November 25, 2014


112614woodlandsadmininside175Two seasoned Texas Children’s leaders have been charged with heading the organization’s second community hospital – Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.

Michelle Riley-Brown will become president of the new hospital and Dr. Charles Hankins will become chief medical officer of the institution, which will open its doors to outpatient care in the fall of 2016 and inpatient services the following year. Riley-Brown and Hankins will assume their new roles in January.

The leadership announcement was made November 20 to about 500 guests at The Forum Luncheon in The Woodlands, an event hosted by the Development Department.

“It’s amazing what we are allowed to do here at Texas Children’s,” CEO Mark A. Wallace said at the forum after talking to the audience about The Woodlands Campus and its leadership. “We are going to start out with the A team and then build from there.”

Riley-Brown and Hankins will come to The Woodlands with a wealth of experience in running a community hospital since both helped open and are currently leading Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

Riley-Brown, who joined Texas Children’s 15 years ago and has a Masters of Health Administration from Washington University, is the current president of West Campus, which opened in 2011 and has become a staple in pediatric health care for those who live in the area. Hankins, who has been with Texas Children’s for 11 years and specializes in neonatology, is the current chief medical officer at the hospital.

In addition to their experience in leading a community hospital, both Riley-Brown and Hankins will come to The Woodlands with a good understanding of the community, which sits about 30 miles north of Houston. Riley-Brown helped open and managed Texas Children’s Health Center – The Woodlands in 2003, and Hankins lives in The Woodlands community.

“I feel like I’m coming home,” Hankins said, adding that he is extremely excited to be heading up the medical team at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.

Riley-Brown said she, too, is excited about coming to The Woodlands.

“I am looking forward to working with Dr. Hankins to ensure the success of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands,” Riley-Brown said. “As we expand our services in this community, we will continue to bring high-quality care closer to our patients.”

Leadership at West Campus

Taking Riley-Brown and Hankins’ places at West Campus will be Chanda Cashen Chacón as president and Dr. Jeanine Graf as chief medical officer.

Chacón has been with Texas Children’s Hospital for more than a decade in leadership roles in ambulatory operations, pharmacy, the Heart Center and the Fetal Center. Currently, she is the vice president for Women’s Services at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. Chacón has a Master’s Degree in Public Health Administration from Yale University.

Graf, who was recently named a 2015 Catalyst Leadership Award recipient and president of the medical staff at Texas Children’s, is currently the medical director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Main Campus and of Pediatric Transport and Respiratory Care. She also is an associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, where she did her residency after earning her medical degree from Ohio State University College of Medicine.

“I am more than pleased to be taking on this new role at Texas Children’s,” Graf said. “I believe we have an obligation to support all children in the community and that this is a great new avenue through which I can accomplish that goal.”

Chacón said she is honored to have been chosen to lead West Campus.

“The hospital is a wonderful asset to Texas Children’s and to Houston’s pediatric community,” Chacón said. “I want to continue to grow and nurture that asset so it can benefit the patients and families we are honored to serve.”

About the community campuses

West Campus employs about 650 full and part-time workers and is home to a comprehensive array of pediatric specialty services including cardiology, gastroenterology, pediatric surgery, as well as occupational, physical and speech therapies.

Last year, the hospital saw more than 1,500 admissions and 37,000 emergency room visits. In addition, almost 4,000 inpatient and outpatient surgeries were conducted at the West Campus.

Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands will open with 500 employees and will include 24 emergency room beds, 74 outpatient exam rooms, four operating rooms, 30 acute care beds, 12 intensive care beds, five radiology rooms and a helipad.

Ample free parking will be available with 1,000 spaces planned. Along with serving families throughout The Woodlands Area, Texas Children’s anticipates serving families in counties throughout Greater North Houston, including Montgomery, Walker, Grimes, Liberty, Harris, Polk, San Jacinto and Hardin.

“You will never hear us refer to the West Campus or The Woodlands as satellites, because that’s not the way we look at them,” Wallace said during a 2013 interview about the announcement of The Woodlands campus. “We have one standard of care at Texas Children’s Hospital, whether it’s here or at the West Campus, it’s all the same.”


Texas Children’s Hospital Neonatologist Dr. Jennifer Arnold and her family are no strangers to the spotlight. Arnold, her husband, Bill Klein, and their two children, Will and Zoey, are the stars of TLC’s “The Little Couple.” This year, the family will officially kick off the holiday season by leading the 65th Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade through downtown Houston. They will serve as the parade’s grand marshals and join Mayor Annise Parker at the head of the parade route.

“It is an honor for our family to be included in this 65-year tradition, which brings together Houstonians to celebrate Thanksgiving,” said Dr. Jennifer Arnold. “The holidays are a special time for our family and leading this parade will be a memory our children will never forget.”

The 65-year tradition continues this year with the parade showcasing Houston’s finest characteristics including a tribute to the Texas Medical Center, families, fashion, food, art, entertainment and sports. New floats and high-flying balloons will be seen throughout downtown.

“Bill and I are proud Houstonians and we are thrilled for our children to experience this year’s parade, which is dedicated to our city,” said Arnold. “The Texas Medical Center is a huge asset to Houston and I am excited to represent the medical community in this amazing holiday tradition.”

The first Thanksgiving Day Parade in Houston took place in 1949 with Santa arriving at Union Station and riding his sleigh to the downtown Foley’s. While much has changed about the city and the parade in six and a half decades, the parade continues to be a major tradition of Houston families during the holidays with about 250,000 spectators expected to line the streets.

