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!

January 15, 2018

Inclement weather update no. 3: Resuming normal operations

As of this afternoon, normal operations have resumed throughout the Texas Children’s system. Our clinics and primary care offices are now seeing patients during our regular hours and accommodating appointments that had to be rescheduled.

We want to thank all of you for carefully braving the weather to come into work yesterday and today. Your efforts to be here and your dedication to our patients ensured that we provided them safe, seamless care, and further demonstrate that we are an organization of staff and employees who think and act quickly and thoughtfully during times of challenge.

As we prepare for another deep freeze tonight, please be careful as you return home to your families. We encourage you to exercise caution when navigating roadways as some areas may still be wet or icy from earlier precipitation.

Judy Swanson
Administrator On Call

James Mitchell
Emergency Management

Inclement weather update no. 2: Tuesday, 2:15 p.m.

As expected, much of the Houston area is experiencing rain and below freezing temperatures. As we continue to monitor local reports, Texas Children’s leadership throughout the day has been assessing the needs and staffing of both patient care and non-patient-care areas within the hospitals, clinics, practices and health centers.

New information

  • Inpatient operations. At this time, we are continuing operations as normal throughout the Texas Children’s system. Leaders will continue to assess staffing needs and will make adjustments accordingly. Staff who want to come in early prior to their shift should contact their leader.  If you choose to spend the night, bring an overnight bag. Cots will be available for staff if you are unable to return home.
  • Outpatient operations. We are planning to suspend outpatient services by 3 p.m. today. Outpatient clinics will open at 10 a.m. on Wednesday to allow patients and staff more time to arrive to their destination.
  • Shuttles services from Garage 19 and Meyer to the Medical Center  Campus are running on schedule.
  • One-to-one handoff will occur in the inpatient areas at shift change

Medical Center campus retail food service
Food Court: closing early at 3 p.m.
Fresh Bistro:  normal hours 6:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Coffee Corner: closing early at 9 p.m. (sandwiches, paninis, salads and soup) – usually stays open until 11pm

*This is the plan for now, although staffing could affect opening times
Coffee Corner: 6 a.m. – midnight
Fresh Bistro: 6:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. (will evaluate station closures based on staffing and volumes)
Food Court: 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. (will evaluate station closures based on staffing and volumes)

West Campus Retail Food Service
DOTS Kitchen – will remain open until 6:30 p.m., Deli window in DOTs will remain open until 8pm (EXTENDED HOURS).
Coffee Spot: Closes at 2:30 p.m. per normal operations.

*Planned to maintain normal hours, given that staff can arrive tomorrow morning safely.
Coffee Spot: will open at 6:30am
DOTS Kitchen: will open at 7am

Sleet and freezing rain are expected to create hazardous road conditions especially during the afternoon/evening commute. We encourage staff to exercise caution when navigating roadways especially on bridges and overpasses as water can freeze very quickly with a sudden drop in temperatures. Please plan for additional travel time, and be sure to communicate with your leaders should your arrival to work be delayed due to the inclement weather conditions.

We will continue to monitor the weather and assess any possible impacts to you, our patients and their families. and will send additional global alerts as needed. For more information, including the latest weather, traffic and road conditions, go to the Emergency Management Connect site and the National Weather Service website.

Judy Swanson
Administrator On Call

James Mitchell
Emergency Management

Inclement weather expected tomorrow: Monday, 9:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service is forecasting rain and below freezing temperatures across much of southeast Texas. Light rain is expected to begin at 2 a.m. on Tuesday. The morning commute is not expected to be affected. However, as temperatures begin to drop during the mid-morning hours, sleet and freezing rain could create hazardous road conditions especially during the afternoon commute.

We are monitoring local reports and will continue to do so throughout tonight and tomorrow morning. As of now, Texas Children’s is expected to remain fully operational. This includes both patient care and non-patient-care areas within the hospitals, clinics, practices and health centers. However, leaders are assessing the needs and staffing of their respective areas and will subsequently provide any further information or instruction.

We know staff and employees may be concerned about the impending weather conditions. Please remember that we all are here to take care of our patients, and ensuring that their care is safe and seamless is our priority. Please plan to get an early start tomorrow so you can make a thoughtful assessment of the current weather situation and your plans for reporting to work safely. We encourage you to exercise caution when navigating roadways and plan ahead in case there is an interruption to any city services or school closures.

For more information, including the latest weather, traffic and road conditions, go to the Emergency Management Connect site and the National Weather Service website.

Judy Swanson
Administrator On Call

James Mitchell
Emergency Management

January 9, 2018

The countdown clock is ticking. Texas Children’s Nursing will host its fourth virtual town hall from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, January 16, at the Pavilion for Women Conference Center.

Nursing has partnered with the Corporate Communications team to organize this event to engage our team of more than 3,000 dedicated nurses that make up Texas Children’s largest employee population.

Hosted by Chief Nursing Officer Mary Jo Andre’, the town hall will include a discussion of FY17 nursing accomplishments, system updates, and readiness for the January 22 – 24 Magnet site visit, a crucial step in the hospital’s journey toward Magnet re-designation. The town hall will also include time for Q&A. Nurses watching the livestream remotely will be able to participate in the Q&A session thanks to our use of virtual technology.

“By leveraging new technology at our first town hall, we were able to engage more nurses in a town hall than we ever had before,” Andre’ said. “As our team continues to grow, it will be increasingly important for us to identify and leverage opportunities to make communication easier and more effective.”

For nurses who cannot attend the live event, there will be several gathering locations to view the live stream:

Wallace Tower (for Ambulatory Services) – D.0800.39 (eighth floor)
West Campus – WC.150.10 and WC.150.20 (first floor)
The Woodlands Hospital [Conference Rooms A, B (second floor)]
Health Centers – Sugar Land, Cy-Fair, The Woodlands, Kingwood, Clear Lake
The Center for Children and Women (Greenspoint and Southwest)
Forming your own huddles? Please submit sign-in sheet to jcchilds@texaschildrens.org.

As always, patient care is our first priority, and we know not all nurses will be able to attend the live event or view the live stream. However, those nurses will still be able to participate by viewing the event on-demand at their convenience.

Click here to pre-register for the Nursing Town Hall.

January 3, 2018

Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark A. Wallace is committed to meeting every employee at Texas Children’s, and one way he does that is during his new employee reception.

This past reception was filled with team spirit, Texas Children’s pride, and a high-energy atmosphere as the reception has been re-branded into a New Employee Pep Rally! During the Pep Rally, new employees had the opportunity to hear from and meet Wallace while celebrating Texas Children’s employees, staff and culture.

The pep rally style reception falls in line with Texas Children’s recently rebranded new employee orientation called Texas Children’s Hi.

More than 500 new employees were invited to attend the Pep Rally on November 27 and from the moment team members arrived, they shared their excitement to be with Texas Children’s! Red foam fingers, megaphones, and pom-poms helped fire up team spirit, while pictures of each Texas Children’s Hi class scrolled like a virtual “Yearbook” for all attendees to enjoy.

New employees, leaders, and assigned “buddies” mixed, mingled, and snapped selfies around the room. To close the event, team captain – Wallace – celebrated what our team had accomplished and what’s ahead as our one amazing team keeps growing!

Congratulations 2017 Armadillo Class!

December 12, 2017

As of yesterday, 89 percent of Texas Children’s employees have received their flu shot. Last year, we achieved over a 90 percent vaccination rate, and this year, we want to beat that rate! We can do it! A special thank you to all of you for getting vaccinated!

If you have not received your flu shot, it’s not too late. Make your flu shot appointment today by calling:

  • Main Campus Employee Health at 832-824-2150 (option 2)
  • West Campus Employee Health at 832-227-1365
  • The Woodlands Employee Health at 936-267-5287

If you received your flu vaccine elsewhere, please submit verification to Employee Health either in person, via email to emphealth@texaschildrens.org or via fax at 832-825-9437. Employee Health will provide a 2017/2018 flu shot badge sticker upon receiving your confirmation.

To view a brief overview of our flu shot participation thus far, click here.
To view testimonials from your peers on why they received their flu shot, click here.

“We encourage you to get your flu shot as soon as possible. We are already seeing positive flu cases at the Employee Medical Clinic ,” said Employee Medical Clinic physician Dr. Irene Lomeda. “People infected with flu shed the virus and may be able to infect others one day prior to symptoms and 5-7 days after symptoms. Remember, the flu affects people differently based on their body’s ability to fight infection. Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from the flu and spread it to friends, co-workers, and family.”

If you are on the fence about receiving your flu vaccine this year, please watch this six-minute Texas Children’s video, Facing Influenza, to see real Texas Children’s families experience the challenges and heartbreak from the flu.

As a reminder, staff who does not receive their flu shot will be required to wear a surgical mask when providing direct patient care services for the duration of the flu season. See Required Influenza Vaccination Policy and Procedure for more details. Employee Health is not accepting flu declination documentation yet. More details on the declination process will be shared in the coming weeks.

Thank you for helping protect our patients, families, workforce, and community by receiving your flu shot.

November 29, 2017

When Peggy Kellum called the Texas Children’s Office Move and Relocations Team (OMART), all she wanted was three filing cabinets moved from one side of a room to another.

“I thought they were going to tell me no, but they did it,” said Kellum, an administrative assistant with the Department of Pathology. “I was so impressed by their willingness to go above and beyond.”

OMART was created less than a year ago to handle small jobs like the one Kellum requested as well as larger office moves and relocations. In the past, Texas Children’s has outsourced such jobs, but as the organization has grown, so have the requests and in turn the cost of such services. In addition, efficiencies initially seen by outsourcing have been replaced with extended turnaround periods for surveying, quoting, scheduling and completing the requested task.

“We were given the opportunity to improve the cost and delivery of this service and I believe we have found a solution that works for everyone involved,” said Dan Samora, director of Facilities, Planning & Development. “We’ve received positive feedback from many of our clients and we are providing a cost savings to the organization.”

Since launching the three-person OMART team in April, OMART has fulfilled more than 200 requests, with an average turnaround time of five and a half days from when the initial request was made. The team’s work has saved Texas Children’s an estimated $100,000 and has the potential of saving more if the team grows and expands to areas of the system outside of the Medical Center.

Currently, OMART has the capacity to fill requests from the Abercrombie Building, Feigin Tower, the NRI, Pavilion for Women, Meyer Building, Wallace Tower and West Tower. The team will cover Legacy Tower when it opens and will look at the possibility of expanding to West Campus, The Woodlands and beyond in the future.

OMART also would like to take on larger jobs when capable. Such jobs, as well as capital projects, are still supported by outside vendors.

“We have hit the ground running and are off to a really good start,” said Patrick Hatcher, manager of the Facilities Logistics Program. “We are getting things done more efficiently and effectively, and are looking forward to growing and serving even more of the Texas Children’s system.”

To request move and relocation services submit a Request for Service via the Connect site.

November 21, 2017

On November 16, Texas Children’s hosted a Thanksgiving feast for many patients and their families in The Zone at Texas Children’s Medical Center campus.

Decorated in fall themed colors fit for the occasion, children dined on turkey and ham, veggies, fruit and plenty of sweet treats including good old-fashioned pumpkin pie.

Children also played games, got their pictures taken, and participated in Thanksgiving-themed arts and crafts while sharing what they are most thankful for this holiday season.