Pediatric pulmonologists at Baylor College of Medicine specialize in acute and chronic breathing and lung conditions and diseases.
Our faculty and fellows see patients with pulmonary disorders that include the following at Texas Children's Hospital and its community health centers:
- Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Interstitial Lung Disease
- Lung Transplantation
- Pulmonary Hypertension
- Respiratory Disorders Associated with MDA
- Sleep Medicine
- Apnea Monitoring
- Sickle Cell in association with pulmonary illnesses
- Life-Threatening Asthma
Our faculty members are involved in the research and clinical studies of pediatric pulmonary conditions, diseases and treatments. Research projects include the study of viral infections after lung transplantation, gene therapy for cystic fibrosis, cystic fibrosis research and treatments for severe asthma.
The Pediatric Pulmonary Section offers a fellowship training program designed to prepare graduates for careers in pediatric pulmonary medicine. Our fellows follow a variety of patients including those seen as consultations in hospital, new outpatient consultations and continuity care patients.
The Pediatric Pulmonology Section was started by Dr. Gunyon M. Harrison at Texas Institute of Rehabilitation and Research and Texas Children's Hospital in the 1950's. Dr. Harrison is well known for his interest in polio and care of patients with respiratory muscle disease. In 1960, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) began to create regional CF centers and selected Baylor College of Medicine as its first recipient of CFF grant for a CF center and named Dr. Harrison as its first medical director. In 1977, Dr. Harrison recommended hiring a young, career driven and dedicated physician, who he had trained and worked with for many years, Dr. Dan K. Seilheimer. Among his activities at TIRR, Dr. Seilheimer served as co-director of the respiratory therapy program, directing the pulmonary function laboratory and working with Dr. Harrison in training pediatric residents and pediatric pulmonary fellows concerning patient management in the respiratory center. Dr. Seilheimer was involved in the development and growth of Texas Children's Respiratory Care Department and in the accreditation of the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Care Center at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital. In 1984, he was appointed Section Head of the Pulmonary Medicine Service at Texas Children's Hospital. Dr. Seilheimer was awarded the Lay Education Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics for his leadership developing The CF Family Education Program. This award-winning comprehensive self-management for patients and families is still in use nationally today.
Through the years, Dr. Seilheimer's dedication and commitment to the care of respiratory patients and their families allowed for the expansion of services and treatment offered to them. Among the physicians that joined the medical staff were Dr. Leland L. Fan and Dr. George B. Mallory, Jr. Both of these physicians brought their knowledge and expertise to the section in the area of pediatric interstitial lung disease and pediatric lung transplantation, respectively. After 25 years of serving the Pediatric Pulmonary Section, Dr. Seilheimer retired in 2009 and handed over the reins to Dr. Peter W. Hiatt. Dr. Hiatt has continued to expand the services of the section and under his direction, the Sleep Medicine Program and the Pulmonary Hypertension Services have grown. We also now offer Aerodigestive, Life-Threatening Asthma, Pulmonary Sickle Cell, Ventilator and Muscular Dystrophy Pulmonary Clinics.
Presently, our section cares for nearly 13,000 patients annually, treating chronic and acute respiratory illnesses, some of which are noted above. We deeply care for these young patients and their families and provide services at Texas Children's Hospital (Houston), West Campus (Katy), and at our Health Centers in Clear Lake, Sugar Land, Cy-Fair, The Woodlands and Kingwood. In the near future, our services will extend to the new Texas Children's Woodlands Hospital. All of these clinics and centers are staffed by pulmonologists and professionals with special expertise in pediatric respiratory care. Today, we have 21 pediatric pulmonologists, two nurse practitioners and eight postdoctoral fellows.