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Published in Under the Rainbow on December 01, 2013

IN THE NEWS

A kaleidoscope of significant news from Batson

Batson social worker part of new degree program in play therapy

As part of a new online degree program through the University of Mississippi, Rebecca Prewitt, licensed clinical social worker in Batson Children’s Hospital, is studying to become the first education specialist in play therapy and a registered play therapist at the Medical Center.

The program is the first of its kind in the nation according to Ole Miss, offering online classes and clinical experience resulting in a Specialist in Education degree with an emphasis in play therapy.  Other students in the program are also currently mental health therapists – LCSW, LPC or LMFT for example – licensed to practice independently. As part of her practicum experience, Prewitt currently provides services in the Children’s Justice Center and the Inpatient Child Psychiatry Unit.

Play therapy is a means of working with children generally between the ages of two and 12 in which play, their natural way of experiencing their worlds, is the primary vehicle of communication. 

“Developmentally, children may not yet be adept in talking out their issues.  So, in play therapy, a child is brought into a playroom and is allowed to 'play out' whatever is troubling him or causing disturbance,” Prewitt said.

“Many childhood issues and disorders respond well to the therapy and it can also be effective for issues surrounding medical protocols and procedures, so we would love to see it used on a bigger scale throughout Batson in the future.”

Heart Center hosts ‘Cardiac Boot Camp’ for hospital staff

Dr. Mary Taylor talks about caring for patients with congenital heart defects to a group of Batson Children’s Hospital staff during a recent Cardiac “Boot Camp” put on by the Children’s Heart Center.
Dr. Mary Taylor talks about caring for patients with congenital heart defects to a group of Batson Children’s Hospital staff during a recent Cardiac “Boot Camp” put on by the Children’s Heart Center.

The Children’s Heart Center recently held a “Cardiac Boot Camp” to educate Batson Children’s Hospital employees about the complexities of caring for patients with heart disease.

“We have put this ‘boot camp’ together because we have hired so many new nurses and heart center employees and the growing population of congenital cardiac children that affects all aspects of the hospital,” said Ashley DiBardino, cardiac ICU educator.

Nearly 200 staff members attended the camp, which explored different aspects of caring for patients with heart disease, including surgical options for correcting defects, how to identify various lesions, medications patients may be taking and ECMO’s role in transplantation.

“With the development and growth of the Congenital Heart Program, we now have a new population of patients - those with complex congenital heart disease,” said Dr. Mary Taylor, chief of pediatric critical care and co-director of the Children’s Heart Center. “These children will require specialized care when they present with other childhood illnesses and injuries.

“It is important that we include all parts of our medical community in the education about the care of patients with congenital heart disease.”

Taylor said plans are to make the conference an annual event.

Former pediatric chair receives alumni award

Dr. Owen B. Evans, former chair of pediatrics, receives the Distinguished Medical Alumnus award from Dr. Scott McPherson, president of the Medical Alumni Chapter of UMMC.
Dr. Owen B. Evans, former chair of pediatrics, receives the Distinguished Medical Alumnus award from Dr. Scott McPherson, president of the Medical Alumni Chapter of UMMC.

Dr. Owen B. Evans, chairman emeritus of pediatrics and professor emeritus of pediatric neurology, was recently awarded the Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award for dedicating his life, both personal and professional, to providing Mississippi’s children with the best health care available without having to leave the state.

Evans began his tenure at the University of Mississippi Medical Center as division chief for pediatric neurology in 1983 and continued treating patients until June 2013. Having served as chairman of the UMMC's Department of Pediatrics from 1989-2010, Evans developed new pediatric programs, recruited subspecialists and oversaw multimillion-dollar building projects designed to provide comprehensive care for children in the state.

“Bev’s No. 1 accomplishment besides improving facilities, which he did, was to increase the number of general pediatricians in the state. He moved pediatric care up to an incredibly high level. That is a huge legacy,” said Dr. James Keeton, vice chancellor for health affairs at UMMC and a former pediatric urologist who joined the department during Evans’ tenure.

Evans graduated from Vanderbilt University Medical School in 1973 and interned at Children’s Orthopedic Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle. After a tour in the Navy and service in the Medical Corps he returned to Vanderbilt. He completed his residency in pediatric neurology in 1980 and served on the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital faculty until 1983 when he moved to Mississippi. Five years later, he was appointed the second chair for the Department of Pediatrics, following Dr. Blair E. Batson.

Pediatric NP attains SANE certification

Children’s Justice Center family nurse practitioner Regan Doleac attained the honor of certification through the International Association of Forensic Nurses as a Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE-P).  According to IAFN, Doleac is the only Certified Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner practicing in the state of Mississippi.  This certification enhances Doleac’s expertise in caring for pediatric victims of sexual abuse.

“This certification is an invaluable resource for the Children’s Justice Center, Batson Children’s Hospital, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and for the state,” said Rebecca Mansell, director of the Children’s Justice Center.

