Author Archives: admin

Artist-in-Residence Helps TSRHC Patients Express Creativity

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) is about to get even more bright and colorful! A new position, titled Artist-in-Residence, has started at TSRHC through our Child Life department. Brenton Black will be working with the hospital’s in-patients to beautify the campus with unique pieces of art as a way to let the patients express themselves and use art as a means of therapy.

Get to know a little bit more about Brenton in our Q&A and view photos from his recent sky bridge mural project with TSRHC patients:

Staff Brenton BlackThe Artist-in-Residence position is new to TSRHC. What do you plan to do at the hospital?

This is the first year of the Art-in-Residence program. My plan is to first make art with the children of the hospital. I want them all to explore their creativity without boundaries and restraint. I give direction and leave them to create their vision. This allows each kiddo to express themself. Often we as adults try to control and steer kids and each other into our lane. I want to make sure each child is “talking” and expressing their unique story. I want each child to see its work being recognized and “listened” to. This builds confidence and a sort of fearlessness when it comes to expression.

My second mission is to have the entire hospital recognize these young voices. We want a body of artwork from the patients to be displayed, marveled and valued. This will be made whole by collecting those works and putting them on display throughout the hospital and at art shows.

Staff Brenton BlackTell us a little bit about your background as an artist?

Ironically I started my art career in a Child Life setting when I was three or four years old. My sister was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of four. My family was back and forth to a children’s hospital throughout her treatment. I was often at her bedside and kept active in their Child Life program. I actually have a few of the small paintings my sister and I created. I never stopped drawing and sketching. Through high school I sketched classmate’s portraits, football banners, cheerleading banners, entered local contest with the Mavs, Cowboys, etc.

Fast-forward to 2010…..I was working at the Fairmont Dallas where I met their Artist-in-Residence, Zach Saucedo. We talked and he viewed my sketch portfolio and told me to start painting. He gave me tips and advice, and from there I taught myself to paint.

Patient Madeline Cooper, 10; patient Amy Goode, 16Art is a therapeutic activity. Tell us how this helps our in-patients during their stay at TSRHC?

Art is very therapeutic. It allows you to escape your current situation mentally. The first time I broke open a fresh canvas at a bedside paint session, my paint buddy forgot her pain, procedure, and opened up verbally (something everyone said she wouldn’t do). I feel the program creates an immediate get-away from the stress of not being home and a creative break from the stress of the hospital stay.

What was the inspiration behind the mural by the skybridge?

LEE_4766AThe inspiration lies with the kids of Child Life. I asked each of them what they’d like to see, create and have on display. My first day in the Child Life playroom I painted a really cool Minion. So naturally they wanted more! The mine craft character was an addition requested by one of the older patients. The crayons were added to fit everything around TSRHC. I actually only did 30% of the work. The kids paint everything they could reach and I painted Artist in residence Brenton Black; patient Madeline Cooper. 10up high and did the black line work. Flowers, the big tree, melted crayons and handprints were all ideas of my little artists. I wanted it to still look like a construction zone but with a splash of happy. The construction zone feel lets people know of the hospital’s continued growth and advances. The playful colors remind all employees who the come to work for… THE KIDS. I will be adding a chalk board paint section for employees to sign and add to the creation. I want everyone involved!

What’s next?

Staff Artist Brenton Black

We are working on individual paintings that will be displayed in the same sky bridge hallway, on the opposite wall as a permanent display. We also have a 4 foot by 4 foot painting that will hang in the Child Life Playroom. I am planning a sculpture project and will begin the staging process for getting a uniform art show together.

Stay tuned for more updates from Brenton and our talented young artists!


