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Connect Newsletter (Sept. 21, 2023)


Connect Newsletter                                       
Sept. 21, 2023

VIDEO: Employee Resource Groups Launch Parties 

Prosper ERG party 9-19-23Hundreds of employees in Prosper and Fort Worth have gathered to learn more about the company's four Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), meet the group chairs, and join an ERG. The events were a fun and festive affair, with employees dancing to music provided by a DJ, picking up special T-shirts, and posing for photos. Employees eagerly mingled with the group chairs to learn more about the different ERGs and how to get involved. 

Watch the festivities at Prosper now and look for scenes from Fort Worth next week!

Our ERGs will play an important role in creating a more inclusive and supportive workplace. They'll offer opportunities for employees to connect with others who share their interests and experiences, and they provide a platform for employees to share their ideas and perspectives. We have four ERGs:

  • Black/African American (BAA+) 
  • Latinos Engaging, Advancing, Developing & Supporting (L.E.A.D.S.+) 
  • Pride+ (LGBTQ+) 
  • Veterans+ 

But here’s something you should know. ERGs are open to anyone who wants to join, whether you're a part of that specific group or not. Everyone is welcome!

And this is just the beginning. We have plans to create additional groups starting next year.

Look for more photos from the Prosper and Fort Worth events soon!

ICYMI: Find out more about the Veterans ERG, the very first Employee Resource Group at Cook Children's, and how its leaders paved the way for the future groups. The Veterans ERG began six years ago. 



Microsoft Teams: What You Need to Know 

What Is Miscrosoft TeamsWe are all so excited that Microsoft Teams will be arriving as a system-wide project on Oct. 4. This means that employees will have access to Teams on Cook Children's-owned computers and will be encouraged to have group chats, meetings, voice and video calls, share files, and work together with others on your computer. Read details here.



VIDEO: The Importance of Being There for One Another

Please take 5 minutes to watch this important video from Anthony Anani, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist and Chief Medical Officer for Cook Children's Medical Center - Prosper. He speaks from the heart about the importance of checking in one another and yourself.

In addition, this Suicide Prevention Month, Cook Children's announced that it will be offering an evidence-based suicide prevention training program that teaches staff how to engage, interpret, and respond to peers experiencing suicidal ideations. It's called Question, Persuade, Refer Training, or QPR for short. QPR training is being introduced first to employees at Cook Children's Medical Center-Fort Worth this fall, and will expand to additional locations starting next year. Read more about QPR here.



2023 Halloween Hoopla Save the Date for Oct. 31

Hoopla Announcement Photo Option 1Get your costumes, group skits and décor ready and mark your calendars for Oct. 31. The hybrid Halloween Hoopla events will include a live event at 2:30 p.m. at the Medical Center-Fort Worth. There will also be a virtual costume contest across the system that day. 

Our goal is for all Cook Children’s employees to share magical moments happening from wherever you work. From costumes to skits, Halloween Hoopla truly showcases the creativity in all of us and we invite you to participate and connect with one another. Registration forms for on-campus and virtual costume and skit contests will be posted on CookNet next week.

All employees are invited to wear costumes Oct. 28 to 31.

We would love to hear about how you plan to celebrate Hoopla at your location. Please email Amy.Smith@cookchildrens.org for support or questions. 


NICU Nurse and Son Inspire Others with Their Story of Resilience

valerieandmarquisMeet Valerie Shorten, BSN, RN. Her journey at Cook Children's started in the cafeteria, and then took her to the NICU as a secretary. Now she is a NICU nurse. She is also the mom of a patient with his own incredible story of healing at Cook Children's. 

Read all about Valerie's career and how Cook Children's cared for her son. Their story was recently featured on Good Morning America.


Inside Cook Children's: How Patient Family Surveys Make a Difference 

Jan Althouse photoDo you know that more than 3,600 comments come in from the Press Ganey patient family surveys each month? And Jan Althouse, Patient Survey Program Manager, reads every one of them before sharing with leaders on the units. Eighty percent of the comments are positive ones – a testament to the dedication of Cook Children’s employees. 

This feedback is crucial for improving the care that we provide. Employees and families who visit Cook Children’s providers receive a survey soon after their appointment and it includes 20-30 questions. Scores are used to set system goals based on the survey question relating to the likelihood of recommending Cook Children’s or their specific physician. 

“I see myself as the voice of the patient families,” Jan said. “I want them to know we hear what they’re saying and we’re going to do something about it.” 

If you've ever wondered about how these surveys work and the importance of comments from our patient families about their experiences at Cook Children's, read all about it here. 


Coming Together: Prosper's First Town Hall

Dr. Anani Selfie - Town Hall(2)Employee town halls are valuable tools in which employees from all areas of the organization can come together to hear from leadership, ask questions, and share feedback. Leaders from the Prosper campus hosted the Cook Children's Prosper Inaugural Town Hall on Sept. 12. Read more here.


Spotlight on Cook Children's Value of Generosity

valuesChief Development Officer Grant Harris, senior vice president of the W.I. Cook Foundation, is passionate about the value of generosity. As a community engagement leader for Cook Children's Health Care System, he takes his role to heart.

Thursday, Sept. 21 is North Texas Giving Day. While the term "giving" is often associated with generosity, Grant prefers the term "generosity" because of its more inclusive and expansive nature. To him, generosity goes beyond transactional giving. It embodies a way of being, a mindset that influences all aspects of life. Learn more about how we can embrace generosity as a value of our System.


Lab Specialists Achieve Hematology Certification Milestone

Congratulations to a team of Medical Laboratory Scientists, who recently became double board-certified Specialists in Hematology. They work in a dedicated lab in the Hematology Clinic, and are responsible for testing, including complete blood counts, flow cytometry, assisting with bone marrow collection. 

Congratulations for your hard work in preparing for the ASCP certification exam. It is a testament to your dedication and connection to our clinicians and our patient families. 
- Jennifer Watson, MLS(ASCP), SHCM – Lead Medical Laboratory Scientist 
- Michelle Salts, MLS(ASCP)CM, SHCM – Medical Laboratory Scientist 
- Melissa Walters, MLS(ASCP)CM, SHCM – Medical Laboratory Scientist


Take Action for National Preparedness Month: Think. Prepare. Act.

Sept is Preparedness MonthMake a plan with your household members. It could protect your life and the lives of those around you. When disaster strikes, city services may be cut off and local disaster relief and government responders may not be able to reach you. You need to have plans and supplies in place in case you need to make it on your own, at least for a limited time, no matter where you are. 

Also, have a plan in case you are at work when disaster strikes. This can include having alternative child/adult care, transportation, and sleep arrangements, as well as a communication plan with your loved ones. Click on this link to fill in some information that will develop a pocket-sized emergency plan. It only takes a few minutes. 



Around Cook Children's





Retirement Announcement for Kevin Dahle, Pharmacist

Kevin Dahle, RPH PhotoKevin Dahle, Medical Center-Fort Worth Pharmacist, is retiring from the System on Sept. 29 after 30 years of service to Cook Children’s. Thank you so much, Kevin, for your three decades of service and dedication to Cook Children's and our patient families. 

We encourage you to take a moment to send Kevin a farewell note or a congratulatory eCard by Sept. 28.