In 1954, Dr. William Daeschner and Dr. George Clayton began a renal-metabolic clinic. Held every Saturday morning in the Junior League Diagnostic Clinic, the service focused on children with kidney disease, diabetes and metabolic disorders. Today, our program receives over 23,000 clinic visits a year, with more than 2,500 being diabetes evaluations. Specialty areas include thyroid tumors, genetic syndromes, hypopituitarism and metabolic bone disease.
The Diabetes and Endocrine Care Center is ranked as one of the leading programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Medical records from the early 1900s indicated that most diabetic children died of diabetic coma within months of diagnoses. With no known cause, treatment or cure, the disease struck countless thousands of children each year and was an enigma. In the early 1900s the risk of developing diabetes in childhood was higher than that of virtually all other server chronic disease. Hope arrived in 1923 with the use of newly-discovered insulin treatment for pediatric patients. Although not hailed as a cure, insulin injections represented a life-support mechanisms for diabetic patients, including children.
Building on the advancements of the field, Dr. Charles William Daeschner and Dr. George Clayton joined forces in 1954 to open the renal-metabolic clinic at the newly constructed Texas Children’s Hospital. One of the main standouts of the program, was Dr. Daeschner’s unique approach to patient education. Dr. Daeschner felt that children with diabetes should lead a normal life to whatever extent possible, and that education was the way to achieve that goal. A strong believer in the psychological aspect of treatment, he emphasized that over-treating patients might cause them to become psychologically and emotionally dependent. In 1960, Dr. L Leighton Hill, the first renal-metabolic fellow became chief of the department when Dr. Daeschner announced he was leaving for a position at the University of Texas medical Branch in Galveston.
In order to provide quality clinical care for children with diabetes, Hill assembled a team consisting of faculty members, renal fellows, pediatric residents, renal-metabolic nurses and two diabetes educators, who were brought in during the late 1970s. By 1979, the educational program originated by Dr. Daeschner more than two decades earlier had grown beyond recognition. It now included such topics as a general explanation of diabetes, principles of nutrition and nutritional aims, urine testing for sugar and acetone, types of insulin, techniques of insulin administration by injection, goals of therapy, the importance of regular exercise, the management of emergencies, and home blood sugar testing.
In 1984, an education task force led by Hill published two sets of booklets, one for patients and one for parents. The booklets titles Learning to Manage Your Child’s Diabetes debuted in 1984. Soon, orders for the materials came in from across the United States.
By 1993, Dr. Kenneth L. Copeland was named director of the newly named Diabetes Care Center. Building off the groundwork of his predecessors, Dr. Copeland introduced a comprehensive education program where patients and their parents received an initial 10 -15 hours of education focused n self-management of the disease to prevent hospitalization. In 1995, The Diabetes Care Center at Texas Children’s Hospital received credentialing from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), becoming on of the very few pediatric diabetes care centers in the U.S. to be awarded recognition by the ADA in accordance with the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs.
Sixty years after the renal-metabolic clinic first opened, the program was the second-largest clinic at Texas Children’s Hospital.
The Texas Children's Diabetes and Endocrine Care Center is a leader in the research and treatment of children with diabetes and endocrine disorders. The center provides diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of endocrine dysfunctions, including:
- congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- growth hormone deficiency
- precocious puberty
Learn more at texaschildrens.org/diabetes.
Thyroid Tumor Program
In 2012, Texas Children’s Endocrinology Service created the Pediatric Thyroid Tumor Program. Dedicated to improving the care and treatment of children with thyroid tumors, we also seek to set the standard for management and establish evidence-based clinical guidelines. Our team is staffed by a multidisciplinary core team of pediatric endocrinologist, pediatric surgeons, pediatric otolaryngologists/head and neck surgeons, pediatric anesthesiologists, pediatric radiologists, interventional pediatric radiologist, pediatric pathologists and cytopathologists, nurses and patient care coordinators. Despite taking on cases other programs might consider untreatable, we provide the finest possible care for our patients with outcomes among the best in the nation.