DCH News

McAllen Medical Plaza

Driscoll Children's Hospital, Whataburger to hold press conference, announce details of upcoming GALA

March 05, 2012
Driscoll Children's Hospital, Whataburger to hold press conference, announce details of upcoming GALA

WHAT: Whataburger officials will present a check for $40,000 to Driscoll Children's Hospital at a press conference and announce details about the upcoming Driscoll Children's Hospital GALA in the Rio Grande Valley. The GALA, formerly known as Fiesta de los Niños, will benefit Driscoll's specialty clinics in the Valley.

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 8

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Quick Care, 1120 E. Ridge Road, McAllen

Driscoll's McAllen clinic to host Heart Celebration

February 15, 2012
Event is to increase awareness of congenital heart defects
McALLEN - In a month that most people associate with Valentine's Day, Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza - McAllen will be hosting a Heart Celebration Feb. 17 for its young cardiology patients. Following Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week (see www.tchin.org/aware/), the celebration is an effort to bring awareness to the community about the many South Texas children born with heart defects. The Heart Celebration will include crafts, games and refreshments for the children and their families.

Each year, cardiologists at Driscoll and its South Texas clinics see about 7,200 children for heart-related issues. Last year, more than 3,000 children in the Rio Grande Valley were seen, said Judy Vest, RN, clinic director of Driscoll Children's Heart Center. 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: Heart Celebration for Driscoll cardiology patients and their families
When: 2-4 p.m. Feb. 17
Where: Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza - McAllen, 1120 E. Ridge Rd.

Driscoll bilingual employees receive national designation

November 11, 2011
(Standing, from left) Evelyn Ferrer, course instructor and director of Interpretation Services at Driscoll Children's Hospital; Maria Gonzalez, Sonia Chapa, Ellen Carruthers, Gricelda Cantu, Lizette Saenz, director of Volunteer Services at Driscoll and Peniel Martinez, course instructor and Patient Relations representative; (sitting, from left) Dora Renteria, Rebecca Garza and Nora Garcia.
(Standing, from left) Evelyn Ferrer, course instructor and director of Interpretation Services at Driscoll Children's Hospital; Maria Gonzalez, Sonia Chapa, Ellen Carruthers, Gricelda Cantu, Lizette Saenz, director of Volunteer Services at Driscoll and Peniel Martinez, course instructor and Patient Relations representative; (sitting, from left) Dora Renteria, Rebecca Garza and Nora Garcia.
McALLEN - A handful of employees and volunteers at Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza - McAllen were recently designated Spanish Bilingual Assistants (SBA) by the National Medical Interpreter Project. The project, dedicated to supporting language access for non-English-speaking families, is designed to provide a bilingual individual with the basic tools for providing interpretation.

Evelyn Ferrer, director of Interpretation Services at Driscoll Children's Hospital and one of the class instructors, began providing the course for hospital employees in 2008. This is the second class offered to Rio Grande Valley employees.

"Our commitment is to facilitate communication between patients and families with limited English proficiency and their healthcare providers in an accurate, complete, professional and confidential manner," Ferrer said.

Three employees and four members of the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital were chosen for the 60-hour curriculum, which covered topics such as introduction to medical interpreting, culture and medicine, legal issues and ethics, basic anatomy and physiology, diseases and conditions and tests and procedures.

Specially trained interpreters are in high demand at Driscoll. Just last month, Driscoll's interpreters logged more than 500 interpretation encounters.

