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Driscoll Health Plan in focus: An incentive program for new moms

October 12, 2012
RIO GRANDE VALLEY - Motherhood is a big job, and helping mothers and their babies stay healthy in South Texas is a big focus of Driscoll Health Plan (DHP). For example, DHP encourages moms to stay on track with Texas Health Steps - a roadmap to healthy living for mothers and newborns - by offering incentives such as gift cards for diapers* when they complete each of their postpartum checkups and at least four of the newborn checkups.

Under the Texas Health Steps incentive program, mothers are encouraged to visit their obstetrician after giving birth to ensure their recovery from delivery is proceeding well. These visits allow them to get additional information on breastfeeding and birth spacing.

"Similarly, we hope that the infant will get all the recommended checkups from his or her pediatrician or family physician," said Ernest Buck, MD, medical director of DHP.

Infants' checkups are typically scheduled at 5 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months old, Dr. Buck said. The visits are spaced to ensure the babies' growth and development is proceeding normally. They'll get the recommended vaccines, and parents will have the chance to learn parenting skills.

As mothers complete each infant checkup, they can receive a gift card for diapers. In addition, DHP offers a $20 gift card to moms* who continue to get all checkups after the baby's first year, which are scheduled at 12 months, 15 months, 18 months, 24 months, 30 months and annually from age 3 to 20 years.

"We want to encourage the family to get the very best in medical care and reward them for doing just that," Dr. Buck said.

DHP has more than 51,600 members in the Hidalgo Service Delivery Area (SDA), which includes the counties of Cameron, Duval, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Maverick, McMullen, Starr, Webb, Willacy and Zapata. It is the only non-profit, provider-sponsored plan in the Hidalgo SDA. For more information about DHP, families can go to www.driscollhealthplan.com or call 855-425-3247. This is the second in a series of four press releases about DHP's value-added services.

* This is not an all-inclusive list of value-added services. Restrictions and/or limitations apply.

Huynh brings sports medicine expertise to Driscoll

September 26, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Phuong Huynh, MD, has joined Children's Physician Services of South Texas at Driscoll Children's Hospital as a sports medicine physician. Dr. Huynh recently completed a primary care sports medicine fellowship at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. She has had extensive training in the assessment, evaluation and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries.

Dr. Huynh will diagnose and treat musculoskeletal sports injuries and offer advice on injury prevention to athletes, coaches, trainers and sports teams. She will work closely with Driscoll's physical therapists and athletic trainer to develop rehabilitation plans and exercise regimes that are specific to each patient and their injury.

Almond named president-elect of Transplantation Society

September 21, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Stephen Almond, MD, chief of Pediatric Surgery, Urology and Transplantation at Driscoll Children's Hospital, was recently named president-elect of the Texas Transplantation Society (TTS) at their annual meeting in Galveston. The TTS is a professional association founded in 1987 to facilitate transplantation within the state of Texas. Their mission is to advance transplantation and organ donation through education and advocacy with a unified and authoritative voice.

Sneak Peek Pre-Op Tour Program aims to reduce anxiety for patients, families before surgery

August 22, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - No matter the age of the person, having surgery can be a stressful experience. To help young patients feel more comfortable about an upcoming surgery, Driscoll Children's Hospital has developed the Sneak Peek Pre-Op Tour Program, a proactive approach that will allow children and their families to become familiar with the hospital and ask any questions they may have.

"When children know what to expect, they typically respond better during stressful situations like having surgery," said Michelle Goodman, MSN, RN, director of the 4th floor and Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital. "Also, when their parents and siblings can ask questions and see where they'll be going, this helps reduce anxiety levels all around and makes the hospital experience better."

Sneak Peek Pre-Op tours will be conducted once a week by Sara Robertson, a Child Life specialist who is trained in providing age-appropriate information to children and can answer questions regarding their care and surgery. Procedures could include dental surgeries, tonsillectomies, colonoscopies, spinal cord fusions, urological surgeries and numerous others.

Patients and their families will be taken to the Day Surgery Unit to see the holding room, operating room, Day Surgery waiting area and recovery room. If the patient is scheduled to be admitted for an overnight stay, they may arrange to visit Driscoll's Inpatient Unit as well, Goodman said.

Goodman recommends that parents make a Sneak Peek Pre-Op Tour reservation as soon as they learn their child's date of surgery. Depending on the age of the patient, the tour may be scheduled up to two weeks in advance. For children younger than five years old, Goodman suggests that parents schedule the tour as close to the admission date as possible. She added that some tours may be private to meet patients' and families' individual needs.

Parents can schedule a tour by calling (361) 694-5760 or e-mailing preoptour@dchstx.org.

