Day in and day out, Texas hospitals provide life-saving care to Texans from all walks of life. Even in the hot summer months, Texas health care providers are hard at work improving the lives of those in their communities. Throughout the summer, there’s been no shortage of Texas hospitals’ excellence in the news. From patient success stories to big moves hospitals are making to expand access to care, we thought we’d share just a few of the top stories coming from Texas hospitals this summer.
Former NBA Player Finds Support, Treatment with Texas Health Fort Worth
Earlier this month, Texas Health Fort Worth treated Robert Williams, former NBA player for the San Antonio Spurs, after he suffered a stroke. Williams spent 19 days at Texas Health Fort Worth receiving treatment for a clot about the size of a watermelon seed that was blocking blood flow to the left side of Williams’ brain, said Yinn Cher Ooi, MD, a neurosurgeon on the Texas Health Fort Worth medical staff.
Williams has shared his gratitude for the individuals at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth and their commitment to supporting the highest level of neurological care. Texas Health Fort Worth is one of fewer than 45 comprehensive stroke facilities in Texas. In fact, Texas Health Fort Worth cares for the highest number of stroke patients* in North Texas, including high-acuity patients such as Williams.
Oncologists walk patient down the aisle: ‘It was a huge honor’
In February 2021, 70-year-old retired nurse Sheri Shaw-James was diagnosed with stage 3 squamous cell carcinoma of the rectum. Her new boyfriend Bill James, 77, was by her side as she began treatment at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, receiving radiation and chemotherapy. Four months later, she was declared cancer-free, and when James later proposed marriage, she said yes.
As they began planning their wedding in North Carolina, Shaw-James knew she wanted two very important people to walk her down the aisle at her wedding: her oncologists, Emma B. Holliday and Van Karlyle Morris.
“Without them and their hard work, there might not have been a wedding to celebrate,” she told The Washington Post. “I am here today because of God and because of them.”
Both immediately agreed to be part of her big day. Shaw-James was touched, and found it a “huge honor” to have them by her side.
Texas Children’s Hospital Announces Homecoming for Formerly Conjoined Twin Girls Ella Grace and Eliza Faith Fuller
Ella Grace and Eliza Faith Fuller were born conjoined twins at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women on March 1, 2023, at 2:11 p.m. at 35-weeks’ gestation via Caesarean section. Estimated to weigh 5 pounds, 10 ounces each, the babies were welcomed by parents Sandy and Jesse Fuller and joined their big sister, Emilia.
Ella Grace and Eliza Faith were separated in a complex surgery on June 14. The surgery lasted approximately six hours and was conducted by a multi-disciplinary team of 17 clinicians working together to separate the girls who were conjoined at the abdomen and shared liver tissues.
Following the successful operation, the girls returned to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where they made a swift recovery. After more than four months in the NICU, the twin sisters are now healthy and at home.
Toddler undergoes first-of-its-kind heart transplant after 2 open-heart surgeries
Elias Robinson-Rodriquez was born with a congenital heart defect called transposition of the great arteries, in which the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed. In Elias’ case, the part of his heart that pumps blood to the body was obstructed, according to Dell Children’s Medical Center, where he was treated.
At just 11 months old, Elias underwent a type of heart transplant so rare it had previously been performed on only six children globally. Doctors presented Elias’ parents with an option to perform a partial heart transplant, a rare operation that would transplant a live aortic valve from a donor heart into Elias, with the goal of preventing him from having multiple open-heart surgeries in the future.
In late June, Elias underwent the 11-hour procedure, led by Dr. Carlos Mery, surgical director of the Heart Transplant Program at Dell Children’s, that saw his aortic valve replaced by that of the anonymous donor. The surgery was deemed a success by doctors, and Elias was home in time to celebrate his first birthday on July 14.
Memorial Hermann Health System Makes a Strategic Investment in Memora Health to Modernize Care Delivery
Memorial Hermann Health System – a non-profit health system committed to creating healthier Houston communities – has made a strategic investment in Memora Health, the leading intelligent care enablement platform, to streamline complex care journeys for clinicians and patients by leveraging the power of AI through evidence-based care programs.
