United we stand

January 19, 2017 | (21) Comments

I note the obvious differences in the human family.

Some of us are serious, some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived as true profundity,

and others claim they really live the real reality.  

The variety of our skin tones can confuse, bemuse, delight,

brown and pink and beige and purple, tan and blue and white.

I note the obvious differences between each sort and type,

but we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.

These are intriguing thoughts from Human Family, a poem written by the late American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. An Apple commercial featuring Angelou’s reading of this poem aired in the days before and after the recent presidential election. Of course that was no accident. Angelou’s poem is a refreshing reminder that we should all consider, particularly during this time when our political climate is riddled with such negativity and divisiveness. Her thoughtful words refocus us on the aspirations we share for our families, our communities and our world, rather than on the differences perceived as dividers.

I certainly understand that people are very passionate about politics and our elections, but I choose to believe that at the very core, it is driven by our love for country. Yes, we have different ideas about what is best for our country’s future, but I believe we can all come together and overcome these challenges and realize that we, as Americans, are far more alike than we are different. Over the next few months and years, what I hope and pray for our nation, is that we will regain our focus and dedication. We are the United States of America, and we are indeed one amazing nation. Fostering an inclusive culture is intrinsic to our success.

My wonderful 87-year-old mother frequently says, “Mark, I’ve never seen the world and our nation in such a mess.” I know where my mom is coming from, but I remind her that America is resilient and strong. America, like every nation, has had challenges. And although the issues we face as a nation are challenging enough, we have gone through much tougher times in our nation’s history, like World War II and the Civil War.

I think one of the byproducts of our current climate is going to be the incredible and wonderful diversity so many people actually are embracing more than ever in America today. Texas Children’s is a demonstration of that assertion. Embracing all races, genders and religions was at the core of our founding.

Our founding fathers, James Abercrombie and Leopold Meyer, wanted Texas Children’s to be a hospital for all children regardless of race, religion and economic circumstances. They wanted to make sure that we were here to take care of all children regardless of that family’s ability to pay. That principle has been woven into the fabric of our culture at Texas Children’s – we are all for one and one for all. We are not focused on “I” or “me.” WE work together to meet the needs of families across our great nation who come to us for care – including the underserved, the uninsured and the disenfranchised.

That is why we created Texas Children’s Health Plan – the nation’s first HMO for children – our community health centers, our second community hospital opening in The Woodlands later this year, and supported the implementation of the STAR Kids program to help families manage the care of children with complex medical needs. Many of the families we serve are those who, due to circumstances often times beyond their control, simply could not access or afford the health care they deserve.

United, we stand in the gap at Texas Children’s to extend a helping hand and give these families the lift they need. I trust that our nation will do the same. I trust we will find a way to collectively unify and emerge stronger. We will do that because regardless of the news and naysayers, I believe we want so many of the same things for our nation. We are after all, more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.

21 Responses to “United we stand”

    • Margaret Whiting

      I just want to tell you thanks for all that you’ve done for TCH and the community. It really makes me proud to be a part of this enitity and can proudly mention you as the CEO. I was in California a few days ago to bury my brother and the clery wanted to know where I was from. To make a story short, I mentioned where i work and he knew about the Medical Center and Texas Childrens. He was proud of us and boasted that the Medical Center was a city within a city and i eagerly told him about how we ranked in the nation. This says a lot about your leadership. So thanks again!.

  1. Pat Coleman

    Thank you Mark! This is a great reminder of why Texas Children’s is the best place to work! Your words remind us why Texas Children’s strives to keep the mission and vision of our founders, Mr. Abercrombie and Mr. Meyer alive by providing the best health care services to all children and families! I especially thank you for the leadership and support you provide to Texas Children’s Pediatrics and our Community Cares practices. I’m proud to be part of your one amazing team!

  2. Marlene Mouldeer

    Thank you for your uplifting comment. I am reminded that at the groundbreaking in 1951, the blessing for the occasion was from Houston Rabbi Hyman Judah Schachtel, who said, “May all children who come here aching and in pain leave healed; and all those who come in tears leave smiling.” I was privileged to know Dr. Schachtel personally and I know his emphasis was on “all”. You have carried the dream of Mr. Abercrombie and Mr. Meyer and the blessing from Rabbi Schachtel and made Texas Childen’s what it is today. Your leadership has embraced their dreams and united us to embrace everyone and to take care of ALL children.. Thank you for your leadership and your powerful message.

