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TSRHC Photos Selected for National Children’s Hospitals Photo Exhibit

Three photographs by Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children photographers Sarah Lassen and Lee Baker were selected for inclusion in the 2015 Children’s Hospitals Photo Exhibit, a national competition administered by the Children’s Hospital Association. The exhibit, comprised of powerful images of brave patients, supportive families and compassionate health care providers, celebrates children’s hospitals’ commitment to the health of all children.

These photos were chosen from more than 250 photographs submitted by 57 children’s hospitals across the country by a distinguished panel of judges representing Parents magazine, The Exposure Group, The National Portrait Gallery, American University’s School of Communications and the Children’s Hospitals Today editorial advisory group.

The Children’s Hospitals Photo Exhibit will be on display to the general public June 15 -16 in the foyer of the Rayburn House Building and the week of June 22 in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Building in Washington, D.C. In addition the exhibit will travel around the country for the two years displaying at children’s hospitals and partnering organizations in support of a wide variety of outreach efforts and events.

Congratulations to Sarah and Lee on their beautiful award-winning images! Visit the Children’s Hospitals website to view the entire 2015 exhibit.


The Doctor-Patient Connection

TSRHC_Photo 2 of 8Along with expert care, a personal touch is one of the hallmarks of treatment at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas. In this case, chief of staff Dr. Daniel J. Sucato makes a connection with scoliosis patient Alexandra, 7, of Texarkana, who is receiving halo traction to straighten her spine as much as possible before surgery. TSRHC is a pioneer in the treatment of scoliosis, the most common childhood pediatric orthopaedic condition. In the 1970s, Dr. Tony Herring, then chief of staff, led an aggressive program to develop innovative procedures and implant systems. By the mid-1980s, hospital researchers had developed a surgical method of correction that does not require bracing or casting afterward, reducing a patient’s recovery time. The TSRH® Spinal Implant System™ became the most widely used implant system for spinal deformity correction in the world and has been modified over the years for improved results. At the Sarah M. and Charles E. Seay/Martha and Pat Beard Center for Excellence in Spine Research, the staff focuses on determining the genetic causes of scoliosis. They have discovered three genes associated with idiopathic scoliosis, allowing the medical community to form hypotheses to explain what causes the condition and provide tools for further research. The goal is to identify scoliosis earlier, better understand the factors that lead to curve progression and develop better ways to prevent progression and improve surgical treatment.

Photo by Lee Baker  


State of the Art

Miguel Rizo - ptIn June, Miguel became the youngest recipient in North Texas of a revolutionary bionic hand called the ‘bebionic’ and the first to be fitted for the device at TSRHC. Only 350 people nationwide have received this new model in the series, the bebionic3, which took three years to create. Manufactured in Leeds, England, by RSLSteeper, it is the most advanced commercially available bionic hand in the world today. The hand is expected to last three to four years and can bear 99 pounds of weight. Surface electrodes pick up signals to control the movement of the hand, which is equipped with complex software programmed for up to 18 different movements. “Now I have no excuse not to write my essays,” Miguel says.


Photo by Sarah Lassen  


Just Being a Kid

Dylan FanThe TSRHC Therapeutic Recreation department is at the center of the hospital’s approach of treating the whole child. In fact, patients report that camps like the one Dylan attended have been as important to their well being as their medical care. At camps like the one dedicated to hand patients, kids get to meet other children with the same conditions and learn from them. The goal is to foster independence and self-confidence while developing and improving communication and problem solving skills in an enjoyable “can do” setting. The retreat includes fishing, sports, games, arts and crafts, cooking and a ropes course.

Photo by Sarah Lassen  

HeARTS and Project Sunshine Bring Fun to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Ricardo Benitez, Christopher Jones On February 27, 2015, two members of the Dallas Cowboys teamed up with UnitedHealthcare volunteers to throw a Project Sunshine party for the patients and families of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC). The party featured a “HeARTS” theme in honor of American Heart Month. Project Sunshine, the non-profit organization behind the event, sponsored games, face painting, crafts, prizes and a photo booth for pictures with the two Cowboys’ stars during the bash. Read on to learn more about the event and its mission to help young patients.