Save the Date: Gingerbread Stroll and Cookies & Castles

The holidays are right around the corner! We wanted to share two upcoming events that will surely be fun for the whole family! Save the date for the Gingerbread Stroll in Highland Park Village and the Cookies and Castles event:

The Gingerbread Stroll 2014

gingerbread-Stroll-Logo-no-detail-TMWhen: Friday, November 14, 2014 – Sunday, November 30, 2014

Where: Highland Park Village

What: The Gingerbread Stroll will be held in Dallas at Highland Park Village November 14-30, 2014. Stroll the fabulous shops and silently bid on elaborate gingerbread houses created by Dallas’ top pastry chefs. 100% of the proceeds raised from the silent auction will benefit TSRHC. 
For more information, follow their Facebook page

Cookies and Castles: A Gingerbread Extravaganza

Gigi SearsWhen: Friday and Saturday,  December 12 – 13

Where: TSRHC

What: Cookies and Castles began in 2008 as the primary philanthropy event of the Dallas Alumnae Group of Delta Delta Delta, benefiting TSRHC’s prosthetics department. It has become an annual holiday event for kids of all ages! Gingerbread houses & ginger-bread men are decorated with sweets and treats from a vast variety of candy. Santa & Mrs. Claus attend to visit with children throughout the event.

This year there are two events that you can participate in:

Ladies Luncheon – Friday, December 12: 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Ladies, join us for a gingerbread extravaganza of our very own.  Each seat comes with a regular-sized gingerbread castle, icing complete with decorating tip, endless amounts of candy, a cotton two-pocket apron, and a gourmet sandwich buffet lunch from East Hampton Sandwich Company.

Family Day – Saturday, December 13: 1 – 3 p.m.

Gather the kids in your life and bring them to a gingerbread extravaganza like no other.  Each seat comes with an extra-large castle or gingerbread man cookie, icing, and all the candy their little hearts desire.

Sign up for either of these events

Or explore sponsorship opportunities

Profile: Lori A. Karol, M.D., Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

lori karolThe doctors of Texas Scottish Right Hospital for Children work tirelessly to ensure the patients admitted are discharged with a clean bill of health.  Dr. Lori Karol, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, is one of those doctors. She specializes in scoliosis research with a focus on early onset scoliosis.

Getting Started

How did this world-renowned doctor begin her career? As it turns out, she decided to pursue a career in medicine when she was just a senior in high school. At the young age of 16, she applied to a combined pre-med/medical school program at the University of Michigan. It was there that she met the residents who would influence her decision to focus on orthopedics.

Why Orthopedics

While the residents senior to her were influential in her decision, Dr. Karol claims that she enjoyed every specialty. In her third year, she assisted an orthopedic service for a month. This enabled her to take part in surgeries, reduce fractures, roll casts, and more.

Aside from finding fun in the work, Dr. Karol has other reasons for wanting to go into orthopedic surgery. She found that she is more of a “doer” than a “thinker,” and orthopedics is the kind of profession that would keep her active.

All About the Patient

The reason Dr. Karol comes to work every day is truly for the patients. She doesn’t think of her position at TSRHC as just any “job.” Every day, all of her work – down to the x-ray – is about the child who has been entrusted to her.

For more information, visit Dr. Karol’s profile featured on Spinal News International.

Meet the 2014 MetroPCS® Dallas Marathon® Junior Race Director – TSRHC Patient Chris

The MetroPCS® Dallas Marathon® is just a little over one month away! Each year, a TSRHC patient serves as the Junior Race Director, representing the thousands of children treated at the hospital each year. In this role, the Junior Race Director helps participants and sponsors understand how TSRHC benefits from the support of friends like the marathon. We are so excited to introduce you to our 2014 Junior Race Director, Chris!

Chris Jackson age 12 of Holliday_26Chris, of Holliday, Texas, has been a patient at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children for as long as he can remember. Born 12 years ago, with a condition called Short Fingered Symbrachydactyly, Chris started coming to the hospital at the young age of two months.  Short Fingered Symbrachydactyly is the most common form of a hand or arm deficiency and it is a condition in which a child is born with small or missing fingers or a missing hand. Chris’ fingers are not webbed, he has a fully formed hand, but it is just smaller than normal. Thanks to the orthopedic care that he receives at TSRHC, Chris is able to participate in what he loves most…baseball.

Chris is a very athletic adolescent whose favorite sport is baseball. He is a total fanatic- he enjoys both watching and playing! Chris is right handed, however due to his dexterity in his right hand, he was not able to grip the ball when he was younger, so he taught himself to throw left handed. Chris is a perfect example of assurance and determination. He trains with the San Diego Padres pitcher, Griffin Russell and recently pitched in the Little League World Series in Destin, Florida. Chris is very excited to serve as the 2014 Junior Race Director for this year’s MetroPCS® Dallas Marathon® as a way to show his strength and give back to TSRHC for all that it has provided for him!

