DCH News

Nearly 550 Coastal Bend residents receive pneumonia vaccine through Task Force's pilot project

November 30, 2011
CORPUS CHRISTI - In June, it was announced that the newly created Coastal Bend Community Health Needs Task Force, led by Corpus Christi's three largest hospital systems, had assessed the major health needs of the Coastal Bend area through a study conducted by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

The assessment led to the Task Force's first project, pneumonia vaccinations. Beginning in September, vaccinations began being offered to the community - including people without health insurance - at area H-E-B pharmacies and various health centers in Corpus Christi, Portland, Robstown, Freer, Beeville and Sinton. The Task Force recommended that residents of the Coastal Bend ages 50 and above and those with chronic health conditions get vaccinated. They also emphasized that children ages 5 years or younger who haven't been immunized against pneumonia be vaccinated, as well as newborns receiving booster shots at two, four and six months.

Nearly 550 residents of the Coastal Bend took advantage of the pneumonia vaccinations. In September, 195 people were vaccinated and 354 in October, for a total of 549.

"This was a successful pilot project for the Coastal Bend Community Health Needs Task Force," said Eddie Read, Vice President of Finance at Driscoll Children's Hospital. "More than 500 people received a vaccination that could keep them out of the hospital. As word spreads about the work we're doing and more resources become available, the Task Force partners hope to keep offering these health initiatives to the community. Most importantly, we aim to keep them available to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay."

The Task Force's complete report can be found at www.coastalbendhealthfinder.com. The website is designed to be a one-stop source of information about services available for the health and well-being of residents in 15 Coastal Bend counties.

The Coastal Bend Community Health Needs Assessment Task Force is made up of community leaders from CHRISTUS Spohn Health System, Driscoll Children's Health Plan, Driscoll Children's Hospital, Corpus Christi Medical Center, the United Way of the Coastal Bend and the Nueces County Medical Society & Alliance.

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.

New members of Driscoll's Clowns Who Care to be introduced

November 15, 2011
WHAT: For almost 15 years, the Clowns Who Care have been part of the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital, clowning around and bringing smiles to patients, parents and staff. Tomorrow, the group will introduce seven new clowns to the community. The Clowns Who Care, including Corpus Christi City councilwomen Chris Adler and Nelda Martinez and more than 30 other women, visit Driscoll Children's Hospital twice a week. Their tireless and compassionate efforts for the children of South Texas are well-known; they have logged more than 14,000 volunteer hours between them.

New members are:

  • Kyle Cromwell, supporting partner of three oilfield businesses - Cry Baby

  • Kelly Koch Gilmore, attorney - Awesome Blossum

  • Debbi Kelley, stay-at-home mom & substitute teacher - Cha Cha Loca

  • Janice Roberts, banker - Oopsy Daisy

  • Cindy Segrest, small-jewelry business-owner - Cowgirl Pearl

  • Jennifer Susser, gemologist - Strawberry Shorty Cake

  • Stephanie Waterman, Farmers Insurance agent - Mz Glitzy


WHEN: 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16

WHERE: KIII-TV, 5002 S. Padre Island Dr.

Butterfly Room to be dedicated at Driscoll Children's Hospital

November 14, 2011
WHAT: Driscoll Children's Hospital will hold a special dedication for the Butterfly Room, a newly renovated patient room for terminally ill patients and their families. Featuring adjoining rooms - one for the patient and the other for family to stay around the clock - the Butterfly Room is specially designed to offer a peaceful and therapeutic environment. The suite's set-up is conducive to a family's grieving process, allowing private time in the adjoining family room when needed without being too far from their child's hospital room. Renovations include soothing colors and artwork and curtains to strategically hide wall panels with medical equipment in the patient area, as well as a sleeper sofa, compact refrigerator and microwave in the family room. The Butterfly Room renovations were made possible by a donation of $35,000 from the 2010 Valero Texas Open golf tournament.

WHEN: 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, 3533 S. Alameda St., 4th Tower

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.

Driscoll is first hospital in Corpus Christi to go green

November 10, 2011
Mary Silvas, linen control supervisor, and John Watson, director of Environmental Services, show off a recycling bin that will become a common sight at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Mary Silvas, linen control supervisor, and John Watson, director of Environmental Services, show off a recycling bin that will become a common sight at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Beginning Nov. 14, Driscoll Children's Hospital is going green. Driscoll will implement single-stream recycling throughout the hospital campus, making it the first hospital in Corpus Christi to have a recycling program. Single-stream recycling means that all recyclable material such as clean, dry paper, empty plastic containers and empty aluminum and tin/steel cans, is collected in the same container and sorting is not required.

Driscoll's Employee Advisory Group (EAG) received several requests from employees about developing a recycling program at the hospital. The group, made up of employees from various departments, began researching the project and found that a recycling program would save the hospital approximately $40,000 a year.

John Watson, director of Environmental Services at Driscoll, said employee feedback has been positive. "Our Driscoll employees have been excited and very supportive," he says. "Recycling is the right and responsible thing to do. It shows that we are good citizens of our community and that we have our eye on the future."