Our mission is to encourage and unite children and their families affected by skin disease and birthmarks by providing opportunities for social, emotional and spiritual support.
One study compared the health-related quality of life for children with chronic skin conditions to other chronic diseases of childhood including diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, kidney disease and cystic fibrosis. Chronic skin disease was ranked second compared to cerebral palsy in regards to impairment of quality of life.
We at A Children’s House for the Soul want to help re-write this story by bringing together individuals with similar struggles around facilitated activities and discussions that will help them feel connected, validated and understood. We hope to encourage and inspire our program participants with the knowledge and confidence to face these challenges with acceptance, positive awareness and coping strategies that will lead to empowerment and advocacy.
What are the roots of A Children’s House for the Soul?
In 2010, Dr. Alanna Bree was a successful pediatric dermatologist when she heard four unmistakable words from God. Stunned, and with only a mustard seed of faith, she listened as God’s plans began to unfold in her life while fulfilling His mission of hope and healing.
A Children’s House is the miraculous true journey of how one doctor risked everything to follow a calling—with a passion to positively impact the lives of children and teens around the world who are affected by skin disease and birthmarks.
Board of Directors
Alanna F. Bree, MD, FAAD, is the Founder and Executive Director of A Children’s House for the Soul, Inc. She serves as the President for our Board of Directors. She is a board certified Pediatric Dermatologist and Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. She is also the owner and solo physician of A Children’s House for Pediatric Dermatology.
Dr. Bree graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, IL. She completed her residency training in Dermatology at Saint Louis University, with fellowship training in Pediatric Dermatology at Northwestern University/Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL. She is board certified in Dermatology and Pediatric Dermatology through the American Board of Dermatology. Her special interests in pediatric dermatology include pediatric dermatologic surgery & laser treatments, birthmarks, and genetic skin diseases, as well as the social, emotional and spiritual impact of skin disease.
Dr. Bree has been actively involved in the American Academy of Dermatology and Society for Pediatric Dermatology where she has participated in several leadership roles & given many nationally invited lectures. She has been involved in national and international pediatric dermatology research, has several scientific publications and is co-author of The Illustrated Manual of Pediatric Dermatology. She is one of the medical directors of Camp Dermadillo, a member of the AAD Camp Discovery program, held each summer at Camp For All in Burton, TX. She is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Council for the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias and has been co-chair for the Dermatology Advisory Group for the World Health Organization.
Additionally, she is actively involved in her community, both locally and globally. She is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church Downtown where she is the co-chair of the Missions Ministry Action Team and a member of the Health Cabinet. She is also a Girl Scout co-leader and a member of National Charity League. She has participated in several short-term mission trips to Nicaragua, Guatemala, Kenya and Tanzania. She is also the wife to her medical school sweetheart, Doug, who is an interventional cardiologist at Methodist Hospital, and she is mom to two busy teens, Sam and Kendyl, who she adores. Most importantly, she desires to live out her faith each and every day by sharing the love and compassion of Jesus through helping others with her God-given gifts and talents.
Dr. Alana A. Kennedy-Nasser, MD
Alana Kennedy-Nasser, MD, well known as Dr. Alana, is the founder of purePEDIATRICS. Her goal is to change the way children, adolescents and young adults receive medical care through personalized medicine, integrative wellness and a healthy dose of prevention. She has vast experience in all aspects of pediatric care, from healthy newborns to the most complicated and chronically ill children.
Dr. Alana holds a BA in Broadcast Journalism from SMU and earned her MD from the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. She completed her Pediatrics residency at Tulane University and completed her Pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellowship at Texas Children’s Hospital. While she is, double board certified in Pediatrics & Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, her primary passion is the prevention and early recognition of disease.
Prior to private practice, Dr. Alana was an Assistant Professor on the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Texas Children’s Hospital for five years. This experience gave her tremendous insight into the care of chronically ill and immunocompromised children, as well as acknowledging the importance of prevention.
In her spare time, she has completed the Boston Marathon and multiple Ironman triathlons, including the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. Dr. Alana is a mother to four amazing children, from elementary age through college. She and her husband, Dr. Dean Nasser, a pulmonologist, have called Houston home for over 12 years. In addition to authoring or co-authoring over 15 publications, Dr. Alana has been named a Texas Rising Star in 2012 and 2014 and a Super Doctor by Texas Monthly Magazine in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Susan M. Hamm was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, and spent her formative years as a US Naval dependent moving throughout the United States. She has a B.A. in Marketing from The University of South Florida. She currently resides in Spring, Texas, and is the Vice President of Operations for Oz Gas Corporation. She is also actively involved in her community as a volunteer. She serves as the Family to Family Network Liaison for the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias (NFED) and was the National Family Conference Chairperson in 2013. She has also spearheaded the Zach Hamm’s Don’t Sweat It Golf Classic as the Co-Chair from 2008-2012 which has raised over $150,000 benefitting the NFED. She is additionally a committee member for the Klein ISD Collaborative Action Network with Lone Star College and was the PTO President for Doerre Intermediate School. She has received the Klein ISD Friend of Freedom Award and was recognized as the Volunteer of the Month. She is married to Paul and is a dedicated mother to her son, Zach, who is affected with ectodermal dysplasia, as well as being an honor student at St. Thomas High School and a nationally recognized golfer. She enjoys painting and traveling in her spare time.
