DCH News

Patients & Families

Driscoll, Stripes to announce landmark accomplishment

May 07, 2012
WHAT: Officials with Driscoll Children's Hospital and Stripes will hold a press conference to provide an update on the $1 million commitment the convenience store chain made to Driscoll in 2009, including the impact of the Stripes Child Life Program and other projects made possible by the funds.

WHEN: 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, 4th floor playroom, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll residents use grant to help families at women's shelter

April 30, 2012
Wu
Wu


Encalada
Encalada
CORPUS CHRISTI - This month, two second-year residents at Driscoll Children's Hospital used a grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to vaccinate children, educate families about vaccination and research barriers to vaccination at the Women's Shelter of South Texas.

Shuya Wu, MD and Santiago Encalada, MD received a prestigious Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) grant for $3,000 from the AAP to implement the project.

"We noticed that children at the Women's Shelter oftentimes had not received required vaccinations, leaving them vulnerable to disease," Dr. Wu said.

Lori Anderson, MD, pediatrician at Amistad Community Health Center, served as the continuity clinic physician and mentor for the project, Dr. Wu said. Dr. Anderson also helped by providing supplies for the immunizations and obtaining vaccines from the state. Through their partnership with the Women's Shelter, doctors Wu and Encalada administered questionnaires to families to learn about the barriers they were experiencing in getting vaccinations for their children.

CATCH grants of up to $3,000 are awarded twice a year on a competitive basis to pediatric residents to address the needs of children in their communities. Applicants for the grants must include planning activities for their projects and in some cases implementation activities, according to the AAP.

Credit union helps lucky Driscoll patients see Disney on Ice show

April 25, 2012
WHAT: Twelve Driscoll Children's Hospital patients and their parent or guardian will gather at the hospital's lobby and depart for the Disney on Ice show at the American Bank Center, courtesy of Navy Army Community Credit Union, who purchased the trip for $6,500 at this year's Fiesta de los Niños live auction. Transportation will be provided by TLC The Limo Company.

WHEN: 6 p.m. Thursday, April 26

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

Driscoll patient, his mother consider transplant team family

April 23, 2012
Ryan Sepulveda, 17, has had two kidney transplants, the most recent in June 2011 at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Ryan Sepulveda, 17, has had two kidney transplants, the most recent in June 2011 at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Sepulvedas look forward to hospital's annual Transplant Reunion April 28

CORPUS CHRISTI - A gleam comes to Ryan Sepulveda's eyes and a smile to his face when he recalls a three-legged race he ran with Driscoll Children's Hospital physician Samhar Al-Akash, MD at the hospital's Transplant Reunion a couple of years ago.

"I fell down and he had to carry me," Ryan, 17, said as he began laughing. "It was fun. I want to do it again this year."

Ryan is referring to Driscoll's Transplant Reunion that will be held April 28 at West Guth Park - his third to attend. The annual event, a celebration for Driscoll's 55 kidney transplant patients and their families, will include moon bounces, games of all sorts, prizes and food. Most importantly, it will be a chance for the patients and families to visit, share their experiences and have fun. Between 150-175 people are expected to attend.

"This is our way of saying 'thank you' to the families for their trust and for sharing their kids with us not only in sickness but also in health," said Dr. Al-Akash, head of nephrology and medical director of Driscoll's Kidney Center.

Ryan's kidney transplant at Driscoll in June 2011 was his second. He had been sick for a year, said his mother, Amy Sepulveda, because the kidney he received 12 years ago at a hospital in Galveston was failing.

"His body was rejecting the first kidney. We were lucky it lasted 12 years."

Sepulveda said she was relieved when Driscoll began performing kidney transplants in 2007, not least because her family no longer had to travel to Galveston for Ryan's treatment. Her appreciation for Driscoll's transplant team is deep and emotional.

"The whole team is awesome, from the girls at the front desk to the social workers and the doctors," Sepulveda said, her eyes welling up. "They make you feel like family. Dr. Al-Akash cared about Ryan like he was his own child. Oh my God, I can't say anything better...we couldn't do without this hospital."

Ryan, a high school sophomore, said he feels fine these days. He hopes to become a catcher in major league baseball. Asked if he's been scared during the surgeries he's endured, including gall bladder removal by Driscoll pediatric surgeon Stephen Almond, MD, he put on a carefree face.

"I wasn't scared because of the way (the doctors) talked to me. They told me everything was going to be OK. I believed them."

Dr. Al-Akash is looking forward to the April 28 Transplant Reunion and, as he said, "... blending together as humans, friends and families, not patients and doctors. The reunion celebrates these kids and their families and reminds us what is important in life."

What: Driscoll Children's Hospital's annual Transplant Reunion
When: Noon Saturday, April 28
Where: West Guth Park, 9725 Up River Rd.

Driscoll patients go to Spurs game courtesy of generous donors

April 20, 2012
WHAT: Five Driscoll Children's Hospital patients and their parents or guardians will gather at the hospital's lobby and depart for San Antonio to see a Spurs game as part of a live auction package purchased at this year's Fiesta de los Niños. Steve and Jessica Johnson of JSJ Services, Inc. purchased the package for $35,000 and will be attending the game with the patients. Transportation will be provided by TLC The Limo Company.

