May 20, 2019

Over the next couple of weeks, we will highlight some of this year’s Caught You Caring Award winners and how they go above and beyond for their patients and colleagues.

Carmen Vela began working for Texas Children’s as a hospital operator. She later moved on to central scheduling and is now an Ambulatory Services Representative in the Division of Plastic Surgery. For the past 17 years she has used her compassionate communication skills to assist patients in a variety of situations.

“As a bilingual employee I know that I am able to communicate with many different patients,” Vela said. “I love knowing that I am helping out the community. I love customer service, I love helping people, I love to listen, and if I don’t have to answer I will find it.”

Caught You Caring is a recognition program offered to patients and families, as well as staff, to recognize employees who have gone above and beyond their role to provide compassion and kindness to another person. This could be in the care of a patient, service to a family, or in support of a coworker. Launched in 2015 in ambulatory surgery, the now system-wide program has recognized many employees, including the eight listed below who were honored by the program this year.

Vela was nominated for the award by the Senior Project Manager in the Division of Plastic Surgery, Betty Tung.

“Almost daily, I can hear her talking to the families trying to make appointments, and she’s so nice, helpful and professional when handling the appointments,” Tung said. “I have witnessed situations where she has to go to the clinic upstairs because the parent wants to hug her to thank her for her help. She goes way beyond her job duties to help the parents.”

Vela continues to demonstrate teamwork and compassion towards co-workers. She is known for helping patient’s parents if they call with a situation such as traffic, running late, or with questions about parking.

“Receiving this award is very gratifying,” Vela said. “I think everyone should be recognized because it is such a team effort, but for Betty to notice my hard work and how much I care about the patients, means a lot.”

Texas Children’s wants to continue to recognize those who take great pride in the work they do and encourages patients, families and employees to catch someone who is making a difference. Caught You Caring boxes and cards can be found throughout the Texas Children’s system for patients and families to fill out and recognize staff. Employees can fill out a Caught You Caring form on Connect. Cards and online submissions will be distributed to leaders for staff recognition.

Click here to learn more about the Caught You Caring Program.

November 13, 2018

Over the next couple of weeks, we will highlight some of this year’s Caught You Caring Award winners and how they go above and beyond for their patients and colleagues.

Caught You Caring is a recognition program offered to patients and families, as well as staff, to recognize employees who have gone above and beyond their role to provide compassion and kindness to another person. This could be in the care of a patient, service to a family, or in support of a coworker. Launched in 2015 in ambulatory surgery, the now system-wide program has recognized many employees, including the eight listed below who were honored by the program this year.

To thank this year’s winners for their compassion and dedication to the Texas Children’s mission, they will head to NRG Stadium on December 9 to watch the Houston Texans play the Indianapolis Colts. The Texans-Colts game is sponsored by Texas Children’s Hospital and celebrates the National Football League’s Play 60 campaign, which encourages children to be active 60 minutes a day to help decrease childhood obesity.

The tickets to the game are one of the benefits of Texas Children’s Hospital being the official children’s hospital of the Houston Texans football team. The goal of Texas Children’s and the Texans partnership is to inspire children to lead healthier, more active lives.

Experience Consultant with Family and Patient Services Lorianne Classen said being able to reward our Caught You Caring recipients in this way is truly amazing.

“Recognizing people for their hard work goes a long way when it comes to creating a positive work environment,” she said. “So many members of our Texas Children’s family go above and beyond each and every day for our patients, families and colleagues, and we appreciate that very much.”

Texas Children’s wants to continue to recognize those who take great pride in the work they do and encourages patients, families and employees to catch someone who is making a difference. Caught You Caring boxes and cards can be found throughout the Texas Children’s system for patients and families to fill out and recognize staff. Employees can fill out a Caught You Caring form on Connect. Cards and online submissions will be distributed to leaders for staff recognition.

Click here to learn more about the Caught You Caring Program.

Click the links below to read more about this year’s Play 60 ticket recipients and how they were caught caring.

Rosie Alvarado
Hilda Andrade
Yaneth Arrue
Lisa Carr
Melanie Johnson
Krista Miller
Melissa Starner
Erick Talamantes

November 14, 2017

As we wrap up our Caught You Caring series on Connect, we share one more inspiring story of a Texas Children’s employee who demonstrates what it means to go above and beyond for her patients and their families.

For nearly eight years, Amanda Riddle has found it her life’s passion to take care of sick children. As a neurology nurse in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, she makes sure her patients have the best possible experience during their hospital stay as many of them are sometimes here for several months on the unit.

