April 29, 2019

Ella Grace Hurlbut, who was born prematurely at 27 weeks and who passed away at just 50 days old, has been the catalyst for bringing joy out of sorrow – most recently at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. Little Ella was the first neonatal intensive care unit baby that nurse Christina Snell cared for who passed away.

“I had a really hard time with it, and I didn’t know what to do with the pain that was having,” Snell said. “So, I decided I would do something good with it.”

That “something good” has culminated in the opening of a bereavement room called the Garden Room at The Woodland’s NICU. Designed by Snell and funded by her parents, Steve and Tammy Barr, the room is a non-sterile, peaceful environment where families have the chance to spend extra time saying goodbye to their child. The room also can be used by families who are getting used to caring for their MICU baby’s needs before going home.

Similar to the Butterfly Room at Main Campus’s NICU, the Garden Room features a crib, couch, two gliders, a chest full of clothes to dress their little ones in and a Caring Cradle. Donated by the Hurlbut family, the cradle cools a baby’s body after passing, therefore prolonging the amount of time a family can spend with their baby.

“Christina helped us make molds of Ella’s hands and feet, and to this day, those are my most treasured possessions,” Katie Hurlbut said. “I knew it wasn’t a coincidence when we found out she was the one leading the development of the bereavement room in The Woodlands.”

In addition to the Caring Cradle, the Hurlbut family also donated stuffed bears, clothes and linens to the Garden Room. Two artists, Alicia Kowalki “Los Queridos” and Genie Mack, provided beautiful pieces for the room’s walls.

“We are extremely thankful for the time and effort of those who contributed to this special space,” said Susan Romero, assistant clinical director of the NICU in The Woodlands. “It will give many families a great sense of peace.”

April 15, 2019

Don’t miss out on the fun at the third annual Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Marathon Foundation Family Fun Run at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. Registration for the event ends at 5 p.m. Monday, April 22, so hurry and sign up if you haven’t already. There are only about 500 more slots available, and they’re going fast.

Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands will host the fun run at its campus on Saturday, May 4. The event will offer a 1-mile course and will begin at 9 a.m. Post-race activities will follow until 11 a.m.

Participants – including those who need walkers and wheelchairs – are welcome. There will not be prizes given to top finishers as all participants will receive an award for taking part in an event designed to educate and encourage Houston-area families to adopt active, healthy lifestyles.

Click here to register and learn more about the upcoming event.

Calling all volunteers

Volunteer registration also is open for our Family Fun Run event in The Woodlands! Opportunities are available for bag stuffing, packet pick-up, day before set-up and race day. Requirements include:

  • Volunteers must be registered in advance.
  • If someone volunteers, we ask that they be available for their full shift.
  • They should not bring young children or other family members that are not registered.
  • The minimum age to volunteer is 12.

A T-shirt will be provided to all volunteers to wear during their shift.

Click here for volunteer opportunities.

Thank you, good luck and happy running!

April 9, 2019

It’s time to take the Compassion Challenge this year! During Patient Experience Week, beginning on Monday, April 22, Texas Children’s will launch the Compassion Challenge to engage staff and providers around the hospital’s core values.

During Patient Experience Week, staff and providers across the organization will complete a challenge that focuses on the concepts of compassion, communication and connectedness. Examples of challenges include: greeting 10 people during the first two hours of your shift and holding open the door/elevator for a patient or visitor.

“Every one of us is empowered to demonstrate compassion – a simple, yet transformative, expression we can offer to others and to ourselves.” Director of Patient and Family Services, Katie Kalenda-Daggett said. “To understand the emotional state of another person and have the desire to reduce her/his suffering not only enriches the experience of that colleague, patient, or family but also the experience we create for ourselves each day.”

Staff and providers will register online to participate in the Compassion Challenge. Daily reminders and encouragement will be sent during Patient Experience Week to those that are registered. Those who complete each challenge during Patient Experience Week will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win 2 tickets aboard a lunch cruise on The Boardwalk FantaSea, a luxury yacht located in Kemah, Texas. Click here to register online to participate in the Compassion Challenge.

The theme for Patient Experience Week is “Get on Board with Patient Experience,” as we set sail for exotic ports of call to celebrate patients. This year’s theme emphasizes the importance of teamwork as we ask all employees to get aboard the Texas Children’s ship, The Bounty of Patient Experience, and continue to serve as anchors to patients and ensuring their experience is smooth sailing.

From April 22 to April 26, the Patient Experience team will kick off an exciting week filled with nautical-themed activities and interactive events at Texas Children’s Hospital Medical Center Campus, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and Texas Children’s Hospital Woodlands Campus.

Amongst the events planned we will have Caught You Caring Awards ceremonies at all three campuses to recognize our 2019 recipients who have gone above and beyond to show compassion to our patients, families and co-workers.

In addition, there will also be patient events at each campus where various departments will have tables with fun activities for patients and families including music, a photo booth, and a host of games.

