Home » Three Texas Children’s physicians named finalists for Houston Business Journal’s Health Care Heroes awards
May 18, 2011 – Texas Children’s Hospital
Drs. Beth Carter, ZoAnn Dreyer and Donald “Will” Parsons of Texas Children’s Hospital are among 24 finalists for Houston Business Journal’s 2011 Health Care Heroes awards. Winners will be announced during a luncheon on Wednesday, May 18 at the Wortham Theater Grand Foyer.
Winners from 11 different categories will be announced following a keynote address from Dr. Richard Wainerdi, president of the Texas Medical Center. Houston Business Journal uses these awards to honor health care professionals who serve, innovate and save lives.
Both Carter and Dreyer are finalists in the “Best Doctor” category and Parsons is a finalist in the “Biomedical” category.
Dr. Beth Carter is a pediatric gastroenterologist at Texas Children’s and an assistant professor of pediatrics – gastroenterology at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). She oversees the care of infants, children and teenagers with liver disease, some of whom may need a liver transplant. She helps bring patients and families through the diagnostic, treatment, listing for transplant and post-liver transplant care process. In addition, since July 2007, Carter has served as the director of Texas Children’s Pediatric Intestinal Rehabilitation Clinic which provides comprehensive and multidisciplinary care to infants with “short bowel syndrome.” The great majority of these patients are former premature infants that have either congenital or surgically-acquired short lengths of intestine and require long-term intravenous nutrition to maintain their growth.
Carter is dedicated to research, education and community volunteerism. Her research has been both lab-based (investigating the molecular causes of a condition called intestinal-failure associated cholestasis) and clinical-based (she serves as the co-investigator in an approved protocol for the delivery of a novel fish-oil based fat preparation to jaundice infants and children).
Dr. ZoAnn Dreyer is a pediatric oncologist, the medical director for Texas Children’s Cancer Center’s Long Term Survivor Program and an associate professor of pediatrics – hematology/oncology at BCM. In this role Dreyer coordinates the care of over 1,200 childhood cancer survivors by closely monitoring them for the delayed – and often unexpected – effects of their prior cancer therapy and optimizes their chances for long-term disease-free survival.
As an expert in acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL) in infants younger than one, Dreyer served as the principal investigator (PI) for an innovative, nationwide treatment protocol for these infants that resulted in dramatically improved survival rates. She is also currently the PI of a new pilot study using intensified asparaginase in patients with high risk ALL.
Dreyer has also played a pivotal role in Camp Periwinkle, a week-long summer camp that provides patients from the Cancer Center, and their siblings, the opportunity to experience the joy of summer camp in a safe and emotionally healing environment. This year will mark the 27th year of camp and Dreyer’s 24th. In addition to being a counselor, she has served as the medical director for the past 18 years.
Dr. Donald “Will” Parsons is a physician-scientist at Texas Children’s Cancer Center and an assistant professor of pediatrics – hematology/oncology at BCM working to revolutionize the care and treatment for children with cancer by sequencing the genetic structure of pediatric tumors. In concert with colleagues at BCM’s Human Genome Sequencing Center, Parsons specializes and is dedicated to the genomic analysis of cancers with a focus on pediatric brain tumors and solid tumors. Utilizing sequencing technologies to identify genetic alterations that may serve as targets for novel diagnostics and therapeutics, his ultimate goal is to provide truly individualized clinical care for pediatric cancer patients.
Along with his colleagues, Parsons’ analysis of medulloblastoma – the most common malignant brain tumor in children and the first pediatric cancer to be sequenced – has resulted in the discovery of numerous mutated genes and genetic pathways that contribute to cancer development. This provides an unprecedented view of the genetic landscape of human cancers and a critical foundation for the development of new cancer treatments. His research has demonstrated that each patient’s cancer is truly unique. Parsons is now working to incorporate this information into the routine clinical care for children at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, making each treatment as unique as the patient’s cancer.
As an international leader in pediatric cancer research and treatment, Texas Children’s Cancer Center is dedicated to providing novel therapies and family-centered care to children from infancy through young adulthood with cancer– from the most common to rare. The Texas Children’s Cancer Center is a joint program of Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine and the pediatric program of BCM’s NCI-designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center. Ranked 5th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, making the Center #1 outside the northeast United States as well as #1 in Texas, Texas Children’s Cancer Center treats more childhood cancer and hematology patients than any other program in the U.S., with patients coming from 35 states and 26 countries around the world. Learn more at txch.org.
Texas Children’s Hospital is committed to a community of healthy children by providing the finest pediatric patient care, education and research. Renowned worldwide for its expertise and breakthrough developments in clinical care and research, Texas Children’s is nationally ranked in all ten subspecialties in U.S.News & World Report’s list of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. Texas Children’s also operates the nation’s largest primary pediatric care network, with more than 40 offices throughout the greater Houston community. Texas Children’s has embarked on a $1.5 billion expansion, Vision 2010, which includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births and Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston. For more information on Texas Children’s Hospital, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news from Texas Children’s Hospital by visiting the online newsroom and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/texaschildrens.