Author: Renee Berban

45th Annual UMC Employee Banquet

For all time-in-service honorees, save the date for the 45th Annual Employee Banquet, honoring the daily commitment of our incredible staff to UMC and its vital mission.

Date: February 17, 2023

Location: The Overton

 

45-Year Honorees:

  • Sharon Dixon  
  • Holly Hinckley
  • Scott O’Banion
  • Irene Torres

40-Year Honorees:

  • Janet Schoppa
  • Cheryl Wing

35-Year Honorees:

  • Marieta Baldos
  • Gloria Chavez
  • Carol Cloud
  • Amy Eade
  • Alizean Hunt
  • Christina Mackeen
  • Christi Morris
  • Terry Parrish
  • Bernarda Rodriguez
  • Carrie Sadler
  • Norma Torres

30-Year Honorees:

  • Janet Alexander
  • Victoria Breitenstein
  • Jolinda Cruz
  • Luisa Esparza
  • Manuel Gaona
  • Margaret Hay
  • Sharon Loftis
  • John Martin
  • Delma Morales
  • Irene Morales
  • Christy Morgan
  • Christopher Pitner
  • Timothy Robinson
  • Butch Smith
  • Sandra Wadley
  • Phillip Waldmann
  • Tracie Wallis
  • Britton Wood

25-Year Honorees:

  • Susan Barrera
  • Jim Barrett
  • Rose Carrizales
  • Richard Caudill
  • Lori Chandler
  • Eduardo Contreras
  • Norma Cooper
  • Missy Dial-High
  • Lendi Ehlers
  • Joane Falk
  • Anna Geesling
  • Juan Gonzalez
  • Anissa Gray
  • Ish Guerrero
  • Jeffrey Hill
  • Connie Holley
  • Philip Houghton
  • Kathy Matthews
  • Sherry Milburn
  • Victoria Morriel
  • Irene Perez
  • Alan Randall
  • Delilah Rangel
  • Angelica Reyna
  • Ramiro Sanchez
  • Maria Sealana-Morris
  • Sungling Wong
  • Deedee Zimmerman

20-Year Honorees:

  • Stan Bara
    Roberto Betancourt
  • Daina Blue
  • Chavela Brown
  • Jay Callaway
  • Leslie Cutright
  • Brent Delashaw
  • Michelle Dodgin
  • Juan Espinoza
  • Maria Flores
  • Emily Franks
  • Tina Garza
  • Israel Gonzales
  • Patricia Guajardo
  • Ray Guillen
  • Eddi Gurney
  • Charlotte Harris
  • Allison Hays
  • Robert Henry
  • Michelle Huber
  • Mario Kopecky
  • Melissa Lasater
  • Analise Lituania
  • Karen McGwier
  • John Moore
  • Harry Ng
  • David Niemeyer
  • Brady Pearson
  • Griselda Perez
  • Samantha Picon
  • Robert Powell
  • Christina Rosales
  • Sam Savage
  • Leslie Short
  • Kandi Sisk
  • Jacqulyn Staches
  • Teodoro Tan
  • Dory Trevino
  • Beatriz Valdez
  • Kristi Valdez
  • Diana Velez
  • Tandi Wagner
  • Elaine White

15-Year Honorees:

  • Erica Allen
  • Melinda Alonzo
  • Mary Arnold
  • Becky Baker
  • April Barnes
  • Joe Berumen
  • Kent Beverly
  • Brenda Calloway
  • Delilah Cannon
  • Chelsea Carson
  • Angelica Criado
  • Aaron Davis
  • Precious De Lemos
  • Sandra Deleon
  • Kristin DeLoach
  • Angela Duke
  • Melanie Edge
  • Ernesto Falcon
  • Angelita Garza
  • Nathaniel Go Jr
  • Vanessa Gonzalez
  • Joseph Greene
  • Daneen Haley
  • Jennifer Hughes
  • Kimberly Hurst
  • Robert Hurtado
  • Yvonne Janssen
  • Kara Jones
  • Angela King
  • Brent King
  • Kimberly King
  • Arlene Klump
  • Keith Laird
  • D’Neise Laverty
  • Lucila Lim
  • Leeta Loveless
  • Vivian Mahinya Ogutu
  • Karen McCleery
  • Juana San Miguel
  • Becky Ortiz
  • Dorothea Parker-Townsend
  • Christy Perales
  • Gerrick Perez
  • Reginald Person
  • Susan Pfeiffer
  • Lindsey Plunket
  • Deanna Poindexter
  • Prescy Reed
  • Jerry Riggins
  • Rodrigo Rosales
  • Loretta Salas
  • Chandra Shrestha
  • Karen Silvas-Weston
  • Steven Sims
  • Shanda Singleton
  • Nicholas Skeen
  • Brandi Soto
  • Becky St Romain
  • Brenna Stinebaugh
  • Gerard Tayag
  • Charlotte Toelle
  • Jami Valdez
  • Jim Bob Vanstory
  • Corina Veal
  • Jodie Walker
  • Deborah White
  • Anna Wilde
  • Donna Williams
  • Neil Wolf

