New Equipment for NICU

Transport IncubatorThe CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation received a grant from the Will Rogers Foundation Brave Beginnings Program to purchase one transport incubator. Brave Beginnings is a program of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation working to ensure ventilators and vital neonatal equipment are always available to newborns in critical need. Since 2006, Brave Beginnings has contributed millions of dollars to facilities across the United States. Each year, the program spends roughly $1 million in grants awarded to hospitals nationwide. The funds are used to purchase vital equipment for Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) caring for fragile lives born too soon.

Transport Incubators are vital to the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth NICU. Every admission to the NICU is transported from the delivery room to the NICU in a transport incubator. Additionally, admissions from the emergency department and well newborns requiring diagnostic testing off the floor are transported in a transport incubator.

View in Foundation Newsletter

New Breast Cancer Prevention Equipment

Maintaining momentum for state of the art equipment in breast cancer prevention and care, the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation secured funding for a 3D Breast Biopsy Guidance System. This funding was made possible by the generosity of a local foundation, The Mamie McFaddin Ward Heritage Foundation, and a local donors, Teressa Kountz and Tonya Heldeston.

“We are so grateful to have funding from foundations and from individuals in our area who are committed to continuing the CHRISTUS ministry by funding major medical equipment. This helps us provide lifesaving care to our patients,” said Ivy Pate, Foundation President. “The Mamie McFaddin Ward Heritage Foundation has been a steadfast supporter of CHRISTUS for years, and we are so blessed to continue that philanthropic relationship. In addition, we are honored to have the generous support of individuals like Mrs. Teressa Kountz and Tonya Heldeston, who helped fund two different piece of breast cancer prevention equipment.”

This new Biopsy System will help us to build on the measurable successes we have seen from the 3D Mammography — improved early detection rates and improved accuracy in diagnoses. This Biopsy System normally accompanies 3D Mammography systems, but had not yet before had the funding to order it.

3D Mammo Biopsy

The 3D Biopsy System is a minimally invasive procedure that uses x-ray imaging to guide the physician directly to the lesion in the breast that cannot be seen with standard 2D digital mammography. This system provides precise targeting of mammography abnormalities seen only on 3D images, aiding in confirming clearer and more definitive diagnoses. This new system speeds targeting the lesion, resulting in improved workflow, less patient radiation dose, and shorter patient procedure time.

DynacadThis system is designed with patients’ physical and emotional comfort in mind, offering more accurate, less invasive, less painful, and less time-consuming procedures for both the patient and the physician.

In addition, local donors Teressa Kountz and Tonya Heldeston also funded the new DynaCAD MRI Software. This software system, which is connected to the 3D Biopsy System, will enhance our radiologist’s confidence, productivity and accuracy. Our very own Dr. Lemeshko is the only radiologist in the Southeast Texas area that can read this software, enabling more patients to stay close to home rather than having to travel to Houston.

View in Foundation Newsletter

Local Cardiologist Funds Building Renovations

Dr. LombardoDr. Thomas A. Lombardo, a cardiologist with Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists, and a Southeast Texas philanthropist, donated $200,000 towards the Renovations of the Creole Building.

This building, located on the property of St. Elizabeth Hospital, is 57 years old and has been in dire need of repair for some time.

“Dr. Lombardo’s generous donation to renovate the Creole Building is a testament to the strong connection he has with the Religious Sisters who have always played such an important role at CHRISTUS,” said Ivy Pate, Foundation President.

The Creole Building houses The Sisters of the Destitute, a Religious Order that does the work of Jesus Christ by serving as nurses at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth.

Creole BuildingThis Order deems its vision as follows: “Rooted in God consciousness, we respond to the prophetic call to promote the new way of life initiated by Jesus to reach out to humanity with compassion particularly, to the destitute.”

This renovation project has made the housing brand new. From updates to the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms, as well as the roof, this project is a gift to the Sisters that have served CHRISTUS so steadfastly over the decades.

In addition to the structural updates, there is also fresh paint, new blinds, and new flooring, giving the Sisters a warm and welcoming home environment.

Our Catholic Sisters have a deeply rooted connection with the CHRISTUS Hospitals. In fact, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of the Diocese of Galveston established the first hospital in Beaumont, Texas, in 1896, which was later consolidated with St. Elizabeth Hospital.

Our Sisters have played a vital role in delivering compassionate healthcare to Southeast Texas for over a century.

The CHRISTUS mission is to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. As a Catholic health ministry, CHRISTUS is a partner and an advocate in the creation of innovative health and wellness solutions that improve the lives of individuals and communities so that all may experience God’s healing presence and love.

