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Young weight-loss patients to celebrate, share experiences

October 21, 2010
11 teenagers have had lap band surgery at Driscoll Children's Hospital

CORPUS CHRISTI - Through the highly successful bariatrics program at Driscoll Children's Hospital, eleven teenagers have received lap band surgery to help overcome obesity. To celebrate the success of the program and the positive changes it has brought to the patients' lives, a masquerade-themed party will be held for them in Driscoll's auditorium on Sunday, Oct. 24.

"All of the patients keep asking about the other ones," said Colleen Carrell, bariatrics program coordinator. "All of the kids having surgery want to know what number they are, how many cases have been done and how the others are doing."

Sunday's party will include entertainment by "Dr. Freeze," music, dancing, games, photos, food and lots of door prizes, Carrell said. The occasion will also be used to announce the start of the much-awaited support group for the bariatric patients and their families.

"Nothing helps motivate others like successful, enthusiastic peers," Carrell said.

About 82 patients are on the waiting list to have the surgery performed, Carrell said. Lap band surgery helps a patient lose and control weight by the attachment of an adjustable band around the top of the stomach that decreases sensations of hunger. Driscoll launched its lap band program in August 2009. The first patient, 19-year-old Jennifer Garcia of Portland, was the first patient to receive lap band surgery in a Texas pediatric hospital.

About 18 doctors and experts contribute their expertise to each lap band operation. Pre-operation preparation includes X-rays, laboratory tests, a six-month dietary program and consultation with a psychologist. A post-operation regimen of regular exercise and healthy eating must be followed.

"This isn't a cosmetic surgery," said Mohammad Emran, M.D., the surgeon who leads the team performing the procedure. "It is providing the patient with an effective tool to help control their weight and eliminate their associated health problems."

Significant health problems such as type II diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, hyperlipidemia and hyperinsulinemia can be completely or significantly resolved with weight loss, Dr. Emran said.

To be considered for lap band surgery, candidates must be at least 14 years old and have exhausted other methods of losing weight, Carrell said. She adds that lap band surgery is not the only solution to obesity.

"The solution to obesity is education, lifestyle changes and exercise," Carrell said. "No bariatric procedures alone will eliminate someone's obese condition entirely without lifestyle changes.
"Some people have the opinion that it's all the parents' fault and they just need to stop feeding the child. Although that is true in some circumstances, many of the adolescents have medical factors that, despite their best efforts with diet and exercise, make them continue to gain weight."

  • What: Celebration for Driscoll lap band recipients

  • When: 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24

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

Driscoll CPR trainers part of team to train members of Gov. Rick Perry's staff

October 20, 2010
Left to right: Matt Metford, governor's staff ; Ricky De La Garza, paramedic program instructor - Victoria College faculty; Edna Jackson, governor's staff; Richard Zimmerman, RRT, Driscoll Children's Hospital transport team; Diana Moser, BS, RRT, NPS, Driscoll Children's Hospital training center coordinator and vice chair, ECC - Texas; Maggie Roberts, Child Protective Services; Lena Trevino, RRT, NPS, Driscoll Children's Hospital respiratory supervisor; Gary Nycum, RN, CPN, Driscoll Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit staff nurse, ECC - Texas chair; Daniel Vargas, MS, City of Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Dept. assistant director, area CPR mega-trainer; and Tito Calderon, governor's staff.
Left to right: Matt Metford, governor's staff ; Ricky De La Garza, paramedic program instructor - Victoria College faculty; Edna Jackson, governor's staff; Richard Zimmerman, RRT, Driscoll Children's Hospital transport team; Diana Moser, BS, RRT, NPS, Driscoll Children's Hospital training center coordinator and vice chair, ECC - Texas; Maggie Roberts, Child Protective Services; Lena Trevino, RRT, NPS, Driscoll Children's Hospital respiratory supervisor; Gary Nycum, RN, CPN, Driscoll Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit staff nurse, ECC - Texas chair; Daniel Vargas, MS, City of Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Dept. assistant director, area CPR mega-trainer; and Tito Calderon, governor's staff.
CORPUS CHRISTI - Gary Nycum, RN, CPN, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit staff nurse at Driscoll Children's Hospital and Texas Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) Committee chair for the American Heart Association, recently led a contingent of cardiovascular pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) trainers to the state capitol in Austin to teach CPR to Gov. Rick Perry's staff. The ECC Committee oversees all of the training programs for the American Heart Association in Texas. The team consisted of trainers from Driscoll Children's Hospital, Victoria College, Child Protective Services and the City of Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Dept.