  3. Lisa Wright

    Thank you Mark for being the leader that you are. Your recognition and embracing of the culture and diversity around TCH Communities has been an ultimate display of the core values and mission of Texas Children’s. I am honored to be part of such an amazing team!

  4. Jackie Ward

    Thank you Mr. Wallace for expressing, in such an eloquent and uplifting way, words that we need to embrace. Your leadership is unparalleled and we are blessed to have you at the helm of this organization, leading us through challenging, difficult and sensitive times. We are an amazing team and we are family taking care of families!

  5. Sabrina Cowans

    Mr. Wallace – I love you!!! Where else on earth is there another CEO with a heart like yours? Your heart for everyday employees like me is amazing and I am so proud to be a part of Texas Children’s. Recently there have many things that have disappointed me in our nation. Sometimes it feels like diversity is frowned upon rather than embraced. As a minority it very disappointing! But people like you restore my faith that we are better than that!! That not everyone fears and demonize people of other races and cultures. Thank you for having a heart that embraces all of us and in so doing, allowing everyone to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s holiday!

  6. Erika Loredo

    Mr. Wallace
    As an immigrant, woman and mother, your words /reflection about our Nation and the reminder of the values WE care the most here at Texas Children’s, could not but assure me that the love, respect and pride I feel to be part of this amazing family is just right. There is no better feeling to know that even when things may not be all perfect, I am collaborating with superb people who knows that unity and empowerment is the right way to go. Diversity is our best asset and the only way to continue providing care to our communities! THANK YOU Mr. Wallace for having such beautiful heart, passion for our mission and for your exceptional way to lead us.

  7. Curtis George

    Every day I come to work and exhibit and experience pride at Texas Children’s Hospital. Every time I pass a Texas Children’s facility or see a Texas Children’s Hospital billboard I experience a sense of pride. However, I’ve never been more proud of my employer and it’ CEO than I am with this announcement. For nearly 25 years I have supported and lifted up your vision for the growth and success of this organization. Today we are all supported and uplifted by your words and actions. Mr. Wallace, thank you for once again demonstrating that you are a man of heart and vision that extends far beyond the title of President and CEO.

  8. Ann McClarney

    “We are after all, more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” YES
    and thank you for the reminder. It is nice to work at a place, which views TEAM and does not view race or religion in the employees. And sees all our children as children which need medical treatment. If Mr. Abercrombie and Mr. Meyer could see us now…

  9. Ashley Bernal

    Your quote from the late American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou and the action you have taken to observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an organizational holiday has given me hope!

  10. Luis Del Rosario

    Hello Mark,
    Coming from our CEO, you are showing again by example your thoughts and actions for Texas Children’s hospital to diversity!!
    Bottom line is the future of the American youth and not just ” us “. What are we doing now for their future? Be it jobs, environment, foreign relations … I hope for a balance politics!
    Proud to work here to better a child or mother’s life yet proud to live in such a diversified Houston!


  11. Sarah Maytum

    Thank you for this message of hope, optimism and unity. Our intentional decision at Texas Children’s, to stand in the gap, demonstrates what a community of passionate people can do to increase the good in the world.

  12. Michelle Burks-Walker

    Mr. Wallace,
    Thank you for your encouraging words. I agree with you, no matter how diverse this country is…”we all want the same thing” . Peace and to continue to stand together as a Nation.

  13. Sohail Azeem

    Mr. Wallace – Thank you for further valuing and reiterating the principles of our TCH founding fathers James Abercrombie and Leopold Meyer as they wanted Texas Children’s to be a hospital for all children regardless of race, religion and economic circumstances. As an employee of yours – I very much appreciate this message and the tone of our great organization.

  14. DK Lovick

    Mr. Wallace!!! Yes Yes Yes Thank you for being such a great leader. This is exactly why I love being a part of TCH. Everyone from the top to the bottom and all the patients in between are embraced equally. And you are absolutely correct that we will get through whatever comes our way and come out on top! xoxo :)dk

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