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DePelchin Children’s Center

FALL 2012

Going the Distance: A Marathoner’s Mission Pat Sims, DePelchin’s manager of adoption and post-adoption services, may not seem like a marathon runner at first glance. She doesn’t own multiple pairs of running shoes or wake before dawn each morning to train. Yet, to those who know Sims best, her determination to make a difference—which she’s displayed for more than two decades at DePelchin—calls to mind the die-hard spirit of a marathoner. “We really do make a difference in the lives of children and their families.”

that would ultimately lead her and her husband to adopt three of their four children.

Beyond her belief in DePelchin’s mission, Sims has drawn motivation over the years from a wealth of personal experiences, some from early in her career and many from her role as a mother to four children.

“We had always wanted a large family,” Sims says, “and we decided early on that we would adopt.” Sims’s time at CPS also taught her much about working with children who come from abusive backgrounds and the importance of recognizing their unique needs.

I have always believed in DePelchin. We really do make a difference in the lives of children and their families.


his coming January, Sims will retire from DePelchin after 21 years of dedicated service. Boxing up her running shoes will be difficult she says, but the memories she will take from DePelchin and the legacy she leaves behind are reminders of a race well run.

Mission Driven Remaining at any job for two decades is remarkable by today’s standards. Ask Sims, though, how she managed such a feat, and the answer is clear: belief in DePelchin’s mission. “I have always believed in DePelchin,” she says.

The Starting Line

Sims spent her younger years growing up in West Texas, the middle child in a family of five children. Even as a teenager, Sims was a striver. She was the first in her family to attend college, graduating from Sul Ross State University in 1969 with a degree in business. Though she applied for business jobs right out of college, fate would lead Sims to an entirely different vocation— working at Child Protective Services (CPS). Working at CPS in Odessa, Texas, Sims learned the plight of children in foster care, a discovery

inside 2 From the President 3 DePelchin Joins Texas Medical Center 4 DePelchin Launches New Website 4 Med Students Educate Kids on

Healthy Habits

This knowledge has served Sims well over the years in her work with adoption and postadoption programs at DePelchin.

Joy in the Journey In 1986 Sims and her family relocated from Odessa to Houston, and a few years later she began working at DePelchin. Her first role was in DePelchin’s search and reunion program, which guides adoptees through the process of reconnecting with their biological family. She then moved to a coordinator position and ultimately to her current role as manager of adoption and post-adoption services. All along the way, Sims has maintained her zeal for improving lives. It’s a dedication that has inspired her co-workers and countless others. “Pat is passionate about what she does,” says Joni DeSoto, one of DePelchin’s post-adoption clinicians who has served under Sims for the past 10 years. “Drawing from her own experience as an adoptive mom, Pat is able to empathize with families and connect with them at their level.” Sims has not only used her knowledge and experience to support adoptive families at DePelchin but has also shared her expertise with professionals in the child welfare community both locally and across the U.S. Over the years, continued on page 2

5 Kezia DePelchin Society 5 KDS Member Spotlight: John & Ellen Bass 6 Support the 2012 Holiday Project 6 ’Tis the Season 7 What’s Happening at DePelchin 8 Leave a Legacy

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From the President


he year 2012 has been a year of milestones for DePelchin Children’s Center. We launched 2012 as a “new day” for the organization—one that included new branding, new leadership and new expansions. Over the summer, DePelchin took additional steps forward, including joining the Texas Medical Center as its 52nd member institution. Now, with the holidays fast approaching, we are poised to finish the year strong with our annual Holiday Project and our partnership with the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. The close of this year marks a milestone for me personally as well. In January, I will celebrate one year as president and CEO of DePelchin. My, how time has flown! Though I have only been at DePelchin a short time, I can truly say that I have developed an even greater appreciation for the mission that guides our great organization. It’s a mission that has carried DePelchin forward for more than 120 years and one I see lived out daily through the work of our dedicated staff. I am proud to work alongside individuals who are so passionate about improving the lives of children. I am also encouraged by the generous support so many of you provide our organization. Through your help, we can continue to turn lives around. Sincerely,

Jenifer Jarriel President and CEO

Going the Distance: A Marathoner’s Mission continued

she has contributed to the development of trainings on post-adoption topics that have greatly aided those in the child welfare field. “I have learned so much from Pat,” says DeJuana Jernigan, DePelchin’s director of child welfare services. “She is passionate about preserving families and is always looking for ways to equip and support them. As Pat often says, ‘Adoption is not an event, it is a lifelong journey.’”

