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Endowment Honors a Daughter’s Legacy and Courageous Battle with Cancer

The Feavel Family

Dave and Michelle Feavel, along with their children Courtney Feavel Collins and Michael Feavel, recently made a transformational gift to fully endow the Global Child Health Residency Program at Texas Children’s Hospital in memory of their daughter, Dr. Kelly DeScioli, who lost her battle with cancer in 2013. In recognition of their generosity, the program will be renamed The Dr. Kelly DeScioli Global Child Health Residency Program.

Kelly was a skilled physician and was selected as one of the top three residents in her class at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). After graduation, she served as a pediatric hospitalist at Texas Children’s and was an associate professor at BCM. She was greatly respected and much loved by everyone who knew her. Kelly was devoted not only to caring for her patients, but also to training residents in the art of bedside communication and compassionate caring.

The unique residency program was established by Texas Children’s Physician-in-Chief Dr. Mark Kline. It enables five residents to spend three years training at Texas Children’s and an additional year on an international assignment in African countries, including Lesotho, Malawi, Botswana, Swaziland and Uganda, as well as in Colombia. Most importantly, it prepares physicians not only to deliver health care, but also to identify and conquer the obstacles to treatment faced by patients and caregivers in underserved communities worldwide.

The new gift will enable Texas Children’s to pay for five residents for their year abroad. “With our gift, we hope that this initiative, dedicated to Kelly’s legacy, can continue to grow and expand to help defeat childhood diseases and cancers by providing young physicians an opportunity to train and practice in these challenging regions of the world,” said Kelly’s father, Dave Feavel.

Dr. Kimberly Farr, who was the first Dr. Kelly DeScioli Global Child Health Resident, spent her training year abroad in Maseru, Lesotho. She described it as the most significant year of her entire residency. Other residents of the program agree and credit this experience with having a dramatic effect on their developing medical careers.

“It was an incredible blessing to serve this population and to have the opportunity to participate in such important work so early in my career,” Farr said. “I was able to expand my physical examination techniques in the absence of the advanced diagnostics that are available here in the U.S., and my critical thinking abilities were strengthened as I worked with patients who had such challenging and complex clinical issues.”

“The Feavels’ gift will help sustain and grow this one-of-a-kind program that provides young physicians with training in global child health,” said Dr. Mark Kline. “Such training is essential to efforts focused on tackling some of the leading killers of children worldwide, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, diarrheal diseases, respiratory diseases and cancer. We are incredibly grateful to the Feavels for this generous gift benefiting some of the poorest and least fortunate children on earth.”

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