In pursuit of excellence, Driscoll residents far outpace total pass rate for American Board of Pediatrics certification
December 20, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Driscoll Children's Hospital is proud to announce that all of its graduating residents who took the latest American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) certification exam in general pediatrics passed on their first attempt, continuing a trend that surpasses the total annual pass rate. Certification through the exam, administered once a year in October, has one objective - to promote excellence in medical care for children and adolescents.
"ABP certification provides a standard of excellence by which the public can select pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists," according to the ABP. "Although certification is voluntary, nearly all qualified pediatricians seek this recognition."
The ABP certification pass rate for pediatric residents at Driscoll Children's Hospital for the past three years has been 98 percent, ranking them in the top 5 percent of the more than 200 pediatric residency programs in the country, said William Dirksen, MD, Driscoll chief of staff. In contrast, the total pass rate for candidates taking the ABP general pediatrics exam in 2009, 2010 and 2011 was 79.1 percent, 76.1 percent and 75.7 percent, respectively, according to the ABP.
The ABP certification exam is a one-day test given to physicians who have finished three years of pediatric residency training. Physicians must have a valid, unrestricted, permanent medical license to be eligible to sit for the test. Certification is valid for seven years after which physicians must recertify by taking the ABP's Program for Maintenance of Certification in Pediatrics recertification exam.
Here are some additional facts from the ABP:
The ABP has certified 77,328 diplomates in general pediatrics and 14,707 in pediatric subspecialties.
Among the pediatricians who take the ABP test, 66 percent go into general pediatric practice and 24 percent go into pediatric subspecialties.
An average of 3,007 pediatricians take the ABP exam every year. Of these, American medical graduates accounted for 82.5 percent and international medical graduates accounted for 17.5 percent. Gender-wise, 40 percent were males and 60 percent were females.
The total number of pediatric residents currently in training programs in the United States is 9,731.
The average age at the time of ABP certification for pediatricians is 32 years for American medical graduates and about 36 years for international medical graduates.
The success of Driscoll's residency program can be attributed largely to the hospital's governing board, administration, faculty and staff, all of whom are dedicated to fostering excellent pediatricians.
"I have been blessed to have the necessary support to create an environment where aspiring physicians can be trained to become the best pediatricians in the world," Dr. Dirksen said. "Driscoll faculty has been outstanding in their commitment to the teaching and mentoring of our residents."
Driscoll's Cottage Shop voted no. 1 among consignment stores
December 14, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Readers of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times recently voted the Cottage Shop at Driscoll Children's Hospital the no. 1 consignment store in the newspaper's 2012 Best of the Best competition. While many businesses pursue Best of the Best recognition every year, receiving the top title was a pleasant surprise for the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital, who operates the Cottage Shop.
The Cottage Shop staff includes (left to right) Dot Van Burkleo, Rosemary Fischer, Mary Jo Slaughter, Lin Orser, Yen Doan, Susan Quiroz (manager), Kathy Jenkin, Kelly Reynolds, Mathilde Schneider, Daniel Gunn and Sue Swanson.
"The staff was super excited, proud and surprised," said Lizette Saenz, director of Volunteer Services at Driscoll. "They had no idea this was going to happen. The Cottage Shop has come a long way from its beginnings as a small room in the basement of the hospital to a brand new building with more than 1,300 square feet."
The Cottage Shop 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 store's success is due simply to a hardworking group of volunteers and staff, Saenz said.
"They give to the Cottage Shop with all their heart. The shop looks amazing and is always neat and organized, thanks to the leadership of the manager, Susan Quiroz."
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.
Mendoza joins Driscoll as Emergency Department manager
December 13, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Victor Mendoza, RN, BSN, has joined Driscoll Children's Hospital as manager of the Emergency Department. Mendoza has more than 19 years of emergency room experience in adult, pediatric and military hospital settings. He was previously an emergency room coordinator and trauma and stroke coordinator at a hospital in El Paso.
Organ donors, their families honored at Driscoll ceremony
November 19, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - The families of children whose organs were donated so that others may live were honored at a poignant ceremony Nov. 10 at Driscoll Children's Hospital. More than 100 people, including families, Driscoll leaders, physicians and other healthcare professionals, gathered in the auditorium to commemorate the lives of the donors.
Dr. Karl Serrao, critical care intensivist, speaks to families of organ donors at a ceremony honoring them and their loved ones Nov. 10 at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
"It is essential to recognize these children who became organ donors and their families who allowed this gift to happen," said Karl Serrao, MD, critical care intensivist at Driscoll. "The donors have left a lasting and indelible legacy and we at Driscoll Children's Hospital want to celebrate with the families. These organ donors are heroes, as they are saving lives."
As of Nov. 14, 10 donors at Driscoll Children's Hospital have saved the lives of more than 40 other people, Dr. Serrao said.
This was Driscoll's second ceremony honoring organ donors and their families. In 2010, a ceremony was held to unveil the hospital's Organ Donor Wall, on which the names of the donors are inscribed on floating dandelion seeds. Dr. Serrao said he hopes to have an organ donor ceremony annually and raise awareness in the community about the importance of organ donation.
"We want to encourage everyone to be inspired by these children and their families to become a registered donor."
Those who wish to become organ donors can register at www.donatelifetexas.org, Dr. Serrao added.
Once-fragile preemies, their families will reunite with caregivers
October 19, 2012
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 several months in the hospital, day in and day out, so it's no surprise that strong bonds often form between them and the NICU physicians, nurses and other caregivers.
