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Mike Bratten, (361) 548-6073

Super evening planned for Driscoll's heroic cancer patients

September 06, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Children whose lives have been touched by cancer are in for an evening of fun and wonder Sept. 8 when Driscoll Children's Hospital hosts a celebration for them at the Texas State Aquarium. In conjunction with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Driscoll has reserved the venue for patients who are being treated or have completed treatment at the hospital's Cancer & Blood Disorders Center and their families.

Approximately 400,000 children receive treatment for cancer every day in the United States, according to Tara Adams, clinical coordinator at Driscoll's Cancer & Blood Disorders Center. Those who are treated at Driscoll Children's Hospital often inspire the people around them.

"We can all learn something from children facing cancer treatment," said Cris Johnson, MD, medical director of the Cancer & Blood Disorders Center. "It is an honor to care for these brave children and watch them thrive and grow with the medical care needed to cure their disease."

In recognition of their bravery, Driscoll staff will give each child a superhero cape when they arrive at the aquarium. Also on the agenda is the reading of a mayoral proclamation by Corpus Christi Mayor Pro Tem Chris Adler declaring Sept. 8 Childhood Cancer Awareness Day. The children will then be treated to a dolphin show and birds-in-flight show, followed by dinner.

As in years past, Driscoll has created t-shirts in observance of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The yellow shirts feature the Cancer & Blood Disorders Center logo, children holding hands in a circle and the words "Celebrating our Heroes." They are available to the public through Sept. 16 in Driscoll's Carousel Gift Shop. Sales will benefit the Cancer & Blood Disorders Center and support the events, educational materials and care offered to cancer patients.

What: Driscoll Children's Hospital's Childhood Cancer Awareness Month event
When: 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8
Where: Texas State Aquarium, 2710 N. Shoreline Blvd.

Darts, foosball, Xbox: Driscoll's Teen Lounge has it all and more

August 24, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - An oasis of entertainment designed specifically for adolescent patients at Driscoll Children's Hospital will be formally unveiled Tuesday. Driscoll officials will be joined by Sam Susser, president and chief executive officer of Susser Holdings Corp., and Steve DeSutter, president and chief executive officer of Stripes convenience stores, whose $1 million donation in 2009 made the Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital Teen Lounge possible.

"The Teen Lounge will provide a therapeutic space for adolescents while they're in the hospital," said Michelle Goodman, fourth floor and Stripes Child Life Program director. "Patients who are 11 and older will find it comfortable and full of activities that are appropriate for their age group."

Located on the fourth floor of the hospital with a view of Corpus Christi Bay, the Teen Lounge features a 42-inch, flat screen TV, a media cabinet, movies on DVD and Wii and Xbox 360 video games. Patients can surf the Internet on a laptop computer or iPad. There's a foosball table, air hockey table, dart board, magazines, board games, arts and crafts, books and comfortable sofas.

This is Driscoll's second Teen Lounge. The first, opened on the sixth floor in December 2010, proved to be popular among older patients, Goodman said. A third Teen Lounge will be built on the seventh floor in the future, she added.

What: Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital Teen Lounge unveiling
When: 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28
Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital, 4th floor, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Sneak Peek Pre-Op Tour Program aims to reduce anxiety for patients, families before surgery

August 22, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - No matter the age of the person, having surgery can be a stressful experience. To help young patients feel more comfortable about an upcoming surgery, Driscoll Children's Hospital has developed the Sneak Peek Pre-Op Tour Program, a proactive approach that will allow children and their families to become familiar with the hospital and ask any questions they may have.

"When children know what to expect, they typically respond better during stressful situations like having surgery," said Michelle Goodman, MSN, RN, director of the 4th floor and Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital. "Also, when their parents and siblings can ask questions and see where they'll be going, this helps reduce anxiety levels all around and makes the hospital experience better."

Sneak Peek Pre-Op tours will be conducted once a week by Sara Robertson, a Child Life specialist who is trained in providing age-appropriate information to children and can answer questions regarding their care and surgery. Procedures could include dental surgeries, tonsillectomies, colonoscopies, spinal cord fusions, urological surgeries and numerous others.

Patients and their families will be taken to the Day Surgery Unit to see the holding room, operating room, Day Surgery waiting area and recovery room. If the patient is scheduled to be admitted for an overnight stay, they may arrange to visit Driscoll's Inpatient Unit as well, Goodman said.

Goodman recommends that parents make a Sneak Peek Pre-Op Tour reservation as soon as they learn their child's date of surgery. Depending on the age of the patient, the tour may be scheduled up to two weeks in advance. For children younger than five years old, Goodman suggests that parents schedule the tour as close to the admission date as possible. She added that some tours may be private to meet patients' and families' individual needs.

