May 20, 2019

Thomas (Tom) Sharon, January 2019 Employee

Your name, title and department. How long have you worked here?
Thomas (Tom) Sharon, Chaplain, Spiritual Care Department with the Heart Center as my primary clinical area of responsibility. I have been at Texas Children’s for four years.

Tell us how you found out you won a super star award.
I found out I won this award at a surprise gathering of my Family Services and Heart Center family. My wife, daughter and grandson also were present and knew about it before I did but “kept the secret!” We had been working for months to complete repairs on our home and one of the last contractors was starting that day. My wife texted to tell me they had to wait and managed to keep the secret and surprise me with my family’s presence. My AD, Norma Shreck, coordinated the surprise presentation, and I was totally shocked. I thought I was having a meeting with her and my PICU chaplain colleague, James Denham, and walked into a large conference room full of people. I was humbled and honored by not only the award but all of the people who took time from their busy schedules to stand in unity, as they always do, to present it to me. This included leadership from the Cameron Watrin and other Heart Center as well as from the directors from the Family Services line including Michelle Lawson and Tabitha Rice and many others. But also present were my colleagues from the full spectrum of my Texas Children’s Hospital family. We enjoyed time from celebration and treats together, but their presence was the biggest treat. Two days later I was surprised again when Cameron Watrin and Tracy Porter recognized me at the Heart Center’s physicians’ rounds in our new conference center.

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?
I was shocked, honored, humbled, and moved deeply to be recognized for my work. I was shocked because I do not function with the idea of personal recognition or reward beyond what I receive in doing my job each day. There is such reward in working beside the level of physicians and staff with whom I am honored to work each day. But even more so the honor of standing on the hallowed ground of our patients’ rooms as tireless, dedicated care is provided day-after-day and seeing not only the physical healing that this brings but an inexplicable emotional and spiritual wholeness. For these patients and families to know and experience the greatest pediatric physicians, nurses, therapists, social workers, child life specialists, … providing world class care is to be expected from a medical institution of our caliber. But the way it is provided with such compassion and passion, dedication and determination, … and yes, love; this is what leaves me shocked and honored more deeply than words can say that I would receive this recognition from within the midst of this amazing team. But it is also what makes it not so much of a shock as an affirmation of how special my team is. This organization has helped me achieve my goals of providing the best care I can for the patients and families at Texas Children’s by fostering an environment in which I am embraced and encouraged to do just that. By holistically embracing our greatest assets as an institution which is the human factor. Our patients and families are human beings with minds, bodies, emotions and spirits; all of which are challenged in our pediatric care setting. But so are we as an institution and we perform at our best human abilities when we function holistically. We have assembled the greatest minds on earth and work as a unified body to provide care on unparalleled levels. But what places Texas Children’s on a higher level is that this is done while also embracing the emotional and spiritual aspects of our human-being. This is what I feel was recognized by my receiving this honor. And it is the kind of support that I feel lived out and that I am able to live into every day as a professional and human being. This, above, all else, is what has helped me achieve my personal and professional goals at Texas Children’s.

What do you think makes someone at Texas Children’s a super star?
As a further reflection on this I feel that what makes a person a super star at Texas Children’s is not simply doing but being. Being a part of the larger human factor at Texas Children’s which embraces freedom for our patients and families and for each other; leads tirelessly in providing for that freedom to do our best so we can be our best; that lives compassionately by embracing and supporting our patients, families, and each other in all the ways they and we need it right where we find ourselves day-after-day; and amplifying a unity that makes providing care holistically not just what we do but who we are.

What is your motivation for going above and beyond every day at work?
I never think about “going above and beyond at work” as this award recognizes. My focus is on being with our patients, families, physicians and staff where they are each day. My motivation is to somehow make their moments, hours and days the best they can be given the circumstances in which they find themselves. This involves constantly assessing and reflecting on the needs of my patients and families and embracing them as my own family. And my motivation from this comes from being a part of the Texas Children’s family and working together to address the circumstances on hand and those that may be on the horizon. It is the outcome of that level of care that motivates me each day. And that outcomes is that I have somehow touched fellow human being. Helped them know how truly precious and beloved they are and helping them live into the very most of their potential today and in the days to come. The reward of standing back and seeing joy restored to mended bodies and once broken or shattered spirits is my true reward and motivation. What motivates me is that I am not only free but encouraged to celebrate our victories and grieve our losses with some of the most amazing people on earth every day.

What is the best thing about working at Texas Children’s?
The best part of Texas Children’s is, hands down, the people. All of you!!

