Congratulations to Tony Eappen for receiving the Daisy Award for November. The award is given to nurses who are nominated by their peers in celebration of nursing excellence. Tony was recognized for going the extra mile to assist a patient who was discharged with a newly placed PEG tube in place. The patient anticipated receiving continuous pump feedings over a prolonged period and was scheduled for a home health intake visit the next day.

Once the patient and family arrived home, they encountered difficulties with operating the pump. They contacted Tony who walked them through step-by-step on proper pump setup and operation. This helped briefly, but the pump began to alarm after only a few minutes. The family again called Tony, who quickly volunteered to stop by on the way home and help with the pump. Once at the home, Tony walked the patient and family through the pump settings again. The patient was able to get through the night and all was well thanks to Tony and his house call.

The Moody Medical Library has been awarded the highly competitive Electronic Consumer Health Outreach Award in the amount of $22,124 from the regional office of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. The award will fund a joint project between the Galveston Shriners Hospital for Children and the Library to provide internet access to pediatric burn patients, their caregivers and family members through a dedicated server, secure wireless system and multiple workstations.

“We’re eager to expand our outreach efforts in partnership with the Shriners Hospital to offer their patients and their families a means of easing the difficult period of treatment and rehabilitation by providing computer equipment to access health information resources while also staying in touch with loved ones and activities at home,” said Reference Librarian Anne Howard, who is the principal investigator.

The aim of the project is to familiarize patients and their families with currently available electronic health information from the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) while also providing diversion therapy and a link to families at home.  As part of the project, reference librarians at the Moody Medical Library will train Shriners’ staff in the use of relevant digital patient education databases and NIH resources. This project has been funded in whole or part with federal funds from the National Library of Medicine-NIH, under contract with the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library.

The program will provide a beneficial service to pediatric burn patients and their families. Congratulations to the Moody Medical Library and Shriners Hospital for Children on this collaborative endeavor.

The UTMB Military Medical Student Association would like to thank all those who donated to our Stockings for Soldiers’ Donation Drive this past November. Because of you, this service project was a huge success. All of your donations will be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you for your generosity and happy holidays!

The Department of Surgery spread some holiday cheer this year with a door decorating contest. Faculty, staff, residents, and research fellows came together to brighten the hallways of the Children's Hospital, John Sealy Annex and McCullough for our patients and co-workers by decorating 17 doors.  Several doors included pictures of Santa Claus, whose twinkling eyes looked suspiciously similar to Dr. Courtney Townsend’s, or elves whose faces looked very familiar even if their large ears and dancing skills were not!

To ensure impartiality, Steve Conner, David Hileman, Tom McDougall, and Josanne Smathers served as judges evaluating doors on criteria including: creativity, originality, neatness, colorfulness, and quality of construction.  Decorators tried to influence the judges with caroling, candy, and technology.  In the end, the door decorated by Drs. Casey Boyd and Jaime Benarroch took first place (Rm. 6.312 JSA), the door decorated by Diana Crowell, Kelly Turner, and Debbie Turney took second place ((9.204 JSA), and the door decorated by Michelle Acosta, Amineh Baradar, Toni Lerch, Rosemary Nusbaum, Stacey Torres, Bobbi Tucker, and Valarie Zimmerman took third place (6.146 JSA). 

Elizabeth Protas, dean of UTMB’s School of Health Professions, along with several dozen SHP faculty, staff and Respiratory Care Program students, adopted 25 Salvation Army angels this holiday season. Salvation Army angels are local children whose families are not able to afford to buy Christmas presents.  Each year the Salvation Army conducts interviews with local families to identify those who qualify as Angel Tree families. These families must meet minimum poverty guidelines or have experienced a sudden drop in income to be selected. This is the third year the School of Health Professions has adopted children from the Angel Tree program.  The children make Christmas lists and UTMB donors buy the items to fulfill the their Christmas dreams. Each donor spent between $25 and $100. This year’s gifts included toys, clothing, cameras, skateboards and five bicycles

On December 21, volunteers from the Division of Geriatrics & the Sealy Center on Aging delivered 32 boxes to underprivileged seniors in Galveston County. The decorated boxes are filled with easy-to-prepare foods, toiletries, personal care items, warm blankets, socks, gloves and the like. Items and cash donations were generously provided by UTMB employees. The boxes, which went to 14 men and 18 women, represent the largest donation to date to this program. Dr. James S. Goodwin, director of the Sealy Center on Aging, brought this annual tradition with him to UTMB, which he started in the 1980s in New Mexico. This year, GERI/SCoA staff held a bake sale to help support the program, and netted $327 from the one-day event. Volunteers from RSVP of Galveston County along with Natalia Leija, Madison Torres, Sara Silva, and Brianna Barger helped with all aspects of the program, including wrapping the boxes in holiday paper and filling them with gifts. The packages are always a welcome sight to the seniors who cannot afford these little luxuries – like hand lotion for dry weather, or lip balm – in addition to the cheer that the unexpected visit brings.