February 11, 2019

On February 4, The Woodlands Recognition and Rewards Committee proudly presented the winners for the second quarter Woodlands Shining Star award to the very deserving winners, Karen Cortez-Calbang and Dr. Brent Schackett.

The employee-recognition award was launched after the opening of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands in April 2017 and honors those who go above and beyond to provide exceptional care to our patients, families and staff in The Woodlands.

Cortez-Calbang is a registered nurse that has been part of Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) since The Woodlands campus opened.

“Her spirit is indefinable,” staff nurse and co-worker, Nhi Hoang said. “Karen is a natural born leader.”

Through her devotion of always putting her patients and team members first, Cortez-Calbang has earned great admiration and respect from patients, families, and her team. According to Hoang, regardless of the situation she is always calm and collected which is a great comfort to her patients.

“She inspires everyone she meets,” Hoang said. “She makes me and others want to be better nurses every day as we see her kindheartedness as a charge nurse.”

Schackett is an anesthesiologist who was nominated for constantly putting the patient first and providing high quality care. His focus on the patient and doing what is right helps to ensure the patient and family have a good experience every single time.

“He is warm, authentic, and selfless,” certified registered nurse anesthetists and co-worker, Meghan Duggan said. “He collaborates with every team member to make the day enjoyable.”

A huge congratulations and thank you to Cortez-Calbang and Schackett for being the Shining Star and going above and beyond for our patients, families, and co-workers.

February 5, 2019

In response to an increased demand for short-term, non-chronic care, Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands has expanded its Acute Care Unit from 32 beds to 45.

The need for the 14-bed expansion was evident shortly after the hospital opened its doors two years ago, said the unit’s assistant clinical director Roxanne Vara.

“We were at capacity several times last year,” Vara said. “This expansion will allow us to admit more of our patients closer to home.”

The additional beds in the Acute Care Unit are located on the third floor of the hospital. By mid-February, the expansion will include a playroom equipped with a section dedicated to patients 12 and older. This section will house a PAC-MAN video game donated by The Woodlands facilities team among other age-appropriate games.

“We always want to be able to say yes if a child needs a bed at our campus, and this expansion is how we are able to continue to do that,” said Assistant Vice President Ketrese White. “We are continuously strategizing about how and where to expand and move forward.”

February 4, 2019

It’s time to lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement! Texas Children’s and the Houston Marathon Foundation Family Fun Run are hosting the West Campus Family Fun Run and The Woodlands Family Fun Run in April and May. Registration is open for both runs and spots are filling up fast. So, sign up today to guarantee a spot for you and your family.

Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus

West Campus will host the seventh annual West Campus Family 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.

Registration for the West Campus Family Fun Run will close at 5 p.m. Monday, March 25. Click here to register and learn more about the upcoming event.

Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands

Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands will host its third annual Family Fun Run event 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.

Registration for The Woodlands Family Fun Run will close at 5 p.m. Monday, April 22. Click here to register and learn more about the upcoming event.

Additional information

Participants – including those who need walkers and wheelchairs – are welcome at both Texas Children’s Family Fun Run events. 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.

Good luck and happy running!

January 7, 2019

‘Twas the week before Christmas when patients, families and staff at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands welcomed a very special visitor. But it wasn’t Santa Claus, nor his elves. It was the All-Star shortstop for the Houston Astros – Carlos Correa.

The first stop on the visit was the main lobby, where Correa met with some of our cancer patients and their families before a dedication ceremony for the piano Correa donated last year after an inspiring visit to our campus in The Woodlands.

“The work that I saw being done here and the quality of the care the doctors and staff were providing was breathtaking,” Correa said. “It’s a privilege for me to be able to try and create a special experience for the patients and their families with my piano, and I hope it will provide a joyful distraction and entertainment for many years to come.”

To dedicate the instrument, Dr. Ricky Flores, clinical director of Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers at The Woodlands, played “Stella del mattino (Morning Star),” a piece whose beautiful simplicity he connects with the patients for whom Texas Children’s cares – who he says are simply beautiful.

“This piano has been an amazing gift to have here,” Flores said. “Many patients, and even some of our providers, have played it and enjoyed it so much. We are very grateful to Carlos for it.”

Following the ceremony, Correa and members of his family paid a special visit to the Acute Care Floor. They took time to pose for photos and to speak individually with several patients and their families who have spent the holidays in the hospital. Correa even talked favorite superheroes and movies. For those families, it was a holiday visit they surely won’t forget.

“I would like to thank the doctors, the patients and the staff at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands for inviting me,” Correa said. “I greatly admire the capabilities and commitment of the care providers and was inspired to witness the strength and courage of the patients they are treating. I hope my visit brought some happiness, joy and motivation for these wonderful people.”

December 11, 2018

We are getting ready for the holidays at Texas Children’s, and both the Medical Center Campus and the Woodlands campus hosted their annual tree lighting ceremonies to kick off the season.

On November 28, over 200 people attended The Woodlands campus’ second annual Tree Lighting event. Volunteer Services and Child Life arranged a fun filled holiday experience for patients, their families, and The Woodlands community. The event began with carols from the Caney Creek High School Choir on the lobby staircase. Moments later, everyone gazed and applauded as Santa Clause strolled down the same staircase toward the Christmas tree.

