DCH News

Patients & Families

Grocery shopping is therapeutic at Driscoll's new H-E-B Kids' Market

January 29, 2013
'Shoppers' will demonstrate at ribbon-cutting ceremony on Jan. 23
CORPUS CHRISTI - Just over a year after planning began, the H-E-B Kids' Market at Driscoll Children's Hospital will be opened Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Rehabilitation Services Department. Officials from Driscoll and H-E-B will be on hand, and children will be cued up to begin shopping in the kid-sized grocery store. The market, with its mini grocery carts, shelves of food, plastic produce and check-out stand, offers many therapeutic possibilities for Driscoll's rehabilitation patients.

"The market helps us create a series of activities that children will encounter in the real world," said Susan Fields, director of Driscoll's Rehabilitation Services Department. "It will allow them to have fun and learn at the same time. Children learn best when they don't know they're working."

In addition to a grocery store, the H-E-B Kids' Market at Driscoll features a play kitchen with a refrigerator, working sink and washer and dryer.

Several rehabilitative therapies can be employed in the market, Fields said. With Driscoll's physical therapists, children can improve their standing and balancing ability by reaching and picking items from shelves. Pushing a grocery cart can help those who need to work on walking. In the play kitchen, they can choose where to store food. Speech therapists can help children improve language skills by having them name, match, categorize or describe products. And with Driscoll's occupational therapists, children can work on problem-solving by planning a meal, purchasing items, making change and generally improving their fine motor skills. The area is also available to Driscoll's dietitians, who will teach children about nutrition and meal planning.

The idea for the H-E-B Kids' Market materialized in 2011 after a Driscoll employee saw an H-E-Buddy Market in the Children's Museum of Houston. The market, also in children's museums in San Antonio and Brownsville, is designed to engage children in activities that will help them learn and grow. Driscoll's Rehabilitation Services Department designated an area for pretend play and a donation from H-E-B followed.

The H-E-B Kids' Market at Driscoll is the first time the H-E-Buddy Market concept has been incorporated into a children's hospital for rehabilitative purposes, according to H-E-B.

The H-E-B Kids' Market is available to any child who needs rehabilitation therapy. For more information, call the Rehabilitation Services Department at (361) 694-5678.

What: H-E-B Kids' Market ribbon-cutting
When: 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23
Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital, Rehabilitation Services Department, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll Health Plan: Improving healthcare with cell phone assistance for members

January 18, 2013
RIO GRANDE VALLEY - For most people, finding a medical care provider and making doctor's appointments is as easy as picking up a cell phone. But for some Medicaid-eligible individuals and families, access to cell phones - and quick communication with healthcare providers - may be difficult or impossible. Driscoll Health Plan (DHP) strives to bridge the communication gap by providing all members assistance in applying for a free cell phone.*

"Communication is essential when it comes to access to good healthcare for the vulnerable population we serve," said Mary Dale Peterson, MD, MSHCA, chief executive officer of DHP.

As part of the free cell phone* program, qualifying members will also receive the following services at not cost:

250 free voice minutes each month
250 free text messages each month;
A voicemail account;
Call waiting and caller ID;
9-1-1 access.

In addition to these services, DHP provides 250 extra minutes** each month and, for certain members, text messages with general health tips, notices about free events and other helpful information.

"This is a win-win situation for our members who qualify to receive free cell phones," Dr. Peterson said. "DHP continues to develop ways to provide more value to our members."

Cell phones obtained through DHP are made available by Assurance Wireless, a federal Lifeline program that is part of the Universal Service Fund.*

DHP has more than 50,000 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 third in a series of four press releases about DHP's value-added services.

* Members must qualify to receive a free cell phone. The cell phone is not a value-added service.
** Restrictions and/or limitations apply on this value-added service.

