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Matt Young, (361) 548-6073

Driscoll's state-of-the-art MRI suite combines entertainment and technology to help ease patients' anxiety

November 11, 2013
Driscoll's newly renovated MRI suite includes a new, larger magnet, an ambient lighting system that can be coordinated with projected images that patients can choose (right), and a TV screen on which they can watch movies.
Driscoll's newly renovated MRI suite includes a new, larger magnet, an ambient lighting system that can be coordinated with projected images that patients can choose (right), and a TV screen on which they can watch movies.
CORPUS CHRISTI - Under construction since the spring, the newly renovated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suite at Driscoll Children's Hospital is now fully operational. The state-of-the-art suite could have come from the Starship Enterprise, with its streamlined architecture, new, larger magnet and features that allow patients to choose sights, sounds and even movies while they undergo an MRI.

"Allowing children to control the environment when they may be nervous about a procedure helps them become calmer," said Ernest Chavez, Driscoll director of Radiology Services.

An MRI is a noninvasive, diagnostic procedure that uses a magnet to obtain detailed images of the internal structure of the body. It typically lasts 45 minutes to an hour.

Among the customizable features in the MRI suite is a projection system that displays moving, child-friendly images on a wall. Patients can choose from a variety of themes, including sky, underwater, jungle, South America and Europe. And each theme is paired with a color that illuminates the room via an ambient lighting system. If a child doesn't want a projection theme, they can choose the color of the lighting, or to have alternating colors. The lighting and projection can be programmed on a wall-mounted keypad when the patient arrives in the MRI suite or beforehand on a tablet.

A 32-inch, flat-screen TV in the room also allows patients to watch their favorite movie. They can bring their own DVD or pick one that is available in the suite, such as "Cars," "Ice Age," "Tangled" and "Iron Man." Children hear the movie through headphones. If they opt not to watch a movie, they can listen to music on their own CD or one that is on hand, like Taylor Swift or One Direction.

The renovation also includes a new magnet with a 70-centimeter bore, which is 15 centimeters larger than the previous magnet's. The larger bore size is beneficial in different ways. Patients can more easily see their parents while the MRI is being performed, Driscoll's technical and medical staff have easier access to the patient, it lessens the potential for claustrophobic feelings, and it can accommodate larger patients.

"With this equipment, an MRI can be a pleasant experience rather than one that may be scary to a child," said Driscoll radiologist Allister Arnold, MD. "At the same time, procedures can be done more efficiently."

This year, Driscoll's Radiology Services installed ambient lighting in its X-ray rooms, and it will also be incorporated in the computed tomography and nuclear medicine rooms. The ultrasound rooms will also be outfitted during future remodeling. Funding for the ambient lighting, including that in the MRI suite, came from Driscoll's annual Fiesta de los Niños fundraiser.

Driscoll's ER renovation project to benefit from Halliburton donation

November 11, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Representatives from Halliburton will present a check for $50,000 to Driscoll Children's Hospital tomorrow, to go toward the redesign and expansion of Driscoll's Emergency Room. The donation was made possible by funds raised at the 20th annual Halliburton Charity Golf Tournament, held last month in Houston.

Approximately 35,000 children visit Driscoll's ER annually. The renovation and expansion of the ER began in July and is scheduled to last 16 to 18 months. The $12 million project will increase the size of the ER and lobby by approximately 5,000 square feet. It will result in a state-of-the-art ER and significantly enhance overall patient care at Driscoll

"Halliburton has been a dedicated supporter of children's health," said Martha Avery, Driscoll vice president of Development. "We are very fortunate to have such a great partner here in our region. We are extremely grateful to Halliburton for their generous support."

Each year, Halliburton partners with vendors, suppliers and employees to host its Charity Golf Tournament in Houston. Since its inception, the tournament has given nearly $8.5 million to charities across the United States. Two previous donations from the event have gone toward Driscoll's ER project.

"Making a real difference for organizations like Driscoll Children's Hospital is what the Halliburton Charity Golf Tournament is all about," said Joe Foster, Halliburton vice president of Business Development for the Southeast area. "It's remarkable to have proceeds from the tournament support worthwhile causes, such as Driscoll's ER renovation project, to continue providing hope and healing for children across South Texas."

What: Halliburton check presentation
When: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12
Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital, main lobby, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll's Cottage Shop again voted no. 1 consignment store

November 08, 2013
The Cottage Shop staff includes (left to right) Jim Tansey, Lydia Blunzter, Karen Easton, Kathy Jenkin, Dot Van Burkleo, Linda Kaatz, Susan Quiroz (manager), Maria Luisa Doyle, Pam Pudelka, Rosemary Fischer, Imelda Garcia and Margaret Meinecke.
The Cottage Shop staff includes (left to right) Jim Tansey, Lydia Blunzter, Karen Easton, Kathy Jenkin, Dot Van Burkleo, Linda Kaatz, Susan Quiroz (manager), Maria Luisa Doyle, Pam Pudelka, Rosemary Fischer, Imelda Garcia and Margaret Meinecke.
CORPUS CHRISTI - For the second year running, readers of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times have voted the Cottage Shop at Driscoll Children's Hospital the no. 1 consignment store in the newspaper's 2013 Best of the Best competition.

