Community Update

CMN at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas is happy to introduce the 2023 CMN Champion

Every year, 170 local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals identify a “Champion” in each local community to serve as the face for children treated at their local children’s hospital. These ambassadors spend their year advocating for the charitable need of children’s hospitals across North America. This year, the Children’s Miracle Network at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas is thrilled to introduce Brett Baxter as the 2023 CMN Champion!

Early in the spring of 2022, Brett Baxter, at the time, a 13-year-old athlete at Vidor Junior High School, was playing football with his friends during lunch when he dove for a pass and fell through a nearby window, causing a severe injury to his arm. The wound severed his radial artery, severely damaging a major vein and tendons. Mark Steele, the campus police officer, now employed by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, was present at the time and acted fast, putting his STOP THE BLEED training into practice by using a tourniquet to stem the bleeding and stabilize Brett until medical help arrived. Once transported to the emergency room at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas – St. Elizabeth, Brett was quickly attended to by the trauma team and Dr. David Parkus, who ordered a blood transfusion and surgery to repair the damage. Brett needed extensive therapy to regain function in his hand, which was accomplished with his characteristic determination and the help of his occupational therapists.

Throughout his ordeal, Brett maintained a positive outlook that buoyed his family and caregivers. With the help of those who cared for him, Brett fully recovered and can once again enjoy his favorite activities, such as playing basketball with his friends. His experience also served as a reminder of the importance of the STOP THE BLEED training, which can save lives in the future. Additional assistance from the hospital’s Child Life Specialist, Nicole Albert, helped keep Brett and his family informed and cared for throughout his time in the hospital.

Dr. Parkus – Trauma Surgeon, Brett Baxter, Dr. Jones – Orthopedic Surgeon, Officer Mark Steele

Newly Renovated Pediatric Unit at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth Hospital

On May 1, 2023, the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) hosted a dedication ceremony for the newly renovated Pediatric Unit at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth Hospital. The renovation features an immersive “under the sea” theme and a comfortable, modern environment intended to help promote healing and recovery in an area designed specifically for children.

The successful renovation of the Pediatric Unit was made possible through the dedicated efforts of our community partners and supporters who fundraise throughout the year to provide money to CMN in Southeast Texas. 100 percent of all funds raised for CMN in Southeast Texas stay local to help sick kids in our community.

In addition to the incredible remodel, in 2022 CMN funds also provided over $330,000 worth of state-of-the-art medical equipment and services to help ensure that our youngest, most vulnerable patients at CHRISTUS receive the top care available.

“We are thrilled with the renovation of our Pediatric Unit, and it’s all thanks to the incredible dedication of our community partners and supporters who have given so generously to support the well-being of our youngest patients,” said Caralee Thompson, Program Manager for Children’s Miracle Network. “We want to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to make today possible.”

The renovation also features interactive and electronic equipment in both patient rooms and common areas, as well as an updated playroom to help provide the best possible experience during difficult circumstances. “At the end of the day, it’s all about our patients,” said Lacey Goodman, Director of Pediatrics and Neonatal ICU at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth Hospital. “This renovation, as well as the additional equipment purchased, will allow our highly trained staff to continue to provide personalized care for every patient using the best resources out there. Our nurses and staff work with children because it’s truly their calling and I’m so incredibly proud of the work they do every day.”

The 40th Annual CHRISTUS Gala was a night to remember!

The CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation held our 40th Annual Gala Saturday, April 15 at the Beaumont Civic Center. This event has become one of the most anticipated fundraising events each year and has drawn some of the biggest names in entertainment. This year we were honored to add Country Music Hall of Famer, Wynonna Judd to that list!

With over 900 attendees, this black-tie benefit provided an opportunity for an intimate evening filled with amazing music, great food, and fantastic company! The Foundation honored The Penland Foundation with the Legacy Award, for their philanthropic efforts as the lead donor of our Maternal Child Unit Renovation. CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth will be able to provide state of the art care to our tiniest patients and their mothers. The Penland Foundation’s support of this project will make a difference to future generations of CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Families. It will have a lasting impact on patients and families by welcoming more newborns and sending them home safely with bright, promising futures ahead of them.

The Valero Foundation was also honored with the Service Award. This Award is bestowed on an organization or community member who has served their community and CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation’s mission over the years. In 2022, the Valero Foundation pledged to be the lead equipment donor for our Maternal Child Unit. This donation ensured that CHRISTUS Health Southeast Texas stays at the forefront of maternal, fetal, and pediatric medicine in our region. This Equipment Update for the Maternal and Child Unit at CHRISTUS Hospital St. Elizabeth will help to meet the patient needs through state-of-the-art equipment and advanced technology, which will be matched by the highest levels of compassionate and expert maternity, labor and delivery, and infant care.

We would like to take an opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to our incredible 2023 sponsors. Your generous contributions made the evening possible and allowed us to raise funds to support the needs of women and children services in Southeast Texas.

Warmest regards,

The CHRISTUS Foundation Team

Wynonna Judd will be taking the stage at the 40th Annual CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation Gala on Saturday, April 15, 2023

Once dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline,” Country Music Hall of Fame member Wynonna Judd is one of the most celebrated artists in Country Music history. Wynonna first rose to fame as part of one of the most successful music duos of all time, “The Judds,” becoming music royalty to fans and critics alike.

