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Connect Newsletter (Nov. 30, 2023)


Connect Newsletter                                       
Nov. 30, 2023

Celebrating Our Top Peak Performers for 2022-2023 

Accounts Payable peak performer 2022-23

At Cook Children's, we are committed to recognizing and celebrating the outstanding contributions of our employees. Each year, we have the honor of presenting the top performer awards to a select group of individuals and teams who have consistently demonstrated excellence in their work.

The 13th Annual Peak Performer Awards Program and Reception took place on Nov. 16. The celebration recognized 144 individuals and 23 Peak Performer teams selected as recipients in our peer-to-peer recognition program. Click here to see who was announced as the Top Peak Performers for 2022-2023. Pictured: Accounts Payable

These recipients have gone above and beyond to make a positive impact on our patients, our community, and our organization. They are role models for their colleagues and embody the Cook Children's values. 

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to Cook Children's, and your ongoing commitment to Our Promise.


Jingle Mingle Holiday Feasts and Holiday Sweater Contests

Holiday sweater 2022
jingle mingle 2022You are invited to gather for Jingle Mingle, a holiday celebration for employees that includes a buffet of delicious food, holiday music and connecting with colleagues. Events will be held at the Medical Center-Fort Worth, Medical Center-Prosper and Calmont, and leaders of other locations will receive funds to host their own events. 

Details on Jingle Mingle and holiday sweater contest and how to access the Holiday Interdepartmental Transfer of Funds (IDT) form are on the Team Experience site on the new CookNet

The main campus event is scheduled for Dec. 8 under a tent on Pruitt Plaza for employees working at the Medical Center-Fort Worth, 901 Building, Dodson Specialty Clinics, Rosedale Office Building and 750 office building. Breakfast will be served from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Medical Center-Fort Worth Holiday Sweater Contest

Wear your festive (patient/work appropriate) holiday attire and enter the holiday sweater contest at Jingle Mingle on Dec. 8. To enter, a volunteer will be at the exit of the Jingle Mingle tent during open buffet times and will take your photo and collect your information. 

Virtual Holiday Sweater Contest

Wear your festive (patient/work appropriate) holiday attire and enter the holiday sweater contest between Dec. 8 and 11. Click here for contest details and find the entry form to submit along with your photo here.   Your entry and photo are due by 11:59 p.m. on Mon., Dec 11.

Calmont Office Building Jingle Mingle

Employees at the Calmont Office Building are invited to a holiday meal on Dec. 13. 

Prosper Jingle Mingle 

Employees at the Medical Center-Prosper, Prosper Specialty Building, Prosper Urgent Care Center, Prosper Windsong and Prosper Pediatric Surgery Center are invited to gather for a holiday meal on Dec. 14. 


Grief and the Holidays: Creating Space for Healing and Connection

holiday bluesMany of us look forward to spending time with loved ones, indulging in treats, and exchanging gifts. However, for many people, this time of year can be a source of stress, sadness, and loneliness. That’s particularly the case for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

Grief is an ongoing process that has no timeline. We have resources available for adults, teens and any family who might need them. Please read this guest column by Hanna Boyd, CCLS, Child Life Specialist, and Jennifer Hayes, MDiv, BCC, Director of Spiritual Care.



Cook Children's Prosper Surgeon on the Cover of Living Magazine

Screenshot 2023-11-29 162945Our own Kanika A. Bowen-Jallow, M.D., Pediatric Surgeon and Medical Director of Pediatric Surgery at Cook Children's - Prosper, was featured on the cover of Living Magazine's November issue. Dr. Bowen-Jallow discussed her career path, research, and how the Prosper medical center is designed for clinical excellence.

“From the time you walk in the door, everything is carefully constructed with well-rounded specialty care in almost every medical discipline. You can literally walk across the hall to another specialist if needed,” Dr. Bowen-Jallow told the magazine.

Read the Prosper/Celina edition cover and article here.

Read the Frisco/Plano edition here.


