Category Archives: News

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.

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.

 

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

Christopher Martin Painting Day

Addison Bryan, Jacob GianopoulousLast week, a group of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children patients participated in the annual Christopher Martin Painting Day. These patients rolled up their sleeves and worked together to create a work of art with a variety of shapes and colors onto a blank canvas.

Painting Group, Christopher Martin

 

Under the instruction of Christopher Martin, renowned Dallas artist, these kids painted everything from smiley faces and squiggles to hearts and flowers. Christopher then will touch up the masterpiece, highlighting the designs by the children and adding some definition with his own personal touch. The finished product is auctioned off each year at Treasure Street, TSRHC’s annual signature event, and is always a most-wanted item among attendees!

Luke Peters

 

For more information on Treasure Street, visit www.treasurestreet.com.

View a video highlighting this year’s Painting Day:

Bringing Comfort one Quilt at a Time: The Irving Quilt Guild

Patients in hospitals are usually getting all of the physical care they need, but another one of the most important elements of a successful recovery is comfort. A group of local volunteers known as the Irving Quilt Guild decided to make patients’ happiness their priority, and they’ve been making quilts ever since.

The History

In 1998, a few avid quilters decided to make use of their love for quilting, and started the Irving Quilt Guild.  Instead of simply quilting for fun, these active citizens started donating their quilts to three separate causes, and together they are improving the lives of many patients.

Today, the guild is made up of nearly 100 members, and they focus on three main projects:

  1. Baby blankets for newborns in need
  2. Quilts for servicemen and women
  3. Angel Quilts for the patients at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Angel Quilts

The angel quilt project focuses on cheering up young patients with colorful quilts to cuddle. The bright quilts liven up their hospital stay and bring happiness to children who have a lot to handle.

Each child receives their Angel Quilt after waking up from surgery, and it presents a memorable way to celebrate the exciting moment when these young patients are reunited with their parents.  Instead of the fearful memory of surgery, children are given a loving gift from a caring neighbor.

The guild has been able to donate 260 quilts, and with your help they can donate even more.  For more information visit their website and start comforting young patients today!

Latest Rite Up Magazine – 2014 Issue 2

Our latest Rite Up Magazine, the hospital’s quarterly newsletter, has been released. Take a few minutes to catch up on the latest news and events at TSRHC.

rite up
Click to view magazine.

Issue Highlights Include:
Our cover story, Opening Doors, introduces you to Emily, who was born with cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement and motor skills. Last summer, Emily launched a campaign called “Keep Calm Install Handicap Doors.” She sought to get automatic doors installed at her school, but little did she know that with determination her efforts would lead to the installation of 15 electronic doors across six school campuses.

Read about A Legacy of Giving in our Donor Spotlight featuring the Hatfield family. After their son, George Todd, was treated at the hospital, George Hatfield and his wife, Claudette, founded The George and Claudette Hatfield Foundation. Through this foundation, the Hatfield legacy of giving continues to support numerous charities, including Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

And be sure to check out our Trustee Profile highlighting TSRHC Trustee Douglas S. Maxey. In addition to becoming a trustee in 2005, Maxey serves as board chairman of the Scottish Rite Learning Center of West Texas in Lubbock.  Find out how Maxey is leading with a vision and setting his sights on what’s best for the TSRHC patients.

You can also request to be mailed a copy of this quarterly magazine, please call the Public Relations department at (214) 559-7656 or (800) 421-1121, ext. 7656.

TSRHC Expands to Frisco

Recognizing the need for a patient access point in the fast-growing northern suburbs, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children is building a new ambulatory care center in Frisco!

The new facility, located on 40 acres at the corner of Lebanon Road and the Dallas North Tollway, will initially serve outpatients with clinic visits and day surgery. Patients will still have to visit the Dallas hospital for major surgeries and some other services.

Our original campus at Oak Lawn and Maple will not be changing and will continue its mission of treating patients with orthopaedic conditions, certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders, such as dyslexia.

“In trying to look at the future and look at how we can impact the community in this new era of health care reform and how we can better serve the families that we are here to take care of, we started looking at areas of the Metroplex that might could help achieve that,” TSRHC President and CEO Robert Walker said in a recent interview with Frisco Community Impact Newspaper.

Stay tuned for updates! Groundbreaking is expected to happen next spring with hopes of opening the new center in 2016. We look forward to meeting our neighbors and patients in the Frisco area!

 

View recent news articles about the new center at the following links:

Dallas Morning News: Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children to build Frisco campus

Dallas Business Journal: Texas Scottish Rite Hospital buys 40 acres in Frisco for new facility

Frisco Community Impact Newspaper: Scottish Rite to build branch facility in Frisco

D Healthcare Daily: Scottish Rite Buys 40 Acres in Frisco for Planned Expansion 

TSRHC Unveils Renovated Allan Shivers Park!

After months of construction and a $1.9 million renovation, the beautifully redesigned Allan Shivers Park reopened in June and is officially available to be enjoyed by all patients and families who visit TSRHC.

Ann Marie Keierleber_45

The redesign replaces the park’s 22-year-old structures with multiple state-of-the-art play areas and adds a sidewalk along Welborn Street that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Not only has the park served as a recreational haven for children and a welcome respite during their time at the hospital, but it has also been a venue for birthday parties, Easter egg hunts and family gatherings for community members,” said Robert L. Walker, TSRHC president/CEO.

New park features include increased shading and an inclusive play principle that allows children with or without disabilities to enjoy the park. The multiple textures, colors and sounds of the new structures encourage cognitive growth through imaginative, interactive play.

Rowan Fitzsimmons - pt“The park represents an extension of the beliefs we hold here at the hospital – that investing in the wellbeing of children and families in our community makes a difference,” Walker said.

View an article and photos from the Dallas Morning News during a special dedication ceremony on Saturday, August 9: Texas Scottish Rite Hospital unveils new ‘gateway’ park

TSRHC Patients Give Back – Summer 2014

At TSRHC, we are very lucky to have generous friends that support the hospital’s mission to treat patients regardless of the family’s ability to pay. But what is truly special is when these generous friends happen to be patients. Here are three recent and unique stories about our patients giving back to TSRHC!

Crawfish for the Curve

Rowan Fitzsimmons - ptTSRHC patient Rowan, age 8 of Dallas, and her family held their second annual crawfish boil, Crawfish for the Curve, at their house in Dallas this spring. The proceeds were used to buy three mini iPads for the hospital and the rest of the money was donated to TSRHC as well. The event has raised $7,700 over the past two years!

Bootin’ Out Cerebral Palsy 5K Walk / Barrel Race

LEE_0207ACandy Schulz and her three children, a TSRHC patient family, organized and held the second annual Bootin’ Out Cerebral Palsy 5K Walk in Alvarado, Texas on Saturday, March 29. The 5K Walk commenced from the Town Square in Alvarado.

This year, a second event was hosted by the Schulz family, a barrel racing contest on May 17. Combined, the events raised $10,000 for TSRHC! The proceeds from both events were used to help underwrite the 2014 Farm & Ranch Day event held for our patient families and friends at Reverchon Park on Saturday, May 17.

Addison’s Birthday Wish

LEE_1072ATSRHC patient Addison, age 7 of Rockwall, made a special birthday wish to raise money for the hospital that has treated her since she was just 5 days old. Her initial goal was to reach $1,000, but after she received an overwhelming response on her first day she decided to increase her goal to $4,000! Addison and her family came to TSRHC on July 31 to donate the $4,200 that Addison raised through sharing her “Birthday Wish” sign in her neighborhood.

Thank you to all of these inspiring kids and to all of the friends that support TSRHC!

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.