With the emerging and quickly changing situation around COVID-19, I’m reminded that these are the times that show and strengthen the culture of leadership at Texas Children’s, and make us even more cohesive.
I understand the spread of the virus is unsettling to many of us, but please rest assured that the medical and administrative teams have been monitoring the outbreak since its early phase in Wuhan and we are taking every precaution to keep our patients, faculty and staff safe. The health and well-being of our local, regional, national and international community remain our highest priority.
As Mayor Sylvester Turner shared during yesterday’s press conference, our community’s reach is extensive, and it is difficult to close our borders. However, the shared goal of all leaders is to contain and mitigate the spread of the virus. I agree with the city’s decision to cancel current and upcoming events such as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo as it is the best way to keep our community safe.
Leading is not always easy, but in challenging times such as the one we are currently facing, it is our responsibility to make decisions that are in our shared best interest. Dr. David Persse, City of Houston Local Health Authority, could not have said it any better when he stated that if we are successful in containing this virus, it will be because of what we have done, not because it wasn’t necessary.
Whether you’re directing our daily response or making sure you are taking personal precautions – like practicing good hand hygiene – please know that your leadership at every level throughout our organization matters, and I am truly grateful for the work you’re doing to keep us all safe.
In addition to our One Amazing Team, I’m also grateful for the teams that surround us here in the Texas Medical Center. Texas Children’s is part of the largest and most resourceful medical center in the world, and we have some of the best and brightest medical experts in the country leading our collective response to this situation. All of the TMC institutions are sharing ideas, best practices, protocols, information and resources to support one another and, ultimately, help ensure a healthier community.
As the situation evolves, please continue to stay informed about Texas Children’s travel policies, visitation restrictions, vendor and volunteer guidelines, and large group meetings or events. We have dedicated a page on our website and on Connect where information is regularly updated, and you will continue to receive global alerts from the teams leading this initiative including Dr. Jim Versalovic, interim Physician-in-Chief, Mark Mullarkey, Executive Vice President and Mary Jo Andre, Chief Nursing Officer.
In compliance with our current policies, I have made the decision to cancel my remaining film screenings of Dwelling in Possibility. I have enjoyed spending time with so many of you at those events, but the well-being of our patients, staff and employees is my number one priority at all times. I look forward to rescheduling the screenings once we feel it is safe to lift these guidelines about large events.
While we weather the tides ahead, we must remain calm and focused. Texas Children’s, inclusive of our 106 locations across Texas as well as every one of our physicians and employees, is ready and prepared for what may come next. I understand we all have concerns, but I am confident in our ability to come together to keep Texas Children’s safe, just as we have always done.