Ambassadors for Texas Children’s Hospital is a vibrant group of like-minded individuals who share a commitment to the hospital’s mission. Through active social engagement and generous philanthropic giving, they serve as a strong voice for children and women in need of the most specialized health care available.
Each year, Ambassadors raise significant funds for the hospital’s area of greatest need. Now that Texas Children’s has expanded its world-class care both at the Texas Medical Center campus and in the communities north of Houston, the need for support is greater than ever. That’s why last year, Ambassadors expanded their reach to meet that need with the formation of Ambassadors for Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.
Throughout 2016 and early 2017, Ambassadors have held numerous kick-off events in private homes. Hosts included Candi and Gerald Glenn, Vicki and Michael Richmond, Johnna and Ryan Edone, Tracey and Sean O’Neal, Rachael and Mark Terry, and Carol and Phil Garner. These events raised more than $600,000 for Texas Children’s Hospital.
In addition to raising funds, Ambassadors also participate in a wide array of events, such as Ambassadors On Call luncheons — which feature Texas Children’s experts and offer guests an opportunity to see the hospital’s world-class facilities firsthand — and annual favorites like Family Fun Day and the Holiday Party. Ambassadors also make use of special Navigation Line services for assistance with referrals, appointments, and health and safety information — an invaluable resource for parents and grandparents alike.
Ambassadors celebrate the holidays and Texas Children’s in The Woodlands and Houston
More than 250 revelers gathered at the home of Promise Campaign co-chairs Judy and Glenn Smith for the inaugural Ambassadors for Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands Holiday Party.
Michelle Riley-Brown, executive vice president of Texas Children’s Hospital and president of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, welcomed attendees and shared the success of the new hospital’s outpatient services thus far. Following personal remarks from Glenn Smith, a check for more than $1 million was presented to Riley-Brown on behalf of Ambassadors for Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.
Sarah and Gregg Snyder hosted more than 400 guests at their Houston home for the seventh annual Ambassadors Holiday Party. Promise Campaign co-chairs, Cari and John Griggs, accepted the annual check, which totaled more than $2.1 million, and shared why giving to Texas Children’s is so important.
More than 20 bins of toys, games and art supplies were donated to the Child Life team from the two parties.
Ambassadors On Call Luncheons
Q&A with Texas Children’s Experts
Medical Marijuana: Miracle or Myth?
Dr. Christopher Greeley, Chief, Section of Public Health Pediatrics
As chief of the Section of Public Health Pediatrics, Dr. Greeley works with state and local agencies to study and pilot strategies, interventions and policies directed toward addressing adversity and strengthening resilience for children and their families.
Q: What is a cannabinoid?
A: A cannabinoid is an active substance found in marijuana. The cannabinoid most people are familiar with is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Though THC is the main ingredient in marijuana, there are 60 to 70 other active cannabinoids.
Q: How long have people been using marijuana for medical purposes?
A: Marijuana has been used in treatments of various kinds in many different cultures dating back to Old Testament times. Ancient Chinese writings from 2700 B.C. discuss its healing properties. Egyptians around 1500 B.C. used it for something resembling pinkeye. And Romans documented using it for arthritis pain around 79 A.D.
Q: What are some of the issues hindering medicinal marijuana research?
A: Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it can’t be studied without special government approval. There’s only one legal grower of medicinal marijuana in the country, and that’s the University of Mississippi. So that’s the only place that can guarantee quality control or how much THC is in a dose. This also means that marijuana hasn’t been studied enough. So though there appear to be some interesting benefits, we still just don’t know enough about all of the different cannabinoids in marijuana and their effects on the human body.
Q: If given the opportunity to participate in a medicinal marijuana study, what would be your focus?
A: First, I would research its effectiveness in the treatment of childhood epilepsy and seizures. I think that’s where the biggest potential public health benefit lies to be able to make inroads for children and their families. I also think it would be worth exploring potential benefits for autism.
Social Cruelty, Cyber Citizenship and Building a Community of Connection
Dr. Amy B. Acosta, Adolescent Medicine Section
Dr. Acosta is a licensed psychologist at Texas Children’s and currently provides mental health services through Texas Children’s inpatient clinic. Her clinical specialties include eating disorders, body image concerns, and anxiety and depression, while her academic and research interests focus on bullying, parenting in the digital age and digital wellness.
Q: How do you know when a specific behavior is bullying?
A: What one person perceives as bullying or an act of harassment, another person might not. People’s feelings can be hurt by something that was unintentional, like a joke gone wrong. But the three criteria prevalent in instances of bullying are intentionality, repetition and power imbalance. For example, when we talk about peer victimization, this would be repeated harassment, an imbalance of power in the relationship and the intention to cause harm. And that can be either verbal or nonverbal, and can include exclusion of the victim.
Q: What is cyberbullying?
A: Cyberbullying is harassment that occurs online, and it happens most frequently among peers. One of the biggest differentiators between cyberbullying and in-person bullying is the idea of minimal physical and social cues. When we adults were teens, we were granted an end to the stresses of the day at 3:00 when we went home. There’s this idea that with today’s teens, stress is ongoing and is being broadcast out to a larger complex social network.
Q: Is there a personality type that tends to be more victimized?
A: What we know is that a child who has been bullied is more at risk to bully others. And if you think of that more broadly, that could even mean at home. Maybe the person who’s hurting or bullying a child is a parent or family member. So then that aggression comes with the child to school. And that can have long-term physical and mental health effects. It hurts everybody.
Q: What kinds of health problems can stem from bullying?
A: Obviously bullying can have a negative impact on health, especially over time. It can cause depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues and physical health problems, which of course can all lead to school absences, refusal to go to school and lowered grades.