On a cold November day in the early 1900s, Fort Worth's former postmistress, Ida Turner, spotted a man in downtown Fort Worth carrying a baby in his arms.
Covered in only a light blanket, the baby was blue from the cold. The man was a physician, and the baby had been abandoned at his office. Turner purchased a warm wrap for the baby and after some investigating, learned that no hospital in Fort Worth was prepared to provide charity care to an abandoned child. She made a promise, right then and there, to find a way to build a hospital that would care for every child, regardless of the parents' ability to pay.
That chance meeting between a child in need and a caring individual is at the very root and heart of Cook Children's. It seemed like the entire community stepped in to make sure the hospital would be be built. Contributions poured in from hundreds of community members, land was donated, architects provided plans free of charge, countless tradesmen stepped in to build the hospital without any pay and scores of volunteers held fundraisers and stepped in wherever they could.
On March 21, 1918, Fort Worth's Free Baby Hospital opened, and Ida Turner's dream became a reality, built on a promise and the threads of generosity that are woven throughout the very fabric of Cook Children's 100-year history. Our history is the story of our community, of leaders, physicians and philanthropists who stepped up at critical junctures to advance pediatric health care in Fort Worth and helped Cook Children's become one of the largest and most recognized freestanding children's health care systems in the southwest.
One small child was the reason Ida Turner made that first promise. And the millions of children who have come to Cook Children's since then are why we continue to keep it.
WWI was raging through Europe, financial times were challenging and childhood life expectancy was low. But by 1919 WWI had passed, women had won the right to vote, and the women of Fort Worth had led the way for pediatric care. Baseball was fast becoming America's pastime and in New York City, the first film with sound appeared. The U.S. had grown to a population of more than 100 million people, with over 106,000 living in Fort Worth. KFJZ and WBAP radio broadcast from the city of Fort Worth was booming, and so was the Free Babies Hospital.
Songs on the radio summed up the spirit of the people of Fort Worth who made the Promise of the Free Baby Hospital, a reality: Love Will Find a Way | They Go Wild, Simply Wild Over Me | Babes in the Wood
On March 21, 1918, the Free Baby Hospital, located at 2400 Winton Terrace West, was dedicated. It contained an operating room, an incubator, X-ray room, sterilizer, formula and dietary kitchen, bathrooms and nurses quarters. The facility had its own cows to provide milk, as well as a chicken coop behind it. The garden and chickens provided eggs, poultry and vegetables to make meals for the patients. The new hospital cared for babies and small children, including chronically ill and handicapped children, many with severe birth defects.
The Free Baby Hospital (sometimes called the Free Baby Camp) had opened its doors and the community embraced it, opening its hearts with generous support in both time and money. A partnership was born between the little hospital and the people of North Texas, one that would continue to grow in the many, many years to come.
Dr. K. H. Beall was the first physician and medical director of the Free Baby Hospital. Katherine Van Doren was the first superintendent. The very first patient was a 2-month old baby who arrived at the hospital from West Texas.
The Kelvinator, an electric refrigerator, was introduced in the U.S. Not only was it a new modern convenience, but it would serve to reduce the risk of food-born diseases.
The Free Baby Hospital couldn't have opened at a more critical time. WWI was challenging the economy, and to make matters worse, the Spanish flu epidemic was sweeping the nation and the world.
Though it was new, the Free Baby Hospital was founded on generosity. There was a continuous showing of community support with volunteers showing up every day to provide care for the patients. They rolled up their sleeves and worked in every ward. Even members of the public health board and medical fraternity jumped in to do their part.
A mere six months after the hospital opened the flu struck Fort Worth. By the end of October — just one month later — as quickly as it had hit, it was over. It was the largest pandemic in modern times and it had challenged the tiny hospital. Thanks to a caring community, the little hospital was proven to be a formidable force of its own.
Philanthropy and community support were essential to the hospital — both in its construction and its early growth. Land in Fort Worth's Park Hill addition was donated for the cause, as were many of the services to build the Free Baby Hospital. Personal donations and an annual "tag day" organized by more than 30 organizations including women's clubs, church groups and civic organizations, raised funds to not only build the hospital, but to support it in the following years. One rancher from Midland, Texas, donated a heifer that was auctioned for $1,465 to benefit the hospital. Physicians donated their time to treat young patients, and volunteers from local women's groups provided support to the staff (a tradition that continues to this day). Thanks to the full support of the community, the hospital was debt free and self-sustaining after one year of operation.
To ensure there was always enough nutritious food for the children, even in the most economically trying times, the hospital had its own livestock: cows to provide fresh milk and a chicken house for eggs and poultry. There was also a large garden to provide fresh vegetables. Area farmers donated hay to help feed the cows and seeds for the garden.
The first pediatrician office was opened in Fort Worth by Dr. Edwin G. Schwarz. He was the first doctor in the city to limit his practice to children, and he would play an important role in the development of pediatric care.
He began working with the Free Baby Hospital, and later at W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital. Dr. Schwarz would also be memorialized many years later when the two hospitals merged, dedicating the Edwin G. Schwarz Health Sciences Library in his honor.
Over his career, he encouraged other early pediatricians to establish practices in the city.
Baseball was becoming a national pastime, and Fort Worth had its very own team, the Fort Worth Cats. They sure knew how to fill the stands. No doubt they inspired many kids to take up the sport, many of whom probably wound up at either Dr. Schwarz's office or the Free Baby Hospital for a little patching up.
The people of Fort Worth and surrounding cities and counties showed the true meaning of community spirit. Groups like The Bambino Society not only saw the need to care for all children, but saw it as an opportunity to encourage the involvement of "more fortunate" children to help children in need.
Like so many of the organizations who were behind the Free Baby Hospital, the Bambino Society was formed by a group of women who believed in its mission and were determined to make it a success.
British scientist Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, a discovery that would save lives all around the world and right here in Fort Worth.
Volunteers are cherished at Cook Children's, and their importance was established in those very early years at the Free Baby Hospital. Some of the earliest volunteers included members of the local women's groups who volunteered their time to cook meals for the patients and staff.
By 1923, the hospital had certainly filled a need for pediatric medical care in the community. Services were expanded to include all children and, because it was so busy, a second floor was added and opened up to private patients. Private patients paid for their own hospitalization. But true to Ida's wishes, no child in need of medical care was ever turned away because a parent or guardian was unable to pay.
From 1919 to 1923, Fort Worth's population grew along with the patient population at the Free Baby Hospital. By 1923, the hospital expanded its services to include children of all ages and its name was changed to "Fort Worth Children's Hospital." It soon outgrew its space, so a second floor was added to accommodate the growing number of patients.
But growth at the young hospital wasn't the only change taking place. About that same time, another woman was about to change the entire trajectory of health care in Fort Worth ...
When Matilda Nail Cook struck oil in 1926, she didn't see it as becoming rich, instead she had a vision of building a hospital that would enrich the lives of the women and children of Fort Worth.
Missouri Matilda Nail was born July 31, 1858, in Fannin County, the 5th of 10 children. She married William Ivy Cook on January 4, 1877. In 1885 the couple purchased a ranch to raise cattle in partnership with Matilda's brother, James H. "Jim" Nail. Matilda and her husband later bought Jim out and the property became known as the Cook Ranch.
Matilda Cook's life was not without challenges. Before the oil boom, she suffered the loss of her only daughter, Jesse, during childbirth in 1901. In 1923, her husband suffered a heart attack and she was widowed. Her brother Jim was worried about his sister's future financial stability since he saw Cook Ranch as, "the sorriest piece of land in the county." But, everything changed in 1926 when oil was discovered on the property and the first well began gushing 1,000 barrels a day.
With her sudden influx of oil wealth, Mrs. Cook decided to leave a legacy of caring for others. Assisted by her attorney, she established the W.I. Cook Memorial Trust with the intent of creating a hospital in memory of her beloved husband and daughter.
A true gift of love, the 55-bed W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital opened in its grand Italian Renaissance Revival style building at 1212 West Lancaster Street on January 28, 1929.
In 1924, frozen foods and disposable napkins were introduced. Freezing fruits and vegetables allowed them to be available year-round. Napkins helped to reduce the spread of germs (and prevent greasy little fingerprints from appearing on the furniture). In 1926, Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to swim the English Channel, and she set a new record of 14 hours and 39 minutes. In 1928, Sonja Henie won her first of three Olympic gold medals. In Fort Worth, the vision of another woman would make history with the opening of the W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital.
Songs on the radio summed up the spirit of the people of Fort Worth who made the Promise of the Free Baby Hospital, a reality: Singin' In the Rain | When You're Smiling | You Were Meant for Me
In the spring of 1926, oil was found on the Cook ranch. On July 11, it was announced that Mrs. Cook would donate the oil royalties from her 20,000 acre Cook ranch to endow the hospital.
Mrs. Cook established the W.I. Cook Memorial Trust in Fort Worth. Included in the original trust were an initial contribution of $300,000 in oil royalties from the Cook Ranch and the land for the hospital site on West Lancaster Street, then valued at $50,000. In August 1926, Mrs. Cook began a series of eight donations totaling an additional $300,000 to pay for construction costs.
Her gifts purchased the land, paid for construction of the original building and provided endowment support from the royalties of the Cook oil field. Her vision and generosity has provided millions of dollars of support for the operation and maintenance of Cook Children's. Her combined gifts comprise the largest philanthropic gift in the history of Cook Children's Health Care System.
Mrs. Cook further enriched the trust by assigning one-fourth interest in the royalties from her ranch to create the Cook General Fund, which produced approximately $30,000 annually in the late 1920's to support hospital operations.
Upon her death in 1932, Mrs. Cook gifted another one-fourth interest in her oil royalties as an endowment fund to be used for the support and maintenance of the W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital. Her generosity provided an additional $30,000 annually to support the hospital, ensuring that her vision would continue on.
Plans for the new hospital got underway. Mrs. Cook was very active in the planning of the hospital because she wanted to ensure that every single detail reflected the love she had for her husband and child, and for the community she cherished. Because of the size of the project, she also enlisted the aid of her niece, Jewel Nail Bomar, wife of Fort Worth businessman William P. Bomar. Her brother, Robert Nail, assisted her in business affairs.
Little Orphan Annie made her first cartoon appearance. Disposable paper handkerchiefs, called Celluwipes, were introduced to catch sneezes and coughs and mop little runny noses. Later called Kleenex, many a mom also found them useful for dabbing smudges from the faces of their children.
