Category Archives: News

Local TV Station Spotlights TSRHC’s Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia

WFAA Channel 8 in Dallas recently visited TSRHC to interview doctors and patients about the internationally-recognized Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders.

“Texas has been a leader [in dyslexia programs],” said Dr. Jeffrey Black in an interview with reporter Shelly Slater. “We have laws dedicated just to the problem, so that kids get the right kind of support.”

TSRHC offers that support via an educational outreach program. Teachers are given guidance through seminars and workshops, and parents can join a parent support group. The Dyslexia Training Program and the TSRHC Literacy Program (video curriculums developed at TSRHC) have helped hundreds of thousands of children across the world with dyslexia learn to read.

Building patients’ self esteem

Dyslexia can take a toll on a child’s self-esteem.

“You see your friends who aren’t dyslexic, and things just come easier to them,” said TSRHC patient Caleb Floyd. “You just have to work a little harder.”

Early intervention is vital, not just to help children with dyslexia learn to read, but to help build their self-esteem at school. Instead of feeling disadvantaged compared to other children their age, patients learn that messing up is an important part of the learning process, and that they are just as capable of achieving their goals as anyone else.

A leader in dyslexia programs

The Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders is named after Dr. Luke Waites, who founded the program at TSRHC in 1965. Together with a team of doctors from around the globe, the first consensus definition of dyslexia was formulated at TSRHC in 1968.

Since then, the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia has become an international leader in learning disorder research and intervention programs.

Watch the video of the interview with WFAA below, and find out more about dyslexia on our website.

TSRHC and JCPenney to host Seventh Annual Successful Bridges Show

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and J. C. Penney Company, Inc. will host the seventh annual back-to-school style show at JCPenney’s headquarters in Plano on Friday, August 1. Twenty-six spina bifida patients, who are a part of TSRHC’s Successful Bridges Program, will get the chance to showcase the latest back-to-school fashions in hopes of giving them the chance to gain independence, confidence and courage.

Kayli Nymeyer - pt, Salomi Mukherjee - JCP Stylist

The show provides the means to encourage TSRHC’s patients through a positive self-esteem building event and communicates the message of TSRHC’s Successful Bridges program to the community. The show provides the means to encourage TSRHC’s patients through a positive self-esteem building event and communicates the message of TSRHC’s Successful Bridges program to the community. The Successful Bridges Teen program was established in May 2003 for children ages 14-to 18-years-old with spina bifida. The overall goals of the program are to assist teens in building bridges to self-sufficiency and support families as their teens achieve developmental milestones. The program collaborates with community agencies to provide information and guest speakers.

Jesus Cantellano - pt

To learn more about Successful Bridges and spina bifida, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55fg0M-R9dM

Summer Colors – Silent Art Auction Benefiting TSRHC

Set UpSummer Colors, now in its sixth year, was an idea born out of passion for raising awareness about Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children; while also giving the Dallas community exposure to local up and coming artists. Jenny Grumbles, Loren Koziol, and Jill and Dupree Scovell founded Summer Colors in 2009 and have continued to grow the event over the past four years. The celebration takes place in the form of a silent art auction and a cocktail reception, featuring original pieces by local artists. Summer Colors is continually growing – each year raising more money for TSRHC. Involving the community is important to the founders and sponsorship opportunities are available.

Event Details

Set UpThe 2014 event will take place on Thursday, July 31 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (2222 Welborn Street, Dallas, TX 75219). Guests will have the opportunity to bid on paintings by the artists while enjoying tasty drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are $25 pre-purchased online and $30 at the door.

Purchase Tickets Online

2014 Featured Artists

  • Dawn Waters Baker
  • Desmond Blair
  • Debora P. Blake
  • Megan Adams Brooks
  • Marcy Cook
  • Linda Dillard
  • Melissa Stinson Ellis
  • Stephanie Fudge
  • Helen Green
  • Adam Grovenstein
  • Allyson Hall
  • Pauline A. Johnson
  • Karley Osborn Kiker
  • Jenny Grumbles Koziol
  • Phyllis Mabus
  • Christi Meril
  • Christopher Miller
  • Nicole Morrow
  • Rachel Nash
  • Andrea Navarro
  • Terrell Powell
  • Micah San Juan
  • Jill Scovell

Read more about the 2014 Featured Artists 

Summer Colors_no tsrhc

TSRHC Doctor Awarded for Excellence in Clinical Medicine

Every year, a faculty physician from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas is awarded the Patricia and William L. Watson, Jr., M.D. Award for Excellence in Clinical Medicine. This year it has been awarded to nationally recognized Dr. Marilynn G. Punaro, Professor of Pediatrics and TSRHC’s Medical Director of Pediatric Rheumatology.RIC_7598 copy

This is the fifth year the award has been distributed, as it was established by Dr. and Mrs. William Watson in 2009 through a generous donation.

Education and Career

Dr. Punaro has a long history of work in clinical care, starting in 1977 when she began her internship and residency at Children’s Medical Center. She then completed her specialty training in pediatric rheumatology in 1982 and started work at TSRHC.