Driscoll Children's Hospital's annual Fiesta de los Niños promises to be another crowd-pleaser

January 03, 2013
Flint Hills Resources presented a $50,000 check to Driscoll Children's Hospital Jan. 3 for the upcoming Fiesta de los Niños. Pictured from left are Fiesta chairs Allison and Tom Hunt; Martha St. Romain, Driscoll vice president of Development; and Fiesta chairs Phil and Vicki Gaarder. Phil Gaarder is also vice president of South Texas Operations for Flint Hills Resources.
Flint Hills Resources presented a $50,000 check to Driscoll Children's Hospital Jan. 3 for the upcoming Fiesta de los Niños. Pictured from left are Fiesta chairs Allison and Tom Hunt; Martha St. Romain, Driscoll vice president of Development; and Fiesta chairs Phil and Vicki Gaarder. Phil Gaarder is also vice president of South Texas Operations for Flint Hills Resources.
CORPUS CHRISTI - Fiesta de los Niños, which began as a small, grassroots effort 21 years ago, has evolved into a high-profile event that many South Texans return to year after year. On Feb. 8, Driscoll Children's Hospital's 21st annual Fiesta de los Niños will be held at the American Bank Center Exhibit Hall. It will include its signature combination of fun, food and music - all with the mission of offering more and enhanced services to children in the community.

"Because of the support from community partners such as Flint Hills Resources, Driscoll Children's Hospital is able to continue to enhance its services and carry on the vision to be the regional leader in children's services through innovation and excellence in healthcare, advocacy, education and research," said Martha St. Romain, vice president of Development at Driscoll Children's Hospital.

Led by long-time title-sponsor Flint Hills Resources, Fiesta de los Niños is a major annual fundraiser for Driscoll Children's Hospital. Each year, 100 percent of the funds raised from the event directly benefit the hospital. For the past 21 years, through community support of Fiesta, Driscoll has been able to develop and improve its services and programs in order to better serve the children of South Texas. In 2012, with more than 1,400 people in attendance, Fiesta raised $600,000 for the renovation and expansion of the Emergency Department.

Proceeds from the 2013 Fiesta de los Niños will touch several key specialty areas throughout Driscoll Children's Hospital, including the Rehabilitation Services Department, with a new, therapeutic music room; the Radiology Department, with the installation of a special, interactive program that entertains and distracts children during imaging procedures; and Driscoll Health System - Pediatric Cardiology, with new, state-of-the-art, child-specific echocardiogram machines.

Guests at Fiesta de los Niños will enjoy silent, live and bid-board auctions, a barbecue dinner and entertainment by country music artist Johnny Lee, singer of the 1980 hit, "Lookin' For Love." The program begins at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails, silent and bid-board auctions and live music by Still Crazy.

For more information or table sponsorship, call Driscoll's Development Department at (361) 694-6405 or visit the Fiesta de los Niños page.

What: Driscoll Children's Hospital's 21st annual Fiesta de los Niños
When: 6:30 - 11:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 8
Where: American Bank Center Exhibit Hall, 1901 N. Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christi

Event schedule:

6:30 p.m. - Doors open, reception, silent & bid-board auctions open, dancing to Still Crazy
7:00 p.m. - Western barbecue dinner served
8:30 p.m. - Live auction begins, silent auction closes (Bid-board remains open until 10 p.m.)
9:30 p.m. - Featured entertainer, Johnny Lee

Rehabilitation patients to take stage for annual Holiday Spectacular

December 13, 2012
WHAT: Patients from the Rehabilitation Services Department at Driscoll Children's Hospital will take part in the pageantry of the ninth annual Holiday Spectacular. The show will include performances of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and excerpts from "The Nutcracker." It will be directed by Driscoll employees Christine Carter and Heidi Lathrop, and performances by the Corpus Christi Concert Ballet will take place between the children's performances.
WHEN: 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital auditorium, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll's North Pole Network will connect patients with Santa Claus

December 12, 2012
WHAT: Driscoll Children's Hospital's seventh annual North Pole Network will be buzzing tomorrow as local ham radio operators and Driscoll employees connect patients with Santa Claus from their hospital rooms. The patients will be provided a radio so that they can discuss their Christmas wishes with Santa, who will be communicating with them from the "North Pole."
WHEN: 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 13
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll to light its annual holiday tree as Santa Claus arrives

December 04, 2012
WHAT: Santa Claus will arrive on a fire truck Wednesday as Driscoll Children's Hospital lights its annual holiday tree in front of the hospital. Patients, Driscoll employees and their families will be in attendance for the 19th annual event, which will be preceded by music provided by the W.B. Ray High School Holiday Band.
WHEN: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Organ donors, their families honored at Driscoll ceremony

November 19, 2012
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.
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.
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.

