Patients & Families
Driscoll's state-of-the-art MRI suite combines entertainment and technology to help ease patients' anxiety
November 11, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Under construction since the spring, the newly renovated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suite at Driscoll Children's Hospital is now fully operational. The state-of-the-art suite could have come from the Starship Enterprise, with its streamlined architecture, new, larger magnet and features that allow patients to choose sights, sounds and even movies while they undergo an MRI.
Driscoll's newly renovated MRI suite includes a new, larger magnet, an ambient lighting system that can be coordinated with projected images that patients can choose (right), and a TV screen on which they can watch movies.
"Allowing children to control the environment when they may be nervous about a procedure helps them become calmer," said Ernest Chavez, Driscoll director of Radiology Services.
An MRI is a noninvasive, diagnostic procedure that uses a magnet to obtain detailed images of the internal structure of the body. It typically lasts 45 minutes to an hour.
Among the customizable features in the MRI suite is a projection system that displays moving, child-friendly images on a wall. Patients can choose from a variety of themes, including sky, underwater, jungle, South America and Europe. And each theme is paired with a color that illuminates the room via an ambient lighting system. If a child doesn't want a projection theme, they can choose the color of the lighting, or to have alternating colors. The lighting and projection can be programmed on a wall-mounted keypad when the patient arrives in the MRI suite or beforehand on a tablet.
A 32-inch, flat-screen TV in the room also allows patients to watch their favorite movie. They can bring their own DVD or pick one that is available in the suite, such as "Cars," "Ice Age," "Tangled" and "Iron Man." Children hear the movie through headphones. If they opt not to watch a movie, they can listen to music on their own CD or one that is on hand, like Taylor Swift or One Direction.
The renovation also includes a new magnet with a 70-centimeter bore, which is 15 centimeters larger than the previous magnet's. The larger bore size is beneficial in different ways. Patients can more easily see their parents while the MRI is being performed, Driscoll's technical and medical staff have easier access to the patient, it lessens the potential for claustrophobic feelings, and it can accommodate larger patients.
"With this equipment, an MRI can be a pleasant experience rather than one that may be scary to a child," said Driscoll radiologist Allister Arnold, MD. "At the same time, procedures can be done more efficiently."
This year, Driscoll's Radiology Services installed ambient lighting in its X-ray rooms, and it will also be incorporated in the computed tomography and nuclear medicine rooms. The ultrasound rooms will also be outfitted during future remodeling. Funding for the ambient lighting, including that in the MRI suite, came from Driscoll's annual Fiesta de los Niños fundraiser.
Driscoll's Cottage Shop again voted no. 1 consignment store
November 08, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - For the second year running, readers of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times have voted the Cottage Shop at Driscoll Children's Hospital the no. 1 consignment store in the newspaper's 2013 Best of the Best competition.
The Cottage Shop staff includes (left to right) Jim Tansey, Lydia Blunzter, Karen Easton, Kathy Jenkin, Dot Van Burkleo, Linda Kaatz, Susan Quiroz (manager), Maria Luisa Doyle, Pam Pudelka, Rosemary Fischer, Imelda Garcia and Margaret Meinecke.
The Cottage Shop, operated by the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital, offers gently used and new merchandise at bargain prices, including men's, women's and children's clothing, toys, household items and collectibles. The store's first priority is to provide clothes and necessities to patients and their families who are in need, and 100 percent of the proceeds from sales go back to the hospital.
The Cottage Shop accepts donations of new and gently used items. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call (361) 694-5800.
Driscoll Health Plan program gets boost from March of Dimes
November 04, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - The March of Dimes Texas Chapter recently presented Driscoll Health Plan (DHP) with a chapter community award in support of the Cadena de Madres program. The 2013 March of Dimes Chapter Community Grant Award - Region 11 included a check for $2,500. The Cadena de Madres (chain of mothers) program provides education to DHP members to help reduce the rate of preterm deliveries and to have stronger, healthier babies.
Driscoll Health Plan, community partners bringing Crossroads Diabetes Expo to Victoria
October 30, 2013
VICTORIA - Diabetes is an ongoing and growing cause for concern across South Texas. To help those affected by the disease, Driscoll Health Plan, the Victoria Regional Health Alliance and the Area Health Education Center are partnering to offer traveling Diabetes Expos.
The kick-off event, the Crossroads Diabetes Expo, will be held Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Victoria College Student Center.
Diabetes Expos are public events that will put diabetics and their caregivers in touch with area resources and offer free diabetes screenings. Educational sessions with information about lifestyle changes and disease self-management will also be offered. Topics such as carbohydrate counting, medication management, exercise, behavior modification and childhood diabetes will be addressed by professionals in the fields of medicine, nutrition, endocrinology, nursing and diabetes self-care. Healthcare providers and diabetic educators will also have the opportunity to gain Continuing Medical Education credits by attending the provider seminar.
The cost to attend the Crossroads Diabetes Expo is $3 per person in advance or $5 at the door. The fee includes admission, a breakfast snack and a luncheon featuring motivational speaker Nate Lytle. The admission fee will be waived for those who cannot pay.
What: Crossroads Diabetes Expo
When: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9
Where: Victoria College Student Center, 2200 E. Red River
Patients will trick-or-treat through hospital during Driscoll's Pumpkin Parade
October 30, 2013
WHAT: The Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital is hosting the 13th annual Pumpkin Parade, a chance for patients to get dressed up in their Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating within the hospital. Driscoll employees will line the route with goodies for the children as they parade by. Also participating will be representatives from Stripes convenience stores, H-E-B, naval aviators from the Pilot for a Day program and Corpus Christi Hooks mascot Sammy Seagull.
WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, 3533 S. Alameda St.
Driscoll surgeon addresses causes of obesity, offers weight-loss strategies in new book
October 29, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Mohammad A. Emran, MD, board-certified general and pediatric surgeon at Driscoll Children's Hospital, recently authored a book to help his patients and their families in their everyday battle against obesity. In "Fast-Track Your Health," Dr. Emran offers advice and insight to those who've had unsuccessful weight-loss attempts or are looking for the knowledge that can lead them to success.
"Obesity is one of the biggest healthcare problems in this country, and it affects every system in the body," Dr. Emran said. "There are a lot of myths and bad influences out there that are working against people trying to live healthier lives. My book focuses on what causes obesity and offers strategies so people can succeed."
Dr. Emran's book, to be released in November, details his personal experiences with patients and with his own family to illustrate the techniques for effective weight loss. They include:
Identifying the common factors shared by people who have succeeded in losing weight.
Avoiding the common difficulties that can prevent weight loss.
Discovering why it's best not to focus on any specific diet or type of exercise.
Organizing their process of weight loss and weight maintenance.
Maintaining hope despite the problems they might have previously experienced.
Dr. Emran is the director of Driscoll Children's Hospital's Adolescent Weight Management Program. He is also the founder of the not-for-profit SpringCure Foundation (www.springcurefoundation.com), which is committed to eliminating childhood obesity and improving childhood nutrition and fitness. Dr. Emran has years of experience addressing the challenges of excess weight and the common failure of weight-loss efforts, and he has helped many patients by teaching them the essential factors that lead to lasting success.
Once-fragile preemies and their families will reconnect with Driscoll staff at tomorrow's NICU Reunion
October 25, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Infants who are brought to Driscoll Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are usually there during the most fragile time in their lives. Patients and their families can spend months in the hospital, day in and day out, so it's no surprise that strong bonds often form with NICU physicians, nurses and other caregivers. Because of those relationships, Driscoll Children's Hospital holds the NICU Reunion each fall to give everyone a chance to reconnect and celebrate the lives of the babies who have grown into children and adults.
"The NICU reunion is a great opportunity for our patients, families and staff to keep to keep in touch with each other," said Patricia Carr, assistant vice president of Nursing Operations. "It is a real joy to watch the growth and development of our children as they progress each year. Some of our patients who are now adults bring their own children to share in the event."
At the fall festival-themed celebration, Driscoll staff members who have cared for NICU patients over the years will be on hand to meet with the more than 150 families who are eager to share stories of their children's progress since their stay at Driscoll - some of whom are now adults. In addition to dressing up in their Halloween costumes, NICU "graduates" will enjoy food, games, prizes and other goodies at the event.
Driscoll Children's Hospital's level III NICU cares for newborns and infants for a variety of reasons, including prematurity (carried less than 37 weeks), respiratory distress, infections, birth defects and other illnesses. Staffed by neonatologists 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the 47-bed NICU cares for premature and critically ill infants from 31 South Texas counties.
What: Driscoll Children's Hospital's annual NICU Reunion
When: 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26
Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital, Rehabilitation Services parking lot, 3533 S. Alameda St.
Kiwanis Club apple sale benefiting Driscoll patients is tomorrow, Saturday
October 24, 2013
WHAT: The 31st annual Six Points Kiwanis Club Apple Sale will be held tomorrow and Saturday at Driscoll Children's Hospital's north parking lot. Cost: $40 per case of apples. Each case contains 88 to 100 Red or Golden Delicious apples. Proceeds benefit summer camps for Driscoll patients.
WHEN: Noon-6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25 and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital north parking lot, 3533 S. Alameda St.
Driscoll opens Maternal-Fetal Medicine Clinic in Laredo
October 22, 2013
LAREDO - On Oct. 16, Driscoll Children's Hospital hosted an open house at their new Maternal-Fetal Medicine Clinic at 6423 McPherson Rd., Suite 13. Driscoll physicians, including maternal-fetal medicine specialists, a pediatric cardiologist and neonatologist, were joined by local physicians, as well as Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas, to celebrate the new clinic. Driscoll's maternal-fetal medicine program is excited about this endeavor and look forward to collaborating with local obstetricians in providing the highest level of care to women in the Laredo area. The clinic can be reached at (956) 764-7000.
At the open house Oct. 16 were (left to right): Miguel De Leon, MD, medical director, Driscoll Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; Ryan Loftin, MD, Driscoll maternal-fetal medicine specialist; Jorge P. Orezzoli, MD, Laredo obstetrician/gynecologist; Anna Gonzalez, MD, Driscoll maternal-fetal medicine specialist; Celso Rodriguez, MD, Laredo obstetrician/gynecologist; John Visintine, MD, Driscoll maternal-fetal medicine specialist; Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas; Jatin Patel, DO, Driscoll pediatric cardiologist; and Omar Perez, MD, Laredo obstetrician/gynecologist.
Patients will be treated to Halloween party at Driscoll Children's Hospital
October 15, 2013
WHAT: The Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital is partnering with volunteers from Spirit Halloween's Spirit of Children program to bring a Halloween party to patients at Driscoll Children's Hospital, including free costumes, activities and refreshments.
WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital auditorium, 3533 S. Alameda St.