Hyundai Motor America lends hand, raises hope

Jaylen Greer, 4, of Durant puts his painted handprint on a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe with help from child life specialist Michelle Chambers.
Jaylen Greer, 4, of Durant puts his painted handprint on a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe with help from child life specialist Michelle Chambers.

Hyundai Hope On Wheels® and Jackson-area Hyundai dealers have awarded Batson Children’s Hospital with a $250,000 Hyundai Hope Grant for pediatric cancer research. The grant funds will support the work of Dr. Chindo Hicks investigating why American children of European ancestry have higher survival rates than American children of African ancestry when faced with lymphoblastic leukemia. Batson was one of 41 recipients of Hope On Wheels’ 2013 Hyundai Hope Grants.

The donation is part of Hope On Wheels’ annual September Campaign celebrating National Cancer Awareness Month. Hyundai Hope Grants fund research projects with the greatest potential to improve the lives of children battling cancer. Since 2010, Batson Children’s Hospital has received more than $350,000 from Hope On Wheels.

“Advances in systematic genomic research and the launching of the Pediatric Oncology Genome Project provide an unprecedented opportunity to make new scientific inroads in childhood cancer,” said Hicks, associate professor of medicine. “This grant will mark the launching of research in genomic medicine in childhood cancer at the Children’s Cancer Center.”

The grant was officially presented during a Hope On Wheels Handprint Ceremony. Batson cancer patients dipped their hands in colorful paint and placed their handprints on a white 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, the official vehicle of Hope On Wheels.

New pediatric specialists added to faculty

The University of Mississippi Medical Center added the following specialists to the staff recently to meet the growing needs of our patients. For more information about our services or to make an appointment, please visit www.ummchealth.com/children.

Michelle Grenier, M.D.    Cardiology
Praveen Kumar, M.D.    Newborn
Nick Rutledge, LCSW    Child Development
Whitney Herring, M.D.    Ambulatory
Ivonne Galarza, M.D.    Ambulatory
Fernando Gomez, M.D.    Emergency Medicine
Puja Craddock,  M.D.    Emergency Medicine
Jessica Lilley, M.D.    Endocrinology
Sarah Conerly, M.D.    General Pediatrics
David Gilliam, M.D.    General Pediatrics
Katie Berg, M.D.    General Pediatrics
Cynthia Karlson, Ph.D.    Hematology-Oncology
Mufeed Ashraf, M.D.    Neonatology
Brad Ingram, M.D.    Neurology
Carrie Freeman, M.D.    Critical Care
Barbara Saunders, D.O.    Child Development
Sarosh Batlivala, M.D.    Cardiology
Rana El Feghaly, M.D.    Infectious Diseases
Steven Bondi, J.D., M.D.    Critical Care
Collier Anderson, M.D.    Hematology - Oncology
Simon Karam, M.D.    Neonatology
Nina Washington, M.D.    Rheumatology

Congenital Heart Surgery celebrates milestone

Mackenzie Davis of Waynesboro watches over her 4-month-old daughter, McKinley, who underwent the 1,000th operation completed by the congenital heart surgery team at Batson Children’s Hospital.
Mackenzie Davis of Waynesboro watches over her 4-month-old daughter, McKinley, who underwent the 1,000th operation completed by the congenital heart surgery team at Batson Children’s Hospital.

Batson Children’s Hospital’s congenital heart surgery program celebrated its three-year anniversary by marking another important milestone – its 1,000th operation on four-month-old McKinley Davis of Waynesboro.

Davis was born with a rare heart defect called Taussig-Bing syndrome requiring extensive complex operations. Her first operation, when she was a mere eight days old, partially corrected the defect. It was her April surgery to replace a leaking heart valve that put her into the record books.

During the program’s rapid growth, the heart team met another important measurement of a program’s success. 

While caring for all children with heart defects – even those that other heart centers turned away – the team hit patient outcome numbers rivaling the country’s largest and most-established heart programs.

“This has been a multidisciplinary effort,” said Dr. Jorge Salazar, associate professor of surgery and co-director of the Children’s Heart Center. “Only because of the hard work and sacrifice of our team have these outcomes been possible.”

Outcome data for 2012 shows the program has a hospital discharge mortality rate of less than 1.5 percent.

“Very few programs achieve less than two percent discharge mortality, particularly when you factor in the case complexity we see here in Mississippi,” said Dr. Daniel DiBardino, assistant professor of surgery and congenital heart surgeon. “Given the youth of the program, it is almost inconceivable.”

PICU establishes leadership award to memorialize nurse

Ami Risher, second from right, receives the inaugural Elaine L. Seid
Pediatric Critical Care Leadership Award from Elaine's brother, Dennis Seid and PICU staff, from left, Elizabeth Christ and Cristy Crowson.
Ami Risher, second from right, receives the inaugural Elaine L. Seid
Pediatric Critical Care Leadership Award from Elaine's brother, Dennis Seid and PICU staff, from left, Elizabeth Christ and Cristy Crowson.

