August 27, 2018

Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women and two of its surgeons recently received superior patient care designations from the Surgical Review Corporation, which develops and administers best-in-class accreditation programs for surgeons, hospitals and freestanding outpatient facilities throughout the world.

After a rigorous review process, the SRC accredited the Pavilion for Women as a Center of Excellence for Minimally Invasive Gynecology and two of its surgeons – Dr. David Zepeda and Dr. Xiaoming Guan – as Surgeons of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology.

The Pavilion for Women is now one of three hospitals in Houston and one of five in Texas with the Center of Excellence designation.

“Earning this accreditation signifies our ability to consistently deliver the safest, high-quality care to our patients,” said Nakeisha Archer, director of perioperative services for the Pavilion for Women. “Our program fosters quality improvement in surgery, and commitment to this process has focused our team on exceeding clinical benchmarks and guidelines. Most importantly, our commitment to excellence will improve the health and well-being of our patients. We are so proud to be leaders in quality care for women.”

Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery includes hysteroscopic, laparoscopic and/or vaginal procedures such as hysterectomies, fibroid removals and myomectomy excisions. Surgeons at the Pavilion for Women did almost 500 minimally invasive surgeries in 2017 and are on track to do more this year.

Karen Rosser recently had a minimally invasive procedure done with Zepeda and said her experience with the surgeon and the Pavilion for Women was incredible.

“I felt comfortable every step of the way,” said Rosser, who suffered chronic pain for years due to adenomyosis. “I never flinched at moving forward with surgery and am confident I received the best care.”

Zepeda said he is proud of the designations and believes they distinguish the Pavilion for Women as a leader in minimally invasive surgery.

“SRC’s accreditation program recognizes surgeons and facilities that demonstrate an unparalleled commitment and ability to consistently deliver safe, effective, evidence-based care,” he said. “This has always been our focus at the Pavilion for Women and always will be.”

Guan agreed and said he hopes patients looking for quality care can now be even more assured that the Pavilion for Women is the place to be knowing we have met rigorous standards for delivering high-quality perioperative and long-term follow-up care.

More about the surgeons

Dr. David Zepeda was born and raised in Houston and attended The University of Texas at Austin. Zepeda received his medical degree at the University of Texas at San Antonio Health Science Center in 1974. He completed obstetrics and gynecology residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in 1978. Zepeda maintains an academic appointment as clinical associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine, where he is involved in residency and medical student education. He’s recognized in the Texas Medical Center for his expertise in gynecologic surgery, including pelvic reconstruction, DaVinci Robotic Surgery and advanced laparoscopic and hysteroscopic procedures. He is board-certified by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has voluntarily recertified numerous times. He has been awarded the Distinguished Surgeon of the Year in Houston and has been voted among the Best Doctors of America. In addition to teaching, Zepeda has been involved with National Scientific Meetings in Ob/Gyn and has published on laparoscopic surgery. He is actively involved in continuing medical education through the medical center and national meetings in the specialty as well as numerous professional societies.

Dr. Xiaoming Guan
Dr. Xiaoming Guan is the Section Chief and Fellowship Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at Texas Children’s and is an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Guan earned his medical degree at Fujian Medical College, Fuzhou in Fujian, China. He completed his Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at St. Joseph’s Hospital, a Mount Sinai School of Medicine affiliated hospital, in Paterson, NJ, followed by a fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Guan brings extensive experience in treating complex and challenging cases of endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and pelvic masses. He is a leader in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery and a pioneer in the use of state-of-the-art robotic single-site technology and traditional single site and transvaginal Natural Orifice Endoscopy Surgery (NOTES) for advanced pelvic surgery. He also applies single-site or NOTES surgical technique in treatments of cervical incompetence with abdominal cerclage, urinary incontinence with sling, and pelvic organ prolapse with sacrocolpopexy. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology and he is the author of numerous more than 40 publications.

More about SRC
Established in 2003, SRC is an internationally recognized patient safety organization dedicated to recognizing and refining surgical care. SRC is the leading administrator of quality improvement and accreditation programs for surgeons and hospitals worldwide. SRC’s proven methodology, known as the “Cycle of Excellence,” results in quantifiable and unparalleled improvement in the outcomes, patient safety and costs across surgical specialties. To measure improvement and develop best practices, SRC offers a multispecialty outcomes database that is the world’s largest repository of clinical patient data for minimally invasive gynecologic and bariatric surgery.

Texas Diversity Magazine recently announced its inaugural Houston Power 50 award recipients, and Texas Children’s Executive Vice President Michelle Riley-Brown and Vice President and Associate Chief Nursing Officer Jackie Ward were among those honored.

