The face of Texas Children’s

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Maxim 10: The best companies in the world are those that have outstanding frontline leadership.

When you’re blessed to lead an organization as successful as Texas Children’s has been, people often want to know the secret. They ask all the time, “How does Texas Children’s continue to do so well?” And the funny part is, it’s no secret at all. In fact, the reason for our success can be found right out front – or more specifically, on the frontline.

It’s good to have a visionary CEO and a strong leadership team. But if a company doesn’t have great frontline leaders, quite simply, that company is not going to be successful. Our frontline is the face of Texas Children’s – they are invaluable to our organization. They are the ones interacting with our patients, families, medical staff and the general public, often making the first and most lasting impression on everyone who comes into contact with Texas Children’s.

Martin Wortley in the Customer Care Contact Center (CCC) is an incredible example of an employee who keeps his focus on ensuring patients’ and families’ experiences with us are exceptional. Perhaps he draws from his own experience – he first came to Texas Children’s for treatment of kidney stones when he was 10 years old. Years later, he returned to Texas Children’s, working in several frontline roles that gave him the opportunity to interact with patients and families and understand their needs. These roles also helped him learn about various parts of the organization, making him a great resource to team members and patient families as they navigate our system.

Martin is now an Assistant Director in the CCC, and his primary focus is the same – making sure our frontline staff keeps families first. This is critical because, as a call center, the CCC is often the first interaction a parent has with Texas Children’s. Martin nurtures the relationships with his staff and providers, and he goes above and beyond to set an example for providing exceptional customer service to our patients and families. He consistently shows initiative and has a thoughtful approach to problem solving and communicating, which goes a long way to make sure families get access to the care their children need in the timeliest manner. Martin’s leadership and success is directly reflected in the warm, positive – and efficient – experiences families have with our CCC staff.

I am extremely proud to have frontline leaders like Martin on our one amazing team. Therein lies the “secret” to our success. We have a lot of awesome things going on at Texas Children’s – opening of the new Legacy Tower, expansion into Austin, Aa2 bond rating for 22 years straight, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the U.S., no. 11 on Forbes list of best employers for women … and the list goes on and on. How do we achieve success after success? The answer is right out front.

I’d like to hear from you … is there a great frontline leader in your area? How do they inspire you and your team to be one amazing team?

Take the leadership challenge, and score a spot at a Houston Texans event!

Over the past few weeks, Mark Wallace’s blog has been highlighting employees who demonstrate his Maxims of Leadership. Each blog post poses a leadership question that Texas Children’s employees may respond to in the comments section until October 19. 

Afterward, the Corporate Communications team will randomly select 75 people from the comments to attend a private event with the Houston Texans, including a behind-the-scenes tour of NRG Stadium, an autograph session with two Houston Texans football players and photos with the Texans cheerleaders.

Mark H. Wallace

Category: Culture, Maxims of Leadership, Recognition

About Mark A. Wallace

Mark A. Wallace was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Texas Children’s Hospital in 1989 at the age of 36. Under his leadership, Texas Children’s has grown into one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive pediatric and women’s health care organizations, garnering more than 3.7 million patient encounters annually and achieving international recognition as a referral center.

46 thoughts on “The face of Texas Children’s

  1. Arthur Brown says:

    I’ve only worked for Texas Children’s for a week now and I think that the leadership is AMAZING!!! I have the privilege to work with Tony Perez and Santiago Suarez. They lead tirelessly and mold their staff into better people.

  2. Arthur Brown says:

    Awesome leadership team. They help mold the rest of the staff into better people.

  3. Bobbie Jehle says:

    I completely agree Mr. Wallace! Martin Wortley has been a front line face for TCH for years. I am proud to call him my friend!

  4. Natale Smith says:

    I had the pleasure of working with Martin at West Campus and have witnessed his consistency, kindness and dedication. Congratulations CCC, you’ve gained a good person and great leader!

  5. Priscilla Perales says:

    Martin has left a impact on me that I will never forget. He was a great leader, teacher and friend. Always a excellent listener. I miss him dearly. Wishing you all the best.

  6. Lesli Rossler says:

    Martin is a prime example of where you can take your career at TCH. I have enjoyed working with Martin and look forward to continuing that relationship as coworker and friend!

  7. Linda Brock says:

    I am proud to have Martin as a co-worker and friend, he has been vital to helping me in my leadership role at TCH by sharing experiences and listening. He is missed at WC, I know that everyone that has contact with Martin realizes that he is truly a TCH star!! I wish you all the best!!

  8. Beth Smith says:

    It is outstanding the way TEXAS CHILDREN’s leadership recognizes, great people to work with.

  9. Sharon Buhman says:

    Reading “On The Mark” is a highlight of my week! It challenges me to be better; a better person, a better employee a better leader. Thank you!

