January 24, 2017

12517retirement640As we welcome 2017, take this opportunity to include retirement planning among your New Year’s resolutions.

To help you in your retirement planning process, Human Resources is excited to announce three new educational tools on our benefits website to help you achieve your New Year’s resolution to plan for the right retirement.

Our new interactive retirement modules streamline the retirement planning process into three different career/life stages with tips and tools best suited for your needs. Valuable information on Texas Children’s retirement benefits, including the 403(b) Savings Plan and a Pension Plan, are available in addition to various resources that aid in retirement planning and saving.

Take advantage of tools such as:

  • Retirement calculator for projected cost of living
  • Money management tips
  • Overview of various financial considerations during different life stages

As you commit to your New Year’s resolutions, make the commitment to plan the right retirement strategy today!

Throughout the year, we will continue to announce additional retirement resources such as Fidelity one-on-one consultations and workshops, so stay tuned!

Did you know?
In 2016, Texas Children’s contributed $18.6 million to match your 403(b) Savings Plan investments and $22 million for approximately 9,000 participants in our Pension Plan. Also, Texas Children’s matches 50 percent on the first 6 percent of your pre-tax contributions per pay period. To learn more about your retirement benefits, click here.

12517MLKholiday640In an email announcement Monday morning, Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark Wallace shared exciting news: beginning in 2018, Texas Children’s will observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an organizational holiday.

This holiday is a new holiday and will be added to all of the holidays employees currently enjoy as a benefit of working at Texas Children’s – employees will not lose My Day or any other holiday. Here is Mr. Wallace’s announcement in its entirety:

Dear Texas Children’s Family,

I am very pleased to share something with you that I have been considering for quite some time now. Beginning in 2018, Texas Children’s will observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an organizational holiday.

I often think about the beliefs and work of Dr. King and how closely aligned they are with the mission of Texas Children’s. Our organization is one that, since its inception nearly 63 years ago, has prided itself in the rich diversity of our culture and the families we serve. We, like Dr. King, embrace inclusiveness and greatly appreciate working in an organization that values all ideas and aspirations, working together for the greater good. Simply put, this is right for our organization. In addition, this makes sense for us operationally, as our partners at Baylor College of Medicine observe the MLK Day holiday.

While you likely understand the sentiment, you might naturally wonder, “Why now?” I want you to understand that while the announcement is occurring today, this has long been on my heart and mind. In fact, we were considering adding MLK Day as an organizational holiday many years ago. However, we also had to consider whether we would subsequently add other observations. Ultimately, we determined that providing employees with the My Day PTO day would allow all to observe MLK Day or, alternately, another special day that may be personally important to them. I sincerely believe that was a good thing for our employees, but I admit to you that I think so many years have passed that the impetus for My Day has been lost.

I also admit to you that the nation’s racial climate in recent years stirs me. America has always been considered a melting pot, but we are now growing increasingly more diverse at a much more rapid pace than most people have ever experienced. We, as a nation, are learning how to redefine our country, but not without growing pains. Yet, in the midst of this, I see how we at Texas Children’s use our differences to make us better. The brilliant tapestry of our cultures, religions, races and genders is woven perfectly with our collective talents, gifts and aspirations. This is beautiful, and it is worth celebrating on the day that salutes the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I hope you will join me in my excitement and look forward to enjoying this special day of reflection for years to come.

Regards,

Mark

December 6, 2016

12616retirementbenefits250At Texas Children’s, our employees lead tirelessly every day in service to our patients and our organization. As part of our commitment to your financial well-being, our comprehensive Total Rewards program includes two retirement plans to help you save for your future.

Texas Children’s Pension Plan
We are excited to announce that on approximately Friday, December 9, Texas Children’s will post your 2016 Pension Plan deposit into your account. To see how much your pension plan has grown, log into your account at ibenefitcenter.com. For new users, you can register by clicking on “Get Started” to enter the last four digits of your social security number and your date of birth. On the website, you will also find useful tools to help you view your balance, estimate your future pension plan balance and verify/update your beneficiary information.