On January 17, 1929, a few days before the grand opening of the new W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital, a dedication ceremony was held. The hospital was a "gift to humanity" from Mrs. Cook and she dedicated it in memory of her husband and her daughter saying, "If God lets me live," Mrs. Cook was reported to have said, "I'll put the sunshine of their lives into the lives of others."
The W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital opened on January 28, 1929, with much fanfare.
When the W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital opened in its grand Italian Renaissance Revival style on January 28, 1929, it was true monument of Matilda Nail Cook's love for the memory of her husband and daughter, and for her fellow North Texans. At a cost of over $1 million, it was also considered one of the most modern hospitals known to science.
To complement its modern Italian style, many of the furnishings were brought in from Italy. Mrs. Cook personally selected the materials to ensure the integrity of the design and comfort she envisioned.
There was an X-ray department, emergency operating room, treatment rooms and a physical therapy room. Patient rooms had "noiseless" floors made of composition rubber, and at the head of each bed was a call light system, an emergency bell, a telephone and a radio. All rooms had private tiled bathrooms, with running ice water (brrrr), built-in cabinets, shower baths and tubs. And, of course, bedpan washers.
The operating rooms were equipped with the latest technology and had the input of physicians to assure efficiency.
A laboratory allowed for research as well as testing and pathology.
At the time, a 30-bed hospital was considered large and meant more staff and patients. In turn, that meant more people to feed. So, a large, well-equipped kitchen was designed to provide meals for staff, patients and visitors.
Sunshine and fresh air were considered important to patient care and health. To accommodate this, the second floor featured a sun parlor and an open air promenade. And, of course, there was a well-appointed medical library.
When the doors opened to patients on January 28, a new era in medical care would open as well.
W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital opened with 30 beds and housed a physician clinic provided to Drs. Frank C. Beall and K. H. Beall — two brothers who had cared for Mrs. Cook's late husband during his illness. The original medical staff included just 18 physicians who cared for adult patients of the Beall Clinic. Dr. K. H. Beall served as the medical director of the hospital until his death in 1946.
Miss Angelica Didier was the W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital's first superintendent and director of nursing. She was also instrumental in the planning and design of the building and continued to serve for 29 years, retiring in 1952.
As the 1920s came to an end, the world was going through economic changes. On October 29, 1929, the U.S. Stock Market came crashing down, taking the economy with it, and so it was named Black Tuesday. Even Fort Worth, which had experienced a 10-year long oil boom and exponential growth, would feel the effects of The Great Depression that followed.
Upon her death, Mrs. Cook gifted another one-fourth interest in her oil royalties as an endowment fund to be used for the support and maintenance of the W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital. Her generosity provided another $30,000 annually to support the hospital, ensuring that her vision would continue on.
Thanks to the oil boom in North Texas, much had been accomplished in just a few short years. The future of health care in Fort Worth had grown and culminated with the opening of not one, but two hospitals founded by two extraordinary women. But even as pediatric care was growing, dark times were closing in on the world and it was in for a long and turbulent ride. First came the Great Depression, that would last for nearly 12 years, followed by WWII. But, Fort Worth and the two children's hospitals would survive – and as the war came to an end and the soldiers came home, a whole new boom was about to begin.
The Baby Boom inspired a whole new generation of new ideas and generosity
The lean war years had stretched Fort Worth Children's Hospital and W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital to their limits, and the coming baby boom and a polio epidemic would create new challenges and inspire new ideas in pediatric health care.
On September 2, 1945, the war was declared over. Everyone in the military was coming home. It wouldn't be long before the ensuing baby boom and a devastating polio outbreak would fill hospitals beyond capacity. But the lean war years and the depression had been hard on the nation and Fort Worth, including the hospitals. By the late 1940s, the W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital had fewer adult patients and wasn't really equipped to care for the increasing number of pediatric patients. At the same time, the Fort Worth Children's Hospital was still in the house on Winton Terrace West. It, too, was in declining condition and was much too small to meet the growing demand. The polio epidemic was placing an enormous burden on both hospitals. An extensive civic study underscored Fort Worth's most urgent need a well-equipped crippled children's hospital.
An extremely successful cotton merchant, rancher and oil man, Tom B. Owens, had left nearly his entire estate, valued at approximately $1,500,000, to the Tom B. Owens Trust. Under the terms of his trust, these funds were to be used to enrich a Fort Worth hospital that could provide rehabilitation, care and cure for crippled children, provided that said institution was previously endowed with not less than $400,000 for its plan and operation. This sparked an idea, why not merge Fort Worth Children's Hospital and W.I. Cook and create one large children's hospital?
The Owens trustees, seeking to merge the two hospitals, initiated discussions with members from the W.I. Cook board and the Fort Worth Children's Hospital board. However, there was resistance from the heirs of Matilda Cook, who felt it violated the conditions of her trust.
In addition, there was much disagreement between the boards of the two hospitals about how the merger would work.
For a time, the merger became a divisive element in the community. In an attempt to move the merger forward and restore community harmony, Amon G. Carter published a letter in the Fort Worth Star Telegram urging the W.I. Cook Hospital trustees to agree with a proposal put forth by the trustees at Fort Worth Children's Hospital. The letter drew a great deal of community support but, alas, to no avail — an agreement between the two could not be reached.
Ultimately, the Tom B. Owens Trust merged with the W.I. Cook Memorial Trust and become the Tom B. Owens Division for Crippled Children of the W.I. Cook Memorial Trust. By 1952, W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital was converted from a general hospital to a children's hospital. It would be another three decades before the two would finally merge.
But even though the two hospitals didn't merge, their competition over the next few years would serve to advance pediatric care. And, thanks to the ongoing generosity of their boards, women's groups and the community, they continued grow — and so did the pediatric medical community.
The war was over, and the spirit of the nation, the state, and the people of Fort Worth was one of optimism. In just a little more than nine months after the troops returned home, a chorus of newborn baby cries could be heard in hospital nurseries across the nation — a trend that would continue until 1962. At the same time, a polio epidemic would sweep across the nation. Children and young adults would be the hardest hit. This new found enthusiasm and the daunting epidemic would challenge the nation, and the human spirit, inspiring all sorts of new innovations in the medical world, including Fort Worth Children's Hospital and W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital.
Polio began sweeping the nation, and no other state was harder hit than Texas. With a booming child population and the polio epidemic rampant among children, both Fort Worth Children's Hospital and W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital were pushed to the limits of their capacity.
The post-war baby boom coincided with the outbreak of polio. Outbreaks of both occurred from the Pan Handle in the north to the southernmost Rio Grande Valley, El Paso to the west and Texarkana in the east, and the polio epidemic grew at a rapid pace. The disease didn't discriminate between rich and poor, or the color of one's skin. It did, however, hit children the hardest.
In most cases, poliomyelitis, or polio, acted more like a mild flu and didn't do any serious damage. In more serious cases, though, the virus could attack the spinal cord or respiratory system, causing paralyzation, deformity and in the worst cases, loss of life. Children with spinal cord issues were often hospitalized and kept in braces and even full body casts in an attempt to prevent crippling deformities. Many children faced rehabilitation therapy while in the hospital, and for many months or years afterward.
Children with the respiratory strain were placed on ventilators or, in extreme cases, their entire body was placed in iron lungs—large tube-shaped machines that would breathe for them.
Children suffered, and so did their families, as the stress of caring for a critically ill child took its emotional toll, and the cost of long-term care took its financial toll. So high were the costs on all fronts, that every civic organization, community leader and wealthy family was inspired to raise funds to ensure that no child in North Texas would be turned away due to an inability to pay. To this day, it is this kind of generosity that helps us keep our Promise to our ever-growing community.
It was on September 1, 1952, that W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital actually began life anew and was reopened as W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital Center for Children. In all, the conversion from a 30-bed general hospital to a 55-bed children's hospital required more than a year and a half. Cost of the conversion to the sponsoring trusts was $373,760.16. Thanks to the generous gift from the Tom B. Owens Trust there was no cost whatsoever to the Fort Worth and West Texas communities who were the principal beneficiaries of the change.
School children across the nation began receiving the polio vaccine, and the number of new cases began getting smaller.
Community support had helped to form the new children's hospital, but it was important to keep the community momentum going. This inspired Mrs. Heard L. Floore to found the Woman's Auxiliary of W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital Center for Children.
Through the years, Mrs. Floore devoted countless hours to fundraising. When she wasn't raising funds, she was busy encouraging members of the community to get involved in volunteer work and support of the hospital.
In September of 1952, now operating as a pediatric hospital, W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital began receiving patients. Among them, the first post-polio patient, a 12-year-old girl, arrived to begin a program of physical therapy.
Even as the two hospitals were busy caring for children, merger talks had continued. By September, however, talks had stalled. The boards of Fort Worth Children's Hospital and W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital were still not able to reach an agreement about how the combined board would be determined, who would serve on it, and for how long.
The operating rooms at W.I. Cook had been reconfigured to better serve children. The addition of new surgical tables installed in the operating rooms at W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital would serve to make surgery more efficient.
Recognizing that children don't get ill or injured on a 9-5 work schedule, and to cope W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital, the hospital also began 24-hour operating services.
The area's first swimming pool rehab center was opened at W.I. Cook Memorial Hospital Center for Children. The pool was installed for kids recovering from polio and other physical ailments that could be helped by water therapy. To ease entry into the pool for those with more difficult challenges, a canvas sling was designed to lower patients into the water.
Nenetta Carter, along with Billie Clark, founded the Jewel Charity Ball for the sole purpose of benefiting the Fort Worth Children's Hospital. Their goal was to raise funds to help meet the financial needs of children whose families could not afford to pay for medical care. The charity was named for Jewel Nail Bomar,whose generosity and dedication was treasured by the community.
The first Jewel Charity Ball was held at the Texas Hotel. Though the turnout was small, they still raised $9,000 to benefit the children. But Nenetta's vision was for it to grow and become a very successful fundraiser for Fort Worth Children's Hospital. And grow it would, progressing to its current treasured stature in the community.
Nenetta Carter's every thought was for Fort Worth Children's Hospital. And her dedication was contagious. Her genuine love and devotion for the hospital lives on today in the members of Jewel Charity. They continue to help carry out the Promise made to a small child in 1918 that continues to guide Cook Children's to this day.