“I nominated Amanda for the Caught You Caring award because she truly embodies a caregiver,” said Elizabeth Davis, patient care manager in Neurology. “She lives the values and demonstrates true advocacy and empathy for patients, families and staff. She always greets patients and their families to see if they are having a great experience during their hospital stay, and she is willing to support her colleagues when they need a helping hand.”

Recently, Amanda noticed that one of the floor’s newer nurses was struggling with her current patient load. Amanda rushed in to help by performing blood draws and handling lab work so that her colleague could focus on her other patients with more urgent needs.

Her colleagues on the unit describe Amanda as a coworker who has a “passion for the work that she does which is impossible to miss. Whenever Amanda is on the unit, she will not let you be in the trenches alone.”

Launched in 2015, Texas Children’s Caught You Caring program is a systemwide program that recognizes employees for going above and beyond to provide compassion and kindness in the care of a patient, family or co-worker. Recently, Riddle was among more than a dozen employees who received a pair of tickets to watch the Houston Texans Play 60 game on October 1, after being recognized for his acts of kindness through this program.

Texas Children’s wants to continue to recognize those who take great pride in the work they do and encourages patients, families and employees to catch someone who is making a difference.

To nominate a colleague, Caught You Caring boxes and cards can be found across the Texas Children’s hospital system for patients and families to fill out. Employees can fill out a staff recognition.

For the past four weeks, Connect featured a series of Caught You Caring videos spotlighting several of our employees who have gone above and beyond their role in the care of our patients and their families.

In case you missed it, click on the links below to view the rest of the series.

Heather Eppleheimer
Joyce Enochs
Keith Thomas
Donald Wilkins

November 7, 2017

On paper Joyce Enochs is the scheduling optimizer for the Department of Surgery’s Perioperative Services Department. In reality, she is the face of patient experience for children and families who are faced with having a surgical procedure at Texas Children’s Hospital.

In her role, she has taken on many projects to increase the patient experience of thousands of patients and families. Her work on communication for pre-op information has decreased errors in arrival time, location of surgery, and eating and drinking instructions. And, her efforts on scheduling has decreased the daily cancellation rate on the day of surgery from 8 percent to 3 percent.

“What an impact her work has had on the patient experience to decrease the numbers of patients sent back home on the day of surgery,” said Janet Winebar, director of Perioperative Services. “Joyce’s enthusiasm has been the driving force for the team to continue to increase the experience for our families.”

Launched in 2015, Texas Children’s Caught You Caring program is a systemwide program that recognizes employees for going above and beyond to provide compassion and kindness in the care of a patient, family or co-worker. Recently, Enochs was among more than a dozen employees who received a pair of tickets to watch the Houston Texans Play 60 game on October 1, after being recognized for his acts of kindness through this program.

Texas Children’s wants to continue to recognize those who take great pride in the work they do and encourages patients, families and employees to catch someone who is making a difference.

To nominate a colleague, Caught You Caring boxes and cards can be found across the Texas Children’s hospital system for patients and families to fill out. Employees can fill out a Caught You Caring form on Connect. Cards and online submissions will be distributed to leaders for staff recognition.

For the next week, Connect will feature a series of Caught You Caring videos spotlighting several of our employees who have gone above and beyond their role in the care of our patients and their families.

To see the rest of the series, click on the links below.

Heather Eppleheimer
Keith Thomas
Donald Wilkins

October 31, 2017

“I do a lot of walking around the hospital,” said Donald Wilkins, a patient ambassador at Texas Children’s Hospital Medical Center campus and a 2017 Caught You Caring award recipient. “I average anywhere between 15 to 20,000 steps a day.”

While Donald’s job requires him to spend a lot of time on his feet, he wouldn’t have it any other way. As a patient ambassador, Donald always looks out for his patient and their families’ well-being. He provides updates, information and general reassurance for patients and their families involved in the perioperative process.

“When patients come in for surgery, they are anxious about what to expect during and after their procedure,” said Becky Hanson, patient care manager at PACU West Tower. “Donald is a very compassionate person. He listens and empathizes with our patients and families, ensuring their questions and concerns are addressed.”

Besides caring for patient and their families, Donald also assists the physicians with family communications and provides support to the admissions staff when they need clarification regarding patient classification. He plays an essential role in making sure that all of the operating rooms at West Tower run smoothly.

