The fruit of our dreams

March 5, 2017 | (21) Comments

There are some things you simply never tire of. For me, one of them is driving into work each morning. I never cease to be both amazed and appreciative when I approach the campus and I see the gleaming pink granite of our Texas Children’s buildings.

Even after all these years, I can still so easily picture where we began. When I came to Texas Children’s Hospital in 1989, we only had the seven-floor Abercrombie Building. We had a great Board – some of those same members are still on the Board today. We had talented physicians and nurses, and the best employees. When I was recruited, the Board convinced me that we could do something incredible here. And optimist that I am, I believed that as well.

I would look at the unassuming structure that was Texas Children’s at the time, and I dreamed beyond those walls and the seventh floor. I was convinced and often spoke of the preeminent children’s hospital we would someday become. But even I could never have imagined anything like what Texas Children’s is today. We dream big here, and yet we keep finding ways to exceed our imaginations.

I have continued to think about that since the Board surprised me with last week’s announcement about the renaming of the Clinical Care Tower. I love the clinical building especially because of the story behind the purchase. As some of you might know, it sits on a piece of property called the S Lot, which is owned by the Texas Medical Center. When we were expanding the West Tower and building the new clinical building, we had to go to TMC President Dr. Richard Wainerdi to get the rights to build on the S Lot.

Board member Ben Brollier and I met with Dr. Wainerdi and laid out a comprehensive plan for the West Tower and new clinical care building. And it was pretty ambitious – at the time, the project was one of the nation’s largest building projects for a health care organization. When we started to discuss the cost of the purchase. Dr. Wainerdi said, “Mark, how about if we do a long-term land lease? How about 199 years for $1 a year?” Wow. I grabbed my checkbook and wrote the check right then and there.

I am convinced that Dr. Wainerdi was a believer like us – he could see our dream. We have been blessed with so many moments, supporters and believers like that. Board members, donors, staff and employees who embody and take ownership of our mission and find new ways daily to help Texas Children’s be better than the day before. I know I will always think of that when I see the newly named tower. I will be reminded that we did it – you and I, the Board. We did it, Texas Children’s. And the very best part, though, is that we are still doing it, still imagining and still exceeding.

Thank you. Not just for the name on the building, but for the journey behind it. I am so humbled, and I cannot adequately put into words just how much this means to me. This gift is a symbol of our success. Together, we have done amazing things, and we have done them because 27 years later, we still have a great Board, talented physicians and nurses, and the world’s best employees. And I think we keep growing because we simply cannot contain the boundless dreams and possibilities of Texas Children’s.

Click here for a video of last week’s surprise announcement.

21 Responses to “The fruit of our dreams”

  1. Virginia Tomlinson

    I could not be happier about this most appropriate recognition of your amazing contributions to Texas Children’s. Thank you for all you have done — and will continue to do — to advance the work here. Congratulations!

  2. Perry Ann Reed

    This is one of the most fitting honors I can think of as a way for all of us to thank you for your service, vision and leadership that has led Texas Children’s to be the preeminent enterprise that it has become. As a mother of a boy who had many appointments in the building as a child, a community volunteer and now an employee, I will smile every time I see your name grace the building. .

  3. Gerald J. Nzeocha

    Congratulations and thank you for all you have done. Your dreams and hard work has given me the opportunity to work for one of the best childrens hospital in the world. You deserve it Mr. Wallace

  4. Jenni Aguilar

    What an awesome honor to add to your endless list of accomplishments. You are truly an amazing leader. I’m so incredibly proud to work for such an amazing organization!!!

  5. Cindy Fox

    Congratulations Mr. Wallace! You deserve this honor and it is my extreme pleasure to be an employee of this amazing hospital! I remember the first day I met you at the meet and greet you would hold for new employees and thought then I had made the right move to be at Texas Children’s. Through the years the one thing that has stayed constant amid our growth, your leadership and love for all that work here, as well as the patient’s and families. THANK YOU!

  6. Ashlye Beckham

    Congratulations!!!! Seeing is believing, and seeing something that can be is the true definition on A Vision… May TCH continue to grow. Thank you for your tireless dedication to this organization.

  7. Nicholas Keith

    You know Mark, I still remember when I started here over 15 years ago as brand new nurse. We had just moved out of the Abercrombie building into the new West Tower and survived the wrath of Tropical Storm Allison. It was literally a ghost town then, and I never imagined that one day we would be busting at the seams. Look at us now! Feigin Center, CCC (Mark Wallace Tower), Womens Pavilion, Pediatric Tower with Heli Pad, West Campus, Woodlands, Urgent Cares, TCPA….and just when I thought we were completely out of space and ruled out the reasonable possibility of more major expansion, we buy 2 more huge buildings next door. I am very proud to be a part of this very unique organization, and I would like to thank you for the tireless leadership you provided to get us where we are today. Congratulations on the naming of the CCC. You have earned it my friend.

  8. Dee Hunter

    Mr. Wallace,
    I must say that you have my true respect. I used to be a TCH kid, and remember being so impressed by newly built Clinical Care building as I’d come in for the follow up appointments with my parents. Now as an adult and employee I am so honored to be apart of an organization that not only gives me pride but also saved my own life. Being able to work so closely with families and pour that same profound impact of my TCH experience back into another families’ life gives me such joy. TCH has grown into something incredible under your leadership and having worked at other hospitals in the past, I have never been so proud to look at my CEO and say, that’s my leader. Thank you for being such an ambitious leader, and thank you for allowing all for us be apart of this amazing journey. Congratulations on the renaming. That is truly a well deserved honor.

  9. Mark A.Wallace

    I want to thank all of the above for your extremely kind words about the naming of the Wallace Tower. It’s been an incredible journey, and I’m lucky and blessed to be working with each and every one of you. You are ONEAMAZINGTEAM!

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