September 1, 2020

Forbes released their Best Employers by State list for 2020, and Texas Children’s ranked #53 among the top 100 companies to work for in Texas.

“This is a tremendous testament to the culture that we have created at Texas Children’s. This recognition is the doing of our entire team – executives, in-chiefs, employees, and medical staff – as it is the work ethic and respect you all hold for one another that creates this positive working environment,” said Texas Children’ President and CEO Mark A. Wallace. “As you know more than anyone, this culture wasn’t created overnight but has been decades in the making, and I couldn’t be prouder of who we are and what we do.”

Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to measure the leading employers around the country and the world by asking those in the best position: the workers. The list is divided into 51 rankings – one for each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia – and was compiled by surveying 80,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 500 employees. Participants across the country ranked organizations based on responses in several categories including recommended places to work, overall image, compensation and opportunity for advancement.

As you may recall, Texas Children’s Hospital was also recognized by Forbes last year as one of America’s best employers and ranked Texas Children’s No. 276 among the best 500 large companies in the nation; Texas Children’s was one of 25 health care organizations on the list, and one of only three in Texas and Houston. And in 2018 Texas Children’s was ranked No. 11 among the best 300 companies in the nation – and the best in Houston on its first-ever ranking of America’s best employers for women.

July 20, 2020

Texas Children’s Heart Center has once again been named the best place in the country for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery in the U.S. News and World Report 2020-2021 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings – the center’s fourth straight year at No. 1.

“We are incredibly proud to be named the best place in the country for children who are in need of pediatric cardiology and heart surgery,” said Chief of Pediatric Cardiology Dr. Daniel Penny. “Achieving this honor for the fourth consecutive year is a testament to our dedicated multidisciplinary team who works tirelessly to advance the field and provide the best care possible to our patients and their families. We don’t take this responsibility lightly, and these survey results only inspire us to work harder to be even better for our patients and each other every day.”

The U.S. News rankings use a well-accepted framework for evaluating quality of health care, which factors in patient outcomes, such as mortality and infection rates; available clinical resources, such as specialized clinics and programs and external accreditations; and compliance with best practices. Improved rankings demonstrate a health care organization’s commitment to not only providing high-quality care, but also to identifying gaps where improvements are needed.

This past year, the Heart Center built on the successes of previously existing programs and continued to excel in their outcomes metrics. One of those metrics was related to the center’s heart transplant survival ratio, which earned a top score for its one-year heart transplant survival ratio. The Heart Center continues as one of the busiest programs utilizing ventricular assist devices to support hearts that might need transplantation.

“Leading the field in transplantation and ventricular assist devices is important to ensure that we can provide expert care for the sickest patients,” said Dr. Christopher Caldarone, chief of Congenital Heart Surgery. “We are proud of our teams that keep us at the forefront of medical care. This comes about by maintain a culture focused on continuous improvement. We constantly measure our performance and drive for better outcomes. Quite simply, we never rest.”

Other notable initiatives include:

Public reporting of Heart Center outcomes
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) is a national leader in health care transparency and accountability and publishes outcomes from congenital heart surgery programs across the country. The members of the Heart Center strongly believe that transparent reporting of outcomes after congenital heart surgery is important to insure that patients and families are well-informed with accurate information to help make informed health care decisions. The STS database publishes risk-adjusted outcomes on its public website and the Heart Center at Texas Children’s Hospital has adjusted operative mortality rates that are among the best reported.

International collaboration to monitor outcomes in the catheterization laboratory
In partnership with clinical and physician leadership, the Heart Center’s Cardiac Catheterization Labs implemented processes to submit metrics on all catheterization procedures included in the American College of Cardiology’s IMPACT Registry®. This national register collects quality-focused data on the management and outcomes of pediatric and adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) patients who undergo diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterization procedures. The registry also allows Heart Center leadership to compare performance against a national aggregate for quality improvement initiatives.

Expertise to provide care for every patient
The Heart Center provides excellent care for patients with all types of congenital heart disease. From simple to complex problems, the Heart Center has expertise in every field. We have specialists that can provide interventions for babies before they are born and throughout infancy, childhood, and all of adulthood. The Heart Center can provide expert care for all aspects of congenital heart disease.