“His outgoing personality and can-do attitude makes Texas Children’s a better place for our patients and their families,” Hanson said. “Donald is just one of those people that you always want to have on your team, and is well deserving of the Caught You Caring award.”

Launched in 2015, Texas Children’s Caught You Caring program is a systemwide program that recognizes employees for going above and beyond to provide compassion and kindness in the care of a patient, family or co-worker. Last month, Donald was among more than a dozen employees who received a pair of tickets to watch the Houston Texans Play 60 game, after being recognized for his acts of kindness through this program.

Texas Children’s wants to continue to recognize those who take great pride in the work they do and encourages patients, families and employees to catch someone who is making a difference.

To nominate a colleague, Caught You Caring boxes and cards can be found across the Texas Children’s hospital system for patients and families to fill out. Employees can fill out a Caught You Caring form on Connect. Cards and online submissions will be distributed to leaders for staff recognition.

For the next three weeks, Connect will feature a series of Caught You Caring videos spotlighting several of our employees who have gone above and beyond their role in the care of our patients and their families.

October 24, 2017

Heather Eppelheimer is a child life specialist with Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. While she is quick to offer support in any way she can, Heather’s primary responsibility is to work closely with expecting families who have lost a child.

Heather helps these families cope with their loss and create lasting memories of their child. She offers the same type of support to her colleagues who might be going through a stressful time, consistently rising above and beyond as a supportive teammate.

“Heather has become a staple of support and mentorship for our Child Life Department,” said Saraben Turner, a child life manager. “She approaches each day with a mission to provide optimal, compassionate care to her patients and families, while also ensuring that her colleagues and teammates are feeling supported in the exceptional work they do.”

“She truly exemplifies living compassionately and amplifying unity in her every day work,” Turner continued. “She is continually provided with Caught You Caring awards and other recognitions highlighting the strong work she provides to patients and their families, her team and Texas Children’s Hospital.”

Launched in 2015, Texas Children’s Caught You Caring program is a systemwide program that recognizes employees for going above and beyond to provide compassion and kindness in the care of a patient, family or co-worker. Recently, Epplelheimer was among more than a dozen employees who received a pair of tickets to watch the Houston Texans Play 60 game on October 1, after being recognized for his acts of kindness through this program.

Texas Children’s wants to continue to recognize those who take great pride in the work they do and encourages patients, families and employees to catch someone who is making a difference.

To nominate a colleague, Caught You Caring boxes and cards can be found across the Texas Children’s hospital system for patients and families to fill out. Employees can fill out a Caught You Caring form on Connect. Cards and online submissions will be distributed to leaders for staff recognition.

For the next three weeks, Connect will feature a series of Caught You Caring videos spotlighting several of our employees who have gone above and beyond their role in the care of our patients and their families.

October 17, 2017

“One thing I enjoy most about Texas Children’s is meeting the families, and having a positive interaction with the patients and the families as a whole,” said Keith Thomas, an ambulatory services representative at Texas Children’s Autism Center and a 2017 Caught You Caring Award recipient.

When Jennifer Evans interviewed Keith nearly two years ago, she knew right away that she wanted him to be part of her team at the Autism Center. From the moment Keith walked into the office, he has improved the whole dynamic of everything at the front desk.

“Keith is the first person that patients and families see when they come into our office,” said Evans who nominated Keith for the Caught You Caring award. “He is a very genuine person, and makes everyone feel comfortable and welcome whether they are a patient, staff member or provider.”

“Keith gives every family the individual attention that they deserve, and that’s what makes such a big difference,” said Ambulatory Service Representative Yvette Gonzales. “He is always going above and beyond for the patients and parents. He is wonderful and definitely deserving of the Caught You Caring award.”

Launched in 2015, Texas Children’s Caught You Caring program is a systemwide program that recognizes employees for going above and beyond to provide compassion and kindness in the care of a patient, family or co-worker. Recently, Keith was among more than a dozen employees who received a pair of tickets to watch the Houston Texans Play 60 game on October 1, after being recognized for his acts of kindness through this program.

Texas Children’s wants to continue to recognize those who take great pride in the work they do and encourages patients, families and employees to catch someone who is making a difference.

To nominate a colleague, Caught You Caring boxes and cards can be found across the Texas Children’s hospital system for patients and families to fill out. Employees can fill out a Caught You Caring form on Connect. Cards and online submissions will be distributed to leaders for staff recognition.

For the next four weeks, Connect will feature a series of Caught You Caring videos spotlighting several of our employees who have gone above and beyond their role in the care of our patients and their families.