Chris Jackson age 12 of Holliday_19Chris Jackson age 12 of Holliday_38

For more information about this year’s marathon on Sunday, December 14, please visit:

Giving Back – TSRHC Directors Find Their Calling in Prosthetics

Two department directors at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) are making it their priority to give back to the young patients they treat.  Both of these individuals specialize in creating versatile prosthetics that help patients achieve their dreams and reach heights they never could have otherwise.

Don Cummings  and Don Virostek are directors in TSRHC’s prosthetics and orthotics department and help to improve the lives of many young children who enter the hospital.  Their contribution is unmatched as an inspiration to everyone who crosses their paths.

Their History

The most amazing thing about these two inspirational staff members is that they both are amputees themselves which inspired them to follow their dreams in the prosthetics/orthotics field.

Their history puts them in the unique position of actually understanding the experience of their patients so they can help these children from a place of empathy and respect.

Their Legacy

And beyond simply helping children to live full lives, these doctors have inspired one of their own patients to follow in their footsteps!  Hopefully these doctors will continue to inspire the patients they work with to build a life of giving back to others in similar situations.

View the video from NBCDFW news for more on their story.


TSRHC Honors John G. Birch, M.D., and Charles E. Johnston, M.D. at 11th Annual Fall Orthopaedic Symposium

John BirchTexas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children orthopaedic surgeons John G. Birch, M.D., and Charles E. Johnston, M.D., were recognized Friday, October 24, at the hospital’s 11th annual Fall Orthopaedic Symposium for their long-running dedication to taking care of children.

Both physicians made presentations at the symposium, titled Pediatric Orthopaedics: A Thirty-Year Experience (Times Two), and were later honored at a dinner where they were surprised with hand-carved wooden caricatures of themselves.

Drs. Birch and Johnston are assistant chiefs of staff at TSRHC, and Birch also serves as medical director of ambulatory care.

Drs. Johnston and Birch with their wooden caricatures.

Drs. Johnston & Birch with their wooden caricatures.

About Fall Orthopaedic Symposium:

The Fall Orthopaedic Symposium is designed for pediatric orthopaedic surgeons and other orthopaedic surgeons with an interest in current pediatric orthopaedic practice.

For more information about this event, view event program or visit our website.

Fall Orthopaedic Symposium 2014_073

Cotton Patch Café Last Man Running at MetroPCS Dallas Marathon

The 2014 MetroPCS Dallas Marathon is fast approaching on Sunday, December 14!

MarkChampionsinsidebackMark Followill, play-by-play announcer for the Dallas Mavericks and FC Dallas, will serve as the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon’s “Cotton Patch Café Last Man Running” runner, and with each footfall he will help raise additional funds for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC), the marathon’s primary beneficiary since 1997.

On December 14, Followill will be the very last person to start the race and for every person he passes, Cotton PatchCafé will donate money to TSRHC. As the title sponsor, Cotton Patch Café, the local casual dining chain, has pledged to donate $1 for every runner Followill passes!

“For several years I’ve enjoyed running 5Ks, 10Ks and half marathons,” said Followill. “I’m so grateful for this opportunity to partner with Cotton Patch Café and the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon in the 2014 Last Man Running challenge. I look forward to a fun and memorable race on December 14 and can’t wait to help raise donations for a great cause like the patients at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.”

Followill hopes to pass a lot of runners and raise additional money for TSRHC. His progress will be tweeted (@MFollowill) the day of the race to help fans track his progress. The effort will be supported with donations from individual sponsors as well as title sponsor Cotton Patch Café. Supporters can donate to support Followill. Each person who donates $10 online is entered to win Cotton Patch Café goodies in a recurring monthly drawing. Donate today!

DSC_4342 copy DSC_4322

Followill is featured in photos at TSRHC with two of the 2014 patient champions, Ellie and Dimitri!

Starting in 2007, several TSRHC patients offered to help represent the many bright faces treated at the hospital by becoming a patient champion. The patient champion program is a way for the community to participate in race-weekend activities and fundraise on behalf of a patient.