"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.

Author of Driscoll Christmas storybook to hold book-reading

November 14, 2012
WHAT: Driscoll Children's Hospital's 2012 Christmas storybook, "The Legend of the Christmas Star," will be read for children and families by its author, Driscoll Auxiliary member Sandy Lindsey, at Barnes & Noble Booksellers. The book was illustrated by current and former patients of Driscoll Children's Hospital, and proceeds from its sales go toward scholarships for Driscoll patients.
WHEN: 1:30-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
WHERE: Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 5129 Blanche Moore Dr.

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Driscoll Children's Hospital, Kohl's Department Stores sponsor the Keep Your Kids Safe Program

November 08, 2012
Kohl's to donate $50,387 to Driscoll's Injury Prevention Program

CORPUS CHRISTI - Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. Crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for 2010 shows that about two children 12 or younger were killed and 325 were injured each day in passenger vehicles. The NHTSA also estimates that roughly three out of four child safety seats are not used correctly.

Driscoll Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program will conduct a car-seat inspection event on Friday, Nov. 9 at Kohl's Department Store, 5626 Saratoga Blvd. Certified child passenger safety technicians will be on hand from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to check car-seats for proper installation and advise parents and caregivers on how to choose the right car-seats and install them properly in their vehicles. A check for $50,387 will be presented to Driscoll by Kohl's at 10:15 a.m.

This year's grant will help support child safety initiatives and outreach programs in the areas of child passenger safety and helmet safety. The donations were collected from Kohl's stores. Since 2004, Kohl's has gifted Driscoll Children's Hospital $343,886 to promote child safety efforts.

"Kohl's has been a great supporter of our child safety initiatives. We are fortunate to have such a great partner," said Maricruz Cantu, Injury Prevention coordinator at Driscoll Children's Hospital. "Along with the grant which allow us to continue our injury prevention programs, the Kohl's associates volunteer their time and make our community outreach events a success."

Cantu urges parents and caregivers to follow NHTSA's car-seat guidelines and manufacturer instructions, which recommend that children stay in specific restraint types before moving to the next type. For maximum safety, car-seat installations should be inspected by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. Children ages 12 and under should always ride in the back seat, Cantu said.

Important guidelines for child seat safety are:

Birth-12 months old: For the best possible protection, children under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car-seat. There are different types of rear-facing car-seats. Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car-seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing children to remain rear-facing for a longer period of time.

1-3 years old: Children should remain in a rear-facing car-seat until they reach the maximum height or weight allowed by the manufacturer. This may result in many children riding rear-facing to age 2 or older. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing car-seat, he or she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car-seat with a harness.

4-7 years old: Children should be kept in a forward-facing car-seat with a harness until they reach the maximum height or weight allowed by the manufacturer. Once the child outgrows the forward-facing seat, it's time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.

8-12 years old: Keep children in a booster seat until they're big enough to wear a seatbelt properly. For a seatbelt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.

Parents and caregivers should remember:

Select a car-seat based on the child's age and size, choose a seat that fits in the vehicle and use it on every trip, every time.

Always refer to the car-seat manufacturer's instructions. Read the vehicle owner's manual on how to install the car-seat using the seat belt or LATCH system. Check height and weight limits.

To maximize safety, keep children in the car-seat for as long as possible, providing they fit within the manufacturer's height and weight requirements.

Keep children in the back seat at least through age 12.

What: Check presentation and children's car-seat checks
When: Check presentation at 10:15 a.m.; car-seat checks from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9
Where: Kohl's Department Store, 5626 Saratoga Blvd.

Hospital patients will trick-or-treat during Driscoll's Pumpkin Parade

October 30, 2012
WHAT: The 12th 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 goodies for the children as they parade by. Representatives from Stripes convenience stores, naval aviators from the Pilot for a Day program and Corpus Christi Hooks mascot Rusty Hook will also participate.
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, main lobby, 3533 S. Alameda St.