April 30, 2019

Houston Texans linebacker Benardrick McKinney announced the 161st pick in the 2019 NFL Draft on April 27 live from NRG Stadium during the Houston Texans Kids Triathlon. The triathlon is the largest kids triathlon in the word and is presented by Texas Children’s Hospital.

Flanked by triathletes, Texans cheerleaders and TORO, McKinney excitedly proclaimed to a live and national broadcast audience that the Texans had chosen defensive end Charles Omenihu as the team’s 161st draft pick. The Pro Bowler and TORO then took a celebratory dip in the Texans Kids Triathlon pool!

Click here to watch a video of the pick and here to see photos.

More than 3,000 participants ages 6 to 15 turned out for the Houston Texans Kids Triathlon on April 27 and 28 at NRG Stadium, making it the largest USATriathlon sanctioned kids triathlon in the world for the fourth consecutive year.

Texas Children’s Hospital presents the event as part of the hospital’s partnership with the Texans and local sponsorship of PLAY 60, the NFL’s initiative aimed at encouraging kids to get sixty minutes of play per day.

Click here to see photos from the triathlon.

April 23, 2019

On his blog, Mark Wallace shares the story of how a group of NBA all stars became the Dream Team, and why they remind him of our one amazing team. Read more

April 22, 2019

Disney Magic has officially arrived at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Invited guests from The Walt Disney Company, media outlets and health care organizations across the country joined Texas Children’s clinical and executive leadership to celebrate the launch of the Disney Team of Heroes pilot. Texas Children’s is the first hospital to work with Disney on this comprehensive new initiative that will enhance the patient and family experience at children’s hospitals across the globe through a unique combination of reimagined spaces, personalized moments and engaging content, all featuring Disney’s beloved characters and themes.

Watch the video to see how all these elements came together over the past three weeks.

“Disney’s commitment to bringing comfort and inspiration to children doesn’t stop at the gates of Disneyland or Walt Disney World, and we are so grateful Disney is bringing those values to us in this way,” said Texas Children’s Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Larry Hollier. “The magic and joy we have all experienced at a Disney park is now apparent as you walk throughout our hospital, and I am looking forward to seeing how this special partnership enhances the patient and family experience.”

Texas Children’s relationship with The Walt Disney Company dates back to 1952 when Walt Disney himself gifted the hospital with an illustration depicting his vision for the hospital’s campus at the time. The partnership was further solidified in 2018 when Texas Children’s was chosen as the pilot hospital for this transformative, five-year commitment to the patient experience from The Walt Disney Company.

The Disney Team of Heroes launch was the culmination of a year of hard work and collaboration between a group of more than 80 Disney team members, including Disney’s famed Imagineers, and a dedicated team of Texas Children’s employees and caregivers.

“As the name itself implies, at Disney we know that if you want something to be timeless, and touch the hearts of millions, it requires a talented team to bring it all to life,” said Elissa Margolis, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Social Responsibility at The Walt Disney Company. “We could not have done this without all the guidance, partnership and collaboration from doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, child life specialists, creative teams, tech leaders and also, importantly, parents.”

Guests at the event got a first look at new Disney Team of Heroes experiences on a tour of Lester and Sue Smith Legacy Tower. These elements included the stunning Magic Mural, which allows patients and families to interact with characters and environments; mesmerizing Magic Windows, where favorite characters pop in for a brief visit before taking off again; captivating Magic Portals, seek-and-find activities that provide distraction while waiting for an appointment to begin; and Disney Products and Hospital Gowns, which help brighten patient rooms and bring familiarity into hospital stays. Additionally, Texas Children’s employees system-wide received themed Disney Team of Heroes Employee Badges featuring Disney characters. The badges will create opportunities to engage patients, and fellow employees, in a fun new way.

Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at the new Disney Team of Heroes elements on our Corporate Communications Instagram, @oneamazingteam. Learn more about Texas Children’s partnership with Disney, and check Connect frequently for more exciting updates.

April 15, 2019

On April 2, in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day, representatives from BBVA Compass Stadium, KultureCity and Texas Children’s Health Plan unveiled the Texas Children’s Health Plan Family Suite at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the stadium.

Located in the northeast corner of the stadium outside of Section 220, the Texas Children’s Health Plan Family Suite includes a Sensory Room and a Mothers Room, making BBVA Compass Stadium the first sensory-inclusive facility in Major League Soccer. The Sensory Room was designed and installed in cooperation with KultureCity and Mothers Room at the BBVA Compass Stadium. KultureCity is the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to fight for inclusion and acceptance of all individuals, and advocates for those with sensory challenges such as autism and PTSD, just to name a few. It also provides training and equipment to public and private spaces in order to create an inclusive experience for everyone.

