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The Texas Children’s Code of Ethical Behavior sets forth the guidelines that govern our interactions among workforce members, patients, and vendors, and sets expectations for our behavior, in order to ensure we achieve our purpose in full compliance with our values and the law.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why does Texas Children’s have a Code of Ethical Behavior?

  • Ethics are an essential and integral part of any successful company, especially in health care. Since we work in a complex and highly regulated industry, it is essential that we have a uniform code that guides workforce members on carrying out the Texas Children’s mission ethically and with integrity, and protects Texas Children’s, its employees, and its patients.

2. What is the Texas Children’s Code of Ethical Behavior?

The general principles that guide our behavior at work. These include:

  • Following the law: Not sure about whether something is legal? Contact the Compliance and Privacy Office at 832-824-2085 or at and ask!
  • Ethical business practices: Texas Children’s values openness, honesty, and expects its workforce to adhere to the highest standards of ethical business practices.
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest: Taking part in an activity that may influence or appear to influence your decision making.
  • Following Texas Children’s policies and procedures: All Texas Children’s policies and procedures are available on PolicyTech, accessible here:
  • Reporting inappropriate or unethical conduct or activity: Texas Children’s provides a confidential and anonymous way to report compliance or ethical concerns, for which regular channels may be uncomfortable or otherwise inappropriate. To make an anonymous report, workforce members can either: 1) call the Texas Children’s Confidential Hotline (1-866-478-9070) to report their concerns, or 2) make a report online at (enter password TEX).
  • Maintaining confidentiality: Every Texas Children’s workforce member has a duty to safeguard the health information of our patients and members, and shall not access/use/disclose any patient/member protected health information except for the purposes of payment, treatment, or operations. No one may access a patient’s or member’s protected health information unless it relates to their work-duties at Texas Children’s.
  • Keeping accurate and complete records: It is essential that all documentation and records are accurate. When a mistake is made, Texas Children’s expects that error to be reported so it can be corrected.
  • Doing what is right, not what it easy: Sometimes doing nothing, or taking the wrong action, is easier than doing the right thing. All Texas Children’s workforce members are expected to take action and report unethical behavior, even if it is difficult.

3. To whom does the Code of Ethical Behavior apply?

  • The Code of Ethical Behavior applies to all Texas Children’s entities, and all Texas Children’s workforce members individually, including employees, medical staff, volunteers, contractors, consultants, temporary employees, trainees, or other persons whose performance of work is under the direction or supervision or on behalf of Texas Children’s, whether or not they are paid by Texas Children’s.

Remember, if you see something that you believe to be unethical or illegal, you should raise your concerns or ask questions. Thank you for your commitment to ensuring Texas Children’s continues its high standard of ethical practices in order to best serve our patients.


Don’t forget to sign up to participate in the 2016 March for Babies walk on Sunday, April 24, at 9 a.m. at the University of Houston. Whether you join a Texas Children’s team or start your own team, the five-mile walk promises to be a fun day out with people who share our passion for improving the health of babies.

Last year, Texas Children’s March for Babies team was no. 9 among corporate teams for the walk, collectively raising more than $64,000. This year, as a Signature sponsor, Texas Children’s goal is to raise $120,000 that will support the March of Dimes.

“If each hospital department/unit raises an average of about $1,500, with 35 participating teams, we will reach our goal,” said Judy Swanson, vice president of Texas Children’s Newborn Center. “Texas Children’s is off to a great start with a $75,000 contribution from the system to date.”

At the March for Babies walk, there will be family teams, company teams and people walking with friends. To donate or sign up for a Texas Children’s team, type TCH in the team search bar and select your team.

If you want to build your own team, please identify a spirited organizer in your department to be a team captain for Texas Children’s. Once identified, please send their contact information to Sharla Weindorff. Contact Sharla at Ext. 4-2011 if you have further questions.


  • Friday, April 8 – Walker registration due is $25 and includes a Team TCH shirt and a BBQ ticket at the walk
  • Friday, April 22 – All walker donation forms due. Each walker’s fundraising goal is $100 to earn the March of Dimes 2016 T-shirt
  • Sunday, April 24 – March of Dimes Walk, University of Houston

To learn more about March for Babies, click here.

Helpful tips to prepare for the walk

Before lacing up your shoes, Texas Children’s Employee Health and Wellness offer tips to help you prepare and become more comfortable with what to expect during the five-mile walk.

