Driscoll Health Plan celebrates 20th anniversary

CORPUS CHRISTI – Driscoll Health Plan (DHP) will celebrate its 20th anniversary this month with multiple events at its offices throughout South Texas, including Corpus Christi.

The celebration will be held at 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23; 615 N. Upper Broadway, Second Floor, Suite 200.

Driscoll Health Plan is part of the Driscoll Health System, which includes Driscoll Children’s Hospital, serving the children of South Texas for 65 years.

Located in downtown Corpus Christi in the former Robert Driscoll Hotel, the Driscoll Health Plan staff carries on the legacy of Clara Driscoll, the founder and benefactor of Driscoll Children’s Hospital. As part of the Driscoll Health System, Driscoll Health Plan offers services through managed care, where members choose a health plan and its network of physicians.

Mary Dale Peterson, MD, became President and CEO of Driscoll Health Plan in 2006. Dr. Peterson said at the time she started as Associate Medical Director in 2001, the initial staff numbered less than 10. “That number is expected to grow to about 500 by the end of this year,” she said.

 “We have been blessed to hire hundreds of employees who are dedicated to our mission every day,” Dr. Peterson said. “That mission is about everyone working together for the common good, which is service to the families of South Texas.”

The Plan, which began operation as Driscoll Children’s Health Plan (DCHP), received its certificate of authority from the Texas Department of Insurance on Oct. 29, 1998. DCHP began contracting with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to arrange Children’s Health Insurance Program-covered benefits in the Nueces Service Area on May 1, 2000. The Plan had three members its first month and would grow to about 1,000 members during the next month. Today, Driscoll Health Plan serves more than 175,000 members.

Since that time, the Plan has greatly expanded its footprint. In addition to CHIP, the Plan began offering STAR Medicaid in September 2006 and the STAR Kids program for special needs members in November 2016.

DHP has been innovative in providing improved access and preventative education, as well as implementing health IT solutions. Through grants and community programs, DHP has helped improve the health of South Texans by lowering premature birth rates and reducing dental surgeries in infants and children.

 “We are the only plan in South Texas to offer an integrated system of care. All of our staff live and work here to improve the health of our communities,” Dr. Peterson said. “We cherish the relationships with all those families who trust us and welcome us into their lives.”

 “It has been a wonderful 20 years. The next 20 will be even better.”