What does it mean to you that everyone at Texas Children’s is considered a leader? What is your leadership definition?
It means everything to me that “everyone at Texas Children’s is considered a leader” and that these are not just words but who we are and how we live. A leader to me is a person who is empowered and encouraged to contribute all that they can to make us as an institution the best that we can be. We can have amazing leadership skills of being able to motivate and manage people, equipment, and facilities but unless we are powered and encouraged (set free) to act to the fullest of our abilities we are lacking in leadership. So leadership is about every individual in our institution acting in unity as a whole. And this includes our patients and families.

Anything else you want to share?
I would like to repeat my sincerest thanks for this award and for the honor of working at Texas Children’s each and every day. Thank you to my whole team because I could not have achieved it without every one of you. And I receive it on behalf of all of those with whom I am blessed to work every day. I will remember and cherish it and each of you always.

April 23, 2019

Know a team member who exemplifies our mission and core values? Help us recognize and reward your colleague as a Super Star! To nominate, click read more.

April 20, 2019

Your name, title and department. How long have you worked here?
MaJomela ‘Joie’ Nagal, MBA, BSN, RN, CPN, Education Coordinator on 10 WT Neurology/Neurosurgery/Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. I have worked at Texas Children’s Hospital for 11 years.

Tell us how you found out you won a super star award.
I thought I was meeting with Sheranda Fesler, our assistant director of Clinical Practice, Nursing to discuss my FY 2019 goals. She came to meet with me but asked me to go with her to attend to a more urgent matter in a haste so I knew it had to be important. I was surprised to see my colleagues, 10 WT Leadership Team, Emily Weber, Jennifer Sanders and Jackie Ward in the conference room. Sheranda announced that I won Super Star Award. I still could not believe it, I kept looking around the room and I thought for a second that I recognized my husband in the corner. That was nice of Sheranda to invite my husband to come over and be part of my celebration. I had no idea how he was invited but Sheranda explained how she orchestrated the event. I could not explain the overwhelming joy and the mixed emotions but I knew in my heart that I was overjoyed.

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?
I am so honored to be recognized and so grateful to have received this award. It gives me a great sense of confidence to know that my hard work is being recognized. It also is comforting to know that my colleagues appreciate my efforts. It is an honor and a privilege to work here at Texas Children’s Hospital and be surrounded with incredible people to work with. Texas Children’s has a lot of wonderful opportunities to offer and these kept me motivated and continued to inspire me to learn more, improve and grow in my nursing profession. My journey here at Texas Children’s started when I was hired as a staff nurse. Texas Children’s has provided an environment in which front line staff like myself was able to engage and join the unit based and house-wide committees which supported nursing practice and fostered participatory decision making, professional accountability and career growth. I have taken on various expanded roles in the unit level and house wide. After fulfilling several unit-based expanded roles and becoming involved with various projects, I began to see the need and the value as an informal leader. Along the way, I have met amazing people and inspirational leaders who were instrumental in achieving my personal and professional goals. I felt that I could best contribute to advancing the growing and evolving nursing profession through nursing education.

What do you think makes someone at Texas Children’s a super star?
A Texas Children’s Super Star must uphold and exhibit a passion for Texas Children’s mission, must provide quality and excellent clinical patient care, a role model in exhibiting integrity and ethical behavior, and value others by showing respect, compassion and empathy. A super star is someone who is able to take action and initiative to solve problems, someone who is not only willing to embrace change but be the change agent.

What is your motivation for going above and beyond every day at work?
My biggest motivation for going above and beyond is knowing that I work with an amazing team whom I really care about and inspire me to do better each day. It gives me sense of great satisfaction knowing that staff are empowered, equipped with knowledge and training to safely care for the patients and ultimately provide quality and excellent nursing care. It also gives me the sense of fulfillment to witness the journey of a novice nurse, to be there to nurture them on their professional development and until they become experts.

What is the best thing about working at Texas Children’s?
The best thing about working at Texas Children’s is working alongside extraordinary people that I share the same passion serving pediatric population. Knowing that I am part of an organization that is family centered care, full of opportunities, supports nursing practice, advancing in technology and serves not only the children but as well as women in the global community and more importantly leading in patient care, education and research.

What does it mean to you that everyone at Texas Children’s is considered a leader? What is your leadership definition?
I believed that commitment to excellence starts with the leader, so know in your heart that where you are is where you were placed to serve and share your skills and talents. A leader is able to develop others by highlighting their strengths, minimizes their weaknesses and builds upon that. A leader is someone who is an effective communicator, can connect with staff, can foster a positive work culture environment, able to incorporate core measures in daily practice. Someone who is a positive influencer, can lead by example, is reliable and trustworthy.

Anything else you want to share?
I would like to thank my fellow Educator, Heather Morand-Reid who nominated me and to the 10 WT staff and the Leadership Team whom she collaborated with to make this possible. Thank you team!

February 25, 2019

Your name, title and department. How long have you worked here?
Valerie Rippey, RN, BSN; Inpatient staff nurse, Post Anesthesia Care Unit at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. I have been a part of this unit for four years but part of Texas Children’s for 10 years.

