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Kohl's Department Stores to donate more than $42,000 to Driscoll's Injury Prevention Program

November 15, 2013
WHAT: Kohl's will present to Driscoll Children's Hospital a check for $42,015 during a bicycle rodeo held to promote bicycle safety and helmet safety. The gift supports Driscoll Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program, which provides child passenger safety seats to low income families, along with bicycle helmets to children in the community. In the past nine years, Kohl's has donated more than $385,000 to Driscoll Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program through Kohl's Cares®.

WHEN: Bicycle rodeo: 10 a.m.; Check presentation: 11:05 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital Injury Prevention Program building parking lot, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll resident receives grant to attend medical conference

November 12, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Anitha Ezekiel, MD, resident physician at Driscoll Children's Hospital, was chosen by the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) to receive an $800 travel support grant and complimentary registration to attend the program for medical students and residents at ASN Kidney Week 2013, held Nov. 5-10 in Atlanta. More than 13,000 kidney professionals attended the event, described by ASN as the world's premier nephrology meeting. Kidney Week provides participants with opportunities to exchange knowledge, learn the latest scientific and medical advances and engage in discussions with leading experts in the field.

Driscoll's state-of-the-art MRI suite combines entertainment and technology to help ease patients' anxiety

November 11, 2013
Driscoll's newly renovated MRI suite includes a new, larger magnet, an ambient lighting system that can be coordinated with projected images that patients can choose (right), and a TV screen on which they can watch movies.
Driscoll's newly renovated MRI suite includes a new, larger magnet, an ambient lighting system that can be coordinated with projected images that patients can choose (right), and a TV screen on which they can watch movies.
CORPUS CHRISTI - Under construction since the spring, the newly renovated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suite at Driscoll Children's Hospital is now fully operational. The state-of-the-art suite could have come from the Starship Enterprise, with its streamlined architecture, new, larger magnet and features that allow patients to choose sights, sounds and even movies while they undergo an MRI.

"Allowing children to control the environment when they may be nervous about a procedure helps them become calmer," said Ernest Chavez, Driscoll director of Radiology Services.

An MRI is a noninvasive, diagnostic procedure that uses a magnet to obtain detailed images of the internal structure of the body. It typically lasts 45 minutes to an hour.

Among the customizable features in the MRI suite is a projection system that displays moving, child-friendly images on a wall. Patients can choose from a variety of themes, including sky, underwater, jungle, South America and Europe. And each theme is paired with a color that illuminates the room via an ambient lighting system. If a child doesn't want a projection theme, they can choose the color of the lighting, or to have alternating colors. The lighting and projection can be programmed on a wall-mounted keypad when the patient arrives in the MRI suite or beforehand on a tablet.

A 32-inch, flat-screen TV in the room also allows patients to watch their favorite movie. They can bring their own DVD or pick one that is available in the suite, such as "Cars," "Ice Age," "Tangled" and "Iron Man." Children hear the movie through headphones. If they opt not to watch a movie, they can listen to music on their own CD or one that is on hand, like Taylor Swift or One Direction.

The renovation also includes a new magnet with a 70-centimeter bore, which is 15 centimeters larger than the previous magnet's. The larger bore size is beneficial in different ways. Patients can more easily see their parents while the MRI is being performed, Driscoll's technical and medical staff have easier access to the patient, it lessens the potential for claustrophobic feelings, and it can accommodate larger patients.

"With this equipment, an MRI can be a pleasant experience rather than one that may be scary to a child," said Driscoll radiologist Allister Arnold, MD. "At the same time, procedures can be done more efficiently."

This year, Driscoll's Radiology Services installed ambient lighting in its X-ray rooms, and it will also be incorporated in the computed tomography and nuclear medicine rooms. The ultrasound rooms will also be outfitted during future remodeling. Funding for the ambient lighting, including that in the MRI suite, came from Driscoll's annual Fiesta de los Niños fundraiser.

