Driscoll Children's Health Plan opens new office in Edinburg
February 14, 2012
EDINBURG - In conjunction with its expansion into 10 South Texas counties, Driscoll Children's Health Plan (DCHP) has opened a new office at 5409 S. McColl Rd. in Edinburg. The office will provide case management, social work, provider relations and community outreach to help the Medicaid-eligible population obtain the healthcare they need in the counties, referred to as the Hidalgo Service Delivery Area (SDA).
DCHP is one of four plans that were awarded a Medicaid managed care contract in South Texas by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. It's available to the approximately 400,000 Medicaid-eligible people in the Hidalgo SDA and is the only non-profit, provider-sponsored health plan in the SDA.
"Driscoll Children's Health Plan is excited about being able to extend the mission of Clara Driscoll to South Texas," said Mary Dale Peterson, MD, MSHCA, chief executive officer of DCHP. "This new office in Edinburg with its 21 employees will assist in serving our State of Texas Access Reform (STAR) Medicaid members and providers in providing exceptional healthcare."
Counties in the Hidalgo SDA are:
DCHP has a dedicated team of pediatric and adult doctors, and the plan accepts members regardless of any pre-existing health conditions. For more information on DCHP, call (361) 904-0955 or 1-877-DCHP-KIDS or go to www.dchpkids.com.
Pointer awarded for efforts to improve Texas trauma systems
February 13, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Janet Pointer, critical care trauma coordinator at Driscoll Children's Hospital, recently received the Outstanding Trauma Person Award from the Texas Trauma Coordinator Forum and the Texas EMS, Trauma & Acute Care Foundation (TETAF). The award is in recognition of Pointer's exemplary leadership and dedication to strengthening Texas trauma systems.
Pointer has been instrumental in building Driscoll's trauma program and represents the hospital in regional and state activities to promote knowledge and pursue its designation by the TETAF as a level III trauma facility. Driscoll expects to receive the designation this spring. Pointer has been involved with the TETAF since 2006. She is also actively involved in Gov. Rick Perry's EMS and Trauma Advisory Council as a member of the Pediatric Committee.
Driscoll to focus on heart defect awareness this month
February 10, 2012
Mayoral proclamation will be read at city hall on Feb. 14
CORPUS CHRISTI - February is a month associated by many with the heart due to Valentine's Day. The week of Feb. 7-14 is also recognized in the US as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week (see www.tchin.org/aware/). In an effort to bring awareness to the community, Driscoll Children's Hospital has arranged for Corpus Christi Mayor Joe Adame to proclaim Feb. 14 Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day. The proclamation will be read in city council chambers around 11:45 a.m. Feb. 14. Driscoll has also invited patients and their families to a Heart Celebration on Feb. 14 and 18 that will include games, activities and refreshments.
"We want to recognize the thousands of people born with heart defects, remember loved ones who've lost their battle with congenital heart defects and honor the dedicated health professionals who work with them," said Laura Esparza, MS, LBW, social worker at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Each year, cardiologists at Driscoll and its South Texas clinics see about 7,200 children for heart-related issues, Esparza said. 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: Mayoral proclamation for Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day
When: 11:45 a.m. Feb. 14
Where: Corpus Christi City Council chambers, 1201 Leopard St.
Harper appointed by governor to Task Force to Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect and Improve Child Welfare
February 02, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Nancy Harper, M.D., medical director of the CARE Team at Driscoll Children's Hospital, is one of five people appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Task Force to Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect and Improve Child Welfare. Pursuant to Senate Bill 1154 of the 82nd legislative session, the Task Force establishes a strategy for reducing child abuse and neglect and for improving child welfare in Texas. Their terms will expire at the pleasure of the governor. Dr. Harper was previously appointed to the inaugural Blue Ribbon Task Force to Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect under Senate Bill 2080, an act of the 81st Legislature.
Dr. Harper is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and board certified in child abuse pediatrics. She is a member of the Ray E. Helfer Society, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and the International Professional Society on Child Abuse and Neglect. She is also a member of the Texas and Corpus Christi Pediatric societies and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Child Safety Review Committee. She is a past board member of the Nueces County Children's Advocacy Center and a past member of the Pediatric Centers of Excellence Committee of the 79th Legislature. Dr. Harper has served as a general pediatrician for the U.S. Navy. She received a bachelor's degree from Amherst College in Massachusetts, a medical degree from Dartmouth University Medical School in Hanover, N.H., and she completed her forensic pediatrics fellowship at Brown University School of Medicine in Providence, R.I.
Employers, public invited to panel discussion promoting breastfeeding in the workplace
January 30, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Driscoll Children's Hospital will host a panel discussion Feb. 10 to educate the public and business professionals about the federal law that supports lactating women once they return to the workforce. Panel members will include representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Texas Department of State Health Services and Driscoll Children's Hospital.
"More than 85 percent of women return to work and or school within the early postpartum weeks," said Laurie Beck, R.N., M.S.N., I.B.C.L.C., Lactation Program coordinator at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Dr. Regina Benjamin, the surgeon general of the United States, has challenged mothers, families, communities, healthcare professionals and employers to do their part to support and promote breastfeeding for all babies in the United States (www.surgeongeneral.gov). The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aims to improve health outcomes for all Americans. Section 4207 amends the Fair Labor Standards Act and requires employers to provide lactating employees time and space to express breast milk or to breastfeed their child up until the child's first birthday. Ensuring that babies receive optimal nutrition has a positive impact on the health of the mother, the child, the family and the community.
