Latest News

Category Archives: News

Injury Prevention Tips for Winter Mountain Sports

Planning the winter family vacation? Did you know that you should also begin a pre-season training program to help prevent injuries in snow skiing or snowboarding?

UntitledThere are three categories of sports injury prevention: RULES – EQUIPMENT – EXERCISE

Each sport and venue has its own rules and regulations. These are meant to protect participants from known risks. In snow skiing, helmets are certainly the most important piece of equipment to reduce the severity of head injury with falls. This is especially true for faster, more experienced skiers. In snowboarding, helmets are equally important, and wrist guards are also a top priority to protect the wrist during falls.

Large joints, like the shoulder, knee and ankle, are at risk for injuries during falls and with extreme motions that occur with near-falls in snow sports. General fitness, cross-training and pre-season preparation, all in partnership with sport-specific safety training, will lead to improved body control and potentially, fewer falls.

Recently, researchers have looked at non-contact knee injuries in sports like soccer and basketball. The planting and twisting motion, in a slightly flexed position, puts the knee’s soft tissues at risk for injury. Training programs can retrain athletes to better control their knees in risky positions. Strengthening leg and trunk muscles also improves stability and control. Improved control leads to lower risk of injury.

Here are some general training tips:

  • Endurance training prevents early fatigue, which is known to cause falls and injuries in any sport. Ride a bicycle or run to improve your cardiovascular and muscle endurance.
  • Leg strengthening exercises create balance around the hip and knee joints. Use resistance exercises to strengthen on all major muscle groups of the legs.
  • Upper body strengthening exercises create stability for the shoulder, a very mobile joint. Perform weight-bearing activities to strengthen the upper back and stabilize the shoulder blade.
  • Core strengthening provides stability that helps with balance as well as proper form. Perform traditional abdominal strengthening exercises as well as activities that incorporate the entire body.
  • Plyometric activities improve neuromuscular control in dynamic positions. Perform jumping and landing exercises with a focus on control and proper form.

Take a look at this: Henry Ellis, M.D. talks about his experience as a team physician for the U.S. Ski Team and their off-season training habits. Watch video

For information about injury prevention and pediatric sports medicine, please visit our website at scottishrite.org/sports.

Dallas Marathon Patient Champion Spotlight: Haven, age 13 of Dallas

Haven Emory age 13 of Dallas_33Starting in 2007, several Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) patients offered to help represent the many bright faces treated at the hospital by becoming a patient champion for the Dallas Marathon. The Patient Champion program is a way for the community to participate in race-weekend activities and fundraise on behalf of a patient. We are excited to introduce you to Haven!

Haven Emory age 13 of Dallas_24

Haven, age 13, of Dallas, Texas, received treatment from the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders at TSRHC. During the last academic term, Haven was a student in the dyslexia lab at Luke Waites Center, where her therapist helped instill new confidence into her learning. Haven recently graduated from Wesley Prep and is currently attending George Bannerman Dealey Montessori and International Academy.

Haven has a bright and sunny personality and loves all kinds of activities. She is a writer, artist, soccer player and runner. Haven sings with the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas and is a member of the Dallas Runners Club and a drama hand on stage. Haven also donates her time as a volunteer for Rays of Light, a program that provides “date nights” to families with children with special needs. When she grows up, Haven is thinking about becoming a teacher who specializes in dyslexia. Haven is ready to support all of those running in the Dallas Martahon!

We invite you to join our team of fundraisers on behalf of the Patient Champions and all the patients of TSRHC through our Crowdrise page.

Dallas_Marathon_Logo_1971**TSRHC has been the primary beneficiary of the Dallas Marathon since 1997. This year’s event will take place on Sunday, December 13. 

Coming Soon: Cookies & Castles

The Dallas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Delta Delta is holding its 8th annual Cookies & Castles: A Gingerbread Extravaganza event on December 11 and 12, 2015, at the T. Boone Pickens Training & Conference Center. The event will benefit our prosthetics department and Tri Delta Foundation’s Crescent Fund.

Ladies Luncheon

The festivities are set to kick off with the Ladies Luncheon on Friday, December 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Each individual ticket to the Ladies Luncheon includes a decorating seat with a regular-sized gingerbread castle, icing with decorating tip, cotton apron, candy for decoration, and a yummy lunch. Additional ticket packages include totes, raffle tickets, and photos with Santa.

Cookies & Castles: A Gingerbread Extravaganza Family Day

The festivities continue on Saturday, December 12, with Family Day, which consists of two seating options: the first from 10 a.m. to noon and the second from 3 to 5 p.m. Choose morning or afternoon spots when making reservations.

