A Special Message From Mr. Merrill Following The Tragedy In Uvalde
To our Cook Children’s family,
As an organization created to take care of children, we are heartbroken over the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas.
Just as Cook Children’s serves as a safe haven for our kids, schools should be a place of learning, comfort and peace for the young students who attend.
Tragically this was not the case on Tuesday, but as we have always done, we want to do everything we can to help.
Thank you to the experts from Cook Children’s who took time to speak to our community and the press regarding the sad events of yesterday. Please take a moment to watch the event that was hosted by Wini King, SVP, chief of Communications and ID&E, with a panel that included:
- Lisa Elliott, Ph.D., licensed neuropsychologist and manager of Cook Children’s Behavioral Health Clinic in Denton
- Daniel Guzman, M.D., Emergency Medicine physician and leader of Cook Children’s Aim for Safety® program
- Cameron Brown, doctorate in Pastoral Care and Counseling.
Today’s conversation is such an important one. As a father, my heart aches for those who lost their children.
I’m grateful for how so many of you have comforted those whose child died after a brave fight against a disease or after a tragic accident. You are always there for those families and for each other during the most difficult of times.
I’m thinking about all of you who dropped your kids off at school today with your stomach in knots as you drove to work.
So many children who were looking forward to summer break have now heard of the senseless tragedy that occurred and may be confused, more anxious than they already were and have lots of questions that we don’t know how to answer.
Thank you for living out Our Promise by supporting our children—your children. Thank you for taking care of them and looking out for each other. Thank you for believing that their life is sacred.
As you find yourself wondering how to work through your own questions and uncertainty, please consider these resources:
- Contact our new director of Spiritual Care Jennifer Hayes or another chaplain in our Spiritual Care office by calling 682-885-4030.
- Visit the chapel at Cook Children’s, which is always open for prayer and meditation for people of all faith traditions and religions.
- Alicia Cooper, LCSW LCDC, a level two certified clinical trauma professional, is a near-site counselor who is housed in the CareATC office off Henderson and Pennsylvania in Fort Worth. Alicia provides confidential face-to-face therapy sessions for employees. You can make an appointment at 1-800-395-1616.
- EAP (employee well-being) benefits are available to all employees and their families at NO COST to you. We also offer up to six face-to-face, video or by telephone counseling sessions for relationship and family issues, stress, anxiety, and other common challenges. To learn more, visit uprisehealth.com/members and the access code is “cook” or call 1-800-395-1616.
- Article: Kia Carter, M.D., Kristen Pyrc, M.D., and Lisa Elliott, Ph.D., of the Cook Children’s Behavioral Health team discuss what parents and caregivers should know and keep in mind.
Thank you all for all you do for our families. Please take care of yourselves and give your loved ones an extra big hug.
Rick W. Merrill
President and CEO, Cook Children's Health Care System
~ A Call To Action to Protect Our Children from CHA~
The Children’s Hospital Association commented this week on the events in Uvalde. Read CHA's full statement here.