Research by Driscoll residents & physicians gains national, international recognition

June 22, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - An abstract written by Driscoll Children's Hospital resident Sanjeet Panda, MD and co-authored by Driscoll physicians Stephen Almond, MD, Mohammad Emran, MD, Haroon Patel, MD, Juan Prieto, MD and Leon Smith-Harrison, MD has been accepted for presentation at the 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans Oct. 20-23 and the XVII Ibero-American Society for Pediatric Urology Meeting Sept. 4-8 in Cartagena, Colombia. Research for Dr. Panda's abstract, titled "Surgical Management for the Palpable Undescended Testicle: Scrotal or Inguinal Approach?," was conducted at Driscoll Children's Hospital.

Dr. Panda, Driscoll resident Grace Lucas, MD and Dr. Prieto also collaborated on two abstracts, "Scrotal Approach for Definitive Management of Cryptorchidism and Communicating Hydrocele in Children" and "Effects of Urethroplasty Suturing Technique in Primary Tubularized Incised Plate (TIP) Hypospadias Repair," both of which have been accepted for presentation at the 91st annual meeting of the South Central Section- American Urological Association Oct. 24-27 in Colorado Springs, Colo., as well as the XVII Ibero-American Society for Pediatric Urology Meeting in Cartagena.

In addition, Driscoll resident Karen Tuano, MD was named the first place winner in the 2012 Texas Pediatric Society Fellow and Resident Poster Contest for her poster in the Evidence Based Medicine/Quality of Improvement category, titled "Preliminary Study on Control of Asthma in Children 6-11 Years Old Who Visit the Emergency Department at Driscoll Children's Hospital." Residents Monika Bhagat, MD, Mavie Narcise, MD and Shuya Wu, MD were contributors to the project. Also, resident Devasena Iyer, MD received second place for her poster in the same category, titled "WAT-1 vs. SOS: Determination of Iatrogenic Withdrawal in the ICU, a Pilot Study." Driscoll physician Kevin Schooler, MD, PhD served as Dr. Iyer's advisor.

Driscoll cancer patients return Saturday after a week of camping fun

June 22, 2012
WHAT: Cancer patients from Driscoll Children's Hospital will be returning with a week's worth of stories about their experiences at Camp For All in Burton. Rock climbing, swimming, archery, cooking, fishing and kayaking are some of the activities the campers enjoyed during their stay.

WHEN: 1:30-2 p.m. Saturday, June 23

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital Day Surgery & Rehabilitation Building, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Wang joins Driscoll Children's Hospital as neurologist

June 21, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Ching Wang, MD, PhD, has joined Driscoll Children's Hospital as a neurologist. He was formerly the director of the Neuromuscular Clinic at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University Medical Center in California and an associate professor of neurology and pediatrics at Stanford.

Dr. Wang earned his doctorate in neuroscience at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and his medical degree at Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago. He performed his residency in pediatrics at Children's Medical Center of Dallas, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. Dr. Wang completed a fellowship in pediatric neurology at the Neurological Institute, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, followed by post-doctoral research at the Laboratory of Human Molecular Genetics, Department of Genetics and Development at Columbia University in New York City.

Dr. Wang is certified in neurology with special competence in child neurology by the American Board of Pediatrics, and he is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, American Academy of Neurology, Child Neurology Society, American Society of Human Genetics and the Autism Society of America.

Driscoll volunteer chosen from 1,500 for statewide award

June 13, 2012
Richard 'Dick' Hinman has brought smiles to children for 18 years

CORPUS CHRISTI - When it comes to receiving awards for exceptional service as a volunteer, Richard "Dick" Hinman thinks there's one person who doesn't deserve one: himself. Despite his belief, Hinman, a volunteer at Driscoll Children's Hospital, has been chosen from about 1,500 nominees as the first statewide recipient of the Home Instead Senior Care's Salute to Senior Service Award. The award will be presented to him at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Driscoll's cardiology conference room.

"I'm flattered, but we have an awful lot of volunteers here who are more deserving than I am," said Hinman, 81, who has been a member of the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital since 1994.

Hinman was first chosen as the winner of Home Instead's local award and just recently learned that he is the statewide winner. The organization's Salute to Senior Service Award program is designed to recognize retired senior volunteers who make a difference every day in their communities.

"These unsung heroes are making a bigger impact than ever as local budgets evaporate and community needs escalate," said Dr. M. Retta Martin of Home Instead Senior Care in Corpus Christi, who helped select Hinman for the award. "Dick's longevity as a volunteer made him stand out, as did the fact that he almost does it full time. We know that without volunteers, many organizations couldn't do what they do."

Hinman said with a laugh that he may cut back his volunteer hours to 25 or 30 hours a week. In total, he has given more than 29,000 hours of volunteer service at Driscoll - equaling more than 1,600 hours a year.

