Coastal Bend Region Offers Leading Care for Residents

Award-winning facilities and the latest technology ensure top health care for Coastal Bend residents.

Kevin Litwin
On Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 05:00

From new emergency departments to robotic surgery devices, high-quality health care continues to be an asset for Coastal Bend residents. Several of the region's major health-care providers are investing in facilities and technology to elevate the quality of care throughout the region.

Operating in the area since 1905, CHRISTUS Spohn Health System has developed a major regional presence with facilities in Alice, Beeville, Corpus Christi and Kingsville.

In Kingsville, CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Kleburg is investing $3.9 million to expand and renovate its busy emergency department. The renovation will help the hospital fulfill its commitment of helping South Texans receive critical care closer to home, CEO Pamela Robertson says.

Employees at the CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Shoreline recently celebrated the reaccreditation of the hospital's Stroke Center Program, and its cardiac rehabilitation programs, along with those at CHRISTUS Spohn's Alice and Kleberg locations, earned national certification from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).

To achieve this, programs must prove excellence in almost a dozen categories, including continuing staff education, condition of equipment and patient care.

"For the fourth time, Shoreline's Cardiac Rehab program has successfully been recertified by the AACVPR," says Barbara Flato, director of Cardiac Rehab Services. "In 2000, CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-Shoreline's Cardiac Rehab program was the first in the Coastal Bend to receive certification from AACVPR."

Premier Care for Kids

In 2013, Driscoll Children's Hospital celebrated 60 years of providing first-class health care for newborns to 21-year-olds. Opening in 1953 with 25 beds, the hospital has since grown to include a 189-bed pediatric tertiary care center with pediatric specialists representing 32 medical and 13 surgical specialties.

Started by Clara Driscoll in 1945 to honor her family's legacy by providing medical treatment for the children of South Texas, Driscoll was the first free-standing pediatric hospital in the region and the first hospital in South Texas to offer emergency services specifically for pediatrics. Today its emergency department serves about 35,000 children each year.

A $12 million emergency department renovation and expansion under way now will add two trauma rooms, 20 private exam rooms and two triage areas with visibility to the waiting area, along with a new ambulance vestibule and weather protection canopy as well as an outward extension of the building that will allow for an expanded lobby.

"Through the renovation we want a child-friendly and efficient setting that is welcoming, calming and caring, which continues to reflect our ongoing commitment to being the best hospital for the kids of South Texas," says Donna Quinn, vice president of operations and quality.

Technology Focused

Corpus Christi Medical Center is justifiably proud of its Bay Area Robotic Surgical Program, which incorporates two da Vinci Streamlined Integration HD Surgical Systems, including the latest generation Si HD version.

Features of the new system include fluorescent imaging technology and the ability to perform surgery with only one incision instead of four. The da Vinci Si HD Surgical System enables surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures.

The medical center recently opened a 15-bed Inpatient Rehabilitation Program at Doctors Regional Hospital. The facility is focused exclusively on helping people regain quality of life following an injury, surgery or disease that impairs their ability to care for themselves.

Also, the hospital is cooperating with the City of Corpus Christi Fire/EMS Department and local cardiologists to use new technology in ambulances to treat certain types of heart attacks. Five local ambulances carry the equipment that can transmit vital information to the hospital while the patient is in transit.

"Our partnership with the City of Corpus Christi Fire/EMS is vital," says Jay Woodall, chief executive officer. "Together, we are making a life-changing difference in the health and well-being of patients and the families we serve."


Kevin Litwin is the author of Crazy Lucky Dead and a freelance feature writer with a career spanning more than 20 years.