Dobson family gift to Driscoll marks new era for nationally recognized heart program

Driscoll Children’s Hospital is celebrating a multimillion-dollar gift by the Dobson Family Foundations, Las Aguilas Enterprises, and individual Dobson family members to support its Heart Center, a nationally recognized pediatric cardiac program that treats children and newborns with the most complex congenital heart diseases.

Funds from the gift will be used to complete the construction of the Heart Center’s new procedural suite, a facility that includes two operating rooms, two cardiac catheterization laboratories together with a 10-bed cardiac intensive care unit all housed on the fourth floor of the Pavilion building at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. An additional new 25-bed cardiac intensive care unit will be housed on the third floor of the Driscoll Pavilion. Furthermore, the historic gift will establish the Harmon and Grace Dobson Distinguished Chair in Cardiac Surgery, the first of its kind at Driscoll and in South Texas. Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Dr. Stephen Langley, who began leading the heart program in 2019, will be the first recipient of the prestigious title.

“It’s difficult to express our gratitude in words. The Heart Center is growing faster than anyone could have anticipated and most importantly we are achieving outstanding results. This donation will usher in a new era for pediatric cardiac care in South Texas,” said Dr. Langley.

Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Dr. Stephen Langley speaks to team of doctors at Driscoll's Heart Center.

The Heart Center at Driscoll Children’s Hospital offers families access to a wide range of heart specialties and services, including pediatric cardiology, pediatric cardiac surgery, pediatric cardiac anesthesia, pediatric cardiac intensive care, pediatric electrophysiology, cardiac catheterization, cardiac cross-sectional imaging, fetal imaging and other cutting-edge medical services and technologies. The new Heart Center Procedural Suite will further advance our specialty care for our patients as well as support our growth and expanded services.

According to data collected, analyzed and publicly reported by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Heart Center at Driscoll Children’s Hospital has one of the lowest mortalities nationally for pediatric cardiac surgery. Furthermore, survival at the Driscoll Heart Center for the highest risk patients is one of the best in the United States.

“This is the largest gift solely devoted to heart care in Driscoll’s history. In honor of the Dobson family’s everlasting gift, the fourth floor of the Pavilion will be named the Dobson Family Cardiac Suite. Driscoll is grateful to the Dobson family for their faith in and commitment to our mission,” said Driscoll President and CEO Eric Hamon.

“Driscoll’s heart program is inspiring. The family is honored to be a part of a program that cares for the smallest hearts of South Texas,” said Heather Dobson, president of Tres Grace Family Foundation.

A patient at Driscoll Children's Hospital Heart Center.
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