10th Annual Cook Children’s Radiothon

We are excited about our upcoming Cook Children’s Radiothon broadcasting live on New Country 96.3 and 99.5 The Wolf on Dec. 7 and 8. This is a two-day event filled with heart-warming stories from Cook Children’s patient families and staff encouraging loyal listeners to support Cook Children’s. This year, the phone bank will be back in the Cook Children’s Medical Center-Fort Worth Atrium. If you would like to volunteer your time to answer phones and take donations, we would for you to participate. Below are shift times available (space is limited). To volunteer, please email Karol Johnson in the Foundation.

Thursday, Dec. 7

5:30 – 8 a.m.

3:30 – 7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 8

5:30 – 8 a.m.

1:30 – 4 p.m.

3:30– 7 p.m.


What Is Miscrosoft TeamsMicrosoft Teams Update

As we continue to adopt Microsoft Teams across the system, you will notice a key change beginning Dec. 4. This change is intended to help optimize the Teams experience as we prepare to phase out Skype.  Specifically, we will convert the automatic launch of our messaging system to default to Teams, and Skype will no longer automatically launch.  As part of this change, the Teams icon/shortcut will be added to the task bar and Skype will be removed.

How to Hold a Meeting with People from Outside Cook Children’s 
When you need to have a meeting with people from outside our organization using Teams, two things need to happen: 

• First, the external people you're meeting with need to have a corporate licensed account for Teams. 

• Second, the external IT department needs to have a similar configuration to yours, so that the meeting with people outside your organization can take place. For more details, read the FAQ - “Meetings with external collaboration.” 

*NOTE* - Once you're in the meeting, the organizer needs to give presenter control to someone from the outside organization by clicking on the three dots next to their name in the attendee list. However, the outside attendee won't be able to control the screen, keyboard, or mouse. 


For the latest information about our new Microsoft Teams platform adoption and CookNet migration, please review this recent update. 

Enroll in a comprehensive 90-minute training session and learn all about the world of Microsoft Teams, a collaborative  communications platform that seamlessly moves us away from Skype and introduces us to new innovative tools to enhance your teamwork. During this informative session, you'll acquire the skills to: 

  • Navigate the Microsoft Teams interface with ease 
  • Understand how Microsoft Teams functions 
  • Discover the latest features that Microsoft Teams has to offer 
  • Master the art of scheduling, running, and joining Teams meetings.

Empower yourself with the knowledge and skills to transform your workplace collaboration using Microsoft Teams. Sign up for this insightful training session on ULearn today


A Reminder About Special Visitors to Cook Children's

We are excited that we will once again be hosting notable athletes, celebrities and others who generously give of their time to visit Cook Children's patients during the holidays. Please remember that these visits are for our patients.  

The Child Life team works hard to organize these events so that every patient in the hospital has the opportunity to participate. As a Cook Children's employee, it is our responsibility to represent Cook Children's in a professional manner.  None of us should approach the visitors, nor should we ask for autographs, photos, memorabilia or contact information.  

Cook Children's values the relationships that we have created with these special visitors, and we are proud of the quality experiences we are able to provide for our patients and their families. Your cooperation in making this year successful is greatly appreciated.

As a reminder, please take a moment to review our Social Media policy. You must be on the network to view the policy.


Accreditation Compliance Update: Our Survey Window is OPEN 

  • surveyThe Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) accreditation survey is scheduled for Jan. 31, 2024. It is a one day, in-person survey for our Bone Marrow Transplant /Cellular Therapy Programs.
  • The Joint Commission (TJC) survey for Cook Children's Medical Center-Fort Worth is not announced ahead of time. It can take place any time between now and April 2025. It will most likely happen in late 2024 to early 2025, but it could occur at any time.

Holiday Extravaganza!

holiday extravaganza

Just in – the Under the Peaks retail store will have a pop-up shop during the Holiday Extravaganza and Fireworks Show on Saturday, Dec. 9. You're coming, right? Cook Children’s employees and their families are invited for a fun evening of festivities including performances, holiday treats, and the annual lighting of the Christmas tree. 