But the retired petrochemical worker and engineering specialist is having too much fun. He maintains an infectious smile at Driscoll Children's Hospital and is known for cheering up patients with stories, antics and magic tricks.

"I've been told I'm in my second childhood," Hinman said. "But I don't think I ever left my first childhood. I'm just a big kid."

While the services of all of Driscoll's volunteers are equally appreciated and valued, Hinman's rapport with children is something special, said Lizette Saenz, director of Volunteer Services.

"Dick is deserving of the Salute to Senior Service Award for so many reasons. He makes the hospital experience pleasant and sometimes even fun for the children he encounters. At the same time, he genuinely cares about the patients and respects them and their families."

With characteristic humility, Hinman said the smile of a child is the only reward he needs for his 18 years of service at Driscoll Children's Hospital.

"When a parent says to me, 'That's the first time my son or daughter has smiled in a long time,' that's a pretty big paycheck."

What: Home Instead Senior Care's Salute to Senior Service Award presentation for Richard "Dick" Hinman
When: 9:30 a.m. Thursday, June 14
Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital, cardiology conference room, 2nd floor, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony held naming building in honor of champion of children's healthcare

June 04, 2012
Cutting the ribbon for the C. Ivan Wilson Patient Support Center June 4 were (from left) Steve Woerner, Driscoll president & CEO; Joe Fulton, Driscoll Foundation trustee; Lenora Keas, Driscoll Children's Hospital governing board member; Loyd Neal, chairman of the governing board; Sam L. Susser, president & CEO of Susser Holdings Corp. & Driscoll Foundation trustee; C. Ivan Wilson, governing board member; his wife, Lola Wilson; and Corpus Christi Mayor Joe Adame.
Cutting the ribbon for the C. Ivan Wilson Patient Support Center June 4 were (from left) Steve Woerner, Driscoll president & CEO; Joe Fulton, Driscoll Foundation trustee; Lenora Keas, Driscoll Children's Hospital governing board member; Loyd Neal, chairman of the governing board; Sam L. Susser, president & CEO of Susser Holdings Corp. & Driscoll Foundation trustee; C. Ivan Wilson, governing board member; his wife, Lola Wilson; and Corpus Christi Mayor Joe Adame.
C. Ivan Wilson Patient Support Center was renovated by Driscoll Children's Hospital

CORPUS CHRISTI - A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held today at Driscoll Children's Hospital's newly renovated C. Ivan Wilson Patient Support Center. Attendees saw beautifully landscaped grounds, freshly painted, tan stucco exterior walls with blue and brown trim and a shaded, covered entrance. Driscoll officials were joined by Corpus Christi Mayor Joe Adame, Loyd Neal and C. Ivan Wilson for the ceremony, which included the unveiling of a bronze bust of Wilson that is displayed in the foyer.

The building is a fitting testament to the man who has been actively involved with Driscoll Children's Hospital for decades, said Steve Woerner, Driscoll president and chief executive officer.

"Ivan has been an instrumental part of the Driscoll team for 30 years. Our organization has flourished due in large part to his selfless efforts. He has never lost sight of Driscoll's mission - to offer hope and healing to children in an environment of trust, compassion and care."

Wilson became a trustee of the Robert Driscoll and Julia Driscoll and Robert Driscoll Jr. Foundation in 1982 and a member of the hospital's governing board in 1983. He has served as treasurer of the board and was its chairman from January 2001 to September 2011. He remains a board member. Wilson has long been a champion of high-quality healthcare for the children of South Texas, and his dedication to Driscoll has inspired many people.

The C. Ivan Wilson Patient Support Center was formerly a synagogue. Renovation of the 13,700 square-foot building began in August 2011. Marble flooring in the entryway, high ceilings and solid wood paneling are some of its new features. Once all renovations are complete, Driscoll will provide a variety of patient support services in the building.

What: Ribbon-cutting ceremony for the C. Ivan Wilson Patient Support Center at Driscoll Children's Hospital
When: 10 a.m. Monday, June 4
Where: 3434 Fort Worth St. (next to the Ronald McDonald House behind Driscoll Children's Hospital, 3533 S. Alameda St.)

Driscoll cancer patients to enjoy annual fishing tournament

June 01, 2012

WHAT: The Chemo Kids Fish Off is an annual excursion that allows cancer patients at Driscoll Children's Hospital to take their minds off chemotherapy and enjoy a morning of fishing. About 40 children will ride in boats driven by fishing guides who will be donating their time. After fishing, trophies will be awarded to the children in various categories.

WHEN: Boats depart at 8 a.m. & return at 11 a.m. Monday, June 4

WHERE: Hampton's Landing Marina, 430 E. Ransom Rd., Aransas Pass