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!

June 19, 2018

Dr. Zhandong Liu, assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine and researcher at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (NRI) at Texas Children’s has received a distinguished service award from the International Association for Intelligent Biology and Medicine (IAIBM).

As a non-profit organization, the IAIBM’s mission is to promote bioinformatics, systems biology and intelligent computing among scientists of diverse backgrounds through discussion, network communication, collaborations and education.

The Liu laboratory has developed many new software tools (e.g. MARRVEL and CRISPRcloud) that have helped biomedical scientists analyze complex bioinformatics data faster and with ease. In addition, Liu’s collaborations with neuroscientists have led to many important biological discoveries that have far-reaching implications for various neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr. Mingshan Xue, assistant professor of neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine and a researcher with the NRI at Texas Children’s has been awarded the prestigious 2018 McKnight Scholar Award.

The McKnight Scholar Awards are granted to young scientists who are in the early stages of establishing their own independent laboratories and research careers and who have demonstrated a commitment to neuroscience.

Out of 64 applicants, Xue was one of six awardees. The recipients were chosen for their creativity, technological, precise and rigorous new approaches to overcome barriers in answering long-standing neuroscience questions.

The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience is an independent organization funded solely by the McKnight Foundation of Minneapolis, Minn., and led by a board of prominent neuroscientists from around the country. Each of the six McKnight Scholar Award recipients receives $75,000 per year for three years.

Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao, a child neurologist and postdoctoral researcher at the NRI, has been awarded the highly-competitive 2018 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Medical Scientists.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is an independent private foundation dedicated to advancing the biomedical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities. The main goals of this fund are to help early-stage scientists develop into independent scientists and to advance undervalued areas of basic biomedical research. To fulfill that mission, the Career Award for Medical Scientists provides $700,000 of research funding spread over five years to physician-scientists who are currently receiving advanced postdoctoral/fellowship training. This award is intended to help physician-scientists embark on independent academic careers.

Chao, who is also an instructor in the department of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, associate program director of the child neurology residency program and clinical child neurologist, is one of the 13 physician-scientists from leading academic institutions in the US to receive this honor in 2018. This award will help Chao establish an independent research program to understand the mechanisms underlying transcriptional dysregulation of inhibitory signaling pathways in childhood neurodevelopmental disorders.

Earlier this year the Houston Business Journal’s 2018 Landmark Awards selected it’s winners for the top commercial real estate projects in Houston. Our very own Texas Children’s Hospital, The Woodlands campus, won in the medical category.

On April 19, the winners were revealed at the highly anticipated awards ceremony. Finalists and winners of all categories were announced and awarded on stage in front of the top individuals in the commercial real estate community. According to The Houston Business Journal, entries were judged on impact to Houston, such as job creation, innovation, best use of land, site plan, and development of surrounding neighborhoods, visual plan, amenities and being environmentally friendly. Attendees of the event received copies of the Landmark Awards section, as well as the April 20th paper, and winners received crystal trophies engraved with the organization’s name and category.

“Receiving this year’s Landmark Award for the medical category was the perfect way to celebrate our one-year anniversary,” said Trent Johnson, Assistant Vice President of The Woodlands campus. “It is truly the perfect ending to our first year which has been an incredible story of success with Texas Children’s offering world-class care, close to home for patients and families in our community.”

Nominations were open to all real estate projects completed in the greater Houston area from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. In all, there were 54 projects in 16 categories in the running for this year’s awards. Our medical competitors were Legacy Community Health Fifth Ward Clinic and University of Houston Health 2 Building.

“The honor of having Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands campus win in the medical category told me two things – we’ve created a significant landmark and we’ve made an impact to the Houston area landscape, not only physically, but functionally,” said Jill Pearsall, Vice President of Facilities Planning and Development. “The success of the campus gives me a sense of pride and humility.”