Continued dedication to Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program
Texas Children’s ACHD Program allows patients with congenital heart disease to receive seamless continuity of care from birth throughout adulthood. As pediatric patients with congenital heart defects transition into adulthood, the program’s multidisciplinary team of experienced congenital heart disease specialists advises them on health and lifestyle choices for their adult needs, including physical challenges, exercise options and family planning. The program offers comprehensive medical and surgical care in collaboration with colleagues at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women® and Texas Children’s Fetal Center®. The hospital’s ACHD Program is accredited by the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) and is one of only three accredited programs in Texas.

Learn more about the Heart Center, its services, and volume and outcomes.

June 16, 2020

The 2020 U.S. News & World Report survey of Best Children’s Hospitals was released this morning and Texas Children’s is again one of the best in the nation. I am excited to share with you that Texas Children’s ranked fourth place among all children’s hospitals nationally.

Seven of Texas Children’s specialties are ranked in the top 5 this year, and 9 are in the top 10. Cardiology and Congenital Heart Surgery ranked No. 1 in the nation for the fourth straight year in a row, and Neurology and Neurosurgery moved up from No. 3 to No. 2, which is an amazing feat.

The scores this year were exceptionally tight among the top children’s hospitals, and here are a few highlights of this year’s biggest wins across the system:

  • We received maximum scores for all system-wide structure and process metrics.
  • We achieved maximum points for our collaborative efforts on infection prevention.
  • We exceeded our T-dap and flu immunization compliance threshold, which was increased to 95 percent.
  • We exceeded the new threshold for number of infection preventionists per 100 beds.

Dr. Jim Versalovic and Dr. Larry Hollier have demonstrated exceptional leadership over their departments, and all of our chiefs of service have worked tirelessly to ensure their respective specialties excelled in this year’s rankings — Dr. Paul Austin, Dr. Susan Blaney, Dr. Michael Braun, Dr. Christopher Caldarone, Dr. Gary Clark, Dr. Peter Hiatt, Dr. Daniel Penny, Dr. Benjamin Shneider, Dr. Brian Smith, Dr. Rona Sonabend, Dr. Gautham Suresh and Dr. Howard Weiner. Please join me in thanking our medical leaders for their hard work and dedication.

Our entire list of 2020 U.S. News rankings include:

#1 Cardiology and Congenital Heart Surgery
#2 Neurology and Neurosurgery
#2 Nephrology
#3 Pulmonology
#4 Cancer
#4 Gastroenterology and GI surgery
#5 Diabetes and Endocrinology
#6 Urology
#10 Neonatology
#15 Orthopedics

The rankings methodology weighs advanced technology, best practices, credentialing, infection prevention, nursing care, outcomes and reputation. The more consistently we deliver high quality care and the safer we deliver that care to our patients, the better their outcomes are, and the better our overall numbers are.

The results also reflect the efforts of our team and their steadfast focus on the U.S. News survey. Compiling and refining our data is a continuous process and, with the support of our medical staff, in-chiefs, service chiefs, as well as Mark Mullarkey, Trudy Leidich, Elizabeth Pham and the entire Quality team, we have again excelled this year.

I hope you are all as proud as I am of this remarkable accomplishment. These results, combined with the resiliency you have all shown over these past few months, exemplify why Texas Children’s is the best pediatric hospital in Texas. Thank you for your commitment and leadership. It takes all of you to be ranked one of the nation’s best.

This year’s rankings will be available online at You can learn more about Texas Children’s rankings here.

January 6, 2020

Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus is proud to again be recognized as a Leapfrog 2019 Top Children’s Hospital. This elite distinction demonstrates the hospital’s outstanding accomplishments in safety, patient care and commitment to serving the community. This is the sixth time Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus earned this prestigious award.

Recognized as one of 10 Top Children’s Hospitals, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus received the award alongside 100 other nationwide hospitals in four categories, including general, rural, teaching and children’s hospitals.

“To again be recognized as a Leapfrog Top Children’s Hospital is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our clinical and administrative teams, delivering the highest standards of quality and care for our patients,” Ivett Shah, senior vice president at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, said. “This is one of the most competitive and exclusive honors a hospital can achieve and I am so proud the Leapfrog Group recognized our work; we will continue to provide exemplary care to our community.”

Being designated as a Leapfrog Top Hospital is widely acknowledged as one of the most competitive honors American hospitals can receive. Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus is consistently recognized for exceeding the toughest standards for patient safety and quality.