Driscoll's ER renovation project to benefit from Halliburton donation

November 11, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Representatives from Halliburton will present a check for $50,000 to Driscoll Children's Hospital tomorrow, to go toward the redesign and expansion of Driscoll's Emergency Room. The donation was made possible by funds raised at the 20th annual Halliburton Charity Golf Tournament, held last month in Houston.

Approximately 35,000 children visit Driscoll's ER annually. The renovation and expansion of the ER began in July and is scheduled to last 16 to 18 months. The $12 million project will increase the size of the ER and lobby by approximately 5,000 square feet. It will result in a state-of-the-art ER and significantly enhance overall patient care at Driscoll

"Halliburton has been a dedicated supporter of children's health," said Martha Avery, Driscoll vice president of Development. "We are very fortunate to have such a great partner here in our region. We are extremely grateful to Halliburton for their generous support."

Each year, Halliburton partners with vendors, suppliers and employees to host its Charity Golf Tournament in Houston. Since its inception, the tournament has given nearly $8.5 million to charities across the United States. Two previous donations from the event have gone toward Driscoll's ER project.

"Making a real difference for organizations like Driscoll Children's Hospital is what the Halliburton Charity Golf Tournament is all about," said Joe Foster, Halliburton vice president of Business Development for the Southeast area. "It's remarkable to have proceeds from the tournament support worthwhile causes, such as Driscoll's ER renovation project, to continue providing hope and healing for children across South Texas."

What: Halliburton check presentation
When: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12
Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital, main lobby, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll's Cottage Shop again voted no. 1 consignment store

November 08, 2013
The Cottage Shop staff includes (left to right) Jim Tansey, Lydia Blunzter, Karen Easton, Kathy Jenkin, Dot Van Burkleo, Linda Kaatz, Susan Quiroz (manager), Maria Luisa Doyle, Pam Pudelka, Rosemary Fischer, Imelda Garcia and Margaret Meinecke.
The Cottage Shop staff includes (left to right) Jim Tansey, Lydia Blunzter, Karen Easton, Kathy Jenkin, Dot Van Burkleo, Linda Kaatz, Susan Quiroz (manager), Maria Luisa Doyle, Pam Pudelka, Rosemary Fischer, Imelda Garcia and Margaret Meinecke.
CORPUS CHRISTI - For the second year running, readers of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times have voted the Cottage Shop at Driscoll Children's Hospital the no. 1 consignment store in the newspaper's 2013 Best of the Best competition.

The Cottage Shop, operated by the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital, offers gently used and new merchandise at bargain prices, including men's, women's and children's clothing, toys, household items and collectibles. The store's first priority is to provide clothes and necessities to patients and their families who are in need, and 100 percent of the proceeds from sales go back to the hospital.

The Cottage Shop accepts donations of new and gently used items. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call (361) 694-5800.

Gonzalez joins Driscoll as maternal-fetal medicine specialist

November 05, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Anna Gonzalez, MD, has joined Driscoll Children's Hospital as a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. Dr. Gonzalez received her medical degree in 2005 from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology in 2009 at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, and this year completed her fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Chicago. Dr. Gonzalez is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a Fellow in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.

Patients will trick-or-treat through hospital during Driscoll's Pumpkin Parade

October 30, 2013
WHAT: The Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital is hosting the 13th annual Pumpkin Parade, a chance for patients to get dressed up in their Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating within the hospital. Driscoll employees will line the route with goodies for the children as they parade by. Also participating will be representatives from Stripes convenience stores, H-E-B, naval aviators from the Pilot for a Day program and Corpus Christi Hooks mascot Sammy Seagull.

WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31

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

Driscoll surgeon addresses causes of obesity, offers weight-loss strategies in new book

October 29, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Mohammad A. Emran, MD, board-certified general and pediatric surgeon at Driscoll Children's Hospital, recently authored a book to help his patients and their families in their everyday battle against obesity. In "Fast-Track Your Health," Dr. Emran offers advice and insight to those who've had unsuccessful weight-loss attempts or are looking for the knowledge that can lead them to success.

