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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

Local healthcare professionals selected to serve on state Medicaid committees

February 28, 2012
Woerner
Woerner


Peterson
Peterson


Menendez
Menendez
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.

Woerner elected to statewide hospital association board

January 03, 2012
Steven F. Woerner, president and chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Hospital
Steven F. Woerner, president and chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Hospital
CORPUS CHRISTI - Steven F. Woerner, president and chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Hospital, has been elected to the Texas Hospital Association's (THA) Board of Trustees. He took office Jan. 1 for a three-year term.

Woerner is a former member of THA's Council on Policy Development, and he served a one-year unexpired term on the THA board in 2011.

With more than 30 years of healthcare experience, Woerner 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.

Woerner is involved in numerous charitable and civic activities in Corpus Christi and has served as a medical missionary for Clinica Corpus Christi in Guatemala.

He earned 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.

Driscoll's annual Holiday Spectacular is a chance for rehabilitation patients to shine on stage

December 13, 2011
CORPUS CHRISTI - For many school children, performing in a holiday play is a rite of passage. Children receiving rehabilitation therapy at Driscoll Children's Hospital are given the same opportunity every year during the annual Holiday Spectacular, a tradition that began eight years ago to entertain hospitalized patients and their families. Performers in the show, to be staged Dec. 14, will be patients from Driscoll's Rehabilitation Services Department, their siblings and guest performers from the community.

This year's show will be directed by Driscoll's Christine Carter, a speech-language pathologist and dancer with the Corpus Christi Concert Ballet, and Heidi Lathrop, a physical therapist at Driscoll and former dancer.

"Each year, it is amazing to see our special children give a performance to a standing-room only audience," Carter said. "It is a heartwarming performance that embodies the spirit of Christmas. Our children, who have physical, emotional, mental and linguistic disabilities, seem not to be aware of their own limitations, but are excited to work on their roles and to give a performance sure to spread joy for all who come to see."

In 2004, Driscoll's rehabilitation patients were invited to perform with the Corpus Christi Symphony's holiday show, then conducted by Lee Gwozdz. The children were given a standing ovation and since then, the show has been performed each year by the children of Driscoll's Rehab Department for the hospital's patients and families.

Carter said this year the children will be performing "The Magic Toyshop," "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and excerpts from "The Nutcracker" featuring guest artists. The show will end with a special nativity scene. Additional performances by the Corpus Christi Concert Ballet will take place between the children's performances.

  • What: Driscoll Children's Hospital's annual Holiday Spectacular

  • When: 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14

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

Driscoll collects more than four tons of food during food drive

December 05, 2011
Employees from many departments helped load a U-Haul truck for Driscoll's annual food drive.
Employees from many departments helped load a U-Haul truck for Driscoll's annual food drive.
This year, Driscoll Children's Hospital's employees came together in a big way to collect nearly 4.4 tons of food for donation to KIII-TV. On Dec. 1, numerous departments delivered packages of food and beverages they collected to a U-Haul truck outside the hospital. With the coordination of the Patient Relations Department and the Fun Bunch Committee, all items were weighed and recorded. Then, employees rolled up their sleeves and loaded the truck. The food was delivered to KIII the next day.

Patient Relations recorded which departments collected the most food according their size:

  • Small department: Driscoll Children's Urgent Care - Corpus Christi, 263.80 lbs.

  • Medium department: 6th Tower, 440.22 lbs.

  • Large department: Information Systems, 958.10 lbs.


To make the food collection a little fun, a contest was held for which department created the most original food containers. The winners were:

  • First place: Transport Team, for a mini-Driscoll ambulance.

  • Second place: Environmental Services, for elaborately decorated Smurf-themed boxes.

  • Third place: 4th Tower, for a snowman-decorated barrel.


"All of the participants showed their dedication to making Driscoll the very best it can be," said Evelyn Ferrer, director of Patient Relations. "Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks again to everyone for SHARING YOUR CHRISTMAS!"

Driscoll's Kidney Center marks 50th transplant

November 30, 2011
Program began on Feb. 14, 2007 with brother donating to brother

CORPUS CHRISTI - On Sept. 29, a 6-year-old boy from McAllen received a new kidney at Driscoll Children's Hospital, making him the 50th kidney transplant recipient since the hospital started performing the procedure in 2007. His was also the third living donor transplant.

Fifty successful transplants is a praiseworthy achievement by Driscoll Children's Kidney Center because for many years, South Texas children with kidney failure had no place to obtain healthcare services, said Chief of Staff Bill Allen, MD.

"These children originally had to drive to Galveston for dialysis and transplant services. Within the last 25 years services were developed in Houston and then San Antonio, but still there were no services in South Texas for children with kidney disease."

Over the past decade, Driscoll developed the first dialysis services and kidney transplant program in South Texas. With clinics staffed by board-certified pediatric nephrologists in

Laredo, Brownsville, Harlingen, McAllen and Corpus Christi, Driscoll can now provide

South Texas children with the same quality services that would be available in Denver,

Los Angeles or anywhere in America, Dr. Allen said.

"There is a sense of accomplishment and real joy in being able to provide the very highest standard of care for all south Texas children with kidney disease," he said.

Here are some interesting facts about Driscoll's Kidney Transplant Program:

  • The first transplant on Feb. 14, 2007 was a brother donating a kidney to his brother.

  • The majority of transplant recipients live in the Rio Grande Valley.

  • Three mothers have donated kidneys to their sons; one donated to her daughter.

  • An aunt donated a kidney to her nephew.

  • Two fathers donated to their sons; one dad to his daughter.

  • Two sets of brothers have had kidney transplants.

Presentation to focus on need for donor breast-milk

November 29, 2011
WHAT: Mom's Place, a breastfeeding resource center and donor breast-milk collection site at Driscoll Children's Hospital, invites the community to a presentation on non-profit milk banks and the safe processing of donor human milk for medically fragile babies. The goal of the presentation is to bring awareness to the community about the use of donor milk for premature babies and sick children and to increase the number of women who donate their milk. Presenter will be Kim Updegrove, executive director of the Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin. RSVP is required (see below).

WHEN: 9 - 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 12

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

RSVP: Laurie Beck, (361) 694-5338

Carr promoted to assistant vice president at Driscoll

November 21, 2011
Patricia Carr
Patricia Carr
CORPUS CHRISTI - Patricia Carr has been promoted to assistant vice president of Patient Care Services at Driscoll Children's Hospital. Carr has been a nursing leader at Driscoll as the director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Transport Team. She has been at the hospital since 1993 and in a NICU leadership position for 16 years. Carr has been instrumental in developing a family-centered and developmental care approach within the organization. She is currently working toward a doctorate at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.