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Connect Newsletter (March 9, 2023)


Connect Newsletter                                       
March 9, 2023

Women Who Inspire Us

Women's History Month Video

March is Women’s History Month. While the country commemorates the role of women in American history, at Cook Children’s Health Care System we also celebrate the role of women in building one of the largest free-standing pediatric health centers in the country. This year, we’re highlighting several women who have made their mark in medicine. Each comes from different backgrounds, different specialties and different decades, but they all share two things — a passion for their work and the Promise to improve the well-being of every child in our care and our communities. First up, meet Elizabeth Leeper, MSN, RN, CNOR, Manager of Surgical Clinical Excellence, who has been at Cook Children’s for 27 years. Read the article here.

WATCH: On International Women's Day, we walked around Cook Children's Medical Center - Fort Worth and asked employees to share about the women in their lives who inspire them.  Please watch this heartwarming video on the Connect Newsroom and then leave us a comment on who has inspired you.


WATCH: A Place Where Patients Feel Like Family

105 year anniversary video screenshotCook Children's turns 105 years old this month and our organization is only growing stronger because of people like you. We ask that you take a few minutes of your day to watch this inspiring video about our history and the people who make our Promise come to life.


A Celebration of Holi 2023 

holipatientevent11Patients enjoyed colorful arts, crafts and games at a celebration of Holi.  Click here to see adorable photos from the event on our Checkup Newsroom.

Holi is a Hindu festival celebrating the start of spring, which is the season of hope and new beginnings. Often referred to as the “Festival of Colors,” Holi is celebrated around the world and is recognized as a national holiday in India. There are several legends about the origin of why Holi is celebrated. Even though some Hindu communities prefer one story over another, the messages of love, goodness, and renewal are the same.  Learn more about Holi



LISTEN: Raising Joy Podcast on Gun Violence

raisingjoy38drpetersonOn this episode of Raising Joy, we meet Dr. Jillian Peterson, founder of The Violence Project, a nonpartisan nonprofit that created the largest and most comprehensive database on the life histories of mass shooters. She is a forensic psychologist, professor of criminology and author of “The Violence Project – How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic.” 

Her work has helped school leaders, police departments and universities across the nation adopt realistic tools for violence prevention. Listen in to hear what Dr. Peterson learned about mass shooters in her research and what parents and caregivers can do to help prevent a school shooting.


Nominate a Nurse for the Great 10 Nurses Recognition

Great 10 NursesEvery year we celebrate 10 of our nurses who demonstrate excellence in the art and science of nursing. The Cook Children’s Great 10 Nurses celebration is a way to recognize nurses for being role models, leaders, community servants, compassionate caregivers and significant contributors to the nursing profession. 

To nominate a nurse, submit the nomination form by March 27, 2023.


Ramadan Mubarak: Ramadan Starts on March 22

Ramadan 2023During the coming weeks, you may find some of our patient families, neighbors or coworkers celebrating Ramadan. With that in mind, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide some helpful information about this Islamic holy month. 

When does Ramadan start? 

Ramadan begins the evening of March 22 and ends on April 20 in the U.S. 

How do Muslims celebrate Ramadan?

Followers of the Islamic faith will celebrate Ramadan by fasting, not eating or drinking any food or water from dawn to dusk each day. These fasting periods can range from 11-16 hours per day. Before fasting each day, Muslims will begin with a pre-fast meal called “suhoor” and then begin the “iftar,” the first prayer of the day.  

This ritual of daily fasting gives Muslims a period of spiritual reflection.  

Here are a few tips and best practices to keep in mind during the month of Ramadan:

Be aware of potential side effects of fasting. During this time, some people may experience low blood-sugar levels and/or be more tired.

Allow for flexibility, if possible. If possible, try to accommodate anyone who will engage in the required prayer five times a day. This includes allowing time for breaks and trying to provide a quiet, private space for prayer.

Consider Ramadan when scheduling events or meetings. Try not to center mandatory workplace meetings or gatherings around food and beverages. If this is not possible, be respectful that Muslim employees in attendance will not be eating. 

Appropriate greetings include:

  • Ramadan Mubarak
  • Blessed Ramadan
  • Happy Ramadan
  • Ramadan Kareem
  • Generous Ramadan

Do all Muslims have to fast during Ramadan?

Muslims who reached the age of puberty and are of good physical and mental health are expected to fast. But those for whom fasting may be a hardship are not required to fast (i.e., people with diabetes). 

Learn more:  https://www.diversityincbestpractices.com/diversityinc-digest-ramadan/


Rock Your Silly Socks on March 21

silly socksWear your fun socks on March 21 to help celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. All you need to do is choose some socks that are going to get noticed -- they might be mismatched socks or your craziest and most colorful socks. The idea is to start a conversation, so when people ask you about your socks you can tell them, "I'm wearing them to raise awareness of Down syndrome." 