"Obesity is one of the biggest healthcare problems in this country, and it affects every system in the body," Dr. Emran said. "There are a lot of myths and bad influences out there that are working against people trying to live healthier lives. My book focuses on what causes obesity and offers strategies so people can succeed."

Dr. Emran's book, to be released in November, details his personal experiences with patients and with his own family to illustrate the techniques for effective weight loss. They include:

Identifying the common factors shared by people who have succeeded in losing weight.
Avoiding the common difficulties that can prevent weight loss.
Discovering why it's best not to focus on any specific diet or type of exercise.
Organizing their process of weight loss and weight maintenance.
Maintaining hope despite the problems they might have previously experienced.

Dr. Emran is the director of Driscoll Children's Hospital's Adolescent Weight Management Program. He is also the founder of the not-for-profit SpringCure Foundation (www.springcurefoundation.com), which is committed to eliminating childhood obesity and improving childhood nutrition and fitness. Dr. Emran has years of experience addressing the challenges of excess weight and the common failure of weight-loss efforts, and he has helped many patients by teaching them the essential factors that lead to lasting success.

Once-fragile preemies and their families will reconnect with Driscoll staff at tomorrow's NICU Reunion

October 25, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Infants who are brought to Driscoll Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are usually there during the most fragile time in their lives. Patients and their families can spend months in the hospital, day in and day out, so it's no surprise that strong bonds often form with NICU physicians, nurses and other caregivers. Because of those relationships, Driscoll Children's Hospital holds the NICU Reunion each fall to give everyone a chance to reconnect and celebrate the lives of the babies who have grown into children and adults.

"The NICU reunion is a great opportunity for our patients, families and staff to keep to keep in touch with each other," said Patricia Carr, assistant vice president of Nursing Operations. "It is a real joy to watch the growth and development of our children as they progress each year. Some of our patients who are now adults bring their own children to share in the event."

At the fall festival-themed celebration, Driscoll staff members who have cared for NICU patients over the years will be on hand to meet with the more than 150 families who are eager to share stories of their children's progress since their stay at Driscoll - some of whom are now adults. In addition to dressing up in their Halloween costumes, NICU "graduates" will enjoy food, games, prizes and other goodies at the event.

Driscoll Children's Hospital's level III NICU cares for newborns and infants for a variety of reasons, including prematurity (carried less than 37 weeks), respiratory distress, infections, birth defects and other illnesses. Staffed by neonatologists 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the 47-bed NICU cares for premature and critically ill infants from 31 South Texas counties.

What: Driscoll Children's Hospital's annual NICU Reunion
When: 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26
Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital, Rehabilitation Services parking lot, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll study on human bocavirus receives international attention

October 24, 2013
Dr. Na Liu presented the poster, 'Hospital Course and Risk Factors in South Texas Children Infected with Human Bocavirus (HBoV),' Oct. 4 in San Francisco.
Dr. Na Liu presented the poster, 'Hospital Course and Risk Factors in South Texas Children Infected with Human Bocavirus (HBoV),' Oct. 4 in San Francisco.
CORPUS CHRISTI - A study by Driscoll Children's Hospital resident physicians Na Liu, MD, and Karla Araujo, MD, laboratory managers Kevin Richman, BS, MT, and Charles Raven, BS, MT, and Infectious Diseases director Jaime Fergie, MD, was recently presented at a meeting of scientists from around the world. Dr. Liu presented "Hospital Course and Risk Factors in South Texas Children Infected with Human Bocavirus (HBoV)," on a poster Oct. 4 in San Francisco during IDWeek, a joint international meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the HIV Medicine Association and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

The study is significant because the human bocavirus in children is just beginning to be understood, said Dr. Fergie, a Fellow of the IDSA.

"The human bocavirus is a newly recognized respiratory pathogen that was discovered in 2005. It is the fifth most frequent cause of respiratory infection in children and it can cause disease throughout the year, although most infection occurs during the fall and winter. Children (in the study) developed symptoms of a common cold but some developed more severe infections such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia that required hospitalization."