UnitedHealthcare and the Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys and UnitedHealthcare, now the Cowboys’ official community partner, first joined forces in 2011 to raise awareness about chronic disease prevention and healthy living. The partnership focuses especially on childhood obesity and diabetes. In 2014, UnitedHealthcare worked with the Cowboys’ Rookie Club — an outreach program that introduces the team’s newest players to the joy of giving back to the community — to throw a similar party at Texas Scottish Rite. This year, safeties Barry Church, signed by the Cowboys in 2010, and J.J. Wilcox, drafted by the Cowboys in 2013, visited the hospital for the HeARTS party.

The Party’s Sponsor: Project Sunshine

Sarah Wall, Andrea Hunter, Kim Filosi - Project SunshineProject Sunshine is a nonprofit organization that offers free educational, social and recreational programs to children dealing with medical problems. UnitedHealthcare began its relationship with Project Sunshine in 2010. Since then, more than 13,200 UnitedHealthcare volunteers have brightened the lives of more than 23,000 young patients and their families. These volunteers have made more than 63,000 arts and crafts kits and 18,300 Sunny Grams — special greeting cards that offer cheer in hospitals — for children across the nation. The goal of Project Sunshine is to relieve the anxiety associated with medical treatment for kids.

Brightening the Day of More Than 100 Patients

More than 100 of TSRHC’s young patients attended the party with their families. The two Cowboys’ players who attended the party signed autographs and posed for pictures with patients and volunteers. The party’s photo booth offered an array of costumes and props for lighthearted photo ops with the athletes. Judging by the smiles on the faces of the patients that day, the party more than achieved its goal of alleviating some of the stress of treatment.

Third Annual Rock the Rite Benefits TSRHC

When their children were still preschoolers, Dr. Lawson Copley and his wife, Erin, took them to a music store and asked them to pick an instrument. Out of that trip grew Kid Vicious, a classic rock cover band that Bennett, 15 (lead guitar, vocals); Austin, 14 (drums, vocals); and Ellis, 12 (bass, harmonica, vocals) formed in 2006 with their dad and some of their friends.

2015_RockTheRiteFlyer_PrintKid Vicious plays mostly charity events, including the third annual Rock the Rite, a concert that the Copleys organized to benefit Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, where Dr. Copley is on staff. The show, March 20 in the Cambridge Room at House of Blues, also features the adult acts Sam Swank, Whiskey Pants and Beau MacDougall.

“Rock music keeps them interested,” says Erin Copley. “It keeps them current. Bennett can play Bach on the guitar, but he would rather play Zeppelin…It’s a lifetime skill.”

Dr. Copley, an orthopaedic surgeon at Scottish Rite Hospital, comes from a musical family. His mother was a piano teacher and is musical director at her church. Before they started rocking, the Copley children received classical training on the piano. Dr. Copley was an early member of the band.

The group also includes Olivia Jennings, 16, on lead vocals; her brother Brian, 14, on keyboards; and Logan Beutel, 14, on rhythm guitar. They have performed at Parish Episcopal School, the Hockaday School, the Dallas Marathon, Sons of Hermann Hall, the Kessler Theater and the Copleys’ annual home music festival.

The band’s major influences include the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf, the Clash, Garbage and Radiohead.

“We cover their songs because imitation is the best form of flattery,” Bennett says. “We love to play live and do our very best to entertain. Come check us out, but prepare to get your mind blown.”

Rock the Rite began as a way to bring new supporters to Scottish Rite Hospital, Erin Copley says. The nonprofit hospital holds more than 250 fundraising events a year, but none of them is like a Kid Vicious show.

Last year’s Rock the Rite raised more than $14,000 for Scottish Rite Hospital. Tickets for this year’s show benefiting the hospital, which are $38 including service charges, are available online at Live Nation.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Showtime is 7:30.

TSRHC Hip Patient Families Connect Play Date via Facebook

At TSRHC, we take pride in treating the “whole child” – mind, body and spirit, with ancillary services that include child life programs, individualized physical therapy and in-house specialists in anesthesiology, pharmacy, radiology and psychology. We also have specialized sports and recreational programs that encourage socialization and bonding among peers.

Hip Dysplasia Playgroup_02It’s very often that our patient’s experience at TSRHC will go far beyond medical treatment – we hope you make yourself right at home.

And that was exactly what three mothers who share the common bond of raising toddlers with hip dysplasia did. They found each other via Facebook and created a play date on familiar grounds — in TSRHC’s atrium.