In 1996 she became a member of the UT Southwestern faculty in the Department of Pediatrics and in 1998 she became Director of Arthritis Services at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Then she became Division Director for Pediatric Rheumatology in the UT Southwestern Department of Pediatrics in 2004.

Reputation in the Field

Those that know and work with her praise her for her abilities as a clinician and diagnostician, as well as her attitude and loyalty towards her patients.

Dr. Punaro’s name has been heard by those in the field nationwide as well, as she is a member of professional societies and an editor and reviewer of articles in top professional journals for pediatric rheumatology.

Her peers refer to her as a “Texas Super Doctor,” and one of the “Best Doctors in America.”

Congratulations Dr. Punaro!!

Courtney’s Story – Life After Scoliosis Surgery

courtney scoliosis basketball 3Finding out you have scoliosis is scary, and for fifth grader Courtney Walker, it was no different. Born with a competitive nature, she had many aspirations to play sports in school, particularly basketball. Each of her sisters grew taller than her mother, and she had the same goal. Finding out she had a curve in her spine only temporarily dashed her dreams.

Starting the Journey

courtney scoliosis basketball 2Once her family found Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, they immediately got to work to set her spine straight. Naturally, her parents were very worried about her and thought that she might never walk again. However, Courtney was more optimistic. She never felt that anything was wrong with her before her diagnosis, and she was positive she would recover after the surgery.

Surgery and Road to Recovery

courtney scoliosis basketballThe surgeons at TSRHC placed rods in Courtney’s spine and screwed them into place. This corrected the curve in her back and she woke up from her scoliosis surgery with a smile on her face. She immediately began to recover and jumped back into her favorite sports. Two years later, she is practicing gymnastics, and can even do a back handspring by herself.

At TSRHC, Courtney had doctors and surgeons that believed in her, and that faith and hope allowed her to persevere until she accomplished every goal she had set for herself before her diagnosis. As Courtney reached the end of eighth grade, she accomplished the goal of growing taller than her mother – and her mom couldn’t be more proud.

Learn more about Courtney through her YouTube Video:

Kids Help Create Mobility Test for TSRHC

LEE_2703AChildren attending a summer camp at the Dallas Zoo have been helping researchers at TSRHC develop a mobility test to measure the functional ability of young amputees.

The test has been available for adults for a while: the Comprehensive High-level Activity Mobility Predictor (CHAMP) was designed by the military to monitor the progress of veterans with amputations. Researchers at TSRHC have decided to take CHAMP and adjust its parameters to fit younger amputees. To achieve this, they turned to the Dallas Zoo and their summer camp attendees for help.

Children at the camp were put throughAshlynn Johnson; staff Wilshaw Stevens a four-part course, similar to an obstacle course, which timed them as they performed various physical activities. One portion of the test included balancing on one foot with the other foot held over a small cone.

The results of the summer camp kids will be used as a base line for the new CHAMP test for young amputees. That way, a patient’s progress can be compared with others in her own age group, instead of relying on the original test designed for adults.

Since last summer, researchers have gathered the results of 275 campers ages 5 to 14, and they plan on testing hundreds more campers this summer. Ultimately, they hope to have data from 100 kids in each age group from 5 to 18, so the test can be comprehensive.

With the help of these able-bodied camp goers, soon patients at TSRHC will have an effective CHAMP test to measure their progress.

For more information, visit our Movement Science page on our website or view the recent article in the Dallas Morning News. Stay tuned for another news story on Dallas’ CBS11 later this week!

 

 

Two TSRHC Patients Win Prestigious Tommy Tranchin Award

This year’s winners of the Tommy Tranchin award have been announced, and we’re proud to report that two out of the six recipients are TSRHC patients.

The two winners, Alexander Milner and Drew Walton, are young men who embody the heart and spirit of the award—neither one lets a disability get in the way of achieving their dreams.

The Tommy Tranchin Award, sponsored by the Dallas Foundation, was established by Laurie and Rob Tranchin to continue the legacy of their son, Tommy, whose hearing disability didn’t stop him from pursuing a passion for music. The award gives recipients the opportunity to follow their dreams by granting them a stipend (up to $1,500) to be used toward a proposed activity for which they have a passion.

For Alexander Milner, his dream is to one day compete in the Olympics. At age 3, Alexander was WAT_3922stricken with polio, which caused paralysis in his left leg. He initially began learning gymnastics as a form of physical therapy, but he quickly developed a love for the sport.

Alexander is now one of the top gymnasts in the state of Texas and hopes to take his passion all the way to the Olympics. With help from the Tommy Tranchin Award, Alexander will be able to travel to a prestigious gymnastics competition.

Drew Walton has cerebral palsy. When he was an infant, a pediatrician told Drew’s mother that heDrew Walton Tommy Tranchin Award would never learn to walk or talk. As a patient at TSRHC, Drew has exceeded everyone’s expectations—earning straight A’s at Waxahachie High School, where he also manages the track and football teams.