Tell us how you found out you won a super star award.
I was told to attend a staff meeting during the day that was imperative to changes on our unit. When I arrived I sat in the meeting as my assistant director and manager were going over the Texas Children’s Hospital Core Values and expectations on our unit (not out of the ordinary). There was a power point presentation that went along with the meeting and then our manager asked us about anyone we would select that role models the Texas Children’s values and what it means. Before I knew it I looked up as she was saying that we have someone on our unit who exemplifies these values and staff has taken note of it and they are a “super star” on and off the unit. She changed slides and when I looked, it took me a second to realize the picture was of me!

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?
Receiving the super star award was by far the biggest surprise in my professional career. I had no idea I was receiving this award nor did I expect it. It was a great feeling knowing that those around me have noticed my extra efforts to help create a stronger team dynamic in perioperative services. My unit has undergone many changes in the last couple of years and I decided recently to become more involved and be a part of the change. My leadership has been very supportive in allowing me to be able to branch out into different roles such as charge nurse, preceptor, and retention chair for perioperative services. They have provided the flexibility in my schedule to attend hospital-wide meetings, classes and always remain an accessible and valuable resource for me. Through these roles I have been able to build relationships with my peers as well as the entire multidisciplinary team.

What do you think makes someone at Texas Children’s a super star?
There are so many super stars at Texas Children’s. I feel that no matter where you go or which campus you step in, everyone goes out of their way to make you feel welcomed. A Texas Children’s super star is someone who goes out of their way to go above and beyond to take care of our patients, families and each other on a daily basis.

What is your motivation for going above and beyond every day at work?
Each and every day I am constantly motivated by children and their families. Over the last 10 years at Texas Children’s I have been fortunate to meet some of the most resilient little humans I have ever seen in my life. The fact that I can make a difference in a child and family’s life that will last a lifetime is what keeps me pushing to be better. I believe in the mission and core values of Texas Children’s and strive to embrace them daily.

What is the best thing about working at Texas Children’s?
The best thing about Texas Children’s is the magic. The magic that happens within the walls and outside as well. If you take a step back and just watch… you’ll see it. It’s every time providers and patients hug as if they are family. It’s in every little step that is taken and created to provide each and every child the very best care. It is the genuine love, support, care and compassion that is shown through all who wear a badge with the infamous red logo. It is the pride that comes shines out of me when someone asks where I work and I reply “Texas Children’s Hospital.” This is the place where truly amazing people make magical things happen every day. We ARE Texas Children’s Hospital.

What does it mean to you that everyone at Texas Children’s is considered a leader? What is your leadership definition?
The thing about Texas Children’s is that leadership comes in all shapes and forms. It does not matter what your job description is or what letters come after your name. Leadership is a characteristic that Texas Children’s recognizes throughout the entire organization. To me leadership has nothing to do with the position or title you are holding but everything to do with your influence on others. Leadership is building relationships and giving respect before the expectation of gaining it. I feel a true leader not only adds value and success to their team but strives to build other leaders.

Anything else you want to share?
The only reason I am able to do the things I have set out to do on my unit is because I have an amazing team around me that supports, encourages, and comes together like no other department I have worked in. The staff in perioperative services at West Campus are the true super stars day in and out. I am just the lucky one who brought the attention to it. They are my family away from home and I couldn’t be more grateful to be surrounded by such an amazing team.

January 28, 2019

Your name, title and department. How long have you worked here?
My name is Deborah Bozek, Renal/Pheresis Nurse in the Renal/Pheresis Department. I have worked here almost two years.

Tell us how you found out you won a super star award.
We were gathered around the nurses’ station for a huddle. Everyone was there including the managers, director and assistant director. When someone said I had gotten a super star award, I was in a kind of shock. It was surreal.

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 is very humbling to be recognized because I feel like everyone in my department is a super star and comes to work and gives 110 percent every day. I work with an amazing group of professionals. Achieving my goals is a work in progress. Even though I have been a nurse for 25 years, I still have so many things I want to learn. There are many learning opportunities in my unit.

What do you think makes someone at Texas Children’s a super star?
A commitment to excellence in patient care and going that extra mile to help your coworkers.

What is your motivation for going above and beyond every day at work?
Every child deserves the best chance we can give them.

What is the best thing about working at Texas Children’s?
My amazing coworkers, their dedication, their knowledge, their generous spirits.

What does it mean to you that everyone at Texas Children’s is considered a leader? What is your leadership definition?
A leader is someone who can recognize the strengths of other people, then have the ability to channel that particular strength into furthering the mission of Texas Children’s.

Anything else you want to share?
I want to say thank you to my manager Julie Palmer for nominating me for this award. I want to thank my husband for being so supportive of me throughout my career.