The Cottage Shop, operated by the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital, offers gently used and new merchandise at bargain prices, including men's, women's and children's clothing, toys, household items and collectibles. The store's first priority is to provide clothes and necessities to patients and their families who are in need, and 100 percent of the proceeds from sales go back to the hospital.

The Cottage Shop accepts donations of new and gently used items. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call (361) 694-5800.

Sutton receives pediatric pathology certification

November 06, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Lisa M. Sutton, MD, pediatric pathologist at Driscoll Children's Hospital, recently passed an exam administered by the American Board of Pathology (ABP) and is certified in pediatric pathology. Dr. Sutton was also previously certified by the ABP in anatomic and clinical pathology.

Gonzalez joins Driscoll as maternal-fetal medicine specialist

November 05, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Anna Gonzalez, MD, has joined Driscoll Children's Hospital as a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. Dr. Gonzalez received her medical degree in 2005 from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology in 2009 at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, and this year completed her fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Chicago. Dr. Gonzalez is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a Fellow in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.

Peterson re-elected by American Association of Anesthesiologists

November 05, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Anesthesiologist Mary Dale Peterson, MD, MSHCA, chief executive officer of Driscoll Health Plan, was recently re-elected assistant treasurer of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). The ASA is a 50,000-member, educational research and scientific association of physicians organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology and improve the care of the patient.

Driscoll Health Plan program gets boost from March of Dimes

November 04, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - The March of Dimes Texas Chapter recently presented Driscoll Health Plan (DHP) with a chapter community award in support of the Cadena de Madres program. The 2013 March of Dimes Chapter Community Grant Award - Region 11 included a check for $2,500. The Cadena de Madres (chain of mothers) program provides education to DHP members to help reduce the rate of preterm deliveries and to have stronger, healthier babies.

Driscoll Health Plan, community partners bringing Crossroads Diabetes Expo to Victoria

October 30, 2013
VICTORIA - Diabetes is an ongoing and growing cause for concern across South Texas. To help those affected by the disease, Driscoll Health Plan, the Victoria Regional Health Alliance and the Area Health Education Center are partnering to offer traveling Diabetes Expos.

The kick-off event, the Crossroads Diabetes Expo, will be held Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Victoria College Student Center.

Diabetes Expos are public events that will put diabetics and their caregivers in touch with area resources and offer free diabetes screenings. Educational sessions with information about lifestyle changes and disease self-management will also be offered. Topics such as carbohydrate counting, medication management, exercise, behavior modification and childhood diabetes will be addressed by professionals in the fields of medicine, nutrition, endocrinology, nursing and diabetes self-care. Healthcare providers and diabetic educators will also have the opportunity to gain Continuing Medical Education credits by attending the provider seminar.

The cost to attend the Crossroads Diabetes Expo is $3 per person in advance or $5 at the door. The fee includes admission, a breakfast snack and a luncheon featuring motivational speaker Nate Lytle. The admission fee will be waived for those who cannot pay.

What: Crossroads Diabetes Expo
When: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9
Where: Victoria College Student Center, 2200 E. Red River

Patients will trick-or-treat through hospital during Driscoll's Pumpkin Parade

October 30, 2013
WHAT: The Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital is hosting the 13th annual Pumpkin Parade, a chance for patients to get dressed up in their Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating within the hospital. Driscoll employees will line the route with goodies for the children as they parade by. Also participating will be representatives from Stripes convenience stores, H-E-B, naval aviators from the Pilot for a Day program and Corpus Christi Hooks mascot Sammy Seagull.

WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31

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

Driscoll surgeon addresses causes of obesity, offers weight-loss strategies in new book

October 29, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Mohammad A. Emran, MD, board-certified general and pediatric surgeon at Driscoll Children's Hospital, recently authored a book to help his patients and their families in their everyday battle against obesity. In "Fast-Track Your Health," Dr. Emran offers advice and insight to those who've had unsuccessful weight-loss attempts or are looking for the knowledge that can lead them to success.

"Obesity is one of the biggest healthcare problems in this country, and it affects every system in the body," Dr. Emran said. "There are a lot of myths and bad influences out there that are working against people trying to live healthier lives. My book focuses on what causes obesity and offers strategies so people can succeed."

Dr. Emran's book, to be released in November, details his personal experiences with patients and with his own family to illustrate the techniques for effective weight loss. They include:

Identifying the common factors shared by people who have succeeded in losing weight.
Avoiding the common difficulties that can prevent weight loss.
Discovering why it's best not to focus on any specific diet or type of exercise.
Organizing their process of weight loss and weight maintenance.
Maintaining hope despite the problems they might have previously experienced.

Dr. Emran is the director of Driscoll Children's Hospital's Adolescent Weight Management Program. He is also the founder of the not-for-profit SpringCure Foundation (www.springcurefoundation.com), which is committed to eliminating childhood obesity and improving childhood nutrition and fitness. Dr. Emran has years of experience addressing the challenges of excess weight and the common failure of weight-loss efforts, and he has helped many patients by teaching them the essential factors that lead to lasting success.