This pension plan is designed to provide a foundation for your retirement and is fully funded by Texas Children’s. You are automatically enrolled in the plan on April 1 or October 1 once you reach 21 years of age and have worked 1,000 hours or more during the 12 consecutive months after your initial date of hire.

To learn more about the pension plan, click here to view the summary plan description or call the Texas Children’s Pension Plan Support Team at 800-752-8230 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday central time.

Texas Children’s 403(b) Savings Plan
The 403(b) savings plan provides matching contributions (free money) from Texas Children’s! Texas Children’s matches 50 percent on the first 6 percent of your pre-tax contributions per pay period, to a maximum of $8,100 for 2017, and then you choose how to invest those funds. The more you save, the more Texas Children’s contributes. If you are not already enrolled in the 403(b) savings plan or not contributing at least 6 percent, you should consider doing so now.

You can enroll anytime by contacting Fidelity at 800-343-0860 between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., Monday through Friday central time or online at fidelity.com/atwork. If you are registering online for the first time, please click on “Register” in the login area to enter the last 4 digits of your social security number and your date of birth. Don’t miss out on this valuable match!

October 25, 2016

Angela Logan held up the sleeve of her Halloween-themed scrub and looked stoically ahead as a nurse with Employee Health & Wellness gave her an annual flu vaccine.

Logan, a certified medical assistant, said during one of Employee Health and Wellness’ recent flu vaccine events that she’s been getting the flu shot since she was 14 or 15 years old.

“My mom was a pediatric nurse and she always encouraged me to get it,” Logan said. “She told me it was to protect myself and those I love and care for both at home and at work.”

So far this flu season, Logan is one of 7,000 Texas Children’s employees who have gotten their flu shot, bringing our vaccinated employee population to 60 percent. The remaining 40 percent of Texas Children’s employees are highly encouraged to get their free flu vaccine from Employee Health and Wellness at one of the remaining flu vaccine events or by contacting Employee Health and Wellness to schedule a time to come by the Employee Health Clinic to receive a shot.

Click here for flu vaccine event schedules and here to see pictures from one of the events. It is recommended that employees complete their online consent form via the Employee Health and Wellness Portal before attending a flu vaccine event – click here for instructions. However, employees are able to fill out the consent form at the events as well.

Texas Children’s provides the seasonal influenza vaccinations at no cost to:

  •  Texas Children’s employees
  •  Texas Children’s medical staff
  •  Texas Children’s volunteers
  •  Baylor College of Medicine employees working in Texas Children’s facilities
  •  Texas Children’s Pediatrics, Texas Children’s Health Centers and The Center for Women and Children will receive separate instructions from their leaders about seasonal flu vaccination.

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and can even lead to death. Older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated every year.

“The benefits of not having to worry about the flu and the benefits of not having to worry about giving the flu to someone else are way better than any side effects that are common from the it,” said Dr. David Huss, a resident with the Child Neurology Program. “Your arm might be sore for a couple of days but that’s worth the cost.”

Stay tuned for updates about Texas Children’s seasonal vaccination program. If you have questions, please call Employee Health at 832-824-2150, option 1.

For more information about the flu and the flu vaccine, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.

June 1, 2016

52616retirementREV640Are you looking forward to retirement, or does the thought of planning for your future keep you awake at night? As part of our Total Rewards program, Texas Children’s has partnered with Fidelity Investments, our 403(b) administrator, to create various retirement services and resources that can help you kick start or fuel your retirement planning.

Take advantage of these ingredients and develop your own recipe for retirement success!

Ingredient 1: Enroll in Texas Children’s 403(b) savings plan
Don’t miss out on our 50 percent match of the first 6 percent of your pre-tax per paycheck contribution. You can enroll anytime by contacting Fidelity at 800-343-0860 or online at www.fidelity.com/atwork.

Ingredient 2: Attend a retirement seminar in June
Learn how to navigate the retirement process with this 30-minute seminar so that you can establish financial goals for your future, learn tips on how to build a plan, and much more. The seminars will be hosted at multiple locations throughout our Texas Children’s campuses in June. Click here for dates, times and locations. Register today online or call 800-642-7131. Space is limited, register today to reserve a seat.

