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TSRHC and the Learn to Golf Program

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) has been providing pediatric orthopedic care to the region for more than 90 years. In addition to offering numerous services for children with orthopedic conditions, TSRHC provides patients with ancillary recreational therapy, such as our Learn to Golf Program. Learn more about how this unique program helps patients reclaim their childhood through education, engagement and recreation.

Learn to Golf Fort Worth

Program History

Established in 1998, the TSRHC Learn to Golf Program is a key component of the hospital’s therapeutic recreation department. Using the National Amputee Golf Association’s First Swing program as a guide, TSRHC designed a clinic that introduces patients to the rehabilitative benefits of golf. In 2000, Learn to Golf was formally recognized by the United States Golf Association with a multi-year grant to fund expanded program offerings. Since its launch, more than 1,200 children have participated in the Learn to Golf Program.

Golf Instruction

Throughout each clinic session, golf instructors are on hand to teach participants about the technical components of the game, such as driving, chipping and putting. In addition, basic golf rules, safety and etiquette are explained so that kids feel comfortable playing a full game after completing the clinic. Each of the instructors involved in the program has received specialized training for teaching golf to patients with physical disabilities.

TSRHC Learn to Golf

Clinic Benefits

For patients, the Learn to Golf program offers a hands-on introduction to a physical activity they can enjoy for the rest of their lives. It helps children to growth both socially and physically by meeting other kids and learning to enjoy recreational activities despite their physical challenges. These patients are able to push themselves to try new things in a safe and supportive environment. Most importantly, it instills confidence and provides a great deal of fun and enjoyment.

Locations and Eligibility

The Learn to Golf program offers local clinics, each consisting of a half-day session. Since the program’s inception, TSRHC has offered clinics in cities throughout Texas, including Austin, Bullard, Fort Worth, Plano, Dallas, Wichita Falls, Lewisville, Lubbock, Grand Prairie, Denison, Waco, Longview, San Antonio and Odessa.

Texas Scottish RIte Hospital Learn to Golf Program

All patients at TSRHC ages six and older are invited to participate in the Learn to Golf Program. In some cases, the program is able to provide adaptive equipment to help children with certain orthopedic or neurological challenges, such as scoliosis, clubfoot, hand disorders, hip disorders, limb length differences spina bifida and cerebral palsy. Trained instructors use other innovative methods to ensure that all children are able to participate in the program.

Through the Learn to Golf program, hundreds of children have discovered that their physical challenges don’t have to hold them back from fulfilling, fun activities. This program continues to help more pediatric orthopedic patients year after year through therapeutic recreation.

TSRHC Welcomes new Vice President of Human Resources

Connie Wright has joined the staff of TSRHC as our new vice president of human resources. Wright comes from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, where she was a human resources officer since 2010. Before that, she was executive director of human resources at Richardson Regional Medical Center, now Methodist Richardson Medical Center.

Connie WrightAt Presbyterian, Wright’s team focused on a high performance environment where people, learning and fun were the priorities. This resulted in an employee-centric culture that garnered engagement scores at the 99th percentile nationally, the Press Ganey Beacon of Excellence Award and numerous Best Places to Work accolades.

Wright is thrilled to be in an environment where she can contribute to the welfare of children. “My passion is children – both my own and those I have helped through volunteer roles,” she says. “I love the mission of ‘giving children back their childhood.’ It’s powerful and emphasizes the importance of the work we do here at Scottish Rite Hospital. I have already picked up on the sense of community and family. It feels like home.”

“Connie’s passion and professionalism makes her the perfect fit for our expert, caring approach to helping children with pediatric orthopedic conditions,” said TSRHC President and CEO Robert L. Walker. “That culture extends from our physicians, nurses, technicians and researchers to the entire staff. Connie is here to ensure that we continue to improve support for our world-class medical team.”

Wright earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin, and a master’s in business administration from Texas Women’s University in Denton.

Welcome, Connie!!