The three patients are all being treated in TSRHC’s Center for Excellence in Hip Disorders and are currently in spica casts, which are body casts that are typically used after surgery to help immobilize the hips and thighs.

One mom said, “It has been wonderful to connect with other families who are experiencing the same journey, and Facebook has been great for that but it can’t compare to meeting people in real life and sharing stories, diagnoses, surgery experiences, spica cast care tips, and other lessons learned. I organized the play date for my daughter so she could see other kids in casts that are like her, and I think I probably got more out of it than she did. These moms are amazing.”

Marlee Cole, Evan Hinojosa, Virigina SorrowIn addition to connecting with other patient families via Facebook, TSRHC’s Family Resource Center has a Peer Support Program that connects TSRHC families who have children with the same medical condition or who have had the same procedure. For more information, please contact our Family Resource Center at (214) 559-7573 or (800) 421-1121, ext. 7573, or email

What If We Could Prevent All Injuries in Youth Sports? – TSRHC Sports Medicine

UntitledParents, youth sports administrators and the sports medical community are working together to reduce injuries in youth sports. So is our team at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children Center for Excellence in Sports Medicine. We recently participated in the 6th Annual Youth Sports Safety Summit in Dallas hosted by the Youth Sports Safety Alliance, a division of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

Together, more than 100 sports medicine experts from across the country and parents of young athletes talked about myths and challenging topics in sports injury prevention.  Our own Shane Miller, M.D., gave his perspective as a pediatrician with fellowship training in sports medicine.

“To move forward with injury prevention, we must keep working together,” Dr. Miller explains.

How can you help prevent youth sports injuries?

Parents – here’s what you can do now:

  • Take your son or daughter to the primary care provider for required sports physicals.
  • Know your family medical history and answer honestly on physical questionnaires.
  • Encourage your athlete by cheering from the sideline, not coaching.
  • Ask your athlete if he/she wants you to provide critique and suggestions.
  • Encourage good sleep and eating habits.
  • Talk openly about the dangers of consuming energy drinks and supplements.
  • Learn or help develop emergency action plans for teams and venues where kids play sports.

Coaches – here’s what you can do now:

  • Listen to your athlete’s complaints, don’t ignore them.
  • Recognize when an athlete is fatigued. Injury rates increase with fatigue.
  • Communicate with your team’s parents.
  • Encourage good sportsmanship.
  • Teach proper technique and rules, these are known to reduce risk of injury.
  • Promote having fun, this can reduce burnout for coaches and players.
  • Encourage proper hydration in all seasons of training.

Our TSRHC Sports Medicine team is committed to reducing sports injuries for your young athletes and providing you with tools to do the same. Follow us to keep up with the latest in sports injury prevention.


TSRHC Names Ellen Haynes as Vice President, Major Gifts and Corporate Giving

RIC_7797 2Ellen Haynes, formerly director of development at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been named vice president of major gifts and corporate giving at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC). Haynes brings 18 years of health care fundraising experience to the hospital.

The appointment comes at a time when TSRHC has announced plans to build an ambulatory surgical center in Frisco, the first major satellite operation in the hospital’s 94-year history. “The hospital has a unique opportunity,” said TSRHC President and CEO Robert L. Walker. “As we expand access to care north, bringing on a knowledgeable and experienced development officer like Ellen will help us gain the support needed to serve more children with our world-class pediatric orthopaedic care.”

Haynes spent eight years as director of development at UT Southwestern, an institution closely aligned with TSRHC. All of the hospital’s orthopaedic surgeons hold faculty appointments at UT Southwestern. Haynes joined the TSRHC development team last July.

“I’m excited to join a team of this caliber and commitment and help grow its impact on children with orthopaedic needs,” she said. “Texas Scottish Rite Hospital is such an extraordinary place that makes the world a better place for children.”

At UT Southwestern, Haynes cultivated and expanded relationships with foundations, corporations and private donors. Before joining UT Southwestern in 2006, she was a senior account manager on the corporate relations health care team at the American Heart Association’s National Center.

Haynes earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, a master’s from Oberlin College and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

We don’t want to tell them not to play – TSRHC Sports Medicine

LOGO_Vert_SportsMedCntr_croppedThe easy way to take care of an injured athlete is to tell him or her not to play. Here at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital Center for Excellence in Sports Medicine, we look for every way to get athletes back to the field, and if possible, help them stay active while recovering from an injury. Why?


