October 31, 2017

Halloween came early for several patients, families and employees across Texas Children’s and will continue throughout the week with various spooktacular events filled with fun.

At West Campus, the festivities began on October 26 with the campus’ annual Fall Festival. Dressed in their Halloween best, employees handed out goodies and played games with patients during the multi-hour long party sponsored by Child Life. A similar festival is being held on Halloween at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.

The festivities continued at West Campus and in The Woodlands when members of Texas Window Cleaning Co., Inc. dressed up as super heroes and cleaned both of the hospital’s windows while waving to children inside. The company has been cleaning the windows at West Campus since 2011. This was their first year in The Woodlands.

Ghosts, goblins and ghouls also were out in full force on The Auxiliary Bridge for the annual Halloween on the Bridge event at Texas Children’s Hospital Main Campus, at the Spirit of Halloween and a new Kids Haunted House held in the Child Life Zone, and other areas across the organization.

View the photo gallery below to get a glimpse of the fun everyone had at these unforgettable events.

At Texas Children’s, we are committed to leading tirelessly in maintaining an ethical workplace. Every day, we hold each other accountable to the highest standards of integrity and ethical behavior.

To recognize and promote the importance of integrity and ethics at Texas Children’s, we will be celebrating National Corporate Compliance and Ethics Week during the week of November 6 – 10.

During the week, the Compliance and Privacy Office will be hosting a series of awareness events throughout the organization. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet members of the Compliance and Privacy Office, learn more about what we do, play games and win prizes. For a complete schedule of events, click here.

Thank you for your continued support of our Compliance and Privacy programs. If you have any questions, please contact the Compliance and Privacy Office at ext. 4-2085 or compliance@texaschildrens.org.

The Texas Children’s Hospital Ukulele Choir cheered on our Houston Astros in the best way they know how, with the help of some very special patients!

Led by the Music Therapy Department and made up of Texas Children’s staff members, the choir led patients and staff from the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit in a rousing rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in support of the Astros’ appearance at the championship game.

The patients played and sang along with the choir demonstrating not only their enthusiasm for the Astros, but also the great strides they have made in their recovery at Texas Children’s.

Established in 2014, Texas Children’s Ukulele Choir is rooted in self-care and respite for staff members who work hard and endure much for our patients and families. It provides an opportunity for members to create positive moments and relationships within their work environment and outside of their immediate department. Since the choir is led by the hospital’s music therapists, patients and staff benefit from this form of therapeutic intervention intended to bolster positive moods and mindsets.

Once a month, the Ukulele Choir performs on inpatient units, high traffic areas of the hospital, as well as staff meetings and events. The choir also provides live environmental music throughout the hospital. Since its inception three years ago, the choir has grown from three to more than 30 staff members representing different areas of the hospital including Information Services, Nursing, Pharmacy and Child Life.

Thanks to the generosity of donors far and wide, Texas Children’s Hospital has reached a significant milestone in its Promise Campaign. As of the end of September, donors had contributed $408.9 million, pushing the organization ever closer to its $475 million fundraising goal. The amount raised during fiscal year 2017 alone – $124.7 million – is a new annual high for the hospital’s fundraising team.

This record-breaking year coincides with a rebranding of the team that leads these efforts – the Office of Development is now the Office Philanthropy. “Changing the name from development to philanthropy better defines what we do, which is less transactional and more about the creation and sustainability of a strong and active base of supporters who are dedicated to advancing Texas Children’s mission,” said Amber Tabora, Senior Vice President of Philanthropy, Marketing and Public Relations.

“We are so grateful to our generous donors, volunteers and friends in the community, and to the Office of Philanthropy team, who are all working together to ensure the campaign’s success,” said Michael C. Linn, president of Texas Children’s Board of Trustees. Linn and his wife, Carol, serve as co-chairs of the Promise Campaign, which was launched more than seven years ago.

This major fundraising effort ensures that Texas Children’s can expand to serve even more children who need the highest quality care and can anticipate what our patients’ needs will be in 5, 10 and even 20 years. Funds raised through the campaign are being dedicated to five key initiatives:

Legacy Tower
The new Legacy Tower, scheduled to open in the spring of 2018 will add 640,000 square feet of space to our Main Campus, allowing the hospital to respond to an urgent need for the expansion of critical, surgical and cardiac care services.