By 1954, the Salk polio vaccine began to bring an end to the terrifying epidemic in the U.S. and would eventually nearly eradicate the disease all around the globe. But the epidemic had left many children crippled, and in Fort Worth, it had underscored the need for expanded services that focused on the needs of children.
On June 10, 1954, The Fort Worth Star Telegram brought attention to a little known — but very important — department in hospitals: the medical library. The paper highlighted how essential hospital librarians are in the "Scientific Fight Against Disease." Featured in the article was Dorothy M. Meagher, a librarian at Cook Hospital Center for Children.
The medical library served as a resource center for doctors, nurses, researcers and other medical staff. Librarians also helped parents and caregivers search for information on a child's illness or medical condition. The medical library was considered a valuable resource then, and still is to this day, offering more advanced capabilities than might have been imagined back then.
Songs on the radio ... The Children's Marching Song | Step By Step | Walkin' My Baby Back Home
As the polio scare faded, the population growth in the Fort Worth area continued to increase the demand for pediatric care. Even though the two children's hospitals had not been able to reach a merger agreement, the competition between the two — and the dedication to fulfill a promise and a vision — would continue to propel the level of pediatric care in North Texas to new heights. The future vision for children was one of great promise.
Polio might have taken its toll, but it could never take the resolve of the people or their generosity. In the wake of the epidemic, the community and the two children's hospitals would consistently advance programs to ensure the health and safety of the children.
By April of 1955, thanks to the Salk vaccine, the polio epidemic was slowing down, much to the relief of parents, children and medical professionals everywhere. But, while the epidemic had eased, there was still much to be done…polio had left many children with long roads to recovery. But even they remained grateful.
The cost of care had devastated many families both rich and poor. Thanks to the support of the community, funds were raised by multiple groups to help cover the costs, in some cases, paying both W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital and Fort Worth Children's Hospital had invested in rehabilitative care as well, thanks to the generosity of donors across North Texas. This meant that many children would eventually regain part or all of their ability to return to childhood activities.
Thanks to the Salk polio vaccine the epidemic was coming under control all across the country and the nation was experiencing a generous dose of expansion. Elvis Presley, American Bandstand, and an English group called The Beatles launched a rock-and-roll craze. NASA was created to oversee the U.S. Space plan and the first Telstar satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Like the rest of the nation, Fort Worth was growing fast and the two hospitals were too.
Healthy children are the strength of a community. But it requires more than pediatric medical care. It requires keeping them safe from harm.
Before child safety caps and childproof cabinet latches, accidental poisonings were all too common among children. One of the biggest problems was not knowing what to do. Even for doctors and hospitals, knowing how to treat different types of poisoning could be a challenge. But a movement to centralize information had begun, and W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital was among the first in Texas to set up a poison control center, offering quick access to lifesaving information.
The center didn't offer treatment. Instead, information was relayed to the treating physician who would then make treatment decisions based on the information received. At the time, 9-1-1 calling didn't exist, so the center referred the public to contact their doctor directly except in situations where immediate first-aid might be required.
The center would eventually grow to cover Fort Worth, Dallas and the surrounding North Texas counties.
Dr. Edwin Schwarz was honored for his many contributions to pediatric care. Dr. Schwarz was recognized for starting the first day nursery in Fort Worth, the first children's clinic and his service as chief of staff at Cook Memorial Hospital for Children. The Tarrant County Medical Society also presented Dr. Schwarz with the "Gold Headed Cane" for his service to three generations of children.
On January 1, 1958, W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital was awarded "Type 1 Institutional Member" by the Texas Medical Association. The Texas Medical Association has a long history of promoting excellence in medical practice.
When the Fort Worth Children's Hospital trustees began talking about a new building, it was Nenetta Carter who inspired the people of the community to come together and raise the funding necessary.
Even though a merger between Fort Worth Children's Hospital and W.I Cook Memorial Hospital didn't occur in 1952, the Fort Worth Children's Hospital Board of Trustees and the Women's Board were already focused on building a larger children's hospital.
In the late 1950s, the Board of Trustees of Fort Worth Children's Hospital hired a hospital consulting firm from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to assist with selection of a building site and the program development for their new facility.
It was decided that Fort Worth Children's Hospital be located at the corner of 6th Avenue and Cooper Street adjacent to Harris Methodist Hospital so that services could be shared between the two facilities. The two hospitals also agreed that the Fort Worth Children's Hospital would construct a department of physical therapy large enough to serve both adults and children and that the two facilities would exchange services on a cost basis. Even to this day, Cook Children's and Texas Health Harris Methodist share a very good working relationship.
Writer Boris Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Dr. Zhivago and the first glimpse of advanced office technology arrived when Xerox developed the Xerographic machine making administrative work easier and more efficient.
Fort Worth Children's Hospital wasn't the only one outgrowing their space, W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital had also outgrown its capacity. Rather than move, they added a second and third floor, bringing their capacity to 100 beds.
At the Fort Worth Children's Hospital groundbreaking on Cooper Street, it was decided the children should be a part of the ceremony since it was, after all, a children's hospital.
The new hospital would be located adjacent to Harris. During construction, a tunnel was created and would connect the two hospitals so services could be shared between them. Fort Worth Children's Hospital also added a physical therapy unit that was large enough to serve children and adults. Through this deep connection between hospitals, patients could safely be transported between the hospitals and benefit from the additional services available.
Football arrived in Texas with the Dallas Cowboys. The Dallas Rangers and Fort Worth Panthers baseball teams merged to become the Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers, alternating games between Burnett Field in Dallas and La Grave Field in Fort Worth. Through the years team players began a tradition of visiting patients and cheering them up — a tradition that continues to this day.
The new Fort Worth Children's Hospital building opened on Cooper Street with 34 beds.
Built at a cost of $1,166,721, the first phase of the building was completed in 1961. Connected by an underground tunnel, babies and children could be quickly transferred from Harris to the Fort Worth Children's Hospital. In return, Fort Worth Children's Hospital received a full range of services available at Harris Methodist Hospital. In 1965, Fort Worth Children's Hospital expanded to 102 beds by adding two additional stories to its north wing and one additional story to its south wing. This building was demolished in 2001 to expand the new medical center. W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital had also outgrown their capacity and added a second and third floor, bringing their capacity to 100 beds.
Though it had barely opened two years earlier, a booming population meant plans for phase two of the Fort Worth Children's Hospital expansion got underway. The two-story expansion would feature additional beds and more services. The long-term plan was to expand the hospital to ten stories.
Actor Richard Chamberlain who had the starring role in one of the most popular TV series at the time, "Dr. Kildaire," paid a visit to patients at W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital and Fort Worth Children's hospitals. Chamberlain was joined by actor Robert Young who played the title television character of "Marcus Welby M.D."
W.I. Cook opened the first Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Clinic. Today, the program has grown to include both pediatric and adult patients. This incredible clinic is supported by teams from both the MDA and the neurology staff at Cook Children's. You can learn more about the MDA Clinic at Cook Children's here.
On the morning of November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy spoke to the local dignitaries at the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth. But his very last speech was to a crowd of some 4,000 people who had stood in the rain since before sunrise just to catch a glimpse. Instead, the president stopped to make a speech thanking them for showing up and for their support.
Two new stories were added to the north wing and one to the south wing of the Fort Worth Children's Hospital. With the opening of the new addition, the hospital nearly tripled in capacity, growing from 34 beds to 102 beds.
Texas gained national recognition for the first human heart/lung transplant. The novel, Dr. Zhivago, was made into an Oscar-winning movie starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie.
Songs on the radio included - Fever | I Feel Fine | Love Potion No. 9
By the mid 1960s, new surgical procedures opened the way for transplants and neurosurgery. New vaccines saved millions of lives around the world. Heart transplants became real, and man had not only walked on the moon, but made giant leaps for mankind. And in Fort Worth, the two children's hospitals were about to make giant leaps for pediatric care.
Celebrating its 50th birthday, Fort Worth Children's Hospital had come a long way from its first days as the Free Baby Hospital, but it never left the foundation of Ida Turner's promise.
Fort Worth Children's Hospital may have been celebrating its 50th anniversary as the oldest children's hospital in Fort Worth, or for that matter, Northwest Texas, but the true celebration was about the community who supported the hospital for the last half century.
Thanks to that support, the hospital had guided innovations that improved the health and well being for children all across the region. Hospital administrators expressed their appreciation for the donors, volunteers, and staff who had given generously and tirelessly of their time make sure that every child had access to great medical care. They also expressed gratitude to the many parents, children and families who had put their trust and lives in the hands of the pediatric doctors and nurses.
Even as they celebrated the past, hospital administrators were already looking to the future and the new innovations that awaited just beyond the horizon.
The times were changing fast, and good things were happening. The maxi dress gave way to mini dress, go-go boots were long gone, the concern for the health of the environment launched Earth Day, barcodes made the grocery checkout line move faster, personal computers became a household necessity and cell phones were in, but not anywhere near pocket-size. In medicine, the first human embryo transfer was performed, the hepatitis B vaccine was developed and the first test tube baby was born in England. Here at home in Fort Worth, a lot was happening too.
An inhalation therapy department was opened at W.I. Cook Memorial Children's to help children with respiratory conditions, including asthma and COPD. The department would eventually become Cook Children's Pulmonology, which is also home to a leading Cystic Fibrosis program, treating children and adults.
As a pediatric nurse, Mary Hurst dedicated 40 years of giving doses of medicine and love to children at both W.I. Cook and at Fort Worth Children's hospitals. Even as a small child growing up in the English countryside, Mary Hurst knew she wanted to be a nurse and follow in the steps of Florence Nightingale. After moving with her parents to Texas from England at the age of 17, she enrolled in Baylor University School of Nursing and graduated in 1926. In 1929, she found a home here in Fort Worth and her calling to care for children.
Mary Hurst was a much loved nurse who put 100 percent into looking after her patients, administering medicine, reading to them, playing games and soothing them when they were scared or tired. An excellent pediatric nurse she exemplified the quality of pediatric nursing that to this day is the foundation of our health care system today and why we have earned the distinction of being a Magnet®-designated hospital since 2006—a rare and humbling honor. Learn more about Cook Children's Nursing.
U.S. innovation reached new heights as Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first humans to walk on the moon and a vaccine for rubella was made available in the U.S.
With the recognition that many medical conditions require special diets, Fort Worth Children's Hospital opened a dietary unit. The unit would eventually become Cook Children's Nutrition Services.