What turns a young athlete into a lifelong athlete? – TSRHC Sports Medicine

Various specialties have studied the characteristics that make a young athlete stick with his or her sport. From a psychological perspective, those who think sports are fun are more likely to continue to participate in sports and later, lead a healthier lifestyle that includes physical activity.

softballAround 12 or 13 years old, athletes progress to a more competitive sport environment and the pressures really start to grow. Winning, or being the best, becomes more important as elite team tryouts and college scholarship dreams come into play.

According to TSRHC Psychology Fellow and Sport Psychologist, Dr. Erica Force, this is the window of time where athletes begin to drop out of sports completely. “To keep our kids participating in physical activity for the long term, it’s important for parents to foster a positive and fun environment. Parents can do that by asking questions that focus on effort and hard work rather than only asking questions about results of the competition.”

Here are some ideas to help shift the conversation from negative to positive:

  • Be a good listener and offer encouragement regardless of the outcome of a game
  • Keep your own emotions under control
  • Ask about their experience while playing:
    • Did you put forth your best effort?
    • Did you have fun?
    • Did you help your team?
    • Were you a good sport?

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

Chipotle is offering 50% of proceeds to TSRHC on Wednesday, June 17

This Wednesday, June 17, Chipotle is offering 50% of their proceeds to benefit Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children!

Just go to any Dallas/Fort Worth area Chipotle on Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. with this flyer (either printed or shown on your mobile device) or tell your cashier that you’re supporting Texas Scottish Rite Hospital.

It’s as easy as that! Enjoy your lunch and thank you for dining in support of TSRHC!

For locations, please visit www.chipotle.com.

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Have you ever thought about how bones grow? – TSRHC Sports Medicine

We all know that our ears and nose have soft tissue called cartilage. But many don’t realize that this is also found in young bones. These areas are called growth centers and are filled with cartilage until those cells are replaced with bone. Like our ears, these areas in pediatric bones are soft and pliable. This increases the risk of damage from traumatic injuries, and even common orthopedic procedures.

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Some growth centers are called epiphyses, which typically lead to changes in the length of a bone. Tendons and muscles are connected to other growth centers called apophyses, which typically control the changes in the shape of a bone. The muscle pulling on these centers adds to the risk of injury. The growth centers “show up” and “go away” in x-rays in certain sequences. Pediatric orthopedic sports surgeons, like Dr. Philip Wilson and Dr. Henry Ellis, have studied how bones grow and how to assess how much growth is left by looking at x-rays. Many times, the most helpful x-ray is of the hand, where there are many growth centers to assess. With this expertise, they are able to offer the right treatment at the right time for young athletes with joint injuries.

According to Dr. Ellis, taking care of young athletes is very different than taking care of adults. He says, “We must take into consideration how much more growing an athlete will do, especially when managing fractures and complex knee ligament injuries.”

Decisions made in the early years of growth have the potential to impact knee alignment and leg symmetry years later. The risk of these complications is low with proper management by pediatric specialists.

For information about TSRHC’s Center for Excellence in Sports Medicine, please visit our website at tsrhc.org/sports.

TSRHC Welcomes New Hand Surgeon Dr. Christopher Stutz

Stutz - Whitecoat copyPediatric orthopedic hand surgeon Dr. Christopher M. Stutz has joined the staff of TSRHC, working with the team at the Charles E. Seay, Jr. Hand Center led by Dr. Marybeth Ezaki.

Stutz earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and completed an internship and residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. He was a hand and micro-vascular surgery fellow at Washington University and a congenital hand surgery fellow at TSRHC.

Stutz is an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center and certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. He is a member of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America and a candidate member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Read more about Stutz in his bio. Welcome to Scottish Rite Hospital!!

June & July Special Events

Save the Date for the following events benefiting TSRHC in June & July. For more information or questions about any of these events, please contact our Special Events Department at (214) 559-7656.

June 7 – Autos in the Park Car Show

Cooper Aerobics Center will host a car show on June 7, 2015. Approximately 225 cars will be on display. Admission is free, and the show is open to the public!