The Woodlands Vice-President, Trent Johnson, welcomed everyone and thanked the community partners for attending, and proceeded to introduce Santa, who magically lit the Christmas tree. As some kids lined up to take pictures with Santa, other played games, participated in arts and crafts, and indulged in the refreshments that included the a hot cocoa bar and tons or sweet treats.

Many Woodlands community partners helped this event come together this year, such as: The Newfield Exploration, the Panther Creek Inspiration Ranch, The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Caney Creek High School Choir, The Woodlands Art Council/Woodlands Children’s Museum, The Junior League of The Woodlands, Ray Larson Realty, and Texas Children’s Hospital partner, Morrison’s catering.

“The Tree Lighting event was a fun and exciting way to start of the holiday season,” Manager of Patient and Family Services, Cynda Parrish said. “Because of our wonderful community partners we were able to provide a festive and engaging experience for our patients and families. This resulted in our attendance doubling this year! We look forward to continuing this annual tradition at our campus each year.”

The very next day, Senior Vice President of Texas Children’s Hospital, Tabitha Rice kicked off the annual tree lighting event hosted by The Auxiliary to Texas Children’s Hospital and Volunteer Services, located on The Auxiliary Bridge of the Medical Center campus. With the help of a lucky patient, the bright lights magically turned on and Santa’s HO HO HO could be heard as he and Mrs. Clause walked down the hallway. Santa also visited patients who were not able to leave their rooms, and St. John’s School’s Kantorei choir sang holiday carols to more than 50 patients and their families.

“This event has become a treasured tradition for ringing in the holidays at the hospital,” Director of Volunteer services, Paige Schulz said. “The tree lighting is so special because it brings holiday cheer to the hospital in a way patients and families might not be able to otherwise experience when caring for a sick or hospitalized loved one. It is a pleasure to sponsor the event and The Auxiliary and Volunteer Services look forward to continuing the tradition for years to come.”

With the holiday season upon us, there’s plenty of cheer left for patients, families and employees throughout the rest of the month. View photos below from both tree lighting ceremonies.

On December 7, Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands joined forces with Tellepsen, a local construction company, for their third annual Bikes4Smiles event.

“We enjoy giving bicycles to Texas Children’s Hospital patients,” Construction Manager of Tellepsen, John Brock said. “Seeing the big smiles on their faces is what makes me want to do more every year.”

The Woodlands campus’ Patient & Family Services team did a remarkable job identifying deserving families and coordinating with Tellepsen on the delivery and presentation of the bicycles. One-by-one, each patient, some along with their siblings, entered the Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands conference room shocked to see dozens of shiny new bikes with their names on them.

A total of 32 bikes were matched with deserving children this year, and The Woodlands staff donated safety helmets to go with each bicycle.

“Thank you all so much for this,” a patient mother, Mayra Munoz said in tears. “This is exactly what they asked for this year for Christmas.”

In 2015, Tellepsen participated in a donation project that ultimately sparked Bikes4Smles, which Brock in particular, donated a brand new Spiderman bicycle. After presenting the bikes, Brock noticed how one child’s face lit up, and he also noticed that it was because of his gift.

“That struck me real hard,” Brock said. “At that moment I knew this wasn’t just a one-time thing.”

Tellepsen’s Bikes4Smiles project was born in 2016, raising approximately 265 bikes. Today, with Texas Children’s patients added to the list of recipients, the company has donated nearly 700 bicycles in total. Tellepsen is not only responsible for making Texas Children’s patients smile, but they are also responsible for making The Woodlands campus’ alluring structure.

This event has laid the foundation for our partnership as we continue to work with this influential company to make a difference in The Woodlands community and surrounding communities in Montgomery County.

“Events like these are always a pleasure to witness,” Executive Vice President of Texas Children’s Hospital, Michelle Riley-Brown said. “We thank Tellepsen for their gifts, as well as their constant dedication to the health of children and women.”

December 3, 2018

On November 2, The Woodlands’ Recognition and Rewards Committee proudly presented the first quarter Shining Star award to Robert Smith and Dr. Ruben Rodriguez.

Smith is a pharmacist known for his contagious smile and endless compassion for his job and fellow coworkers. He goes above and beyond to make sure others are taken care of, including hand delivering medications when needed.

“Robert is truly an inspiration to many,” Inpatient staff nurse Nina Riddell said. “He is very well known and when he walks through the unit his aura immediately brightens up the room!”

Rodriguez is a surgical services physician who naturally and effortlessly embraces the core values of Texas Children’s Hospital. His collaboration, collegiality, and compassion are known by all who interact with him. Rodriguez’s exemplary care and attention to his craft helps make everyone around him rise to a higher level.

“We are all fortunate to benefit from having the leadership of Dr. Rodriguez at this campus,” AD Pediatric Surgery Advance Practice Provider, Matthew Borges said. “It is my extreme honor to call attention to the shining star he casts over all who have the opportunity to work with him.”

This award honors those who go above and beyond to provide exceptional care to our patients, families and staff at The Woodlands campus. A huge congratulations and thank you to each of you for being the Shining Star!

If you would like to nominate someone, please click here.