DCH News

Awards & Recognitions

Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., M.H.A., designated Fellow of American College of Healthcare Executives

November 03, 2010
Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., M.H.A.
Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., M.H.A.
CORPUS CHRISTI - Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., M.H.A., president and chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Health Plan, recently became board certified in healthcare management as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (A.C.H.E.). A.C.H.E. is a professional society dedicated to promoting the highest standards of professional, educational and leadership performance, the highest ethical standards and conduct and the advancement of healthcare management excellence.

"I am pleased that I have passed the rigorous process in achieving Fellow status in the A.C.H.E. and look forward to the continuous learning process in healthcare management, especially in light of all the challenges of today," Peterson said.

Driscoll welcomes Herbert Stern, M.D.

October 27, 2010
Herbert Stern
Herbert Stern
CORPUS CHRISTI - Driscoll Children's Hospital welcomes Herbert Stern, M.D., pediatric cardiologist. He joins Driscoll Children's Heart Center from The Sanger Clinic and Levine Children's Hospital in North Carolina, where he served as director and chief of Pediatric Cardiology. Dr. Stern earned his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina, completed his residency and internship in pediatrics at the University of Maryland Hospital and his fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Duke University Medical Center.

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 designated child abuse Center of Excellence

October 13, 2010
CORPUS CHRISTI - The Child Abuse Resource and Evaluation (CARE) Team at Driscoll Children's Hospital has long been valued in the region for diagnosing and treating children who are suffering from physical and sexual abuse as well as neglect. Texas lawmakers at the last legislative session recognized the epidemic of child abuse in the state and made recommendations to identify Centers of Excellence for the care of victims of child abuse. Driscoll has been recognized as one of only eight centers in Texas to receive this designation, and the only one south of San Antonio.

"The designation of Center of Excellence is the first step in building a network of medical providers to recognize, diagnose and treat the children in Texas who have been abused," said Sonja Eddleman, RN, CA/CP SANE, SANE-A, CMI-III, CFN, clinical coordinator for Driscoll's CARE Team.

Eddleman also stated that a key component of the designation is that the CARE Team's medical director, Dr. Nancy Harper, is one of only 12 board certified child abuse pediatricians in the State of Texas.

Driscoll's CARE Team evaluates approximately 1,700 children each year who have been suspected of being abused, Eddleman said. She encourages anyone who suspects a child has been or may be abused to immediately call the Child Protective Services hotline at 1-800-252-5400 and help protect the small voices in our region.

Driscoll residents win awards

August 27, 2010
Two residents at Driscoll Children's Hospital recently won awards for their research projects from the Texas Pediatric Society. They will be officially recognized at the society's annual meeting in San Antonio on November 6th. Karen Yulo, M.D., won first prize for best hypothesis-driven research project, titled "The Relationship Between Residence Near Sources of Petrochemical Pollution and Worsening Respiratory Outcomes in Children of Nueces and San Patricio Counties," and Ranjana Sarma, M.D., won honorable mention for her case presentation in the resident category, titled "Improving Quality of Care: Role of Rapid Response Team and Quick Assessment Unit."

Ernest Buck, M.D., wins Award of Merit

August 11, 2010
Dr. Buck
Dr. Buck
CORPUS CHRISTI - Ernest Buck, M.D., of ABC Pediatrics, has been selected by the Texas Pediatric Society (TPS) Awards Committee to receive the 2010 Texas Pediatric Society Sidney Kaliski Award of Merit for his outstanding contributions to the TPS, pediatrics and his community.

"It's a very humbling experience," Dr. Buck said. "It's the type of award that is the pinnacle of a career. Previous recipients are wonderful and inspiring pediatricians who are the backbone of pediatrics in the state of Texas. I wasn't even considering myself as a candidate. It took me totally by surprise."

Dr. Buck was nominated by Skip Brown, M.D., immediate past president of the TPS, and supported by Driscoll Children's Hospital's William Dirksen, M.D., and Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., M.H.A.

The award will be presented to Dr. Buck at the TPS annual meeting awards luncheon on Saturday, November 6, 2010 at the Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio.

Allen graduates from Spanish Bilingual Assistant class

July 14, 2010
William Allen, M.D. was one of 15 bilingual staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital to graduate from a 60-hour Spanish Bilingual Assistant (SBA) class on July 14. The class included a comprehensive language screening process and was conducted over six weeks. The SBA program is supported by the National Medical Interpreter Project, which is dedicated to supporting language access for non-English-speaking families. This was the third SBA class offered at Driscoll; the last one was offered in McAllen last year.

Johnson, Cortes receive awards

June 18, 2010
During the 2010 Residency Graduation Program held at the Omni Marina Hotel on June 18, Cris Johnson, M.D. was the recipient of the "Best Subspecialty Teacher Award" and Richard Cortes, M.D. received the "Best General Pediatrician Teacher Award" from the graduating Driscoll pediatric residents. Both physicians received a plaque in appreciation of their efforts.

Ramakrishna appointed to Regional Advisory Committee

June 18, 2010
Mulukutla Ramakrishna, M.D. of South Padre Island Pediatric Center has been appointed as a physician member from Corpus Christi to the board of CHIP and Medicaid for Region 11, stretching from Victoria to the Rio Grande Valley (the state is divided into 11 regions). The Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) is an advocacy forum for matters related to CHIP and Medicaid to improve access to care, quality of care and managed care issues. The RAC also responds to questions, suggestions and recommendations from various community partners and the public. RACs are also provided information regarding updates and upcoming changes at the federal and state level. In turn, each RAC sends recommendations from the regional level to the Texas Dept. of Health & Human Services Commission for enhancement and improvement of care. If any physicians or hospital staff have any issues regarding improvement or enhancement of care in this area or issues relating to managed care, contact him at 361-854-4626.

Dr. Ramakrishna is a former chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital and a former chief of pediatrics. He is a former board member of Head Start for Nueces County and the Child Advocacy Center. Presently he serves on the Driscoll Medical Executive Committee and chairs the Driscoll Children's Health Plan Credentials Committee. He is board certified in Pediatric Emergency Medicine and currently serves on the boards of Coastal Bend Emergency Services and 501Primary Care Pediatrics.

In addition, Dr. Ramakrishna was recognized June 18 during the 2010 Residency Graduation Program held at the Omni Marina Hotel for his contributions to resident education with the "Best Teaching Attending Award." He received a plaque in appreciation of his efforts.

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.