Patient Experience Week 2019 – Get on Board with Patient Experience

Monday, April 22
Compassion Challenge begins system-wide

Caught You Caring Ceremony – Medical Center Campus
Join us during Patient Experience Week as we celebrate employees and staff who have gone above and beyond to provide compassion to our patients, families and co-workers.
Where: Feigin Tower, first floor, FC-01A
When: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Tuesday, April 23
Caught You Caring Ceremony – West Campus
Join us during Patient Experience Week as we celebrate employees and staff who have gone above and beyond to provide compassion to our patients, families and co-workers.
Where: West Campus Conference Center, first floor
When: 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

West Campus Patient event
Where: West Campus, first floor
When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Wednesday, April 24
Medical Center Campus Patient event
Where: The Auxiliary Bridge
When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Friday, April 26
Compassion Challenge ends

Caught You Caring Ceremony – The Woodlands Campus
Join us during Patient Experience Week as we celebrate employees and staff who have gone above and beyond to provide compassion to our patients, families and co-workers.
Where: Woodlands Conference Center, second floor
When: 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The Woodlands Campus Bridge event
Where: The Woodlands, first floor
When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

March 19, 2019

Invigorate your mind, body and spirit at Texas Children’s new Well-Being Studio, which opens Monday, March 25 on the 20th floor of West Tower at the Medical Center campus. Whether you want to find your Zen in a Mindful Morning class or burn some calories in Zumba, the studio provides our employees a dedicated space to turn holistic health goals into action and amplify unity with colleagues through group classes.

The Well-Being Studio is part of the Human Resource team’s continuous efforts to bring new programs and services that support our employees in achieving a healthier, more active lifestyle. The studio offers employees and BCM employees working on-site at Texas Children’s locations a full slate of classes for a variety of work schedules, interests and abilities. Employees are welcome to participate at no cost and at any location. Please click here for the Class Schedule.

Join us for Our Open House!
Tuesday, March 26 | 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
West Tower- Floor 20
During the Open House, you will have the opportunity to tour the studio space, enjoy healthy refreshments, and learn more about the upcoming well-being classes and offerings.

What can I expect at the Well-Being Studio?
Formerly the Heart Center waiting area, the Well-Being Studio comprises nearly 2,000 square feet of open space for classes of up to 40 participants. Restrooms and water fountains are located just nearby, and open shelves are available for storage of personal items. As there are no locker rooms or showers in the studio, the class schedule has been designed for the more high-intensity, high-energy classes to take place after 5 p.m.

I want to take a class at the Well-Being Studio. How do I get started?
First, click here to register as a member and complete the release and waiver of liability forms.
Next, submit your completed forms in person before a class.
Once we have your forms, you will receive a sticker to put on your employee badge.
Finally, check out the Class Schedule and attend the sessions that interest you! The sticker on your badge will let us know your forms have been submitted and you’re cleared to participate.

What should I know about taking a class?
Class space is limited and participants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis, so be sure to arrive at the Well-Being Studio on time or even slightly early for your desired session.
To get to the studio, take the express elevators in the West Tower lobby. You’ll need your badge to access the 20th floor.
Remember to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing or exercise attire.

Not located near the Medical Center campus? We have also added well-being classes at Texas Children’s community campuses.

Health Plan: Boot Camp classes on Mondays from 5-6 p.m., and Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., at the Fitness Center in the basement. Note, you must work in the Health Plan building to attend these classes.
Meyer Building: Boot camp classes on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., on the roof of Garage 19. All employees are welcome.
The Woodlands: Boot camp classes on Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., on the garage roof. All employees are welcome.
West Campus: Zumba classes on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., in WB.505.21 Ballroom on the 5th floor. All employees are welcome.

Texas Children’s badge holders can also receive reduced monthly membership rates, waived enrollment fees and discounted programs and services from numerous well-being partners. ClassPass, our newest partner, offers one of the world’s most flexible memberships that allows you to work out where you want, when you want and how you want – including on-demand videos and live-streaming classes. Visit the Well-Being page on Connect to learn more.

The Well-Being team would love to hear your questions and comments about the Well-Being Studio and all of our well-being offerings! Send us a message at wellbeing@texaschildrens.org.

March 12, 2019

Don’t miss out on the fun at the seventh annual Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston Marathon Foundation Family Fun Run at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. Registration for the event ends at 5 p.m. Monday, March 25, so hurry and sign up if you haven’t already.

West Campus will host the fun run at its campus on Saturday, April 6 with a 9 a.m. start time. The event will include both a 1K and 3K course. Following the run, families can enjoy various activities until noon at the Family Fun Zone.

Participants – including those who need walkers and wheelchairs – are welcome. There will not be prizes given to top finishers as all participants will receive an award for taking part in an event designed to educate and encourage Houston-area families to adopt active, healthy lifestyles.

Click here to register and learn more about the upcoming event.

Texas Children’s and the Houston Marathon Foundation also are hosting a Family Fun Run in The Woodlands at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. For more information or to register for that event, click here.

