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Connect Newsletter (Aug. 24, 2023)


Connect Newsletter                                       
Aug. 24, 2023

Reminder: Flu Electronic Consent Form Due by Aug. 31

flu shot employeeAll employees must complete an influenza electronic consent form by Thursday, Aug. 31. This form is required for all employees before receiving the influenza vaccine. 

You can find the electronic consent form on Workday. Find more information and instructions on how to fill out the form here.

Employees are required to receive the influenza vaccine each year to help protect our patient families, fellow employees, and our community against this serious disease. Some departments will perform vaccinations for employees in their areas. In September and October, we will also be offering several Flu Vaccine Fairs, where employees can drop in without an appointment for their vaccine. Employees may also supply proof of vaccination from an outside provider. You must get your flu vaccine by the Oct. 23.


Friday, Aug. 25 is the Deadline to Enroll for Employee Benefits 

2022-2023 employee benefitsThe deadline to sign up for Cook Children's employee benefits is Friday, Aug. 25.  Don't miss out on your opportunity to make changes to your current benefit elections for the 2023-2024 plan year! Benefits are important because they can help you protect your health, your financial future, and your family. By signing up for benefits, you can get the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are covered. 

During this Open Enrollment, you may: 
• Enroll or re-enroll. 
• Make changes to your benefits elections. 
• Add or remove dependents. 
• Enroll in a health care and/or dependent care Flexible Spending Account(s). 
• Sign up to make Health Savings Account contributions. 
• Update your beneficiary information. 

Please take some time to review the benefits and sign up for the ones that are right for you. The clock is ticking, so don't delay! Find details here.

To enroll or make changes to benefits: 

Visit Workday to enroll or request a change to your current benefits (qualified event), OR call the Benefits Center (Alight) at 833-938-4154, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday-Friday.


Raising Joy Returns for New Season

CookNet raising_joy_treatment_2c_pos-01

The Raising Joy podcast is back for a new season! Join hosts Wini King and Kristen Pyrc, M.D. as they interview guests, share laughs, and break down all things mental health. 

With 50 episodes already under their belts, Wini and Dr. Pyrc are excited to bring you even more helpful and informative content each Tuesday. They'll be talking to experts on a variety of mental health topics, including anxiety, depression, trauma, and suicide prevention. 

In addition to the new content, Raising Joy is also getting a fresh new look. So whether you're a longtime listener or you're just discovering the podcast for the first time, be sure to check out the new season when it drops on Tuesday, Aug. 29

You can listen to Raising Joy on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere you listen to podcasts. And be sure to subscribe and leave a review! 

Here's a sneak peek at some of the topics that will be covered in the new season: 
• Setting up for back-to-school success with Whitney Appleby, Ph.D., Cook Children’s Behavioral Health.
• Exploring mental health within the Hispanic culture with Jessica Gomez, Psy.D., Momentous Institute.
• Overcoming NICU trauma with Landy Blackmore, mother of Cook Children’s NICU patient. 
• Managing big emotions as a parent of a child with complex medical needs with Katie Senter, Cook Children’s Family Advisory Council.
• Hope and finding your path with Raymond Turner, Sparklefly Studio at Cook Children’s. 

We hope you'll join us for the new season of Raising Joy! 


Our Newest CookNet Sites

Research Admin Screenshot 8-22-23We are excited to continue to grow our new CookNet Intranet site. 

Please take a moment to view our new sites/pages and bookmark them as needed:

Case Management: https://cookchildrens.sharepoint.com/sites/casemgmt 
Medical Staff Services: https://cookchildrens.sharepoint.com/sites/medstaffservice 
Nursing: https://cookchildrens.sharepoint.com/Sites/Nursing (some pages will still be available on the legacy site) 
Patient Representatives: https://cookchildrens.sharepoint.com/sites/patientrep 
Pharmacy: Pharmacy - Home (sharepoint.com) 
Research Administration Office: https://cookchildrens.sharepoint.com/sites/rao 


VIDEO: We're Flexible: Child Study Center Stays Open Amid Flooding

CSC Flood

A 30-inch water main broke in downtown Fort Worth on Aug. 17 and again on Aug. 21, and the water rushed into the Child Study Center. The break caused flooding in several offices and classrooms but Cook Children's team members quickly responded and ensured that there were no interruptions to classes and appointments. 

Thank you to everyone who pitched in to clean up and keep things running smoothly. We appreciate your help in making sure that the Child Study Center is a safe and fun place for kids to learn and grow. 

A big round of applause to: 
Child Study Center staff 
• Security 
• Insurance 
• Construction 
• Facilities 
• Administration 
• Linbeck  

We captured some video that shows the water gushing from the pipe and the work to vacuum, clean and dry the area. View it here


Cayenne facility dogMeet Cayenne, Our Newest Facility Dog

The Sit…Stay…PLAY team is introducing a new facility dog team: Angie Bradley, Shannon Kelly and Cayenne, a 15-month-old golden retriever and poodle mix. Angie is a facility dog handler for patient and staff support. She works alongside Cayenne all across the Fort Worth medical center, fulfilling patient referrals and staff support requests. Shannon is a child life specialist in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Cayenne will be spending the next several weeks orienting to Cook Children’s alongside Angie and Shannon. She will not be taking staff support requests or patient referrals until late September.