A Hilltop View Sims’s time at DePelchin has been its own journey, one with highs and lows and a good bit of change. Over the past two decades,

DePelchin Children’s Center Board of Directors Officers of the Board Pamela Lovett, Chairman Charles D. Powell, Chairman-elect Susan Distefano, Secretary Debbi M. Johnstone, Past Chairman

Sims has witnessed the growth of DePelchin’s programs and their impact in the Greater Houston community. While she has observed many milestones over the years, one significant milestone she recalls is DePelchin’s entrance into the field of mental health in the early ‘90s. Today, Sims says, DePelchin’s ability to provide a full range of mental health services in tandem with foster care and adoption services is invaluable in meeting the needs of children and families. “DePelchin’s programs now serve the entire spectrum of children,” she says. “Having so many specialties under one roof allows us to pursue the best outcomes for the children in our care.”

Ginni Mithoff John S. Moody, Jr. Pat G. Powers M. Gayle Rolland Mary Eliza Shaper Lisa Stone H. Richard Walton Janeana White-Lewis, M.D. Geraldina Interiano Wise Don M. Woo

Board Members John C. Bass Efrain Bleiberg, M.D. Sean G. Boutros, M.D. Pam Brasseux Steve Cherek Nancy I. Cook, Ph.D. Sue Nan Cutsinger Laurie Dorfman Anne S. Duncan Karey Dubiel Dye Henry S. Florsheim Kay Forbes Terry Gebert Gerald Gehm M. James Henderson Hannah McNair

Foundation and Trust for DePelchin Children’s Center Board of Directors Jesse H. Jones II, Chairman Nancy Kinder Susan L. Lawhon Rahul Mehta Bob Paddock John E. Stokes Charles Szalkowski Harper B. Trammell

The Home Stretch As Sims enters the last leg of her marathon at DePelchin, she reflects on the many years she’s devoted to the organization. “I’m really going to miss this place,” she says, emotion thick in her voice. “My hope, though, is that those who come after me will keep moving DePelchin forward.” Sims adds that as long as DePelchin remains flexible to change and focused on its mission, the organization will continue to make great strides. For Sims, her marathon has now become a relay. She’s ready to pass the baton.

DePelchin Psychiatric Services Board of Directors Albert C. Hergenroeder, M.D., Chairman Efrain Bleiberg, M.D. Matthew Brams, M.D. James S. Ezelle, Jr., M.D. Lindy Upton Mcgee, M.D. Manuel Ramirez, M.D.

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DePelchin Joins Texas Medical Center In June, DePelchin Children’s Center proudly took rank as the 52nd member institution of the Texas Medical Center. Approved by the Texas Medical Center board of directors, DePelchin joined the medical center’s growing network of hospitals and health care institutions, which collectively see more than 7 million patient visits each year.


he Texas Medical Center is pleased to welcome DePelchin Children’s Center as a member institution,” says David Underwood, chairman of the Texas Medical Center board of directors. “The services DePelchin offers to the community add much to the richness of what our members add to our community, our region and, in fact, the world.” Jenifer Jarriel, president and CEO of DePelchin, likewise expresses enthusiasm over the new partnership. “The Texas Medical Center is world-renowned for its high-quality health care, and as a leader in the field of children’s mental health, DePelchin is honored to be recognized as one of its member institutions.” Jarriel believes the new collaboration will also strengthen DePelchin’s endeavor to create a holistic vision of health—one that recognizes both the physical and the emotional aspects of a child’s health. “It takes an entire community to effect real change,” she says. “Partnering with the medical center is yet another step in our mission to bridge the gap between primary health care and mental health care.”

