15:46 PM

This is No Fairy Tale: We’re Creating A Magical Moment for Cook Children’s Employees

April 10, 2023


From Rick W. Merrill, President & CEO, & the Entire Cook Children’s Leadership Team

Hello and happy spring!

We are writing you today with an exciting and enchanted announcement. One that we hope will brighten your day and give you a sunny outlook for the fast-approaching summer.

But, first, we want to take a moment to thank you. This past year at Cook Children’s has been very busy and demanded a lot from all of us. We launched a new brand and culture platform, opened a new medical center in Prosper, celebrated our 105th birthday, and expanded and completely revamped the Dodson Specialty Clinics building. We did all of this and more while working tirelessly through one of the toughest and busiest sick seasons in recent memory.

It’s been challenging, but the Cook Children’s family never fails to rise to the moment. You bring the magic every day, even when you are tired. You show kindness, generosity and respect no matter your stress level. Imagination, collaboration and safety guide your work, even when it requires extra steps.

Magic DustWe are so grateful for all of your hard work and dedication. We recognize you are seeing both cost-of-living and wage increases in the markets we serve and that can be a hardship for many. To retain our valuable employees like you, we remain committed to providing you with competitive compensation and a strong culture in hopes that you know how much we value you. But actions are always more powerful than words. And that leads us to this exciting announcement!

To show our appreciation, all employees (up through director) will receive a Magical Moment Bonus of up to $3,000!

Yes, $3,000 based on your employment status!*

Paying out on May 12, during Employee Appreciation Month, this bonus is not tied to any performance measures or patient experience incentive goals. It’s simply a way to say thank you as we look forward to the sunny days ahead, and we hope you will be able to create a few moments of magic of your own in your life away from work.

We hope it helps you enjoy those sunny days just a little more by easing some of the financial stress and any barriers in your personal life. We hope it gives you the room to take that family vacation, expand your garden, have a cookout to connect with family and friends, sprinkle surprises for loved ones, or just purchase some new tires or something else you need or want. You deserve it!

And we’re not stopping here. As you know, we’ve recently completed the burnout survey and are conducting a number of focus groups and listening sessions to help us better see the world through your eyes. We’re learning a lot from you, and we’re using this information to guide our actions in improving the employee experience.

 A few key points for open enrollment for benefits this summer and other compensation efforts:


  • For the second year in a row, there will be NO increase in any health care premiums or out-of-pocket costs for you.
  • You’ll even see some reductions on deductibles and other costs.
  • To put this all in perspective, we spend $105,000,000 - that’s right, $105 MILLION a YEAR - on health care costs for our employees and we all know these costs are rising across the U.S., but YOU will not see an increase in your costs for fiscal year 2024. Beyond next year we would anticipate the need to increase our health care premiums as health care costs are projected to keep increasing.


  • Over the last year, hundreds of positions in the system have had a market review and adjustments have been made to dozens of roles.
  • We are absolutely continuing to review the market around pay and benefits now and regularly in the future. When there are any changes and/or adjustments needed, we will share the details with you. 

We want Cook Children’s to be a place where you feel fulfilled in your work and like a member of the family. We will continue to take the things you’re telling us that matter most to you and build those into our employee experience framework.

Case in point: We hope you are looking forward to our new HR, Finance and Supply Chain system called Workday which goes live this summer. Based on your role, you’ll have various training opportunities that will help you enhance your HR experiences with Workday.  A lot of decisions are being made and conversations are being had around enhancements to our compensation and benefits, but based on the timing of the rollout of Workday, many of these changes cannot be implemented until the end of the fiscal year or after. Please hang in there with us as we continue building and testing this new system tailored for you and push ahead for the launch of Workday.

In closing, all the details for the Magical Moment Bonus are here. including how to verify your FTE status. If you have any questions about any of it, please reach out to your manager.

The entire leadership team at Cook Children’s is grateful for you. Thank you for all that you do. 

Now, go sprinkle some magic around for your family and those you care about.