  • Fuel up before the walk. It is important to give your body ample time to breakdown the needed nutrients and allow your stomach to settle before your race. So eat something, such as multigrain bread, fruits or vegetables, about three hours beforehand.
  • Make sure to stretch before the walk. Stretching with help lengthen your muscles, give you a longer stride and prevent any injuries.
  • Always warm up by starting off your walk with a slower pace for about 5 minutes. After you feel like your muscles are warm, pick up the pace. Challenge yourself and walk at different intervals, fast for 3 minutes, slower pace for 3 minutes.
  • Dress for 15 to 20 degrees warmer. It is also important to not overdress. Check out the weather forecast and dress for 15 to 20 degrees warmer as this is how much your body will warm up once you start running. If it is going to be cold, bring expendable clothing that you are okay with not getting back, and shed these after you warm up.
  • Find your pace. Pay attention to your heart rate and breathing. Remember, this walk is for you, so don’t worry about others around you or their race times. Instead, focus on breathing and walk at a pace where your heart rate is elevated. However don’t overdo it, you should be able to walk and carry a conversation at the same time.
  • Use good walking posture. Make sure to stand up straight, head up, abdomen flat, shoes pointing straight ahead, and use an arm swing.
  • Stay hydrated during the walk. Keeping your body hydrated is essential is key to success. Be sure to carry water. As the temperatures rise make sure that you maintain your hydration. In very hot weather, add in a sports drink to help replenish your electrolytes.

Here are 7 tips on how to pick out the perfect walking shoes.

  1. A walker’s foot hits heel first and then rolls gradually from heel-to-toe. So, you will need a flexible sole and more bend in the toe than a runner. You should be able to twist and bend the toe area.
  2. Look for a shoe that is light weight and breathable. The last thing you want is a heavy walking shoe.
  3. Make sure the shoe that fits properly. Be sure your foot has enough room in the toe box. There should be a thumbnails width (or about a half inch) between your toes and the end of the shoe. The shoe should be wide enough in the toe that your toes can move freely. Your heel should not slip, and the shoe should not pinch or bind, especially across the arch or ball of your foot.
  4. Try on new shoes at the end of the day or after your walk when your feet may be slightly swollen. Also be sure to wear the same socks you will be wearing during your walks. This can make a huge difference in how the shoe fits. Try on both shoes. Your feet may not be the same size (really!).
  5. Walk around for a few minutes on a hard surface. It is worth the effort to find the right shoe for you and it is worth spending a few extra dollars.
  6. Wear your shoes in the house for a few days to try them out. Don’t venture outdoors until you are sure the shoes are going to work for you. (If the shoes are not going to work out you will want to exchange them before scuffing them up outside.)
  7. Keep track of how many miles you have put on your shoes, and replace them every 300 to 600 miles (480 to 970 km). (If you are wearing very light weight shoes, are overweight, or you are hard on your shoes stay toward the low end on mileage.) To extend the life of your shoes be sure to only wear them only for your walks. Also rotating two pair of shoes will give them time to “bounce back” between walks.


It already has. And, if you ever wondered why security experts stress not to open links or attachments in unfamiliar emails, this is the reason!

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, a 434-bed private hospital in Los Angeles, recently paid $17K to a hacker who seized control of the hospital’s computer system and returned access only in exchange for the ransom. As the name implies, ransomware locks a network by encrypting files and the perpetrator extorts a victim to obtain the decryption key.

How did it happen?

The attack likely resulted when a hospital staffer clicked a malicious link or attachment that spread the malware throughout the network despite the presence of sophisticated malware controls. Most cyberattacks start when a person opens an email link or attachment from someone they don’t know.

Healthcare at risk

While cyberattacks on hospitals are increasingly common, ransom attacks are relatively rare. But, that might be changing:

  • Ransomware attacks have occurred recently at health care facilities in Texas and Germany
  • The FBI says there has been a “definite uptick” in ransomware use by cybercriminals
  • McAfee Labs predicts ransomware attacks will increase in 2016

What can employees do?

Employees account for 98 percent of all data breaches in the enterprise. That means employee behavior influences our security profile more than any hardware or software tools. What is the best defense against cyberattacks? Do not click unknown links or attachments. Click here to read more about how to help protect Texas Children’s from cyberattacks!


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a consumer alert for email schemes after noting a 400 percent surge in phishing and malware incidents so far in the 2016 tax season. The emails or texts are designed to trick taxpayers into thinking they are official communications from the IRS or others in the tax industry, including tax software companies. It is critical to be wary of email from unknown sources. The most sophisticated security technology can be defeated if a user clicks the wrong link. Click here (guaranteed safe link!) to find out what to expect and how to deter phishing scams.

IRS Top Tax Season Scams

  • Pose as a trusted person or organization
  • Hack an email account and send mass emails under another person’s name
  • Pose as a bank, credit card issuer, tax software firm or government agency
  • Create websites that appear legitimate but contain phony log-in pages

IRS reported tax scams
Jan-Feb          Incidents
2016                 1,389
2015                    564