December 13, 2016

Texas Children’s employees enjoyed the hospital’s beloved holiday bread and wassail tradition earlier this month. Hosted by the Human Resources Department, the event helps employees kick off the holiday season with camraderie and joy. Please view the photo gallery below to see photos of the festivities.

121416drluersson175Dr. Thomas Luerssen has been given the 2016 Franc D. Ingraham Award for Distinguished Service and Achievement by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/CNS Section of Pediatric Neurological Surgery. The award is the highest honor given by the organization and recognizes individuals whose achievements have advanced the field of pediatric neurosurgery. This is only the ninth time the award has been given since its inception in 1988.

Dr. Luerssen is chief quality officer for surgery and a neurosurgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital and a professor of neurosurgery at the Baylor College of Medicine. He is also the former chief of neurosurgery at Texas Children’s.

“It is a true honor for me to follow the great legacy of Dr. Tom Luerssen who has built an incredibly strong neurosurgery service at Texas Children’s,” said Dr. Howard Weiner, chief of Neurosurgery at Texas Children’s.

After graduating many outstanding pediatric neurosurgery fellows over the last decade, as well as recruiting a truly excellent core team of pediatric neurosurgeons here, Luerssen has been recognized for his many leadership roles in pediatric neurosurgery over the course of his career. Among those roles are chairman of the AANS/CNS Section on Pediatric Neurological Surgery and president of the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons. He also spent 18 years on practicing at Indiana University and 11 years at Texas Children’s. These accomplishments are in addition to his many contributions to the fields of neurotrauma, quality improvement and patient safety in pediatric neurosurgery.

Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr., surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children’s said, “We are very proud of Dr. Luerssen’s accomplishments and are extremely fortunate to have him as part of the legacy of Texas Children’s Department of Surgery.”

December 6, 2016

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays at Texas Children’s Hospital. The Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony kicked off the season of joy with Santa and Mrs. Clause helping to light The Auxiliary Bridge Christmas tree.

St. John’s choir sang holiday carols as young patients danced along. Senior Vice President Tabitha Rice helped kick off the lighting ceremony. Within seconds, the lights magically turned on and the “HO HO HO” of Santa could be heard as he walked down the hospital hallways.

View photos from the event below.

There’s plenty of cheer left for patients, families and employees. Be sure to check out one of these holiday gatherings on your clinic floors and get in the holiday spirit.

  • Monday, December 12 – Four Seasons Santa’s workshop
  • Wednesday, December 14 – 360 Property Agency Craft Party
  • Friday, December 16 – Direct Energy Board Game Mania
  • Tuesday, December 20 – WATCH Santa Day

12616retirementbenefits250At Texas Children’s, our employees lead tirelessly every day in service to our patients and our organization. As part of our commitment to your financial well-being, our comprehensive Total Rewards program includes two retirement plans to help you save for your future.

Texas Children’s Pension Plan
We are excited to announce that on approximately Friday, December 9, Texas Children’s will post your 2016 Pension Plan deposit into your account. To see how much your pension plan has grown, log into your account at For new users, you can register by clicking on “Get Started” to enter the last four digits of your social security number and your date of birth. On the website, you will also find useful tools to help you view your balance, estimate your future pension plan balance and verify/update your beneficiary information.

This pension plan is designed to provide a foundation for your retirement and is fully funded by Texas Children’s. You are automatically enrolled in the plan on April 1 or October 1 once you reach 21 years of age and have worked 1,000 hours or more during the 12 consecutive months after your initial date of hire.

To learn more about the pension plan, click here to view the summary plan description or call the Texas Children’s Pension Plan Support Team at 800-752-8230 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday central time.

Texas Children’s 403(b) Savings Plan
The 403(b) savings plan provides matching contributions (free money) from Texas Children’s! Texas Children’s matches 50 percent on the first 6 percent of your pre-tax contributions per pay period, to a maximum of $8,100 for 2017, and then you choose how to invest those funds. The more you save, the more Texas Children’s contributes. If you are not already enrolled in the 403(b) savings plan or not contributing at least 6 percent, you should consider doing so now.

You can enroll anytime by contacting Fidelity at 800-343-0860 between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., Monday through Friday central time or online at If you are registering online for the first time, please click on “Register” in the login area to enter the last 4 digits of your social security number and your date of birth. Don’t miss out on this valuable match!

12716transplantinside350Seventeen-year-old Shelby Standridge came down with common colds early in her childhood, but nothing out of the ordinary. A severe nose bleed at age 9, however, landed her in the hospital and prompted questions from her parents about the cause of her unexpected illness.