Newly designated SBAs are:

  • Gricelda Cantu, volunteer

  • Ellen Carruthers, volunteer

  • Sonia Chapa, volunteer

  • Nora Garcia, volunteer

  • Rebecca Garza, RN, Driscoll Children's Quick Care - McAllen

  • Maria Gonzalez, LVN, Driscoll Children's Quick Care - McAllen

  • Dora Renteria, Certified Medical Assistant, Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza -  McAllen

Driscoll Children's Health Plan expands further into South Texas

October 26, 2011
Steve Woerner, president and CEO of Driscoll Children's Hospital, announces the expansion of Driscoll Children's Health Plan Oct. 26 in McAllen with Mary Dale Peterson, MD, CEO of the Health Plan.
Steve Woerner, president and CEO of Driscoll Children's Hospital, announces the expansion of Driscoll Children's Health Plan Oct. 26 in McAllen with Mary Dale Peterson, MD, CEO of the Health Plan.
Membership will be available to about 400,000 people in 10 counties

CORPUS CHRISTI - Many children and their parents who need healthcare coverage in 10 South Texas counties have new health plans to choose from. Among them is Driscoll Children's Health Plan (DCHP), one of four that were recently awarded a Medicaid managed care contract in South Texas by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).

Being selected for the contract was no small feat, according to DCHP President and Chief Executive Officer Mary Dale Peterson, MD.

"DCHP was chosen over many competitors including other non-profit entities and very large, publicly traded, managed care organizations," she said. "This shows that the Health and Human Services Commission trusts us to deliver quality care to the South Texas population."

DCHP covers 10 counties in South Texas, referred to as the Hidalgo service delivery area (SDA). It's available to the Medicaid-eligible population, of which there are approximately 400,000 people. Driscoll's is the only non-profit, provider-sponsored health plan in the Hidalgo SDA. DCHP has a dedicated team of pediatric and adult doctors, and the plan accepts members regardless of any pre-existing health conditions.

DCHP comes with a name that is synonymous with high-quality healthcare in South Texas. Clara Driscoll bequeathed her family fortune to the creation of Driscoll Children's Hospital, which opened in Corpus Christi in 1953. In later decades, the hospital opened specialty clinics in Laredo, Brownsville, McAllen and Harlingen. Driscoll offers care to children regardless of their family's ability to pay.

DCHP will increase access to healthcare for many children, Dr. Peterson said. It's now being assessed how many additional physicians and healthcare providers will be needed in the Hidalgo SDA.

The HHSC also recently renewed DCHP's contract in the 14-county Nueces SDA, making it one of three managed care health plans in that area. The Nueces SDA is where DCHP established its solid history of delivering quality healthcare.

"DCHP has a proven track record," Dr. Peterson said. "I'm confident that our expansion into South Texas will improve care to many children, which was Clara Driscoll's mission all along."

Counties in the Hidalgo SDA are:
  • Cameron

  • Duval

  • Hidalgo

  • Jim Hogg

  • Maverick

  • McMullen

  • Starr

  • Webb

  • Willacy

  • Zapata


For more information on DCHP, call (361) 904-0955 or 1-877-DCHP-KIDS or go to www.dchpkids.com.

Driscoll to make major announcement concerning healthcare in South Texas

October 25, 2011
WHAT: Officials from Driscoll Children's Health Plan and Driscoll Children's Hospital will hold a press conference to announce news that can potentially affect more than 400,000 residents of South Texas who need healthcare, including children and adults.

WHEN: 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Quick Care, 1120 E. Ridge Rd., McAllen (in Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza)

National Weather Service Employees to deliver gifts to cancer patient

September 27, 2011
WHAT: Employees at the National Weather Service's Corpus Christi and Brownsville offices will present gifts they collected to a Driscoll cancer patient whose story they read on Driscoll's web site (www.driscollchildrens.org). Matthew Carroll, 8, of Brownsville, had to have his lower left leg amputated last March due to osteosarcoma, a malignant tumor of the bone. He now receives care at Driscoll Children's Hospital and Driscoll Children's Specialty Center - Brownsville.

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Specialty Center - Brownsville, 5500 N. Expressway

New partnership to provide faster patient transports to Driscoll Children's Hospital

September 16, 2011
CORPUS CHRISTI - Driscoll Children's Hospital and HALO-Flight, Inc. have begun a partnership that will result in an unprecedented level of service for critically ill and injured children of South Texas. Beginning this month, HALO-Flight will dedicate a helicopter exclusively to Driscoll Children's Hospital. This partnership will significantly reduce the time it takes to transport patients to the hospital.

