June 24, 2022 | (26) Comments

For more than 50 years, June has been recognized as Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which took place in New York in 1969 and was a watershed moment for the LGBTQ+ fight for equal rights. While many Pride celebrations include parades, marches and demonstrations, the definition of Pride is what I want to explore further.

The word “pride” can mean many different things depending on who you ask. To me, it means equality and acceptance. Equality for every person—no matter their gender, religion, how they identify, or the color of their skin—and acceptance that we all deserve the right to be who we are and love who we love.

The unfortunate truth is that while we stand today as a free country, many of our friends and family who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, do not feel free to be who they are. Furthermore, there are so many who go to great lengths to hide who they are because they are afraid of what stands on the other side of their own truth. These injustices should not exist.

Former President Barack Obama once said “when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.”

While we may never understand why there are still so many who choose hate over understanding, it is up to us—you and me—to bring awareness, educate one another, and stand up for what is right. In the past few years alone, I have seen our beautiful and diverse One Amazing Team do the right thing and support each other more times than I can count, and I know you are each making a difference in this world. You may never know the true impact your love and compassion may have on an individual, but I am here today to remind you that it is making a difference each and every day.

Beginning today, Texas Children’s Miracle Bridge in the Texas Medical Center, along with the fountains at our West Campus and The Woodlands Campus, will be lit up in honor of Pride Month and the Pride celebrations taking place in Houston this weekend. Together, we have the ability to ensure that Texas Children’s is a safe space, where everyone—both staff and patients—is loved, respected and accepted for who they are.

April 13, 2022 | (16) Comments

Today we celebrated the 5th anniversary of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, and what an exciting and special day it was!

I can still remember the day when our leadership team realized that we needed to bring a pediatric community hospital to The Woodlands to care for the children and families north of Houston. We had already been serving the area for years through Texas Children’s Pediatrics and Texas Children’s Health Plan, but we knew that there was so much more to be done.

What began as a vision and a dream of bringing Texas Children’s specialized care to the communities north of Houston has now surpassed everything I could have ever imagined — and it is all because of our One Amazing Team and the tireless commitment you give to our patients and their families.

Because of you, the first five years at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands consisted of more than 825,000 completed appointments and over 47,500 surgeries. The Woodlands Emergency Room has also welcomed more than 265,000 visits. Wow!

Most importantly, every single one of these appointments represents a family who was provided world-class care, right in their own backyard.

Every time I have the opportunity to look out on this beautiful campus, I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude and pride. I am so incredibly proud that Texas Children’s recognized the need and made the move to bring a community hospital to The Woodlands. And I’m even prouder to know that we have some of the very best people who give their all to our patients each and every day.

When I think of a community, I think of people. I think of fellowship, commonalities and a shared purpose. And I firmly believe that Texas Children’s The Woodlands represents just that. Together, all of you make up this beautiful community of compassionate and talented caregivers who share a common goal and calling — to care for children and their families when and where they need it most.

Our hospitals, and the people who make them into a community, are what make a difference for so many families. We’ve seen immense success with Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and The Woodlands, and that is exactly why we’re bringing Texas Children’s Hospital to Austin in 2024! There is truly nothing greater than the community we’ve created for our patients, and I hope you know that we couldn’t have done it without you.

To the Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands team, thank you! The past five years have been nothing short of remarkable, but I want to let you know one thing — we aren’t done growing and we definitely aren’t finished yet! Congratulations, and here’s to the next five years at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands!

March 30, 2022 | (16) Comments

It is my honor to represent On the Mark for this exceptionally special occasion. Today is National Doctors’ Day, and I want to take a moment to honor Texas Children’s remarkable team of physicians for their commitment to the patients we serve from all around the globe.

I’ve been at Texas Children’s for almost 25 years and one of the reasons I remain dedicated to this institution is because of my physician colleagues. I have never been a part of a team of doctors who collaborate so effortlessly and seamlessly for the betterment of the children and women who need our expertise and skill. These men and women give their all day after day because caring for people is what they were called to do.

It is a privilege and an honor to do what we do as physicians, and it is in many ways a part of our identity. You have chosen perhaps the most impactful profession that there has ever been or will ever be — providing care to people.