Stay tuned for more information on each of our patient champions over the coming weeks!

Opening Doors: Emily Ramirez’s Story

The school bell rings at Abilene High School and it is time to go to class.

Hundreds of students pour through the front entrance of the building with ease, opening and entering through the doors without thinking twice. But one student remains behind, struggling to open the door with her walker in the way.

After a few minutes of effort, she eventually opens the door and makes her way to class in the wake of her peers. This student is 17-year-old TSRHC patient Emily, and this was how she started her day, every day, for years.

“I’ve struggled through anything you could think of my entire life,” says Emily, who was born with cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement and motor skills. “I always had to have someone help me – including opening doors – just to get into school.”

While public buildings, including schools, must provide entrances that are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair or walker, there is no law that requires the installation of automatic handicap doors. Emily looked beyond the law and saw a need.

Last summer, Emily took a stand against the struggle for accessibility for both herself and other students in her shoes. So she launched a campaign to install automatic doors at her school. Little did she know, her efforts would grow into a movement that would take Abilene, Texas, by storm.

Emily decided to name the campaign “Keep Calm Install Handicap Doors.” The phrase and logo was emblazoned on T-shirts, which were sold to raise funds for the cause. Local media, from television to radio stations, shared her story. Billboards and fliers were produced and displayed across town. Eventually the mayor of Abilene became involved, and even proclaimed a day in Emily’s honor to recognize her hard work and success.

“The whole community stepped forward when we began the campaign,” says Emily’s mother, Kimberly. “It was just overwhelming. It went beyond anything we had ever imagined.”

Emily’s initial goal was to have one electronic door installed at her school. But after a story about the campaign was featured on a local news station, several people wanted to lend their support. The original story aired on a Friday night. By the following Monday morning, four doors had been donated to the cause.

“We had no idea the campaign was going to explode, but it did. And it opened everybody’s eyes,” says Kimberly.

To date, the campaign has successfully led to the installation of 15 electronic doors across six Abilene school campuses. But to Emily, the true success of the campaign has been its positive effect on her fellow classmates. “I had to do this not only for me, but for everybody else that needs it. Seeing the reactions on the faces of students using the doors for the first time made me so happy,” says Emily. “We all have a new level of independence. It has been such a freeing feeling.” Emily’s display of determination reaches beyond Abilene and has inspired even her TSRHC doctor, Mauricio Delgado, M.D.

“Emily is a very smart young woman who does not let her mobility challenges stand in her way,” says Delgado. “Knowing that she is working so hard to help other kids like herself is extremely encouraging.”

Delgado is the director of TSRHC’s Neurology department, which provides care for orthopaedic patients who have related neurological disorders, including cerebral palsy. It is the most common physical disability in children, affecting approximately four out of every 1,000 school-aged children.

“Through medical and surgical treatments, along with assistive devices and therapy, TSRHC serves this patient population in a variety of ways,” says Delgado. “We
aim to maximize their functional potential so they can improve their participation in day-to-day activities.”

Emily’s experience at TSRHC helped build a foundation for the skills needed to create a successful campaign. “With the support of the hospital and the treatment I’ve received here, I have been given a sense of security and peace,” says Emily. “The care from Scottish Rite gives me the confidence I need to speak up for what I believe in.”

Emily’s confidence to stand up for what she believes in continues to grow – and she continues to open doors to a brighter future for herself and others.

***This article was featured as the cover story for our 2014 Volume 2 Rite Up Magazine

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital Launches First Brand Campaign in 93-Year History

“Moments” Tells Stories of Real Hospital Patients

DALLAS (Oct. 6, 2014) – Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC), one of the nation’s leading pediatric centers for the treatment of orthopedic conditions, today launches its first-ever brand campaign spotlighting real hospital patients. Titled “Moments,” the new multimedia campaign takes the brand in a fresh strategic direction and includes regional television spots created by Dallas independent The Richards Group. In addition to TV, the campaign encompasses radio, out-of-home, digital and print advertising.

“Texas Scottish Rite Hospital has been changing lives for 93 years, and we’re excited to launch our first brand campaign today, which is coincidentally our birthday,” said Mark Bateman, senior vice president of public relations at TSRHC. “Our hospital’s purpose is to give patients back their childhood. What we do best allows our patients to get back to what they do best, and this campaign showcases that in a compelling way.”