"The purpose of this partnership is to transport newborns, infants and children with life threatening illnesses and injuries to the hospital as fast as possible," said Steve Woerner, president and CEO of Driscoll Children's Hospital.

Helicopters roughly cut transport time in half compared to ambulances, according to Driscoll records. For example, the average round trip by ambulance from Driscoll to a hospital in Brownsville is seven hours. The same round trip by helicopter is around three hours.

"By having a dedicated HALO-Flight helicopter, Driscoll will be able to better serve children throughout our 31-county service area," Woerner said. "This is monumental in our mission of providing hope and healing to the children of South Texas."

Excellent patient care is at the forefront of HALO-Flight's partnership with Driscoll, said Tom Klassen, HALO-Flight, Inc.'s executive director.

"Our goal is to continue to provide advanced critical care utilizing our premier helicopters and the highly skilled flight crews at Driscoll. HALO-Flight is dedicated to ensuring that the children of South Texas have the opportunity for a better chance at life by receiving air ambulance transports. We are two companies who have been, and will continue to be, serving South Texas residents' emergent needs."

Driscoll Children's Hospital is the only major hospital in South Texas to have this partnership with HALO-Flight, according to Patricia Carr, director of Driscoll's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and Transport Department. The hospital's service area covers 31 counties and 33,000 square miles, with its level III NICU offering the highest level of care in the area.

Driscoll, HALO-Flight to announce new partnership

September 15, 2011
WHAT: Officials from Driscoll Children's Hospital and HALO-Flight, Inc. will hold a press conference to announce a new partnership that will result in an unprecedented level of service for critically ill and injured children of South Texas. A helicopter will be unveiled during the event.

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 16

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

Driscoll's McAllen clinic gives away school supplies courtesy of H-E-B

August 30, 2011
Pictured, left to right, are: Margaret Kasofsky, Auxiliary member; Juan M. Davila; Juan Daniel Davila, a Driscoll patient; Kassandra Jasso, H-E-B public affairs; Sherry Cruz; Socorro Franz, Auxiliary member; and (sitting) Rory Steven Cruz, Driscoll patient.
Pictured, left to right, are: Margaret Kasofsky, Auxiliary member; Juan M. Davila; Juan Daniel Davila, a Driscoll patient; Kassandra Jasso, H-E-B public affairs; Sherry Cruz; Socorro Franz, Auxiliary member; and (sitting) Rory Steven Cruz, Driscoll patient.
McALLEN - The Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza - McAllen recently received a $1,000 donation from H-E-B to support their annual Back-To-School Supply Giveaway for their patients. Throughout August, Auxiliary members gave each patient a package of school supplies appropriate for their grade level. Driscoll's Auxiliary relies on contributions from the community to help make a positive impact in the lives of South Texas children. To learn more about helping, call the Auxiliary at (956) 688-1235 or (956) 289-3170.

Edinburg Cattlemen's RoundUp will appeal to visitors, ranchers alike

August 11, 2011
EDINBURG - On Saturday, August 13, young 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) members and the Hidalgo County Extension Office will team up for a great cause. The 24th annual South Texas Cattlemen's RoundUp benefiting Driscoll Children's Hospital will begin at 10 a.m. at the Edinburg Livestock Auction, 3418 N. Closner Blvd.

A variety of products and services will be auctioned at the RoundUp that will appeal to visitors and ranchers alike. Members of 4-H and the FFA will offer a variety of homemade baked goods. All of this year's proceeds will go toward new medical equipment and other items for Driscoll Children's Hospital.

To make a donation and support local 4-H and FFA students and their efforts, visit the Driscoll Children's Hospital web site at www.driscollchildrens.org, call Driscoll at 956-223-0687 or call the Hidalgo County Extension Office at 956-383-1026.

  • What: 24th annual South Texas Cattlemen's RoundUp

  • When: 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13

  • Where: Edinburg Livestock Auction, 3418 N. Closner Blvd.

  • Information: 956-223-0687 or 956-383-1026