"They treated us like royalty and we gave them the royal training like they had never had before," Nycum said. "We had the time of our lives and our goal is to become the permanent CPR trainers for the governor's staff."

They will be returning to the capitol soon to train 10 to 15 more staffers before the legislative session begins, Nycum said.

Patients to have Halloween celebration at Driscoll Children's Hospital

October 18, 2010
WHAT: Volunteers with Spirit Halloween's Spirit of Children program are bringing a Halloween celebration for patients at Driscoll's Children Hospital, including costumes, activities and more. Spirit of Children has raised more than $9,000 for Driscoll's Children Hospital to date.

WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19

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

Hundreds of South Texas families expected at Driscoll's annual NICU Reunion

October 15, 2010
WHAT: Children who were treated at Driscoll Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and their families look forward every year to reuniting, having fun and visiting with hospital staff. The 32nd Annual NICU Reunion will include games, prizes, moonwalks, pumpkin decorating, face painting, refreshments and more. Between 300 and 400 people are expected to attend from all over South Texas.

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 16, 2-4 p.m.

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital front parking lot, 3533 S. Alameda

Driscoll physician speaks at infectious diseases conference in Taiwan

October 14, 2010
CORPUS CHRISTI - Jaime Fergie, M.D., director of infectious diseases at Driscoll Children's Hospital, spoke recently at the 5th Asian Congress of Pediatric Infectious Diseases in Taipei, Taiwan. The conference attracted more than 1,500 pediatricians and health experts from around Asia who attended the event to work for the betterment of child health in the future. Dr. Fergie gave a presentation on "Prevention of Respiratory Syncytial Virus in High-Risk Babies."

"Respiratory Syncytial Virus infections are present throughout the world and they cause a severe disease in young infants and children with underlying medical conditions such as prematurity and chronic pulmonary and cardiac diseases," Dr. Fergie said. "International research studies that included children at Driscoll Children's Hospital demonstrated the ability of a medication in preventing this infection in the most at-risk infants."

Driscoll Children's Hospital receives the Texas Award for Performance Excellence

June 17, 2010
Donna Quinn (third from left), vice president of Operations and Quality for Driscoll Children's Hospital, holds the Texas Award for Performance Excellence with Steve Woerner (fourth from left), Driscoll president and chief executive officer. Second from right is Bill Denney, president of the Quality Texas Foundation, and the others are members of the foundation.
Donna Quinn (third from left), vice president of Operations and Quality for Driscoll Children's Hospital, holds the Texas Award for Performance Excellence with Steve Woerner (fourth from left), Driscoll president and chief executive officer. Second from right is Bill Denney, president of the Quality Texas Foundation, and the others are members of the foundation.
CORPUS CHRISTI - This month, Driscoll Children's Hospital was presented with the
Texas Award for Performance Excellence (TAPE) by the Quality Texas Foundation, making it the only children's hospital in Texas to receive this recognition. The award elevates the hospital to the Progress Level, the third of five levels of achievement.

"Last year Driscoll was recognized at the Commitment Level, which is Level 2," said Dr. Deborah Flores, assistant vice president for Quality and Risk Management for Driscoll Children's Hospital. "This newest recognition indicates that we demonstrated with data in our application that we are making quantifiable progress in the seven categories the award addresses."

The seven categories are Leadership, Strategic Planning, Customer and Market Focus, Information and Knowledge Management, Workforce Focus, Process Management and Results. The Texas Award for Performance Excellence recognizes organizations in many areas, including manufacturing, education, healthcare, service providers and non-profits.

The award was presented to Driscoll at the TAPE Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Rockwall on June 6-7th.