  10. Lorianne Classen says:

    A great front line leader is one that leads by example. I am fortunate to be surrounded by excellent leaders every day that embody the values of Texas Children’s.

  11. Michael Passalacqua says:

    Although I don’t work with customers, its great to see that those who do so well are recognized and rewarded.

  12. Christina Mao says:

    An amazing leader of mine taking the frontlines is Surekha Vankadari. I started as an unpaid intern here and am now a full time paid intern. I immediately felt a warm presence and one that lead her peers as a manager but also took the time to connect with them and to show up as a good example for others to follow. She inspires me to pursue my dream to become a project manager, hopefully here at Texas Children’s someday. She is very humble, honest, hardworking, stays after hours and works at home to get things done and always does her very best. Even though she has been here for several years, she still shows her best effort forward and tries to help our IS PMO department to the best of her ability. I She inspires me to work hard and to collaborate and learn from others because when people come together and share their great ideas in a patient and respectful way, things really get done fast in the hospital. Thank you Surekha!

  13. Heather Lauterbach says:

    The Main Campus TCH CICU has a great leadership team. I would specifically like to highlight Kasey. She was my preceptor as a student, a new RN, and is now taking the lead in the charge nurse role, nurse instructor role, and team leader. She is a great inspiration on the unit.

  14. Pamala Pennington says:

    I have worked with Martin Wortley and Tony Perez for 8 years. I was blessed to have been hired to work at the West Campus before we actually opened. It has been a pleasure working with both. Both are always ready to help which is what we need to accomplish the daily task each day. They allow their employees to work independently, but if there is a need for assistance, I can always depend on them. If they aren’t available, they always have a backup person to assist. Santiago Suarez is always willing to be of assistance when my supervisor, Tony, is not available. Santiago came on board with our West Campus a few years after we opened. I wish Martin all the best. He is truly a great person…always has that smile whenever I see him. I know he will excel at whatever he sets out to do. Blessings to him and his family.

  15. stephanie Yaus says:

    New to TCH of just shy of 60 days, the leadership I have seen throughout my short time is been nothing short of amazing, it makes me proud to be part of such a great team! I believe each and everyone of us is a leader , everyone has something to contribute and everyone can learn from it.

  16. Olga Chen says:

    Martin, thank you for sharing your leadership. For me the front line leader would be Dr. Maria Rossell at Texas Children’s Pediatrics Fannin. To me she represented Texas Children’s when she would refer patients for ECI services. Dr. Rossell was accessible and personally return phone calls when I worked as an Early Intervention Specialist. Because I was so impressed by her attention to her clients, when I had children they were privileged enough to get warmth and medical care from her. It was because I my initial interactions with Dr. Rossell that I always held Texas Children’s in high regard and why recently I decided to also join the team.

  17. Latrice Epps says:

    The Complex Care Clinic has amazing leadership ! I’m amazed at the progress from when I started two years ago.

  18. Kelly Banneyer says:

    I have been at Texas Children’s Hospital within the Psychology Service for over three years. I continue to be impressed by all of the frontline leaders within our service. One frontline leader who continually strives to provide resources to family is our Social Worker, Ledra Johnson. Ledra receives numerous request on a daily basis to be the one to interact with families in order to provide them with the support they need. She inspires the rest of the service to do the same!

  19. Amy Collins says:

    Martin, you are awesome and will be missed at West Campus! Thank you for being awesome in the leadership role. You have done an amazing job from the get go, hence the reason you have climbed the ladder in our wonderful hospital. Much luck to you!!!

  20. Marbelly Walker says:

    What an inspiring and encouraging story! One of my twin sons was a patient at Texas Children’s Main Campus for many years due to a serious kidney condition that required constant monitoring. He was under Dr. Ewa Elenberg’s care and it was an amazing journey that we never forget and thanks to the care he received here, now he’s OK. He’s getting ready to apply for PA school after graduating from UT Austin few years ago, and he wants to work in Pediatrics to help other children (hopefully with Texas Children’s). 3 of my children work here already, my daughter in law also works here and I just started my own journey at this wonderful Institution. My oldest daughter started as a Front Desk staff at a TCP, then promoted as a Front Desk Supervisor and now she’s a TCP Manager. It is because who leads us that Texas Children’s is a great place to work and to professionally grow! I know, I’m at the right place.

  21. blanca says:

    I have the pleasure of working with Gabriella Gutierrez at TCP Pearland and have witnessed her consistency, kindness and dedication.

  22. Amanda Serrato says:

    Martin is an Excellent Leader, and role model. He is the definition of EXCELLENCE here at TCH! He will be missed at WC. Best of Luck Martin!!!

