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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.

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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!

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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

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Digital Billboards

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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

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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.

Kent Rathbun to serve as 2014 Treasure Street Chef Chairman

Mediterranean Restaurant Table - Dinner table outdoorsCuban-style whole roast pig tops chef Kent Rathbun’s farm-to-picnic-table delights for Treasure Street, the annual backyard party benefiting TSRHC. The 19th edition of the signature fundraiser, to be held Thursday under the stars on the hospital grounds, features a slew of offerings from the renowned Dallas restaurateur, live entertainment by the Emerald City Band and extravagant auction items.

Rathbun’s pit-roasted pork will be served with tortillas, toppings and elotes-style smoked corn. His other food stations will offer brisket and chicken sliders, jicama slaw, Grandma Minnie’s Fried Chicken, cream-cheese-and-chive whipped red skin potatoes, grilled seasonal vegetable kabobs, Gulf shrimp and Andouille sausage brochettes and Cajun dirty rice, with s’mores, cobbler and bite-sized treats for dessert.


Don’t miss out on the delicious cuisine from one of Dallas’ finest chefs! Treasure Street is this Thursday, October 16. Tickets are available online at

Treasure Street Raffle and Auction Items Preview

Treasure Street, TSRHC’s signature fundraising event, is next Thursday, October 16! As in years past, there will be a raffle, big board, silent auction and a live auction. Take a sneak peek at some of the items below!


Picture 4000Eiseman Jewels has generously donated this years’ raffle item. This beautiful Roberto Coin 18K yellow and white gold cuff bangle with diamonds from the Chic and Shine collection is valued at $5,200.

Premiering at the new Eiseman Jewels in NorthPark Center is an exclusive collection by Roberto Coin. With design roots dating to 1977, Roberto Coin is one of the world’s most respected fine jewelry designers. Known for classic statements of light, shape and color, Eiseman Jewels is proud to add this collection to its burgeoning list of designer offerings.

Purchase raffle tickets online or at Treasure Street for $100 each.

Live Auction

Back by popular demand, the live auction will feature two items that are always most-wanted among Treasure Street attendees; the custom all-terrain hunting buggy and the beautiful Christopher H. Martin painting created with help from TSRHC patients.

Custom Hunting Buggy


Manufactured by John Lannom of Lannom Industries in Fort Stockton, Texas, this hunting buggy is built to navigate rough terrain with a ride that is exciting and fun. Move to the front of the 2-year waiting list and support TSRHC.

For more information or to place your proxy bid for the Hunting Buggy, please visit Heritage Auctions online or call (214) 559-8456.

Christopher H. Martin Painting



This one-of-a-kind painting was created by longtime hospital friend and artist Christopher H. Martin and the patients at TSRHC. For more information, view our post about the Painting Day event.


Silent Auction

Treasure Street will also feature a silent auction with items generously donated from Dallas’ finest restaurants, retailers and more!

View a list of our silent auction donors on the Treasure Street website.

TSRHC Patient Clayton Gives Back

In 2010, at nine years old, Clayton was diagnosed with dermatomyositis, an autoimmune disease. Clayton’s doctor immediately referred him to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. After four years of treatment, Clayton has recently been able to conclude the last of his medications.

Clayton Davis Donation_02Despite the devastating symptoms and treatment for his condition, Clayton remained uncommonly stoic. His selfless attitude was delightfully clear every night as Clayton began his evening prayer with an appeal to heal the other kids in the hospital.

Clayton recently decided, on his own, to help other patients by contributing his $100 birthday money to TSRHC. Clayton’s remarkable gesture inspired his family and family friends to multiply his donation by hundreds of dollars.  He has designated these gifts to be applied toward dermatomyositis research and sending several kids to one of TSRHC’s camps.

According to Clayton’s family, the TSRHC staff did an incredible job both treating his illness and caring for them as a family. The need to help these kids is great. But, with caring people like Clayton and so many others who have supported the TSRHC over the years, many more young lives can be impacted.

Clayton’s attitude and faith have been a profound inspiration to those around him. His family’s hope is that his mission and his inspiration will continue to spread making an even bigger impact in the lives of these young ones and their families.

Thank you Clayton for your inspiring attitude and for giving back to TSRHC!