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Connect Newsletter (June 23, 2022)

 connect newsletter

Connect Newsletter                    
June 23, 2022

CCNENurse Residency Program Earns Reaccreditation Through The Commission On Collegiate Nursing Education

Cook Children’s Medical Center is proud to announce the reaccreditation of the Nurse Residency program through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).  

In September 2021, CCNE visited the medical center to conduct a virtual evaluation of the program. As a result, the surveyors found no areas of concern and awarded a 10-year accreditation through 2032.

The Nurse Residency program was established in 2009 with its mission to support new graduate nurses rising to the peak of professional practice as guided by the Cook Children’s Promise and values. 

Learn more about this significant achievement.


Raising JoyRaising Joy Podcast: Promoting Positive Body Image with Akemi Watkins, M.D.

No matter who you are, chances are you’ve struggled with body image at some point in life. For children, thoughts of inadequacy can begin early, especially if they have a parent or caregiver who speaks negatively about themselves. On this episode of Raising Joy, Cook Children’s psychiatrist Akemi Watkins, M.D., joins us to talk about fostering a healthy mindset about body image, for both children and ourselves.

Listen to Episode 15 of the Raising Joy podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts. You can also listen on our YouTube channel. The podcast is part of the JOY Campaign, which launched in April 2021 as a suicide prevention communication initiative, and aims to reach parents through honest conversations about the mental wellbeing of children and teens.


Baby VaccineCOVID-19 Vaccine Authorized for Young Children: Answering Parents' Top Questions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have cleared the way for children under 5 years old to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID vaccines for the youngest age group will begin this week. The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that all children 6 months through 5 years of age should receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

This expands eligibility for vaccination to nearly 20 million additional children and means that all Americans ages 6 months and older are now eligible for vaccination, the CDC said.  

Parents may be wondering if they should get their children vaccinated. Vaccines are the best way to prevent serious illness in people of all ages, including children.

The COVID positivity rate has slowly increased at Cook Children's.  

The rolling seven-day average positivity rate:

  • June 20: 10.6%
  • June 5: 8.4%
  • May 5: 3.5%

Based on available data, find out why our health care providers and pediatricians at Cook Children’s strongly recommend that parents get children vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.


Inpatient Only QuestionsImportant Update to COVID-19 Screening

As a reminder, Cook Children’s changed its policy several months ago regarding when an appointment can be made for a child, following an active COVID-19  infection.

Patients can now be seen throughout the system 10 days after a positive COVID-19 test.

Out of an abundance of caution, we do ask that families of severely immunosuppressed patients continue to wait for 21 days before making an appointment. Examples include children who are on active chemotherapy or recently received a transplant.

Otherwise, we are allowing patients to return to an appointment 10 days after they tested positive. This is a change from our former policy of waiting 21 days between appointments, and this change overrides all previously communicated guidance. 

IMPORTANT UPDATE:  If there is a compelling reason for the patient to be seen during the 10 days (21 days for severely immunocompromised) after a positive COVID-19 test, please make sure the patient and their family members wear a well-fitting mask and are in appropriate isolation while in the clinic.  Compelling reasons include such things as getting a cast removed, chemotherapy, new diagnosis of diabetes, or other things that, in the opinion of the physician, should not wait.


peak performer #1Monthly Peak Performers: May 2022

Please join us in congratulating all of the following Peak Performers for May 2022. 

Want to send a special congratulations to any of these winners? You can easily do so with one of our Ecards that are available here.

Find out who the latest Peak Performer recipients are.


noah coverICYMI: Active Criminal Event Overview: Know How to Safely Report and Respond

Please take the time watch this  20-minute video from Noah Sullivan, safety and security training and exercise coordinator. Noah shares an overview and top highlights of the Active Criminal Event course. You will learn how to recognize, report and respond to an Active Criminal Event. 

As we've communicated to all Cook Children's employees, it is extremely important for staff to be prepared and ready for what was once the unthinkable. 

Three in-person courses are available for employees and are designed to promote awareness, defuse an escalating crisis, and respond to an active criminal event. Employees may register through ULearn on CookNet. (Hint: To locate the courses in ULearn, select the Courses tab, clear all filters, and enter “Noah” in the Search Courses field.) The courses are progressive and offered monthly at the Medical Center. Click here to watch.


Jennifer Spicer PhotoMoving On Up: Jennifer Spicer

For Jennifer Spicer, MBA, interacting with people is her passion. Jennifer says 20 years ago she would have never pictured herself where she is now. In 2003, she started as a patient service coordinator in the Home Health office and two years later was promoted to office manager. In 2007, she moved up to executive assistant to the president and vice president of Home Health.

Six years later Jennifer transitioned to Business Development as a physician liaison. After four years in that role, she became the senior physician liaison and since 2019 has served as the manager of business development for Cook Children’s Home Health.

Learn more about Jennifer's journey here.


Staff Changes In the Wellness Zone and for the Wellness Program

We want to make everyone aware of staffing changes in the Wellness Zone and for the Wellness Program:

  • Sarah Fry: Wellness Coordinator
  • Paul Tetro: Wellness Zone Program Manager
  • Kari Hernandez: Health Fitness Professional
    • Kari is our new Health Fitness Professional in the Wellness Zone. She has a degree in Exercise Physiology and has been working in fitness for more than 8 years. She loves teaching group exercise classes and getting to know people. In her free time she likes to train for marathons and she is a mom of three girls. 

Wellness Zone


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Our Promise

Knowing that every child's life is sacred, it is the Promise of Cook Children's to improve the health of every child through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury.