January 13, 2023 | (5) Comments

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has without a doubt been an inspiration to me in both my personal and professional life. When it comes to Texas Children’s, I would like to believe that he would be proud of the impact we’ve made in the communities we serve and that he would also stand behind our mission and vision.

As I reflect on the impact Texas Children’s has made since our inception in 1954, I remain immensely proud of the rich and groundbreaking history this organization was founded upon — a promise to take care of all children — no matter their color, race or ethnicity, and regardless of their ability to pay.

How incredible is it that in a time when our nation was divided and heartbreaking prejudices were something of the ordinary, our founders set forth the giving, welcoming and sturdy foundation that we have today.

My favorite quote by Dr. King is “the time is always right to do what is right.”  I truly believe that our founders knew it was the right time to do what was right when they came together to develop Texas Children’s Hospital nearly 70 years ago.

One of the many ways we built upon the incredible legacy they created was when we opened our very first Houston-area Community Cares site in 2000. This program, which now has multiple locations throughout the Houston area, was created so that all children and women can access high-quality health care where they need it most — in their communities. I’m so proud that we have also expanded this program to the Austin area when we opened the Jodie Lee Jiles Community Health Center in 2021.

My dream from the very beginning has always been that every child has access to preventative care, primary care and hospitalization when necessary. No one, especially a child, should go without care due to a lack of insurance or because of a family’s financial hardships.

Because of all of you, I have watched my dream become a reality in more ways than one and that is a blessing I will never take for granted.

Every decision we’ve made at Texas Children’s has been because it was the right time to do what is right, and I promise that this will remain the guiding principle throughout our continued growth together.

As we prepare to enter this holiday weekend where we celebrate the remarkable Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I invite you to think about a dream that you have for 2023. Think about the impact you can make on your community and the world around you over the next 12 months, and let’s honor Dr. King by never forgetting that life-changing legacies often start with one dream.

December 19, 2022 | (13) Comments

Some of my favorite memories are the many holiday seasons I experienced growing up in Oklahoma City. I would spend days with my friends playing any and every sport or game we could get our hands on; I enjoyed making cookies with my wonderful mother Mollie, who was a fantastic and talented baker; and I would look forward to Christmas morning when the presents under the tree could finally be opened.

As I reflect on those years, growing up in the 1950s and 1960s was great in many ways — life was simple and it was comfortable. While I would never change a thing about my childhood, as an adult who has been blessed to witness the changes and developments in more recent years, I cannot begin to tell you how amazing today’s world is where we have a glimpse into so many other celebrations and meaningful holidays.

Oftentimes, we only know what we are familiar with. For example, if we grew up celebrating Christmas, our families may never know the history and meaning behind holidays like Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali and many more.

We live in a beautifully diverse world and while there’s always more work to do, more to learn and more to understand, there is no better place than our own homes, workplaces and communities to start seeing and embracing what makes every holiday so special.

As we prepare to end another remarkable year at Texas Children’s, I encourage you to take a moment over the next few weeks to learn about other’s cultures and celebrations and also share your own with those you love.

This year, my wish is to hear from you — I want to know more about the holiday traditions of our One Amazing Team. All of you mean so much to me and I can’t wait to read your comments below on how you celebrate the holiday season and what is important to you.

To my Texas Children’s family, ‘Happy Hanukkah,’ ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘Heri za Kwanzaa,’ and ‘Happy Holidays’ to each and every one of you. Thank you for everything you do for our patients, your colleagues and for me. I wish you a joyful and peaceful holiday season and a Happy New Year filled with wonderful memories and traditions spent with your loved ones!

November 7, 2022 | (8) Comments

They did it! Our Houston Astros are the 2022 World Series Champions! I cannot begin to tell you the pride and joy I felt throughout the post-season, but especially while watching our ‘Stros conquer the World Series once again. This team played with heartfelt passion and a resilient spirit unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and I am tremendously proud to support such a phenomenal organization.

It’s no secret that the Astros have dealt with their fair share of hardships after their 2017 World Series win but through every moment, the Astros rose above it all and showed the world just how powerful it is when a team works together.

As I watched the Astros’ incredible season, I could not help but think of all of you and all that we’ve accomplished at Texas Children’s together over the years.

Compared to many, Texas Children’s is an exceptionally young hospital. We have not even celebrated our 70th anniversary, while the vast majority of our peers have been serving patients for more than a century. Yet while being one of the youngest — similar to our World Series MVP, Jeremy Peña — we certainly had the confidence to aim high above what anyone ever expected of us.

As the “rookie” of children’s hospitals nationwide, Texas Children’s decisions have at times been met with naysayers — those who said we would never achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Yet here we are today standing at #2 in the nation, and while we are proud of what we’ve done, we are nowhere near finished.

Collectively, we’ve created a hospital that is dynamic in every way. We’ve taken risks that no one else would, and it has allowed us to grow, teach others and serve more patients than we ever thought possible. Every time we celebrate a grand opening, additional space or new programs, we are already thinking of what’s next. We are always planning for what our patients will need in 5, 10, or even 20 years. And we continue to battle those who say we can’t — through every obstacle and setback, we continue to overcome.

If the naysayers had their way, the Houston Astros would have never reclaimed the World Series title. But just like the One Amazing Team at Texas Children’s, the Houston Astros continued to rally together, they continue to strive for greatness, and they too continue to overcome.

I cannot wait for what the future holds for the entire city of Houston as we celebrate this well-deserved victory, and I have a very strong feeling that just like Texas Children’s, the Houston Astros aren’t quite finished yet.

Way to go ‘Stros!

October 3, 2022 | (28) Comments

Last month, I reached my 45th anniversary in the Texas Medical Center and tomorrow I proudly celebrate 33 years as President & CEO of Texas Children’s Hospital! As you can imagine, celebrating two significant anniversaries so close together always has me thinking back on what has brought me to this very moment.

The ability to look back on our lives at all the things we’ve done, including moments we wish we could change is an incredible gift, but looking ahead with the hope of a beautiful future is just as special.

Throughout my life, I’ve met many people who become anxious when thinking about tomorrow — oftentimes, many can’t explain why. I’ve frequently wondered why the future has the ability to frighten us. Whether it’s the fear of change or fear of the unknown, fear of the future is something we have all experienced in one way or another.

One of the best things I could have ever learned about preparing for the future was from educator and author, Peter Drucker. My favorite quote of his is, “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” I hope this quote sounds familiar to you because I’ve shared it with you before and I can promise you’ll hear me reference it again.

 “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

It’s honestly very simple, but it takes courage. It takes hope. And it takes thinking differently and leading differently.

This is the epitome of Texas Children’s story. For every success we’ve celebrated as an organization, there were those who said we could never do it. For every dream we’ve had to grow and expand the care we provide, there were hurdles and barriers telling us no. But together, we overcame all obstacles and still continue to create a healthier future for children and women everywhere — every day, we continue to create a future that is bright for Texas Children’s.

We’ve been hard at work developing a strategic plan that will create the future all of you, our patients and their families deserve and I look forward to unveiling even more details over the coming weeks.

No matter what changes may come our way or what the future may bring, one thing that will never change is our vision, mission and values. They are the fruit of our foundation and embracing these guiding principles is what makes Texas Children’s and all of you the very best team I have ever led.

As we step into a new fiscal year, I encourage you to define your own personal and professional vision and values. Do not be afraid of what lies ahead but instead, look to how you can create a better future for yourself, your colleagues, your loved ones and Texas Children’s