  23. Nicole Perkins says:

    I am proud of Martin and I’m not surprised of his wonderful achievements. Martin welcomed me to TCH 4.5 years ago and I learned that Martin was a dependable leader. Despite the every day challenges related to patient complaints, staffing challenges, provider concerns, etc…Martin always has a positive attitude and a smile :)

  24. Rosy Alvarado says:

    I have never met someone like Martin. He has the best attitude, the best customer service. He is always willing to help anyone at any time. I was so blessed to have worked with him. I miss him but I know he will do a wonderful job at CCC. We have great leaders at WC Kimberly Klupsch, Tony Perez and Santiago Suarez. They are wonderful leaders and always willing to help. They are a great team. I know I can always count on them when I need any assistance. I am very blessed to work for this wonderful and best organization, Texas Children’s Hospital!!!

  25. Helen Grosskreuz says:

    TCP thrives under the leadership of Kay Tittle and Stanley Spinner. They passionately lead by example and enthusiastically welcome new ideas while focusing on the highest quality and safest pediatric health care.

  26. Ashley Hamilton says:

    To answer the aforementioned question, my area does have an amazing front line leader. I would like to recognize Kimberly Klupsch. Kimberly exudes competence, connection, and character. All for which a leader must exemplify to build a high performance team. Kimberly assists in unleashing your greatest potential all while walking hand in hand with you to reach a common goal. She understands that when you have exceptional team members you trust them in their abilities to perform. I am fortunate to be under her leadership.
    Moreover, I would like to add Martin Wortley is an exceptional leader. Martin’s lasting value was measured by his succession. It is noted, true leadership ability is measured by how well your team or organization did once you leave. In Martin’s situation, once he progressed on. According to the comments, Martin has done an excellent job and left his thumbprint on the hearts of all here at the West Campus! Keep living the dream!

  27. Melissa Falcon says:

    Martin Wortley is an AWESOME example of great front line leadership!!!
    Hmmm, where should I start…? Martin’s front line leadership is noticeable the moment he appears. ALWAYS with a smile, a fist bump or high five! He is one of the energizers that we have the privilege of working with at Texas Children’s. He is an inspiration to so many; although he is no longer at West Campus, he has imprinted his leadership style on many others – which will undoubtedly continue to in the CCC. The Customer Care Contact Center (CCC) is blessed to have him in the building!

  28. Stephen Cox says:

    Caryl, Kim, and Stephanie are my frontline leaders. They really come through when it counts, and are always there when needed.

  29. Sherrell Williams says:

    You can definitely tell that the executive leadership team cares about who they put in these leadership roles and focuses on molding their leaders through support, classes, and guidance.

  30. Erica McCann says:

    I work with many great frontline leaders. I am inspired by the way the patients and their families are put first. Making our families happy is what TCH is all about.

  31. Jerry Garcez says:

    I had the opportunity to be part of the Woodlands Sleep center opening. I feel from day one our leadership team has not only placed our patients first but they have also including our staff. We feel we have great team and I believe a large part of the credit comes from our leadership team.

  32. Elaine Tan says:

    We have many frontline leaders in TCH Health Center Sugar Land. I would like to highlight my co-worker, Janel, who has been willing to help and answer any questions when needed, dedicate her time and efforts to advocate for our patients, and bring joy to the work environment.

  33. Amber Cordero says:

    I have the pleasure of working for amazing leaders in the Fetal Center. I want to specifically point out Aimee Jackson. She inspires me everyday in the way she carries herself and interacts with the staff. She is always very professional and is very eloquent with words. When she is in her office, she will always greet you with a smile and answer any questions or concerns you may have. Her open door policy is the kind of leadership style I wish to emulate. I feel supported by her, and feel that I can approach her with any concerns I may have. She wears many “hats” and is one of the hardest working people I have the pleasure of knowing. She is very smart and always works ethically. These qualities are how she inspires me everyday.

  34. Carmen Vela says:

    I had the pleasure to be working to such magnificence facility, called TCH. However is the people that make this organization even better. I had been with TCH for the last past 16 years and I had been part of several departments and from them all; I had learned a lot from each of them and the rewards had been amazing. But to top of, my now Assistant Director of Ambulatory Services, Mary Kana is a person that has always been at the frontline all this years with her priority always being the care of our patients and then the rest of her team. Ms. Kana has answers and solutions for everyone with her very humble soul and make things to easy for any of us. She is always concern of our well being
    and treated us with respect at all times; At the same time, this is the way that she would like for us to treat everyone around us. In addition, to her wonderful trust as a team she has a saying that make me so proud of being part of this awesome department: “My philosophy is to hire great people and let them do their job which all of you fit into that category!” This means so much to me that I’m so very grateful for confirming her trust on us. There is no other place that I would want to be part of and I believed is going to get better!! Thank you Ms. Mary Kana with all my respects.

  35. Mabel Molina(Jimenez) says:

    An amazing person to work with. His determination and joy shine through. It was never a dull moment when he was around. Congrats Martin!!