WHEN: 2:45 p.m. Sunday, April 22

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

Driscoll Children's GALA kicks off tonight in Mercedes

April 20, 2012
WHAT: Driscoll Children's Hospital and Whataburger present Driscoll Children's GALA, a fundraiser to be held tonight at the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show Event Center in Mercedes. Formerly known as Fiesta de los Niños, the GALA will benefit Driscoll's Rio Grande Valley clinics and the children who are treated there. It will include cocktails, a barbecue dinner, silent and live auctions and dancing to the music of Scott Randolph & The White Lightning Band.

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 20

WHERE: Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show Event Center, 1000 N. Texas Ave., Mercedes

INFO: Reagan Florence, (956) 688-1239 or reagan.florence@dchstx.org

Driscoll's volunteers motivated by more than just care, generosity

April 18, 2012
Dick Hinman, a Driscoll volunteer since 1994, does a magic trick with rubber bands for patient Isaiah Wicke.
Dick Hinman, a Driscoll volunteer since 1994, does a magic trick with rubber bands for patient Isaiah Wicke.
Celebration honoring them to be held at the hospital May 24

CORPUS CHRISTI - For several hours a week, Valerie Caldwell's smiling face is the first thing visitors see at Driscoll Children's Hospital's Welcome Center. Caldwell became a volunteer at Driscoll a year and a half ago after being urged by some friends who are also volunteers.

"You get to see a lot of people coming in and see what's going on in the hospital," Caldwell said of the Welcome Center. "Working here gives me insight into the heart of Driscoll Children's Hospital. And it's a big, compassionate heart. There is a family-oriented feeling here," she went on to say before she stopped to help a visitor sign in.

Caldwell is one of 340 volunteer members of the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital who are being recognized for their efforts during National Volunteer Week, April 15-21. On May 24, Driscoll will host a celebration for them with cake and door prizes in the hospital's auditorium. The party's theme will be "A world of diversity...one purpose."

Volunteer Joe Lugo, a Navy veteran, shows Driscoll patient Enrique Llanas, Jr. how to mix colors to paint his papier-maché mask.
Volunteer Joe Lugo, a Navy veteran, shows Driscoll patient Enrique Llanas, Jr. how to mix colors to paint his papier-maché mask.


Driscoll volunteer Valerie Caldwell helps a visitor check in at the hospital's Welcome Center.
Driscoll volunteer Valerie Caldwell helps a visitor check in at the hospital's Welcome Center.
"The Auxiliary's contributions to the hospital are priceless," said Lizette Saenz, director of Volunteer Services at Driscoll. "We could not do what we do without their thoughtfulness and commitment. I believe the volunteers enrich not only the lives of our patients and families, but their own lives as well."

Saenz's belief rings true with volunteers like Joe Lugo. He can be found helping out in the hospital's fifth floor classroom, where long-term patients keep pace with their school curriculum. While helping some children mix colors to paint the papier-maché masks they were making, Lugo explained that he first began volunteering in the communities he lived in while he was in the Navy.

"Some of the kids I've encountered in the past didn't have a father figure," said Lugo, who retired after serving 20 years in the Navy. "I encourage these children, praise them and they appreciate it. What I've learned over the past year at Driscoll is that these children are more of a blessing to us than we are to them."

Volunteer Dick Hinman, 81, has roamed Driscoll Children's Hospital since 1994, entertaining patients with antics and magic tricks. He never leaves a child without a smile.

"This is like recess for me," Hinman said with a kind, grandfatherly voice. "I'm a big kid." A toy mouse peeking from the pocket of his blue smock is Stuart Little's big brother, he pointed out. Then, with seriousness, Hinman echoed the sentiment of other Driscoll volunteers.

"Some of these kids are very sick. Some are having surgery. If you can make their day better it makes yours better too. I enjoy it, the kids enjoy it. It's nothing complicated."

By the numbers:
  • Number of volunteers at Driscoll Children's Hospital: 300
  • Number of volunteers at Driscoll's McAllen and Brownsville clinics: 40
  • Age range of adult volunteers: 18 - 90
  • Number of Driscoll's summer 2012 Volunteens: 85


  • What: Driscoll Children's Hospital Volunteer Celebration
  • When: 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 24
  • Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital auditorium, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll to host breastfeeding seminar April 12

March 30, 2012

  • WHAT: The public is invited to an educational seminar at Driscoll Children's Hospital about the basics of breastfeeding, led by Laurie Beck, RN, MSN, international board certified lactation consultant for Driscoll Children's Hospital. Topics will include:

    • Benefits of human breast milk;

    • Basic anatomy and physiology of breastfeeding;

    • What parents can expect the first few weeks after the delivery of the baby;

    • Community resources to help breastfeeding families;

    • Returning to work/school and breastfeeding.

  • WHEN: 6 - 8 p.m. Thursday, April 12

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

  • COST: $20 per family; all proceeds will benefit the March of Dimes.

  • INFO: Laurie Beck, (361) 694-5338

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