DCH News

Healthcare Professionals

Driscoll's kidney transplant recipients come from all over South Texas for annual Reunion

April 28, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI - On Saturday, Driscoll Children's Hospital will celebrate seven years of renal transplants with patients and their families at the annual Transplant Reunion. For nearly 10 years, Driscoll's Kidney Center has offered comprehensive kidney care to the children of South Texas, including transplantation, general nephrology services, on-site and home pediatric dialysis. For children with end-stage renal disease, transplantation is the ideal treatment.

"The reunion not only fosters the relationship between our patients who see they aren't alone in this journey, but it allows our patients and staff to reconnect outside of the clinic as well," said Leticia Castaneda, social worker at Driscoll's Kidney Center.

According to Samhar Al-Akash, MD, medical director of the Kidney Center, patients and staff members alike look forward to the event every year. "We enjoy seeing our patients outside of the clinic, running around and having fun. It means we did our jobs by giving them a better quality of life away from dialysis machines and medical equipment," he said.

As the only pediatric transplant program in South Texas, Driscoll has performed 72 kidney transplants since the program began in 2007. Patients range in age from 1 to 21 years, and come from all over South Texas

"We're honored that parents choose Driscoll Children's Hospital to care for their children," said Stephen Almond, MD, surgical director of Driscoll's Renal Transplant Program. "This reunion is just a way for us to say thank you to our patients and families and to celebrate their new lives."

  • What: Driscoll Children's Hospital's annual Transplant Reunion

  • When: Noon Saturday, April 26

  • Where: FunTrackers, 9605 South Padre Island Dr.

Valdez brings neurology expertise to Driscoll

February 26, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI - Marcos Valdez, MD, has joined Children's Physician Services of South Texas at Driscoll Children's Hospital as a pediatric neurologist. Dr. Valdez was previously in private practice in McAllen, Texas for 10 years. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Scott & White Memorial Hospital - Texas A&M College of Medicine in 1999 and a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology at Texas Children's Hospital - Baylor College of Medicine in 2003. Dr. Valdez earned his medical degree in 1987 at Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon Medical School in Mexico. He is certified in neurology with a special qualification in child neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Páez receives certification in pediatric endocrinology

February 17, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI - Ana Maria Páez, MD, pediatric endocrinologist at Driscoll Children's Hospital, recently passed an exam administered by the American Board of Pediatrics and is certified in pediatric endocrinology. Dr. Páez completed a pediatric endocrinology fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where she performed her pediatric residency from 2007 to 2010. She joined Driscoll in 2013.

Booth receives certification in child abuse pediatrics

February 17, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI - Ada Booth, MD, child abuse pediatrician with Driscoll Children's Hospital's Child Abuse Resource Evaluation (CARE) Team, recently passed an exam administered by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) and is certified in child abuse pediatrics. Dr. Booth graduated from a child abuse pediatrics fellowship at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio in 2011. She is also certified by the ABP in pediatrics.

Driscoll pediatric cardiologist recognized as distinguished alumnus at Louisiana Tech University

February 17, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI - Driscoll pediatric cardiologist Brandon Lane Phillips, MD, FAAP, FACC, was recently recognized by The College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University as one of 14 of their 2014 Distinguished Alumni. Chosen alumni have distinguished themselves during their careers and in service to the university.

Dr. Phillips joined Driscoll in 2012 and is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. In 2010, Dr. Phillips completed a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. His clinical interests include non-invasive imaging, outpatient cardiology and adult congenital cardiology.

Crossroads Diabetes Expo offers education, information, resources for those affected

January 22, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI - Diabetes is an ongoing and growing cause for concern across South Texas. To help those affected by the disease, Driscoll Health Plan, the Texas Area Health Education Centers and the Victoria Regional Health Alliance have partnered to offer an educational event called the Crossroads Diabetes Expo. On Saturday, Feb. 22, the Crossroads Diabetes Expo will be held at the Del Mar College South Campus.

The Diabetes Expo is open to the public and will put diabetics and their caregivers in touch with area resources and offer free diabetes screenings. Educational sessions with information about lifestyle changes and disease self-management will also be offered. Topics such as carbohydrate counting, medication management, exercise, behavior modification and childhood diabetes will be addressed by professionals in the fields of medicine, nutrition, endocrinology, nursing and diabetes self-care. Healthcare providers and diabetic educators may earn Continuing Medical Education credits by attending the provider seminar.

There is no cost to attend the Crossroads Diabetes Expo. A breakfast snack will be provided before the keynote speaker.

  • What: Crossroads Diabetes Expo

  • When: 8 a.m. - Noon Saturday, Feb. 22

  • Where: Del Mar College South Campus, 3209 S. Staples St.

Brennan selected as liaison by American Academy of Pediatrics

December 20, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Erin Brennan, DO, resident physician at Driscoll Children's Hospital, has been selected by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to represent the AAP Section on Medical Students, Residents, and Fellowship Trainees (SOMSRFT) as a liaison to the Section on Osteopathic Pediatricians (SOOPe). She will attend SOOPe meetings and update the SOMSRFT Executive Committee regarding SOOPe's current agenda items. Dr. Brennan was selected from a group of applicants as the best qualified person to represent the SOMSRFT, according to the AAP.

Akhtar among first to receive certification in Clinical Informatics

December 18, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Noorullah Akhtar, MD, MBI, FAAP, pediatric intensive care physician and medical director of Information Systems at Driscoll Children's Hospital, was recently certified in Clinical Informatics by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Clinical Informatics is one of two new subspecialties recognized by the ABMS, and board certification emphasizes the importance of electronic communication and data storage in 21st century medical care. Dr. Akhtar is among the first group of 400-plus physicians in the United States to earn this certification.

Driscoll's weight management patients gather tomorrow for Bariatric Reunion

December 06, 2013
WHAT: Patients from Driscoll Children's Hospital's Adolescent Weight Management Program will gather tomorrow for fun and fellowship at the annual Bariatric Reunion. They'll be joined by some of the Driscoll staff who have helped them along their weight-loss journey. The Adolescent Weight Management Program, begun in 2009, involves extensive weight control and nutritional education and, for patients who meet certain criteria, surgical attachment of an adjustable band around the stomach that aids in decreasing sensations of hunger.

WHEN: 12:45 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7

WHERE: Sully's Bowling Lanes, 2285 W. Wheeler Ave, Aransas Pass

Driscoll physician presents case report at meeting in San Francisco

December 03, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - A case report by Driscoll Children's Hospital physicians was presented Oct. 14 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) in San Francisco. "Intraoperative Management of a Giant Sacrococcygeal Teratoma (GS/T) in a preterm infant with Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS), Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHTN) and Consumptive Coagulopathy" was presented as a poster by anesthesiologist Meera Gangadharan, MBBS. Physicians who collaborated with Dr. Gangadharan were anesthesiologists Angelina Bhandari, MD, and A. Jay Koska, MD, and pediatric surgeon Stephen Almond, MD.

"This was a very challenging case with a mortality rate exceeding 50 percent," Dr. Gangadharan said. "It involved excellent teamwork by Driscoll's neonatology, cardiology, anesthesiology and surgery services and resulted in an excellent outcome for the patient."

The ASA is a 50,000-member educational research and scientific association of physicians organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology and improve the care of the patient.