Nine years ago, I was sitting in a meeting with the St. Luke’s CEO when I learned that they were looking to get out of obstetrics and gynecology and maternal fetal medicine. I raised my hand and let them know we were interested to take over. I knew we were about to do something that would change women’s health care in Houston forever. Texas Children’s would assume responsibility for St. Luke’s ob/gyn and MFM services until we were able to build our own facility.
Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women opened its doors for inpatient services on March 26, 2012. It was a monumental day for everyone who had been a part of planning and executing this new state-of-the-art hospital. I knew it would make a difference in the lives of countless women. What I didn’t know then was that I would one day have a personal experience at the Pavilion as a family member.
On February 10, 2014 at 6:29 p.m., Clark Wallace was born at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. What a full circle moment. From the day I raised my hand in that meeting with St. Luke’s, to my own grandbaby being born here, it was surreal. This was a very special and exciting experience from a number of different perspectives.
First, it was our son Ben’s first baby. Emily, our daughter, has four sons and one daughter, but they live in Chicago, so this was also our first Texas-born grandbaby. Of course it was also impressive to experience the Pavilion as a grandparent and to be here for such a special moment in my personal life.
My wife, Shannon, and I patiently waited at home to get the news of Clark’s arrival and came to the hospital the following morning to meet the newest grandbaby. To see our Pavilion team in action – from Dr. Belfort to everyone in the delivery suite, the floor nurses, diagnostic and therapeutic services, radiology and pathology, food and nutrition – was incredible. To see it all come together in such a beautiful way and know that it wasn’t just for Clark Wallace but that it’s what all our patients are experiencing was a proud moment for me, both as President and CEO and as a grandfather.
I knew we had the right vision for this new hospital and for the thousands of babies born here every year, including my grandson. I have great pride in knowing that our grandson and daughter-in-law had the very best care. Seeing that care firsthand as member of a patient’s family and knowing it’s the same care every mother and baby receives here was truly an incredible feeling.
Now it might be hard to believe, but I promise I saw Clark smile as soon as he saw me and I might have even heard him say “TCH.” He looked exactly like Ben did when he was born, a really good looking fella with a big head and fat cheeks.
Watching the team at work from a patient family perspective and seeing the quality of care and service – from valet to the delivery room and room service – made me swell with pride for what we’ve created at the Pavilion for Women. It’s one of a kind, and there’s nothing like it in Texas, the U.S. or the world.