August 2, 2018

Dr. Allen Milewicz, chief surgical officer at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and chief of Community Surgery, recently assumed a new role within the Department of Surgery – associate chief of Clinical Affairs.

“Dr. Milewicz is uniquely positioned for this important new role,” said Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Larry Hollier. “After operating at Texas Children’s for more than 25 years, he has experienced the growth of both the hospital and the Department of Surgery, has helped guide community outreach efforts for the department, and has a keen understanding of the needs of our referring providers.”

Aligning activities for one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive pediatric surgery programs – with 120 surgeons, over 130 highly skilled advanced practice providers and 800 staff working across three different campuses – requires continuous oversight and attention to detail. In his new position, Milewicz will work closely with Hollier and other hospital leadership to provide that high level of oversight, as well as enhanced medical, operational and strategic leadership across the entire surgical enterprise, ensuring continuity of the efficient, high-quality care for which Texas Children’s Department of Surgery is known.

“I have had the good fortune to spend my entire career at Texas Children’s Hospital, and the growth of the organization has been tremendous and inspiring,” Milewicz said. “We want our Department of Surgery to be top of mind as the standard whenever a parent, pediatrician, health care specialist, resident, medical student or medical school faculty member thinks about surgical challenges in children.”

Additional aspects of the position will be the continued professional development of Texas Children’s surgeons and advanced practice providers, and improved patient and family experiences.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help guide and serve,” Milewicz said. “We have so many talented, motivated people in our department that I think the best thing I can do is make it easier for everyone to do the job they come here to do. This means simplifying processes, facilitating flow and communication, and utilizing technology to improve access and help patients navigate our large organization. Of course, this must all be done under the umbrellas of safety and compassion. In everything we do here, whether it’s a highly complicated procedure or a condition that requires a simpler solution, I’m proud that we always remember that the child and the family are our focus.”

In addition to his new role, Milewicz will retain his duties as chief surgical officer at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and chief of Community Surgery.

Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark Wallace is committed to meeting every employee at Texas Children’s, and one way he does that is during a New Employee Pep Rally.

New employees at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus hired between January 1 through June 30 attended the most recent Pep Rally on July 30, and from the moment team members arrived, they shared their excitement to be with Texas Children’s!

New employees, leaders, and assigned “buddies” mixed, mingled, and snapped selfies around the room. To close the event, team captain – Wallace – celebrated what our team had accomplished and what’s ahead as our One Amazing Team keeps growing!

June 5, 2018

On May 18, B.I.G. Love Cancer Care teamed up with Kendra Scott to bring the Kendra Cares Program to Texas Children’s Hospital.

The program allows patients to experience the customizable Color Bar by Kendra Scott, a popular jewelry boutique, to pediatric hospitals across the country. The 2-hour event was held at the West campus location, where they provided refreshments and offered patients and their family members an opportunity to make a customized jewelry piece at no cost to them.

B.I.G Love Cancer Care Services is a non-profit, volunteer based organization committed to providing basic necessities and personalized care to cancer kids and their families.

To date, the program has donated over six thousand pieces of jewelry and has rapid national growth plans.

May 29, 2018

The Department of Emergency Management is presenting its 2nd Annual Emergency Management Corridor event:

  • Thursday, May 31, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – West Campus – First-floor corridor near conference center

Emergency Management will be on hand to help you prepare for hurricane season by offering tips and resources, getting your emergency supplies ready, and making sure you know where to go and what to do during a disaster. There also will be opportunities to join the volunteer Decontamination Team, HAM Radio Club and/or Moulage Team.

Plan to stop by this event to learn safety tips to help you prepare yourself, your family and your patients for the 2018 hurricane season.

One extremely deserving employee earned the Best of the West award. On May 18, Cindy Baurax, supervisor of Respiratory Care at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, was presented a plaque signed by many of her colleagues for her exemplary work.

The Best of the West award recognizes an employee each quarter who has exceled at demonstrating Texas Children’s values – leading tirelessly, living compassionately, amplifying unity and embracing freedom.

“Cindy took on the challenge with no complaints and willingness to do whatever it takes to lead our teams forward,” her coworkers said. “She took on more roles in order to live up to the expectations of the organization, leading the respiratory department tirelessly.”

Over the past two years, Baurax has been committed to excellence through her support of West Campus leadership in taking on additional responsibilities with daily operations and piloting of new projects. Recently, she supported the facilitation of the PICU +1 Sleep project to increase access for our neurophysiology patients.

She has exemplified the many qualities of Best of the West by finding opportunities to demonstrate Texas Children’s values in her role as supervisor of Respiratory Care.


May 15, 2018

Texas Children’s recently participated in a large-scale exercise focusing on the transport of an Ebola-positive pediatric patient from a facility in The Woodlands to Texas Children’s Special Isolation Unit at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-designated pediatric Ebola treatment center for the southwest region, Texas Children’s was chosen to be a part of the exercise organized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to test the nationwide ability to move patients with highly infectious diseases safely and securely to regional treatment centers.