Fort Worth Children's Hospital pioneered a new treatment for hyperbilirubinemia and opened its pharmacy department, ensuring patients get the medicines they need faster.
Under the leadership of Dr. Thomas S. Lipscomb, the vision for Fort Worth Children's Hospital Radiology department becomes a reality.
Dr. Rose Marie Reber oversees the opening of Fort Worth Children's Hospital Infant Intensive Care (IICU). This new unit would offer highly specialized care to medically fragile infants and infants who had undergone critical surgeries.
While not as fast as today's super slim desktop version, the team at W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital was very excited about its very first office computer, a Burroughs L9000.
Spring was in the air, and staff in Patient Relations at Fort Worth Children's Hospital had an extra spring in their steps. That's because of a new Sperry-Remington Lektriever Power-file. The automated file system held 98 feet of patient files and rotated around so all the files could be accessed in one place, at one level. No step stool required. The new technology brought the files to the staff member, saving time and steps.
After 5 months in the Fort Worth Children's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, this tiny treasure won the hearts of the staff — and of the members of the Jewel Charity, whose fundraisers helped families pay for unexpected medical costs.
Local businessman William P. Bomar was honored for 50 years of service as Chairman of Trustees at Cook Hospital.
Cook launched the Poison Education Program under the direction of Paul Wallace. The program would someday grow into Cook Children's Health and Safety Resource Center.
There are some payments that are priceless.
Cook Children's Hospital instated 24-hour physician coverage in the Emergency Room (ER). Up to this point in time, ER doctors were on call. The new system would save critical time for staff, families and especially patients.
Catherine Alexander starts the Eye Clinic at W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital. The clinic still exists today, delivering superior care to financially challenged children with visual impairments or blindness.
A full-time pediatric Hematology-Oncology clinic was started at Cook Children's Hospital. The program would reach national recognition for its research and treatments for some of the rarest cancers in infants, children, adolescents and young adults.
The Facial Malformation Clinic was opened at W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital. The clinic would evolve into the Craniofacial and Cleft Surgery program at Cook Children's.
The Cystic Fibrosis Center opened in 1979 as well. Today the center is recognized as an accredited Cystic Fibrosis Care Center. One of only a handful across the nation, this distinction offers our patients and their families access to the most advanced research and knowledge available. The center cares for children and adults, with our oldest patient being more than 60 years of age, a mom, and grandmother – a true medical accomplishment.
Pre-Op parties were created to prepare children for surgery to alleviate fear. While they're no longer called parties, putting children at ease before surgery is still a pre-op tradition today.
See how Cook Children's prepares kids for surgery in fun and unique ways to help ease their fears
April showered an amazing gift for neonatology. In its largest gift since its inception, the Jewel Charity Ball raised $239,500 to provide new incubators for tiny, fragile babies.
Research in pediatric hematology and oncology was a very important focus of the department and the hospital. Today, Cook Children's is actively involved in national research.
Songs on the radio - Poison Ivy | Imagine | How Do You Mend a Broken Heart | Don't Go Breaking My Heart
As an entirely new generation of community leaders were rising in Fort Worth, the vision of a merger between the two children's hospitals arose again. This time around it would not be without its disagreements, but over the course of next few years, a new gift of health for children would be realized.
The amazing innovation happening at both Fort Worth Children's Hospital and W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital was an inspiration to the community as members of both hospital boards and women's groups, as well as civic leaders. Here was an opportunity to finally unite the two hospitals and build a world-class pediatric hospital. That opportunity would soon appear.
There's nothing like inspiration and innovation to open the eyes of people to the possibilities that lay ahead when they come together as one. That is community spirit. And, that is what happened next.
Some say a little competition is a good thing. Others say it's a bad thing. In the case of the two children's hospitals, it was both good and bad. The earlier attempt at a merger between W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital and Fort Worth Children's Hospital had failed to happen because the leaders of the two hospitals couldn't agree on the organization of governance.
What resulted was a competition between the two. It was a good thing for patients since it brought new technologies and research to the area, as well as new and expanding pediatric specialties. But, the one-upmanship between W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital and Fort Worth Children's Hospital was costly and both hospitals often found themselves operating at a loss. Fortunately, the community continually stepped up its generosity to ensure that both hospitals could provide the necessary care to the children who came from near and far for treatment.
Somewhere along the way, members of both hospital boards realized that if they combined their efforts, they could do so much more to benefit the children, the medical staff and the community at large. So, in 1980, after some 30 years, the vision of a preeminent pediatric hospital was reignited. The two groups made the first decision they could agree on, forming the Children's Hospitals Coordinating Board Inc., closing the door on past disagreements, and opening the door on a bright new future.
Camp Sanguinity – a camp for children with cancer and blood disorders – is started by W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital. It would be the first of many more support camps. Today, there are more than 20 summer and weekend camp programs which are coordinated by our Child Life team.
Fort Worth Children's Hospital expanded its care with the opening of the area's first pediatric intensive care unit. To complement this new service, the Women's Board donated the first mobile intensive care ambulance.
January was cold, but construction began on the Fort Worth Ronald McDonald House to provide a warm and safe place to stay for families traveling from out of town so they could access the amazing pediatric care available in Fort Worth. Ronald McDonald House continues to provide a homelike environment for parents of children who need care at Cook Children's.
Another first for Fort Worth Children's Hospital was the opening of the Neonatal Progressive Nursery. The nursery would eventually become Cook Children's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Winter had been cold, but construction began on the Fort Worth Ronald McDonald House,. Here, families traveling from out of town to access the amazing pediatric care available in Fort Worth would find a warm and safe place to stay. Ronald McDonald House continues to provide a comfortable home-like environment for parents of children who need care at Cook Children's.
Fort Worth Children's Hospital and Cook Children's Hospital began the merger process to form Cook-Fort Worth Children's Medical Center. It had taken 30 years since the last attempt to get here. What really made it happen this time was the desire of both hospitals to build a first-rate children's hospital. Indeed, even as the two hospitals were merging staff, the goal was underway with the opening of the new research laboratory and a new pulmonary lab.
A new tradition was born with the first NICU reunion, a celebration that has continued every May for 34 years, and counting. The reunion celebrates families and children who have been cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Cook Children's. Through the years the children have grown into adults and many still return each year with their children of their own — who are all a part of the Cook Children's family.
Fort Worth Children's Hospital refuses to turn its back on two tiny preemies in need of care.
Cook Children's Bone Barrow Transplant program performs its first transplant. This was a historical moment for the people of North Texas as it would change the future outcomes for many children — and giving many families across the country more tomorrows together.
W.I. Cook Memorial Children's Hospital and Fort Worth Children's Hospital merger became official! More than a merger, this union would prove to be a marriage of two amazing organizations. Together, they would form one of the largest freestanding pediatric health care care system in the nation. The Cook Children's family was just beginning to grow.
To be the best at what you do, you have to start with the right people. The Board of Trustees began the recruitment of specialists to the newly formed Cook Children's Medical Center. Specialties and subspecialties included:
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Pediatric Intensive Care
Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT)
Physicians with strong clinical interests, skills and a true love of pediatric medicine were sought after, creating the high standard that has marked Cook Children's from the beginning.
The merger meant a new hospital was needed to combine all the specialties and services under one roof. The board looked to the community for support and launched the Challenge for Children Building Campaign. In short order, the community came through in a really big way, raising nearly $22 million.
With the groundbreaking ceremony, the long awaited moment has arrived and the vision is coming together.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new hospital was held on Mother's Day 1987. Rather than the typical line of dignitaries with shovels, event planners asked children to do the digging in a sand pile specially put together for the purpose.
Cook Children's Bone Barrow Transplant Program performs its first transplant.
Teddy Bear Air received a new fixed wing aircraft and celebrated with an inaugural flight.
One of only three in the U.S., the Bone Marrow Purging Lab opened.
In 1980, under the leadership of Mr. I. Jon Brumley, the two children's hospitals in Fort Worth formed the Children's Hospitals Coordinating Board and began negotiations to merge their facilities. The original eight members of the Coordinating Board were M. Ward Bailey, Robert M. Bass, I. Jon Brumley, Charlie L. Hillard, J. Walton Lawrence Jr., D.D.S., Joe K. Pace, John M. Stevenson and Edward E. Stocker.
In April 1982, Mr. Russell K. Tolman was hired by the Children's Hospitals Coordinating Board to administer the hospitals jointly and plan for their ultimate combination. In September 1982, during a combined board meeting, the medical staffs of the two hospitals, under the leadership of Hinton H. Hamilton III, M.D., requested permission from the boards to combine into a single staff.
At the same combined board meeting, the trustees discussed the need to proceed with the combination of the two hospitals. This was enthusiastically approved. After architectural and financial feasibility studies were completed in 1983, trustee Robert M. Bass served as Chairman of the Merger Committee and hired the law firm of Kelly, Hart & Hallman to bring the matter before the 141st State District Court, presided over by Judge James Wright. After several days of testimony regarding the benefits of a new pediatric hospital, Judge Wright approved the "Plan of Merger and Combination" in January 1985.
On April 29, 1985, Robert M. Bass was elected the founding Chairman, with John M. Stevenson, Vice Chairman, R. Denny Alexander, Treasurer, and M. Ward Bailey, Secretary. Construction on the new 183-bed Cook-Fort Worth Children's Medical Center started in 1987 and was completed in May 1989. The name was eventually shortened to Cook Children's Medical Center.
The merger would stand as a testament to the two women who had started it all, and to the countless men, women and children who had shown their dedication to bringing the very best pediatric care possible together in one place. It would be a true symbol of the meaning of community spirit.
The big day arrived. The New Cook-Fort Worth Children's Medical Center celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting, a gala and a fashion show. On May 27, the staff and patients moved into the new hospital.
The new hospital featured kid-friendly rooms and an inviting, wonderland experience to help make hospital stays much less scary, and aid in quicker recovery.
The Jewel Charity Ball raised a record $1,035,000 – funds that would go to support programs and services at the new hospital.
The 1990s brought a new outlook. Talking teddy bears, purple dinosaurs, Mario Brothers, Seinfeld, Friends and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air filled our living rooms. "Doctor's Orders" was a top reggae hit, The Spin Doctors won a Grammy for Best Album, and in living rooms all across the country ER launched the era of hospital as television superstar.