Ami Risher, a respiratory therapist in the PICU, was presented the inaugural Elaine L. Seid Pediatric Critical Care Leadership Award.  Seid, a long-time nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit at Batson Children’s Hospital, died from multiple myeloma in March 2012. Seid’s former PICU colleagues conceived the award as a way to keep her enthusiastic and kindhearted spirit alive in the unit.

“For my coworkers to look at me as a compassionate leader meant the world to me. I am honored to be the first recipient,” said Risher, a member of the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) team.

Risher married fellow ECMO team member, David, last year. The two postponed their honeymoon so ECMO services would not be compromised by short-staffing.

Safety and Community Outreach hosts baby safety showers

The Children's of Mississippi Safety and Community Outreach program recently implemented the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Baby Safety Shower Initiative to provide education and hopefully decrease infant injuries and deaths in the state. 

The initiative uses the evidence-based, CPSC toolkit that illustrates important safety information to parents through educational games, safety prizes and other activities. 

The safety shower curriculum is divided into five topics addressing everything from proper feeding and shaken baby syndrome to safe sleep, childproofing and child passenger safety.

“For a long time Mississippi has led the nation in infant mortality,” said Elizabeth Foster, project manager of the Safety and Community Outreach program. “Although we have provided parent education since 2009, with funding from Ronald McDonald Charities, we’ve been able to include innovative methods in our efforts to take parent education to new heights.”

Unlike most parenting or safety classes, this interactive “baby shower” teaches the proper safety techniques in several key categories and follows up with safety-themed baby shower games.  After learning about each category, the mothers-to-be receive safety items related to the presented topic, such as car seats, baby swaddles, child safety gates, childproofing kits, emergency contact magnets and social services resource guides. 

Palliative care awarded $10,000 grant from LIVESTRONG®

The Division of Palliative Care at Batson Children’s Hospital has received a $10,000 grant from the LIVESTRONG® Community Impact Project.

The money will help implement the Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Palliative Care. Nearly 200 organizations across the country were selected to participate in the online voting campaign that accumulated more than the 200,000 votes over a two-week period. Batson was among 15 new sites announced as beneficiaries.

“I am very grateful to supporters of Batson Children’s Hospital who helped us to achieve this important and generous award,” said Dr. Rick Boyte, professor of pediatrics and director of pediatric palliative care. “This will take a lot of hard work but soon we’ll be among only a handful of children’s hospitals in the country with this designation.”

Pediatric palliative medicine is an option overlaying and enhancing traditional care for children with life-limiting illnesses. By focusing on a child’s total pain – whether physical, spiritual or psychosocial – palliative care enhances the quality of life for a child and family by minimizing suffering and offering support in whatever capacity it is needed.

The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Palliative Care sets standards and acknowledges hospitals providing state-of-the-art palliative care services that relieve symptoms and stress of serious illness and improve quality of life for patients. The Joint Commission is a non-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 20,000 health-care organizations and programs in the United States.

“Advanced Certification in Palliative Care will help highlight the concern that Batson has for the quality of life of children with life-limiting and medically-complex conditions,” Boyte said.

New initiative brings nurses, patients, families in on treatment discussions

Amanda McCullough, nurse on 5C, discusses Jarvis Holmes’ care with his mother, Jamese Wiley.
Amanda McCullough, nurse on 5C, discusses Jarvis Holmes’ care with his mother, Jamese Wiley.

The Patient Satisfaction Committee at Batson Children’s Hospital has been piloting a new program, called Patient and Family-Centered Rounding, on the hospital’s fifth floor.

The new rounding initiative includes the nurse and the patient and family in reviewing the patient’s condition and any changes in the past 24 hours in addition to laying out the plan for the day.

“This type of rounding gives the family a sense that we are all involved in this together and that we are a cohesive group,” said Ashley Ramage, nurse manager of 5C. “We’re involving the nurses and family together so that we’re all saying and doing the same thing.”

The initiative is ultimately aimed at raising patient satisfaction scores that showed dissatisfaction with the family’s input into the care of their child.

“We want them involved in their care,” Ramage said. “This is the most stressful time in a parent’s life. Any semblance of control or ownership or involvement that we can give them helps decrease their anxiety.”

To that end, the health care team, patients and families set daily goals together. Ramage said having these goals helps families feel empowered and less anxious because they know what the plan is for the day.

“It helps them be an active participant in getting the child well and then when the next day’s rounds happen, the parents can speak to those goals.” 

Children’s of Mississippi becomes lead agency for Safekids Mississippi

Children’s of Mississippi is now the lead agency for Safe Kids Mississippi, part of a global organization dedicated to preventing injuries in children. As part of Safe Kids, staff members educate the community about safety issues that impact children, such as bicycle and car seat safety.

“This is a great opportunity to expand the outreach and education provided by both of our organizations,” said Elizabeth Foster, program manager of the Safety and Community Outreach program and current chair of the Safe Kids Mississippi board. “Our children’s hospital is the leader in children’s health for our state, so it’s only fitting that we lead the state in childhood injury prevention as well.”

For tips on how to keep your kids safe, visit umc.edu/safekids.