  36. Araceli Rincon (Shelly) says:

    I had the pleasure of working with Martin Wortley for a short period of time before he transferred to Main Campus. He is definitely the true definition of great leadership and I’m grateful there is still leaders like him, that lead by example. You will be greatly missed at WC Martin, well deserved hard working, dedicated, sacrifices and puts our patients and families first, represents the Mission and the Vision, as well as Our Values. Thank you for all that you do and represent.

  37. Christina Weldon says:

    I have been privileged to be apart of this amazing team for almost 20 years coming up in November! I have worked under several amazing leaders all across the organization. Texas Children’s truly empowers their employees and inspires them to be the best they can be for our families. For the least 7 years I have had the pleasure of working under Paula McSwain at TCP Baytown. Paula motivates us to exceed our patient’s expectations in our interactions every day! She encourages us to improve in areas that we may lack skills or experience, yet at the same time, highlights our strengths and uses them to build our confidence and help our peers. She values our thoughts and opinions on work flows/processes and includes us when it comes to soundboarding, training, etc. She along with our providers have put reward systems in place that encourage us to lift up our peers and brag about the good things they are doing. We see positive comments from our families in our surveys every month with many employees mentioned by name. Paula is truly a front line leader and inspires her staff to be front line leaders too. :)

  38. Ron Vilela says:

    The first time I worked with Martin, I knew he was on the rise and going places. While I wish he was still managing the ENT clinics at West Campus, I wish him well in his future endeavors. I would also like to acknowledge Jasmine Sams who helps keep not only patients, but docs, APPs and nurses in order to allow for efficient organization of flow for patients undergoing outpatient surgery in the Mark Wallace Tower Operating Rooms. She is a front line leader who is always available for any patient concerns.

  39. Leslie Raneri says:

    Martin is a terrific example of a front line leader, always willing to go the extra mile to help others and uplift them with a smile and kind words. We miss him at the West Campus.

  40. Nelson Castellon says:

    Strong front-line leaders provide the foundation for smooth operations. TCH boasts a culture of acceptance and inclusion, it is welcoming and provides a sense of warmth. This culture is a direct result of the strong leaders that work diligently to make sure every need is heard all across the organization. It is always a pleasure going to work for someone who you know will always want the best for you and provide you with support unconditionally.

  41. Paloma Salazar says:

    Martin is such an inspiration and a leader at TCH. In the area that I work in which is in the Abercrombie building we have multiple front liners that are going those extra miles. I would start of by saying that the nurses that are on the floor such as previous daisy award winners and also with extended experience here at TCH, allow us new nurses to learn from them and to be up that standard. I can name some nurses that go above and beyond , Usha Yohannan, she is caring, loving, and has a well rounded nurses with a lot of knowledge. Her genuine care and compassion for the patients and the families is extraordinary, she is inspiring and she motivates me to do even better and to set my standards higher.

  42. Samantha Coldwell says:

    Martin is an exceptional leader who has proved hard work and determination will get you to where you want and need to be! Working along side him at West Campus as a leader was a privilege, honor and so much fun! He is a positive person who truly makes a difference in the lives of his staff, patients and providers. The CCC has gained a asset to their leadership team and he is going to be dearly missed at West Campus!

  43. Brian Guenther says:

    One of our charge nurses here on, Sarah, has always been amazing. She drives everyone to work together and help each other out when we have free time, which leads to everyone having a little bit of a free time to breath. I’ve only been here for just over 7 months now, and she was my preceptor. From the moment I got here it became clear that she was a excellent leader and proficient at bringing all of us together as a team.

  44. eva says:

    Great leaders are what keeps an organization running. I’m glad to work with such amazing people

  45. Pamela Burrous says:

    Recently I was looking for a new nursing opportunity closer to home. So I booked 3 interviews in two days and the result was 3 wonderful job offers in 3 prominent emergency centers. What one to choose?
    Well as I am reading and responding to this blog it’s right to assume that Texas Children’s Hospital organization was my choice. It was my interview with unit tour that won me over. The frontline leadership team I meet in the Woodlands Campus Emergency Center, Lucinda Berent and Robert Griffith, made me feel so excited that I had an opportunity for a job offer. They projected a supportive team in the unit as well as the Texas Children’s organization and there is no other way to say it but I just felt happy and good after I left my interview.
    I have not been disappointed after starting here as well. I’m only about two months in to my role as EC RN and I work with supportive management and team mates. I love giving top medical care to my patients with the ability and support to give great customer service as well.

  46. Nathan Money says:

    Joyee Vachani and Michelle Lopez are our fellowship program directors for PHM and they are absolute all-stars! They are ready at a moments’ notice to help use or anyone around them and are committed to our success. I feel comfortable approaching them with most anything and know they are leading our fellowship towards success.

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