which will be preceded by music provided by the W.B. Ray High School Holiday Band.
WHEN: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Phillips is Driscoll's newest cardiologist

December 04, 2012
Phillips
Phillips
CORPUS CHRISTI - Brandon Lane Phillips, MD, has joined Driscoll Children's Hospital as a cardiologist. Dr. Phillips was previously with a private practice group in San Antonio. He earned his medical degree in 2004 at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans and completed his residency in pediatrics in 2007 at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. In 2010, Dr. Phillips completed a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Dr. Phillips' clinical interests include non-invasive imaging, outpatient cardiology and adult congenital cardiology. In addition, Dr. Phillips serves on the national board of directors for the Starlight Children's Foundation, an international, non-profit organization whose purpose is to brighten the lives of seriously ill children. He is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.