September 17, 2018

It’s that time of year again – football season. The regular season kicked off a couple weeks ago, and for the next few months, football will dominate our weekends.

Whether you’re a fan of the pros or a little league parent cheering from the sidelines, I think we all recognize the faithful dedication required for any sport. And personally, beyond the excitement of the actual game, what I appreciate most is the incredible tenacity of any athlete to return game after game with renewed determination.

I see that relentless spirit every day at Texas Children’s. It takes an incredible amount of energy and dedication to do what you do across this organization on a daily basis. Every child and woman in our care is precious, and everything we do, directly or indirectly, touches them, renews their hope or delivers an answer for which they’ve prayed. That’s infinitely powerful, and it’s why every single day at Texas Children’s is game day.

Click here for the Texas Children’s-Houston Texans “Every day is game day” video

With that power comes the responsibility to be ready, for everything, every day. Because every day, we have a chance to take actions and make decisions that prepare us to be catalysts for something amazing or to help someone in need. As the President and CEO, I’m very deliberate about how I ensure I’m game-day ready. Without fail, this is what I do every day:

  1. Pack my positivity. I don’t think in terms of a glass being half empty or half full – I simply appreciate the contents and believe whatever the amount, it’s enough to nourish someone or to give life to something. In other words, I am perpetually positive. I believe you can extract goodness from any situation and that this outlook removes doubt and worry, and makes more room for creativity and to dwell in possibilities.
  1. Seek ways to learn. The opportunity to grow intellectually or emotionally every day fascinates me. As soon as I get up, I start reading – combing through emails, reading the news, reviewing the financial markets. I enjoy the immediate jolt of engaging with new information. I read as much as I can, and I talk to as many of you as I can. Honestly, that’s where I learn the most, because when I talk with you, I’m exposed to all the insightful and innovative ideas you have.
  1. Manage my energy. Years ago, there were lots of books, articles and seminars about how to manage time. I’ve seen that shift is now focused on managing energy, and for me, this has been life changing. We all have a maximum pool of energy, and we must deploy that energy at the right times and in the right places. I’m a morning person, so I try to tackle my most important or toughest tasks in the mornings. I make mindful choices about how my time is spent, whether at work or at home. And I try to engage and surround myself with people who have a warm and positive energy.
  1. Take care of my body. Because I am a pretty early riser, I’m able to exercise most mornings. Whether I swim or lift weights, I feel great satisfaction from being active and doing something that’s good for my body. Throughout the day, at the office, I make sure that I’m eating well. Even when I have a day packed with meetings, I plan accordingly so that I provide my body with what it needs for me to think, feel and be at my best. And as many of you know, I walk the hospital often. This is always a good way for me to stay on the move and also to connect with many of you.
  1. Pray. Prayer could easily be at the beginning and the end of this list, because I do it very often. Prayer and meditation insulates me with a sense of peace and calmness throughout the day. Subsequently, my mind is clearer when I must make difficult decisions, and I am reassured about the direction in which to lead our organization.

We all have a game day plan – it’s why we are one amazing team and how we do so many amazing things every single day. I want to hear from you below. Tell me how you get game-day ready. How do you prepare your mind, body and spirit to be the very best for our patients and our people every day at Texas Children’s?

Share your A-game … win tickets to the Texans vs Cowboys game!

Mr. Wallace wants to know what you do to make sure you bring your A-game to Texas Children’s every day to help us provide the best care possible to our patients, their families and our colleagues.

We will randomly select two winners from the comments below to each receive a pair of tickets to the Houston Texans vs Dallas Cowboys football game on October 7, 2018.

The two winners must be Texas Children’s employees. The drawing will be from comments posted between September 17-23. Winners will be notified by the Corporate Communications team by September 25.

July 26, 2018

Yesterday, I learned some truly exciting news. Forbes released its first-ever ranking of America’s best employers for women, and Texas Children’s is ranked at no. 11 among the best 300 companies in the nation. And we are THE best in Houston!

This was most surprising because we didn’t expect it or know about the debut of this survey until it was released. There wasn’t an application – the recognition is driven by Forbes’ work with independent market research company Statista. Statista surveyed 40,000 people, including 25,000 women, who work for companies with at least 1,000 employees. Those surveyed anonymously and candidly rated their companies based on work conditions, diversity, discrimination, parental leave and pay equity.

It’s truly an honor to be recognized for setting the standard for our employees in regards to their working conditions and diversity, but this survey also considered gender diversity among boards and executives in their analysis. I am so very proud of the staff, faculty and leadership team and the wonderful work we do here every day.

The final list ranks 300 companies nationwide. So seeing Texas Children’s on this list – at no. 11 at that – was such an amazing feeling. It’s no coincidence that Texas Children’s has enjoyed year after year of success. Women comprise 81 percent of our workforce and dominate our executive leadership (71 percent), senior leadership (72 percent) and manager-level leadership (75 percent). And we are the force that we are because of innovative, determined resourceful women who have driven so many of the milestones in our 64-year history.

Click here for the Forbes article and list.

I have for years believed that Texas Children’s is a place where women have boundless opportunity, and I am truly ecstatic about what this survey says about our organization – that this is a place where women flourish and lead exceptionally, a place where women have a voice, and are valued and celebrated. That’s not just amazing news … it’s our culture, and that makes me incredibly proud.