The Texas Medical Center welcomes DePelchin as a new member institution at a luncheon held in September. Pictured from left: Richard Wainerdi, Ph.D., Texas Medical Center president emeritus; David Underwood, chairman of Texas Medical Center board of directors; Pam Lovett, chairman of DePelchin board of directors; Jenifer Jarriel, DePelchin president and CEO. Photo by Agapito Sanchez

The services DePelchin offers to the community add much to the richness of what our members add to our community, our region and, in fact, the world.

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DePelchin Launches New Website In August, DePelchin capped off a year-long rebranding process with the launch of a new website. The redesigned site showcases the new look and feel of the DePelchin brand, offers greater functionality and features new ways for site users to engage with the organization.


t’s a new day for DePelchin—and for our website,” says Mary Kristen Valentine, DePelchin’s director of marketing. “We hope the new site not only reflects the quality and expertise of our organization but also proves helpful to those seeking to learn more about our services.” Along with a revitalized look and feel, the site features dynamic content and a focus on social media, including a new blog.

“It’s important that as DePelchin’s presence in the community expands, its presence online also expands,” says Peggy Roe, DePelchin’s senior vice president of advancement. “I believe the new site will help us accomplish this goal.”

We hope the new site not only reflects the quality and expertise of our organization but also proves helpful to those seeking to learn more about our services.

Med Students Educate Kids on Healthy Habits

Over the summer, a group of University of Texas medical students hosted an eight-week program at DePelchin aimed at teaching kids the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.


ed by third-year medical students Stephen Herrmann and Veena Deverajean, the group of volunteers conducted weekly lessons and activities on a range of health topics, including nutrition, diet, exercise and the effects of alcohol and tobacco abuse. Herrmann and Deverajean say one of the main goals of the program was to spark interest in the kids to think more about the importance of diet and exercise. “We hope the kids learned that physical activity and healthy eating can actually be fun,” Deverajean says. “Many people don’t think about diet and exercise till later in their lives, but it’s something you’re never too young to start doing.”

As part of encouraging the kids to pursue healthy habits, the UT students also challenged the kids to plant and cultivate their own vegetable garden at DePelchin. “We thought it was a great way for the kids to learn about nutrition as well as personal responsibility,” Deverajean says. Herrmann, who received funding for the program from the Texas Medical Association (TMA) Foundation, says he hopes to bring the program back to DePelchin in the spring. “The program was a rewarding experience for us, and we look forward to doing it again.”

We hope the kids learned that physical activity and healthy eating can actually be fun.

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Kezia DePelchin Society Orphaned as a child, Kezia Payne DePelchin felt called by her faith to care for Houston’s children in need. A century later, Kezia’s passion to serve children inspired the formation of a society named in her honor— the “Kezia DePelchin Society.” With a strong philanthropic compass and a hopeful vision for the Houston community, members of the Kezia DePelchin Society (KDS) generously contribute their time and treasure in support of Kezia’s mission.


hen Kezia DePelchin opened her home for children in 1892, she said, “I suppose I will have to call it my ‘Faith Home.’ I’m entirely dependent on my faith in God and the good people of Houston to support it.” Kezia died in 1893 shortly after opening her “Faith Home,” but the community continued to support her mission to serve Houston’s children. Today, Kezia’s small “Faith Home” is now DePelchin Children’s Center, the largest and most comprehensive provider of children’s mental health, foster care and adoption services in Texas. The continued support of the “good people of Houston” is reflected in the thousands of children and families whom DePelchin is able to serve each year.

