What: “Elevated Connections”
Where: Betula Aspen and Ajax Tavern — Aspen, Colorado
The scoop: As crisp and cool Colorado is all the rage for summer-vacationing Houstonians, some of Houston’s elite gathered in majestic Aspen for “Elevated Connections,” a pair of cocktail and brunch events hosted by Houston-based Memorial Hermann Foundation, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, and UTHealth. The events connected hospital donors, leaders, and friends at this mountain-dotted, favorite summertime destination.
Chaired by Houston philanthropists Melissa Juneau and Hallie Vanderhider, the evening reception held at the outdoor patio of chic Betula Aspen brought together a notable group of hospital donors from Houston and beyond to hear from leading physicians on the innovative work being done at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.
“I am excited about the innovative work happening across the Memorial Hermann system and want to highlight the outstanding work at Children’s Memorial Hermann,” said Dr. David Callender, president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System. “Innovative, top tier care is being provided for children and families at Memorial Hermann. It would not be possible without the support of generous donors such as those gathered here tonight, so please accept our thanks.”
Callender then teased some “breakthrough” techniques in pediatric heart surgery taking place at Children’s Memorial Hermann, and introduced Dr. Jorge Salazar, noted professor and chief of pediatric cardiovascular surgery at Children’s Memorial Hermann and the McGovern Distinguished Chair at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.
Salazar revealed Children’s Memorial Hermann’s groundbreaking techniques to aid children born with half a heart, called a single-ventricle heart. Conventional treatments, he explained, means life expectancy can be shorter for these patients.
However, new techniques restructure the entire inside of the heart for said patients, which significantly improve outcomes.
The acclaimed and respected Salazar then shared the story of a four-year-old boy named Mason, who was able to water ski with his father six weeks after his heart surgery.
“We are committed to changing the world for children and families enduring these complex heart cases — and we are just getting started,” Salazar said. “We are committed to innovating and improving year after year.”
After the program, guests mingled and enjoyed signature cocktails and tapas. Attendees of the evening event were also invited to a brunch the following morning at Ajax Tavern; the event included complimentary gondola rides to the top of scenic Ajax Mountain.
Who: Valerie and Tracy Dieterich; Eliza and John Duncan; Geraldina and Scott Wise; Lesha and Tom Elsenbrook; Elizabeth and Will Galtney; April and Wells McGee; Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell; Fady Armanious and Bill Baldwin; Anne Neeson; Janet Clark; Leslie and Jack Blanton; Beth and Nick Zdeblick; Stacy and Jason Johnson; Lisa and Jerry Simon; Sherry and Jim Smith; Nina and Edd Hendee; Tony Bradfield; Estela Cockrell; Leigh and Reggie Smith; Kathryn and Chris Gillman; Dr. Mary Aitken; Dr. Sean Blackwell, and Dr. Kevin Lally.