Medical staff dedicated the Edwin G. Schwarz Medical Library in the Fort Worth Children's Hospital building. The eventual home of the library was created with the south addition to the new medical center in 1998, honoring Dr. Schwarz as the founding pediatrician in the community. The library serves as a resource medical and health care system staff, patients and their families, students and the community. Library staff provide reference services and appropriate resource tools to find the most current information available.
The first surgery at the new hospital was performed by Dr. Charles Mann.
The hospital's own Dr. Dick Ellis earned the distinguished honor of becoming president of the American Pediatric Surgical Association, attesting to the excellent caliber of doctors at then — and to this day at Cook Children's.
Even in their early days, the two hospitals had made sure that school-age patients who were well enough, could attend an on-site classroom to keep up with their schoolwork. Because it provided many benefits to the children, the new hospital continued the tradition. A new classroom was opened – supported by the Fort Worth ISD. In addition to school work, the classroom also created a bit of normalcy in each child's hospital routine. The classroom would continue to play a permanent role in the lives of medical center patients at Cook Children's.
The first cochlear implant was performed at the medical center.
The National Marrow Donor Program selected the medical center to establish an on-site location. The new clinic would offer a way for patients to find bone marrow donor matches. As both a donor registry and transplant center, the clinic would go on to be one of the premier pediatric and young adult bone marrow and stem cell transplant programs in the Southwest.
The medical center launched the Child Car Safety Coalition, which would eventually transform into the Child Safety Center, a community-based program dedicated to improving the health and well-being of children across North Texas.
There is little in this world more frightening to a child or parent than to be given a diagnosis of cancer. But, the nationally recognized Hematology Oncology – or HO – program began to deliver more than chemo, radiation or transplants. They also put the H and the O into hope as part of the treatment plan.
As the need for Cook Children's pediatric services began to stretch across North Texas, so did Cook Children's. Services like the Mid-Cities Rehabilitation Center, which opened in Bedford Texas, began appearing throughout the area. With these expansions, access to care for kids was becoming more convenient for families north, south, east and west of Fort Worth.
The Cardiac Catheterization Lab opened at the medical center, providing the latest advancements in pediatric heart surgery. With a top cardiac team specializing in pediatrics, this meant that Cook Children's could mend the hearts of even the tiniest patients.
The hospital's own Dr. Dick Ellis earned the distinguished honor of becoming president of the American Pediatric Surgical Association, attesting to the excellent caliber of doctors found to this day at Cook Children's.
In the U.S., the days of the doctor making housing calls had long since passed. However, it was clear that nurse-assisted home visits could help children with certain chronic or long-term illnesses recover more quickly. And, home visits could also reduce the number of children returning to the hospital. With that in mind, a team was put into place, and in 1993, Teddy Bear Home Care began making house calls. Nurses assisted patients with respiratory equipment, medication and rehabilitation exercise. The program would eventually become Cook Children's Home Health – providing services and products like orthotics and prosthetics to patients and health care professionals across the entire state of Texas.
The C.A.R.E. program was begun to protect children from violence.
In 1918, Ida Turner's advocacy for children built a small hospital for babies. Today, the Child Advocacy Resources and Evaluation (CARE) team is just one of the many ways that Cook Children's Health Care System advocates for the health, safety and well-being of children.
Lying between Dallas and Fort Worth are the Mid-Cities. Once upon a time the area was mostly sprawling ranch land. By the time 1998 rolled around, the area was becoming suburban sprawl. One of those fast growing areas included the cities of Hurst, Euless and Bedford (HEB). To accommodate the growth of families in the area, Cook Children's opened Northeast HEB location.
Thanks to the Troy Aikman Foundation, the new Aikman's End Zone offered patients and families at Cook Children's a place to relax and play games and just have fun — even if only for a short time each day.
The nation was experiencing huge advancements in medical care including relief of symptoms for those with Parkinson's disease, effective treatment for AIDS was on the horizon, a cancer-fighting compound was found in broccoli, defective genes were identified as the cause of Huntington's disease and inherited forms of diabetes, neurofibromatosis, Lou Gehrig's disease and breast and ovarian cancers. Pediatric researchers confirmed that babies don't grow continuously, but in spurts of as much as an inch in a day.
Here in Fort Worth, the medical center wasn't just growing in spurts, as it prepared for the future, it was growing by leaps and bounds.
There is wonder in being a child, when everything is new. There is wonder in watching a child's face light up with discovery. Indeed, there is wonder everywhere we turn. With fresh eyes, we embrace new ideas, imagination and the promise of providing the best care possible to every child, every day.
Before the merger and even in the early years after, Fort Worth Children's and W.I. Cook Children's had merged, they had operated strictly as hospitals. But, the merger was only the beginning of a much bigger vision for pediatric health care. By the year 2000, Cook Children's was becoming a health care system, ensuring it could provide a complete network of care.
Cook Children's Health Care System would become one of the country's leading integrated pediatric health systems in the nation. The not-for-profit organization would include a nationally recognized medical center, its own physician network, the Northeast Hospital, a pediatric surgery center, a home health company, a health services company, its own health plan and would establish a health foundation. It would also establish pediatric primary care offices throughout the region.
By forming a network, or system, Cook Children's had also formed a family, and the feeling of connectedness would extend to staff, patients, families and communities. It would support the promise made by Ida Turner to make sure every child had access to quality care, and the vision of Matilda Cook, to put sunshine in their lives. Moving forward, it would also bring the wonder of modern medicine to pediatrics.
For the nation, the new millennium would get off to a rocky start, but on the other side of the Y2K clock and the September 11, 2001 attacks, the human spirit prevailed. The tech world boomed, crashed and boomed again. The human genome project began to uncover clues to diseases and human history. Information technology entered the medical field. New heart medications drastically reduced the number of heart attacks and strokes. Stem cell research and targeted therapies for cancer brought new hope to the sick. And minimally invasive surgeries helped patients heal and return home faster. It was to be an age of wonder.
As one of the premier programs in the Southwest, the bone marrow transplant unit needed to meet the growing demand for its services. In the spring of 2000, Cook Children's Medical Center completed the expansion and updates to the bone marrow transplant unit.
With the health care system vision in place, it was time to turn that vision into reality. And so, as the 21st Century began, Cook Children's began planning for $40 million in new facilities to serve the children of North Texas.
January 2001 brought expanded care to the Mid-Cities area. Cook Children's Northeast Center, offering outpatient surgery and urgent care, opened in Hurst, Texas.
2003 brought the arrival of a $53 million addition. The new four-floor building added a patient pavilion and critical care areas to the medical center and increased bed capacity to 282.
In August of 2003, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) awarded Cook Children's Medical Center the Gold Seal of Approval™. The medical center received a score of 97 and is Accredited With Full Standards Compliance. Of the hospitals surveyed, only 15 hold the same level of accreditation.
A fracture clinic, urgent care center and heliport were added to the medical center campus. By seeing non-emergency patients, the clinic and urgent care center would help to alleviate pressure on the emergency room. The new heliport was located on the roof of the parking garage. This made it easier for helicopters to land, thus getting kids in need of immediate emergency care into the center faster. Before it's rooftop location, the heliport had been located where the Dodson Specialty Clinics building now stands.
Fueled by community growth and support, the rapid pace of Cook Children's growth was truly a wonder to behold. To meet growing demands, more heart center catheterization and heart surgery facilities were added to the medical center in 2005.
Cook Children's Neighborhood Clinic program also launched in Fort Worth in 2005 with the opening of the Northside and Miller clinics. Cook Children's Neighborhood Clinics were founded to provide "medical homes" for families with children needing primary health care that is accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family-centered, coordinated, compassionate and culturally effective.
Staffed by board-certified pediatricians and pediatric nurses, the community-based clinics offer pediatric primary care services to underserved families. True to promise upon which its foundation was built, from newborns to teens, kids have access to excellent care regardless of ability to pay.
System-wide, access to care is a continual focus area for Cook Children's and the goal of meeting the growing needs of all of our patients and families.
Cook Children's Medical Center was recognized in 2006 as a Magnet®-designated organization. This recognition of quality patient care and nursing excellence has been achieved by only 5 percent of health care organizations nationwide.
The Magnet award is one of the most coveted and prestigious honors a hospital and nursing staff can achieve. It is given by The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association. ANCC developed the Magnet program to recognize health care organizations that give the very best in nursing care and uphold traditions within the nursing profession.
Cook Children's started off the year with the January 2007 opening of the world's 1st dual-room intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging suite (IMRIS) for pediatric patients, performing more neurosurgeries in the first six months of operation than any other IMRIS installation to date.
Cook Children's was one of only 41 hospitals, including eight children's hospitals, in the nation to be named to the 2007 Leapfrog Top Hospitals list – a rating system that provides an up-to-the minute assessment of a hospital's quality and safety.
June 2007 brought sunshine and the opening of Cook Children's Northeast Hospital. In its first year, Northeast Hospital saw more than 35,000 patients.
In August 2007, Rick W. Merrill became the new President and CEO of Cook Children's. Merrill's selection came following an exhaustive nationwide search, which lasted more than a year. Merrill, a respected leader in the pediatric health care industry, replaced Russell K. Tolman, who retired after 25 years of dedicated service.
Under Merrill's leadership, Cook Children's began a promising new era. Building on the original commitment made so long ago, Cook Children's new Promise is: "Knowing that every child's life is sacred, it is the promise of Cook Children's to improve the health of every child in our region through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury."
The Cook Children's Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant and Apheresis Center earned Foundation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapy designation in 2007, making Cook Children's one of only 155 facilities in the United States and Canada to hold this accreditation.
In 2008, there were more than 4,000 homeless people in the Tarrant County, over 1,000 of which were children. Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief made a plea to the community to aid in the city's homeless initiative. Cook Children's stepped in to help by providing health care to homeless children living at local emergency shelters.
Cook Children's provided case managers to work with families at the shelters to help them gain access to necessary health care and resources. Through a generous donation from the Cook Children's Woman's Board, a van and driver were made available to transport children and parents to two Neighborhood Clinics, one in Arlington and one in Fort Worth, to receive primary health care. Cook Children's also provided a financial counselor for on-site enrollment in Medicaid. Children visited the clinics for wellness checkups and for sick care. Many of the children continued to make one of the Neighborhood Clinics their medical home after leaving a shelter.
Through Cook Children's Homeless Initiative, children were also brought up to date on immunizations, received vision and dental care, and parents and shelter staff attended preventive health education classes. Cook Children's employees pitched in to collect coats, bedding, school supplies and bath necessities. Ultimately, the program brought health to homeless kids — and it brought the community together.