If you’ve never been faced with this situation before, put yourself in the shoes of a parent who is handing their sick child to a doctor. Can you imagine the trust that they’re placing in that team of physicians — in you — to properly care for their child and to do everything in your power to help cure and comfort them?

That trust alone is an honor and it is inspirational.

However, I will be the first to address that as physicians, every triumphant moment and every calling comes with incredibly difficult seasons. The past two years alone as we’ve continued to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, we have faced challenges that I don’t believe we ever thought we’d see in our lifetime. Aside from the physical toll this virus has left on so many families, it has also heightened the difficulty of the sacrifices we make as physicians.

In a field where much of our work revolves around interpersonal interactions, we quickly found that although social distancing and wearing masks ultimately keep us, our patients and their families safe, we’ve unfortunately lost parts of what makes providing medical care so special.

As a physician, the high-five after a child braves something they once thought was scary, the small touch of comfort provided to a family as their child is wheeled into a procedure, and the simplicity of a smile is something I miss the most — and I know you miss it too.

I ask you that in those moments where you’re exhausted, doubting if you can make it in this field another day, please remember why you chose this career. Healthcare has never needed experienced doctors more than today.

Over the course of my career and after many conversations with physician colleagues, I’ve discovered that one of the main reasons doctors choose this profession is because people look to us for care and comfort during the times in their lives when they are most afraid. I truly don’t know that there is any higher calling than this.

In my most difficult moments, I think about the life of service that all of us at Texas Children’s have chosen, service to the most important people in this world — children and women. The courage and dedication that you have all shown through every triumph and every hurdle have been a source of profound inspiration to me and so many others.

I’ve never been prouder to be a doctor or more humbled to work with colleagues like you. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for the families that come to us in their most difficult — and their most joyous — times. From one physician to another, Happy Doctors’ Day.

Larry H. Hollier Jr., MD
Surgeon-In-Chief and Chair of Texas Children’s Department of Surgery

March 4, 2022 | (26) Comments

As much of our world grieves and watches the unimaginable events taking place, I want to use my voice to serve as a momentary outlet of distraction. Sometimes, even when it feels difficult to do so, it is necessary to take a moment to focus on something positive, especially in order to give our best to the patients we serve. So please, let me be that positive distraction for a few moments to tell you how much I appreciate you.

Today is National Employee Appreciation Day—and a day when I get to tell my One Amazing Team how much I appreciate them is certainly something I look forward to! I cannot begin to tell you just how much you are valued here at Texas Children’s, and how much I personally appreciate you. No matter where you stand, no matter what your role may be—you matter to this organization. We cannot do what we do or go where we’re meant to go without you.

Looking back on the past two years alone, we’ve overcome so much as a team. We’ve celebrated milestones and discoveries together, but we’ve also comforted one another through some of the toughest moments in our history. And we’ve done all of this while still providing the very best care to every patient who walks through our doors.

Many of you may not know this, but I often find myself staring out of my office windows, in awe of what Texas Children’s has become. Because of each of you, Texas Children’s has become so much more than I could have ever imagined. It’s become a top-tier organization where women make up almost 80% of our workforce, with 75% in executive leadership roles. It’s become a community where diversity is celebrated and people from all walks of life are working together to care for patients from around the world. It’s become a safe haven where we can ask questions and have the chance to learn from one another.

Above all else, Texas Children’s has become more than a place – it’s become a spirit and an atmosphere where people of all ages and backgrounds thrive. And all of this has happened because of you.

Yes, we treat patients who can only get the care they need at Texas Children’s. And, yes, we change lives. But because of you, we will always be so much more.

When I walk the halls of this hospital, I don’t see people who come in, give the bare minimum and go home. I see a family of people who celebrate birthdays, achievements, engagements and college graduations together. I see women and men who know the names of each other’s children and how they’re doing in school. I see new, lifelong friendships being cemented through every shift worked. And I see each and every one of you, working together to ensure that every patient and family we serve receives nothing less than the world-class care we’re known for.

You are what makes Texas Children’s so special and for that, I thank you.