12:43 PM

Employee Appreciation Day 2023


March 3 is Employee Appreciation Day and we've called for nominations for a team or department you'd like to shoutout. Though these teams or departments were nominated by individuals, we are all one team at Cook Children's, and no one's work goes unnoticed. Happy Employee Appreciation Day, Cook Children's would not be able to provide excellent care to our patients and families without our tremendously talented employees.  

UM Therapy Review

“I would like to recognize the Utilization Management (UM) Therapy Reviewer Team for their commitment to maintaining integrity and compassion with reviewing therapy referrals for prior authorization. The team has continued to operate in excellence and make decisions by collaborating with referring providers, therapy providers and service coordinators to ensure information is received and that decisions are made following the rules and guidelines set forth by the State of Texas. The UM Therapy Team goes above and beyond to make sure that determinations are accurate, timely, ethical and medically necessary. The team is committed to being content experts in their respective fields of occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy. Please join me in celebrating the UM Therapy Team: Alisa MacFarland, Denise Montes, Melissa Smith, Molly McNown, Monica Sterling, Nicole Davault, Sandra Heaslet, and Suzan Skelton! Their commitment to helping our community access medically necessary therapy services is above reproach.”

- Carla Chitwood

Inpatient, Behavioral Health, Denial and Appeals

“They are a hard-working and dedicated team. They exhibit great work on a daily basis by covering for each other and helping the teammates out when needed. I appreciate all this group does to ensure their work is completed timely, and the support they give to each other.” 

- Nikki Lobdell


“I would like to give a tremendous shout out to the STAR Kids MDCP Service Coordinator team at the Health Plan. In November, they were tasked with creating over 1000 new referrals (authorizations) in a very short period of time due to a mandated code change from HHSC. Because of their hard work, all of their members were able to continue services without skipping a beat and with most not even noticing a change was made. Thank you MDCP Team!!!”

- Allison Hays

CCPN Burlerson

"I would like to send a shout out to my team. My team of physicians, NP’s, nurses, MA’s and front office staff have been amazing this year. We went from a staff of 16 to a staff of 11. We had 3 clinical staff and 2 front office staff taking care of 5 providers. Each month we had a new hire to add to the mix. During this stressful time my physicians and NP’s pitched in to help our clinical staff to keep up with their daily duties, patient care and triage.  Many days our NP worked without a nurse and our 2 front office staff answered more than 300 calls and checked in over 130 patients per day. The staff were patient centered and did not complain. I was honored to be their manager and to call them my amazing staff. We are back to being fully staff and have an awesome team. Thanks team! You are appreciated."

- Minde Hazlewood

Home Health

“Shoutout to our Children’s Home Health Team for embracing togetherness and collaborating to assure that the needs of the patients we serve within our communities, near and far are taken care of.  In an environment where needs arise at all hours and staff are needed to respond, our teams always show their generosity and kindness and assist where help is needed. From our MDSTs driving clinicians to patient visits during the ice storm, staff changing a peer's flat tire, peer collaboration through surveys, our staff are the greatest and I am privileged to be a part of this team.  I greatly appreciate you.”

- Sandra Manning

Healthy Homes Asthma Team

“This team of Community Health Workers helps families manage their child’s asthma at home. They work hard to make our services accessible and help to remove as many barriers to care the family may face in the community. They model Cook Children’s standards to connect with families/team members and elevate every experience so that families can access the education, support, and services they need to keep their kids healthy!”

- Courtney Barnard

Utilization Management

"I would like to shout out the Utilization Management Department at Cook Children’s Health Plan. This team includes an extraordinary group of Utilization Review Specialist, Registered Nurses, Licensed Vocational nurses, Licensed Professional Counselors, and Physical/Occupational/Speech Therapist that work diligent to ensure the promise of Cook Children’s Health Care System. When I think of how our team works, it reminds me of a Super Bowl half-time show. From the back stage crew to the lead performer, each person has a contribution that must be executed at the right time and place to make the final performance a success. On a daily basis, each team member ‘practices’ to make our half-time show stellar. I am proud to work with such dedicated individuals and honored to lead such an amazing team."

- Audrianna Leeper

Home Health Nurses

"BIG shoutout to the field nurse team at Home Health for creating moments of magic with each patient home they enter! Providing highly skilled procedures and infusions in a patient home requires a great deal of imagination, not only to keep the physical environment safe for the procedure, but also the emotional/psychological aspects of receiving port access, PICC/CVL dressing changes, wound vac changes, injections, infusions, ostomy care, enteral feedings/NG tube placement at home. I have had the privilege to observe the respect, kindness and trust the nurses have built with the patients we serve, and it is truly magical to see the eyes light up on the kiddos and the anxiety wash away from the caregivers.  The team is small but mighty and always generous with their time to make sure each patient is transitioned safety to home from the hospital. Another BIG “shoutout” to the internal support home health nurse team.  Each and every day the internal nurse team collaborates with the intake, pharmacy, warehouse, staffing teams, physicians and referrals sources to make sure the field nurses have the tools they need for the patient home visits. You are seen and appreciated!"

- Ann Little


"Want to give a shout-out to telecom, they’re always helping CCHH out on short notice and ensuring we’re taken care of quickly. Telecom really stepped up during the ice storm last month, providing quick service to ensure phones were routed properly and assist with implementing a fix to allow calls to be transferred to multiple people rather than all calls getting transferred to one individual person. For telecom, this might have been a little request, but for CCHH staff this was a huge relief as individuals were getting overwhelmed with up to four calls at time from answering service and this fix, allowed for calls to ring to all phones within that department and any available staff working from home would be able to answer. "

- Amanda Vespremi 

Comments 1 - 6 (6)
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Kendra Stubbs
I would like to THANK my amazing Therapy team, Nurses, Nurse practitioners, Rehab Techs, PCTs, Nurse Managers, Case Managers, Social Workers, Child Life Specialist, Chaplain, School teacher, Clinical Nurse Leaders, Pharmacists, Nutritionist, and Neuropsychologists for all the HARD work they do each and every day for each and every patient on our HIGHLY complex unit. It takes a VILLAGE to surround and support every child and they all do it seamlessly. While there are many challenges, it is such a blessing to see so many successes for our patients from this team collaborating together. Thank you all!!
Kendal Killgore
Shout out to all of the Regional Clinics. San Angelo, Midland, Abilene, Amarillo, Lubbock, and Waco. We are small but mighty!! We are always there for each other to answer phones, cover in clinics, listen, help out with questions. Good job guys!!
Monica Lopez
I want to give a HUGE shout out to the Maternal Fetal Medicine Team in Abilene!! I am thankful to be a part of a team that follows moms throughout their pregnancy. Ensuring that these babies have the best care before and after birth!! Also shout out to the Fetal Center Team who we coordinate with to schedule our patients with other providers at Cook Children's!
Brady Gendke
A huge shout out to our Home Health team who worked through the storms despite power failures and weather challenges. Each of you do what is needed to make our patients feel special and well cared for. Another shout out to our real estate team for working and collaborating with us to maintain power through generator issues. Collaboration is key to success in fulfilling our promise. Pinky's Up!!!
Claire Voss
I would like to SHOUT OUT the Outpatient Speech Language Pathologists! This team is full of inspirational clinicians who are quick to offer help, provide a listening ear, and work as a collaborative team to serve patients and families. As a newer member of this team, each question I ask has been met with "Oh, let me come talk to you" or "Give me a call." They are willing to go the extra mile for coworkers, patients, and families. This team of SLP's offers genuine empathy at every turn, truly living out the Cook Children's Promise. I am proud to call them my coworkers!
Debra Cohoon
Happy Employee Appreciation Day!!
Wanted to give a BIG Thank you to the Heritage Trace team, everyone works so hard, positive attitudes. We all work together to make the best Cook Childrens experience for all the children and families. Make my job so much easier having fantastic employees. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.