Gifts to the Community

Because of the tremendous support we receive throughout South Texas, Driscoll looks for opportunities to give back. Our "Gifts to the Community" include providing valuable information to the public, working to improve the community's health and safety, enriching the lives of our patients through a variety of activities and more. Thankful for the wealth of support in 2013, Driscoll Children's Hospital gave back more than $29 million to the communities we serve.

Volunteen Summer Program provides real-world experience

Every year, local teenagers take time out of their summer to make a difference and gain valuable experience during Driscoll Children's Hospital's Summer Volunteen Program. In 2013, 75 teens, including seven chosen in the Rio Grande Valley, earned a spot in the 9-week program. Assisting in more than 29 areas, including three offices at the Wells Fargo Building where Driscoll Health Plan is located, teens are given the opportunity for growth and enrichment.

In fact, before being invited to be part of the Volunteen Program, teens must complete an application and interview process.

"We do a 'real job'-style interview," says Dorothy Callaway, volunteer coordinator. "The Volunteen Program is for 14 to 17 year olds, so we are perhaps even giving them their first experience in the working world."

By volunteering, teens are earning hours that may go toward school or club requirements or to put on college and scholarship applications. For many, it is the first view into a career field they are beginning to explore. Teens learn real job skills such as running a cash register, working in an office environment and providing great customer service.

The benefits don't stop there. Teens who give at least 300 hours can apply for college scholarships given by the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital. And many times, summer volunteens are asked to sign on as year-round volunteens. This past summer, 15 volunteens were chosen by merit to become year-round volunteens.

"The Volunteen Program allows our local teens to see the larger need of the world around them, and it shows them they can actually make a difference in that world," Callaway said.

Driscoll helps develop Community Health Needs Implementation Strategy

Driscoll Children's Hospital participated on the Coastal Bend Community Health Needs Assessment Steering Committee throughout 2013. Primary community data was acquired through telephone surveys, focus groups, surveys and local health systems' data. Additionally, secondary data was compiled from demographic and socioeconomic sources, both locally and nationally.

The result of these efforts was the Coastal Bend 15-County Health Needs Assessment, which identified the significant health needs of the Coastal Bend population.

To respond to the needs identified in the assessment, Driscoll adopted a Driscoll-specific Community Health Implementation Strategy, establishing the following priorities:

  • Access to health services
  • Children's health education and advocacy
  • Prevention and management of disease
  • Maternal-fetal medicine
Goals were identified and established under the priorities, corresponding to the community needs.

"Driscoll Children's Hospital is committed to meeting the health needs of the Coastal Bend and continues to assist in the development of ongoing community health needs assessments," said Bill Larsen, vice president of Human Resources.

Injury Prevention Program staff takes child safety messages to TV viewers

Driscoll Injury Prevention staff members were traveling media ambassadors in 2013, providing interviews to TV stations throughout Driscoll's service area on important child safety issues. From May to November, they appeared on five TV channels in Corpus Christi, one in Victoria and two in Laredo, including Spanish-language networks in Corpus Christi and Laredo.

Topics staff spoke about included the dangers of leaving children unattended in hot vehicles, a serious concern during heat waves in Texas. A related message was protecting children from heatstroke, which they tied with National Heatstroke Prevention Day, July 31. In conjunction with Child Passenger Safety Week and National Seat Check Saturday, both observed in September, staff promoted car seat safety and a free car seat inspection event. And in November, bicycle safety was promoted along with a bicycle rodeo and helmet giveaway that was held at Driscoll in conjunction with Kohl's Department Stores.

"The Injury Prevention Program is such an important part of Driscoll's Trauma Services," said Felicia Powell, intake clinical coordinator. "Our Injury Prevention specialists were extremely busy this year helping educate the community on keeping children safe. They are tireless in their endeavors because they truly believe they can make a difference."

As the first free-standing children's hospital in South Texas, Driscoll has enjoyed an abundance of community support, and it is from our heart that we give back to the communities we serve.

Graduate medical education: The unreimbursed cost of Driscoll's pediatric residency program.

Patient financial assistance and Medicaid shortfall: The costs of care delivered to patients who do not qualify for government programs and do not have the ability to pay, combined with the costs of treating Medicaid patients who are not reimbursed at full cost by the Medicaid program.

Pediatric sub-specialties support: Driscoll subsidizes the expenses of physician groups in order to help the communities it serves have access to pediatric specialists who otherwise would not practice in the region.

Community outreach: Costs associated with Driscoll's activities that help to educate, protect and/or improve the community's health or safety.

Community Involvement

During bicycle safety events throughout the year, children are properly fitted and given helmets.
Events such as the Chemo Kids Fish Off give patients and caregivers a chance to bond outside of the hospital walls.
Driscoll's Women, Infant and Children Program provides members with useful tips for eating well and leading a healthier lifestyle.
Driscoll Injury Prevention provides free car seat inspections by appointment and holds car seat giveaway events to promote child passenger safety in the community.
Driscoll physicians and staff provided valuable information to the community through different media outlets.
Driscoll residents provided sports physicals free of charge at the Nueces County Medical Society Health and Wellness Festival.
Driscoll employees show their enthusiasm at community walks and help raise awareness for health-related causes.
Driscoll helps bring awareness to important health issues such as congenital heart disease. In February 2013, Mayor Nelda Martinez declared Feb. 14 Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day in Corpus Christi.