Kezia DePelchin Society Members Lifetime

Anonymous Mr. and Mrs. Edward R. Allen III Cynthia and Michael Barrett* Rachel and Sean Boutros* Jeanne and Jay Chaffee E. Lane Coco, Ph.D. Kay and Harris Forbes Helen and Terry Gebert* Diana and Russell Hawkins Peggy and Mark Heeg Jennifer and Wesley Kern* Lora Jean Kilroy Nancy and Rich Kinder Janice and Bob McNair Bobbie and John Nau* Betsy and Chuck Powell* Pat and Tom Powers* Leslie and Abbott Sprague* Pamela and Ronald Sterlekar Jane and Charles Szalkowski* Ann G. Trammell* * Denotes an additional gift was made in 2011 to KDS beyond a Lifetime membership.


Members of KDS support DePelchin’s mission through their financial gifts, volunteer efforts and awareness of children’s mental health issues. Whether underwriting the cost of a mental health professional or donating tickets to an Astros game, society members’ involvement helps bridge the gap between challenging needs and exceptional services. To become a member or learn more about the Kezia DePelchin Society, please visit KDS Levels of Giving/Support: $25,000 Lifetime Member* $5,000 Benefactor $2,500 Patron $1,250 Friend * Lifetime memberships may be paid over a period of one to five years.

Anonymous Sue Nan and Rod Cutsinger Debbi M. Johnstone and Carlos Holguin Melissa and Steven Kean Gay and Richard Lydecker Louis E. Magne Robin and Kurt Stratmann


Joan and Stanford Alexander Susan and Ignatius Distefano Karey and Phillip Dye Katheryn and Miles Harper Mary and Jim Henderson Elise and Russell Joseph Ginni and Richard Mithoff Arlene and Ken Nelson Gayle M. Rettig, Ph.D. Marie and Bill Saltmer Jennifer Waldner Carol and Rich Walton


Julie and Drew Alexander Kim and Kent Altsuler Ellen and John Bass Mari and Bret Bosker Cecily and Rick Burleson Mary Ann Carrico Lea and Steve Cherek Nancy I. Cook, Ph.D. Andrea and Bob Crawmer Amy and Kevan Croghan Anne and Charles Duncan Mary and Stephen Dyer Ann Eutsler Cheri and Jim Flores Doe and Henry Florsheim Maureen and Jim Hackett Merrill and Joe Hafner Nancy and Bob Hartman Carrie and Howard Horne Gwendolyn A. Huskey Jenifer and Scott Jarriel Amy and Scot W. Johnson Jesse H. Jones II Amy and Paul Lampi Sara and Jim Ledbetter Jo Ann and Gary Levering Pam and Edgar Lovett Margot and Jon Madsen Flo and Bill McGee SuEllen and Curtis C. Mooney Sara and Bill Morgan Roxann and Tim Neumann Carol Ann and Bob Paddock Anne Peebles Angela and Stewart Pisecco Peggy and Jeff Pugh Lynn and Bill Rafferty Wanda Woody-Roberts and Mark Roberts Peggy Roe Mary Eliza and Park Shaper Barbara and Louis Sklar Erin and Jason Smith Sara Dodd and Keith Spickelmeier John E. Stokes Mary Kristen and David Valentine Geraldina and Scott Wise

KDS Member Spotlight: John & Ellen Bass Interview with Ellen Bass Why do you support DePelchin Children’s Center? There is a significant need for the specialized support services that DePelchin provides to the children and families of our community. In addition to its core mission and comprehensive program offering, DePelchin has always attracted us because of its organizational integrity and the quality of its people. DePelchin has a tremendous reputation and track record that positions it well to fulfill our obligation to keep the children in our community safe and healthy.

Why did you choose to become members of KDS? Since the time Kezia DePelchin established what is now DePelchin Children’s Center, the organization has relied on support from members of the community who wanted to

actively participate in the effort to care for children in need. By joining the Kezia DePelchin Society, we have been able to network with other like-minded individuals concerned with the next generation currently growing up in the Greater Houston area. Additionally, we enjoy the Parenting with the Pros speaker series and always come away with new ideas that we are often able to apply to our own family situations.

