July 23, 2021 | (12) Comments

Today marks the start of the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. For the first time, Texas Children’s Hospital is taking part in the excitement, celebration and historic 16 days of competition by serving and caring for our incredible USA Olympic and Paralympic team.

As the exclusive and Official Pediatric Medicine Provider of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), Texas Children’s role is to support the USOPC’s athletes and provide expert care to Team USA throughout training and during the competition.

I can fondly remember watching the Olympics as a child. It was breathtaking, just as it is today, to see athletes from all around the world come together not only to compete, but to share a commonality among nations. It is, in fact, only once every two years that people from more than 200 nations are watching the same event and beaming with pride as they watch their own athletes walk into the Opening Ceremony.

There is no doubt that the Olympics and Paralympics are a showcase of the world’s greatest and most talented athletes but when we take a closer look—at the heart of it all—the Olympic and Paralympic Games represent unity.

While some may look at the next two weeks as just another sporting event, I believe we can learn a lot from the Games. To put it simply, we may not all come from the same background and we may not all look alike, but we are all a part of our global community.

This belief is what Texas Children’s was founded on and it’s why I firmly believe we’ve grown to where and what we are today.

From day one, Texas Children’s has treated every child, no matter where they come from, and our reach expands far beyond our nation’s borders. We commit to this each and every day because there is truly nothing better than being able to help a child reach their full potential.

I am proud to know that we are treating the best of the best in Tokyo this year, but I am even more proud that Texas Children’s ability to “Care for the Dream” is a result of decades of caring for patients from all over the world and all walks of life.

As we enjoy the Games, I want you to remember and keep in mind all that we have overcome as a nation and a global community in the past year. If it weren’t for the hard work of so many to accelerate years of research to develop safe and effective vaccines, we would not be celebrating the Opening Ceremony today. Vaccines continue to be the best way to protect ourselves and each other from contracting COVID-19 and I want to encourage each and every employee and physician to get your vaccine as soon as possible.

I hope you enjoy watching the games this summer as we witness history by watching the first Olympic event held after a year-long postponement—a postponement that impacted every athlete and every country in different ways.

There is no doubt that these Games will be different, but I believe the spirit of the Games will be stronger than ever before!


To learn more about our USOPC partnership or how you can support Team USA, please click here.

May 14, 2021 | (7) Comments

Today is an exciting and monumental day in Texas Children’s history! Earlier this morning, we broke ground on Texas Children’s Hospital in Austin, Texas. This is a day we have all been waiting for, and I am honored to share this milestone with you.

There is not a doubt in my mind that we would not be here today—building a premier pediatric and women’s hospital in the state Capital—if it weren’t for the wonderfully talented and compassionate team we already have in place at Texas Children’s.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—every one of you make up what we call our One Amazing Team. Each of you has a different role to play and every role has made it possible for us to not only provide care to the children and women in our community, but also to expand our reach to the many communities in Central Texas. Because of your dedication to consistently making Texas Children’s the best place for women and children to receive the specialized care they need, our patients in Central to North Texas will have our unique, one-of-a-kind care much closer to home.

You don’t have to look very hard to find an employee or volunteer who has a life-long connection with Texas Children’s or a significant reason as to why they wanted to dedicate their talents here. The answer to this is quite simple: Texas Children’s is much more than a healthcare organization—we are a community where our patients receive life-changing interactions and create lasting relationships.

As you all know, we began creating our footprint in Austin in 2018 with the opening of our West Gate Urgent Care location, and because of the warm welcome we received from Austin residents, we were able to quickly expand with 11 Texas Children’s Pediatrics practices, one Specialty Care location, a future community health center, and now a dedicated pediatric and women’s hospital set to open in 2024.

Breaking ground symbolizes a new chapter, a new endeavor and a new hope for generations to come. The unique care and extraordinary spirit that we have here at Texas Children’s was created to share with the world, and I am overjoyed that we are able to continue bringing that spirit to a new community through Texas Children’s Hospital in Austin.

I invite you to join me in celebrating this momentous occasion by watching this video highlighting the virtual event held earlier today. I’d also love to hear what the spirit of Texas Children’s means to you.

Thank you for everything you do and for playing an incredible role in Texas Children’s history. We couldn’t do any of this without you.

