DCH News

Healthcare Professionals

Dirksen named chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital

January 26, 2012
William Dirksen, M.D., is the new chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
William Dirksen, M.D., is the new chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
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.

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
Woerner
Woerner
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
Steven F. Woerner, president and chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Hospital
Steven F. Woerner, president and chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Hospital
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.

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

Carr promoted to assistant vice president at Driscoll

November 21, 2011
Patricia Carr
Patricia Carr
CORPUS CHRISTI - Patricia Carr has been promoted to assistant vice president of Patient Care Services at Driscoll Children's Hospital. Carr has been a nursing leader at Driscoll as the director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Transport Team. She has been at the hospital since 1993 and in a NICU leadership position for 16 years. Carr has been instrumental in developing a family-centered and developmental care approach within the organization. She is currently working toward a doctorate at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Driscoll gains child abuse pediatrician

November 18, 2011
Ada Booth, MD
Ada Booth, MD
CORPUS CHRISTI - Ada Booth, MD, has joined Driscoll Children's Hospital as a pediatrician specializing in child abuse. She most recently graduated from a child abuse pediatrics fellowship at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Previously she was a pediatrics resident at University Hospitals and Clinics in Columbia, Mo. Dr. Booth received her medical degree in 2006 from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. She is certified in pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics.

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

Stratton joins Driscoll as geneticist

November 11, 2011
Robert F. Stratton, Jr., MD
Robert F. Stratton, Jr., MD
CORPUS CHRISTI - Robert F. Stratton, Jr., MD, has joined Driscoll Children's Hospital as a geneticist. He was formerly an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Stratton earned his medical degree in 1975 at the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his residency in pediatrics in 1978 at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and performed a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Stratton is certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics and the American Board of Pediatrics.

Fergie recognized by American Academy of Pediatrics

November 02, 2011
Jaime Fergie, MD, FAAP, FIDSA
Jaime Fergie, MD, FAAP, FIDSA
CORPUS CHRISTI - Jaime Fergie, MD, FAAP, FIDSA, director of Infectious Diseases at Driscoll Children's Hospital, recently received an award from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in Boston in recognition of the distinguished service he rendered as an elected member of the executive committee of the Section on Infectious Diseases from 2005 to 2011. Members of the Section on Infectious Diseases, founded in 1990, meet to develop ideas and generate educational forums that will improve the care of infants, children and adolescents. They also serve in a liaison capacity to the AAP board of directors. Dr. Fergie has been a member of the AAP for 20 years and has practiced at Driscoll Children's Hospital since 1994.