Calling all volunteers
Volunteer registration also is open for our Family Fun Run events! Opportunities are available for bag stuffing, packet pick-up, day before set-up and race day. Requirements include:

  • Volunteers must be registered in advance.
  • If someone volunteers, we ask that they be available for their full shift.
  • They should not bring young children or other family members that are not registered.
  • The minimum age to volunteer is 12.

A T-shirt will be provided to all volunteers to wear during their shift.

Click here for West Campus volunteer opportunities.

Click here for Woodlands volunteer opportunities.

Thank you, good luck and happy running!

March 4, 2019

The Mark A. Wallace New Employee Pep Rally allows new employees to learn more about the organization and meet executives and other leaders within a festive atmosphere complete with foam fingers, pompoms and lively music. Participants at the most recent pep rally on February 15 included new and recent hires based at The Woodlands.

“The Woodlands is flourishing and we’re lucky to have all of you here,” President and CEO Mark Wallace told the new employees, recalling Texas Children’s early days in a single, seven-floor building – well before the opening of Legacy Tower at the Medical Center campus; the suburban hospitals at West and The Woodlands; and the urgent care centers and specialty care clinics that stretch across Harris County and now reach into Austin and Central Texas.

“In 1989, I knew this was our destiny,” Wallace said. “I knew Texas Children’s was going to grow and flourish because that was part of the plan: taking care of more patients and more families. The key to our success has always been the people and the leadership.”

Wallace reminded the new hires that they, too, are leaders in their personal and professional lives, and encouraged them to develop their own leadership definitions. He also introduced himself and shook hands with every new employee at the pep rally, pausing often to pose for photos and snap selfies.

March is National Nutrition Month®! Employee Health & Well-Being has partnered with Food and Nutrition Services and Morrison Food Services to sponsor a variety of National Nutritional Month events from March 6-27 with a focus on plant-based food:

Wednesday, March 6 | 11 a.m. to noon
Live Cooking Demonstration with Celebrity Chef Bal Arneson
Pavilion for Women, Fresh Bistro, Center Action Station
Television host, award-winning author, Compass Celebrity Chef and well-known culinary personality Bal Arneson will be sharing her trademark spice-infused cooking tips, including simple and healthy Indian recipes. Cookbooks will be available for sale in the Fresh Bistro, and Chef Arneson will also host a book signing from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Click here to learn more.

Tuesday, March 12 | 11:30 a.m. to noon
Lecture: Power of Plant-Based Foods
Presented by Staci Tobolowsky Astrein, MCN, RD/LD
Texas Children’s auditorium, Skype option available
Have you ever tried meatless Monday? Whether you are a vegetarian or curious about how to incorporate more plants into your diet, come learn the power of plant-based eating and how to make more plants part of your everyday routine. Click here to register.

Wednesday, March 13
Registered Dietitians Day
Let’s amplify unity and thank our Texas Children’s registered dietitians for all their hard work!

Thursday, March 14 | 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
The Skinny Latte Challenge
Pavilion for Women, Coffee Corner
Not all coffee beverages are created equal. Come get the skinny on how to create and order a lower calorie latte. Enjoy free samples and challenge your taste buds to determine the difference between high- and low-calorie lattes.

Thursday, March 14 | 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
National Nutrition Month® Bridge Event
Medical Center campus, The Auxiliary Bridge
Texas Children’s registered dietitians will be available for questions at this fun and exciting event featuring a variety of activities on nutrition and tips for a healthy lifestyle.

Tuesday, March 19 | 11:30 a.m. to noon
Lecture: Get Your Gut in Gear
Presented by Staci Tobolowsky Astrein, MCN, RD/LD
Texas Children’s auditorium, Skype option available
The health of your gut plays an important role in your overall health and well-being. Learn why it is important to keep your gut healthy and happy. Get your gut in gear with several important nutrients that you can incorporate into your normal diet. Click here to register.

Wednesday, March 20 | 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cigna Health Education Table
Pavilion for Women, in front of Fresh Bistro
Join the Cigna Health Coach Staci Tobolowsky Astrein, MCN, RD/LD from the Employee Health and Well-Being team to learn about available Cigna programs and resources, fun giveaways and nutrition education.

Community locations

Every Wednesday through March 27 | 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
National Nutrition Month® Table Events
The Woodlands lobby
Ask our registered dietitians your nutrition questions and learn tips for creating a healthier lifestyle.

March 1 – March 27
5-A-Day Fruit and Vegetable Challenge at West Campus
A month challenge to encourage employees at West Campus to eat more fruits and vegetables on a daily basis with a raffle drawing at the National Nutrition Month Table on March 28. More information coming soon.

Thursday, March 28 | 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Eat a Rainbow Table Event
West Campus Corridor
Our West Campus dietitians will share tips on how to incorporate more fruit and vegetables in your daily routine. Ask your nutrition questions and learn tips for creating a healthier lifestyle.

Resources to Support Your Nutrition

The Employee Health and Well-Being team provides a variety of no-cost and low-cost nutrition resources for our employees, including:

For more information, please visit the Well-Being page on Connect or email wellbeing@texaschildrens.org.