Community Update

Panda Warmers for Infants

Panda_Warmer_bro_e_Seite_6_Bild_0001_275X285The CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation recently purchased a Panda Warmer for the Center for New Life, the Labor and Delivery Unit at CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth Hospital. This purchase is part of an overarching project with the goal of outfitting the Center for New Life with a total of 19 Panda Warmers (one for each of the 19 Labor and Delivery Rooms). To date, the Foundation has already raised funding for nine Panda Warmers.

We are still in need of 10 additional Panda Warmers to complete the project.

The warmers are primarily used for two reasons: resuscitation and stimulation. Last year alone, 300 newborns at the Center for New Life needed resuscitation. The resuscitation devices are available to all of the 2,000+ deliveries each year at CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth Hospital. These warmers provide lifesaving resuscitation therapy in times of emergency.

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Comprehensive Cancer Care at CHRISTUS

affirmThe CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation (Foundation) is proud to announce major medical equipment additions to the Mamie McFaddin Ward Cancer Center and to the Cancer Floor at CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth Hospital. For the past several years, the Foundation has worked with local foundations and individual philanthropists to update these cancer care centers with state of the art equipment to offer the best in cancer detection and treatment.

In the past year alone, the Foundation has secured $486,000 in funding for the following pieces of major medical cancer equipment:

$316,000 for a 3D Breast Biopsy Guidance System and accompanying DynaCAD MRI Software. The 3D Breast Biopsy Guidance System is a minimally invasive procedure that provides more precise targeting of mammography abnormalities, resulting in improved workflow, less patient radiation dose, and shorter patient procedure time. The DynaCAD MRI Software, which is connected to the 3D Breast Biopsy Guidance System, enhances productivity and accuracy.

$118,000 for a BK Ultrasound Unit and treatment planning software. This offers a safe and effective treatment for patients who are not suitable for traditional prostate surgery. This unique ultrasound system will allow CHRISTUS to implement a robust hospital-based program that is safe, convenient, well-tolerated, and highly effective.

$52,000 grant for a Bone Density Machine – a system vital for cancer patient care – for the Cancer Floor at CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth Hospital. The new Bone Density Machine is vital to the health of our cancer patients here in the hospital. Many of the medications that cancer patients take can cause bone loss. With this system, CHRISTUS physicians can more easily detect bone loss and treat it while it is still manageable.

In addition, this Bone Density Machine will be used by physicians checking for osteoporosis in the general patient population, as well as with gastric bypass patients who are more prone to bone loss due to diet changes. As patients age, this machine assists the physicians with creating prevention plans and treatment plans.

In 2015, the Foundation secured $425,000 to purchase 3D Mammography, which presents a clearer picture to the radiologists, decreasing the number of unnecessary callbacks. The 3D Mammography is more likely to detect invasive cancer at an early stage, catching the tumor before it spreads.

In 2014, The Foundation secured another $425,000 to purchase 3D Mammography for the Mamie McFaddin Ward Cancer Center.

“The Foundation is proud to have raised over $1.3 million to help offer the best in cancer detection and treatment at our CHRISTUS facilities in Beaumont. We strive to give CHRISTUS patients peace of mind knowing they are getting the highest quality in cancer care right here at home,” said Ivy Pate, Foundation President.

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November 17 is Saint Elizabeth Memorial Day

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, 1207-1231
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, 1207-1231

Elizabeth was born to the King of Hungary in 1207. When she grew up, she was politically matched to a Prince, whom she loved, and had three children with him. Although she was living as royalty, Elizabeth’s true passion was caring for the poor. She did this each day but, after a while, her husband began to pressure her to stop. So, she became creative and started leaving the castle to meet the poor with food and staples hidden in her frock.

Becoming suspicious, one day her husband followed her and questioned what was in her frock. Elizabeth turned to him and, just before she opened her frock, the food and staples turned into beautiful, red roses. Seeing the roses, her husband was satisfied never questioned her again.

Today, you will notice that most pictures of Elizabeth portray her with food and red roses. In her short lifetime, she had a hospital built for the poor and became known for having fed 900 starving people daily during a great famine. Tragedy struck when her husband was killed in a crusade followed by a political struggle which drove her from the castle. Elizabeth then lived and worked with the poor and died in 1231 at the age of 24.

In 1235, Pope Gregory IX canonized her as a saint. This means that the Church believes the example of Elizabeth’s life is a model we can learn from. It is with great pride that we have our hospital, CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth, named after her. We are honored to remember the example of her life on her official memorial day, November 17th.

New Defibrillators for Emergency Department

zoll-r-series-als-defibrillator-with-expansion-pack-2_zpswboiqick_1024x1024The CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation received a grant from The Hearst Foundations for eight defibrillators for the Emergency Department. A defibrillator is an electrical device that provides a shock to the heart when there is a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm. The defibrillators are used close to 2,400 times a year, averaging about 200 times per month. Because they are in constant use, upgrading these pieces of equipment was vital.

The Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations and institutions working in the fields of Education, Health, Culture and Social Service. They work to ensure that people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives. In operation for over 70 years, The Hearst Foundations have made over 20,000 grants totaling over $1 billion.

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 CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Foundation is honored to be a recipient of The Hearst Foundations’ continued generosity.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.”

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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.

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