Respected by the millions of fans who are drawn to her music and undeniable talent, Wynonna’s rich and commanding voice has sold over 30 million albums worldwide, holding multiple gold, platinum, and multi-platinum certifications from the RIAA. A five-time Grammy Award winner and New York Times Bestselling Author, Wynonna is the recipient of over 60 top industry awards, countless charting singles and 21 #1 Hits including “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not Me,” and “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days).”

The CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation continues to raise the bar by offering world-class entertainment, five-star cuisine, and elegant ambiance. The much anticipated and always exceptional Gala brings the community together to celebrate the CHRISTUS mission of extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.


Neches Federal Credit Union

On January 29, 2020, the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) welcomed Neches Federal Credit Union‘s Marketing Team to CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth for a check presentation of funds raised in 2019. We want to thank Neches Federal Credit Union for their generous donation. The money raised will directly benefit local kids through the CMN.

During their visit, the group toured the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Pediatrics floor, giving them an up-close view of the equipment and improvements made thanks to the funds raised by the foundation and CMN.

39th Annual Gala a Success with Little Big Town

I am privileged to announce that the 39th Annual Gala was once again a resounding success, with world-class entertainment from country stars Little Big Town, a gourmet meal, and a program that honored local philanthropist Jim Willis and long-time Southeast Texas oncologist Dr. Robert Birdwell. Each year, this “Party with a Purpose” attracts well over 1,000 attendees, from businesses to foundations to individuals. Each year, our Southeast Texas community unites in support of the CHRISTUS mission to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ, and for that we are so grateful.

The CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation focused the program portion of the evening on the $1.5 million raised to help offer the best in cancer detection and treatment at our local CHRISTUS Facilities. The Foundation has worked steadfastly to raise funds to upgrade medical cancer equipment.  These major fundraising strides were made possible because of the outpouring of support from local foundations and individuals who support our CHRISTUS cause.

We have been able to secure funding for such lifesaving equipment because of donors like YOU that so generously give. Local individuals, businesses, and foundations have made the great works of the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation possible. It is because of YOU, the donors, that women and men in Southeast Texas will have access to the highest quality of cancer detection and care.

Thank you to everyone who supported CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation at the 39th Annual Gala. We will see you all next year!


Ivy Pate, Foundation President

View in Foundation Newsletter | View more photos from the Gala

Credit Unions for Kids

The Sabine Chapter of Credit Unions hosts the Kids Classic Golf Tournament each year at Bayou Din Golf Club.  Proceeds from the tournament are donated to Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals.

On April 18, the Sabine Chapter of Credit Unions presented Ivy Pate, Foundation President, and Melissa Conley, CMN Hospitals Program Manager, with a check for $20,000! Their donation will go toward providing lifesaving medical equipment for sick and injured kids at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth and Jasper Memorial. Thank you, Sabine Chapter of Credit Unions, for your generous donation.

View in Foundation Newsletter

Comprehensive Cancer Care

The CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation is proud to announce a $200,000 donation from two of our very special, dedicated, and philanthropic donors. Because of their generosity, we will now be able to purchase Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy Equipment and MRI 3T Breast Biopsy Monitor. Our Foundation is so blessed to be patronized by local individuals who have a heart for healthcare. We count on the continued generosity of donors to help keep the CHRISTUS mission alive. We are able to extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ because of the selflessness, kindness, and bigheartedness of those who are true stewards.

Ultrasound Guided Breast Biopsy Equipment uses sound waves to help locate a lump or abnormality and remove a tissue sample for examination in a less invasive manner than surgical biopsy, leaving little to no scarring. It also does not involve exposure to radiation. The MRI 3T Breast Biopsy Monitor is the accompanying monitor.

We strive to give CHRISTUS patients peace of mind that they are getting the highest quality in cancer care right here at home, which means spending less time driving back and forth to Houston and spending more time with family and support systems, receiving emotional support that is so vital.

Once again, we want to say thank you to two of our very special donors. You have given the women of Southeast Texas a lasting gift.

View in Foundation Newsletter

Toy Drive of Southeast Texas

This year, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals hosted the Toy Drive of Southeast Texas. The community was invited to donate toys, craft supplies, and clothes to sick and injured kids at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth. Donations were collected at CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth and several partnering Dairy Queen locations.

Emily Neild

From hospital departments to local high schools, the Southeast Texas community showed incredible generosity. Emily Neild, a pre-teen from Nederland, even spearheaded her own drive for craft supplies and DVDs. Neild lives with mitochondrial disease and has spent a significant amount of time in the hospital. She knows how important it is for hospitals to have activities that will keep kids’ minds off of treatment during their stay. With the help of friends and family, Neild donated over $3,000 worth of craft supplies and DVDs.

Donations made to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through the Toy Drive of Southeast Texas will provide entertainment for pediatric patients at CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth throughout the year.

View in Foundation Newsletter

Click the image to read more about the donation:

4 Ever Rollin Car Club
Beaumont United High School Football Team
CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth: Business Services
Lamar University Dance Marathon
CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth: Health Informatics
CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth: Revenue Integrity
West Brook High School Golf Team

Neches FCU Gives Back on Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, Neches Federal Credit Union hosted a bake sale to raise money for their local Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals, CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth and Jasper Memorial. They invited members to stop by one of their locations and pick up some Valentine treats. Neches employees also chose to participate in the Miracle Jeans Day campaign by making a donation to CMN Hospitals in exchange for wearing jeans on Valentine’s Day.

What a generous way to share the love on Valentine’s Day! Thank you, Neches Federal Credit Union.

Excerpt from original article.

View in Foundation Newsletter