Dr. Lombardo’s generous donation to renovate the Creole Building is a testament to the strong connection he has with the Religious Sisters who have always played such an important role at CHRISTUS,” said Ivy Pate, Foundation President.

View in Foundation Newsletter

CHRISTUS Board Member Donates Talent

Tommy Frank, President of The CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation Board, is a man who is comfortable in leadership roles. He worked for Conn’s for fifty years, rising through the ranks to become the Chairman and CEO in 1994, all the while expanding Conn’s market and growing its sales volume to levels it had never before reached.

Tommy is currently serving his third term on the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation Board. His commitment to the CHRISTUS mission of extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ is clear through his involvement with the board and his continued participation with the annual gala.

ITouch2Playn addition to his impressive professional career, Tommy also is also an accomplished woodworker. He recently offered his carpentry skills to help create a wooden frame to house a Touch2Play – a piece of interactive entertainment for children – in the St. Elizabeth Emergency Department waiting room.

“Tommy is a true leader. In addition to his role as Board President, he offered his carpentry talents to build a storage unit for new pieces of equipment in the emergency department. We truly value him as a board member and as a CHRISTUS supporter,” said Ivy Pate, Foundation President. 

View in Foundation Newsletter

Lamar Students Reveal Donations at Playroom Blessing

pedi playroom LamarOn July 10, students from Lamar University made a generous donation to the Effie M. Hebert Pediatric Center’s playroom at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth. Their donation was revealed and blessed in a ceremony held for hospital associates, patients, and visitors.

The students are part of a new organization, Lamar University Dance Marathon (LUDM), that raises funds year-round for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth and Jasper Memorial. The students raised money through peer-to-peer fundraising, giveback nights at local restaurants, and their big event, Dance Marathon. Dance Marathon is a celebration held on campus where students get to meet the families of patients treated at their local hospital, participate in games and dancing, enjoy entertainment, and reveal their annual fundraising total.

This year, they decided to use the nearly $5,000 they raised to purchase new toys and furniture for the hospital’s Pediatric Center playroom. On the day of the ceremony, the students worked all morning to put the new furniture together and organize the toys before debuting the revived playroom to the hospital. During the ceremony, the group’s president, Cade Johnson, said he and a few of the other LUDM members spent a significant amount time in the hospital as children and knew firsthand how it feels for a young child to be bored during a hospital stay.

“We just wanted to create an area where kids would have fun and enjoy being here with their families,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, this will make the hospital a little more inviting for pediatric patients and help them be less nervous when they visit the doctor.”

At the end of the ceremony, Father Emmanuel Chikezie blessed the donation and associates gathered to thank the altruistic students while enjoying refreshments donated by Gigi’s Cupcakes.

“I am immensely grateful to the Lamar University Dance Marathon students. Their donation is going to help our pediatric patients and their families have a more relaxed hospital stay,” said Melissa Conley, Program Manager for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation. “It’s inspiring to see these Lamar University students put their heart and soul into a project that will have such a great impact on our hospital.”

View in Foundation Newsletter

Texas Rx Card Presents Check for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals


On June 25th, Courtney Knox, Texas Rx Card Representative, presented a check to CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation. Melissa Conley (left) Program Manager, and Ivy Pate (right), Regional Vice President, were pleased to receive the check donation in the amount of $818.90.

After the presentation, Courtney was given a tour of the hospital, including the newly updated NICU. Melissa and Ivy invited Courtney to participate in a call-in interview to be played during a November radio fundraiser. CHRISTUS Southeast Texas-St. Elizabeth and Texas Rx Card will continue to work together to raise awareness of the Texas Rx Card and the CMN relationship. A donation will be made to your local CMN hospital each time a prescription is processed using the Texas Rx Card. We are excited to be a supporter of CHRISTUS Southeast Texas-St. Elizabeth and all the patients they help.

View in Foundation Newsletter

Defibrillators Awarded for Emergency Department

The CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation proudly announces a $125,000 grant from The Hearst Foundations. This grant will cover the purchase of seven new defibrillators for the Emergency Department at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth (St. Elizabeth).

The new defibrillators are the only model available that are specifically designed to treat children as well as adults. In addition, the portability of these defibrillators offers a major benefit to our medical staff, as many of the patients they treat must be transported internally throughout the hospital.

The new fleet of defibrillators will enhance St. Elizabeth’s work towards achieving a higher-level designation for the Emergency Department.

The Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations and institutions working in the fields of Education, Health, Culture and Social Service. The Hearst Foundations’ goal is to ensure that people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives.

The CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation was honored to host a recent site visit by George Irish, Eastern Director for The Hearst Foundations. Ivy Pate, Director of CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation, gave Mr. Irish a tour of St. Elizabeth, showing him where the new defibrillators will be housed in the Emergency Department. Mr. Irish also toured the newly renovated Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The visit to the NICU was especially meaningful for Mr. Irish as The Hearst Foundations have given past grants to St. Elizabeth for NICU equipment as well.

To date, The Hearst Foundations have given CHRISTUS $250,000 in grants.

“We are so proud to once again be a recipient of The Hearst Foundations’ generosity. Thanks to The Hearst Foundations, the St. Elizabeth Emergency Department will offer the newest and most advanced technology in resuscitation care,” said Ivy Pate.

View in Foundation Newsletter


38th Annual CHRISTUS Gala a Success!

594The 38th Annual CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation Gala was a smashing success. The meal was delectable, the décor was stunning, and, of course, the entertainment was stellar. Each year, philanthropic-minded businesses, organizations, and individuals gather for a night of finery all in the name of the CHRISTUS mission: to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.

This year’s gala was especially meaningful as we celebrated the perseverance and unity of the CHRISTUS Health Community during Hurricane Harvey. We recognized CHRISTUS employees staying steadfast in their duties as healers during one of the worst natural disasters our community has seen in decades.

586We also recognized the evening’s honorees: The Beaumont Enterprise and The Hearst Foundations. The Beaumont Enterprise – a household name in our area – has been supporting the CHRISTUS Gala since its inception 38 years ago. The Hearst Foundations have given a total of $250,000 to the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation. These generous grants enabled us to renovate the CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and purchase lifesaving equipment for the Center for New Life and the Emergency Department.

The evening culminated in a show-stopping performance by Daryl Hall and John Oates. They wowed the crowd with popular hits such as “Rich Girl,” “You Make My Dreams,” and countless others.

We want to say a big “thank you” to all the community members that make our gala such a success, and we look forward to seeing you all next year!

View in Foundation Newsletter

Autism Awareness: Sensory Event at Beaumont Children’s Museum

Autism Awareness EventOn Saturday, April 7, the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System kicked off Autism Awareness Month by sponsoring Autism Awareness Day: A Sensory Event hosted by the Beaumont Children’s Museum and The Arc of Greater Beaumont. Community members were invited to experience the excitement of the children’s museum while learning about autism.

The first hour of the event was reserved for families with children on the autism spectrum, which allowed them time to get familiar with the museum in a low sensory environment with fewer people around. The museum also provided a Quiet Room that was open all day for children who became overstimulated to have a place to relax.

When the museum opened to the public, children were able to participate in activities such as making fossils, creating custom sensory bottles, and playing with sensory toys and a tactile wall. Families were also given the opportunity to play with service dogs, meet First Responders, and learn what CHRISTUS hospitals do to make ER visits for individuals on the autism  spectrum less traumatic.

Ashley Bares, Certified Child Life Specialist at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth, shared how the healthcare professionals at St. Elizabeth strive to make children on the autism spectrum more comfortable during hospital visits.

“When registering at the Emergency Room, parents of children on the autism spectrum can ask for an ASAP (Autism Spectrum Awareness Plan) or SNAP (Special Needs Awareness Plan) form,” explains Bares. “These forms help us better understand the challenges some patients face when they come to the Emergency Room so that we can do our best to make them comfortable. We can offer sunglasses for light sensitivity, fidget toys to keep their hands busy, and a weighted lap pad for those who find comfort in deep touch pressure.”

CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth is proud to provide awareness and support for our autism community and we hope to make hospital visits comfortable and stress-free for everyone who comes through our doors.

View in Foundation Newsletter

Mardi Gras: The Money Behind the Mask

Mardi Gras PicOn Thursday, March 29, board members from Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas, Laura Childress and Lisa New, presented Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals in Southeast Texas with a check for $2,270.

Each year, CMN recruits volunteers from CHRISTUS hospitals and the community to help run Mardi Gras by serving drinks, taking tickets, selling souvenirs and more. When weekend is over, volunteer hours from the 16 non-profit organizations behind Mardi Gras are added up and Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas makes a donation to each organization based on their hours.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in Southeast Texas is proud to be one of the 16 member non-profit organizations benefiting from Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas and we are beyond grateful for our CHRISTUS associates and community members who volunteer on our behalf!

View in Foundation Newsletter