On the cusp of Women’s History Month, the goal of the award program is to honor women in the C-Suite from top companies who are making an effort to do great work within their companies, departments and communities in the city of Houston.

Selection for this distinction was based on each individual’s contributions to business growth and strategic direction, proven record of innovation and accomplishments in their area of expertise, and their ability to serve as an active role model by mentoring the next generation of professionals in their industry. Each awardee was recognized for standing atop their field in several industries such as technology, health care, oil & gas, financial services, government and retail.

“The Inaugural 2018 Power 50 award honors a diverse range of executive leaders of the highest caliber,” said Dennis Kennedy, founder and chairman of the National Diversity Council. “Our team takes great pride in honoring this group of accomplished women that continue to push innovation in business and beyond.”

Click here to read the full article on the Texas Diversity Magazine website.

August 13, 2018

Dr. Ameeben Patel, January – June 2018 Physician

Your name, title and department. How long have you worked here?
Amee A Patel, DO, assistant professor of Pediatrics, board certified in general pediatrics, pediatric pulmonary, and sleep medicine – I started out as a sleep medicine fellow in 2014 and then joined as faculty.

Tell us how you found out you won a super star award.
I found out about the super star award during our monthly faculty meeting. The section chief and practice administrator announced that I had received this award with several bright shiny balloons.

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?
Being recognized for this honor, is empowering. I feel incredibly grateful to be part of such an institution that encompasses the value of patient care. Texas Children’s Hospital has provided several opportunities for my personal and professional goals including medical education and research. The balance of working with patients, identifying gaps in knowledge/research as well as teaching students, residents, and fellows is quite rewarding and is amazing that I am able to participate in all three areas while working at Texas Children’s.

What do you think makes someone at Texas Children’s a super star?
At Texas Children’s, everyone is a super star. We are all dedicated to our patients and their families. We strive to deliver the best possible care as a team. Therefore, being recognized for the hard work and dedication to our patients is a team effort and the entire team should be recognized.

What is your motivation for going above and beyond every day at work?
After working as hard as we all do and with the challenges of health care that we face every day, I still have a sense of gratification that I helped several children in a single day – it is this feeling that motivates me to keep pushing through the various barriers and challenges of practicing in health care.

What is the best thing about working at Texas Children’s?
Texas Children’s is recognized nationwide for the specialists as well as the research. It is an honor to be part of such a great organization/team.

What does it mean to you that everyone at Texas Children’s is considered a leader? What is your leadership definition?
A leader at Texas Children’s is someone that puts the child and their family first and motivates and inspires others to continue to value this practice.

August 7, 2018

Buffy Orndorff, April – June 2018 Leader

Your name, title and department. How long have you worked here?
Buffy Orndorff, Patient Care Manager on 12WT General Medicine/Transplant Unit. I have worked at Texas Children’s Hospital for 18 years.

What month are you Super Star for?
April, May and June 2018

Tell us how you found out you won a super star award.
I thought I was attending a staff meeting with the Assistant Clinical Director, Mona Clark, so I knew it had to be important. She surprised me with the wonderful Super Star Leader plaque. Everyone broke out in cheers and I started to cry. It was an overwhelming rush of emotions.

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?
Recognition from the people you work with is the most humbling experience. I work with such amazing people. They inspire me every day to become a better leader and a better person. 12WT works as a team to amplify unity through our commitment towards positive patient outcomes. Becoming a nursing leader is a true passion, and I feel rewarded every day I come to work.

Texas Children’s Hospital cultivates an environment where people feel empowered to succeed, bring new ideas to the forefront, and invests time and resources developing them. I work with extraordinary people who support and encourage me every day. They really care for me both professionally and personally.

What do you think makes someone at Texas Children’s a super star?
A Texas Children’s super star leads tirelessly, motivates and inspires people. Being present, investing time and effort in developing one another. Believing in the people you work with and building people up. Lastly, providing excellent clinical care and an exceptional patient experience.

What is your motivation for going above and beyond every day at work?
My motivation for going above and beyond are the people I work with and for. I genuinely care about them both personally and professionally. I want to cultivate a work environment where people enjoy coming to work and serving our patient population. Recognizing each other for the great work we do each day and the lives we have an impact on.

What is the best thing about working at Texas Children’s?
The best thing about working at Texas Children’s are the patients and families we serve. On 12WT we serve a chronic patient population so we develop lasting relationships with the patients and families. Their resilience and positive outlook on life is inspiring.

What does it mean to you that everyone at Texas Children’s is considered a leader? What is your leadership definition?
Everyone at Texas Children’s is considered a leader. Every individual has a unique set of experience and talent that can impact patients, families and colleagues. Everyone can make a difference in this organization.

