DCH News

Healthcare Professionals

Salinas elected regional rep for WIC directors

November 11, 2010
Cindy Salinas
Cindy Salinas
CORPUS CHRISTI - Cindy Salinas, director of the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital, has been elected the state regional representative for the Texas Association of Local WIC Directors, representing Cameron, San Patricio, Hidalgo, Laredo, Victoria and Nueces counties. Salinas will be reporting information to the state such as participation numbers, finances, policy issues for process improvement and many other issues. She was elected by the southwest regional directors and will serve a two-year term.

Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., M.H.A., designated Fellow of American College of Healthcare Executives

November 03, 2010
Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., M.H.A.
Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., M.H.A.
CORPUS CHRISTI - Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., M.H.A., president and chief executive officer of Driscoll Children's Health Plan, recently became board certified in healthcare management as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (A.C.H.E.). A.C.H.E. is a professional society dedicated to promoting the highest standards of professional, educational and leadership performance, the highest ethical standards and conduct and the advancement of healthcare management excellence.

"I am pleased that I have passed the rigorous process in achieving Fellow status in the A.C.H.E. and look forward to the continuous learning process in healthcare management, especially in light of all the challenges of today," Peterson said.

Driscoll welcomes Herbert Stern, M.D.

October 27, 2010
Herbert Stern
Herbert Stern
CORPUS CHRISTI - Driscoll Children's Hospital welcomes Herbert Stern, M.D., pediatric cardiologist. He joins Driscoll Children's Heart Center from The Sanger Clinic and Levine Children's Hospital in North Carolina, where he served as director and chief of Pediatric Cardiology. Dr. Stern earned his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina, completed his residency and internship in pediatrics at the University of Maryland Hospital and his fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Duke University Medical Center.

Driscoll designated child abuse Center of Excellence

October 13, 2010
CORPUS CHRISTI - The Child Abuse Resource and Evaluation (CARE) Team at Driscoll Children's Hospital has long been valued in the region for diagnosing and treating children who are suffering from physical and sexual abuse as well as neglect. Texas lawmakers at the last legislative session recognized the epidemic of child abuse in the state and made recommendations to identify Centers of Excellence for the care of victims of child abuse. Driscoll has been recognized as one of only eight centers in Texas to receive this designation, and the only one south of San Antonio.

"The designation of Center of Excellence is the first step in building a network of medical providers to recognize, diagnose and treat the children in Texas who have been abused," said Sonja Eddleman, RN, CA/CP SANE, SANE-A, CMI-III, CFN, clinical coordinator for Driscoll's CARE Team.

Eddleman also stated that a key component of the designation is that the CARE Team's medical director, Dr. Nancy Harper, is one of only 12 board certified child abuse pediatricians in the State of Texas.

Driscoll's CARE Team evaluates approximately 1,700 children each year who have been suspected of being abused, Eddleman said. She encourages anyone who suspects a child has been or may be abused to immediately call the Child Protective Services hotline at 1-800-252-5400 and help protect the small voices in our region.

Driscoll residents win awards

August 27, 2010
Two residents at Driscoll Children's Hospital recently won awards for their research projects from the Texas Pediatric Society. They will be officially recognized at the society's annual meeting in San Antonio on November 6th. Karen Yulo, M.D., won first prize for best hypothesis-driven research project, titled "The Relationship Between Residence Near Sources of Petrochemical Pollution and Worsening Respiratory Outcomes in Children of Nueces and San Patricio Counties," and Ranjana Sarma, M.D., won honorable mention for her case presentation in the resident category, titled "Improving Quality of Care: Role of Rapid Response Team and Quick Assessment Unit."

Ernest Buck, M.D., wins Award of Merit

August 11, 2010
Dr. Buck
Dr. Buck
CORPUS CHRISTI - Ernest Buck, M.D., of ABC Pediatrics, has been selected by the Texas Pediatric Society (TPS) Awards Committee to receive the 2010 Texas Pediatric Society Sidney Kaliski Award of Merit for his outstanding contributions to the TPS, pediatrics and his community.

"It's a very humbling experience," Dr. Buck said. "It's the type of award that is the pinnacle of a career. Previous recipients are wonderful and inspiring pediatricians who are the backbone of pediatrics in the state of Texas. I wasn't even considering myself as a candidate. It took me totally by surprise."

Dr. Buck was nominated by Skip Brown, M.D., immediate past president of the TPS, and supported by Driscoll Children's Hospital's William Dirksen, M.D., and Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., M.H.A.

The award will be presented to Dr. Buck at the TPS annual meeting awards luncheon on Saturday, November 6, 2010 at the Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio.

Allen graduates from Spanish Bilingual Assistant class

July 14, 2010
William Allen, M.D. was one of 15 bilingual staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital to graduate from a 60-hour Spanish Bilingual Assistant (SBA) class on July 14. The class included a comprehensive language screening process and was conducted over six weeks. The SBA program is supported by the National Medical Interpreter Project, which is dedicated to supporting language access for non-English-speaking families. This was the third SBA class offered at Driscoll; the last one was offered in McAllen last year.

Johnson, Cortes receive awards

June 18, 2010
During the 2010 Residency Graduation Program held at the Omni Marina Hotel on June 18, Cris Johnson, M.D. was the recipient of the "Best Subspecialty Teacher Award" and Richard Cortes, M.D. received the "Best General Pediatrician Teacher Award" from the graduating Driscoll pediatric residents. Both physicians received a plaque in appreciation of their efforts.

Ramakrishna appointed to Regional Advisory Committee

June 18, 2010
Mulukutla Ramakrishna, M.D. of South Padre Island Pediatric Center has been appointed as a physician member from Corpus Christi to the board of CHIP and Medicaid for Region 11, stretching from Victoria to the Rio Grande Valley (the state is divided into 11 regions). The Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) is an advocacy forum for matters related to CHIP and Medicaid to improve access to care, quality of care and managed care issues. The RAC also responds to questions, suggestions and recommendations from various community partners and the public. RACs are also provided information regarding updates and upcoming changes at the federal and state level. In turn, each RAC sends recommendations from the regional level to the Texas Dept. of Health & Human Services Commission for enhancement and improvement of care. If any physicians or hospital staff have any issues regarding improvement or enhancement of care in this area or issues relating to managed care, contact him at 361-854-4626.

Dr. Ramakrishna is a former chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital and a former chief of pediatrics. He is a former board member of Head Start for Nueces County and the Child Advocacy Center. Presently he serves on the Driscoll Medical Executive Committee and chairs the Driscoll Children's Health Plan Credentials Committee. He is board certified in Pediatric Emergency Medicine and currently serves on the boards of Coastal Bend Emergency Services and 501Primary Care Pediatrics.

In addition, Dr. Ramakrishna was recognized June 18 during the 2010 Residency Graduation Program held at the Omni Marina Hotel for his contributions to resident education with the "Best Teaching Attending Award." He received a plaque in appreciation of his efforts.