By Kathy W. Isdale
As the daughter of a physician in general practice in Southern California and a mom who has always been a giver, Dr. Carol J. Baker has understood the notion of giving to others since her earliest childhood. When she came to Houston and Texas Children's Hospital, she learned what a huge impact that outlook can have when it's actively shared by a whole community.
A Distinguished Alumna of Baylor College of Medicine who headed the Infectious Diseases Section of Baylor's Department of Pediatrics for 25 years, Dr. Baker specializes in vaccinology and immunizations at Texas Children's and chairs the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. She has regularly supported Texas Children's for most of her over 40-year career.
She relates that, not long after beginning studies at Baylor College of Medicine, she heard the story of how the hospital was conceived and built-the saga of so many dedicated Houstonians coming together to raise the money to build a hospital in just a few years.
"I was fascinated by that story," she says. "I thought, coming from Los Angeles, you could no more raise that much money that quickly than you could fly yourself to the moon. But this is quite a unique place, and Texas Children's and the Texas Medical Center are a real tribute to the people who live in this town."
Dr. Baker has received many awards, honors and professional appointments that have enabled her to have a real impact in the fields of infectious diseases, vaccinology and immunization.
"Texas Children's has given me so many wonderful opportunities as a physician," she says. "I went to school forever and was nearly 35 years old before I made enough money to have to pay income tax—it's just a blessing to have the wherewithal to give."