“We have terrific sponsors who have made it possible for this family holiday tradition to continue,” said Mayor Annise D. Parker. “Each year Houstonians have so much for which to be thankful, from advances in medical research and practices in the Texas Medical Center and world-class exhibits and entertainment to international cultures that give this city its character and flavor. This year, we will shine the spotlight on the cornerstone of Houston’s greatness – our families.”

This year’s new downtown route will begin on Smith at Lamar, head north to Walker, east to Milam, south to Pease, west to Louisiana, north to Clay, west to Smith, and north to end at Smith and Dallas. The parade begins at 9 a.m. and is free and open to the public.

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Texas Children’s employees are role models for our coworkers, our patients and our families. One of the most important ways we can lead during this year’s flu season is to get vaccinated against the potentially deadly illness.

Kay Tittle, president of Texas Children’s Pediatrics, agreed and elaborates below on how important it is to be a role model and to get your annual flu shot.

“One of the most important things we can do is to get the flu vaccine,” Tittle said. “It will provide protection for ourselves, our patients, our coworkers and our families.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010 when the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted for universal flu vaccination in the United States to expand protection against the flu to more people. Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. Those people include many of the patients seen here at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Influenza activity so far this year has been low in the United States, including Texas, according to the CDC, which collects, compiles and analyzes information on influenza activity year round in the United States and produces a weekly report from October through mid-May. That doesn’t mean this year’s flu season will be mild.

While seasonal flu outbreaks can happen as early as October, most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, although activity can last as late as May. So, the time is still right for you to get your flu vaccine and join the more than 80 percent of Texas Children’s employees who already have.

Employee Health is administering free seasonal influenza vaccinations to all Texas Children’s employees, Baylor College of Medicine employees working in Texas Children’s facilities, Texas Children’s medical staff and volunteers.

Please schedule an appointment to get the flu vaccine at the Employee Health Clinic by calling Ext. 4-2150. Leaders can request a flu cart to their unit by calling the same number. If you received your vaccine elsewhere, please fax a statement from your doctor or pharmacist saying you did so to Ext. 4-2141 or via interoffice mail to Employee Health A5527.


As you know, Texas Children’s is a pretty special place. Everyone here, no matter their role, works together to create a healthier future for children and women. That common goal binds us together in a community that is unlike any other.

To recognize and celebrate that bond, Texas Children’s Human Resources Department launched on November 20 an exciting new culture initiative and website that showcases the infinite passion each one of us has for the mission of Texas Children’s: to create a healthier future for children and women throughout our global community by leading in patient care, education and research.

The culture initiative also formalizes the four core values that underpin who we are and what we do – Embrace Freedom, Lead Tirelessly, Live Compassionately and Amplify Unity. By living each value, we continually strengthen the already strong culture we have in place, perpetually extend our sense of community, and constantly maintain a spirit of our own. This new website and work will become a tangible platform from which we will grow and advance our culture as we lead the charge to accelerate health care.

You’ll be hearing more about our values and the website throughout the year. For now, you can visit the site at and enjoy the popcorn treats and new badge cards that were provided to you as a thank you for your commitment and service and a token of what’s to come as our culture initiative gains momentum over the next year.

CEO Mark A. Wallace personally passed out the treats on the day of the launch to employees at Texas Children’s Health Center – The Woodlands. During that special visit, Wallace shared his infectious smile as well as stories about the wonderful organization we all have helped create.

“As I reflect on the last 25 years at Texas Children’s, I am deeply thankful for the incredible impact our culture and our work community has had on all of us,” Wallace said. “I believe in each and every one of you and know that, while our mission is compelling, it is our people and our collective human experiences that have made a difference in the way we deliver on our mission.”

Wallace said he is excited about the launch of the culture initiative and that because of it for the next year, the next 25 years and beyond, our culture and values will be secured in stone as a testament to our infinite passion.

“Texas Children’s mission, culture and the infinite passion of our people are the heart of our past, present and future successes,” Wallace said. “These elements differentiate us from all other health care systems and employers. Our culture is amazing. It touches lives. It is simply so profound that I want it to last forever.”

Watch the newest “I Am Texas Children’s” video featuring employee Tony Perez in West Campus – Ambulatory Services.

“I’ve been with Texas Children’s for 10 years. Every day is a new adventure. You come to work with a mindset of wanting to make a difference for patients and their families. I enjoy being part of that vision.”

Check out Perez’s video, and find out how you and your coworkers can be featured in the “I Am Texas Children’s” section on Connect.


The holidays are just around the corner and you know what that means – it’s time to submit your favorite holiday photo of your precious little one!

Bump Watch asks employees to send us their favorite photo capturing their baby’s most memorable holiday moment. If you have a photo of your baby dressed up in a festive holiday outfit, a Santa hat, or perhaps you snapped a photo of your little one visiting Santa Claus, we’d like to see them. Bottom line, we’re looking for holiday photos that capture just how cute your kiddos are!

The deadline to submit Bump Watch photos is Friday, December 19. Please email high-resolution images to We will showcase your photos December 23 on a special edition of Bump Watch.


Last week, Jim McIngvale, better known as Mattress Mack, spoke at the West Campus Patient Experience Leadership Meeting.

The fast-talking owner of the Gallery Furniture retail chain shared his best practices in customer service that he’s developed over the past 33 years. His catchphrase, “The customer is the business, and the business is the customer” resonated with the group of more than 30 employees who strive to make the patient experience a positive one on a daily basis.

McIngvale added that in order to convey passion to your customers, you have to be passionate about the job you are doing. This is a quality Mattress Mack said is very evident at Texas Children’s Hospital.