In the midst of a winter weather event with some of the coldest temperatures Texas has seen in decades, our Texas Children’s team members immediately sprang into action to support the needs of our patients.
On February 16, a pipe burst in a mechanical room in Mark Wallace Tower, causing the loss of power to the elevators. The Cancer & Hematology Center, located on the 14th floor, was the only clinic in operation that day due to the critical need to administer chemotherapy and blood products to our patient population. The compromised elevators left patients and staff stranded on the 14th floor, while those arriving for treatment were unable to get to the clinic.
Our staff not only ensured that treatments continued for those patients still on the 14th floor, but they also took medications and supplies to the third-floor food court area to provide infusions there for patients that could not get to the clinic. Some nurses even repeatedly climbed the stairs from the third to the 14th floor to ensure patients received their treatments.
With true One Amazing Team spirit, our Ambulatory Hematology-Oncology and BMT clinics and Kangaroo Crew also rose to the challenge by collaborating together to move the infusion portion of the clinic to West Tower 7. This planning began at 4 p.m. that day and the team saw the first of 40 total patients in the “new” space at 7:30 a.m. the following day, February 17.
It took roughly 15 hours to complete the move, including the transport of our patients – some wheelchair-bound down the stairs in Mark Wallace Tower.
“Moving the clinic was a herculean task and it could not have been accomplished without our people,” said Kathleen Magee, director, Cancer Center-Clinical.
Though she said several team members deserved special thanks for embracing freedom to make the move happen – Dr. Kala Kamdar, Sandi Knight, Rhoda Phillips, Paulette Reed and Brittany Anderson – Magee also emphasized that the whole team had a hand in making it a success.
“Our entire team played a crucial part in the move,” she said. “Our clinic medical assistants, LVNs and RNs embraced the new space and created new workflows and processes. Our ShareDesk and nurse coordinators kept track of all our patients and handled rescheduling appropriately, and our faculty reviewed our patient lists numerous times.”
Also essential were the partners who worked overnight on Tuesday to support the effort: EVS, Pharmacy, Registration, IS and the OR.
“I am so thankful for all of you and your ability to really make sure our patients get the care they need, when you are all going through so much at home as well,” Magee said.
Chief Nursing Officer Jackie Ward echoed the praise and gratitude for the team members who stepped up at a time when it mattered most. Whether we’re fighting a global pandemic or navigating a significant winter weather event, Texas Children’s team members remain committed to taking care of our patients, their families and each other.
“This is leadership – doing what is right, not always what is easy,” Ward said. “I know this was not easy, but it was necessary for the patients we serve. Our patients and families are just as appreciative for each of you as I am. Thank you for your efforts today and every day.”
Have a success story to share? If you are interested in sharing a team success story, please send a brief blurb along with a photo to HRCommunications@texaschildrens.org.