Cook Children's continued to establish its Neurosciences program as one of the elite programs in the nation, and the only children's hospital in Texas with a comprehensive movement disorder program and deep brain stimulation (DBS).
In September of 2007, Cook Children's neurosciences team performed its very first deep brain stimulation.
Cook Children's was named to U.S. News & World Report's list of top children's hospitals in the nation, marking the first time Cook Children's was named to the list of America's Best Hospitals with a No. 25 ranking for Heart & Surgery and No. 29 for Respiratory Disorders.
In 2009, a new milestone was reached as parents turned to Cook Children's for pediatric medical care nearly one million times. The Cook Children's Emergency Department alone encountered nearly 100,000 urgent or emergency patient visits.
It was clear that the health care system would once again need to expand in order to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding community. And that community was continuing to reach ever farther as Cook Children's reputation for excellent pediatric care spread across the state, the nation and the globe. In May, plans for the three-phase expansion would begin.
On February 16, 2009, Cook Children's Hematology-Oncology team performed its 700th bone marrow transplant. On that day, an 18-year-old girl was not only the patient to receive this landmark transplant, but her unique situation also tells the story of how much Cook Children's transplant program has evolved since it began. The transplant program began in 1986 under the direction of Paul Bowman, M.D., with a goal of keeping patients in need of transplant in Fort Worth instead of sending them across the country to other transplant sites far away from their home.
During its 23 years in operation, thanks to burgeoning technology, participation in clinical trials and being a National Marrow Donor Program center for transplant, collection and donation, Cook Children's had become the third largest transplant program in Texas.
Cook Children's Hematology and Oncology medical director, Dr. Paul Bowman and nurse practitioner Amy Bayles collaborated with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, pioneering an acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) treatment, leading to a published article in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Cook Children's grew in local, state and national attention. Internationally too, 2009 was a banner year. Families traveled from as far as 5,162 miles across the Atlantic for the exceptional specialized care offered at Cook Children's. Stateside, patient-families traveled over 1,775 miles from home to ensure their children received the unique specialty care they needed.
Cook Children's was again named to the prestigious U.S. News & World Report's list of top children's hospitals, ranking No. 24 in Diabetes and Endocrine Disorders, No. 27 in Respiratory Disorders, No. 27 in Neurology and Neurosurgery and No. 29 in Hematology and Oncology.
Also gaining national attention was Cook Children's Child Life program. Child Life specialists are a central part of the family and patient focused care delivered at Cook Children's. In 2009, Cook Children's was ranked among the top 15 hospitals (adult and pediatric) for its Child Life specialist-to-patient ratio.
Cook Children's Medical Center becomes the first and only pediatric center to introduce GetWellNetwork® services in every hospital room in the medical center. GetWellNetwork network provides patients and families with information about the medical center, patient updates, discharge information. It also provides access to the Internet and email, games and entertainment for the whole family, and parental controls. It's a part of a commitment to ease the stress of a hospital stay and to provide patient- and family-centered care.
In October, plans for the expansion were completed, blueprints were drawn and the wheels were set in motion to begin construction. Overall, the expansion would take 40,000 cubic yards of concrete and 768,000 pounds (38.4 tons) of reinforcing steel. At the end of the historic expansion Cook Children's would become one of the largest children's hospitals in the nation.
The expansion plan included:
The NICU would be converted to a private room layout and include 120 beds.
The transitional care unit and rehabilitation care unit would house 28 beds.
The Hematology/Oncology unit would have more than 28 beds.
Cook Children's would increase its total square footage by more than 530,000 square feet, adding 40 percent to the campus size.
An additional 1,300 parking spaces would be provided for patients and employees.
North Garage expansion would include spaces for approximately 750 additional cars and would include two new helipads on top.
South Garage expansion included approximately 550 spaces.
The north tower would include a new food court with various dining options and family amenity spaces such as a parent business center, patient library, patient classrooms and an indoor/outdoor playground.
The expansion would take 40,000 cubic yards of concrete and 768,000 pounds (38.4 tons) of reinforcing steel.
In January 2010, Cook Children's launched “The Decade of the Child: Healthy Children 2020” campaign with the goal of making our region one of the healthiest places to raise a child by the year 2020.
Recognizing the need for preventive care beyond the medical center in order to meet the Healthy Child 2020 initiative, Cook Children's established The Center for Children's Health. The first order of business was the Community-wide Children's Health Assessment & Planning Survey (CCHAPS). The resulting data would form the basis for building community-based initiatives. Seven child-related health issues were identified: abuse, access to care, asthma, dental health, mental health, obesity and safety. The center then began to partner with the immediate six-county service area to develop targeted plans of action to tackle these issues.
On Jan. 15, at the first Child Health Summit, Cook Children's presented CCHAPS results to over 150 attendees, including community leaders. It was the first step in collaboratively planning how to use the data.
Going to a Third World country on a complex medical mission is no easy task. But in late January of 2010, that's just what a cardiac team from Cook Children's did. Believed to be the first major heart center from the United States to participate in such a comprehensive mission program and educational symposium, the team journeyed to Ethiopia to teach and address the heart issues of the children there.
Read all about the mission, what the medical team learned while there and how they work to make the world a “better” place for kids.
For the second consecutive year, Cook Children's was named to the Top 100 Integrated Healthcare Networks list by SDI and was the only free-standing health care network in the country to make the list.
The year brought yet another honor with Cook Children's being once again named to U.S. News & World Report's list of America's Best Hospitals.
More than 1,200 members of the Cook Children's family pledged a projected $409,891.50 during the annual Employees Care Campaign. This marked record participation and pledge amounts for the campaign.
With the launch of the KidsCheckUp iPhone app, parents could conveniently tap into the expertise of Cook Children's with the touch of a finger. In its first few months of activation, the app was downloaded about 1,000 times monthly.
At the heart of our design was always what would be best for our littlest patients and their parents.
On September 6, 2011, Cook Children's became home to the nation's largest all-single room Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Built to give the most fragile infants a better start, the $51 million center featured 99 rooms with 106 neonatal beds. Rooms are large enough to accommodate even quadruplets in spacious and quiet rooms. Parents will also find accommodations that allow them to stay in the room with their baby as much as they like. The sense of privacy and home in the new NICU did not come by accident. Three years of intense planning went into creating a NICU that combined the latest technological wonders in a warm setting. The opening of the new unit culminated with an all-hands-on-deck move of 42 babies in less than two hours. Cook Children's nursing staff, Teddy Bear Transport team and neonatologists were all involved in the move to the new NICU. The center spans two floors and covers 71,000 square feet.
View the news coverage on the day the country's biggest NICU opened here.
The Dodson Specialty Clinics opened for business, and ushered in an era of amazing technology, research and advanced medical care. The center was the result of many dedicated supporters, like Clarabele “Pit” Dodson, for whom the center is named. Ms. Dodson epitomizes the women who, through nearly a century, have nurtured our Promise to the children, families and communities we serve. Of the generosity of the many donors who truly are the foundation of the Cook Children's Health Care System, CEO Rick Merrill said, “Your kindness, your thoughtfulness and your love are what inspire each of us to give our very best to fulfill our promise to make our community the best place in the nation to raise a child.”
In just over a decade, the health care system had experienced exponential growth. The medical center had nearly doubled the size of the campus, bringing together inpatient and outpatient services while paying particular attention to enhancing the patient and family experience. By expanding programs, services and amenities, Cook Children's began transforming care for generations of children to come.
The nation was experiencing huge advancements in medical care including relief of symptoms for those with Parkinson's disease, effective treatment for AIDS was on the horizon, a cancer-fighting compound was found in broccoli, defective genes were identified as the cause of Huntington's disease and inherited forms of diabetes, neurofibromatosis, Lou Gehrig's disease and breast and ovarian cancers. Pediatric researchers confirmed that babies don't grow continuously, but in spurts of as much as an inch in a day.
Here in Fort Worth, the Medical Center wasn't just growing in spurts, as it prepared for the future, it was growing by leaps and bounds.
We believe all children deserve extraordinary, life-impacting care. That means we have a responsibility to provide access to the best medical services and technologies possible to give them a childhood now, and a lifetime to remember. The world changes every day, but one thing stays the same … our Promise. It reminds us that caring for children is not just our job, it's our calling. That's why we're growing again. The new South Tower, scheduled to open in early 2017, will help us expand existing services and add new specialties and more advanced medical technologies. The 314,000 square foot tower will feature six floors, a state-of-the-art Emergency Department, a bigger heart center with additional services and subspecialties, a high-tech pediatric surgery center and room for expected growth.
Considering our Promise, we believe that these plans are a necessity to care for today's children, as well as those of tomorrow. We also know that all of this growth would not be possible without the support of our community, near and far. For that, we are eternally grateful.
Cuba opened its doors to U.S. relations for the first time in half a century. Ebola scares resulted in improved patient protocols. Misty Copeland danced into history as she became the first African-American woman to be named the American Ballet Theater's principal dancer. Technology was advancing at a rapid pace, especially in pediatric health care. Even as patients and their families looked to Cook Children's for the best care available at the time, Cook Children's was already looking at plans for the future.
The iMRI technology has accomplished more than anyone had imagined. It has drastically changed the field of neurosurgery at Cook Children's, making it possible for children to receive the treatment and care they need while staying close to home. And all of this was made possible by donors.
In the spring of 2013, Cook Children's became the first pediatric hospital in North Texas to perform iMRI-guided laser ablation neurosurgery. The first patient was a child with severe epilepsy, suffering more than 100 seizures per day. With the use of the intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging machine (iMRI) during surgery, his team of doctors was able to eliminate his seizures and send him home within 24 hours with new hope for his future.
Laser ablation surgery is an iMRI-guided, minimally invasive procedure that allows abnormal tissue to be thermally destroyed in real time. In fact, doctors can target problem brain tissue within a single millimeter (about the size of a grain of sand), greatly reducing risk to the surrounding tissue. Surgery takes place in an iMRI suite so that doctors can see the tumor or lesion and remove all of it in a single surgery. Most patients go home within 24 hours and with only one stitch.
Because it is extremely precise and minimally invasive, laser ablation surgery reduces risk and recovery time for patients with epilepsy and certain types of brain tumors. Laser ablation surgery may also be effective for children who have had open surgery in the past, and those cases where seizures are difficult to treat. It also provides an option for patients with inoperable tumors due to prior surgeries and/or radiation, or whose tumor location in the brain would cause considerably more risk with a more traditional brain surgery such as a craniotomy.