LEE_1137This multi-generational event is perfect for the entire family. Individual tickets include one decorating seat with an extra-large castle or gingerbread man and one standing guest admission. Multi-ticket packages are helpful for families and include extras such as gingerbread castles, t-shirts, raffle tickets, and photos with Santa.

If you’re unable to make the event, consider sponsoring a TSRHC patient family. This is a great way to provide a donation to the hospital while helping a family attend the Gingerbread Extravaganza.

Dallas Deltas Put Focus on Giving Back

The Dallas Tri-Delta Alumnae Group is the local chapter of the international Delta Delta Delta sorority, an organization steeped in a long history of friendship and womanly character. Tri-Delta promotes the development of strong character and a broad moral and intellectual life, and the sorority sisters do their best to assist members in every possible way. A big component of Tri-Delta’s mission is giving back, and TSRHC is fortunate to have these amazing women presenting one of the hospital’s most anticipated events.

In addition to benefiting the hospital, proceeds from Cookies & Castles will also go to the Tri-Delta Foundation Crescent Fund, which provides financial assistance and hope to collegians and alumnae in financial need.

Reserve Your Spot Today!

All reservations for the Cookies & Castles event should be made online by Friday, November 20. Questions should be directed to Sandra Standefer at 214-497-6683 or cookiesandcastles@gmail.com.

Dallas Marathon Patient Champion Spotlight: Ayden, age 18 of Denton

Ayden Toleman age 18_23Starting in 2007, several Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) patients offered to help represent the many bright faces treated at the hospital by becoming a patient champion for the Dallas Marathon. The Patient Champion program is a way for the community to participate in race-weekend activities and fundraise on behalf of a patient. We are excited to introduce you to Ayden!

Ayden, age 18, of Denton, Texas, started coming to TSRHC when he was 2 years old for fibular deficiency. Since that time, he has made annual trips to the hospital for x-rays, and in the summer of 2014 Ayden was fitted for the Ilizarov frame for limb lengthening. Ayden’s favorite part of TSRHC is the people. He loves the doctors and Ayden Toleman age 18_11nurses. When the limb lengthening process was complete, Ayden gained two inches in his leg and had a renewed sense of confidence. He finished his treatment and passed his driving test three days before heading off to college.

Currently, Ayden is a freshman at East Texas Baptist University. He is doing an incredible job in school and considering medical school or nursing after completing his undergrad. In recognition of his accomplishments, Ayden is a Legacy Scholarship recipient, a prestigious honor given to current and former patients of TSRHC. Ayden is part of his church choir and recently took a mission trip to Denver. Prior to his operation, he was black belt recommended in Tae Kwon Do, and he plans to complete his belt testing once he has recovered. Ayden is very personable, and those closest to him say he has never met a stranger. He is excited to cheer on the runners at this year’s Dallas Marathon!

We invite you to join our team of fundraisers on behalf of the Patient Champions and all the patients of TSRHC through our Crowdrise page.

Dallas_Marathon_Logo_1971**TSRHC has been the primary beneficiary of the Dallas Marathon since 1997. This year’s event will take place on Sunday, December 13. 


Pediatricians Recommend Tougher Enforcement of Rules to Make Youth Football Safer

football blogThe American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has made new recommendations around the issue of tackling in youth football intended to improve player safety. Better enforcement of the rules governing illegal headfirst hits tops the list.


Dr. Shane Miller, a pediatrician specializing in treating sports-related injuries including concussions at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children Sports Medicine Center in Plano, agrees with the AAP recommendations, which were based on a number of scientific research studies.


According to the AAP, “The head and neck sustain a relatively small proportion of overall injuries but are usually involved when injuries are severe and are often the result of illegal tackling techniques such as spear tackling, which is when a player leads with the head. Research has shown that tackling or being tackled accounted for half of all football injuries among high school players.”


