13
February
2024
|
09:45 AM
America/Chicago

Cook Children’s Named to No. 3 Spot on Forbes 2024 “America’s Best Large Employers” Award List

We Were Also Named No. 1 In The "Health Care and Social Services" Industry Category!

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Forbes 2024 "America's Best Large Employers" Award

Values Cook Children’s Health Care System earned a top spot on Forbes 2024 America’s Best Large Employers award list, coming in at No. 3 out of a lineup of 600. The rank acknowledges something we already knew — Cook Children’s is one of the best places to work among all large businesses across all industries nationwide.  To add to our impressive showing, we were named No. 1 in the "health care and social services" industry category among large employers on the list. To view the entire list, click here and scroll down. 

Rankings are determined by a survey of thousands of Americans working for large companies defined as having more than 5,000 employees. The survey was administered by a national market research firm. Respondents remain anonymous and the companies on the list do not pay a fee to be included.

“It’s a huge honor to be recognized in this way on such a national level because it speaks directly to the culture we are working so hard to build here. One where our employees feel valued, supported and connected to our Promise, to our patients and to each other,” said Rick W. Merrill, Cook Children’s President and CEO. “It’s our people that make this place magical, and now the entire country is getting a glimpse of that magic.”

A number of criteria was used in the survey to evaluate companies, including working hours, gender pay equity, opportunities for training and promotion, workload expectations, parental leave benefits, the degree of diversity on the management team and whether employees would recommend the company to their friends and family, according to Forbes.

In recent years, Cook Children’s launched a number of initiatives to promote many of these gold standards for growing a healthy and happy workforce.

Healthy and Happy Employees Lead To Excellence

Let's CelebrateWorking in health care can be personally and professionally fulfilling, but it’s no secret that it can also be hard. The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on health care workers across the globe, and exposed the burnout weighing on physicians, nurses and staff. Several internal surveys and listening sessions gave us a glimpse into the burnout Cook Children’s employees at all levels of the organization were experiencing.

“Our listening strategy is an investment in our people. Honest feedback helps us discover opportunities to improve and helps bring together leaders and teams to collaborate on solutions. No matter what your role is at Cook Children’s, your well-being matters,” said Kathy McLean, Cook Children’s Vice President of Brand and Team Experience.

In response, we are making meaningful changes and developing programs that reduce stress, support employee well-being both on and off the job, and cultivate a culture where employees feel like family.

“When we use our culture to build everything – from system strategies to our day-to-day work – we can deliver care that puts our employees and the children at the forefront of everything we do,” Kathy said.

It all starts with seeing the world through the eyes of others, whether it’s patients, family or staff. This gives us a unique perspective on where things are working well, as well as the opportunities we have to grow and evolve. Your feedback has been the catalyst for initiatives like the Employee Resource Groups supporting the many faces and voices within our organization, and the effort to reduce waste through a program called LESS: Let’s Eliminate Senseless Stuff.

We’ll be talking a lot more about LESS in the near future, but the idea is to identify processes within the business of health care that do not add value to patient care or to your workday and should therefore be eliminated. It can be an outdated process, an unnecessary step in documentation in the medical record, or anything that does not benefit our patients or our staff members.

“We want every individual and leader to feel empowered to eliminate waste and make every precious action meaningful,” said Megan Chavez, Cook Children’s vice president of Experience.

In all of our employee benefit efforts — from providing primary care and mental health counseling for you and your families through Care ATC, to supporting your career development through tuition reimbursement, to expanded parental leave — our goal is to connect the dots for your well-being. We know that helps pave the way for the safe, kind, respectful, collaborative, generous and imaginative care of our patients and their families. A healthy, valued and supported workforce allows us all to deliver on our shared Promise of “Everything for the child.”

“You cannot pour from an empty cup,” Megan said. “We believe in protecting the noble profession of caring for others by protecting our staff’s well-being and allowing them the autonomy they need to bring their best self to the job. We have the honor of caring for families, often on their worst day. That can take a toll, and we recognize and support the healing needed to continue to be present for the next situation we will encounter.”

A Place Where Magic Happens

Forbest post Rick Merrill knows first-hand how connecting the dots leads to magical experiences for staff and patients. Years ago, a chance encounter with a 10-year-old patient during rounds on the cancer unit led to Mr. Merrill becoming a camp buddy to that patient. The friendship that emerged with the patient and his family made an indelible impact on Mr. Merrill and the significance he finds in his work at Cook Children’s. When the patient passed away after a long and brave fight with a rare disease, the family even asked Mr. Merrill to speak at their child’s memorial.

If you visit the Infusion Unit, you’ll see a painting there depicting a beautiful underwater seascape created by this patient who was also a talented artist.