Three regional TV spots feature a dancer, football player and horseback rider who are patients at TSRHC. Each spot includes footage of patients receiving treatment at the hospital as children. The archival footage contrasts beautifully with the high-definition cinematography used to portray each patient’s athletic passion, made possible by their treatment at TSRHC.

“Using Texas Scottish Rite patients in our campaign brought authenticity to the hospital’s message,” said Stan Richards, president and CEO of The Richards Group. “By putting the focus on actual patients who overcame adverse circumstances, we can show how each one has gotten back to their childhood, fully recovered and happy, thanks to the good work of TSRHC.”

“At the heart of this project are amazing, talented kids who have overcome so much with the help of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital,” said Jeff Bednarz, director at Lucky 21. “It was truly touching and an honor to get to know these impressive young people and help celebrate their grit and voracity of life through the study of movement. The agency team’s approach was eloquent and simple — juxtaposing candid historical footage of the kids’ treatment with their incredible abilities today. They let the visuals speak for themselves, which is to say: volumes.”

Television Commercials


Print Ads

TSH_SP140021_KLTYNow copy 2

Digital Billboards

TSH140021 OOH_Digital_1

TSH140021 OOH_Digital_2

TSH140021 OOH_Digital_3

TSH140021 OOH_Digital_4

Digital Ads



Radio Ad

Listen here: Moments Emily Radio


Brand: Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Campaign: “Moments”

Initial Break Date: October 6, 2014

Agency: The Richards Group

Creative Director: Stan Richards

Art Director: Andy Coulston

Copywriter: Jack Westerholt

Agency Producer: Laurie Shannon

Production Company: Lucky 21

Director: Jeff Bednarz

Post-Production/Audio: Lucky Post

About The Richards Group
The Richards Group, located in Dallas, is the largest independent branding agency in the nation. Clients include the standard-setting brands of Chick-fil-A, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Fiat USA, GameStop, The Home Depot, MetroPCS, Motel 6, Orkin, Pier 1 Imports, Ram Trucks, and TGI Fridays. Total billings for the agency were $1.352 billion in 2013. The Richards Group can be found at or on Twitter, @RichardsGroup.

About Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children is one of the nation’s leading pediatric centers for the treatment of orthopedic conditions, certain related neurological disorders, and learning disorders such as dyslexia. Patients receive treatment regardless of the family’s ability to pay. For more information, to volunteer or to donate, call 214-559-5000 or 800-421-1121 or visit

# # #

TSRHC Welcomes Chief Information Officer Les Clonch

Leslie A. Clonch Jr. brings deep experience in the health care field to the position

Leslie A. Clonch Jr., a leader in the development and implementation of health care information systems, joined Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) as vice president and chief information officer.

Les Clonch“At a time when information technology is becoming increasingly critical to high quality health care, the hospital is thrilled to have an IT executive of Les’ caliber on our team,” said Robert L. Walker, president and CEO of TSRHC.

Clonch will provide TSRHC with a strategic and tactical vision that ensures the organization has an information systems infrastructure that supports the pediatric orthopaedic hospital’s world-class patient care, medical education and research.

“I look forward to working with the medical team, administrators and staff to identify ways that information management and technology can best serve our mission of offering the best pediatric orthopaedic care possible,” he said.

Among his duties at TSRHC, Clonch will be leading the hospital’s effort to increase its use of Electronic Health Records to improve patient treatment, develop metrics that better measure the quality, value and outcome of patient care, and create and manage an information systems strategic plan.

He comes from a similar position at the Augusta, Ga.-based University Health Care System, which operates hospitals and nursing facilities serving patients in 25 counties in Georgia and South Carolina.

Before becoming vice president and chief information officer of the University Health Care System in 2011, Clonch was chief information officer at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg, Texas. He has also held executive positions at Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas; FirstHealth of the Carolinas in Pinehurst, N.C.; and Wuesthoff Health Systems in Rockledge, Fla.

Clonch holds a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Harding University in Searcy, Ark., and a master’s in business administration from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla. He is a member of the Health Information Management Systems Society and the College of Health Information Management Executives and holds certifications from both organizations.