Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine receives grant to help determine best care practices for children with spina bifida

HOUSTON - (Oct. 1, 2014) - A federal grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will aid Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine in developing national standards in spina bifida care to be used at a population level. The $400,000 five-year grant was awarded through the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities and Division of Human Development and Disability.

Texas Children's and Baylor are the first Texas institutions to participate in the CDC's National Spina Bifida Patient Registry,which collects data to evaluate existing medical care for spina bifida patients. More than 70,000 people in the United States have this birth defect, frequently called the most common of its sort.The grant is designed to collect longitudinal data on children to determine best practices by comparing differences in interventions and outcomes among participating clinics nationwide.

"The focus of this grant is to collect and analyze patient data in order to change clinical practices and develop national standards for treatment of spina bifida to ultimately improve the lives of people with this condition," said Dr. Jonathan Castillo,developmental pediatrician at Texas Children's and assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor.

Two of the principal investigators, Drs. Jonathan Castillo and Heidi Castillo, assistant professor of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at Baylor and Texas Children's, will focus on data collection and analysis. Dr. Chester Koh, director of the Pediatric Robotic Surgery Program at Texas Children's and associate professor of urology at Baylor, and Dr. Patricio Gargollo, director of the Complex Urogenital Reconstruction Program at Texas Children's and associate professor of urology at Baylor, will lead the urologic component of this grant. Along with Dr. William Whitehead,pediatric neurosurgeon at Texas Children's and assistant professor of neurosurgery at Baylor, these surgeons will implement a urologic management protocol for the preservation of renal function in newborns and young children with spina bifida, which will include children who have undergone fetal surgery.

"This not only represents a strong partnership between the Departments of Pediatrics and Surgery at Texas Children's, but is filling a large gap in the state by being the only hospital to join the CDC's National Spina Bifida Patient Registry. We will be a major referral site for patients coming to us for care across the continuum, from prenatal diagnosis and intervention to postnatal care," said Koh.

"The Texas Children's Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine Spina Bifida Clinic is truly a subspecialty-level multidisciplinary practice provided by Dr. Kathryn Ostermaier (Clinical Director, Developmental-behavioral pediatrics), Dr. William E.Whitehead (Neurosurgery), Dr. Andrew H. Jea (Neurosurgery), Dr.Sandi K. Lam (neurosurgery), Dr. Talia Collier (Physical medicine and rehabilitation), Dr. David P. Antekeier (Orthopedics), and Rhonda Amrine (Nursing)," explained Dr. Jonathan Castillo. For more information visit the Spina Bifida Program.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation’s first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.