Charity Care and Hospital Priorities
Funding for this area supports the advancement of Texas Children’s mission, providing care for all patients regardless of their families’ ability to pay, bridging the gap for un- and under-compensated care, and providing resources to address the hospital’s most pressing needs.

Endowed Chairs
Not a day goes by when Texas Children’s renowned physicians and scientists are not being recruited by other institutions around the world. Funding for endowed chairs enables us to recruit the brightest and best and keep them here.

Divisions and Centers of Excellence
Texas Children’s specialty services are ranked consistently in the top 10 for pediatric hospitals throughout the country. Funding for divisions and centers of excellence like allows us to enhance and expand our existing programs and develop new ones to address our patients’ ever-evolving needs.

Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands
The 548,000-square-foot dedicated pediatric hospital – our second community hospital – expanded Texas Children’s footprint in The Woodlands to better serve the growing communities north of Houston.

“The success of the Promise Campaign depends not only on monetary donations, but also on longstanding relationships with people who believe in the mission of Texas Children’s,” said Linn. “These relationships are what sustain the great work that is being done at the hospital to help children from our own community and beyond.”

The Office of Philanthropy cultivates these partnerships through education, attentive stewardship and appropriate solicitation. The gifts received as a result of this work – no matter how big or small – can be life-changing for our patients, families and staff.

For more information about the Promise Campaign, click here.

“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.

More than 300 patients and family members attended the Di-A-Boo-Tes Bash on October 21 at the Houston Health Museum. Hosted by Texas Children’s Hospital’s Diabetes Clinic, more than 70 vendors participated in the event, meant to provide patients with a way to celebrate Halloween and highlight diabetes awareness to the community.

October 24, 2017

Texas Children’s inches closer towards achieving its third Magnet® re-designation, which is considered the gold standard for nursing excellence. Now that the hospital’s application and written documentation for Magnet® re-designation have been approved, Magnet’s appraiser team will visit Texas Children’s for a site visit in January.

“This step marks a huge milestone in our journey towards Magnet® re-designation,” said Texas Children’s Chief Nursing Officer Mary Jo Andre’. “The site visit will provide our appraiser team with the opportunity to validate the exemplars referenced in our written documentation. I am so proud of the combined efforts of our entire nursing team which made this collaborative achievement possible. I would also like to recognize Emily Weber, Sarah Marcion, and the NAS team for their leadership.”

From January 22 to 26, 2018, Magnet® appraisers will conduct a site visit at Texas Children’s, which is one of the many required steps to obtain Magnet® re-designation. The site visit will provide an opportunity for nurses and the entire health care team to engage with the Magnet® appraisers, share their exceptional accomplishments, and highlight our great partnership, exceptional care delivery and collaboration to enhance patient outcomes.

Reaching this milestone was no easy task. The 10-month Magnet® re-designation process required tremendous collaboration among many departments across the organization including Nursing, Quality and Safety, Nursing Clinical Informatics, Human Resources, Information Services (IS), Patient and Family Services and Marketing.

“In January 2016, Mary Jo Andre in collaboration with Emily Weber, nursing, and the interprofessional team across the organization reviewed each Magnet® standard with our consultant and aligned the submitted source of evidence examples to the Magnet standards,” said Texas Children’s Magnet Assistant Director Sarah Marcion. “Every other month we had a three-day Magnet® writers workshop for our Magnet writing team who developed the Texas Children’s Hospital exemplars that contributed to our system-wide achievements. Necessary materials and documentation were included in our Magnet® website. We received support from IS and Marketing on the website development.”

Since 2003, Texas Children’s has been a Magnet-designated organization. Every four years, the hospital applies for Magnet® re-designation, which is the highest and most prestigious recognition provided by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and reflects Texas Children’s commitment to providing quality patient care.

Following the site visit in January, the Magnet appraisers will submit a report to the Commission on Magnet®, which makes the final decisions regarding Texas Children’s Magnet® re-designation.

“We are very confident that our organization will receive the Magnet re-designation in the spring of 2018,” Andre’ said. “Our nurses and our entire health care team have worked so hard to help us maintain this gold standard of nursing excellence.”

To learn more about the ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program®, click here.