Texas Children’s Hospital recently welcomed Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo to our main campus to discuss health policy initiatives and the importance of children’s health care and coverage.
During the visit, Judge Hidalgo met with executive leaders from the hospital, including Chief of Psychology and Director of the Trauma and Grief Center Dr. Julie Kaplow, and Assistant Vice President of Nursing Heather Cherry. The judge also met with the hospital’s four executive vice presidents, who shared insights and expertise on policy priorities that advance the hospital’s tri-part mission of patient care, medical education and research – ensuring all families have access to children’s hospitals.
During their conversation, they discussed the critical role access to care, and incorporating health and social services can play in a child’s development. Additionally, our shared goal of expanding access to behavioral and mental health services across our community.
Dr. Julie Kaplow, also the Shannon and Mark A. Wallace Endowed Chair in Pediatric Behavioral Health at Texas Children’s, spoke with the judge about raising the standard of care among traumatized and bereaved children, youth and their families, and provided details about the Harvey Resiliency and Recovery Program, which is dedicated to serving the needs of the many children and families adversely affected by the storm and its aftermath.
Following their discussion, Judge Hidalgo toured multiple areas of the hospital, including in the new Lester and Sue Smith Legacy Tower. Judge Hidalgo had the unique opportunity to view the Texas Children’s Mission Control room – the state-of-the-art nerve center that brings together vital hospital operations. The Judge and her team then toured the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) – the first to be designated by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) as a level IV NICU, the highest level of care available for premature and critically-ill newborns – where she took the time to speak with families.
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