Families will be able to have a visit with Santa and take pictures in the South Pole (south lawn.) You are encouraged to bring an infant toy, Lego kit or a package of underwear for kids or adults for the Child Life department. Many toys, Legos and other gifts can be conveniently found and purchased in our own Cook Children’s stores—The Enchanted Castle Gift Shop and Build-A-Bear at the Medical Center - Fort Worth; Under the Peaks in the Dodson Specialty Building; and My First Rodeo in Prosper. 

More details on the event, schedule of activities, and parking instructions are here.



ICYMI: Physicians Honored for Work on FY23 CCMC Clinical Unit QAPI Teams

We are recognizing 14 doctors who took on the role of Quality Assurance and Process Improvement (QAPI) physician champions for 12 of our clinical units in fiscal year 2023. As a result of these ongoing QAPI meetings, Cook Children's Medical Center-Fort Worth experienced a reduction in patient and employee harm events, an increased number of safety coaches, improved recognition of bedside staff for safety efforts and better collaboration between physicians and nursing staff. Read more here.

The physician champions include:

  • Dr. Jay Duncan
  • Dr. Donald Beam
  • Dr. Gretchen Eames
  • Dr. Sami Hadeed
  • Dr. Cynthia Keator
  • Dr. Robert Loar
  • Dr. Darryl Miao
  • Dr. Saideepa Murali
  • Dr. Randa Razzouk
  • Dr. Laquatre Rhodes
  • Dr. Deborah Schutte
  • Dr. Erik Templeton
  • Dr. Paul Thornton
  • Dr. John Uffman
  • Dr. Kyle Brown

2F7A0375VIDEO: Under the Lights Film for Epilepsy Awareness Month 

In this video we take you inside a Nov. 8 screening event we hosted for the film “Under the Lights." Filmmaker and director Miles Levin joined executive producer Greg Grunberg for a virtual panel in front of a live audience at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. 

The film is the story of a teen with epilepsy who goes to prom even though he knows the lights will cause a seizure.  You can watch the film here on YouTube

The event was the brainchild of M. Scott Perry, M.D., head of neurosciences at the Jane and John Justin Institute for Mind Health at Cook Children’s. As part of the event, Dr. Perry also presented Epilepsy Hero Awards to several top performers in the department. 


gratitude wall ROB 6On the Move: Gratitude Wall

A quick update on the Gratitude Wall, giant boards where employees are invited to complete a sticker with thoughts about thankfulness to share with colleagues. The mobile wall is taking a tour to several locations. 

The display has made an appearance at the Rosedale Office Building, the Medical Center-Fort Worth and the clinic at 750 8th Ave. The next stop is Cook Children’s Home Health in Fort Worth, followed by Calmont office building and then the Medical Center – Prosper. 

Many thanks to the teams in Facilities Management and Facility Appearance for moving the Gratitude Wall from place to place.


2024 Research Symposium

Registration is open for the 2024 Research Symposium, scheduled for Feb. 29-March 1, 2024. The Research Symposium celebrates and acknowledges the research activities happening under the blue peaks. This event will highlight innovative research studies that have been conducted across Cook Children’s by various investigators. These studies have influenced clinical practices, improved quality initiatives, and have contributed immensely to the scientific community.

The event will kick off with keynote speaker Paul Thornton, M.D., with a talk about the Hyperinsulinism Center. 

Registration for in -person attendance: click here

Registration for recorded option only: click here

To submit an abstract: CCHCS Research Symposium 2024


junior volunteersJunior Volunteer Applications Open Now

Cook Children's offers high school students who are interested in working with patients and families, and/or have a career interest in the medical or a related field, the chance to volunteer during the summer. Serving others as a Junior Volunteer provides a very rewarding experience, personal growth, and an opportunity to give back to the community. 

The Junior Volunteer application portal is open from Dec. 1, 2023 through Feb. 1, 2024 for the summer of 2024. Teens who are between 15-18 years of age as of June 1, 2024 are welcome to apply online.