What a wonderful recognition for Texas Children’s. Congratulations and thank you to each of you for your outstanding support and leadership to help us achieve this distinction.

Help me share this great news – simply copy and paste the link to my blog post on your LinkedIn or Facebook page. And I’d love to hear from you below!

 

May 23, 2018

On Tuesday, May 22, 2018, our most critically-ill patients were moved from West Tower to floors nine through 12 of the beautiful new Legacy Tower.

At 7 a.m., seven specially-trained clinical teams began safely transporting more than 45 critically-ill patients to their new, spacious, state-of-the-art critical care rooms. The amount of planning and effort behind this monumental move was almost inconceivable. More than 150 staff were involved, and the careful transfer of our patients took more than 7 hours. Once our patients and their families settled into their new spaces, our staff focused on what they do best – providing the highest quality pediatric care to our patients and their families in a new, family-focused environment.

This phase one opening of our 640,000-square-foot, 400-foot-tall Legacy Tower marks a significant milestone in our 64-year history that will help us continue to serve our patients and their families, particularly children who are critically ill and have complex needs. We are opening with six technologically advanced operating rooms – one with intraoperative MRI – and 84 ICU beds, including dedicated surgical, neuro and transitional ICU beds.

In September when phase two of Legacy Tower opens, it will be the new home of Texas Children’s Heart Center® and will include an outpatient clinic, four catheterization labs with one intraprocedural MRI, cardiovascular intensive care unit, four CVORs, and cardiology acute care beds.

While all of these enhanced clinical amenities will better enable us to care for sick children, the truly special thing about Legacy Tower is that it was built for and with the input of our patient families. During the construction process, we listened to the wants and needs of Texas Children’s patients, families and the staff who cares for them, and we implemented many of their suggestions.

We heard parents when they told us they wanted to be able to sleep in a bed next to their child instead of a chair. That they wanted to be able to take a shower without leaving their child’s room. And that they wanted peaceful places to take a break when needed, without having to leave the hospital.

We also have a therapy dog dedicated to Legacy Tower. Bailey, a lively 18-month-old Golden Retriever, will offer comfort and encouragement to our patients. My wife Shannon and I supported the addition of Bailey for the hospital’s Pawsitive Play Program to enhance the emotional well-being of our patients. Bailey will help patients feel less anxious, reduce their perception of pain and fear of the hospital and will really complement our holistic approach to care.

As a whole, we want our patients and their families to be as comfortable as possible while they are here with us, and we want our clinical teams to have the best environments in which to work and the best tools with which to care for our patients. With Legacy Tower, we will achieve all this, better than ever before.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the realization of the opening of Legacy Tower. The leadership, the collaborative teams, the innovation and ideas from knowledgeable front line staff … all of these elements are what got us here. Together, we have taken another step to fulfill the legacy of Texas Children’s, and I walk these halls today – as should you – with immense pride. Today is a new era and a blessing, to us and to all those we will serve for decades to come. Congratulations Texas Children’s.

Click here for a video of our staff and employees sharing their thoughts about the big move!

 

April 30, 2018

When I became President and CEO of Texas Children’s Hospital almost 30 years ago, the Department of Surgery was a small, tight-knit group of highly skilled surgeons who operated on children with a variety of health issues.

Today, things look much the same but on a significantly larger scale. Over time, Texas Children’s Department of Surgery has become one of the largest pediatric surgery programs in the nation, spanning nine surgical divisions: Congenital Heart Surgery, Dental, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology, Pediatric Surgery, Plastic Surgery and Urology. These divisions work in conjunction with our partners in Anesthesiology, Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, and Transplant Services.

One of the main reasons for our Department of Surgery’s long-standing success is strong leadership. Beginning with our first Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Luke W. Able, who trained under the father of pediatric surgery Dr. William E. Ladd, to Dr. Charles D. Fraser, whose focus on outstanding outcomes solidified our already stellar reputation, leadership has always been the glue that holds the department together and the force that drives it to greater heights.

I am confident we will continue this legacy and advance it even further under the leadership of the hospital’s newest Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Larry Hollier. Dr. Hollier is an extraordinarily talented plastic surgeon who joined Texas Children’s Hospital 20 years ago after earning his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine and training in general and plastic surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and New York University Medical Center.

During his tenure at Texas Children’s, Dr. Hollier has led the hospital’s Plastic Surgery Division, championed patient experience organization wide, participated in a variety of global efforts and performed countless life-changing plastic and reconstructive surgeries. He is undeniably dedicated to our mission and has a burning passion for making our organization the best it can be in an ever-changing health care climate.

What sets Dr. Hollier apart even more is his focused yet humble leadership style. Rather than a top-down approach, Dr. Hollier believes in empowering sharp, nimble people in the organization to blaze their own paths. He sees his role as surgeon-in-chief not as being in charge, but as taking care of the people in his charge. Yet, he can also make the thoughtful and sometimes difficult decisions needed to help move the department and the organization forward.

I appreciate that he is such a bold and decisive leader with a keen and natural ability to consider the entire Texas Children’s system. Dr. Hollier perceives Texas Children’s as a team of teams, and I like that. His thinking and his approach is vital to the continued growth of our organization and to our long-term efforts to improve patient access and coordinated care.

I am excited to see what great things Dr. Hollier does at Texas Children’s in the years to come. He already has contributed so much. Please join me in congratulating him on his new post.