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Driscoll Children’s Surgical Services Team

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Stephen Almond, MD, left Chicago, Illinois—where he spent the early part of his medical career—for Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, because he wanted to be a part of something special.Twelve years since he made that move, Dr. Almond is the Chief of Surgery at Driscoll, which performed the first transplant surgery of any kind in South Texas in 2007. Since then, Driscoll has performed more than 80 kidney transplants.

“Driscoll is a ground-breaking hospital in South Texas,” Almond said. “Driscoll has always been on the leading edge of everything in South Texas, doing things no other hospital in the area could do. We were the first transplant program in South Texas and it’s a great feeling to know you’re part of something special and something that means so much to the families of this area.”

Dr. Almond is part of Driscoll Children’s Surgical Services team, which includes Mohammad Emran, MD; Ambrosio Hernandez, MD; and Haroon Patel, MD.

Driscoll Children’s Surgical Services team sees patients in Corpus Christi and throughout the Rio Grande Valley, and Laredo and Victoria, providing the highest quality of care to neonates, infants, children and adolescents born with or who develop one or a combinations of a multitude of conditions of the respiratory, digestive, urinary, excretory and/or auditory systems. The team’s subspecialties include bariatrics, urology, trauma, general surgery and ear, nose and throat.

The surgeons work closely with a multi-disciplinary team of pediatricians, neonatologists, anesthesiologists, intensivists and nurses to provide conventional and non-conventional management for numerous conditions. When conventional treatments aren’t an option, the team turns to novel and innovative management approaches with excellent outcomes.

“We’re all truly a team here at Driscoll,” Dr. Almond said. “The pediatricians, the anesthesiologists, the nurses … everyone provides a vital link to the care we give to our patients. None of us could do it on our own and I think that team attitude we have here at Driscoll is evident to everyone who visits.”

Dr. Hernandez is Driscoll’s Medical Director of Surgical Services in the Rio Grande Valley. He works closely with the other three surgeons, who frequently fly to the Rio Grande Valley for follow-up visits with their patients.

“The surgeons here at Driscoll treat children all over South Texas,” Dr. Hernandez said. “I’m in McAllen and the entire Driscoll’s surgical team is ready to come here or anywhere else in South Texas whenever needed. They come to the Rio Grande Valley area to follow-up with their patients and see new patients. They’re never more than a phone call away.”

The hospital’s sterling reputation and the skills of the Driscoll Children’s Surgical Services is what led to conjoined twins being cared for at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. A Brownsville woman gave birth to triplets—including conjoined twins—in May, and the conjoined twins were immediately transported to Driscoll for the best care in South Texas. Driscoll surgeons have been running tests and performing procedures to prepare the twins for a possible separation surgery within the next 6-12 months.

“The mother had her choice of any hospital in the state, and probably any hospital in the country, and she chose Driscoll Children’s Hospital,” said Dr. Patel, who specializes in urology and trauma. “A case like this involves a team of physicians and staff in numerous specialties and subspecialties. We have all of that available right here at Driscoll Children’s Hospital and we feel like no other hospital could offer a higher level of care than what we provide.”

The physicians at Driscoll understand that fast recovery, low post-operation hospitalization time and low pain are essential for the psychological, physiological and overall well-being of the child. That’s why the surgeons look to employ the least invasive management techniques, including laparoscopy, thoracoscopy and endoscopy, when possible.

“We take great pride in having a child who is unhealthy, performing an operation and seeing him or her get well,” said Dr. Emran, who specializes in gastric surgery and trauma. “We also take pride in watching how quickly and, as painlessly as possible, these patients recover. When patients and their families return for follow-up visits, and they’re feeling healthy and they have smiles on their faces—that’s our reward.”

As someone who grew up in the Rio Grande Valley, Dr. Hernandez enjoys seeing those rewarding smiles in an area close to his heart.

“This is my home and I get such joy in caring for the children of the Rio Grande Valley,” Dr. Hernandez said. “It gives me great pride to work for a hospital and be part of a surgical team that does such wonderful work with the children in the Rio Grande Valley and throughout South Texas.”


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