Margaret T. Hirsch, RN, was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and currently resides in Houston with her husband, Kevin. She is the proud mother of her two grown children- a daughter, Haley, who is a cosmetologist and resides in California and a son, Jimmy, who followed in her footsteps and is a nurse at Texas Children’s Hospital. Margaret obtained her B.S. in Nursing at the University of Houston and serves as the Nurse Coordinator for the Dermatology Clinic at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH). She has served as the President of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Dermatology Nurses Association (DNA). She has given many nationally invited lectures, has several peer-reviewed publications and has participated in several national studies as a study coordinator. She is a course instructor for the Phototherapy Fundamentals Workshop through the DNA and has been a member of the Amgen Speakers Bureau. She has received many awards for her work including Nurse of the Year from Texas Children’s Hospital, the Anthony J Jannetti Dermatology Nurse Practice Award from the DNA and was a finalist in the Houston Chronicle’s Salute to Nurses. She is an active volunteer in her community and has assisted at the American Red Cross and has also served as a Blood Drive Committee member at Unity Church. She has also helped organize TCH’s Don’t Fry Day event from 2010-2015. She enjoys serving on the Leadership Team and directing the medical team for Camp Dermadillo, which is a national camp program for children and teens with life-altering skin conditions supported by the American Academy of Dermatology and Texas Children’s Hospital. Seeing the positive impact of the Camp on the campers is a highlight for her each year. Her hobbies include gardening, reading and spending time with her large extended family.
Kathy Krueger grew up and lived in Colorado Springs before marrying her husband, Dan Krueger. They spent almost 30 years moving and traveling around the USA and world, while he served in the US Army, before finally settling in Houston in 2010. She has a Bachelors Degree from the University of Memphis in public relations, with an emphasis in non-profit communications and fundraising, and she brings to our organization a wealth of knowledge and experience. While at the University of Memphis, she won a National PRSA Award for Ethics Writing. As owner of KKrueger Communications, she prepared communication plans based on broad strategic goals.
Karen Schescke, RN, is the Secretary of our Board of Directors. She was born in Nebraska and lived in Colorado and Missouri as a child. She attended college in Springfield, Missouri, and obtained her RN from the Burge School of Nursing at Drury College. She moved to Houston in 1981 to work in the Texas Medical Center. She started working for Medical Center Endoscopy in 2001 and serves as the Chief Operating Officer and Director of Nursing. She is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church Downtown and is involved in the Stephen’s Ministry and the Missions Ministry Action Team. She also serves on the Temple Terrace Property Owners Association Board of Directors. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and spending time with friends and family.
Dr. John Cangelosi
Dr. John Cangelosi is a board-certified Dermatopathologist and Founder of Sagis Diagnostics. He trained at the University of Texas. He has performed research in such topics as cutaneous adnexal tumors, histiocytic tumors, cutaneous t-cell lymphomas, and non-melanoma skin cancers, and has published in various pathology journals including The American Journal of Dermatopathology, Journal of Cutaneous Pathology, and Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
Dr. Chad Brandt
Dr. Chad Brandt is a provisionally licensed psychologist with expertise in treating anxiety based disorders. He received his BS in Psychology from Florida State University, his MS in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston, and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston. Dr. Brandt completed his pre-doctoral internship at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Brandt works at The Houston OCD Program and specializes in assessing and treating anxiety disorders, and has additional expertise treating anxiety and depression among persons living with health complications. He truly understands the needs of the children we serve and is excited to help make a positive impact in their lives.
Mark Troth was born in Denver, CO. He moved to Houston over 50 years ago and is a resident of Richmond in Fort Bend County. He obtained his degree from University of Arkansas and has a long career in the Houston Banking industry. He is President of The Bank of River Oaks and has held this position since 2006. He has served on numerous governing and advisory Boards over the years, as well as led and participated in countless volunteer and community outreach efforts. His primary charitable interests include advocating for health, education and children’s initiatives. He has been married to his lovely wife, Mary Loria, for 35 years and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.