DCH News

Driscoll to light its annual Christmas tree as Santa Claus arrives

November 30, 2010
WHAT: Santa Claus will arrive in grand style aboard a fire truck Wednesday as Driscoll lights its annual Christmas tree in front of the hospital. Patients, Driscoll staff and their families will be in attendance as the lights go on, followed by the music of the Ray High School Band. Afterward, Santa will lead the audience into the auditorium where he will take his seat and have pictures taken with the boys and girls. Craft activities and music will be provided for everyone's enjoyment in the auditorium.

WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 1, 6 p.m.

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, 3533 S. Alameda

Martin becomes Diplomate of American Board of Pediatric Dentistry

November 19, 2010
Duane Martin
Duane Martin
CORPUS CHRISTI - Duane Martin, DDS, recently completed his certification examinations and is now a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD). The mission of the ABPD is to verify to the public and to the health professions that a pediatric dentist has successfully completed both an advanced educational program accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation and a voluntary examination process designed to validate the knowledge, application and performance requisite to the delivery of competent care in pediatric dentistry.

Dr. Martin has practiced in Corpus Christi since 1982 and in Alice since 1986.

"This is an accomplishment every pediatric dentist strives toward," he said. "It adds additional pride to the specialty of pediatric dentistry."

The ABPD is the only certifying board recognized by the American Dental Association for the specialty of pediatric dentistry.

Driscoll Children's Hospital employee's fundraising efforts earn him high honor from Children's Miracle Network

November 18, 2010
Richard Harris
Richard Harris
CORPUS CHRISTI - Richard Harris, Children's Miracle Network coordinator at Driscoll Children's Hospital, has been awarded the Stephanie Melemis Excellence in Service Award presented by McLane Company. The award is Children's Miracle Network's highest honor for a hospital employee who assists in fundraising. Marco Guerrero from McLane Company presented Harris with the award Nov. 12 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

"When Richard became a program director at Driscoll Children's Hospital in 1993, Children's Miracle Network annual donations to the hospital were $534,000; they have since soared to more than $2.4 million," said Scott Burt, president and chief executive officer of Children's Miracle Network. "It's clear that his passion for children's health is being translated into dollars that are literally saving lives at a Children's Miracle Network hospital."

The Stephanie Melemis Award recognizes an individual at a Children's Miracle Network hospital whose selfless and heartfelt service characterizes the commitment and dedication exemplified by Stephanie Melemis, a former Children's Miracle Network Canadian employee who died of cancer in November 1998.

"We could not be more thrilled with this national recognition bestowed on one of our very own," said Martha St. Romain, vice president of Development at Driscoll Children's Hospital. "Richard Harris has served Driscoll Children's Hospital tirelessly for over 17 years. He could not be more deserving of this honor."

The award was presented during Children's Miracle Network's annual Celebration event, which brings together hospitals and sponsors to share best practices, celebrate achievements, network and meet children from around North America who have been touched by children's hospitals.

Driscoll Children's Health Plan welcomes Don Well, Matthew Evans

November 17, 2010
Matthew Evans & Don Well
Matthew Evans & Don Well
CORPUS CHRISTI - Don Well and Matthew Evans are the newest members of Driscoll Children's Health Plan (DCHP). Well has been hired as the director of provider relations, contracting, credentialing and claims oversight. After spending 23 years in the Air Force and being involved in combat logistics all over the world, Well spent the last 12 years in healthcare management. He has experience with claims, call centers and provider relations with commercial, Medicare and Medicaid payers. He holds a bachelor's degree in business and management and a master's in management.
Matthew Evans has joined DCHP as a compliance and contract manager. Evans started his career in healthcare as a Navy medic with a Marine Corps scout sniper platoon for five years. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, is a certified paralegal, and is one course away from his master's degree in management.

Hernandez earns fellowship in American College of Surgeons

November 17, 2010
Ambrosio Hernandez, III, M.D.
Ambrosio Hernandez, III, M.D.
McALLEN - Ambrosio Hernandez, III, M.D., has been inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). He is a certified pediatric surgeon practicing at Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza - McAllen. The ACS, based in Chicago, is dedicated to improving the care of the surgical patient and to safeguarding standards of care in an optimal and ethical practice environment.

Salinas elected regional rep for WIC directors

November 11, 2010
Cindy Salinas
Cindy Salinas
CORPUS CHRISTI - Cindy Salinas, director of the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital, has been elected the state regional representative for the Texas Association of Local WIC Directors, representing Cameron, San Patricio, Hidalgo, Laredo, Victoria and Nueces counties. Salinas will be reporting information to the state such as participation numbers, finances, policy issues for process improvement and many other issues. She was elected by the southwest regional directors and will serve a two-year term.

Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., M.H.A., designated Fellow of American College of Healthcare Executives

November 03, 2010
Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., M.H.A.
Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., M.H.A.
CORPUS CHRISTI - Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., M.H.A., president and chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Health Plan, recently became board certified in healthcare management as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (A.C.H.E.). A.C.H.E. is a professional society dedicated to promoting the highest standards of professional, educational and leadership performance, the highest ethical standards and conduct and the advancement of healthcare management excellence.

"I am pleased that I have passed the rigorous process in achieving Fellow status in the A.C.H.E. and look forward to the continuous learning process in healthcare management, especially in light of all the challenges of today," Peterson said.

Driscoll patients trick-or-treat in the hospital during the Pumpkin Parade

October 28, 2010
WHAT: The 10th Annual Pumpkin Parade is a chance for patients at Driscoll Children's Hospital to get dressed up in their Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating within the hospital. Driscoll employees will line the route with toys for the children as they parade by. Representatives from Stripes convenience stores and naval aviators from the Pilot for a Day program will also participate for the first time. Additionally, the Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi Fire Department will attend with their mascots "Sparky" the dog and "Louie" the fireman.

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 29, 10 a.m.

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, 3533 S. Alameda

Driscoll welcomes Herbert Stern, M.D.

October 27, 2010
Herbert Stern
Herbert Stern
CORPUS CHRISTI - Driscoll Children's Hospital welcomes Herbert Stern, M.D., pediatric cardiologist. He joins Driscoll Children's Heart Center from The Sanger Clinic and Levine Children's Hospital in North Carolina, where he served as director and chief of Pediatric Cardiology. Dr. Stern earned his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina, completed his residency and internship in pediatrics at the University of Maryland Hospital and his fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Duke University Medical Center.

Young weight-loss patients to celebrate, share experiences

October 21, 2010
11 teenagers have had lap band surgery at Driscoll Children's Hospital

CORPUS CHRISTI - Through the highly successful bariatrics program at Driscoll Children's Hospital, eleven teenagers have received lap band surgery to help overcome obesity. To celebrate the success of the program and the positive changes it has brought to the patients' lives, a masquerade-themed party will be held for them in Driscoll's auditorium on Sunday, Oct. 24.

"All of the patients keep asking about the other ones," said Colleen Carrell, bariatrics program coordinator. "All of the kids having surgery want to know what number they are, how many cases have been done and how the others are doing."

Sunday's party will include entertainment by "Dr. Freeze," music, dancing, games, photos, food and lots of door prizes, Carrell said. The occasion will also be used to announce the start of the much-awaited support group for the bariatric patients and their families.

"Nothing helps motivate others like successful, enthusiastic peers," Carrell said.

About 82 patients are on the waiting list to have the surgery performed, Carrell said. Lap band surgery helps a patient lose and control weight by the attachment of an adjustable band around the top of the stomach that decreases sensations of hunger. Driscoll launched its lap band program in August 2009. The first patient, 19-year-old Jennifer Garcia of Portland, was the first patient to receive lap band surgery in a Texas pediatric hospital.

About 18 doctors and experts contribute their expertise to each lap band operation. Pre-operation preparation includes X-rays, laboratory tests, a six-month dietary program and consultation with a psychologist. A post-operation regimen of regular exercise and healthy eating must be followed.

"This isn't a cosmetic surgery," said Mohammad Emran, M.D., the surgeon who leads the team performing the procedure. "It is providing the patient with an effective tool to help control their weight and eliminate their associated health problems."

Significant health problems such as type II diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, hyperlipidemia and hyperinsulinemia can be completely or significantly resolved with weight loss, Dr. Emran said.

To be considered for lap band surgery, candidates must be at least 14 years old and have exhausted other methods of losing weight, Carrell said. She adds that lap band surgery is not the only solution to obesity.

"The solution to obesity is education, lifestyle changes and exercise," Carrell said. "No bariatric procedures alone will eliminate someone's obese condition entirely without lifestyle changes.
"Some people have the opinion that it's all the parents' fault and they just need to stop feeding the child. Although that is true in some circumstances, many of the adolescents have medical factors that, despite their best efforts with diet and exercise, make them continue to gain weight."

  • What: Celebration for Driscoll lap band recipients

  • When: 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24

  • Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital auditorium, 3533 S. Alameda St.