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Mike Bratten, (361) 548-6073

Pointer awarded for efforts to improve Texas trauma systems

February 13, 2012
Pointer
Pointer
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.

Driscoll to focus on heart defect awareness this month

February 10, 2012
Mayoral proclamation will be read at city hall on Feb. 14

CORPUS CHRISTI - February is a month associated by many with the heart due to Valentine's Day. The week of Feb. 7-14 is also recognized in the US as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week (see www.tchin.org/aware/). In an effort to bring awareness to the community, Driscoll Children's Hospital has arranged for Corpus Christi Mayor Joe Adame to proclaim Feb. 14 Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day. The proclamation will be read in city council chambers around 11:45 a.m. Feb. 14. Driscoll has also invited patients and their families to a Heart Celebration on Feb. 14 and 18 that will include games, activities and refreshments.

"We want to recognize the thousands of people born with heart defects, remember loved ones who've lost their battle with congenital heart defects and honor the dedicated health professionals who work with them," said Laura Esparza, MS, LBW, social worker at Driscoll Children's Hospital.

Each year, cardiologists at Driscoll and its South Texas clinics see about 7,200 children for heart-related issues, Esparza said. 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: Mayoral proclamation for Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day
When: 11:45 a.m. Feb. 14
Where: Corpus Christi City Council chambers, 1201 Leopard St.

Driscoll Children's Hospital's 20th annual Fiesta de los Niños nets record proceeds

February 08, 2012
Janie Hoskins (left) and Suzanne Almond were co-chairs for the 20th annual Fiesta de los Niños.
Janie Hoskins (left) and Suzanne Almond were co-chairs for the 20th annual Fiesta de los Niños.
CORPUS CHRISTI - Driscoll Children's Hospital's 20th annual Fiesta de los Niños on Feb. 3 surpassed organizers' expectations and netted $620,000, all of which will go toward the renovation and expansion of the hospital's Emergency Department. The fundraiser, held at the American Bank Center, featured live, silent and bid-board auctions, a barbecue dinner and entertainment by country music artist Tracy Lawrence.

"We were thrilled with the outpouring of community support during the evening," said Martha St. Romain, vice president of Development at Driscoll Children's Hospital. "Every year we are absolutely astounded at the generosity and philanthropic spirit that we witness at this event - all for the health of our South Texas children. We are certainly thankful for our giving community here in the Coastal Bend and throughout the region."

Led by long-time title sponsor Flint Hills Resources, Fiesta netted $575,000 in 2011. Those funds also are earmarked for the Emergency Department project. 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 Emergency Department currently serves almost 40,000 children each year.

Harper appointed by governor to Task Force to Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect and Improve Child Welfare

February 02, 2012
Harper
Harper
CORPUS CHRISTI - Nancy Harper, M.D., medical director of the CARE Team at Driscoll Children's Hospital, is one of five people appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Task Force to Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect and Improve Child Welfare. Pursuant to Senate Bill 1154 of the 82nd legislative session, the Task Force establishes a strategy for reducing child abuse and neglect and for improving child welfare in Texas. Their terms will expire at the pleasure of the governor. Dr. Harper was previously appointed to the inaugural Blue Ribbon Task Force to Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect under Senate Bill 2080, an act of the 81st Legislature.

Dr. Harper is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and board certified in child abuse pediatrics. She is a member of the Ray E. Helfer Society, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and the International Professional Society on Child Abuse and Neglect. She is also a member of the Texas and Corpus Christi Pediatric societies and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Child Safety Review Committee. She is a past board member of the Nueces County Children's Advocacy Center and a past member of the Pediatric Centers of Excellence Committee of the 79th Legislature. Dr. Harper has served as a general pediatrician for the U.S. Navy. She received a bachelor's degree from Amherst College in Massachusetts, a medical degree from Dartmouth University Medical School in Hanover, N.H., and she completed her forensic pediatrics fellowship at Brown University School of Medicine in Providence, R.I.

Employers, public invited to panel discussion promoting breastfeeding in the workplace

January 30, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Driscoll Children's Hospital will host a panel discussion Feb. 10 to educate the public and business professionals about the federal law that supports lactating women once they return to the workforce. Panel members will include representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Texas Department of State Health Services and Driscoll Children's Hospital.

"More than 85 percent of women return to work and or school within the early postpartum weeks," said Laurie Beck, R.N., M.S.N., I.B.C.L.C., Lactation Program coordinator at Driscoll Children's Hospital.