The AAP policy statement recommends:

  1. Ensuring proper enforcement of the rules, including on illegal headfirst hits that are now tolerated. They recommend zero tolerance and stronger sanctions, including expulsion from the game. “I am very much in favor of this,” Dr. Miller says, “and support even more significant penalties, including season-long expulsion for repeat offenders. We must make the game safer.”
  2. Considering removing tackling altogether while acknowledging it would fundamentally change the game. Participants must decide whether the benefits of playing are worth the risk, the AAP says.
  3. Expanding non-tackling leagues. Dr. Miller agrees, “It would be great to allow families the choice. Currently, there are not many options for kids once they are in middle school or high school.” However, he warns that more studies are needed to show that flag football is safer. Some research indicates it also has high injury rates.
  4. Limiting impact to the head. “Coaches need to focus on proper tackling and hitting techniques and limit contact in practice,” according to Dr. Miller, who cited USA Football’s Heads Up Tackling techniques as a model.
  5. Delaying the age at which tackling is permitted. “There is not agreement on a minimum age,” Dr. Miller says. “Some have proposed 14 years, but there is concern about waiting until they have gone through puberty and are bigger, stronger and faster before they learn to start hitting each other. I support teaching proper tackling, but this depends on the coaches’ backgrounds. Rather than certified coaches, many times youth football leagues are being coached by well-meaning parents who may not have any background or training in proper hitting and tackling techniques.”
  6. Strengthening neck muscles of young athletes to reduce the risk of concussions and other injuries. Dr. Miller uses the ‘bobble head doll’ analogy to describe a young football player with a helmet on. “Neck strengthening intuitively makes sense, is inexpensive, easy to do and can’t hurt!”
  7. Having athletic trainers at organized games and practices. “Athletic trainers are able to respond to concussions as well as any other injury or medical emergency that may arise on the field,” according to Dr. Miller, team physician for several area high schools. “I am a strong supporter of athletic trainers and their presence at sporting events. This also allows the coaches to focus on coaching, takes the decision-making process out of the coach’s hands and allows a trained medical professional to determine when an athlete can return to play.”

To learn more about youth sports concussions, take a look at our online info or PDF on sports concussions.

Does your young athlete have a champion mindset? – TSRHC Sports Medicine

Written by Erica Force, Ph.D.

Baseball legend Yogi Berra once said, “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.” Although his math was off, he was on track with the idea that there is more to sports and competition than just technical and physical skill.

North Texas is full of young and growing athletes who have access to a wide-range of training facilities and talented coaches. At the elite levels, the margin for victory is quite narrow. So, what may possibly set these talented athletes apart from each other? Mental Toughness.

golfAn athlete’s advantage often comes from the mental side of the sport rather than the physical side. Young athletes who make it to the top levels of their sport all have excellent sport-related talent and technical skills. What makes the difference in getting ahead is having a good mental game, or the ability to handle the psychological pressures of competition.

So what does it mean to be mentally tough? Many high level athletes describe being mentally tough with statements like, “being committed,” “persevering,” or “hanging in there,” when things get challenging. These athletes do not allow themselves to get distracted by negative thoughts after an injury or big loss. Instead, they roll with the challenge, learn from their mistakes, and “dig deep” to maintain focus on the rest of the competition or the next event.

Athletes who are mentally tough do not allow pressure to get in the way of performance. They know how to:

  1. Prepare for competition
  2. Manage stress
  3. Recover from mistakes
  4. Confidently deal with unexpected challenges
  5. Maintain a positive attitude at all times

Bottom line, mentally tough athletes have grit, or perseverance and passion, to work toward long term goals and achieve success despite the challenges that come up along the way. Although mental toughness may come naturally to some people, it can be learned!

Erica Force, Ph.D., has practiced as a licensed psychologist with a focus in sport psychology since 2012. Upon completion of her pediatric post-doctoral fellowship at TSRHC in 2015, she joined the Psychology team. Utilizing her credentialing as a Certified Sport Psychology Consultant, she practices primarily in the Sports Medicine Center.

For information about TSRHC’s Sports Medicine Center, please visit scottishritehospital.org/sports. For information on TSRHC’s Psychology Department, please visit scottishritehospital.org/psychology.

It’s Time to Order TSRHC Holiday Items

The holidays are right around the corner and it’s time to place your order today for the hospital’s “Happy Holidays” gift cards, ornament and one-of-a-kind greeting cards!


“Happy Holidays” Gift Card

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 1.52.56 PMThis year, give a gift that helps give children back their childhood. Honor your friends and family with a gift to TSRHC in their name. The hospital will acknowledge your donation by sending a “Happy Holidays” gift card to your list of recipients.

Please print this gift card form and mail it to the address listed on the form, or call 214-559-8322 or 800-421-1121, ext. 8322.


TSRHC Holiday Ornament

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 2.38.40 PMCommemorate 2015 with a colorful, 3-D, crayon-inspired ornament from TSRHC. Purchase your annual collectible ornament for $17.95 in the hospital Gift Shop.

To purchase this ornament over the phone, please call 214-559-7825 or 800-421-1121, ext. 7825.