Patients navigating complex care journeys, such as orthopedic surgery, cancer treatment or perinatal care, often have many questions and require a high frequency of engagement from their care teams. Utilizing Memora’s AI-backed technology, health systems will digitize and automate routine elements of these care journeys, such as answering frequently asked questions or following up to ensure medication adherence, to increase patient engagement, proactively provide critical education and free up providers to focus on care.
Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women Announces Opening of New Medical Tower
Texas Children’s Hospital recently announced that the newest medical tower, Pavilion for Women Tower II, has opened for patient activity. As the second phase of the $245 million Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women’s expansion within the Texas Medical Center nears completion, the new tower, connected to the Pavilion for Women via a recently constructed sky bridge, houses women’s services outpatient clinics, including The Women’s Specialists of Houston, Partners in OB/GYN Care, and Women’s Physical Therapy.
Since opening its doors over a decade ago, the Pavilion for Women has seen rapid growth in the volume of patients seeking labor and delivery services, and the next step of this expansion includes increasing the number of hospital beds in the Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women.
UT Teen Health gets $9.86 million federal grant to stem teen pregnancies in South Texas
UT Teen Health, an initiative of UT Health San Antonio that promotes adolescent health and wellness, has been approved for a five-year, $9.86 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help stem teen pregnancies through outreach efforts across a mostly rural 38-county area.
The grant is part of an overall $68.5 million that will be given out by Health and Human Services over the next year to 53 organizations in 29 states and Puerto Rico for teen pregnancy prevention programs.
Arlington honors the first Black nurse in the city’s history
In recognition of Juneteenth, Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, along with North Texas dignitaries, recently honored the city of Arlington’s first Black nurse, Margaret Taylor. Taylor grew up in segregated Arlington. She rode the bus to Fort Worth to go to high school, graduated in 1957 and later went to nursing school.
Taylor joined Texas Health Arlington Memorial in the 1960s and went on to care for patients there for more than 45 years. Taylor, now 85, retired in 2014 but continues to be celebrated for her service and impact on Black history and the community.
CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler Receives National Recognition for Stroke Care
CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler has received three American Heart Association/American Stroke Association “Get with the Guidelines” achievement awards for demonstrating a commitment to research-based guidelines for stroke treatment, leading to more lives saved, shorter recovery times and fewer hospital readmissions.
For the first time, CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler was recognized with Stroke Gold Plus Award, the highest level given by the American Stroke Association. To qualify, the hospital demonstrated documented compliance with 13 Get with the Guidelines measures for a minimum of 24 consecutive months.
CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler also earned for the first time Stroke Elite Honor Roll, which recognizes proficiency in door-to-needle time, and for the first time earned recognition with Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll, which judges programs on 10 standards over a 12-month period.
Two Texas hospitals named to U.S. News 2023-2024 Best Hospitals Honor Roll
U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in hospital rankings and consumer advice, announced the 2023-2024 Best Hospitals rankings. The U.S. News Best Hospitals honor roll recognizes 22 of the nation’s highest-performing hospitals across 15 specialties and 21 procedures and conditions. Over 5,000 hospitals are evaluated each year.
Houston Methodist Hospital and UT Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas) were the two Texas hospitals named to the Best Hospitals honor roll, tying for the No. 1 spot for best hospital in Texas.
Now in its 34th year, Best Hospitals evaluates hospitals in more than 30 medical and surgical services, with the objective of providing patients with data-driven decision tools. To keep pace with consumers’ needs and the ever-evolving landscape of health care, several refinements are reflected in the 2023-2024 Best Hospitals rankings and ratings. These include the introduction of outpatient outcomes in key specialty rankings and surgical ratings, the expanded inclusion of other outpatient data, an increased weight on objective quality measures, a reduced weight on expert opinion and more.
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