Are you involved in supporting DePelchin in other ways? DePelchin offers all of us many different ways to get involved. In addition to the Kezia DePelchin Society, we have had the opportunity to engage in a variety of volunteer activities, including Board activities and Kezia’s Kids, DePelchin’s women’s organization. Other projects offer ways to include family and friends, such as the financial literacy effort, sponsoring a child or a family during the Holiday Project, and many others.

Tell us about your family. What are your favorite things to do together? We have three children ages 16, 14 and 11; much of our focus is on their needs and the demands of their activities. As a family, we enjoy traveling and time outdoors, away from busy schedules. Volunteerism is also something we try to incorporate into our time together.

What does your family most look forward to around the holiday season? Time with family, for sure. But it would not be the holiday season without participation in the Holiday Project at DePelchin! Each of our children sponsors and shops for a child on the list. It is always a challenge to fit in the shopping trip where all three can go together, but it becomes their favorite memory each year. Fighting about where to go, what to buy and the budget is a great way for each of them to take some ownership and show their independence. This past year we took our delivery to DePelchin’s Donation Station and spent time packaging the gifts. It was an incredible operation and by far the kids’ favorite part of the project. We look forward to this event each year.

How do you incorporate giving into your holiday traditions? One of the most important lessons we would like to teach our children is the importance of giving and community service, particularly giving during the holiday season. Looking back at the example Kezia DePelchin set by sacrificing her time and resources to care for needy children, we have a great role model to show our children. It is our hope that they will grow and develop into adults who will give back to those in need in their community, leaving it a better place for those who will follow. That is such an important message for the holiday season that should carry on throughout the year.

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Support the 2012 Holiday Project The holidays are fast approaching! We invite you to make a dream come true for a child this year by participating in the annual DePelchin Children’s Center Holiday Project. Last year, generous donors fulfilled the holiday wishes of more than 1,300 children. We anticipate that even more children will be in need of your help this year. You can make this dream come true for DePelchin’s children in three ways: • Sponsor a child by providing items on his or her wish list. Please visit to add your name to our list of sponsors. We will contact you via email as soon as the children’s wish lists are available. (Average cost to fulfill a child’s wish list is $100-$150. Gift cards of any denomination are also appreciated.) • Host a toy drive. Collect toys by organizing a toy drive with your friends, social club, church or office. We have featured a list on our website of the children’s most needed and most wishedfor items. • Make a cash donation. DePelchin will use your donation to purchase gifts or needed items for the children. You may make a donation online at holidayproject.depelchin. org or mail your contribution to 4950 Memorial Drive Houston, Texas 77007, Attention: Holiday Project. For more information, please contact Jennifer Hankins, DePelchin Holiday Project Coordinator, at (713) 802-7724 or On behalf of all of the children and families whose holidays will be brighter through your gifts of time and treasure, we thank you!

‘Tis the Season


is the time to be jolly if you’re a college football fan: Bowl season is almost here! If you’re a football fan living in Greater Houston, times are looking up as well. This December, you can experience the thrill of bowl season right here in town at the 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. Come watch teams from the Big 12 and Big Ten square off in what is sure to be a hard-hitting holiday classic. DePelchin Children’s Center is honored to be the official charitable beneficiary of the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas and will again host both bowl teams at its main campus prior to the big game. This year’s game kicks off at 8 p.m. on December 28 at Reliant Stadium and will air live on ESPN. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

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What’s Happening at DePelchin Friends Members Help Families Kickstart School Year Adoptive families from DePelchin got a running start on the new school year thanks to the energetic members of Friends of DePelchin, DePelchin’s young professionals group. On August 11, more than 30 Friends members teamed up with DePelchin’s adoption staff to host a back-to-school field day for children adopted through DePelchin and their families. Held at DePelchin’s main campus, the event featured a slew of activities—from potato-sack racing to face-painting—a scrumptious lunch, and free school supplies for each family. “We wanted the kids to start off the school year on a high note,” says Julia Taliaferro, who leads DePelchin’s young professionals. “Judging by all the smiles I saw, I think we accomplished our goal.”