“KultureCity is truly honored to work with BBVA Compass Stadium and the Houston Dynamo to make them the first KultureCity Sensory-Inclusive MLS stadium. By recognizing this growing need and wanting to do something about it, they are truly putting their fans and guests first so that everyone regardless of their disabilities or sensory needs can be accepted and included,” said KultureCity co-founder Julian Maha, M.D. “This is a great day for the City of Houston and a great day for Major League Soccer in general. Thank you to the amazing team at the stadium and the entire Dynamo and Dash organization.”

The Mothers Room provides private space for mothers to nurse or pump while at the stadium and features seating for parent and child, as well as power outlets, a changing station and a television so mothers and children won’t miss a moment of game action.

In addition to the sensory room itself, the stadium will provide sensory bags created by KultureCity to guests who visit the space, and BBVA Compass Stadium and Houston Dynamo and Dash employees participated in sensory awareness training in order to understand how best to serve fans with unique needs and concerns.

“We take great pride in creating the most welcoming and inclusive atmosphere possible for all events at BBVA Compass Stadium, and we’re extremely excited about the addition of the Texas Children’s Health Plan Family Suite,” said Stadium Executive Vice President and General Manager Juan Rodriguez. “The Mothers Room will provide a private and comfortable space for women to care for their young children, and the Sensory Room affords fans with sensory needs the opportunity to step away if the sights and sounds inside the stadium become too much for them. We’re very grateful to the experts at KultureCity for their assistance in creating the space and training our staff.”

Since 2011, Texas Children’s Health Plan has been the official health insurance plan for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) of the Houston Dynamo, Houston Dash and BBVA Compass Stadium. In addition to the new Texas Children’s Health Plan Family Suite, the health plan also sponsors the Texas Children’s Health Plan Family Section, located in Section 201 on the southwest corner of the stadium.

“We are proud to be a sponsor of the Houston Dynamo and are very excited to be part of the new Sensory Room and Mother’s Room at BBVA Compass Stadium,” Vice-President of Texas Children’s Health Plan Sherry Vetter said. “This innovative space is consistent with our mission to create a healthier future for children and women throughout our global community. The dedicated Mother’s Room gives nursing moms a private place to care for their infants while staying connected to the match and the Sensory Room provides a sensory-sensitive space for parents and children to enjoy and engage in matches on their terms.”

January 15, 2019

Texas Children’s Hospital will have the distinct privilege of being the co-presenting sponsor of the upcoming Houston Marathon Health & Fitness EXPO alongside Houston Methodist.

The EXPO will be held Friday, January 18 and Saturday, January 19 prior to the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon, the largest single-day sporting event in Houston and the largest marathon race in Texas, with more than 33,000 participants running the streets of Houston on Sunday, January 20. All runners must attend the EXPO to pick up their race materials while others are invited to attend to interact with other runners and make purchases from a variety of vendors.

“This is a great opportunity to extend our mission and share our passion for youth health initiatives,” said Amber Tabora, senior vice president of Philanthropy, Marketing and Public Relations. “The EXPO is a wonderful event, and we are excited to be part of it.”

Click here to view the promotion video

As a benefit of our three-year co-presenting sponsorship of the EXPO, Texas Children’s was awarded 10 complimentary race entries. On January 7, Texas Children’s donated the often sold-out race entries to 10 Katy Students Run (KSR) members.

Austin Salas, a 16-year-old KSR member participating in the half marathon for the second consecutive year, said at a small gathering at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus he is extremely thankful Texas Children’s will be helping him reach his marathon goals this year.

“I look forward to helping others know how important eating, sleeping and pacing yourself is when running long distances,” Salas said. “I’m also striving to beat my time from last year. That would be really awesome.”

For the past 13 years, KSR has been empowering young people to set and achieve life-altering goals through mentorship, unconditional acceptance and training for a half-marathon.

“It is great to see the level of commitment that these students have,” KSR founder Jenny Demarest said. “To see them come into the group with no experience, and to watch them grow is amazing!”

In addition to the co-sponsorship of the EXPO, Texas Children’s Hospital is one of the participating charities in the Houston Marathon’s Run for a Reason program.

Run for a Reason is a way for people to achieve a personal fitness goal and help preserve the mission of Texas Children’s Hospital at the same time by allowing runners to run the marathon with a guaranteed entry – on behalf of Texas Children’s.

Running for Texas Children’s Hospital is not just about the race, it’s a promise to our patients. By signing up to run and fundraise on behalf of Texas Children’s Hospital, the donations will directly impact the lives of countless children. The support that we garner allows us to expand our care to even more children who need our help.

Our Run for a Reason contenders will be wearing light blue shirts on race day. Come out and cheer them on and check out the EXPO!