Parents can schedule a tour by calling (361) 694-5760 or e-mailing preoptour@dchstx.org.

Community pitching in for annual Edinburg RoundUp

August 08, 2012
EDINBURG - On Saturday, Aug. 11, young 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) members and the Hidalgo County Extension Office will team up for a great cause. The 25th annual South Texas Cattlemen's RoundUp benefiting Driscoll Children's Hospital will begin at 10 a.m. at the Edinburg Livestock Auction.

A variety of products and services will be auctioned at the RoundUp that will appeal to farmers, ranchers and visitors. All will be provided by 4-H and FFA members and area businesses. All of this year's proceeds will go toward new medical equipment and additional program support for children receiving care at Driscoll Children's Hospital here in the Rio Grande Valley.

To make a donation and support the healthcare needs of local children, go to www.driscollchildrens.org, call Reagan Florence at (956) 223-0687 or call the Hidalgo County Extension Office at (956) 383-1026.

What: 25th annual South Texas Cattlemen's RoundUp
When: 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11
Where: Edinburg Livestock Auction, 3418 N. Closner Blvd.

Annual Cattlemen's RoundUp benefiting Driscoll Children's Hospital coming to Cuero

July 31, 2012
CUERO - On Tuesday, August 7, young 4-H members and the DeWitt County Extension Office will team up for a great cause. The 25th annual South Texas Cattlemen's RoundUp benefiting Driscoll Children's Hospital will begin at 6 p.m. at the Cuero VFW Hall, 934 U.S. Highway 183 N.

A silent auction will be held showcasing a variety of products and services that will appeal to guests, including plants, baked goods, livestock feed and other items from local businesses. Members of 4-H will offer a variety of homemade baked goods. All of this year's proceeds will go toward new medical equipment and additional program support for children receiving care at Driscoll Children's Hospital.

To make a donation and support local 4-H students, visit Driscoll's web site at www.driscollchildrens.org, call Driscoll at (361) 694-6401 or call the DeWitt County Extension Office at (361) 275-0816.
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What: 25th annual South Texas Cattlemen's RoundUp
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 7
Where: Cuero VFW Hall, 934 U.S. Highway 183 N.

Heart disease is no obstacle for Driscoll patients headed to annual summer camp

July 23, 2012
ROCKPORT - Twenty-five cardiac patients from Driscoll Children's Hospital departed yesterday to attend the sixth annual Camp Hearty at Camp Aranzazu near Rockport. The camp runs through Wednesday. The children will participate in activities such as kayaking, swimming, nature hikes, fishing, a ropes course and more.

"This camp allows the kids to see that they are not alone in facing serious heart disease and mostly just lets them have a great time," said Cathy Camp, cardiology nurse clinician at Driscoll Children's Hospital.

Camp said the children have come from all over South Texas, including Victoria, Laredo, Alice, the Rio Grande Valley and Corpus Christi. They have all had at least one open heart surgery for congenital heart defects, and some have had multiple cardiac catheterizations and surgeries for more complex heart diseases.

Camp Hearty is made possible by sponsors such as ExxonMobil, which made this year's largest donation of $5,000.

"We admire the strength of these children as they continue their fight against heart disease," said Clay Powell, senior field superintendent for ExxonMobil South Texas Operations. "We're proud to support Camp Hearty and hope the kids have a fun camp experience this summer just being kids. We wish for them a healthy future."

What: Sixth annual Camp Hearty for Driscoll cardiac patients
When: July 22-25
Where: Camp Aranzazu, near Rockport

Alice RoundUp to benefit Driscoll Children's Hospital

July 17, 2012
ALICE - On Tuesday, July 24, young 4-H members and the Jim Wells County Extension Office will team up for the 25th annual South Texas Cattlemen's RoundUp benefiting Driscoll Children's Hospital. The event will begin at noon at the Gulf Coast Livestock Market in Alice.

A variety of products and services will be auctioned at the RoundUp such as ranching supplies, baked goods, arts and crafts and hunting equipment. Young members of 4-H will offer a variety of homemade goods. All of this year's proceeds will go toward new medical equipment and additional program support for children receiving care at Driscoll Children's Hospital.

To make a donation and support local 4-H students, go to www.driscollchildrens.org, call Driscoll at (361) 694-6401 or call the Jim Wells County Extension Office at (361) 668-5705.

