DCH News

Physician Recognition

Research by Driscoll residents & physicians gains national, international recognition

June 22, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - An abstract written by Driscoll Children's Hospital resident Sanjeet Panda, MD and co-authored by Driscoll physicians Stephen Almond, MD, Mohammad Emran, MD, Haroon Patel, MD, Juan Prieto, MD and Leon Smith-Harrison, MD has been accepted for presentation at the 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans Oct. 20-23 and the XVII Ibero-American Society for Pediatric Urology Meeting Sept. 4-8 in Cartagena, Colombia. Research for Dr. Panda's abstract, titled "Surgical Management for the Palpable Undescended Testicle: Scrotal or Inguinal Approach?," was conducted at Driscoll Children's Hospital.

Dr. Panda, Driscoll resident Grace Lucas, MD and Dr. Prieto also collaborated on two abstracts, "Scrotal Approach for Definitive Management of Cryptorchidism and Communicating Hydrocele in Children" and "Effects of Urethroplasty Suturing Technique in Primary Tubularized Incised Plate (TIP) Hypospadias Repair," both of which have been accepted for presentation at the 91st annual meeting of the South Central Section- American Urological Association Oct. 24-27 in Colorado Springs, Colo., as well as the XVII Ibero-American Society for Pediatric Urology Meeting in Cartagena.

In addition, Driscoll resident Karen Tuano, MD was named the first place winner in the 2012 Texas Pediatric Society Fellow and Resident Poster Contest for her poster in the Evidence Based Medicine/Quality of Improvement category, titled "Preliminary Study on Control of Asthma in Children 6-11 Years Old Who Visit the Emergency Department at Driscoll Children's Hospital." Residents Monika Bhagat, MD, Mavie Narcise, MD and Shuya Wu, MD were contributors to the project. Also, resident Devasena Iyer, MD received second place for her poster in the same category, titled "WAT-1 vs. SOS: Determination of Iatrogenic Withdrawal in the ICU, a Pilot Study." Driscoll physician Kevin Schooler, MD, PhD served as Dr. Iyer's advisor.

Driscoll residents use grant to help families at women's shelter

April 30, 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI - This month, two second-year residents at Driscoll Children's Hospital used a grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to vaccinate children, educate families about vaccination and research barriers to vaccination at the Women's Shelter of South Texas.

Shuya Wu, MD and Santiago Encalada, MD received a prestigious Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) grant for $3,000 from the AAP to implement the project.

"We noticed that children at the Women's Shelter oftentimes had not received required vaccinations, leaving them vulnerable to disease," Dr. Wu said.

Lori Anderson, MD, pediatrician at Amistad Community Health Center, served as the continuity clinic physician and mentor for the project, Dr. Wu said. Dr. Anderson also helped by providing supplies for the immunizations and obtaining vaccines from the state. Through their partnership with the Women's Shelter, doctors Wu and Encalada administered questionnaires to families to learn about the barriers they were experiencing in getting vaccinations for their children.

CATCH grants of up to $3,000 are awarded twice a year on a competitive basis to pediatric residents to address the needs of children in their communities. Applicants for the grants must include planning activities for their projects and in some cases implementation activities, according to the AAP.

Fergie promoted to professor at A&M College of Medicine

April 16, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Jaime Fergie, MD, FAAP, FIDSA, director of Infectious Diseases at Driscoll Children's Hospital, has been promoted to professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in College Station.
His promotion is based on the quality and importance of his contribution to research, education and clinical care missions. Dr. Fergie, who has practiced at Driscoll Children's Hospital since 1994, is a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Harper appointed by governor to Task Force to Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect and Improve Child Welfare

February 02, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Nancy Harper, M.D., medical director of the CARE Team at Driscoll Children's Hospital, is one of five people appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Task Force to Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect and Improve Child Welfare. Pursuant to Senate Bill 1154 of the 82nd legislative session, the Task Force establishes a strategy for reducing child abuse and neglect and for improving child welfare in Texas. Their terms will expire at the pleasure of the governor. Dr. Harper was previously appointed to the inaugural Blue Ribbon Task Force to Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect under Senate Bill 2080, an act of the 81st Legislature.

Dr. Harper is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and board certified in child abuse pediatrics. She is a member of the Ray E. Helfer Society, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and the International Professional Society on Child Abuse and Neglect. She is also a member of the Texas and Corpus Christi Pediatric societies and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Child Safety Review Committee. She is a past board member of the Nueces County Children's Advocacy Center and a past member of the Pediatric Centers of Excellence Committee of the 79th Legislature. Dr. Harper has served as a general pediatrician for the U.S. Navy. She received a bachelor's degree from Amherst College in Massachusetts, a medical degree from Dartmouth University Medical School in Hanover, N.H., and she completed her forensic pediatrics fellowship at Brown University School of Medicine in Providence, R.I.

Dirksen named chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital

January 26, 2012
William Dirksen, M.D., is the new chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
William Dirksen, M.D., is the new chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
CORPUS CHRISTI - William Dirksen, M.D., has been named chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital. His responsibilities include representing the medical staff to the chief executive officer and board of directors, working with hospital management concerning the care of all patients, presiding at all meetings of the medical staff and Medical Executive Committee, recommending medical staff representatives to hospital committees, identifying future medical staff leaders and more. Dr. Dirksen will serve as chief of staff for two years.