Cook Children's is the second pediatric hospital in the U.S. and fourth hospital worldwide to use the iMRI technology. This leading-edge technology was funded completely by the Refuse to Lose campaign that took place from 2004 to 2008.
With more than 120,000 patients a year visiting the Cook Children's Emergency Department, the time was right for expansion. Plans were underway for a new Emergency Department designed with more efficiency and space to reduce wait times and allow kids to see doctors much faster.
Now, patient families can fill a prescription before being discharged from the medical center or leaving a specialty clinic appointment or the Emergency Department. The Retail Pharmacy is staffed by pediatric pharmacists who specialize in the right dosage for a child's weight and developmental stage. It's kid-friendly and because it's convenient, it's parent-friendly, too.
Cook Children's Home Health makes a new home in Austin, Texas with the opening of a new facility. The Austin Home Health team provides durable medical equipment, respiratory services and orthotics and prosthetics across 20 counties in the Texas Hill Country. The opening also marks Cook Children's expansion of services into Central Texas.
Happy tails abound at Cook Children's thanks to Child Life and the therapy dog program. Cook Children's is one of only a small handful of hospitals in the country to have its own in-house therapy dogs. Littermates Ralph Lauren and Coco Chanel came to Cook Children's from Canine Assistants in Milton, Georgia, where they received their specialized training for children. Ralph and Chanel have been hard at work at Cook Children's over the past year and a half supporting the social, physical and emotional development of children at the medical center. Handled by certified Child Life specialists, Ralph sees patients in the Child Life Zone, as well as on the inpatient floors. Chanel sees patients in neurology and helps ease pain in children with her work in the Pain Management clinic and while making rounds.
Cook Children's Promise is reaching across the globe. Our international program has a dedicated, bilingual team of providers to help take care of all the details so families can focus on the health of their child. Our international specialties include neurosciences, cardiology, craniofacial and cleft surgery, endocrinology and hematology and oncology. We are expanding our programs, services and amenities to meet the growing needs of families nationwide and abroad.
Mrs. Clarabel “Pit” Dodson is well known in the Cook Children's family. In fact, anyone coming to visit a specialist at Cook Children's will recognize her name on the Dodson Specialty Clinics building. Not that she would ever tell you that, she is humble and everything she gives is from the love she has in her heart for children
Cook Children's benefited from Mrs. Dodson's generosity again. In April 2014, she blessed Cook Children's with the addition of a new member to our Teddy Bear Transport team, a Cessna Citation Encore+ jet. Thanks to Mrs. Dodson, this jet allows for shorter travel times, a greater reach and more efficiently placed equipment to get critical-need patients to Cook Children's faster. It also has capacity to fly two parents with the patient, instead of just one. This incredible resource is making our team—already one of the largest transport programs in the nation—even better.
When Mrs. Dodson began giving to Cook Children's, no one could have known that it was the beginning of a legacy that would have an immeasurable impact on the lives of Cook Children's patients.
A brand new Neighborhood Clinic is now open – and it's the FIRST to combine medical, dental and behavioral health services all in ONE location. Located in Renaissance Square at the corner of East Berry and Mitchell Blvd. in Fort Worth, the community-based clinic is an important addition to the long-underserved area's pediatric health care needs.
Check out all the great services and amazing doctors at Cook Children's Neighborhood Clinic
Cook Children's Fort Worth Pediatric Urgent Care Clinic opened in its new location on Nov. 1. The 13,000 square foot clinic features 19 exam rooms and is open 7 days a week with extended hours to ensure children and adolescents, ages 0-21 can be seen with shorter wait times.
As part of Cook Children's Comprehensive Movement Disorder Program, our new motion lab helps us better serve patients with complex conditions that create challenges in body movement due to congenital disorders or acquired conditions from illness or injury.
Using advanced computer technology, specialized cameras, force plates and oxygen consumption measurements, the Cook Children's motion lab correlates muscle activity, movements across joints and energy use. Data from the motion analysis, imaging scans, as well as the patient's medical history and physical evaluations, helps our expert team of physicians, therapists and staff members diagnose the type of movement disorder and design a treatment plan that meets each child's unique needs.
One type of technology that will make a huge difference in the lives of children with certain movement disorders is the Walk-Aide. Thanks to donor generosity and the complete network of care available at Cook Children's this technology will allow children to run and play and enjoy childhood.
Cook Children's is the first free-standing children's hospital to in the nation to acquire medical robotic arm technology for use with minimally invasive neurosurgical procedures. Used in conjunction with electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography, the robotic arm assists neurosurgeons during surgical procedures by increasing precision and reliability of instrument placement. It will be used by neurosurgeons to treat patients with complex epileptic seizures.
Cook Children's ranked in six out of ten specialties in U.S. News & World Report's list of Best Children's Hospitals for 2015-2016. The ranked specialties include: Cancer #40; Diabetes & Endocrinology #29; Gastroenterology & GI Surgery #45; Neonatology #24; Neurology & Neurosurgery #32 and Orthopedics #32.
Thanks to the generous support of the San Angelo Health Foundation, Cook Children's new specialty care clinic in San Angelo opened its doors with several pieces of brand new equipment. This includes a mobile echocardiogram unit, a second telemedicine unit and a wheelchair accessible scale. The San Angelo Specialty Clinic offers care in cardiology, endocrinology, genetics, hematology and oncology, nephrology and neurology. These specialties also are offered via telemedicine: endocrinology, genetics, hematology and oncology, infectious disease, metabolic genetics, neurology, neuropsychology and psychiatry.
For many families, stays at the medical center can be very long. Now those stays will be made just a little easier for Cook Children's patient families with the opening of Mirror Mirror, a hair and nail salon. You will find no evil queens or poisonous apples there, only licensed cosmetologists who can help patients, families and guests feel more beautiful. The salon offers haircuts for children, women and men plus style and color, eyebrow tinting, manicures and pedicures and eyebrow, lip and chin waxing. And it's all in a fun, relaxing atmosphere designed to make every visitor leave feeling, and looking, good.
On Monday, November 30, 2015, 10-year-old Ryan Conder became Cook Children's 100th patient to receive deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery at Cook Children's. Cook Children's performed its first DBS surgery in 2008. Now it's celebrating its 100th. But if you ask the medical team, and Ryan's parents, the real celebration is that it's given a young boy the ability to regain movement in his legs and rejoin his childhood friends on the baseball field.
Watch the full story of Ryan and his remarkable results. From a competitive athlete to a wheelchair, learn how this life-changing procedure and Cook Children's neuro team gets our young patients back on their feet again.
On Jan. 18, children in Haslet got a new pediatric medical home with the opening of a new primary care clinic.
In a newly renovated 52,000 square foot facility, the Fort Worth office of Cook Children's Home Health and Orthotics & Prosthetics were able to bring all clinical, administrative and support teams together in one place.
Generosity runs deep in the Cook Children's Family, as proven by the totals from the February 2016 Employees Care campaign. Employees gave a record-setting $786,550. All the money given goes to fund programs at Cook Children's, exemplifying the commitment to the Promise throughout Cook Children's Health Care System.
Cook Children's Healthy Me wellness program earned the health care system a spot as one the Dallas Business Journal's 2016 Healthiest Employers in North Texas. A great honor to have if you're a health care company.
On Monday, March 23, Cook Children's received re-designation as part of the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Magnet® Recognition Program. Cook Children's Medical Center has been a Magnet®-designated organization since 2006. Since then, Cook Children's has been redesignated twice, in January 2011 and March 2016. Continuing proof of the magnificent nursing that takes place here at Cook Children's.
Congratulations were in order for Scott Perry, M.D. Dr. Perry became the latest recipient of a Distinguished Endowed Chair, which allows for the development of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program. Dr. Perry is the Medical Director, Neurology; Co-Director of the Jane and John Justin Neurosciences Center; Medical Director, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Clinic, and a champion for children with epilepsy. He is very involved in research and active clinical trials, and his endowment is a well-deserved achievement that will allow him further research to benefit children.
Get to know more about Dr. Perry.
Once again, Cook Children's earned a place on the U.S. News & World Report 2016-2017 list of Best Children's Hospitals.
In order to streamline the information flow across the entire Cook Children's system, Epic was chosen to develop a new electronic medical record program. The 'Epicenter' is scheduled to launch in March 2018.
July 2016 marked the fifth straight year that Cook Children's IS Team was named to Hospitals & Health Network magazine's Most Wired Hospitals list for maximizing the capabilities of information technology. Of course, the biggest honor of all is knowing how the hardwork of the IS team improves the quality care and safety for our patients and their families.
CEO Rick Merrill and a team of Cook Children's physicians testified on July 7, at a U.S. Congressional hearing in support of an essential piece of national legislation, known as the ACE Kids Act of 2015. The act seeks to improve care for children with rare complex diseases.
Rick Merrill wrote an article for the Children's Hospital Association on what it was like to represent children's hospitals across the nation at the congressional hearing Read Rick Merrill's article.
Located across from the future South Tower, The Dillard Family Garden was unveiled and dedicated to staff and patient families. Fountains and picnic tables are found along the strolling path and provide a serene place to relax, mediate, visit, picnic and stroll.
Pickin' for Preemies raised more than $350,000 for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the annual music event held at Billy Bob's Texas. Pickin' for Preemies has raised over $1 million to date. Proof that what starts as a small idea can grow to have a huge impact.
Cook Children's Hematology and Oncology team performed its 1,000th bone marrow transplant (BMT), achieving a major milestone. Ten-year-old Elija Felton recieved transplant on Septembe 22, 2016 (read more of Elija's story here).
Bone marrow transplants are given like blood transfusions, through an intravenous tube. The donor stem cells travel to the recipient's bone marrow where they engraft, reproduce and are stored until they can begin functioning as mature blood cells, a process that can take several months.
Cook Children's has access to donor registries from all around the world, thanks to its affiliation with the National Marrow donor Program. The registries can find donors for bone marrow, peripheral blood stem cell and umbilical cord blood transplants.
Cook Children's has gained international recognition for it leading-edge programs. It has also gained the attention of the international media, reaching the UAE and Kuwait, South America and more.
Read the article in Dubai PR Network.
You can also learn a lot more about the Bone Marrow Transplant program in Cook Children's Checkup Newsroom.