Camp Brings Financial Know-how to DePelchin Youths Over the summer, a number of DePelchin youths participated in a week-long financial camp aimed at increasing their knowledge of basic personal finance and entrepreneurship. Piloted by DePelchin, One Voice Texas, Energy Capital Credit Union and the Alliance for Economic Inclusion, the program targeted youths in foster care and residential treatment who will ultimately age out of foster care at 18 and face making financial decisions on their own. Topics ranged from how to create a budget to understanding credit to how to save for the long term. “Money is something we all can relate to,” says Ricardo Yepez, a representative from Energy Capital Credit Union, who led daily sessions at the camp. “My hope is that the knowledge these kids gained will give them the confidence they need to become self-sustaining.” Along with learning financial basics, participants had the chance to experience entrepreneurship first hand. With the help of Houston-based ARTreach, the youths in attendance designed custom t-shirts which they marketed and sold to DePelchin staffers the final day of camp.

Bike Build Benefits DePelchin Spirits are riding high at DePelchin’s Elkins Residential Treatment Center thanks to the generosity of Shell Oil and Impact 4 Good, a firm that facilitates corporate team-building. In September, Impact 4 Good hosted a team-building event for more than 140 Shell engineers that included — among other activities — building bikes for children residing at DePelchin. “It was quite a sight,” says Debbie Gregg, DePelchin’s manager of volunteer services and community engagement, who attended the event. “Watching a roomful of engineers team up to build bicycles isn’t something you see every day.” At the end of the bike-building challenge, Shell presented 26 assembled bicycles along with protective helmets to a group of children from DePelchin. “We are so grateful to Shell and Impact 4 Good for the bicycles,” Gregg says. “I know they will prove both fun and therapeutic for our kids.”

DePelchin Children’s Center

Non-Profit Org. US Postage PAID Houston, TX Permit No. 3601

4950 Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas 77007

Leave a Legacy


ou can help future generations benefit from DePelchin’s services by including us in your will. It is an easy step that brings happiness to countless children and their families. The official legal bequest language is: “I give the sum of $______ in cash (or “I give____% of the residue of my estate”) to the Foundation for DePelchin Children’s Center to be used for its charitable purposes.” If DePelchin is already included in your giving plans, please let us hear from you. Contact Mari Bosker at 713-802-7648 or and let us know about your generous intentions. We are interested in your story!

Our Vision

We envision a world in which every child is safe and healthy.

Our Mission

We strengthen the lives of children by enhancing their mental health and physical well-being. DePelchin Children’s Center is committed to meeting the needs of children as one of the largest providers of mental health, foster care and adoption services in Texas. Through its clinical expertise and special brand of caring, DePelchin turns lives around, providing a full continuum of care including psychiatric services, counseling, residential treatment, programs for at-risk youths, parent education, foster care and adoption. DePelchin is a not-for-profit organization and gratefully receives its support from individuals, foundations and corporations; government grants and fees; and United Way agencies. Visit to learn more. Today is published by DePelchin Children’s Center. Copyright 2012 DePelchin Children’s Center. All rights reserved. Peggy Roe – Senior Vice President, Advancement Mary Kristen Valentine – Director, Marketing and Public Relations Joshua Di Napoli – Writer, Photography

Follow Us On Facebook and Twitter! Are you on Facebook? Do you Tweet? Join our Facebook group or follow our tweets on Twitter, and you can stay in touch about recent news and events at DePelchin. We would love to be connected to you. Become a member of our Facebook group and invite your friends to join at and follow us on Twitter at

Today Newsletter - Fall 2012  

Today is a semi-annual publication featuring important news about DePelchin Children's Center as well as touching stories about the lives we...

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