Dr. Dirksen has been with Driscoll since 1980 and currently serves as director of Medical Education, where he has fostered and grown its residency program and overseen Driscoll's affiliation with various medical schools and other hospital systems. He has also traveled to Ghana on a goodwill mission to deliver medical care.

Dr. Dirksen earned his medical degree in 1975 at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield and completed his pediatric residency at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

Fergie recognized by American Academy of Pediatrics

November 02, 2011
Jaime Fergie, MD, FAAP, FIDSA
Jaime Fergie, MD, FAAP, FIDSA
CORPUS CHRISTI - Jaime Fergie, MD, FAAP, FIDSA, director of Infectious Diseases at Driscoll Children's Hospital, recently received an award from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in Boston in recognition of the distinguished service he rendered as an elected member of the executive committee of the Section on Infectious Diseases from 2005 to 2011. Members of the Section on Infectious Diseases, founded in 1990, meet to develop ideas and generate educational forums that will improve the care of infants, children and adolescents. They also serve in a liaison capacity to the AAP board of directors. Dr. Fergie has been a member of the AAP for 20 years and has practiced at Driscoll Children's Hospital since 1994.

Driscoll residents win Texas Pediatric Society awards

August 30, 2011
From left to right: Sheshashree Seshadri, MD, Claudia Gaviria, MD and Jaime Fergie, MD.
From left to right: Sheshashree Seshadri, MD, Claudia Gaviria, MD and Jaime Fergie, MD.
CORPUS CHRISTI - Two Driscoll residents recently won awards in the 2011 Texas Pediatric Society Fellow and Resident Poster Contest. Sheshashree Seshadri, MD, won first place in the Single or Multiple Case Presentations category for her poster titled, "Myositis and Paraparesis Associated with Murine Typhus." Claudia Gaviria, MD, received honorable mention for her poster in the Hypotheses Driven category titled, "MRSA Screening and Isolation Policy Does Not Decrease MRSA Nosocomial Infections in the NICU." Their posters were prepared with the direction of Jaime Fergie, MD, Driscoll's director of Infectious Diseases. Residents from 11 residency programs in Texas competed.

Ribbon-cutting, open house to be held for new Cancer & Blood Disorders Center

April 07, 2011
  • WHAT: A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house will be held for Driscoll Children's Hospital's new, $2.7 million Cancer & Blood Disorders Center. Officials and physicians from Driscoll, as well as Councilman John Marez, will participate in the ceremony. The Center is 40 percent larger than the previous space and will allow Driscoll to serve the growing population of South Texas children who need specialized hematology and oncology services. More than 160 children are served at the Center annually, and more than 40 new cancer patients are diagnosed there each year.

  • WHEN: 2 p.m. Friday, April 8

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

With healthcare reimbursement at risk in state budget, Driscoll team will go to Austin, seek support from legislators

March 01, 2011
CORPUS CHRISTI - For Driscoll Children's Hospital, certain proposed cuts and changes in the state's budget mean reduced services for the children of South Texas. In response, a contingent of physicians and volunteers from Driscoll will travel to Austin to voice their concerns to legislators about healthcare issues. The group will leave the hospital by bus the morning of March 2 for a one-day trip.

There are two main issues that Driscoll wishes to address. The first is a proposed $20 million cut in Medicaid provider payments. Driscoll Children's Hospital is the second-highest-ranking hospital in the state for percentage of Medicaid patient days. The proposed budget would cut the hospital's inpatient and outpatient reimbursement by 10 percent, or approximately $10 million, and cut Driscoll's Upper Payment Limits reimbursement by approximately $10 million. If this is approved, Driscoll's ability to provide specialty services such as cancer treatment, kidney transplants and heart surgery will be diminished.

The other issue concerns a Medicaid managed care expansion, for which Driscoll is requesting support from legislators. This not-for-profit health plan, proposed by the state's Health and Human Services Commission, will enable the hospital to continue its wide range of services without fear of non-Medicaid payment.

The Driscoll team plans to make their case with simple, straightforward facts. This includes:

Driscoll has saved the lives of thousands of South Texas children. In many cases, Driscoll is their only source for medical help.

  • Medicaid is the lifeblood of medical care for many South Texas children.

  • Driscoll serves one of the poorest populations in the United States.

  • Medicaid presently pays approximately 85 percent of Driscoll's costs to treat Medicaid patients.

  • Driscoll is one of only five free-standing children's hospitals in the State of Texas, providing care from Victoria to Laredo and throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

Since 1953, Driscoll Children's Hospital's not-for-profit mission has been to care for the children of South Texas, regardless of their ability to pay.

Abstracts chosen for presentation at scientific meeting

February 03, 2011
CORPUS CHRISTI - Two abstracts co-authored by former Driscoll Children's Hospital residents, a current resident and faculty members were chosen for presentation at the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting April 1-4 in Dallas.

"Hospitalizations for Rotavirus Gastroenteritis Were Reduced After Licensing of a Pentavalent Rotavirus Vaccine" was co-authored by former residents Carolina Molleda, M.D., Alejandra Ayestaran, M.D., and Emir Campanini, M.D., and Driscoll faculty members Jaime Fergie, M.D. and Kevin Purcell, PharmD, M.D.

"MRSA Screening Cultures and Isolation of Selected Neonates Admitted to a NICU Do Not Decrease MRSA Nosocomial Infections" was co-authored by current resident Claudia Gaviria, M.D., former resident Katherine Yulo, M.D., and Driscoll faculty members Jaime Fergie, M.D. and Kevin Purcell, PharmD, M.D.