The Leapfrog Group is an independent hospital watchdog organization and provides the only national, public comparison of hospitals across safety, quality and efficiency dimensions. Performance across many areas of hospital care is considered in establishing the qualifications for the award, including infection rates and the hospital’s capacity to prevent medication errors.

To qualify for the Top Hospitals distinction, hospitals must submit a Leapfrog Hospital Survey and achieve the highest performance in its category. To see the full list of institutions honored as 2019 Top Hospitals, visit

November 5, 2019

Thank you for making Texas Children’s a Best Place to Work in Houston! According to the Houston Business Journal, we rank No. 5 among companies with more than 1,000 employees. Our Catalyst Leadership Award winners and Human Resources team members accepted the Houston Business Journal award on October 31. Read more

October 7, 2019


Texas Children’s Orthopedics Department jumped five spots from No. 15 to No. 10 in this year’s U.S. News and World Report survey.

The team worked quickly, relentlessly and collaboratively to achieve this ranking, a first for the Orthopedics department at Texas Children’s.

Service chief Dr. Brian Smith expressed his sentiments with the ranking, “The Orthopedics Division is thrilled and honored to be recognized as one of the top 10 Orthopaedic programs in the country. This is a tribute to our entire team of physicians, physician’s assistants, nurses and staff whose primary goal every day is to provide the best musculoskeletal care possible to our patients and families.”

But seriously, how did they move so far so fast?

Specifically, the Orthopedics Department accomplished four big wins for patients:

  • Gait Lab accreditation: Dr. Jeffery Shilt, chief surgical officer in The Woodlands, led efforts to ensure that our Gait Lab was accredited as a clinical motion laboratory. The Texas Children’s Hospital Gait Lab received this accreditation in record time after opening, providing exceptional care to patients with movement disorders.
  • Continuing education: 100 percent of nurse practitioners and physician assistants received pediatric orthopedic surgery related continuing education units. Janai’ Buxton, manager of Advanced Practice Providers in Orthopedics is proud of this dedication to education, saying, “Such education ensures our APPs are providing the very best current, evidence-based care for patients.”
  • Scoliosis outcomes: The spine surgery team implemented several changes, including a multi-disciplinary meeting, to reduce unplanned readmissions and reoperations for complex scoliosis surgery patients.
  • Gap closures: The team worked together to close out 90 percent of gaps related to the department structure.
Deserved recognition

The dedication and leadership of Dr. Larry Hollier, surgeon-in-chief, Dr. David Wesson, interim chief of Orthopedics, and Rachel Warfield, Director of Surgical Ambulatory Services, helped the team accomplish this ranking. Additional recognition goes to the many physician champions who led efforts to improve quality as well as the data team led by Ken Kocab and Debasis Dash.

The Orthopedics department sees this accomplishment as a testament to all the hard work that has been done to improve patient quality and access to care over the past several years.

September 30, 2019

To be ranked among the best children’s hospital services in the nation by U.S. News and World Report is a big deal. But when you talk to leaders within the Diabetes & Endocrinology service you get the sense that high performance is simply who they are.

“We are extremely proud of the recognition because it speaks to how hard we work,” said Curtis Yee, practice administrator of the Diabetes and Endocrinology section. “But we also recognize that we still have a lot of work left to do for our patients and families.”

This year the service ranked at No. 8.

What makes a high performing team?
Ryan Breaux, U.S. News and World Report service team lead, said the heart and soul of the program’s success is the quality infrastructure of the Diabetes Care Process Team which is comprised of approximately 150 people.

“A strong team is motivated to improve outcomes for our patients. That’s the core of our work every single day and it shines through,” Breaux said. “I also give a lot of credit to Dr. Rona Sonabend who has been instrumental in building the culture of this service.”

The Diabetes care process team includes providers, nurses, diabetes educators, dietitians, social workers, data technicians, and psychologists.

U.S. News recognized several big wins for patients and families:

  • An increase in percentage of patients with Diabetes who have LDL cholesterol less than 130, which is tied directly to the physical health of patients within the service.
  • A significant increase in patient encounters with a nutritionist, certified dietitian educator, social worker, and/or a psychologist for patients with Diabetes – a marker that captures how much emphasis is placed on the overall health and well-being of patients with diabetes
  • Increased dialated retinal or non-mydriatic camera examinations in the diabetes clinics to ensure that the eye health of patients with diabetes is regularly monitored.
  • Closed out all structural related metrics in an effort to guarantee that the service has the structural and procedural framework to keep performing at the highest level possible.