DCH News

Press Releases

Mike Bratten, (361) 548-6073

Driscoll to host breastfeeding seminar April 12

March 30, 2012

  • WHAT: The public is invited to an educational seminar at Driscoll Children's Hospital about the basics of breastfeeding, led by Laurie Beck, RN, MSN, international board certified lactation consultant for Driscoll Children's Hospital. Topics will include:

    • Benefits of human breast milk;

    • Basic anatomy and physiology of breastfeeding;

    • What parents can expect the first few weeks after the delivery of the baby;

    • Community resources to help breastfeeding families;

    • Returning to work/school and breastfeeding.

  • WHEN: 6 - 8 p.m. Thursday, April 12

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

  • COST: $20 per family; all proceeds will benefit the March of Dimes.

  • INFO: Laurie Beck, (361) 694-5338

Driscoll, Stripes to throw party for National Child Life Month

March 13, 2012
WHAT: The Stripes Child Life program at Driscoll Children's Hospital is celebrating National Child Life Month by throwing a pirate-themed party for patients. Representatives from Stripes and Driscoll's child life specialists will provide games, activities, prizes and treats for the children.

WHEN: 1-2 p.m. Wednesday, March 14

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

Driscoll Children's Hospital, Whataburger join for GALA to help Rio Grande Valley children

March 08, 2012
Whataburger donated $40,000 toward Driscoll Children's GALA during a press conference March 8 at Driscoll Children's Quick Care - McAllen. Pictured, left to right, are: Earl Massie with Re/Max 1st Choice, Chuck and Rhonda Sellman, GALA co-chairs, Paul McDaniel, GALA co-chair, Dr. Riaz Shareef, medical director of Driscoll Children's Quick Care - McAllen, Hugh Dobson, member of Whataburger's founding family, David Cantu, Whataburger director of operations and Aaron Valdez, Whataburger area supervisor.
Whataburger donated $40,000 toward Driscoll Children's GALA during a press conference March 8 at Driscoll Children's Quick Care - McAllen. Pictured, left to right, are: Earl Massie with Re/Max 1st Choice, Chuck and Rhonda Sellman, GALA co-chairs, Paul McDaniel, GALA co-chair, Dr. Riaz Shareef, medical director of Driscoll Children's Quick Care - McAllen, Hugh Dobson, member of Whataburger's founding family, David Cantu, Whataburger director of operations and Aaron Valdez, Whataburger area supervisor.
RIO GRANDE VALLEY - On a daily basis, physicians and staff from Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi travel to Driscoll's specialty clinics in McAllen, Brownsville and Harlingen to treat patients who may have cancer, need a kidney transplant or are suffering from any number of diseases. A significant number of Driscoll's patients live in the Rio Grande Valley.

To benefit the Rio Grande Valley clinics, Driscoll has joined with Whataburger for the Driscoll Children's GALA, a fundraiser to be held April 20 at the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show Event Center in Mercedes. Formerly known as Fiesta de los Niños, the GALA promises a good time for all, including cocktails, a barbecue dinner, silent and live auctions and dancing to the music of Scott Randolph & The White Lightning Band.

"We are excited to begin this fundraising event in the mid-Valley area," said Reagan Florence, Driscoll director of Development in the Rio Grande Valley. "Driscoll Children's Hospital has been helping children in South Texas for nearly 60 years. We hope the community comes out to support the Valley's youth who need the special
medical care that Driscoll provides."

On March 8, Whataburger presented Driscoll Children's Hospital with a check for $40,000 as the title sponsor of this year's GALA. Whataburger has been the title sponsor of the Valley event since its inception in 2004.

"Whataburger is proud to have partnered with Driscoll Children's Hospital for more than 20 years and watched its services expand into the Rio Grande Valley," said Whataburger Director of Operations David Cantu. "We feel honored to support Driscoll once again through this year's GALA and celebrate the wonderful work done here by the doctors, nurses and staff who provide specialty healthcare for children in South Texas."

Laura Cortez, executive director of Driscoll's Rio Grande Valley clinics, said Driscoll is extremely grateful for Whataburger's sponsorship.

"Whataburger's support, along with the donations of others, will stay in the Valley and enable our children to receive the quality care they deserve right here."

