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Connect Newsletter (Jan. 25, 2024)


Connect Newsletter  

Jan. 25, 2024


Meet The Health Plan's Certified Doula

Chrystal Bryant Doula 2

As a doula and a case manager at Cook Children’s Health Plan, Chrystal Bryant, RN, serves as a liaison for parents and connects them with resources they might not know about. This assistance can be crucial during a pregnancy, especially for underserved communities and low-income parents. 

Doulas work with expecting moms one-on-one before, during and after delivery. They provide education, create a birthing plan and plan a recovery period. One of the most important aspects of doula care is following up with parents after the birth. 

“My primary goal is just to do what I can to assist families throughout the perinatal period and in the postpartum period, just to make sure that babies have a good start to life and the pregnant woman has the resources that she needs to have a safe and healthy pregnancy,” Chrystal said. 

Read more here in the Connect Newsroom.


History Made: the Anniversary of the Successful Separation of  AmieLynn and JamieLynn


One year ago, a team of 25 surgeons and other medical experts made history at Cook Children’s. Twin sisters AmieLynn and JamieLynn Finley were born conjoined at the chest and sharing a liver.

On Jan. 23, 2023, the girls were separated during an 11-hour operation, the first of its kind at Cook Children’s. Jamie Lynn went home in March, and AmieLynn was discharged a month later after some additional recovery in the NICU. Take a look back and see video on the Checkup Newsroom.

“The success of the conjoined twin surgery inspired a level of hope and joy that surpassed anyone’s expectation. The way the organization and the community, as well as many in the nation, were able to hear the story beginning at the separation procedure was so powerful," said Valerie Gibbs, DNP, RN, CPN Director Perioperative Services – Surgical.  “No matter the role, everyone felt, and continues to feel, invested in the lives of these twins. For the surgical team, this is a new standard; not just in departmental teamwork but also for interdisciplinary collaboration to achieve success in challenging scenarios. The pride that the surgery team feels for the honor of this opportunity remains palpable even a year later.”

This week WFAA-TV visited the Finley family and gave an update on what the twins are up to now. They're walking! Watch here.


‘New Teams’ App Coming this Spring 

Starting on Feb. 1, you'll see a new notification message just under the search bar in your Teams app. It will read “Classic Teams won’t be available for use after March 31, 2024. You’ll be switched to the new Teams after this date.” 

Microsoft is releasing an updated version of the Teams application called “New Teams.” This new app will replace what we at Cook Children’s are currently using. 

When you see this notification in your Teams app, be aware that Microsoft’s is simply letting users know about the upcoming change. 

Can I close the message? 
The app will allow you to close the message until Feb. 28. Starting on March 1, the message cannot be hidden or removed. 

When & how will I get New Teams? 
Information Services is working hard to plan for this upgrade. More information concerning next steps will be published as they become available. 


CCDATR24 Rodeo CookNet Graphic-01Cook Children's Day at the Rodeo

Tickets are still on sale for Cook Children’s Day at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo on Jan. 31, and this year, several lucky employees will be in the crowd courtesy of the Rodeo itself. 

For the first time, the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo is generously providing Cook Children’s with 15 extra tickets from season ticket holders who are unable to attend the rodeo on that night. In turn, Cook Children’s has chosen to give these free tickets to several employees who were mentioned in patient/family experience survey. It is a reward for going above and beyond. In addition, several patient families will get to attend the rodeo over the next week thanks to the support of donors in the community.

Half the proceeds of every ticket sold on Cook Children’s Day at the Rodeo will support the tiniest Texans in our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). 

Get Your Tickets

Get in on the fun! Here’s where to get tickets for your family

Send Us Your Snapshots

If you attend Cook Children's Day at the Rodeo, please take some photos of your family or your team and send us your best one. We will be featuring photos from the event in the Connect Newsroom.  Email photos to: InternalCommunications@CookChildrens.org.


Employees Care: You Make a Difference 

TSK-272_EC_CookNet24_R1Generosity is woven into who we are at Cook Children’s. As an employee, you impact patient care every day. As an Employees Care donor, your become an even bigger part of our patients’ journeys.

Employees Care is our annual employee giving campaign. Donations through Employees Care create moments of magic, and enhances the care we provide for patient families. For more than 20 years, Employees Care has been a reliable source of funding, with our generous employees at the center. Employees Care has elevated the patient experience, allowing patients to attend programs in Camps for Kids, and providing equipment to expand services, emergency housing to families, and so much more.

“I give so our patients can have a voice, even if they aren’t able to speak. Augmentative and alternative communication devices funded by Employees Care opened up a whole new world for our patients, and we are so thankful we can give them this opportunity,” said Suzanne Bonifert, Mansfield Rehab and Employees Care Champion.

Employees Care kicks off on February 1. We encourage you to visit the Employees Care page on CookNet to learn more about this year’s initiative.

I give to make a difference. 


Safety First For Youth

Screenshot Sharp Shooter NAAGA Aim for Safety

Cook Children’s Aim for Safety program that focuses on protecting children from firearm accidents was featured in Sharp Shooter, the national newsletter of the National African American Gun Association. The organization is a network for firearm owners, gun clubs and outdoor enthusiasts that centers around firearm use for home protection, competitive shooting, and outdoor recreational activities. 

Aim for Safety's Daniel Guzman, M.D., an Emergency Department physician, gave a presentation in Dallas for the local chapter of the organization and will be speaking at its national conference in July.


quarterly peak performers (2)Congratulations to our Quarterly Peak Performers

Join us in celebrating these employees for their hard work and dedication to Cook Children’s and our Promise. Here are the Peak Performers for Oct. to Dec. 2023. Click here for the Team Experience page on new CookNet. (You must be on the system to view.)



Congrats to Research for Successful Inspections

The Research Administration Department has undergone two Food & Drug Administration (FDA) inspections in the last six months. At Cook Children’s, we have a high number of patients who participated in these important studies. These studies are for drugs that will be submitted to the federal agency for approval before being available to patients. 

Both inspections were met with complete success and no findings or observances. The FDA almost always finds something, but at meetings after the inspection, the FDA Inspector had only praise for the Research teams for being one of the best sites ever inspected. Congratulations to the Endocrine research team supporting Paul Thornton, M.D., and the Gastroenterology research team supporting Bankole Osuntokun, M.D., for a job well done.