Click here to get to know Angie, Shannon and Cayenne



Putting Out the Fire: Preventing and Managing Burnout 

burnout lunch and learnToday's professional demands can cause so much stress. Did you know that stress contributes to the development of many physical and mental health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, depression and anxiety? In fact, research suggests that up to two-thirds of American employees experience some degree of burnout. 

Registration is open for an Uprise Health webinar on managing burnout, scheduled for 11:30 am. to 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 5.  You'll learn: 
• The definition of burnout 
• The specific causes of professional burnout 
• Signs of burnout 
• Strategies for managing stress and burnout 

Sign up for the online event here.


Heather Gonzales Daisy Award Aug 2023DAISY Award Winner Nominated by A Patient Family for Compassionate Care 

We are pleased to announce that the winner of our most recent DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses is Heather Gonzales, RN, BSN, Staff Nurse, Rehabilitation Care Unit.  The DAISY Award is an international award recognizing the extraordinary clinical skills and compassionate care given by nurses. Nominated by patients, families, and colleagues, the DAISY Award honors nurses who make a difference in the lives of their patients and their families. 

Heather was nominated for the DAISY Award for her outstanding and dedicated care of an infant in the Transitional Care Unit. 

Among the comments from her nominator: 
“Heather truly expressed compassion for what she does in a way that goes beyond her everyday duties. The kind of care where she is missed, when she takes a few days off.” 

“She quickly picked up on what our daughter does/doesn't like and made sure adjustments were made accordingly to ensure our baby was happy and comfortable at all times.” 

“She made sure my baby was well taken cared for and at the same time, helped me get the rest I that really needed. I think the sweetest and our favorite thing she did was, she would sing to her each night before bed because she knows that music helps heal the soul.” 

It is clear that Heather is a dedicated and compassionate nurse who goes above and beyond to provide her patients with the best possible care. She is a valuable asset to the Cook Children’s and to the nursing profession. 

We are so proud to have Heather as a member of our team. Congratulations on winning the DAISY Award! 


kiddskidssurprisecookchildrens14“We’re Going to Disney! I Can’t Believe It”

Cook Children's pulled off a big surprise on Aug. 15 when Kidd’s Kids revealed that two Cook Children’s employees and their children are going on an all-expenses-paid trip to Disney World.

Every year, Kidd’s Kids takes 30 to 50 children with life-altering or life-threatening conditions and their families on an all-expenses-paid, five-day trip to the magic kingdom. 

Danny Peltier is Practice Manager for Cook Children’s Outpatient Psychiatry and Ashley Pagenkopf is a Child Life Specialist in the Emergency Department

Emergency Medicine Physician Dan Guzman, M.D., who serves as a Kidd’s Kids board member, and Cook Children's team members gathered in the Child Life Zone to surprise the two families. The CLZ was decorated with Disney-themed balloons and everyone got a pair of Mickey Mouse ears. 

Both families say they are ready to experience their own moments of magic in what’s been called “the happiest place on earth.” Read more about the Peltier and Pagenkopf families and the surprise announcement, and view videos and photos from the event on the Checkup Newsroom

In Her Own Words: A Family's Story of Resilience

20230815_121711Ashley Pagenkopf wrote a special article for Cook employees, sharing her thoughts about the surprise trip to Disney World, and her family's journey after her middle daughter, Averly, was diagnosed with a low-grade glioneuronal (brain) tumor in April 2022. Read it here.



Last week for August Sweet Treats

San Angelo Beat the HeatEmployees across the system have enjoyed sweet treats while taking time to connect and celebrate the summer this month. There is still time to coordinate a Beat the Heat Sweet Treat event for off-site locations and fully remote teams. Leaders, we’re providing you with an Inter-Department Transfer (IDT) amount of $8 per person to create your own summer treat event for your team. Leaders can identify a date and time that works best. 
Click here to find more sweet treat offering details, an IDT form, and employee raffle opportunities.

We're posting photos from the events on the Connect Newsroom so be sure to check out how everyone is celebrating. Please send us your pics of your team celebrations (email them as attachments as PNG or JPG files). Email us at InternalCommunications@CookChildrens.org


Happy Snaps: Back-to-School 2023

First Day of School Jane Justin School (8)Do you have children, grandchildren or other kiddos in your life that started classes for the fall semester? We'd love to see their smiling faces as they head to a new school year. Please share your photos with us!

Don't forget to include your name, job title and location. 

We will post your pics on the Connect Newsroom.

Please email us at InternalCommunications@cookchildrens.org.