  • What: Driscoll Children's GALA

  • When: 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 20

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

  • Information/donations: Reagan Florence, (956) 688-1239 or reagan.florence@dchstx.org

Transplant Symposium is a valuable opportunity for healthcare professionals

March 06, 2012
This year, Driscoll Children's Hospital and the Coastal Bend Kidney Foundation are pleased to host the South Texas Transplant Symposium in beautiful Corpus Christi for the fourth time since 2006. The program promises to deliver high-quality educational activities for all healthcare professionals involved in the care of transplant recipients and donors in pediatric and adult settings. This includes physicians, nephrologists, residents, nurses, nurse practitioners and transplant coordinators throughout Texas and neighboring states.

The organizing committee is pleased to have world-class speakers participate and deliver presentations covering all aspects of transplantation such as living donor advocacy and perspective, donor exchange, critical care, adolescent transition and adherence, long-term complications, immunosuppressive protocols, antibody-mediated rejection, biotherapy and ethical issues in transplantation.

This year's program is designed to provide adequate contact hours to all audiences; therefore, there will be a nursing track, physician track and general sessions throughout the program to fulfill the specific educational needs of all disciplines. Seating is limited, so make sure you register early and benefit from an early registration discount. We hope to see you soon!

What: 2012 South Texas Transplant Symposium
When: May 11-12
Where: American Bank Center, 1901 N. Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christi
Information/registration: (361) 694-4117

Driscoll Children's Hospital, Whataburger to hold press conference, announce details of upcoming GALA

March 05, 2012
Driscoll Children's Hospital, Whataburger to hold press conference, announce details of upcoming GALA

WHAT: Whataburger officials will present a check for $40,000 to Driscoll Children's Hospital at a press conference and announce details about the upcoming Driscoll Children's Hospital GALA in the Rio Grande Valley. The GALA, formerly known as Fiesta de los Niños, will benefit Driscoll's specialty clinics in the Valley.

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 8

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Quick Care, 1120 E. Ridge Road, McAllen

10th annual Radiothon set for Friday at Driscoll

February 28, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - On Friday, March 2, K-99 (KRYS 99.1) will team up with Driscoll Children's Hospital and McDonald's for the annual Radiothon. The one-day event will be broadcast from the Half Pint Library in the main lobby of Driscoll Children's Hospital.

Tune in to hear patients, parents, physicians and staff share inspirational stories of hope and healing. In 2011, the community donated $63,484 during the Radiothon to benefit patients at Driscoll Children's Hospital.

Anyone can help raise money for the Radiothon by creating an online giving page. To do so, go to www.helpmakemiracles.org/event/driscoll. For more information or to donate, contact Driscoll's Development Department at (361) 694-6401.

What: 10th annual Radiothon
When: 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, March 2
Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital main lobby, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Local healthcare professionals selected to serve on state Medicaid committees

February 28, 2012


CORPUS CHRISTI - Three local healthcare professionals have been selected by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to serve on three new Medicaid advisory committees created by the 2011 Texas Legislature.

Steven F. Woerner, president and chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Hospital, was selected to serve on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Council, which will advise the HHSC on standards for neonatal intensive care units and on the development of an accreditation process for a neonatal intensive care unit to receive Medicaid payments. The council was authorized by House Bill 2636.

Woerner serves on various community boards and is the chairman of the board of directors for Amistad Community Health Center, a faith-based community healthcare center providing affordable primary care and pediatric programs.

Mary Dale Peterson, MD, chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Health Plan (DCHP), was chosen as chairwoman of the Quality-Based Payment Advisory Committee. The committee will advise the HHSC on performance, standards and outcomes measures for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. The committee was authorized by Senate Bill 7.

Dr. Peterson is currently overseeing the expansion of DCHP into 10 South Texas counties, referred to as the Hidalgo Service Delivery Area.

Isabel Menendez, MD, of Portland, was selected to serve on the Physician Payment Quality Committee by the HHSC. The committee will use national guidelines to help determine the 10 most overused or unnecessary services in Texas Medicaid. State law directs the HHSC to decrease Medicaid payments for services that should not be provided. The committee was authorized by House Bill 1.

Dr. Menendez is a board-certified diagnostic radiologist who has practiced in San Patricio County since 1985 as well as medical facilities throughout the Coastal Bend and in Laredo.

