April 30, 2019

On his blog this week, Mark Wallace invites you to share your leadership story with him and how it relates to his leadership maxims. Read more

April 23, 2019

Know a team member who exemplifies our mission and core values? Help us recognize and reward your colleague as a Super Star! To nominate, click read more.

March 4, 2019

This Heart Month, there was even more reason to celebrate as representatives from 11 Houston area schools visited Texas Children’s Heart Center for a special graduation ceremony during which they were awarded their Project ADAM® Heart Safe School designation.

Project ADAM (Automated Defibrillators in Adam’s Memory) is a national program that was started 1999 by the parents of Adam Lemel, a Wisconsin teen who passed away from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) – a condition in which the heartbeat abruptly and unexpectedly stops. Every year nearly 7,000 children in the United States experience SCA outside of a hospital, and less than 10 percent of those children survive. Administering CPR immediately can more than double the chances of survival for SCA victims, and the chances of survival increase even more if an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is present. Since children spend a significant amount of their time at school, it is imperative that schools understand how to respond to an SCA on campus.

Project ADAM unites affiliate hospitals, like Texas Children’s, with area schools to help them become better prepared to respond to SCA. The Heart Safe designation is earned upon successful implementation of a quality sudden cardiac arrest program of awareness, training and effective emergency response to promote a Heart Safe environment for students, visitors and staff.

“Making a school Heart Safe is not only beneficial for students, but also for the adults who work there and for any visitors the school might have,” said Dr. Santiago Valdes, Texas Children’s cardiologist and medical director of the local Project ADAM initiative. “This program helps educators develop action plans that can minimize time between arrest and defibrillation and increase chances of survival. We’re excited to carry the momentum of these first few successful years forward”

As a Project ADAM affiliate, Texas Children’s helped 11 Houston area schools earn their Heart Safe designation from 2015 to 2018. However, last year, representatives from Texas Children’s Project ADAM team, including representatives from the departments of Government Relations and Community Benefits, Cardiology, and Administration, devised a plan to greatly expand the program’s reach. This included partnering with Houston Independent School District (HISD) to identify and target high-risk schools, and securing funding from the American Heart Association to provide participating schools with new AEDs.

The result: As of February 2019 – just in time for Heart Month – Texas Children’s helped double the number of Heart Safe Schools in Greater Houston.

There’s still work to be done. There are 256 schools in HISD alone, which doesn’t account for schools in large neighboring communities such as Katy and Pearland. But ambitions are high. The graduation ceremony ended with a collective pledge to continue growing the program until every school in the region is Heart Safe.

“This is a day we put our flag in the ground,” said Dr. Jeffrey Kim, director of Texas Children’s Arrhythmia and Pacing (Electrophysiology) Service and member of Texas Children’s Project ADAM advisory committee. “We’re aiming to certify all schools in the Houston area. This is a fantastic start, but there are hundreds of more schools to go and we have a lot of work to do. Although we may not be able to stop all sudden cardiac arrest, we are hopeful to make a powerful difference and save lives.”

2019 Texas Children’s Project ADAM Heart Safe Schools
  • Bonner Elementary
  • Carrillo Elementary
  • CJ Harris Elementary
  • Epps Island Elementary
  • Jenard Gross Elementary
  • Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
  • Lovett Elementary
  • Patterson Elementary
  • Pugh Elementary
  • Westbury High School
  • Young Elementary

June 26, 2018
On June 22 one of Texas Children’s three therapy dogs, Bailey, celebrated her second birthday. Bailey’s handler, Adair Galanski, and the Child Life department threw a party for her and invited several patients and their families to join the fun.

The celebration was held in the Kid’s Zone, an area on the sixteenth floor of West Tower that provides a fun, safe and procedure-free environment for Texas Children’s inpatient population and their families. Bailey was donated to Texas Children’s Hospital from our President and CEO Mark Wallace and his wife as a gift earlier this year, to offer a distraction and motivation to patients undergoing certain medical procedures.

As soon as patients checked in and walked through the door, Bailey and Galanski were directly across the room for them to pet her, play, and wish her a happy birthday. Bailey was prepped and ready to take pictures in her pink tutu and pink crown with a number two right in the middle.

On top of plenty colorful decorations, there were several areas available for patients to play and engage with each other. There was a station with paper and color pencils so patients could create personalized birthday cards for Bailey, an area where they could paint ceramic dogs to take with them, and a board with baby pictures of all of the therapy dogs so that patients could play a game of guess who is who. With dozens of people coming and going, one of the busiest portions of the party was the doggy corner, where Bailey’s siblings Elsa and Pinto were hanging out and cuddling with patients.

The relationship that Bailey has with patients was extremely evident as they brought gifts of their own to celebrate the occasion. One patient presented her with a hand painted name badge that said “#1 couch potato,” because she calls Bailey her small fry. Another patient also brought her a teddy bear, but what is most important is all the love that was brought to Bailey from all of the children.

