May 28, 2019

For the first time ever, Texas Children’s has been named by the Houston Business Journal as one of Houston’s Healthiest Employers of 2019 in recognition of our ongoing commitment to support a healthy and strong workforce.

HBJ ranked Texas Children’s among the city’s healthiest companies with at least 5,000 employees. The journal’s survey rigorously assessed organizational culture, leadership commitment, programming and intervention efforts, and communication and marketing to determine how strongly Texas Children’s promotes and supports a healthy work environment.

Texas Children’s was recognized for the many innovative, engaging, convenient and cost-effective well-being programs and opportunities that positively impact the lives of our employees. The high volume and efficiency of the Employee Medical Clinic, 24/7 access to EAP Plus, success stories from health coaching and the many well-being initiatives were all featured in the survey responses.

“A healthy and strong workforce is essential to delivering quality and compassionate care to our patients and their families, which our employees provide every day,” said Jermaine Monroe, Vice President, Human Resources. “We are honored to be recognized as one of Houston’s Healthiest Employers and will continually advance initiatives to empower and support our employee’s physical, mental and financial well-being journeys at Texas Children’s.”

The Houston Business Journal revealed the final rankings for the 2019 Healthiest Employers list on May 23. Click here to read more about the finalists and the awards.

April 9, 2019

Texas Children’s is committed to safeguarding the health and well-being of our employees, our patients and their families. Supporting this commitment, Employee Health and Well-Being completes routine tuberculosis (TB) skin testing. All patient care providers and employees with indirect patient contact, should complete a TB skin test by July 1.

Please refer to the 2019 TB Testing Schedule for a complete schedule of testing dates, times and locations across Texas Children’s hospital campuses. Note, once the TB skin test has been placed, only trained, designated personnel can read results between 48 and 72 hours after placement.

Which Texas Children’s employees should receive a TB skin test?

Employees who have direct or indirect patient contact as detailed in their job description. Examples of employees within these groups:

Direct Patient Contact includes but is not limited to: nurses, medical assistants, patient care assistants, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, physicians and clinical leaders.

Indirect Patient Contact includes but is not limited to employees in the following departments: facilities, pharmacy and radiology, as well as clinical leaders and case managers.

For more information, please see sections 8 and 9 of the Tuberculosis Exposure Control Plan Procedure or visit the Employee Health Services page on Connect.

Baylor College of Medicine employees working in Texas Children’s facilities will continue to complete paper TB skin test forms when they receive the TB skin test and must bring the form with them at the time of the TB skin read.

Which Texas Children’s employees do not need a TB skin test?
Employees who do not have any patient contact.
Employees who have already received a negative TB skin test in 2019.
Employees with a documented positive TB skin test. These employees will receive an email from Employee Health with instructions to complete a questionnaire through the Employee Health & Wellness Portal.

Employee Health will provide separate instructions to share with employees who do not work on a hospital campus. Employees who are unable to be tested on any of the provided dates can make individual appointments by calling Employee Health Services at 832-824-2150, option 2.

If you have any questions about TB testing at Texas Children’s, contact Employee Health at 832-824-2150, option 2.

April 2, 2019

Hundreds of employees took their first look at Texas Children’s Well-Being Studio last week, exploring the bright new space on West Tower 20 that provides our one amazing team a convenient place at the Medical Center campus to turn holistic health goals into action and amplify unity through group classes at no cost.

Members of the Benefits & Well-Being team greeted attendees at the Open House for the Well-Being Studio, where classes officially began on March 25.

Employees snacked on healthy refreshments, infused waters and fruit smoothies as they walked through the nearly 2,000-square-foot space with room for classes of up to 40 participants. Click here for a full class schedule, including Yoga, Zumba, Barre, Core Blast, Gentle Stretch, Mindful Morning and more.

What was once the Heart Center waiting area has been transformed, with a new Well-Being Studio logo etched on the glass entry doors; open shelving for storage of personal belongings during class sessions; and fitness equipment that includes kettlebells, dumbbells, yoga mats, resistance bands, Pilates balls and foam rollers. A dedicated tranquility room is coming soon.

“The Well-Being Studio is another step toward our goal to have a healthy and strong workforce. It’s something people are engaged and excited about, and something we’ve consistently heard that our employees want,” said Vice President Jermaine Monroe. “Texas Children’s provides exceptional care to our patients and families and in order for that to happen, we have to empower and support our employees in their own well-being journeys.”

At the Well-Being Wheel, Open House guests met studio instructors while performing squats, push-ups, dumbbell curls and other light exercises to earn raffle prizes. There was also a table showcasing information about proper nutrition, and an interactive display on self-care where employees could create their own relaxing glitter wands.