Driscoll's McAllen clinic to host Heart Celebration

February 15, 2012
Event is to increase awareness of congenital heart defects
McALLEN - In a month that most people associate with Valentine's Day, Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza - McAllen will be hosting a Heart Celebration Feb. 17 for its young cardiology patients. Following Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week (see www.tchin.org/aware/), the celebration is an effort to bring awareness to the community about the many South Texas children born with heart defects. The Heart Celebration will include crafts, games and refreshments for the children and their families.

Each year, cardiologists at Driscoll and its South Texas clinics see about 7,200 children for heart-related issues. Last year, more than 3,000 children in the Rio Grande Valley were seen, said Judy Vest, RN, clinic director of Driscoll Children's Heart Center. Some of the patients need heart surgery and some are treated using delicate and less invasive procedures. Driscoll Children's Heart Center performs more than 200 cardiac catheterizations and over 220 heart surgeries each year.

If unrecognized, congenital heart defects can slow a baby's growth and development, according to Roozbeh Taeed, MD, medical director of cardiology for Driscoll Children's Heart Center. In severe cases, it can lead to injury of the heart muscle or lungs.

Congenital heart disease is due to the heart not forming properly as the fetus develops in the womb, Dr. Taeed said.

"It can be as simple as a hole in one of the walls separating the chambers of the heart, a narrowing of a valve or more severe abnormalities that would need treatment soon after birth."

Dr. Taeed explains that some congenital heart defects such as small holes in the heart chamber walls resolve with time, closing as the child grows. In many cases, narrowing of a heart valve can be treated by catheterization - passing a balloon from one of the blood vessels of the groin up to the heart, crossing the narrowed valve, opening the balloon and "popping" the valve more open, Dr. Taeed said. More complicated heart abnormalities require surgery and teams of doctors including anesthesiologists, intensive care doctors, cardiologists and surgeons like those at Driscoll Children's Heart Center.

Dr. Taeed advises parents to seek advice from their family physician or pediatrician if their baby is having difficulties with feedings or is not gaining weight.

"Based upon a careful examination, your healthcare provider can decide if your baby needs to be seen by a pediatric cardiologist," he said.

What: Heart Celebration for Driscoll cardiology patients and their families
When: 2-4 p.m. Feb. 17
Where: Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza - McAllen, 1120 E. Ridge Rd.

Driscoll Children's Health Plan opens new office in Edinburg

February 14, 2012
EDINBURG - In conjunction with its expansion into 10 South Texas counties, Driscoll Children's Health Plan (DCHP) has opened a new office at 5409 S. McColl Rd. in Edinburg. The office will provide case management, social work, provider relations and community outreach to help the Medicaid-eligible population obtain the healthcare they need in the counties, referred to as the Hidalgo Service Delivery Area (SDA).

DCHP is one of four plans that were awarded a Medicaid managed care contract in South Texas by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. It's available to the approximately 400,000 Medicaid-eligible people in the Hidalgo SDA and is the only non-profit, provider-sponsored health plan in the SDA.

"Driscoll Children's Health Plan is excited about being able to extend the mission of Clara Driscoll to South Texas," said Mary Dale Peterson, MD, MSHCA, chief executive officer of DCHP. "This new office in Edinburg with its 21 employees will assist in serving our State of Texas Access Reform (STAR) Medicaid members and providers in providing exceptional healthcare."

Counties in the Hidalgo SDA are:

Jim Hogg

DCHP has a dedicated team of pediatric and adult doctors, and the plan accepts members regardless of any pre-existing health conditions. For more information on DCHP, call (361) 904-0955 or 1-877-DCHP-KIDS or go to www.dchpkids.com.

Pointer awarded for efforts to improve Texas trauma systems

February 13, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Janet Pointer, critical care trauma coordinator at Driscoll Children's Hospital, recently received the Outstanding Trauma Person Award from the Texas Trauma Coordinator Forum and the Texas EMS, Trauma & Acute Care Foundation (TETAF). The award is in recognition of Pointer's exemplary leadership and dedication to strengthening Texas trauma systems.

Pointer has been instrumental in building Driscoll's trauma program and represents the hospital in regional and state activities to promote knowledge and pursue its designation by the TETAF as a level III trauma facility. Driscoll expects to receive the designation this spring. Pointer has been involved with the TETAF since 2006. She is also actively involved in Gov. Rick Perry's EMS and Trauma Advisory Council as a member of the Pediatric Committee.