Dr. Regina Benjamin, the surgeon general of the United States, has challenged mothers, families, communities, healthcare professionals and employers to do their part to support and promote breastfeeding for all babies in the United States (www.surgeongeneral.gov). The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aims to improve health outcomes for all Americans. Section 4207 amends the Fair Labor Standards Act and requires employers to provide lactating employees time and space to express breast milk or to breastfeed their child up until the child's first birthday. Ensuring that babies receive optimal nutrition has a positive impact on the health of the mother, the child, the family and the community.

The panel will provide perspectives on worksite lactation support, including:

Legal requirements under the Break Time for Nursing Mothers provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act;

The Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite Program and best practices in worksite lactation support;

Employer perspectives on worksite lactation support.

The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP or for more information, contact Laurie Beck at laurie.beck@dchstx.org or (361) 694-5338.

What: Perspectives and Best Practices in Worksite Lactation Support panel discussion
When: 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Feb. 10
Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital auditorium, 3533 S. Alameda St.
Information/RSVP: laurie.beck@dchstx.org or (361) 694-5338

Dirksen named chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital

January 26, 2012
William Dirksen, M.D., is the new chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
William Dirksen, M.D., is the new chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
CORPUS CHRISTI - William Dirksen, M.D., has been named chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital. His responsibilities include representing the medical staff to the chief executive officer and board of directors, working with hospital management concerning the care of all patients, presiding at all meetings of the medical staff and Medical Executive Committee, recommending medical staff representatives to hospital committees, identifying future medical staff leaders and more. Dr. Dirksen will serve as chief of staff for two years.

Dr. Dirksen has been with Driscoll since 1980 and currently serves as director of Medical Education, where he has fostered and grown its residency program and overseen Driscoll's affiliation with various medical schools and other hospital systems. He has also traveled to Ghana on a goodwill mission to deliver medical care.

Dr. Dirksen earned his medical degree in 1975 at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield and completed his pediatric residency at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

Woerner elected chairman of board by Children's Hospital Association of Texas

January 16, 2012
Woerner
Woerner
CORPUS CHRISTI - Steven F. Woerner, president and chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Hospital, was elected in December as chairman of the Children's Hospital Association of Texas (CHAT) board of directors. His two-year term began Jan. 1 and will run through Dec. 31, 2013. Woerner's duties will include establishing committees, task forces and ad hoc study groups to study CHAT issues, presiding over CHAT board meetings and representing CHAT and children's hospital issues in discussions with legislators and other state officials.

The mission of CHAT is to support the development of an effective, comprehensive, high-quality and appropriately funded children's healthcare delivery system in Texas. Member hospitals include Driscoll Children's Hospital and others in Dallas, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Lubbock, Austin and Houston.

Woerner has more than 30 years of healthcare experience and 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. He is involved in numerous charitable and civic activities in Corpus Christi and has served as a medical missionary for Clinica Corpus Christi in Guatemala.

Woerner holds 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.

Keep Your Kids Safe Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital gets boost from Kohl's Department Stores

January 12, 2012
Company donates $53,062 to Driscoll's Injury Prevention Program

CORPUS CHRISTI - Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children 3-14 years old. The National Highway Safety Administration estimates that roughly three out of four child safety seats are not used correctly. Many parents are unaware that their child's car seat is not properly installed or realize their child is not fitted correctly into their car-seat.

Through a partnership with Kohl's Department Stores, Driscoll Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program will inspect car seats on Friday, Jan. 13, 2012. A check totaling $53,062 will be presented by Kohl's at 10:15 a.m. followed by car seat checks starting at 10:30 a.m.

This year's grant will help support child safety initiatives and outreach programs in the areas of child passenger safety and helmet safety. The donations were collected from Kohl's stores. Since 2004, Kohl's has gifted Driscoll Children's Hospital $293,499 to promote child safety efforts.

"Kohl's has been a great supporter of our child safety initiatives. We are fortunate to have such a great partner," said Maricruz Cantu, injury prevention coordinator at Driscoll Children's Hospital. "Along with the donations which allow us to continue injury prevention programs, the Kohl's associates volunteer their time and make our community outreach events a success."



What: Check presentation and children's car seat checks
When: Friday, Jan. 13, 2012
Time: Check presentation at 10:15 a.m.; car seat checks from 10:30 a.m. - noon
Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program, 3533 S. Alameda St. (yellow portable building behind the Health Center)











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.