Given a sneak peek and special opportunity to try classes at the studio a week early, wellness ambassadors – trained employees who agree to take an active role in raising awareness about on-site wellness offerings at Texas Children’s – said their colleagues would be pleased to finally have such a facility available.

“I’m a big proponent of being your best self. You can’t take care of patients if you’re not well yourself; you can’t pour from an empty cup,” said Brittany Walters, a wellness ambassador and clinical nurse coordinator in International Patient Services. “This studio is really important because it helps with work-life balance. You can come to work and have a place to refresh and rejuvenate.”

For more information about the Well-Being Studio, including how to register as a member and attend a class, visit the studio page on Connect.

March 25, 2019

Texas Children’s employees enjoyed a spice-filled start to National Nutrition Month® on March 6 with a full menu of original Indian dishes available for lunch at the Fresh Bistro, created by award-winning Compass Celebrity Chef Bal Arneson.

Employee Health & Well-Being partnered with Food and Nutrition Services and Morrison Food Services to bring Arneson to the Medical Center campus to share her cooking tips and recipes, which draw their flavor from carefully selected spices and healthful ingredients rather than cream and salt. Even her spin on classic butter chicken – a well-known dish that originated in Northern India – is made with yogurt instead of butter.

Arneson mingled with employees at the Fresh Bistro before doing a live cooking demonstration in Morrison’s Teaching Kitchen, which was set up in the Pavilion for Women conference rooms.

She also signed copies of her latest cookbook and answered questions about how home chefs can incorporate more spices into their family meals, noting that turmeric, coriander, cardamom, fennel and paprika are among her favorites for health benefits like reduced inflammation and more sound sleep.

The opportunity to bring her passion and love for food to Texas Children’s allowed Arneson to fulfill her ultimate purpose of serving others, she said. It was a special treat to use her knowledge and gifts to feed the people who heal and support our patients and their families.

“I believe the body is our temple and there is an energy inside us that needs to be nourished. You must fuel your body with the right nutrients,” Arneson said. “Food is your medicine and you are exactly what you eat.”

National Nutrition Month® continues

The National Nutrition Month® celebration at Texas Children’s will extend through the end of March with the following events at the Medical Center, The Woodlands and West campuses:

Wednesday, March 20 | 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cigna Health Education Table
Pavilion for Women, in front of Fresh Bistro
Join 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.

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 fruits and vegetables in your daily routine. Ask your nutrition questions and learn tips for creating a healthier lifestyle.

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

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.

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 28, 2019

Nearly 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented, yet cardiovascular disease continues to be the No. 1 health threat facing women. When it comes to preventing the disease and taking care of your heart health, knowing your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and body mass index (BMI) numbers is the best place to start.

Join the Employee Medical Clinic this Friday, February 1, for “Go Red for Women Day,” featuring free heart education and blood pressure screenings for all Texas Children’s employees. Clinic staff will be on hand from 11 a.m.to 1 p.m., at the entrance of the Fresh Bistro in the Pavilion for Women at the Medical Center campus to conduct the screenings and provide employees with the critical personal health numbers that can help assess their risk for heart disease and stroke. Amplify unity by wearing red to show your support!

Launched by the American Heart Association, Go Red for Women is a comprehensive platform designed to encourage women to take charge of their own heart health and increase awareness of cardiovascular disease, which causes 1 in 3 deaths among women each year.

Wear Red for a Complimentary Heart-Healthy Sweet
Texas Children’s is also partnering with Morrison Chefs on Friday, February 1, to offer heart-healthy meal options in celebration of Go Red for Women. With the purchase of a heart-healthy meal, Texas Children’s badge holders wearing red will receive a complimentary heart-healthy sweet during lunchtime at the Pavilion for Women Fresh Bistro, Dot’s Cafeteria at West Campus and the coffee shop and café at The Woodlands. Sweets will be available while supplies last.

Healthy Heart Program
Your Employee Medical Clinic offers a Healthy Heart Program year-round at no cost to our employees. The program features three individual sessions with a registered dietitian who will work with you to improve your blood pressure and/or cholesterol through healthy lifestyle modifications, including nutrition, physical activity, stress management and blood pressure monitoring.

For more information about the Healthy Heart Program or to make an appointment, please call 832-824-2424.

Cigna Health Coaching and Heart Health Programs
Cigna provides complimentary health coaching to help employees achieve their health and well-being goals, as well as manage and prevent chronic conditions like hypertension, hyperlipidemia, coronary artery disease, heart failure and many more. These programs will help you understand your condition and provide education and resources to support you in your health journey, while also developing individualized goals to help you make meaningful, healthy lifestyle changes.

To learn more about these Cigna programs, contact Staci Tobolowsky Astrein, Cigna’s on-site health coach at Texas Children’s, at 832-824-3068 or sxtobolo@texaschildrens.org.