May 7, 2021 | (22) Comments

Yesterday, on May 6—the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday—we began our annual celebration of Nurses Week. As you may remember, last year was named the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife due to the extraordinary efforts of everyone in this field. The demanding circumstances from 2020 have carried through to this year, as we know, and so it is well warranted that The World Health Organization (WHO) announced an extension of the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife through 2021 as a way to continue to honor our nurses and healthcare heroes.

At Texas Children’s Hospital, this is a very special week where we formally recognize the amazing work, courage and dedication that nurses embody day in and night out. There is no doubt in my mind that the Texas Children’s nursing team is the absolute best. Together, these remarkable men and women truly create the compassionate, welcoming and supportive atmosphere that our patients and their families need during their time at Texas Children’s.

The challenges that this past year presented included some of which we never thought we’d face in our lifetime. Our patients, especially those with month-long stays, often felt isolated and alone while in the hospital.

However, in the midst of it all, our nurses didn’t skip a beat on showing our patients that they are never alone. Nurses are the support system to a parent who is having to make difficult decisions, the playmate of a patient who needs a friend, and the confidant of their colleagues.

The impact that our nearly 3,700 nurses have had on our entire organization, the flexibility shown with every policy change during the pandemic, all while demonstrating compassionate care and exhibiting courage is, to say the least, incredible. Being on the front lines of this public health crisis has only reemphasized the critical role our nurses serve. My number 1 leadership maxim, “leadership always influences or determines outcomes—not some of the time, but all of the time” is undeniably represented through the amazing leadership and unwavering commitment our nurses provide to Texas Children’s patients each and every day.

We would not be who we are without our incredible nursing staff.

Nursing is a challenging and demanding profession, and while it is rewarding to see patients thrive, I know that not every day is a success story. To every nurse who is currently serving—or has previously served—our patients, I thank you for your tireless commitment through every high and every low. I am tremendously proud of your accomplishments and I hope you are too.

As we honor our nursing front line warriors this year, I ask that you join me and thank our nurses for all they do in leading our #OneAmazingTeam.

 

 

April 22, 2021 | (22) Comments

At Texas Children’s, we take care of the world’s most vulnerable children from around the world. We provide the highest quality form of women’s services and maternal care to women who need us most. We are the hands that cradle the tiniest of patients and celebrate when they are strong enough to go home. The multitude of medical staff, employees, and volunteers who make up Texas Children’s Hospital is without a doubt caring for generations of families.

However, to make a true difference for future generations, the care must go beyond our role within these walls. We must dedicate ourselves to create and maintain a healthy environment for generations to thrive.

Can you imagine what our environment would look like if we cared for the earth the same way we care for our patients?

Our patients are strong and resilient but still need us to help them get where they need to be. With the high-quality care we provide to patients every day, we get the privilege of seeing them overcome challenges and grow to reach health and prosperity. Just like the patients we serve, the earth is counting on all of us to do our part to create the transformation it desperately needs. Today, on Earth Day, we celebrate an atmosphere within Texas Children’s that gives back to our environment.

A few ways we’ve initiated sustainability throughout the organization is by implementing re-usable medical waste and sharps containers, installing LED light fixtures to help reduce energy consumption, and converting our shuttle buses to utilize propane in order to reduce carbon emissions. Next year, we will resume our annual tradition of planting trees to commemorate today’s holiday.

We are continuously educating ourselves on new ways to make an impact and have incorporated a variety of environmental conservation efforts as we plan to build our North Austin Campus. Food waste composting, electric car charging stations, reflective roofs to minimize heat gain, bicycle racks, and LED and dark sky lighting fixtures have all been included in the building design. We have also minimized pavement to preserve trees and maximize green space.

Other ways Texas Children’s is leaning into organizational sustainability is through our research. Just last year, Dr. Kjersti Aagaard and Dr. Bhagavatula Moorthy received a National Institute of Environmental Health grant to study how the toxicity of environmental chemicals impact preterm births.

I truly believe that the world’s largest organizations should be paving the way for sustainability, and as the nation’s largest pediatric hospital, we have an obligation to help lead this vital initiative. If you have suggestions for sustainability at Texas Children’s, or if you’d like to share how you plan to celebrate Earth Day, leave a comment below. I ask that you join me—in and outside of the hospital walls—to ensure that Texas Children’s is leading the way for sustainability in healthcare, environmental change, and creating a clean, healthy world for the generations of patients we serve.