With a $2.8 million commitment to ongoing efforts in pediatric neurology research and treatment, The Blue Bird Circle has once again had a positive impact on the lives of sick children in Houston and around the world.
A Longstanding Relationship
As Houston's oldest women's volunteer organization, The Blue Bird Circle has made a mark once again on the future of pediatric neurology. Their gift builds on a longtime, successful partnership between two of the city's most venerable organizations dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care of children with neurological disorders — The Blue Bird Circle and the treatment clinic that bears its name.
Making Progress Today — and Tomorrow
"Blue Bird contributions will help bring in the very best talent in pediatric neurology and will continue to support the clinic's daily operations," says Mary Kay Coleman, first vice president of membership for The Blue Bird Circle and former clinic chairman.
And the Circle's appreciation for molecular research on tomorrow's treatments distinguishes them among other service organizations focused just on the here and now. For example, the organization's initial backing of the research of Dr. Huda Zoghbi, Director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, played an integral role in Dr. Zoghbi's 1999 discovery of the defective gene that causes Rett syndrome. The Blue Bird Circle's latest donation will undoubtedly help unearth additional groundbreaking discoveries.
About The Blue Bird Circle
Since its founding in 1923, The Blue Bird Circle has contributed more than $20 million in vital funding to Circle philanthropies, and has enriched the community through compassionate service and giving for children with medical needs.
In 1951 The Blue Bird Circle founded The Blue Bird Circle Clinic for Pediatric Neurology at The Methodist Hospital and was its sole source of financial support until 1998, when it affiliated with Texas Children's. Today, it is one of the world's largest pediatric neurology divisions and treatment centers. Over the years, The Blue Bird Circle has contributed over $7 million in vital support to the 18-exam-room clinic that now sees about 12,000 patients each year.
Yet the Circle's commitment extends far beyond financial support. Currently, 40 highly trained volunteer members regularly don their blue smocks and serve as clinic support staff, answering phones and greeting and registering patients. Blue Bird volunteers log more than 5,000 hours a year in administrative assistance — the equivalent of three full-time employees — and help keep the clinic's operating costs to a minimum.
Through grassroots efforts and a singular focus, Blue Bird members have provided sustained support for pediatric neurology, year in and year out — and will continue to do so for years to come.
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