My leadership definition is to create a positive culture where people feel motivated and confident in the work they do. Being committed to help each other achieve both personal and professional goals, and have a positive attitude each time I walk onto the unit.

Anything else you want to share?
I want to thank everyone on 12WT and the Leadership Team. I am truly blessed to work with an amazing team!

July 3, 2018

The Department of Surgery’s Kris Marsack has been recognized as a distinguished fellow by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA).

Marsack is a physician assistant in the division of Plastic Surgery, assistant director of clinical operations for surgery advanced practice providers (APP) and academic director for the Physician Assistant Surgical and Orthopedic Fellowships. She also is an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine and a director at large for the Association of Plastic Surgery Physician Assistants.

To earn the AAPA distinguished fellow distinction, Marsack demonstrated leadership in medicine and healthcare, distinction in medical practice and education, professional involvement, community service and a commitment to lifelong learning.

“After beginning her career at Texas Children’s two years ago as a clinical manager in Plastic Surgery, Kris has been an impactful leader within the larger Department of Surgery and has been a wonderful mentor to many of our new APPs,” said Ryan Krasnosky, director of advanced practice providers at Texas Children’s.

June 26, 2018

Marial Biard, May 2018 Employee

Your name, title and department. How long have you worked here?
Marial Biard, Music Therapist, Child Life Department. I have had the privilege of working at Texas Children’s Hospital since February, 29 (Leap year) 2016.

What month are you Super Star for?
May 2018

Tell us how you found out you won a super star award.
My assistant director summoned me in for a “brief in-person meeting” in her office. Turns out I was instead being awarded, a pleasant surprise. I later got to celebrate with my department, family and the Texans. It was a whirlwind day.

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?
It means the world to me! It also means that Texas Children’s is now understanding and appreciating creative arts as a means to help in the healing of the “whole child.” Children need more than medicine to get better. I will always be grateful to Texas Children’s for giving me the opportunity to provide and promote music therapy services. Music Therapy enhances our patient’s opportunities to learn, express, and play while they heal and rehabilitate. It positively impacts the way both parents and patients view their hospitalization experience. By letting me explore and create alongside of my patients this organization has helped me learn not just to hear but to listen, not just to see but to have vision, and not just to speak up but to sing proud.

What do you think makes someone at Texas Children’s a super star?
In my opinion you are a Texas Children’s super star when the people you serve and work alongside of no longer see you as an individual, instead they see the actions and services that embody our core values to embrace freedom, lead tirelessly, live compassionately, and amplify unity. It seems I am now an embodiment of patient’s stories; when I walk into a room I hope people see service that has deeply impacted a patient’s admission or coworker’s career. Instead of seeing me, I hope they remember sessions that have brought great joy or great comfort to a time in someone’s life when it was most needed.

What is your motivation for going above and beyond every day at work?
The children I serve; the opportunity to be the favorite part of someone’s day. I think it is so cool and humbling that I get to help be a light in a child and/or family’s darkest time – to help them continue to make happy memories, celebrate milestones, and show them that every facet of their child’s care is being taken into the deepest consideration.

What is the best thing about working at Texas Children’s?
The people I work beside every day. Texas Children’s Hospital has knocked it out of the park in bringing in people who are equal parts – head, heart and hands. The brilliance, service, leadership and passion every member of our team exudes is what pushes Texas Children’s to the top of the “dream job” charts. Our team knows what it means to serve the greater good.

What does it mean to you that everyone at Texas Children’s is considered a leader? What is your leadership definition?
My definition of leadership is this: If you are a leader, the true measure of your success is not how far you go, but how far those around you go as well. I believe everyone at Texas Children’s is a leader and therefore it is our responsibility to continually raise one another up, to push each other for the common goal of improving the health and lives of the kiddos and families we serve.

Anything else you want to share?
I would like to express gratitude to the people beyond the walls of Texas Children’s who have supported and sustained me through my career. Thank you to my family, husband, fellow music therapists and friends. Your unwavering love has given me the courage, knowledge and freedom to do my best every day.

Do you know someone who exemplifies our values? Then be sure to nominate them today!

June 22, 2018

Cancer Center Director Dr. David Poplack was recognized as a Hometown Hero at the June 20 Houston Astros game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros Hometown Heroes Program recognizes people from the Houston area who have helped their community in extraordinary ways.

Poplack has served as the director of Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers since 1993. Since his arrival, the Texas Children’s Cancer Center has grown exponentially, from seven faculty members, 42 employees, 4,000 square feet of laboratory space and less than $1 million in annual external grant funding in 1993 to over 180 faculty members, 1,000 employees, 100,000 square feet of lab space and $50 million in annual external grant funding.

Congratulations Dr. Poplack!