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 5, 2019

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus is celebrating more than just its 5th anniversary this week. The unit will mark the milestone without having any hospital-acquired infections, a significant achievement for the unit’s staff and a huge win for the patients treated there.

“It’s an amazing accomplishment to have gone this long without any hospital acquired infections,” medical director of the PICU at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus Matthew Pesek said. “Limiting hospital acquired infections is a major hospital initiative, and it’s something we take tremendous pride in achieving.”

Pesek said nurses, physicians and the leadership team all played a part in the unit’s success. The PICU care team does weekly quality rounds, along with continuous monitoring and documenting to ensure compliance with best practices and quality bundles; care tactics that significantly improve patient outcomes.

“Infection prevention is at the forefront of everything the team does,” Pesek said. “They work to ensure central lines are kept clean, and nurses work collaboratively with physicians to determine if a line is absolutely necessary.”

The PICU nurses also are trained to place ultrasound-guided IVs in patients who are difficult to access. This new technique provides nurses with easier access and reduces the number of days a patient has a central line and the patient’s exposure to possible infection.

“I am so proud of our team and what we have achieved together,” assistant clinical director of the PICU at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus Karen Sripan said. “It feels really great to know that, since we’ve been open, not only has our team provided great care, but our patients and the community have responded positively. Our Press Ganey scores were 100 percent for our hospital rating this past month, which is validation that we are doing an outstanding job.”

Since opening five years ago, West Campus’ PICU has grown to meet the evolving needs of patients in the community and beyond. Partially funded by a generous $1 million donation from the Lauren and Lara Camillo Family Trusts, the unit opened its doors in 2014 on the second floor of the hospital with eight beds. Three years later, the unit was moved to the fourth floor of the hospital and more than doubled in size, expanding to 22 beds.

“The acuity of our practice has just changed dramatically over the course of five years,” Pesek said. “We are taking care of patients who nobody dreamed would even be within our scope. The ability to manage critically ill patients in the community, to the highest quality, is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team.”

March 4, 2019

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.

February 18, 2019

After coming to Texas Children’s throughout her youth as a patient, recently hired medical assistant Blanca Alonso got something she always wanted – the opportunity to join the organization as an employee at Texas Children’s Specialty Care Sugar Land.

“It’s really incredible working with the kids and patients, and I don’t plan on going anywhere else,” said Alonso, one of more than 40 new members of the Texas Children’s family who attended the first Mark Wallace New Employee Pep Rally of 2019, held February 4 at West Campus.

Fashioned in the same back-to-school theme of the Texas Children’s Hi orientation, the 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 included new and recent hires based at West Campus, as well as those from specialty care clinics in surrounding communities.

“West Campus 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.

As she enjoyed refreshments and connected with her new colleagues, Shamira Connor reflected on the warm welcome she has received since becoming a medical assistant at the Sugar Land specialty care clinic. “I’ve always wanted to work at Texas Children’s. Now I’m here and I love it,” she said.

February 12, 2019

On February 5, nearly 100 people attended Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus’ remembrance ceremony, honoring 38 children who were taken from this world too soon over the past two years.

The event was coordinated by the West Campus remembrance planning committee that included representatives from Child Life, the Social Work department, Family Support Services, and the Palliative Care team. The decorations consisted of beautiful floral arrangements created by Bubbles & Blooms and lighting, donated by the Lamar University Dance and Theater Department.

The ceremony opened with a welcome from Ivett Shah, Vice President of West Campus. The West Campus Chaplain, Al Cabrera, followed with a beautiful spiritual reflection.

As the program commenced, participants began reading the names of each of the children being honored as a poem entitled Remembering was recited. A translator was also present from interpreter services, to translate the program to Spanish speaking guests.

Following the program, a reception was held with food, a touching photography slideshow of the children accompanied by music, and a keynote speaker who shared his journey as a parent on the road to healing after losing a child.

Chuy’s Tex-Mex restaurant of Katy graciously donated dinner, and Chick fil A Katy Green generously provided drinks and dessert as well. After the closing remarks a balloon release was held. Each attendee wrote a special message on a balloon and sent them up to the heavens with their loved ones.

The families were presented with Forget Me Not seeds and a sapling gift to plant in the memory of their child. There was also a table available to staff and family members with available resources and social work support.

“We have received overwhelming feedback from those who attended, about how impactful and important the event was,” education coordinator, Mandy Owens said. “The West Campus remembrance planning committee would also like to thank our Texas Children’s Hospital volunteers and employees for the immense amount of assistance they provided.”

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!