April 20, 2019

Your name, title and department. How long have you worked here?
MaJomela ‘Joie’ Nagal, MBA, BSN, RN, CPN, Education Coordinator on 10 WT Neurology/Neurosurgery/Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. I have worked at Texas Children’s Hospital for 11 years.

Tell us how you found out you won a super star award.
I thought I was meeting with Sheranda Fesler, our assistant director of Clinical Practice, Nursing to discuss my FY 2019 goals. She came to meet with me but asked me to go with her to attend to a more urgent matter in a haste so I knew it had to be important. I was surprised to see my colleagues, 10 WT Leadership Team, Emily Weber, Jennifer Sanders and Jackie Ward in the conference room. Sheranda announced that I won Super Star Award. I still could not believe it, I kept looking around the room and I thought for a second that I recognized my husband in the corner. That was nice of Sheranda to invite my husband to come over and be part of my celebration. I had no idea how he was invited but Sheranda explained how she orchestrated the event. I could not explain the overwhelming joy and the mixed emotions but I knew in my heart that I was overjoyed.

What does it mean to be recognized for the hard work you do? How has the organization helped you achieve your personal and professional goals?
I am so honored to be recognized and so grateful to have received this award. It gives me a great sense of confidence to know that my hard work is being recognized. It also is comforting to know that my colleagues appreciate my efforts. It is an honor and a privilege to work here at Texas Children’s Hospital and be surrounded with incredible people to work with. Texas Children’s has a lot of wonderful opportunities to offer and these kept me motivated and continued to inspire me to learn more, improve and grow in my nursing profession. My journey here at Texas Children’s started when I was hired as a staff nurse. Texas Children’s has provided an environment in which front line staff like myself was able to engage and join the unit based and house-wide committees which supported nursing practice and fostered participatory decision making, professional accountability and career growth. I have taken on various expanded roles in the unit level and house wide. After fulfilling several unit-based expanded roles and becoming involved with various projects, I began to see the need and the value as an informal leader. Along the way, I have met amazing people and inspirational leaders who were instrumental in achieving my personal and professional goals. I felt that I could best contribute to advancing the growing and evolving nursing profession through nursing education.

What do you think makes someone at Texas Children’s a super star?
A Texas Children’s Super Star must uphold and exhibit a passion for Texas Children’s mission, must provide quality and excellent clinical patient care, a role model in exhibiting integrity and ethical behavior, and value others by showing respect, compassion and empathy. A super star is someone who is able to take action and initiative to solve problems, someone who is not only willing to embrace change but be the change agent.

What is your motivation for going above and beyond every day at work?
My biggest motivation for going above and beyond is knowing that I work with an amazing team whom I really care about and inspire me to do better each day. It gives me sense of great satisfaction knowing that staff are empowered, equipped with knowledge and training to safely care for the patients and ultimately provide quality and excellent nursing care. It also gives me the sense of fulfillment to witness the journey of a novice nurse, to be there to nurture them on their professional development and until they become experts.

What is the best thing about working at Texas Children’s?
The best thing about working at Texas Children’s is working alongside extraordinary people that I share the same passion serving pediatric population. Knowing that I am part of an organization that is family centered care, full of opportunities, supports nursing practice, advancing in technology and serves not only the children but as well as women in the global community and more importantly leading in patient care, education and research.

What does it mean to you that everyone at Texas Children’s is considered a leader? What is your leadership definition?
I believed that commitment to excellence starts with the leader, so know in your heart that where you are is where you were placed to serve and share your skills and talents. A leader is able to develop others by highlighting their strengths, minimizes their weaknesses and builds upon that. A leader is someone who is an effective communicator, can connect with staff, can foster a positive work culture environment, able to incorporate core measures in daily practice. Someone who is a positive influencer, can lead by example, is reliable and trustworthy.

Anything else you want to share?
I would like to thank my fellow Educator, Heather Morand-Reid who nominated me and to the 10 WT staff and the Leadership Team whom she collaborated with to make this possible. Thank you team!

April 15, 2019

An experience Charlene James had at Texas Children’s Hospital years ago made a lasting impression, prompting the now veteran volunteer to give back to a place she has come to love.

Decades ago, James’ daughter spent a month at Texas Children’s Hospital due to a case of viral meningitis. During her stay, Texas Children’s doctors, nurses and other staff and clinical personnel cared for her child just as she had hoped – with tender loving care, and for that, James is forever grateful.

“I said then that when I retired, I would give back to the place that took such good care of my daughter,” James said. “I have, and I love it.”

For the past 10 years, James has given her time and much of her heart to Texas Children’s Hospital, primarily holding babies in the Newborn Center and also taking on positions on The Auxiliary to Texas Children’s board, including president and currently financial officer.