The panel will provide perspectives on worksite lactation support, including:
Legal requirements under the Break Time for Nursing Mothers provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act;
The Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite Program and best practices in worksite lactation support;
Employer perspectives on worksite lactation support.
The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP or for more information, contact Laurie Beck at firstname.lastname@example.org or (361) 694-5338.
What: Perspectives and Best Practices in Worksite Lactation Support panel discussion
When: 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Feb. 10
Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital auditorium, 3533 S. Alameda St.
Information/RSVP: email@example.com or (361) 694-5338
Dirksen named chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital
January 26, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - William Dirksen, M.D., has been named chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital. His responsibilities include representing the medical staff to the chief executive officer and board of directors, working with hospital management concerning the care of all patients, presiding at all meetings of the medical staff and Medical Executive Committee, recommending medical staff representatives to hospital committees, identifying future medical staff leaders and more. Dr. Dirksen will serve as chief of staff for two years.
William Dirksen, M.D., is the new chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Dr. Dirksen has been with Driscoll since 1980 and currently serves as director of Medical Education, where he has fostered and grown its residency program and overseen Driscoll's affiliation with various medical schools and other hospital systems. He has also traveled to Ghana on a goodwill mission to deliver medical care.
Dr. Dirksen earned his medical degree in 1975 at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield and completed his pediatric residency at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
Woerner elected chairman of board by Children's Hospital Association of Texas
January 16, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Steven F. Woerner, president and chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Hospital, was elected in December as chairman of the Children's Hospital Association of Texas (CHAT) board of directors. His two-year term began Jan. 1 and will run through Dec. 31, 2013. Woerner's duties will include establishing committees, task forces and ad hoc study groups to study CHAT issues, presiding over CHAT board meetings and representing CHAT and children's hospital issues in discussions with legislators and other state officials.
The mission of CHAT is to support the development of an effective, comprehensive, high-quality and appropriately funded children's healthcare delivery system in Texas. Member hospitals include Driscoll Children's Hospital and others in Dallas, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Lubbock, Austin and Houston.
Woerner has more than 30 years of healthcare experience and served as the CEO of Corpus Christi Medical Center before joining Driscoll. He also previously served as CEO of Denton Regional Medical Center and was responsible for the operations of six hospitals in North Texas owned by Epic Healthcare Group. He is involved in numerous charitable and civic activities in Corpus Christi and has served as a medical missionary for Clinica Corpus Christi in Guatemala.
Woerner holds a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree in healthcare administration from Trinity University in San Antonio.
Woerner elected to statewide hospital association board
January 03, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Steven F. Woerner, president and chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Hospital, has been elected to the Texas Hospital Association's (THA) Board of Trustees. He took office Jan. 1 for a three-year term.
Steven F. Woerner, president and chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Hospital
Woerner is a former member of THA's Council on Policy Development, and he served a one-year unexpired term on the THA board in 2011.
With more than 30 years of healthcare experience, Woerner served as the CEO of Corpus Christi Medical Center before joining Driscoll. He also previously served as CEO of Denton Regional Medical Center and was responsible for the operations of six hospitals in North Texas owned by Epic Healthcare Group.
Woerner is involved in numerous charitable and civic activities in Corpus Christi and has served as a medical missionary for Clinica Corpus Christi in Guatemala.
He earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree in healthcare administration from Trinity University in San Antonio.
Driscoll's Kidney Center marks 50th transplant
November 30, 2011
Program began on Feb. 14, 2007 with brother donating to brother
CORPUS CHRISTI - On Sept. 29, a 6-year-old boy from McAllen received a new kidney at Driscoll Children's Hospital, making him the 50th kidney transplant recipient since the hospital started performing the procedure in 2007. His was also the third living donor transplant.
Fifty successful transplants is a praiseworthy achievement by Driscoll Children's Kidney Center because for many years, South Texas children with kidney failure had no place to obtain healthcare services, said Chief of Staff Bill Allen, MD.
"These children originally had to drive to Galveston for dialysis and transplant services. Within the last 25 years services were developed in Houston and then San Antonio, but still there were no services in South Texas for children with kidney disease."
Over the past decade, Driscoll developed the first dialysis services and kidney transplant program in South Texas. With clinics staffed by board-certified pediatric nephrologists in
Laredo, Brownsville, Harlingen, McAllen and Corpus Christi, Driscoll can now provide
South Texas children with the same quality services that would be available in Denver,
Los Angeles or anywhere in America, Dr. Allen said.
"There is a sense of accomplishment and real joy in being able to provide the very highest standard of care for all south Texas children with kidney disease," he said.
Here are some interesting facts about Driscoll's Kidney Transplant Program:
- The first transplant on Feb. 14, 2007 was a brother donating a kidney to his brother.
- The majority of transplant recipients live in the Rio Grande Valley.
- Three mothers have donated kidneys to their sons; one donated to her daughter.
- An aunt donated a kidney to her nephew.
- Two fathers donated to their sons; one dad to his daughter.
- Two sets of brothers have had kidney transplants.
Presentation to focus on need for donor breast-milk
November 29, 2011
WHAT: Mom's Place, a breastfeeding resource center and donor breast-milk collection site at Driscoll Children's Hospital, invites the community to a presentation on non-profit milk banks and the safe processing of donor human milk for medically fragile babies. The goal of the presentation is to bring awareness to the community about the use of donor milk for premature babies and sick children and to increase the number of women who donate their milk. Presenter will be Kim Updegrove, executive director of the Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin. RSVP is required (see below).
WHEN: 9 - 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 12
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital auditorium, 3533 S. Alameda St.
RSVP: Laurie Beck, (361) 694-5338