June & July – KidSwing Golf Tournaments

June 8 – Dallas
June 16 – McKinney
July 13 – Trophy Club

KidSwing was founded in 2003 by former patient Ben Sater at age 11 and has become an annual event to benefit TSRHC. KidSwing is a 9-hole, best-ball scramble for players ages 5 to 18 at all levels of golfing ability. Every child who plays is encouraged to raise $100 for TSRHC by asking their friends and family to sponsor them. To date, KidSwing has raised more than $1.6 million for TSRHC.

For more information or to register, please visit kidswing.org.

June 10 – 12 TSRHC Volunteer’s Bazaar & Bake Sale

TSRHC volunteers will host the annual Summer Bazaar & Bake Sale this June.
Wednesday, June 10: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thursday, June 11: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday, June 12: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

All items available at this event are donated and all proceeds benefit the patients and families served by TSRHC. Please consider donating your favorite item or one of the following best-sellers: 4th of July and Patriotic Decorations, Texas & Summer Themed Items, Handmade Toys, Bird Feeders, Seasonal Wreaths, Floral Arrangements, Kitchen Accessories, Baby Gifts, Quilts, Wood Crafts

Bake Sale: Homemade Jams, Jellies, Pies, Cakes, Pickles, Bread, Cookies, Candy, Snack Mixes.

June 19 – The Nodding Donkey Golf Tournament 

This is the fourth year for this tournament and the third year for TSRHC to be the beneficiary. For more information or to register, please visit http://bit.ly/1R10Oya.

June 27 – Crayon Club’s Character Breakfast

Crayon Club’s annual unique, child-friendly event scheduled for Saturday, June 27, 2015, will bring together families for a magical meet-and-greet experience complete with superheros, sports mascots and princesses. The event will also include an autograph session, door prize drawings, face painting and more.

For more information about Crayon Club, please visit tsrhc.org/crayonclub.

July 21 – Scottish Rite Shootout

The inaugural Scottish Rite Shootout is a Topgolf tournament for young adults ages 16-18. Scottish Rite Shootout was created from our KidSwing Golf Tournaments as a way for young adults to continue their support of TSRHC before high school graduation.

For more information, please visit kidswing.org.

July 30 – Summer Colors

Jenny Grumbles, Loren Koziol, Dupree Scovell and Jill Scovell will host the seventh Summer Colors silent art auction benefiting TSRHC on Thursday, July 30, 2015. Guests will have the opportunity to bid on original paintings by local artists while enjoyings drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Ticket prices are $25 when pre-purchased and $30 at the door.

For additional information and to purchase tickets, please visit our Summer Colors website.

Researchers from TSRHC Find Clues Relating Scoliosis to Gender

Adolescent scoliosis, the spine-twisting condition that affects two to three percent of the population, has long mystified scientists. Scoliosis often runs in families, but until now, researchers haven’t been able to pinpoint a specific cause for the progressive deformity. However, thanks to a recent study conducted by Dr. Carol Wise of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC), scientists are now one step closer to identifying a cause and hopefully a cure.

Different Types of Scoliosis

Scoliosis is classified in several ways. Children with congenital scoliosis are born with a vertebral defect that can eventually lead to a spine curvature of 50 percent or more. By contrast, children with neuromuscular scoliosis suffer a degenerative spinal condition that results from a neuromuscular condition such as cerebral palsy or spinal cord injury. In about 80-85 percent of all cases, doctors are unable to find the cause of scoliosis.

Scoliosis Genetics Research

PAX1 Gene: Girls vs. Boys

Because scoliosis often affects members of the same family, researchers suspect that genetic factors play a role in its development. When Wise and her team investigated a gene that influences early spinal development called PAX1, they made an astonishing discovery: Boys with scoliosis don’t manifest PAX1 genetic markers for the disease, but girls with the diagnosis do. In fact, most boys – those with scoliosis and those without – harbor no markers for the condition in their PAX1 genes.

