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Connect Newsletter (Dec. 14, 2023)


Connect Newsletter                                       
Dec. 14, 2023

Festive Fun and Cheerful Connections: Spreading Cheer (and Laughter!) Across the System




Staying Safe at Cook Children's: Understanding Security Alerts and Active Criminal Events


While we all want to enjoy the holiday season, a recent security alert at our Fort Worth Medical Center serves as a reminder that vigilance and safety must always be top priorities for our employees, patients, and their families.

Fortunately, the incident earlier this month was short-lived (lasting only 13 minutes) and the alert was cleared once deemed safe. However, it serves as a valuable opportunity to discuss security alerts and how we respond to them.

Types of Alerts and Response Protocol

1.  Sense of Urgency: When a potential threat is identified, our security team strives to respond quickly and notify affected individuals. As David Hollar, Director of Security Services explains, “We prioritize safety and swift response, while acknowledging the dynamic and rapidly evolving nature of such situations.”

2. Notifications: These alerts serve as a brief awareness update with concise instructions. We request that staff only call if directly involved or witness something impacting the incident's immediate safety. Calling PBX or Security Services for general inquiries hinders their ability to manage the event and maintain open lines for crucial communication.

Differentiating Security Alerts and Active Criminal Events 

Security Alert: Similar to a weather watch, it indicates a developing situation being closely monitored but not posing immediate danger. Remain vigilant, follow the instructions provided within the notification, stay put and continue you with your normal work activities unless otherwise notified. In the recent instance, no lockdown or evacuation was necessary.

Active Criminal Event: Comparable to a storm warning, it signifies an unfolding criminal act with a suspect still present and posing an active threat. Depending on the scenario, you may be instructed to flee, hide, or remain calm and follow further instructions.

Your Safety is Paramount. We prioritize your safety and appreciate your cooperation during such situations. Please remain calm and respect the evolving circumstances. We will strive to provide accurate information as quickly as possible based on confirmed facts.

We are grateful for our staff's vigilance and commitment to reporting any concerns. Together, we can contribute to a safe and secure environment for all at Cook Children's.



Radiothon group picRadiothon Raised an Amazing $1,071,096! 

Together, we raised over one million dollars for our patients during the Cook Children’s Radiothon, which was broadcast live on New Country 96.3 and 99.5 The Wolf. Listeners heard heart-warming stories from patient families and staff, and employee volunteers answered phones from generous donors in a phone bank in the Medical Center-Fort Worth Atrium.

The generosity of our communities never fails to inspire us! Thank you, thank you, thank you to the volunteers, partners and sponsors for making Radiothon a huge success.



Celebrating a Team with Big Hearts 

Project X_6887

The rock star medical team that performed the groundbreaking surgery to separte formerly conjoined twins JamieLynn and AmieLynn are being highlighted as among 12 Health Care Heroes by the Texas Hospital Association. 

The team is featured in an article in the organization’s online publication The Scope and will be celebrated on its social media accounts on Day 12 (Dec. 24). Feel free to like and share these social media posts.


Raising Joy Podcast: Music as Medicine

Raising Joy 12-12-23This uplifting episode of Raising Joy focusses on Raymond Turner, the studio producer of Sparklefly Recording Studio in the Child Life Zone. Raymond's story is one of resilience, compassion, and the transformative power of music. 

Tune in as Raymond shares his inspiring journey to Cook Children's, where he found his calling in creating music for some of the hospital's youngest patients. 


Share Your Voice: Compliance Survey

The best way for our Compliance program to improve is to use honest, constructive feedback from you. That’s why the Compliance team regularly seeks your input on so much that goes on around Cook Children’s.

Now, Compliance is asking for your feedback about the state of our program, which is a topic that is essential to the integrity and safety of our organization and everyone we impact.

Please click this link to take the survey: 2023 Compliance Survey.  The questions are short and mostly require simple “yes/no” responses, so it should only take a few minutes. Everyone’s participation is needed to ensure we have an accurate picture of how the entire organization feels about the Compliance program.

The survey responses will be confidential and will allow Compliance to evaluate the effectiveness of our program through your perspective. The survey is open through Dec. 22.


Joining Microsoft Teams Meetings Just Got Easier

We're thrilled to announce that joining Teams meetings is now easier than ever, thanks to your feedback!

Previously, some of you and our collaborators experienced difficulties joining meetings when using Teams for audio and video outside of the Cook Children's network. We heard your concerns and took action!

Thanks to a recent change, anyone outside of our system can now join your Teams meetings without any additional steps. This means seamless collaboration with colleagues and partners, regardless of their location.

If you encounter any issues, please don't hesitate to contact the Service Desk by opening a ticket. We're here to help!

We hope that you will take time to view these helpful resources. Please click here to find a quick video that will give you an overview of using teams or click here to view answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions.

Quick Guide to Help You Make the Move to Teams

Here are more details about getting started with Microsoft Teams, how to sign up for training sessions, and some frequently asked questions about the platform.  


Prosper UCC 1Practicing Our Promise: Recognitions from CCPN 

Please take a few moments to watch a video and read a message from Matthew Dzurik, M.D., President of Cook Children's Physician Network, with the latest information on the renewal of the Practicing Our Promise program to recognize and celebrate the entire team for elevating the patient and family experience across Cook Children's Physician Network.

Gold and silver award are being given to top performers within each service line: Primary Care, Neighborhood Health Center, Specialty Department, Urgent Care Clinic, and Multispecialty/Regional Clinic locations.  

Gold Winners: Allen Primary Care, Arlington Neighborhood Health Clinic, Prosper Urgent Care (pictured), Rheumatology, and Midland Multi-Specialty.

Silver Winners: Magnolia Primary Care, McCart Neighborhood Health Clinic, Southlake Urgent Care, Pain Clinic, San Angelo Multi-Specialty

Check out all the award recipients and view photos here.


Dr. Romano WFAA interview 12-11-23Cook Children’s Expert in the News

Laura Romano, D.O., was featured in an interview with WFAA about concerns area physicians have about respiratory illnesses such as flu, RSV and COVID-19. These illnessses often spike during the holiday season due to family gatherings.

"What we're recommending is if you're sick, please stay home. I know it's hard to miss holidays. I know we all want to be together for Christmas and Thanksgiving and New Year's and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, and whatever your family celebrates. But if you're sick, please stay home," Dr. Romano said. “You don't know who your child is going to see the next day.”

Watch the story here.


From Gingerbread Houses to Giving Back: How We're Celebrating the Holidays

staff xmasClinics and departments across the System are celebrating the holiday seasons together, by decorating their offices, wearing festive outfits and participating in activities in the communities where they serve. We've compiled some photos and videos on the Connect Newsroom

If you'd like to share your holiday celebrations, please send photos and a few details to InternalCommunications@CookChildrens.org. Be sure to avoid images of patients and  confidential or protected health information.