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Connect Newsletter (Nov. 1, 2023)


Connect Newsletter                                       
Nov. 1, 2023

Cook Children's 2023 Town Hall Updates/Care Share Information

231026-TownHall-8764Town Hall

Thank you to everyone who has watched the video or attended one of our Employee Town Hall Meetings live. Leaders shared what’s on the horizon for Cook Children’s in fiscal year 2024. To celebrate the Texas Rangers' trip to the World Series, we went all out on a baseball theme. Leaders were decked out in Rangers gear and worked quite a few baseball terms into their remarks. We even served hotdogs and Cracker Jack! Watch the video here.

Care Share

One of the big updates from Town Hall was the information on the fiscal year 2023 Care Share bonus. Learn the latest and get all the details here.

Master Plan Update

Please take a few minutes to watch this informative video with Spencer Seals, VP, Construction & Real Estate, as he walks us through Cook Children's Master Plan. Spencer talks about how we've gotten to where we are currently and takes us into the future. We think you will find this video informative and interesting. 


Performance Reviews Move to Common Date Beginning in 2024

If you’re used to having your annual performance review tied to the anniversary of your hire date, we want you to know about a small change. 

Cook Children’s is moving to a common date for annual performance reviews.  The new performance and development process will be implemented in the fall of 2024, replacing the phased-out PACE system.

What you need to know is: No matter your employment start date with Cook Children's, you will have your annual performance review in the fall of every year beginning in the fall of 2024.  

Please read more details here.



Show Your Rangers Pride at Work!

Rangers gear at work

The Texas Rangers are in the World Series, y'all! That means it's time to break out your best baseball attire and wear it to work with pride. 

We want to see your best Rangers looks, so please send us photos of yourself wearing your favorite Rangers gear

We're posting them on the Connect Newsroom here.

Go Rangers!


New CookNet Image for ArticleCookNet and Microsoft Teams Terms 

We're excited to offer you a more modern workspace with our new technology upgrade. However, we understand that change can be challenging. We've compiled definitions for a few key terms to help you get started. Read more here.


Halloween 2023

Halloween Cook Children's Prosper (36)This year's Halloween Hoopla event was a blast and featured live skits and a contest for top costumes. We streamed the whole event live on the Child Life Zone channel for patient families in their rooms, and for the first time, the livestream was available to employees to follow along at our locations. 

The judges had their say. Now we want to hear from you. Watch the Connect Newsroom in coming days for information on casting your vote for your favorite skit and best costumes. Patient families are also voting for their favorites.

We've posted a bunch of photos from the event on the Connect Newsroom here.

Patient Trick or Treating in Prosper and Fort Worth

We had a “spook-tacular” time celebrating Halloween – our patients and their families went trick-or-treating and our employees showed off their Halloween spirit by dressing up in creative costumes! 

Click here to view more photos and a video from the festivities on Checkup.

Haunted Mansion

Quite a fright! Employees visited a special Haunted Mansion presented by patients and siblings in the Child Life Zone. Watch a video here - it might make you jump



World-Renowned Expert in Rare Endocrine Disorder Receives Fort Worth Sister Cities Global Impact Award 

Dr. Paul ThorntonCook Children’s is proud to announce Paul Thornton, M.D., Medical Director of Diabetes and Endocrinology, is the recipient of the 2023 Global Impact Award. The City of Fort Worth and Fort Worth Sister Cities International are bestowing the award for Dr. Thornton’s lifelong work in hyperinsulinism, a potentially devastating, rare genetic disease. 

The award is being presented at the Mayor’s International Dinner by Mayor Mattie Parker, and our own Chief-of-Staff, on Nov. 1. This award recognizes Dr. Thornton’s tenacity and dedication to helping improve the quality of life for children across the globe with this rare disease. 

“Born in Ireland, Dr. Thornton is truly world-renowned and one of the leaders in his field,” said Rick W. Merrill, President and CEO for Cook Children’s. “We are so glad he settled here in Fort Worth and we are extremely honored to share him with the world.” 

Hyperinsulinism occurs when the pancreas produces too much insulin, driving blood sugar levels dangerously low and depriving the brain of important fuels it needs to function. For those affected by the rare condition, it can be a life-changing event. Without an accurate diagnosis, children face living with seizures and permanent brain damage. 


Hochberger Auditorium To Have Temporary Closure

hochberger closure-1 (1)The Hochberger Auditorium on the lower level of the Medical Center-Fort Worth will be closed from Jan. 2 to Feb. 23, 2024, for a refresh. During the construction, most appointments have been relocated. 



Learning About Our ERGS: Latinos Engaging, Advancing, Developing & Supporting (L.E.A.D.S.+)

LEADS Panel webinar screenshot 10-11-23

Latinos Engaging, Advancing, Developing & Supporting (L.E.A.D.S.+), a new Employee Resource Group at Cook Children’s, held a successful first event in October, a panel webinar to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and connect and celebrate employees across the System.

Watch the video of the webinar and follow along with the transcript, available in English and Spanish.


quarterly peak performers (2)Who Are Our 4th Quarter Peak Performers?

Congratulations to our 4th Quarter Peak Performers, selected for their amazing work in quality, safety and service. We’re celebrating recipients from July to September 2023. Click here to view the recipients on a new CookNet page dedicated to Peak Performers. (You must be on the network to view.)



Employee Craft Fair on Nov. 3

craft fair nov 3It's not too early to start thinking about holiday gifts. The Employee Fall Craft Fair is scheduled to take place on Friday, Nov. 3 in the Atrium of the Cook Children's Medical Center-Fort Worth. Crafters will be donating 10 percent of sales back to Cook Children's. Talk about our value of generosity! 


2023 Cook Children Online Store Updated Flyer (2)-1There's Still Time to Get Tickets for Family Fun Day at Six Flags Over Texas

Join us for this special private event. The park is only open to employees of Cook Children's and one other company.​ 

All employees are able to purchase up to six discounted tickets for themselves, their spouse or significant other, and immediate family members. Here are the details. See you there!


Native American Heritage Month

native american heritageNovember is Native American Heritage Month, which honors the diverse cultures and histories of indigenous peoples in the U.S. and its territories. We've compiled some resources for learning more about Native Americans as well as some statistics. Click here on the Connect Newsroom.



Get Tips from Fidelity for Retirement Savings

Are you enrolled in a retirement plan? Are you saving enough? Fidelity can explain the importance of looking ahead now toward your retirement finances. Join the experts from Fidelity for a webinar on Tuesday, Nov. 7, to learn how and why to enroll in a retirement plan. As a benefit to Cook Children’s employees, you’ll earn 100 Virgin Pulse Points for attending the webinar. Points may be cashed in for gift cards through our wellness program.

Webinar: Get Started and Save for the Future:

Join 9 a.m. session here. 

Join 3 p.m. session here. 




Bright HorizonExceptional Care When You Need It Most 

Gearing up for the busy fall season? Plan ahead for family care needs or make last-minute reservations with Bright Horizons Back-Up Care.  This service provides child and elder care to help with disruptions in arrangements that might cause you to miss work. They’ve redesigned their homepage so you can take advantage of speedy reservations in fewer than 90 seconds, a simplified navigation, and personalized content to fit your needs. 

Here’s how Bright Horizons can help your family: 
• High-quality care you can count on 
• Reliable caregivers for your child and adult or elder loved ones 
• Subsidized and affordable through your employee benefits 
• Last-minute or in-advance booking 

Find out more here.