Ingredient 3: Schedule a one-on-one session with a retirement consultant
Use this opportunity to have a personal discussion about your retirement and learn how to build a plan that fits your future needs. Sessions are currently available at Main and West Campuses through the year. Space is limited, click here to register.

Ingredient 4: Participate in this online workshop – Thrive: Financial Wellness
Attend this series of online workshops at Fidelity at your own time and pace. These sessions focus on how you can save for your future, along with the tools and resources you can use to become a more educated investor. Click here to register.

This recipe yields your path to retirement success.

If you have any retirement-related questions, contact Fidelity at 800-343-0860 or visit them online at www.fidelity.com/atwork.

May 18, 2016

51816wills640Do you have a will? If not, Texas Children’s can help you draw one up during Free Wills Month in May.

To get more people to better prepare their estates for when they are gone, Texas Children’s employees and any other Houston-area residents 55 and older can have their wills written or amended free of charge by a participating local attorney. Simply call 888-786-1752 or visit www.freewillsmonth.com during the month of May to schedule an appointment.

Despite your age, it’s never too early to start thinking about the importance of wills and estate planning. Creating a will and an estate plan gives peace of mind to you as well as your family. A will written by an attorney helps ensure that your wishes are respected and that your loved ones avoid difficult decisions and legal complications. Free Wills Month makes it easy for you to provide for your family and friends, and if you wish, nonprofits organizations like Texas Children’s Hospital.

“Not only does Texas Children’s provide compassionate care for children and families, the hospital also takes care of its employees,” said Charlene Barclay, a clinical data specialist for Texas Children’s Hospital Outcomes & Impact Services who included Texas Children’s Hospital in her estate plans in 2011. “I give because I believe in Texas Children’s.”

With an estate plan, you can:

  • Provide support and financial stability for your surviving spouse, children, and grandchildren.
  • Preserve your wealth for later generations.
  • Make sure your wishes are carried out when you can no longer manage your affairs. Along with a will, it’s important to have both a power of attorney and a directive to physicians (living will).
  • Support a favorite charity or cause with a gift of money, securities, or other property.
  • Distribute assets in a timely fashion with a minimum of legal hassle.
  • Minimize taxes and expenses that can go along with transferring assets.
  • Provide enough cash to meet expenses and prevent the forced sale of assets.
  • Avoid problems for your loved ones by ensuring that the beneficiaries named on your life insurance and retirement plans are still the people you want to benefit.
  • Protect your family’s privacy with an estate plan designed to be kept private.
  • Set and meet expectations of your survivors so there is no confusion or misunderstanding.
February 23, 2016

22416CVS640Texas Children’s works hard to minimize the impact of rising health care costs to our employees. That is why we have partnered with our prescription benefits manager, CVS/caremark to bring an additional benefit. Very soon those enrolled in the Texas Children’s Medical Plan will be receiving an ExtraCare Health Card that provides savings of 20 percent on all CVS/pharmacy brand health-related items. In addition, 2 percent back in ExtraBucks rewards will be awarded when using the ExtraCare Health Card.

That is a 20 percent savings everyday on thousands of items to help you on your path to better health. Think of all the non-prescription items you use on a regular basis in which you can take advantage of these savings, such as:

  • Allergy medicines
  • Cold medicine
  • Eye drops
  • First-aid supplies
  • Pain relievers
  • Vitamins

You will be able to use your card at any CVS/pharmacy location or online at www.cvs.com. Please note, only two ExtraCare Health Cards will be mailed per household. If you already have an ExtraCare Card from CVS/pharmacy, you can simply transfer your current rewards to your new ExtraCare Health Card and start enjoying the 20 percent savings. Savings will be automatically deducted off eligible health-care items.

Don’t forget that CVS/caremark has a mail-order program that offers you deeper discounts through bulk purchasing and no dispensing fees, which mean lower out-of-pocket pharmacy costs. For more information about the benefits offered at Texas Children’s, please visit TexasChildrensBenefits.org.