Holiday Greeting Cards

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 1.51.23 PMSpread holiday cheer to your friends, family, clients and colleagues by sending holiday cards designed by TSRHC patients. The cost is $20 per package, which includes 20 cards and 22 envelopes.

Order standard or personalized, imprinted cards by 214-559-8323 or 800-421-1121, ext. 8323; or download this order form and mail it back to the address listed on the form.

**Cards may also be purchased at the TSRHC Gift Shop.

The Gold Standard: Celebrating 50 Years of Pioneering Dyslexia Care

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 10.02.00 AMFifty years ago, a man with an unwavering conviction to help children joined TSRHC’S staff. His name was Lucius ‘Luke’ Waites, Jr., M.D., and his pioneering work changed the world of learning disorders forever.

In 1924, Lucius Waites, Jr. was born in Hattiesburg, Miss., during a formative time in the study of learning disorders, such as dyslexia. The condition is characterized by a difficulty connecting letter symbols to sounds. It makes reading challenging and affects roughly 10 percent of all public school children.

For a child with dyslexia, the world can be a daunting place. Feelings of failure or isolation can
often accompany the condition. Little did anyone know that one day Waites would not only study dyslexia, but he would also help define it and ultimately change perceptions, treatment approaches, education, legislation and the lives of countless children in the process.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 10.01.15 AMWhile playing football for Ole Miss, Waites gained a reputation for being a fierce competitor, playing in the era of no protective facemasks. That fearless spirit and drive to succeed would serve him well throughout his career. He graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in 1947 and began his work as a neurologist. He came to Dallas in 1961 to join the faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. From 1961-65, he also assisted the TSRHC medical staff in the area of neurology.

During that period, Waites began to investigate the phenomenon of smart children who struggled to read. This condition was initially described as “word blindness” and “twisted symbols” (aka: Strephosymbolia). Research into this condition was considered fringe medicine at the time and often mocked as “quackery,” but the determined football player from Mississippi refused to give up. Then Scottish Rite Hospital Chief of Staff Brandon Carrell, M.D., observed the positive effect Waites’ methods were having on his patients and stood by his efforts. In 1965, Waites moved to TSRHC full time and the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders was born. With the support of TSRHC and the Masonic community, Waites set out to build a program dedicated to diagnosing and treating children with the condition. Along with language therapist Aylett Royall Cox, Waites developed the hospital’s first dyslexia curriculum called Alphabetic Phonics. This new approach, with its dramatic and positive results, made waves in Dallas, across Texas and beyond.

Gladys Kolenovsky, administrative director of the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders, with TSRHC Chairman of the Board Lyndon L. Olson, Jr.

“The support of the hospital, the administration and the board of trustees continues to be strong and crucial to our work,” says Gladys Kolenovsky, the center’s administrative director and a 39-year staff member. “From the beginning, they believed in what this center could do for children.”

In 1968, Waites organized a meeting of the World Federation of Neurology at the hospital, at which the medical term “developmental dyslexia” was defined. For the first time, dyslexia was recognized as a medical condition that called for an educational treatment.

But Waites did not stop there. In 1985, he enlisted the help of two equally tenacious colleagues — Kolenovsky and Geraldine ‘Tincy’ Miller, a former staff member who has gone on to serve more than 26 years on the Texas State Board of Education. Together, they facilitated two major changes in Texas education laws — separating dyslexia from special education programs and requiring dyslexia screening and testing in all public schools. As a result of their efforts, Texas became a leader in public policy for learning disorders.

“Because of this incredible group of individuals who were willing to take a chance, so many people are able to stand on the shoulders of their legacy and their bravery,” says Karen Avrit, the center’s educational director, who recently helped pass House Bill 866. This bill ensures that all undergraduate education majors in Texas learn how to recognize, identify and make basic accommodations for children in their classrooms who may be dyslexic.

Lucius “Luke” Waites, Jr., M.D., and Jeffrey Black, M.D., medical director of the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders

In 1990, Jeffrey, Black, M.D., joined the TSRHC medical staff and the crusade, alongside Waites. Where Waites drew from clinical knowledge and child-focused intuition, Black revels in the scientific process. He set a high bar for data collection, results-driven experimentation and extensive research.

Black used precise, quantifiable measurements to prove that dyslexia could be remediated. From there, he proceeded to improve and adjust the existing curriculum based on his findings. It was through his unflinching dedication to data analysis that a new curriculum, Take Flight: A Comprehensive Intervention for Students with Dyslexia, was developed.