James’ service and the contributions of so many like her were celebrated last week during Volunteer Appreciation Week. Filled with various activities, the five-day affair included a social mixer, lunch, and special presentation from Joel Cowley, President and CEO of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.

In his role, Cowley is responsible for the efforts of more than 34,000 volunteers and 120 full-time staff in conducting a 23-day event that draws nearly 34,000 livestock show entries and an annual attendance of more than 2.4 million.

During his presentation, Cowley said he has a great appreciation for volunteers and the value they have to an organization. He said the number of volunteers working the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo has doubled in the past 15 years, and that without such a dedicated volunteer force, the event wouldn’t be such a huge success.

“The impact our volunteers have on the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo is immense,” Cowley said. “The fact you are at Texas Children’s providing support and care to patients, families and caregivers is an incredible value as well.”

Director of Volunteer Services Paige Schulz said the more than 1,000 Texas Children’s volunteers who support patients, families and hospital staff through a number of assignments throughout the Texas Children’s system are the heart and soul of the organization and that each and every one of them are deeply appreciated.

“We are so thankful for the time and talent our volunteers dedicate to Texas Children’s,” she said. “Our organization wouldn’t be the same without them.”

According to many volunteers, they wouldn’t be the same without Texas Children’s.

Volunteer Herb LeDee said the two days a week he spends volunteering at the front desk of the Outpatient Building in The Woodlands are some of his best.

“Every day is a fun day,” he said. “When I leave, I feel complete.”

LeDee was named Volunteer of the Year during last week’s festivities. He was one of the first volunteers in The Woodlands and has the most service hours and Caught You Caring awards of any volunteer in that area.

If you are anyone you know is interested in volunteering at Texas Children’s, click here for more information.

Drs. Muralidhar Premkumar (from left) and Melissa Carbajal, Neonatology faculty, congratulate third-year fellow Dr. Charles Roitsch (center), as the 24th annual Arnold J. Rudolph Memorial Grand Rounds award recipient. The award recognizes third-year fellows in neonatal-perinatal medicine for outstanding teaching, patient care, scientific inquiry and professional integrity. Dr. Patrick McNamara, a staff neonatologist and director of the Division of Neonatology at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, and professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, University of Iowa, was this year’s invited speaker at the recent grand rounds. Dr. McNamara also is the current chair of the PanAmerican Hemodynamic Collaborative and Paediatric Academic Society Neonatal Hemodynamics Advisory.

The Arnold J. Rudolph Memorial Grand Rounds was established in 1996 by the Section of Neonatology, in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, in memory of its late Section Chief, Dr. Arnold J. Rudolph, who died in 1995. Dr. Rudolph was a well-respected clinician and educator, recognized internationally as a leader of neonatology.

April 2, 2019

More than a dozen Texas Children’s clinicians, who are also in academic roles at Baylor College of Medicine, were recently honored with the college’s Women of Excellence Award.

The award is one of the highest educational honors made by the college, highlighting individuals who demonstrate extraordinary dedication to issues that affect women at Baylor College of Medicine, or in their larger community.

The award also recognizes meritorious academic accomplishments, commitment to the mission and vision of Baylor, as well as direct teaching and evaluation, educational leadership, development of enduring educational materials and educational research.

“Congratulations on your outstanding accomplishment and we wish you many years of continued success,” said Dr. Toi Blakely, Associate Provost of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity & Student Services, and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Pediatrics and Family and Community. ”Baylor College of Medicine is truly fortunate to have such outstanding role models dedicated to addressing issues affecting women at Baylor and the larger community through our mission and core values. Thank you for all you do.”

The following Texas Children’s clinicians received the Women of Excellence Award at a March 28 ceremony featuring remarks by Dr. Hannah Valentine, the Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity at the National Institutes of Health. For a complete list of award winners, click here.

  • Dr. Nishath Ali, Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Dr. Susan Blaney, Cancer and Hematology Centers
  • Dr. Catherine Eppes, Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Dr. Elaine Fielder, Emergency Medicine
  • Dr. Karin Fox, Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Dr. Erica Giwa, Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Dr. Charleta Guillory, Neonatology
  • Dr. Jill Ann Jarrell, Palliative Care
  • Dr. Karen Johnson, Neonatology
  • Dr. Lakshmi Katakam, Neonatal Intensive Care
  • Dr. Katherine Leaming-Van Zandt, Emergency Medicine
  • Dr. Krithika Lingappan, Neonatal Intensive Care
  • Dr. Jenelle Little, Neonatology
  • Dr. Shreya Sheth, Cardiology
  • Dr. Sara Kristen Sexson Tejtel, Department of Pediatrics
  • Dr. Sandhya Sara Thomas, Nephrology
March 26, 2019

Myra Davis, senior vice president of Information Services at Texas Children’s Hospital, received the 2019 Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Year ORBIE Awards from the Houston CIO Leadership Association.

The CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards is the premier technology executive recognition program in the United States that is based upon a nominee’s leadership and management effectiveness, technology innovation, size and scope of responsibilities and engagement in industry and community endeavors.

“I am very grateful to receive this honor,” Davis said. “Information Technology, particularly in health care, has the opportunity to enhance, in many ways, how we deliver care to our patients and families. I love what my team and I are able to do and the boundless opportunities IT presents at Texas Children’s.”

Since joining Texas Children’s 15 years ago, Davis has helped Texas Children’s consistently stand out amongst our peers, and it is her visionary leadership and passion for the hospital’s mission that keep Texas Children’s on the leading edge of technology, and perpetually surfing the innovation curve.

While her leadership philosophy centers on cultivating strong partnerships that drive the successful delivery of improved quality, safety and patient outcomes at Texas Children’s, Davis enthusiastically credits her team of more than 400 employees for helping to lead the organization through some major technological transformations, including spearheading the recent integration of Texas Children’s Health Plan systems into the hospital’s electronic medical record.

Davis and her team have been instrumental in other systemwide initiatives including implementing new MyChart enhancements that have significantly improved patient experience and access to care; building the technology infrastructure to support daily operations at our new Texas Children’s Lester and Sue Legacy Tower; upgrading the patient transport system used to document incoming and outgoing transfers; and implementing a stringent cyber security protocol throughout Texas Children’s that employs a layered defense to prevent unauthorized access to organizational assets and patient information.

“Our IS department is truly the village that makes everything happen on a daily basis,” Davis said. “I am grateful to work with such a dedicated and talented team, and look forward to what we can accomplish together to better serve our patients and their families, and our employees and staff at Texas Children’s.”

Beyond her leadership responsibilities at Texas Children’s, Myra also devotes much of her free time serving the community. She has developed a collaboration between local universities (Rice, UT Austin and University of Houston) and Texas Children’s, where students are able see how technology is used in health care and explore the possibility of wanting to work in healthcare technology post-graduation.

In addition to the CIO of the Year ORBIE Award, Davis has been the recipient of the 2017 Houston Business Journal CIO of the Year in addition to Association for Women in Computing Award for Leadership in Technology that recognizes women who are making a difference in their professions, companies and communities through hard work and innovative leadership.

March 25, 2019
In this month’s episode of Medically Speaking, you’ll hear from Texas Children’s urologist, Dr. Ming-Hsien Wang. In her talk, Wang discusses best practices in the treatment of pediatric urinary tract infections (UTIs) and also shares the differing views between American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines and findings from a recent double-blind study on the use of prophylactic antibiotics to treat UTIs.

Learn more about the services provided and conditions treated by Texas Children’s Division of Urology.

Medically Speaking features some of the brightest minds from several Texas Children’s specialty and subspecialty areas. The series is meant to be a helpful educational resource for parents and a convenient way for physicians and other caregivers to stay up-to-date on the latest in pediatric medicine. Viewers can watch talks on a variety of interesting topics, including advancements in surgery, breakthroughs in research, new clinical trials, and novel and back-practice treatments for specific conditions.

Be on the lookout for more Medically Speaking episodes here on Connect, or view additional episodes now.

This presentation is not intended to present medical advice or individual treatment recommendations, and does not supplant the practitioner’s independent clinical judgment. Practitioners are advised to consider the management of each patient in view of the clinical information. All content is shared for informational purposes only, and reflects the thoughts and opinions of the original author. No physician-patient relationship is being created by the use of this presentation. The presentation sets out recommendations based upon similar circumstances and is provided as an educational tool. The presenters are not attorneys, and to the extent this presentation provides commentary on current laws and regulations affecting health care activities, it is not intended as legal advice.

When Texas Children’s Cancer Center opened its doors in 1954, only one in every 10 children with cancer survived. Today, more than 80 percent of children who are diagnosed with cancer will successfully fight the battle and be cured. However, the war with cancer will not be over until there is a cure for each and every child who is impacted by this disease.

The good news is, tremendous progress has been made. With powerful new weapons in our arsenal and incredible breakthroughs in technology and genetics, every day we uncover more information about what causes cancer and how to beat it, because losing even one child to cancer is still one too many.

To learn more about the history of Texas Children’s Cancer Center, our treatments, programs, staff and research, read “And So We Fight,” a publication dedicated to the mission of the Cancer Center and those it serves. The publication is now online. Click here to view.