  • There are general health benefits of physical activity
  • Lower body mass index (height to weight ratio) and higher aerobic capacity are associated with improved academic performance
  • There is a positive relationship for sports participation and healthy psychosocial states for adolescents.

Dr. Shane Miller and Dr. Henry Ellis joined their peers in February at the 2nd annual Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine Society (PRISM) meeting. PRISM has brought together a multi-disciplinary team to combine efforts to keep athletes on the field. The meeting, with its attendance of more than 120 of the nation’s pediatric sports medicine specialists, is one of a kind, and our experts took an active role in planning and presenting.

Because of the rise of sports participation in youth, and the concurrent rise in sports injuries, the use of health care resources has increased in this population. Though much progress has been made to ensure that we don’t treat young athletes like little adults, our providers agree that much research is needed.

When tackling the tough topics about how to perform surgery on small joints or how to prevent injuries in contact sports, the consistent theme was not to tell kids not to play. You can trust that our team is constantly working to find answers to these questions…

How do we keep athletes on the field when we do have to treat them? How do we get them back faster?

Learn more about Dr. Miller and Dr. Ellis on our website.

The Cotton Patch Café Challenge Benefiting TSRHC is Back! – February 23 – April 5

Take The Cotton Patch Café Challenge and support the patients at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children through the Cotton Patch Cares Program.

Participating in The Challenge is simple! From February 23 to April 5, 2015, participants may make a gift to TSRHC through The Challenge, and Cotton Patch Café will give each participant a free $25 gift card redeemable at any Cotton Patch Café location. Gifts should be made in $25 increments and must be designated for The Challenge in order to receive a gift card. For every $25 you donate to The Challenge (up to $1,000), your gift will be matched in $25 Cotton Patch Café gift cards, which will be sent in the mail within three to five days to the address you provide. One hundred percent of Challenge donations benefit TSRHC.

Thanks to our friends at Cotton Patch Café for providing the gift cards for Challenge participants.

Cotton Patch Café has 44 locations. To find a location near you, please visit

Cotton Patch Café and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) are separate legal entities. Goods and services are provided in the amount of the gift card; therefore, this gift is not tax deductible.


To make an offline donation or for additional information on The Challenge, please call (214) 559-7616 or (800) 421-1121, ext. 7616. Thank you for supporting The Cotton Patch Café Challenge and the children of TSRHC!


Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders Awarded Luminary Award

UntitledCongratulations to TSRHC’s outstanding Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders. They are the recipients of the SMU Simmons Luminary Award for 2015. The Luminary Award honors those who have made an exceptional commitment to improving lives through education. This was a tremendously special award for the hospital and for the dyslexia department, who was recognized for all the transformative work they perform for children with learning differences. The breakthroughs they have made have not only benefited the children of Scottish Rite, but have changed the lives children all over the world. TSRHC could not be more proud of the outstanding work done by the dyslexia department and is honored to be recognized by SMU with this prestigious award.

For more information, view video below:


Amputee Ski Trip Spotlight: Selam, age 16 of Lewisville, Texas

Selam, age 16 of Lewisville, Texas, is excited to be attending the Amputee Ski Trip for the second time. Selam was born in Ethiopia and suffered burns as a baby, resulting in the need to have her leg amputated. Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has given her the ability to be a kid and participate in normal activities girls her age like to do, such as running. She absolutely loves to read, as well as make new friends, which she looks forward to doing on the trip.

About TSRHC’s Ski Trip:
Since 1981, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has hosted an Annual Amputee Ski Trip for patients. Fourteen teenage patients, as well as medical staff and chaperones, spend a week at the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD), in Winter Park, Colorado.In a continuing effort to improve the lives of patients, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children recognized that snow skiing is well suited for amputees, and with special equipment, they quickly become competitive and often excel at the sport.

Skiing at the renowned National Sports Center for the Disabled creates a focus for the trip, but the personal growth and challenges the teens overcome are often more life-changing than the actual accomplishment of skiing. The goal of the trip is to foster a sense of self-confidence, discovery and independence for these teens.

Since the first Amputee Ski Trip in 1981, the community has teamed up with the hospital to make this opportunity possible to patient families. American Airlines has sponsored the trip since 2005. Prior to that, Delta Airlines supported the event for more than 20 years. Multiple other generous supporters from the community, including the Stephen M. Seay Foundation help make this trip possible!