“The interactions and the special moments that they spend with Bailey are what means the most,” said Galanski. “If they were nervous about something, or just wanted to come give her a hug because they missed her; those are all the gifts in the world that Bailey needs.”

Another patient ran straight to Bailey in her crown and beautiful pink dress as she was eager to tell her that she was celebrating her birthday as well.

“It’s my birthday and I’m in the hospital,” said the patient. “And it’s your birthday and you’re in the hospital, so we’re the same!”

Parties like these are thrown every year to celebrate the therapy dogs because it is another event that provides normalization.

“That’s what kids get to do outside of the hospital is go to birthday parties for their friends,” said Galanski. “The more that these kids get to know the dogs, the more they become their friend. So why not go to your friend’s birthday.”

March 6, 2018
On March 1, close to 340 golfers played colorfully and raised more than $500,000 at the 20th annual Bad Pants Open golf tournament at the Clubs of Kingwood, benefitting Texas Children’s Newborn Center.

Each year, organizers of the golf tournament set out to raise hundreds of thousands to support the hospital’s level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) that cares for the smallest and sickest babies. To celebrate Bad Pants’ 20th anniversary, the tournament also honored Texas Children’s NICU patient families from the last 20 years, many of whom attended the annual event.

“It was uplifting to see these children, now much older doing so well after going through a tough NICU course, and it was moving to see the pride and joy on the faces of the families of these children,” said Texas Children’s Chief of Neonatology Dr. Gautham Suresh. “It reminded me of what a privilege it is to serve as a physician and have the opportunity to take care of NICU patients in such a wonderful place as Texas Children’s Hospital.”

The event featured a post-play awards ceremony and dinner where players were awarded plates painted by Texas Children’s patients for both the best golf scores and baddest pants. Allyson Johnson, a NICU nurse at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, was presented with the Nurse of the Year award, a special recognition awarded at each tournament. While it is an honor to receive this award, she says seeing former patients thriving and happy is a reflection of the great work we do.

“It made me feel proud to know and hear from several families there how much we make a difference in their time spent in the NICU,” Johnson said. “It really warms my heart to see good outcomes from the attentive care we proudly provide in the Newborn Center at Texas Children’s.”

Proceeds from The Bad Pants Open support continued innovation and excellence in the research, treatment and care of critically ill and premature infants at Texas Children’s Newborn Center. Over the past 20 years, The Bad Pants Open has provided nearly $6.5 million in support of our Newborn Center – the nation’s largest NICU and one of only two Level IV NICUs in the greater Houston area. Their support has helped the Newborn Center provide programs and services to our NICU families including Family Support Groups, NICU Reunion, Parking for Patients Program as well as the work being carried out through Neonatal Family Advisory Committee.

“The Newborn Center is very fortunate to have the Bad Pants Open Committee raising money for the patients we care for and their families, as well as for the nurses and for medical research,” Suresh said. “I think of the committee as the “Bad Pants-Good Deeds” Committee and I am immensely grateful for their volunteer efforts.”

The next Bad Pants Open golf tournament is scheduled for October 11. More information is available at www.badpantsopen.com

Want to help build a generation of healthy, active children? There are only a few spots left to sign them up for the 2018 Houston Texans Kids Triathlon and Texas Children’s Hospital will pay their registration fee.

As the event’s presenting sponsor, the hospital will foot the bill for 50 children of employees to participate in the event slated for April 21 and 22 at NRG Stadium. The complimentary registrations are not retroactive, therefore if you have already signed up for the event, we cannot provide a reimbursement.

Drawing more than 3,000 participants ages 6 to 15, the event is expected to be the largest USA Triathlon sanctioned kids triathlon in the world for the fifth consecutive year.

Click here for more information and here to watch a video of last year’s event.

If you are interested in receiving one of the complimentary spots, please fill out this form and submit it to Alexandra Comerota at alexandra.comerota@houstontexans.com. The deadline to use these complimentary registrations is Wednesday, April 18, so don’t delay!

January 23, 2018
Want to help build a generation of healthy, active children? Sign them up for the 2018 Houston Texans Kids Triathlon and Texas Children’s Hospital will pay their registration fee.

As the event’s presenting sponsor, the hospital will foot the bill for 50 children of employees to participate in the event slated for April 21 and 22 at NRG Stadium. The complimentary registrations are not retroactive, therefore if you have already signed up for the event, we cannot provide a reimbursement.

Drawing more than 3,000 participants ages 6 to 15, the event is expected to be the largest USATriathlon sanctioned kids triathlon in the world for the fifth consecutive year.

Click here for more information and here to watch a video of last year’s event.

If you are interested in receiving one of the complimentary spots, please fill out this form and submit it to Alexandra Comerota at alexandra.comerota@houstontexans.com. The deadline to use these complimentary registrations is Wednesday, April 18, so don’t delay!