On race day, Sunday, January 20, look for the red Texas Children’s Hospital tent located at the Bed Bath and Beyond entrance off Kirby and West Alabama, across the street from Texas Children’s Pediatrics Pediatric Medical Group.

For more information, download the Chevron Houston Marathon official app on your phone, and click here for all event information.


Want to help build a generation of healthy, active children? Sign them up for the 2019 Houston Texans Kids Triathlon and Texas Children’s Hospital will pay their registration fee.

As the event’s presenting sponsor, the hospital will foot the bill for 50 children of Texas Children’s employees to participate in the event slated for April 27 and 28 at NRG Stadium. The complimentary registrations are not retroactive, therefore if you have already signed up for the event, we cannot provide a reimbursement.

Drawing more than 3,000 participants ages 6 to 15, the event is expected to be the largest USATriathlon sanctioned kids triathlon in the world for the fourth consecutive year.

Click here for more information.

If you are interested in receiving one of the complimentary spots, please fill out this form and submit it to chris.kidstriathlon@gmail.com.

Another way to participate in the event is to volunteer! This event presented by Texas Children’s Hospital would not be possible without our wonderful volunteers. This year’s event is expected to draw more than 3,000 participants and 10,000 spectators. In total, we need about 350 volunteers to run a safe, efficient event. If you are interested in signing up, click here.

December 11, 2018
Texas Children’s and the Houston Texans capped off this year’s fun-filled PLAY 60 Week by cheering on the Houston Texas as they played the Indianapolis Colts in the 3rd Annual Texans Kids Day presented by Texas Children’s Hospital.

Texans Kids Day highlights the National Football League’s PLAY 60 initiative, a campaign that encourages kids to be active for 60 minutes a day in order to reverse the trend of childhood obesity. Texas Children’s Hospital, the local presenting sponsor of PLAY 60, was featured throughout Sunday’s game including signage, TORO headband gate giveaways and kids jobs.

Additionally, GW McMaster, an avid Houston Texans fan and patient at Texas Children’s Hospital’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit, served as the Honorary Coin Toss Captain. Before the game began, the 16-year-old and his family spent time on the sideline watching pregame warmups and taking in the incredible experience of his first Texans game. Shortly before the coin toss, GW met his favorite player, DeAndre Hopkins along with Houston Texans legend Andre Johnson and Houston Astros second baseman, Alex Bregman. The smile on GW’s face lit up the whole stadium.

Nine employees recognized by the Texas Children’s Caught You Caring program as well as our 2019 Catalyst Award winners, their guests and leaders got to watch the game as a thank you for their compassion and dedication to the Texas Children’s mission. 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. To learn more about those Caught You Caring recipients, click here. To learn more about our 2019 Catalyst Award winners, click here.

PLAY 60 Week ran from December 3 through December 9 and was full of fun events aimed at helping further the PLAY 60 message and get children across the Houston moving. The week kicked off with Smith Legacy Tower being lit red, white and blue – the official colors of the Houston Texans. The building’s first and third floor lobby ceilings and east windows stayed lit in these colors throughout the week.

Below is a recap of some of the other events during the week. View photos from all of last week’s events below.

Last week, we hosted a pre-game pep rally at the hospital’s play garden to help get some of our patients excited about the game and remind them about how important it is to PLAY 60. Texans players Greg Mancz and Julie’n Davenport, Texans Cheerleaders and TORO were in attendance and took photos, played games and signed autographs with patients and their families. Texas Children’s Heart Center patient Taylor Berry also was at the pep rally sharing his story of being a three-time heart transplant patient and putting smiles on the faces of patients he sympathizes with so well. Click here to see a video of him interacting with patients.

On December 3, Texas Children’s Hospital and the Houston Texans hosted the 2nd annual PLAY 60 at the Park event at Levy Park Conservancy to kick off PLAY 60 Week in Houston. As the local sponsor of PLAY 60, the NFL-led initiative, which encourages kids to get at least 60 minutes of active play per day, Texas Children’s invited the community to join in an evening of fun and games aimed at keeping kids healthy.

Special guests included Texans running back Alfred Blue and Texans linebacker Dylan Cole, Texans Ambassador Kevin Walter, TORO, the Texans Mascot, Houston Texans Cheerleaders and more.

Last week, PLAY 60 Kid of the Month winners met for their special NRG Stadium experience which included Houston Texans prize packs, surprise visit with TORO, stadium tour, radio interview with the voice of the Houston Texans, Marc Vandermeer, and a walk on the field. Thank you to everyone who applied to be a PLAY 60 Kid of the Month by showing us how you get your 60 minutes of play each day.

Texas Children’s Hospital and the Houston Texans are two winning teams that share one goal – keeping Houston kids healthy and encouraging them to be more active. To learn more about our partnership, visit: texaschildrens.org/Texans.