The patient named everything in the painting, portraying himself as a smiling dolphin breaching the water. The whales are his doctors, the sun is God, the schools of fish, his nurses. At the center of the painting is an oyster with a pearl inside. The pearl is Cook Children’s and the oyster is Mr. Merrill because, as the patient once told his nurses, “{Rick. Merrill} is the protector of Cook Children’s.”

“That is about as meaningful and fulfilling as it gets in any career or job that you could choose,” Mr. Merrill said. “It really illustrates the power of connection, and the profound impact we have in pediatric health care. The truth is, we are all protectors of Cook Children’s. I know these magical moments are happening day in and day out all throughout our organization. It’s what makes this place special, and we’ll continue working to make this a place that our employees are proud to come to every day.”

Comments 1 - 19 (19)
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jason saenz
20
February
2024
Very happy to have the privilege of working at Cook Childrens Hospital, this job is the answer to many prayers. The people that work here are amazing.
Ashley Antipolo
14
February
2024
Congratulations, Cook Children's for this awesome recognition! It is a true privilege to be part of this team dedicated to the Cook Promise and, importantly, to have an employer that supports us in our pursuit of that greater good for our patients. Looking forward to more great things to come!
Cindy
14
February
2024
I retired from Cook in 2022. I worked a total of 48 years. My 12 years with Cook were the most satisfying of my whole career. Cook Children's truly cares about their patients and their employees. 💕
Dana Walraven
14
February
2024
Wow, this is a remarkable accomplishment! I am thrilled for our beloved health system for receiving top honors at such a high level of recognition...so well-deserved. As an employee of 25 years, I have watched our health system grow and advance in such important ways, always keeping the needs of its patient families, community, and employees in the forefront. Quality, care and safety is made a priority in every decision. I am proud to have learned so much while working at Cook Children's and offer my congratulations to our system as a whole. Way to go!!!
Julie Lyon
14
February
2024
I am proud to work at this amazing place that helps so many families. It is fulfilling to be able to be a part of it all. Congratulations Cook Childrens!
Mary Lou Guajardo
14
February
2024
I AM HONORED TO BE WORKING IN SUCH A WONDERFUL PLACE. THANK YOU COOK CHILDREN'S!!!
Melissa Williams
13
February
2024
When my niece was young she was admitted into Cooks and she had the beat care and from that moment i knew i wanted to work for Cooks and now im going on 9yrs here and i can truly say "I LOVE where i work" best 9yrs and many more to go!!
Sheri Bailiff
13
February
2024
This is an amazing award and well deserved. Cook Children's is the best place to work.
Barb, Kimberly
13
February
2024
Cook Childrens is a magical place! I am not surprised others can see this and their commitment to improving the health and quality of life of children. It is an honor and blessing to be a part of the Cook family!
MA020015 MARKETSHIA JONES
13
February
2024
So awesome and well deserved
Brandon Krausse
13
February
2024
From the moment I stepped into orientation, I sensed that this organization was unlike any I had encountered before. The unwavering commitment to safety and our patients permeated every aspect of the new hire experience. But it wasn’t just lip service—our organization demonstrated its dedication through tangible actions, ensuring that employees were empowered to fulfill our mission.

I am genuinely thrilled to be part of this remarkable company each and every day.
Justin Catalani
13
February
2024
This award does not surprise me one bit. I've been here 3 years with hopefully many more to come, and I feel so blessed to be a part of the Cook family. Well deserved!
Anna Denton
13
February
2024
I have been here for going on 6 years. It is absolutely one of the best decisions I have EVER made to work for CCMC.
Kara Starnes
13
February
2024
What an incredible national recognition for the place that we all know is special and worthy of accolades. I am so honored to be part of this incredible institution and to carry out the Promise of Cook Children's for my patients with every encounter.
CYNTHIA COVIN
13
February
2024
So happy to be part of the team. I love the relationship our doctors have with our patients.
Joy McInnis, LVN/Clinical Coordinator
13
February
2024
I am not native to Texas therefore I had no knowledge about Cook Children's Healthcare System when I was seeking employment to move here nearly 14 years ago. I was advised by a good friend to apply because "Cook's reputation is impeccable". Well, I took her advice and almost 8 years later I'm proud to say I'm still employed here and thriving. Thank you, Cook Children's, for the "Promise" that you continuously show to our patients, their families and our staff each and every day. Kudos to Mr. Rick Merrill for your vision and leadership in helping the Cook Children's legacy continuously achieve top honors!
JA013663 JACQUELINE BARNES
13
February
2024
What an honor to be a part of something this big!! This is an impressive list of employers, and Cook Children's is number three!! This is awesome.
Beard, Berbalyn
13
February
2024
I have been here a long time altogether 39 years and i have always loved working at Cook Childrens. I stand with proudness and confidence when someone ask me where you work. I started in 1985 and i love Cook Childrens. We are a family and care about the children and each other. This acknowledgment doesn't surprise me at all. We are the best.
Gonsman, Elizabeth
13
February
2024
it's been an honor to work at Cook Childrens....