Cook Children's Urgent Care and Pediatric Specialties in Alliance opened on Sept. 12. To help kids feel less scared when visiting, the clinic boasts vibrant colors and carries a unique, fun superhero theme in its halls and urgent care exams rooms.
Learn more about Cook Children's Urgent Care and Pediatric Specialties in Alliance.
Dr. Paul Thornton, Medical Director of Cook Children's Hyperinsulinism Center, was named a Rare Disease Hero by Rare Disease Communications. The award goes to only five physicians each year for groundbreaking research and treatment in the rare disease community. The Hyperinsulinism Center at Cook Children's has treated children from across the U.S. and around the globe and is a leader in research and treatment.
When Cook Children's Health Foundation awarded Steve Muyskens, M.D., an endowed chair to support the expansion of the CMRI program and its diagnostic uses, he knew exactly what he wanted to do with it. As Medical Director of the Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CMRI) program, he wanted to bring 3-D printing to the heart center at Cook Children's.
The new 3D aPPROaCH Lab uses advanced technology to support pre-surgical planning and family education for patients with complex heart conditions. This is accomplished through the use of both 3D virtual viewing and 3D printing.
Cook Children's is one of the only pediatric healthcare facilities in the United States to combine these technologies. This leading-edge technology allows cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons the ability to fully understand a patient's complex heart defect and plan their procedures and surgeries to the finest of details. It also allows for doctors to practice and perform procedures prior to the patient entering the operating room.
Cook Children's Child Life clinical internship program became the first in Texas to receive accreditation by the Child Life Council, and one of only eleven accredited programs nationwide.
Cook Children's Health Plan had a successful "go live" on Nov. 1 with the STAR Kids program. By this date, they had made outreach phone calls to all 8,400 of their new STAR Kids members. The STAR Kids program offers members many benefits, and as members of Cook Children's Health Plan, they also receive additional free benefits such as a 24/7 Nurse Advice Line, school and sports physical, additional vision benefit and many support services.
Learn more about the benefits of Cook Children's Health Plan and STAR Kids
The seventh Neighborhood Clinic opened its doors in Richland Hills in November 2016. The communty-based clinic provides pediatric well care, immunizations and sick care to underserved families.
For the eighth consecutive year Cook Children's earned a place on The Dallas Morning News list of "Top 100 Places to Work." Only four employers have received this number of distinctions.
On December 5, 2016, the newly opened surgical/OR suite, located on the second floor of the nearly completed South Tower received its first patient. The new suite includes 12 state-of-the-art operating rooms with specialized equipment for neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery, a 24-bed recovery unit, the newest T-3 magnet equipped iMRI suite and more.
When little Waylon Guidry was born at 27 weeks, not only was he premature, but he also had a very rare heart condition called tetralogy of Fallot. Tetralogy of Fallot is a rare heart defect that occurs in about five out of every 100,000 babies and there were no doctors near Fate, Texas, where they lived who could perform the delicate surgery, especially on such a tiny heart. The family began looking for treatment in Houston or Chicago, thinking they would need to relocate for Waylon's sake. But as Waylon turned 6 months of age, a different kind of fate would lead them to Cook Children's Heart Center. Waylon underwent heart surgery at Cook Children's on December 14, 2016.
Often times when the surgery is performed, surgeons cut open and resect the pulmonary valve in the baby's heart. If that happens, it usually means a heart surgery later in life to replace the valve. That was not the case for Waylon. The heart team was able to repair Waylon's heart with one surgery and also spare his pulmonary valve, which traditionally has to be cut open and resected during this repair.In the past, Waylon's condition would have been incurable. But thanks to advanced techniques and the skill of the cardiothoracic surgeons at Cook Children's, the outlook for Waylon and children like him is fantastic.
Waylon and his family will face other non-cardiac health issues in the future, but for now, the family feels very fortunate to have found Cook Children's.
Generosity is the very foundation of Cook Children's 100 year history. The amazing South Tower and the incredible new technology and services that are found there were made possible through a community that has given of its time and donations to make the vision of bringing the best pediatric advancements here to serve our patients and family. The new tower not only makes Cook Children's one of the leading pediatric health systems in the nation, but it will also improve the care and lives of children for generations to come.
Cook Children's Pediatric Stroke and Thrombosis program began the year with a new approach for the care pediatric stroke patients. Under the leadership of neurologist Fernando Acosta Jr., M.D., and hematology and oncology physician Marcela Torres, M.D., Cook Children's strives to be a leader in pediatric stroke care.
As a member of the International Pediatric Stroke Registry, Cook Children's is among the top 10 centers for the number of stroke patients seen, underscoring the importance of this innovative program. Through local, national and international alliances, the program will develop standardized treatment protocols, lead innovative research into prevention and rehabilitation and increase access to leading-edge stroke care. Cook Children's Telemedicine initiative will also enable the team to expand acute stroke care protocols statewide to better support regions of Texas where access to pediatric stroke experts is limited.
At Cook Children's, we're getting ahead of pediatric stroke.The number of pediatric stroke cases is steadily increasing. At 13 cases per 100,000 children per year, stroke is one of the leading causes of death in children.
Because 20 percent of children who have had a stroke will have a recurrence, Cook Children's Comprehensive Stroke and Thrombosis program has recently launched the use of imaging techniques to guide therapy and interventions aimed at reducing the risk of future strokes in these kids.
See how this new approach may change the outcome for children all around the world, and right here at home.
Marcela Torres, M.D., has been awarded a Cook Children's Endowed Chair. Dr. Torres will use the endowment to create a stellar pediatric stroke and thrombosis program to provide care to children who suffer from an acute stroke and resulting neurological issues. The Endowed Chair Program recognizes physicians who are advancing the health care system's national and internation reputation. Advanced program development, clinical research, publishing in national publications, and participating in nation presentations and offices are just a few of the ways the Endowed Chair program supports physicians as they seek to improve the care delivered to children.
Cook Children's treats some of the most complex—and complicated—heart conditions patients from preemies to young adult. The new space means that all cardiology services are now in a single location so Cook Children's heart team can treat more patients with more advanced technology, all in one place.
Breastfeeding can be extremely challenging, especially for new moms. Cook Children's announced an exciting new service to help make things easier: a virtually available lactation consultant. Thanks to the latest program in Cook Children's Telehealth and Telemedicine program, new moms can have all of their breastfeeding questions answered and get the support they need, without ever leaving home.
Motivating kids who have suffered congenital illnesses or accidents can be challenging, especially if they're limited in their ability to move about on their own. Thanks to the generosity of the Joe and Jessie Crump foundation, patients in Cook Children's transitional care unit (TCU) now have a wheelchair-accessible van that can safely transport them to the zoo, museums and other locations. These environments help motivate TCU patients to participate in occupational therapy and expose them to real world challenges they may face after leaving the medical center.
Texas is #1 in the nation for child pool drownings. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1 to 4. Cook Children's launched a pool safety program in 2015 and began to see a reduced number of drownings. But not enough. Too many drownings were still occurring.So in 2017, the PR and safety teams came up with a strong PR campaign that spread across social media blitz asking all parents to Lifeguard Your Child around water. Cook Children's also partnered with cities across the area, local retailers, and area swim lesson providers to help prevent child drownings.
When Major League Baseball pitcher Derek Holland and his 60 Feet 6 Foundation heard about the positive impact the dogs of the Sit...Stay....PLAY have had on patients at Cook Children's, he immediately chose to fund another dog for the program. Two-year-old Honolulu, nicknamed Lulu, is a golden retriever with a hint of lab. The fifth dog in the program, Lulu's job is to bring comfort to children receiving care in the newly opened Rees-Jones Behavioral Health Center.
Within days of being at Cook Children's, Lulu began making a difference with a 7-year-old who was in group therapy. The young boy had been exposed to drugs and alcohol before he was born and now suffers from an organic mood disorder. As his mood began to accelerate in the session, Lulu, without prompting, quietly went to him and laid down on his feet. The boy's attention was diverted to her and the child was able to cope with his powerful emotions.
Cook Children's partnered with Tarrant County Schools and the University of North Texas Health Science Center to launch Asthma 411. This new program is designed to give school nurses the tools, training and resources to quickly treat kids who suffer from respiratory distress while on campus. Currently, Tarrant County leads the nation in the number of kids impacted by the asthma epidemic. For schools, this has become especially challenging as the number of 911 calls made and the cost of absenteeism due to asthma has increased greatly.
As part of the program, Cook Children's provides schools with nebulizers and other tools, as well as medications, such as albuterol. The program was first tested for year in two schools. The results were so astounding, it was decided to begin a pilot program. The program also works with another Cook Children's pilot program, Healthy Homes. Staff of the Healthy Homes program visit families to identify possible asthma triggers in the home and educating them on ways to reduce causes in the home.
Cook Children's opens its first primary care pediatrician office with advance technology and virtual visit. Headed up by Dr. Justin Smith—Doc Smitty—the office, located in Trophy Club is the start to a new era in ultimate pediatric care.
What makes this new office so unique, besides its amazing technology, it that it was designed by parents. Doc Smitty met with moms and dads to find out what today's parents need from their pediatrician. Cook Children's used this information build a pediatrician office for today's parents and kids, and for tomorrow's.
Cook Children's provides more than $100,000,000 annually in total community benefits. Beyond the uncompensated care we provide, we also address key health issues in our area.
Among those, are ensuring that all children have access to affordable health care and the opportunity to live in safe and healthy neighborhoods. This is why we've created outreach programs like The Center for Children's Health, our Neighborhood Clinics and Cook Children's Health Plan.
As we look ahead to the next 100 years and the future of medicine, our Promise to improve the health of every child through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury is the beacon that will continue to guide and inspire us as we continue our leadership and take our commitments to the next level.
We have built a legacy for the future as we continue on our quest to:
Enhance the child- and family-centered environment of care.
Expand access to health services.
Provide the highest quality of care and safety built upon evidence from clinical and health services research.
Foster the continued growth and development of great physicians, great leaders and great staff.
Capitalize upon our unique health care delivery system to better integrate processes, services and companies.
Enhance community-wide collaborations, coordinate health resources and information, to meet the growing needs of children's health.
We are grateful to each and every one of you for helping us keep a Promise that began 100 years ago. And now as we celebrate an amazing history, we also stand at the beginning of a whole new era, it is your support and shared vision that will ensure we set the course of the future of pediatric health care for generations to come. We thank you.