November 16, 2018

Your name, title and department. How long have you worked here?
Jackie Pacheco, Health Coach in the Employee Health and Well-Being Department. I have worked at Texas Children’s for almost three years.

Tell us how you found out you won a super star award.
We were in our monthly HR Staff Meeting and during the thank you and congratulations section, my assistant director announced to the team that I had won the Super Star Award for the month of September. It was a complete surprise and I was overwhelmed with the warmth and amazing response from my colleagues.

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 a lot to be recognized for all of the hard work that you put in. I work with an amazing team, and our work always impacts the people who work here at Texas Children’s with all of our health and well-being initiatives. I work with incredible people who support and encourage me every day and care for me both professionally and personally.

I recently became a certified wellness and health coach and have grown in my department because of this. I received encouragement from my leaders, and just knowing they are behind me and want to see me succeed, pushes me to do my best every day.

What do you think makes someone at Texas Children’s a super star?
A super star is someone who embraces the core values and finds a way to incorporate them into everything they do. They show up every day with a positive attitude and are enthusiastic about their work. We must always remember that we never know who we are going to make an impression on, so might as well always strive to make it positive.

What is your motivation for going above and beyond every day at work?
Knowing that I can make an impact on any single employee within the organization, keeps me going. Working on the Well-Being team, my job is to take care of the health and well-being of employees throughout our organization. If I can help our workforce develop healthy habits and empower them to achieve their well-being goals, I will not only help that individual but also develop a culture of health for the organization.

What is the best thing about working at Texas Children’s?
The best thing about working at Texas Children’s is the people. You will always see smiling faces in the hallways, and people are always willing to help. Our workforce’s enthusiasm and pride to work here is always eminent.

What does it mean to you that everyone at Texas Children’s is considered a leader? What is your leadership definition?
It is great to know that everyone who works at Texas Children’s is considered a leader. My definition of leadership is: A leader must enjoy what they are doing and maintain an enthusiastic, positive and optimistic attitude. Listen if they want to be heard and always remember that the most powerful tool that you possess is your own personal example.

Anything else you want to share?
I would like to say a special thank you to Julia Gaffney for taking the time to nominate me. I would also like to thank all of the Wellness Ambassadors who help promote wellness throughout the organization; without them my job wouldn’t be possible.

October 23, 2018

Your name, title and department. How long have you worked here?
Lesly Reyes, Guest Services Representative, Guest Services Department. I’ve been part of Texas Children’s Hospital for four years.

Tell us how you found out you won a super star award.
I was completely caught off guard. My manager called me into her office for what I thought was the usual daily/weekly update. Before arriving to her office, she had me pick up some copies in the conference room and said one of the copies was for me to keep. It was actually a note congratulating me for the Super Star Recognition.

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?
I am absolutely humbled by this recognition. This organization has rewarded me with the opportunity of professional and personal growth and support. Texas Children’s has literally helped and watched me grow. I started my journey here as a 15-year-old junior volunteer and now I’m 22 years old working to accomplish my educational and professional goals. The achievement of those goals would not be possible without the endless opportunities this hospital has offered me. This award is just a reminder that the only three hours of sleep I get and continuous hard work are definitely worth it. And the best part is that this is just the beginning.

What do you think makes someone at Texas Children’s a super star?
Commitment, Dedication, and Service. Someone who’s devoted and passionate about what they do. Someone who is constantly striving not just for their success, but for the success of those surrounding them – patients, families, and co-workers.

What is your motivation for going above and beyond every day at work?
I love my job. The act of service itself is rewarding on its own. My motivation for going above and beyond is rooted on moments when a brief encounter can have such a positive impact in someone’s life. I want to continue working hard so that I can proudly wear scrubs and a Texas Children’s Hospital t-shirt and finally say I have accomplished my dream to work with one of the best teams that strives to help and save children’s lives.

What is the best thing about working at Texas Children’s?
The best thing about working at Texas Children’s Hospital is the experience and knowledge I gain every day from patients, co-workers, and leaders. You learn something new every day. Honestly, the atmosphere, the smiles, and the children make it hard not to love this place. Also, the fact that we can implement the Texas Children’s core Values into our daily lives is rewarding enough.

What does it mean to you that everyone at Texas Children’s is considered a leader? What is your leadership definition?
I was glancing over Texas Children’s Blogs and my eye caught a phrase that our leader strongly advocates and it has always reminisced in my mind. “Leadership always influences or determines outcomes – not some of the time, but all of the time.” – Mark Wallace. It’s an excellent daily reminder that everything we do can get us a step closer to our goals. Leadership is measured not only on your accomplishments, but rather in your influence leading others to their own success.

Anything else you want to share?
I want to thank everyone for their endless support and encouragement to help reach my educational goals.