Drew applied for the Tommy Tranchin Award, with help from his teacher, Mr. Galliger. As an award recipient, Drew will receive Dragon software, a laptop computer, printer and microphone, which will give him the ability to further his studies.

Competition for the Tommy Tranchin Award was extremely strong this year, and we’re proud that two of our patients were able to show the determination, commitment and perseverance necessary to win. The TSRHC staff congratulates Alexander and Drew on this tremendous achievement.

Emily’s Story – Chapter Two

5Patients with scoliosis are treated at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children all the time, but TSRHC patient Emily’s case is different. Her scoliosis was already extreme at a very young age, forcing her to make TSHRC like a second home. She became well known around the hospital for her happy spirit and you may remember seeing our very popular first video of her! Now eight years later– we catch up with her to see how she’s doing.

12

Since her final scoliosis surgery fused permanent rods to her spine, Emily hasn’t had any problems with her scoliosis. She continues to return to the hospital occasionally for checkups, but her doctor, Dr. Rathjen, has cleared her to participate in some of her favorite activities including: fishing, horseback riding and golfing.

Emily Spaulding age 12 of_ Midland_22Participating in Studies

Emily returns to the hospital periodically for testing in order to help doctors researching early onset scoliosis. Currently, there is no explanation for why she was born with a 55 degree curve in her spine because no one else in her family has had scoliosis. However, the good news is that the doctors have concluded that she will not pass it down to her own kids.

Growing Up Fast

After having 33 surgeries over the course of ten years, Emily had no other choice than to grow up fast.

Watch Emily’s Story – Chapter Two, to catch up with the Midland 13-year-old and hear more about her experience at TSRHC!

TSRHC Patients Compete at UCO Endeavor Games

Post by TSRHC Prosthetist Amanda Brown, CPO, LPO

photo 2 copyJune 5, 2014 kicked off the 15th annual UCO Endeavor Games where athletes gathered from around the world to participate in Paralympic Sporting Events. These games included track and field, swimming, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, archery and many more.  All ages were welcome and among the many participants were seven patients from TSRHC!

The competitive nature of the games was exhilarating and so exciting to watch.  Many of the adult athletes included paralympians who participated in the 2012 London Paralympic Games, as well as veterans from around the country.  The youth athletes included children who dream of photo 3 copybecoming a competitive athlete and love to participate in sporting events. This year’s unique group of participants allowed each athlete to compete against each other and also learn from each other.  The mentoring and encouragement throughout the weekend was remarkable and it was a true representation of the leadership and love for the games.

TSRHC’s seven participating patients represented the hospital with flying colors!  Multiple gold medals were won and many of them participated in numerous events. Two of our patients were noticed by the USA Olympic Committee for both Track and Swimming and five of our kids qualified for Junior Nationals in July.  We even had one of our many star patients win the “Junior Athlete of the Year Award” which was presented at the Athlete Banquet!

photo 19 copyWe are very proud of all of our patients who participated in the Endeavor Games.  Our vision here at the hospital is to always demonstrate the importance of encouraging our patients to pursue their dreams and goals. The Endeavor Games is an opportunity for our patients to compete and build confidence by surrounding themselves with an amazing support system.

Swinging Into Action: TSRHC’s Learn to Golf Program

Saturday, June 7, TSRHC held a Learn to Golf clinic in Denison, Texas. The Learn to Golf Program is a way for TSRHC patients to receive therapeutic treatment while also having fun learning to golf with other patients who share the same passion. Learn to Golf was launched in 1998 by the hospital’s therapeutic recreation department and was built upon the National Amputee Golf Association’s First Swing program.

_STU0009 copy“It’s to introduce our patients who have physical disabilities to the game of golf. So we go around the state and have ten clinics in different locations,” said TSRHC director of therapeutic recreation Dana Dempsey.

Taught by specially trained golf professionals, the patients with physical challenges rotate between three different groups and learn to hit long distances on the driving range, chip onto the green and putt on the green to make their best attempt to get the ball into the hole.

Playing golf has proved to be effective in the treatment for TSRHC patients.

“We’ve had a couple of [participants] report that they haven’t had to have surgery now that they’ve been practicing golf and being involved in golf. So it has both a therapeutic value and then that for just the socialization and fun, feeling good and being able to do something well,” said Dempsey.

After the patients swung through the event, lunch is served and awards are presented. During this time the Junior Golfers and their parents have the chance to get to know one another.

_STU0054 copyJunior Golfers receive specialized training from golf and allied health care professionals, a rules book and starter golf equipment. In addition, the hospital may assist patients in finding golf instructors in his or her area who provide further golf lessons and programs.

Watch a news clip from the recent Learn to Golf Clinic from Texoma’s KXII Local News Station.

The next golf clinic will be held June 14 in Lewisville at Lake Park Golf Course. For more information about Learn to Golf, please visit http://www.tsrhc.org/Learn-to-Golf.