St. David's HealthCare - January 25, 2022

How St. David’s HealthCare employees navigated a challenging 2021

St. David’s HealthCare President and CEO David Huffstutler recalls how employees rose to the challenge to care for our community in 2021.

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St. David’s Medical Center: Portraits of Austin’s essential women workers

Martha Dodds, a nurse on the maternal and neonatal transport team at St. David’s Medical Center, was featured in a mural highlighting essential women workers in Austin. Martha has been a nurse at St. David’s Medical Center for more than 30 years, and she has demonstrated exemplary care and compassion to all of her patients each and every day. 

The mural, titled “Essentials: Portraits of Austin’s Essential Women Workers,” is part of a series by artist Sarah Wilson that can be spotted throughout the city. The series was made possible through the city’s “Arts Responders” program run by the Dougherty Arts Center. 

Sarah shared with KXAN, “My heart has grown many times over just meeting these people and working with them and hoping to kind of remind them and to remind us of all of the people that are working so hard that maybe aren’t getting the ‘thank you’ that they deserve.” 

This mural of Martha can be found at 900 South 1st Street. A picture of the mural is below.


St. David’s South Austin Medical Center: The incredible story of Jennifer and Ryan Smith

Jennifer Smith was a stay-at-home mom of three when her husband, Ryan, was diagnosed with leukemia. Now, she works as a nurse at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center in the same unit where he was treated.



St. David’s Georgetown Hospital: Stage 4 brain cancer patient survives COVID-19

Melissa Keltch is an immunocompromised diabetic and Stage 4 brain cancer patient who had a life-threatening experience with COVID-19. One week after her symptoms first appeared in September of 2021, she had extreme difficulty breathing and was rushed to the emergency department at St. David’s Georgetown Hospital. There, it was discovered that her blood oxygen saturation level was down to 73%. (Average levels are typically 95-100%.) At the hospital, she passed out from lack of oxygen and woke up seven days later in the ICU on a ventilator.

As someone who had just finished a round of radiation and is prone to strokes, Melissa was not expecting to survive her complications from COVID-19. However, after being admitted to St. David’s Georgetown Hospital, she was introduced to pulmonologist Dr. Dominic DeKeratry and instantly felt comforted and confident in his care. Melissa is still going through pulmonary rehab, and she is grateful to Dr. DeKeratry and thanks him for his attentiveness and commitment to her recovery.


St. David’s Children’s Hospital: Celebrating seven years

On December 3, 2021, St. David’s Children’s Hospital, on the campus of St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, celebrated seven years of providing excellent pediatric emergency, inpatient and intensive care services. 

The facility boasts a 10-bed emergency department, 10-bed medical-surgical inpatient unit and 6-bed pediatric intensive care unit. St. David’s Children’s Hospital offers a wide range of services including pediatric surgery, anesthesia and radiology, as well as specialties available for consult and treatments including general surgery, craniofacial and plastic surgery, orthopedics, neurology, neurosurgery, urology and cardiology, among others. The facility is staffed with pediatric emergency physicians, pediatric hospitalists, intensivists and other specialists expressly trained to care for children, as well as certified child-life specialists. 

The hospital’s robust child-life program provides opportunities for patients to engage in play and pet therapy, to make them feel more at home during their stay. The Central Texas community–including the Austin Police Department’s Operation Blue Santa and the Texas State Guard–continues to show support through toy donations and special experiences for patients. 

With the addition of pediatrics in December 2014, St. David’s North Austin Medical Center was the first hospital in the region to offer a complete continuum of care for people of all ages. Pediatric services are available to patients under the age of 17.

Heart Hospital of Austin: A renewed sense of hope

80-year-old Ray got to spend another holiday with his family after Dr. John Moscona repaired a leaky mitral valve in his heart. 



 St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center: Unveiling the interventional neurology suite

After four years of research and development, St. David's Round Rock Medical Center unveiled a new interventional neurology suite in November 2021, built with state-of-the-art technology for stroke patients. 

The suite includes capabilities for cardiology and neurology catheterization—the insertion of small hollow tubes into a patient's blood vessels. A biplane imaging system allows physicians to take 3D images of the brain and other anatomy, and navigate special catheters into the blood vessels of the brain to remove clots causing stroke. This helps to provide a faster stroke response and comprehensive treatment for patients. It also provides better imaging quality of other parts of the anatomy to allow the best care overall for patients.