“Providing safe, high-level care for patients with highly infectious special pathogens, such as the Ebola virus, requires an incredible amount of training and preparation,” said Dr. Amy Arrington, medical director of Texas Children’s Special Isolation Unit. “We do this exceeding well at Texas Children’s Hospital, with a state-of-the-art Special Isolation Unit and incredible team of volunteer health care workers who train regularly to care for these patients. But it is also critical to practice coordinating the transport of these patients as a medical community, between health care facilities.”

More than 50 organizations throughout the nation participated in the exercise, including the Department of State, Department of Transportation, the Regional Ebola Treatment Centers, local and state health and emergency management agencies, hospitals, airport authorities, and non-government organizations.

The exercise focused on moving seven people acting as patients with Ebola symptoms in different regions of the country. At each health care facility, clinical workers simulated the collection and shipment of samples for diagnostic tests to state laboratories, which in turn practiced running the necessary laboratory tests to diagnose the patients with Ebola.

As part of the exercise, each patient received a positive diagnosis. Using appropriate isolation techniques and personal protective equipment, health care workers then took steps to have six of the patients transported by air to designated Regional Ebola Treatment Centers. These patients were placed into mobile biocontainment units for these flights. The pediatric patient was placed into protective equipment and transported by ground ambulance.

“Saving lives during crises requires preparation and training,” said Dr. Robert Kadlec, Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. “A tremendous amount of coordination, synchronization, and skill is needed to move patients with highly infectious diseases safely. We have to protect the patients and the health care workers caring for those patients. This type of exercise helps ensure that everyone involved is ready for that level of complexity.”

May 1, 2018

This year’s Patient Experience Week celebration lived up to its theme, “A Magical Experience,” as patients and their families participated in fun and engaging activities at Texas Children’s Hospital Medical Center Campus, Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.

Patient Experience Week was held from April 23 to 27. New this year, the Patient Experience Team launched the Compassion Challenge. Each day during Patient Experience Week, employees and staff across the organization completed a challenge that focused on the concepts of compassion, communication and connectedness. Completed Compassion Challenge forms are due Tuesday, May 1, to to be eligible for the prize drawing of Houston Dynamo tickets.

The week began with an inspiring speech from Houston business owner and community leader Jim McIngvale, also known as Mattress Mack. In front of a packed auditorium in the Abercrombie Building, McIngvale shared his insight about the importance of serving others and how he builds his business on these core values.

“Helping people is what I was put on this earth to do. It is what we all were made to do,” said McIngvale. “No one helps children like Texas Children’s Hospital. It is beyond amazing how you do it.”

The week also included a speech from Kelly Fuhlman from the Disney Institute who shared the magic behind the customer experience created at Disney parks and resort locations throughout the world.

Hundreds of people attended patient and family experience events across Texas Children’s three campuses. The events provided many fun children’s movie themed activities along with sweet treats and photo booths.

“These kids go through so much every day, and when we have an opportunity to make them laugh and smile, it’s exciting,” said Nazish Ahmad, West Campus Ambulatory Clinic manager. “Especially as leaders, we don’t normally have that face-to-face interaction all the time, so to be in such a fun environment and make the kiddos smile just makes the day.”

Caught You Caring (CYC) Awards ceremonies were also held at the Medical Center Campus, West Campus and The Woodlands Campus to recognize our 2018 recipients who have gone above and beyond to show compassion to our patients, families and co-workers.

The CYC program’s idea was brought to life after a physician read a heartfelt letter written by the mother of one of our patients. She described the care and compassion her whole family received during her son’s admission. Since then, CYC was conceptualized, piloted in our surgery areas in 2015, and has been launched system-wide with more than 6,000 CYC cards received. CYC boxes are located throughout all campuses so that anyone can recognize a staff member or a colleague.

A panel of judges scored each nomination to select the top employees and this year’s winners received a CYC award, a T-shirt, and the highlight of the ceremony – tickets to an upcoming Houston Texans event.

Texas Children’s Hospital Medical Center Campus:
Hilda Andrade, Lead Tech for Environmental Services
Yaneth Arrue, Unit Support Assistant in Abercrombie
Shatovia Cerf, Patient Care Assistant on 14 West Tower
Krista Miller, Staff Nurse in Labor and Delivery
Sandy Rodriguez, Front Office Specialist in Partners in OB/GYN at the Pavilion for Women
Erick Talamantes, Surgery Patient Liaison in West Tower

Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus:
Rosy Alvarado, Ambulatory Services Representative in the Urology clinic
Melissa Starner, Staff Nurse for West Campus 5th floor inpatient

Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands:
Lisa Carr, Staff Nurse in the Woodlands Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Melanie Johnson, Ambulatory Services Representative in the Neurophysiology department

Overall, the Patient Experience events were a success at reminding employees, patients and families that care at Texas Children’s goes beyond the bedside. It has to do with how we treat our patients and their families from the moment they call to schedule an appointment with us to the point they leave our care.