World Down Syndrome Day is a global awareness day advocating for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down syndrome on March 21. The date – the twenty-first day of the third month -- was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome, which causes Down syndrome. Learn more about Down Syndrome.


march 2023 blood driveBlood Drives Save Lives

Did you know that one in three 1 in 3 people will need a blood transfusion in their lifetime? These recipients are our very own patients, our friends, our loved ones and our neighbors right here in North Texas. 

If you are able, please sign up for our next blood drive, scheduled for March 27 at the Fort Worth campus.


Social Worker of the Year Nominations

Social Work Breaks BarriersPlease help us recognize a deserving Social Worker for the third annual Social Worker of the Year Award. Nominations are open through March 22.

We are looking for a social worker who has gone above and beyond over the past year to provide outstanding patient care.

Details, and the nomination form are here.


Marilyn NappierRetirement Announcement for Marilyn Nappier, Leadership Advisor

Marilyn Nappier, Leadership Advisor, Center for Children's Health, is retiring from the system after more than a dozen years of service to Cook Children's. We encourage you to take a moment to send Marilyn a farewell note or a congratulatory eCard by March 11. 

Marilyn has dedicated her life’s work to improving children’s health through the power of community collaboration. With more than 25 years of experience in community leadership to address barriers to health and social services, Cook Children’s was fortunate to have Marilyn and her expertise for more than a decade. In 2008, Marilyn brought her skills and passion to support the work of the Center for Children’s Health as a contractor supporting Cook Children’s very first Community-wide Children’s Health Assessment and Planning Survey (CCHAPS). In 2010, Marilyn formally joined our Cook Children’s family serving in different director roles over community-based programs and collaborations in Denton, Hood, Johnson, Parker and Wise counties, and overseeing community measures for the Center.

In 2019 Marilyn was appointed Assistant Vice President of the Center for Children’s Health, leading teams focused on preventing illness and injury through community education, leading community-based initiatives, and influencing organizational change. Marilyn moved from AVP into a PRN status serving as a leadership advisor for the Center over the last 8 months. The Center is incredibly grateful to have had Marilyn's talents and skill set. Marilyn’s commitment to improving the well-being of children and families in our community is of the highest quality. We wish her the best on her next adventure. 

- Chris Pedigo, Senior Vice President Chief Strategy, Education and Community Health Office and Becki Hale, Assistant Vice President, Center for Children’s Health


Retirement Announcement for Terri Ford, Community Health Program Manager

Terri FordTerri Ford, Program Manager of Community Health, Child Health Evaluation Department, is retiring from the system on Saturday, March 25 after 17 years of service to Cook Children's. We encourage you to take a moment to send Terri a farewell note or a congratulatory eCard by March 24. 

“Terri has been with Cook Children’s for over 17 years, all of which have been in community health outreach and the Center.  "Throughout her tenure, Terri has been instrumental in leading our injury prevention efforts, supporting C4CH operations, and in 2020 she transitioned to our Child Health Evaluation team, supporting the Center’s program evaluation efforts. Terri excels at many things, especially logistics, planning and safety. She is always one of the first to jump up and lend a hand to a teammate in need. Her wonderful and timely sense of humor keeps us smiling. Terri’s calm and friendly demeanor will be greatly missed, and we wish her the best on this next chapter," said Chris Pedigo Senior Vice President Chief Strategy, Education and Community Health Office and Becki Hale, Assistant Vice President, Center for Children’s Health.


Retirement Announcement for Christine Lachman, Nurse Manager, SPA - Recovery

ChristiineChristine Lachman, nurse manager, is retiring from the system on Tuesday, March 14 after 34 years of service to Cook Children's.

“We celebrate Christi’s legacy of love and excellence for 34 years at Cook Children’s and wish her many happy moments in her retirement adventures,” said Valerie Gibbs, DNP, RN, CPN, Director Perioperative Services – Surgical.

Everyone at the system is invited to join us from 2 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14, in the Family Support Meeting Rooms A&B at Cook Children’s Medical Center-Fort Worth as we wish Christine well in her new adventure!


How to Maintain a Healthy Work/Life Balance

march lunch and learnIn an effort to "have and do it all," many people feel stressed by the demands of both home and work and feel challenged to maintain balance. Higher stress levels lead to compromised physical and emotional well-being, as well as lost time at work and lower productivity. By raising our awareness and consistently utilizing simple strategies, better balance is possible! 

Register to attend this month's Lunch & Learn for information on how to:

  • Recognize the signs of poor work-life balance.
  • Create manageable work and personal goals.
  • Plan your time productively, including breaks.
  • Distinguish when you need support and how to get it.

The webinar is at 11:30 a.m. on March 15. All employees are eligible to earn 100 Vitality points by attending the webinar or watching it later on the recorded link.


April Cultural Observances 

Sharing information about cultural holidays and observances is an important way to learn about our diverse workforce and raise awareness of challenges and successes of various groups. Share with us how you observe Diversity Month, Autism Acceptance Month and National Arab American Heritage Month.

If you have any ideas or recommendations for upcoming cultural holidays and observances that you would like to see us cover, email us at InternalCommunications@cookchildrens.org.