Because of the relationships that develop between patients and caregivers, 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.
"It's exciting for our staff to keep in contact with the patients they cared for," said Patricia Carr, Driscoll assistant vice president of Patient Care Services. "It's a wonderful thing watching our patients grow into children and adults. The event is truly like a big family reunion."
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: 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20
Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital, Rehabilitation Services parking lot, 3533 S. Alameda St.
Fallwell is Driscoll's new director of Infection Prevention
October 18, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Nancy Fallwell, RN, has been promoted to director of Infection Prevention & Control at Driscoll Children's Hospital. Fallwell was formerly the interim director of Infection Prevention & Control and, prior to that, was a nursing house supervisor at Driscoll. She has served in various nursing roles at Corpus Christi-area hospitals, the first as a nurse technician at Driscoll in 1989. Fallwell holds a master's degree in nursing and healthcare administration from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Texas at Tyler.
Driscoll Health Plan in focus: An incentive program for new moms
October 12, 2012
RIO GRANDE VALLEY - Motherhood is a big job, and helping mothers and their babies stay healthy in South Texas is a big focus of Driscoll Health Plan (DHP). For example, DHP encourages moms to stay on track with Texas Health Steps - a roadmap to healthy living for mothers and newborns - by offering incentives such as gift cards for diapers* when they complete each of their postpartum checkups and at least four of the newborn checkups.
Under the Texas Health Steps incentive program, mothers are encouraged to visit their obstetrician after giving birth to ensure their recovery from delivery is proceeding well. These visits allow them to get additional information on breastfeeding and birth spacing.
"Similarly, we hope that the infant will get all the recommended checkups from his or her pediatrician or family physician," said Ernest Buck, MD, medical director of DHP.
Infants' checkups are typically scheduled at 5 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months old, Dr. Buck said. The visits are spaced to ensure the babies' growth and development is proceeding normally. They'll get the recommended vaccines, and parents will have the chance to learn parenting skills.
As mothers complete each infant checkup, they can receive a gift card for diapers. In addition, DHP offers a $20 gift card to moms* who continue to get all checkups after the baby's first year, which are scheduled at 12 months, 15 months, 18 months, 24 months, 30 months and annually from age 3 to 20 years.
"We want to encourage the family to get the very best in medical care and reward them for doing just that," Dr. Buck said.
DHP has more than 51,600 members in the Hidalgo Service Delivery Area (SDA), which includes the counties of Cameron, Duval, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Maverick, McMullen, Starr, Webb, Willacy and Zapata. It is the only non-profit, provider-sponsored plan in the Hidalgo SDA. For more information about DHP, families can go to www.driscollhealthplan.com or call 855-425-3247. This is the second in a series of four press releases about DHP's value-added services.
* This is not an all-inclusive list of value-added services. Restrictions and/or limitations apply.
Huynh brings sports medicine expertise to Driscoll
September 26, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Phuong Huynh, MD, has joined Children's Physician Services of South Texas at Driscoll Children's Hospital as a sports medicine physician. Dr. Huynh recently completed a primary care sports medicine fellowship at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. She has had extensive training in the assessment, evaluation and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries.
Dr. Huynh will diagnose and treat musculoskeletal sports injuries and offer advice on injury prevention to athletes, coaches, trainers and sports teams. She will work closely with Driscoll's physical therapists and athletic trainer to develop rehabilitation plans and exercise regimes that are specific to each patient and their injury.
Almond named president-elect of Transplantation Society
September 21, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Stephen Almond, MD, chief of Pediatric Surgery, Urology and Transplantation at Driscoll Children's Hospital, was recently named president-elect of the Texas Transplantation Society (TTS) at their annual meeting in Galveston. The TTS is a professional association founded in 1987 to facilitate transplantation within the state of Texas. Their mission is to advance transplantation and organ donation through education and advocacy with a unified and authoritative voice.
Sneak Peek Pre-Op Tour Program aims to reduce anxiety for patients, families before surgery
August 22, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - No matter the age of the person, having surgery can be a stressful experience. To help young patients feel more comfortable about an upcoming surgery, Driscoll Children's Hospital has developed the Sneak Peek Pre-Op Tour Program, a proactive approach that will allow children and their families to become familiar with the hospital and ask any questions they may have.
"When children know what to expect, they typically respond better during stressful situations like having surgery," said Michelle Goodman, MSN, RN, director of the 4th floor and Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital. "Also, when their parents and siblings can ask questions and see where they'll be going, this helps reduce anxiety levels all around and makes the hospital experience better."
Sneak Peek Pre-Op tours will be conducted once a week by Sara Robertson, a Child Life specialist who is trained in providing age-appropriate information to children and can answer questions regarding their care and surgery. Procedures could include dental surgeries, tonsillectomies, colonoscopies, spinal cord fusions, urological surgeries and numerous others.
Patients and their families will be taken to the Day Surgery Unit to see the holding room, operating room, Day Surgery waiting area and recovery room. If the patient is scheduled to be admitted for an overnight stay, they may arrange to visit Driscoll's Inpatient Unit as well, Goodman said.
Goodman recommends that parents make a Sneak Peek Pre-Op Tour reservation as soon as they learn their child's date of surgery. Depending on the age of the patient, the tour may be scheduled up to two weeks in advance. For children younger than five years old, Goodman suggests that parents schedule the tour as close to the admission date as possible. She added that some tours may be private to meet patients' and families' individual needs.
Parents can schedule a tour by calling (361) 694-5760 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.