What: 25th annual South Texas Cattlemen's RoundUp
When: Noon Tuesday, July 24
Where: Gulf Coast Livestock Market, 3015 S. Hwy. 281, Alice

Cancer patients show their mettle at annual summer camp

July 16, 2012
Driscoll patients (from left) Javier Gonzalez Jr., Nicholas Chapa and Juan Castillo made a four-legged friend at Camp Star Trails.
Driscoll patients (from left) Javier Gonzalez Jr., Nicholas Chapa and Juan Castillo made a four-legged friend at Camp Star Trails.
Every summer, patients ages 5-12 from Driscoll Children's Hospital's Cancer & Blood Disorders Center and their siblings attend Camp Star Trails at Camp for All in Burton, Texas. During this year's week-long adventure, June 17-23, more than 40 campers enjoyed archery, fishing, canoeing, dance parties and other activities, all the while making lasting friendships. Siblings are encouraged to attend the camp because it gives them a chance to cope with their feelings about their brother's or sister's diagnosis and the changes in their family structure and daily routine.

The theme for this year's camp, "Superheroes of Fun," was appropriate for the children who are heroically battling cancer. Some are currently undergoing treatment, while others are off-therapy, and some are being monitored for late effects of their disease or treatment.

The camp shows children that they can do anything, said Cris Johnson, MD, medical director of Driscoll's Cancer & Blood Disorders Center.

"They amaze me! We have a patient who lost his leg due to cancer and he conquered the ropes course fearlessly. This camp gives our patients opportunities to build self-esteem by rediscovering that they can do activities that other children take for granted."


















Cattlemen's RoundUp will appeal to ranchers, visitors alike

July 11, 2012
RIO GRANDE CITY - On Friday, July 13, young 4-H members and the Starr County Extension Office will team up for a great cause. The 25th annual South Texas Cattlemen's RoundUp benefiting Driscoll Children's Hospital's Rio Grande Valley clinics will begin at 10 a.m. at R.Y. Livestock Sales, Inc., 12 Livestock Rd. in Rio Grande City.

A variety of products and services will be auctioned at the RoundUp that will appeal to ranchers and visitors alike, such as agricultural products, gardening supplies, arts and crafts, hardware supplies and jewelry. Young members of 4-H will offer a variety of homemade baked goods. All of this year's proceeds will go toward new medical equipment and additional program support for children receiving care at Driscoll Children's Hospital.

To make a donation and support local 4-H students, go to www.driscollchildrens.org and click on "South Texas Cattlemen's RoundUp," call Driscoll at (361) 694-6401 or call the Starr County Extension Office at (956) 487-2306 or (956) 534-4911.

What: 25th annual Cattlemen's RoundUp
When: 10 a.m. Friday, July 13
Where: R.Y. Livestock Sales, Inc., 12 Livestock Rd., Rio Grande City
Information: (361) 694-6401, (956) 487-2306 or (956) 534-4911

Research by Driscoll residents & physicians gains national, international recognition

June 22, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - An abstract written by Driscoll Children's Hospital resident Sanjeet Panda, MD and co-authored by Driscoll physicians Stephen Almond, MD, Mohammad Emran, MD, Haroon Patel, MD, Juan Prieto, MD and Leon Smith-Harrison, MD has been accepted for presentation at the 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans Oct. 20-23 and the XVII Ibero-American Society for Pediatric Urology Meeting Sept. 4-8 in Cartagena, Colombia. Research for Dr. Panda's abstract, titled "Surgical Management for the Palpable Undescended Testicle: Scrotal or Inguinal Approach?," was conducted at Driscoll Children's Hospital.

Dr. Panda, Driscoll resident Grace Lucas, MD and Dr. Prieto also collaborated on two abstracts, "Scrotal Approach for Definitive Management of Cryptorchidism and Communicating Hydrocele in Children" and "Effects of Urethroplasty Suturing Technique in Primary Tubularized Incised Plate (TIP) Hypospadias Repair," both of which have been accepted for presentation at the 91st annual meeting of the South Central Section- American Urological Association Oct. 24-27 in Colorado Springs, Colo., as well as the XVII Ibero-American Society for Pediatric Urology Meeting in Cartagena.

In addition, Driscoll resident Karen Tuano, MD was named the first place winner in the 2012 Texas Pediatric Society Fellow and Resident Poster Contest for her poster in the Evidence Based Medicine/Quality of Improvement category, titled "Preliminary Study on Control of Asthma in Children 6-11 Years Old Who Visit the Emergency Department at Driscoll Children's Hospital." Residents Monika Bhagat, MD, Mavie Narcise, MD and Shuya Wu, MD were contributors to the project. Also, resident Devasena Iyer, MD received second place for her poster in the same category, titled "WAT-1 vs. SOS: Determination of Iatrogenic Withdrawal in the ICU, a Pilot Study." Driscoll physician Kevin Schooler, MD, PhD served as Dr. Iyer's advisor.