This significant finding suggests that gender differences buried within the PAX1 gene could contribute to the development of scoliosis in girls. It also suggests that, for boys, other genetic factors might play a part in the condition’s development. TSRHC’s findings support the notion that scoliosis doesn’t have one “blanket” cause; different children suffer from the deformity for different reasons. Wise’s data has validated researchers’ urgent need to probe gender-specific links to the disease.

scoliosis cause researchNext Steps

Ideally, doctors will use Wise’s results to evaluate female patients’ PAX1 markers and catch scoliosis in its earliest phase before surgery becomes necessary. According to the Scoliosis Research Society, children with a curvature of 50 percent often need spinal fusion surgery, a treatment process that takes four weeks or more to heal.

Similarly, scientists now know that the PAX1 gene isn’t a useful tool when it comes to predicting scoliosis in boys. Researchers can now move on to the investigation of other possible genetic culprits with confidence.

Scoliosis No More

For nearly a century, TSRHC physicians and staff have worked shoulder to better understand orthopedic conditions in children. Thanks to the work of Wise and her team, scoliosis specialists across the globe have taken a giant step forward. It is hoped that prevention measures will eventually flourish, and that scoliosis will become as obsolete as polio, the measles, and chicken pox.

5 Signs Your Injured Athlete May Need a Little Extra Help

Imagine being a 16-year-old athlete, with your whole future ahead of you. You spend all your time playing, thinking and dreaming about soccer. Then, your season abruptly comes to an end with a ligament injury and your doctor tells you there’s no soccer for 6 months, at best.

UntitledOur Sports Medicine team knows this scenario all too well. We see athletes of all kinds encounter this, and six months later, they are back on the field. They often express disappointment and anxiety early in the cycle, but their drive to conquer rehabilitation and return to sports wins in the end.

Unfortunately, we also see some athletes that can’t quite get past that anxiety about returning to sports. “If there are any additional stressors at home or school, injury recovery can be a difficult process,” according to Dr. Sandy Roland, TSRHC’s Director of Psychology. She says that being a teenager is tough, but dealing with a life-changing sports injury on top of underlying stressors like depression, family tension, or tough social environments can be too much for some to handle.

Dr. Roland works closely with the sports medicine team to identify concerning signs and symptoms in our injured athletes. Though it’s only a small part of the care we provide, it’s a critical component to pediatric sports medicine. It’s another way we are taking care of the whole athlete, and not just the injury.

Parents, you should ask your child’s medical provider for help if you notice changes in any of these:

  • Sleep patterns
  • Decreased attention or concentration in school
  • Worsening grades
  • Socialization patterns like less time with friends
  • Mood

For information about TSRHC’s Center for Excellence in Sports Medicine, please visit our website at tsrhc.org/sports. For information on TSRHC’s Psychology Department, please visit tsrhc.org/psychology.

 

Winter: the Dolphin with the Prosthetic Tail

wintertail copyA few of our staff members attended the Association of Children’s Orthotic-Prosthetic Clinics (ACPOC) annual conference in Clearwater Beach, FL earlier this month. ACPOC is an association of interdisciplinary professionals who are involved in providing prosthetic-orthotic care for children with limb loss or orthopedic disabilities.  We participated in the conference by presenting two clinical papers, which were very well received and encouraged valuable discussion. The hospital was even specially recognized by ACPOC for our attendance to the conference as a team!

Despite the long hours at the conference, Amanda Brown from Prosthetics and Orthotics and Jesse Kowalski from Physical Therapy managed to squeeze in some time to spend an afternoon at the Clearwater Beach Aquarium. This special aquarium is home to Winter, the famous dolphin. Winter is the only known dolphin in the world missing her tail, and was featured on the big screen in Dolphin Tales.

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Like many of our patients, Winter has scoliosis and kyphosis, which has caused her to wear a prosthetic tail. She wears her prosthetic device during physical therapy sessions to help decrease the progression of the curvature of her spine, and has to do other types of stretching and exercise too. Her prosthesis helps keep her healthy and happy so she can do what dolphins do best… play!