Doctors in her hometown in Alabama thankfully ruled out leukemia, but did a test for cystic fibrosis, which came back positive. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys and intestine.

At the time doctors tested Shelby for the disease, they determined her liver was already fully involved, almost to the point of end-stage liver failure. She wasn’t yet a candidate for transplant, however, so she continued battling the disease over the next five years. Throughout the past couple of years, though, Shelby’s parents and older sister noticed her lung function was declining.

“Her life had become narrow,” Shelby’s mom, Teresa Standridge, recalled.

As a result, Shelby and her family were referred to Texas Children’s, home to one of the largest pediatric transplantation programs in the nation. The team performed 86 solid organ transplants in 2015, making the program the most active pediatric transplant program in the U.S. last year.

Shelby, her mom, and older sister, Olivia, moved to Houston in October so she could be listed for a double lung and a liver transplant. A grueling wait that was expected to last six to eight months, was a mere week as Shelby underwent a 14-hour lung-liver transplant on November 8.

A multidisciplinary team of surgeons performed the procedure which is deemed so uncommon that Texas Children’s has done, including Shelby, only six of these cases since the inception of the transplant program.

“Shelby’s case is quite unusual,” said the teenager’s pulmonologist Dr. Ernestina Melicoff-Portillo. “There are only a small number of cystic fibrosis patients who have both lungs and the liver affected.”

Now, two weeks post-transplant, Shelby is feeling “ten times better” than she did and “can enjoy more in everyday life.” Her dad, Brian Standridge, noted that he hasn’t seen her grin so wide in years.

Dr. John Goss, medical director of Transplant Services, said the expertise of and the collaboration with the clinical staff and the two different surgical teams are what made Shelby’s outcome a success.

“This type of procedure only could happen at a place like Texas Children’s where our transplant program continues to earn its reputation as one of the best pediatric transplant programs in the country,” he said.

Click here to watch KHOU 11 News’ story about Shelby’s dual-organ transplant.

12716tyrisehawkins175Tyrise Hawkins, November 2016 Employee

Tyrise Hawkins of Supply Chain, is the latest Texas Children’s Super Star employee. “My motivation is coming in every morning and seeing the kids I am here to help.” Read more of his interview below and find out how you can nominate a Super Star.
Your name, title and department. How long have you worked here?
Tyrise Hawkins. Supply Chain Tech 3, Supply Chain. 22 years.

What month are you Super Star for?
November 2016

Tell us how you found out you won a super star award.
I thought I was at a department staff meeting until I saw all my coworkers, Leadership and a cake on the table that had Super Star Tyrise Hawkins on it.

What does it mean to be recognized for the hard work you do? How has the organization helped you achieve your personal and professional goals?
It feels good! I still can’t believe I was picked for this award. I just love Texas Children’s Hospital and what I do. My reward is making my customers and families happy. What is needed for my customers when their patients arrive, it has already been delivered to the department. The organization has help me achieve my goals by receiving good coaching from my leadership. Also they always ask for my feedback on issues concerning the Clinical Care Center.

What do you think makes someone at Texas Children’s a super star?
Just be yourself and treat people the way you want to be treated. That is a super star.

What is your motivation for going above and beyond every day at work?
Coming in every morning and seeing the kids I am here to help. When you see some of the parents remember you: They might not know your name, but they never forget your face. Also when they tell you, ‘Every time I come here and see you, you are always happy.’ That motivates me even more.

What is the best thing about working at Texas Children’s?
Everything about Texas Children’s is the best.

What does it mean to you that everyone at Texas Children’s is considered a leader? What is your leadership definition?
You just answered it. Everybody here is a leader, and family. When you are down, there is a coworker, leadership, or someone who is going to say something to pick you up.

Anything else you want to share?
Thank you Texas Children’s for giving me 22 years of service. I will be here for 22 more.

112316lisahollier175Dr. Lisa Hollier has been named president elect of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) for May 2017 to May 2018. Hollier will officially take office on May 9.

With 20 years of experience, Hollier is a board certified professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of the Division of Women’s Health Law and Policy at Baylor College of Medicine. She is the chief medical officer for Obstetrics and Gynecology for Texas Children’s Health Plan and the medical director of The Centers for Children and Women.

She received her doctorate in Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine and master’s degree in Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Topical Medicine. Hollier completed her residency at Baylor University Medical Center and completed a fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

As a national expert in obstetrics and gynecology, Hollier’s work has been published in prestigious national journals and she has served on several national boards.