The curriculum allows children to learn the course material faster, with a higher retention rate. The first edition was printed in 2006. Today, Take Flight is used across America, in Canada an as far away as Dubai. The morning Avrit got a call from the Middle East inquiring about the program, she recalls saying, “Wow, we’ve gone international!”

The future of Take Flight looks bright, as Black and the team embark on the next journey in dyslexia education. Together with The University of Texas at Dallas, they are taking the curriculum into the digital arena. Through interactive technology, they will share the program with the next generation of children as well as increase its reach and scope for teachers.

Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders staff who have each served the department for 20 years or more: Back row, L to R: Vennecia Jackson, M.D., Lynne Reynolds, Karen Avrit, Sue Jones and Karen Yerger Front row, L to R: Gladys Kolenovsky, Jeffrey Black, M.D., and Veda Childs

Black is also pushing dyslexia research into the world of genetics. In collaboration with Jerry Ring, Ph.D., the center’s research scientist, and TSRHC’s remarkable genetics research team, work is being conducted to better understand dyslexia on a genetic level.

In 2013, the strong-willed Waites passed away at the age of 89, leaving behind a legacy that has changed the lives of individuals with dyslexia forever.

“It is wonderful to recognize Luke Waite’s legacy, while also paying tribute to the core values of the dyslexia department and the hospital,” Kolenovsky says. “The child comes first – always.”

**This article appeared on the cover of our Rite Up 2015: Issue 3 magazine. 

Dallas Marathon Patient Champion Spotlight: Amy, age 17 of Keller

Amy Goode age 17 of Sachse_02Starting in 2007, several Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) patients offered to help represent the many bright faces treated at the hospital by becoming a patient champion for the Dallas Marathon. The Patient Champion program is a way for the community to participate in race-weekend activities and fundraise on behalf of a patient. We are excited to introduce you to Amy!

Amy, age 17, is from Keller, Texas. She has been a patient at Amy Goode age 17 of Sachse_43TSRHC since she was 2 ½ years old. Amy was born without a left arm and a short right arm with two fingers. She also has scoliosis, and when Amy was 8, two TSRHC surgeons placed hardware in her back in order to help straighten her spine; last August, she underwent halo traction. Amy and her doctors have a great relationship, and she knows that they care about her well beyond the conditions for which she is treated.

Amy is an encourager. At TSRHC, she serves as a junior volunteer, where she inspires other patients and visitors to the hospital. She also serves as a volunteer at a Sunday School class for special needs senior citizens. Amy has been participating in speech and debate for three years, and last year she attended a national competition in South Carolina. This year, the subject of her speech is scoliosis. She is also artistic and once designed the T-shirt for a barbeque event benefiting the hospital. Amy is ready to cheer on all of the runners at the Dallas Marathon!

We invite you to join our team of fundraisers on behalf of the Patient Champions and all the patients of TSRHC through our Crowdrise page.

Dallas_Marathon_Logo_1971**TSRHC has been the primary beneficiary of the Dallas Marathon since 1997. This year’s event will take place on Sunday, December 13. 

The Delta Companies to Host Silent Auction on Nov. 12

gI_TheDeltaCompaniesOn November 12, The Delta Companies (TDC) will be hosting a silent auction at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Addison. All of the proceeds will benefit patients at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) and help further the mission of giving children back their childhood. 

TDC started holding silent auctions in 2007, when an employee asked for an event to be held that would benefit TSRHC. That first auction was held internally, and the goal was to raise $5,000. The event flew past its goal, and over $17,000 was raised, all of which was used to buy toys that were donated to TSRHC.

The auction has continued to grow each year, with the first public auction held in 2010. Each year the goal is simple: raise $1 more than the previous year. For the past three years, the auction has raised over $100,000. Last year, $117,222.27 was raised, making this year’s goal $117,223.27 — $1 more than last. Employees of TDC are confident they will reach their goal.

Every year since this event began, TDC employees are given the opportunity to choose the charity they would like to support, and the employees have always chosen to continue supporting TSRHC.

“A large part of the reason we continue to support TSRHC is the people associated with and working in the hospital,” said CEO Jeff Bowling, “Their level of passion for the kids is truly unmatched and certainly inspiring. TDC members here feel that dedication. They are attracted to it and want to support it any and every way possible. The amazing people here at TDC give so selflessly each year in so many ways.”

We are excited for this year’s event and honored that TDC and the surrounding community are so willing to give generously to the children at TSRHC.

View additional details about this event on our website.