10-Year Honorees:

  • Malik Al-Khafaji
  • Katharine Allison
  • Esteban Beltran
  • Jimmy Bocanegra
  • Jennifer Braddock
  • Kristen Bradshaw
  • Chelsea Brodbeck
  • Derek Brunson
  • Maila Burda
  • Ramiro Calderon
  • Dominic Caraveo
  • Gabriela Carrasco
  • Mayra Castillo
  • Gabriela Castro
  • Heejae Chang
  • Daliah Chavez
  • Hannah Cunningham
  • Stephanie Dobbins
  • Doloris Dominquez
  • Mac Douglas
  • Shawna Eaker
  • Chase Ellis
  • Heather Exum
  • Brittney Ferguson
  • Alexandra Flores
  • Kyle Galyean
  • Freddie Ginn
  • Angela Gonzales
  • Melinda Guerra
  • Tami Guerra
  • Theresa Hammons
  • Brandy Harvill
  • Sheena Helm
  • Rosalinda Jimenez
  • D’Lynn Kirby
  • Jill Lopez
  • Kortne Lowery
  • Eric Luna
  • Eva Lyles
  • Kellie Maeker
  • Dallas Magallan
  • Jennifer Martinez
  • Tabitha Martinez
  • Elsa Medrano
  • Shameka Mitchell
  • Shelby Mooney
  • Jessica Natal
  • Sylvia Nunez
  • Constance Orona
  • Lucia Orozco
  • Teresa Patterson
  • Pablo Pineda
  • Cristie Prieto
  • Amanda Pruitt
  • Carlos Ramirez
  • Roy Ramirez
  • Maritoni Ramos
  • Naomi Ramos
  • Deborah Resendez-Gomez
  • Visminda Rico
  • Greg Roberts
  • Brandy Robertson
  • Juanalaine Sagcal
  • Vanessa Salinas
  • Maria Sauceda
  • Crystal Sayles
  • Candice Simons
  • Christopher Smith
  • Katana Smith
  • Shannel Stacy
  • Amy Stone
  • Belinda Teran
  • Ann Torrez
  • Michele Tovar
  • Kristina Ursua
  • Kimberly Vail
  • Bea Villamor
  • Christian Volante
  • Don Waldrip
  • Christine Warren
  • Tanis Welch
  • Sabrina Willingham
  • Alanna Woodward

5-Year Honorees:

  • Harold Acuff
  • Jocelyn Adams
  • Courtney Aguayo
  • Bailey Aguilar
  • Alisia Hall Amaro
  • Michael Ammons
  • Kassidy Anderson
  • Christy Armenta
  • Hannah Ashcraft
  • Laura Atkins
  • Darin Babcock
  • Michael Baeyens
  • Katy Baker
  • Brenda Baldwin
  • Christopher Banzet
  • Chris Barbour
  • Priscilla Benavidez
  • Alisa Bergen
  • Karen Bradfute
  • Allie Bratcher
  • Michelle Bridgestock
  • Xavier Briseno
  • Lauren Brown
  • Jessica Butler
  • Marissa Calvillo
  • Kimberly Carreon
  • Teresa Casilla
  • Jennifer Castillo
  • Paul Castillo
  • Robert Castillo
  • Joshua Chambers
  • Susie Champion
  • Caitlin Chapman
  • Micah Chapman
  • Glenda Clay
  • Sharon Cooper
  • Zachary Copeland
  • Cruz Corona
  • Miranda Counts
  • Yolanda Cristan
  • Lauren Crump
  • Daniela Cruz
  • Acenet Cruz-Herrera
  • Tram Dao
  • Maria Lourdes Dariagan
  • Erin DeHoyos
  • Abbye Dixon
  • Rita Doabil
  • Rachel Dockery
  • Haleigh Driver
  • Elyse Duff
  • Kendal Duncan
  • Melissa Duran
  • Brooklyn Edwards
  • Gabriella Escandon
  • Jeffery Fergerson
  • Kelley Fields
  • Angela Flores
  • Michelle Florez
  • Latrice Floyd
  • Nela Friessen
  • Alexandria Fuston
  • Gracie Garcia
  • Rose Garcia
  • Thelma Garibay
  • James Garza
  • Maegan Garza-Maldonado
  • Ron Gilliland
  • Martina Gonzales
  • Norma Gonzales
  • Reina Granados
  • Portia Grant
  • Kelsey Graves
  • Jyl Greene
  • Bridgette Griffin
  • Markeysha Griggs
  • Hector Guerrero
  • Evan Guidry
  • Michaela Haley
  • Morgan Hall
  • Jeanette Hamilton
  • Gina Hamilton
  • Robert Harber
  • Shahanni Haron
  • Nick Harpster
  • Sierra Harrel
  • Desiree Hendricks
  • Elena Hernandez
  • Gustavo Acosta Hernandez
  • Kristen Hernandez
  • Laura Hernandez
  • Elizabeth Hill
  • Jacob Hoffman
  • John Hogan
  • Joni Holloway
  • Celia Howard
  • Sylvia Hudson
  • Steven Huerta
  • Vanessa Jacquez
  • Olayinka James
  • Dana Jones
  • Michelle Jones
  • Frasiah Kabura
  • Asia Khan
  • Mary King
  • Elissa Klein
  • Cole Kleman
  • Jennifer Krabacher
  • Lacy Lara
  • Krystal Layher
  • Christene Leatherwood
  • Rebecca Leaton
  • Laura Ledesma
  • Kristy Licon
  • Cheryll Lobusta
  • Eric Lopez
  • Norma Lopez
  • Garrett Lord
  • Justin Lowrey
  • Steffani Loya
  • Kim Lozano
  • Christopher Lyle
  • Amanda Machado
  • Sherwin Macias
  • Ke Andrea Manahan
  • Edwardo Martinez
  • Eric Martinez
  • Krystal Martinez
  • Michelle Martinez
  • Ryanna Martinez
  • Jose Mata
  • Rhonda McClellan
  • Cicely McDaniels
  • Clinton McFatridge
  • Alexandria McMillan
  • Andrea Mendoza
  • Amanda Miller
  • Abby Mitchell
  • Brandon Mizelle
  • Gregory Mojica
  • Christy Molina
  • Kacie Monforte
  • Thomas Moore
  • Leno Moreno
  • Stacy Muniz
  • Morgan Murdock
  • Lucy Murguia
  • Ezekiel Nino
  • Dunree Norris
  • Joann Olivo
  • Brittney O’Neal
  • Joshua Orta
  • Josefina Palomares
  • Vanessa Parker
  • Allison Parnell
  • Adrianna Parras
  • Weston Parrish
  • Ryan John Pavino
  • Rynae Pavino
  • Hailey Perez
  • Karina Perez
  • Teresa Perez
  • Rosemary Piersall
  • Randi Poarch
  • Taylor Polk
  • Russell Powell
  • Sherrod Proctor
  • Carolina Puente
  • Angela Puryear
  • Stacey Ramirez
  • Staci Ramirez
  • Teresa Ramirez
  • Amanda Resendez
  • Jill Ridings
  • Rachel Riggs
  • Brenda Rodriguez
  • Esperanza Rodriguez
  • Brittney Rosin
  • Brandon Ross
  • Maria Lourdes Ruperto
  • Roger Russell
  • Ana Saenz
  • Tirso Saenz
  • Emiterio Salazar
  • Asma Salem
  • Stephanie Salinas
  • Allison Sanchez
  • Lupe Sauseda
  • Steven Sauseda
  • William Scheetz
  • Melissa Sears
  • Johannah Segura
  • Teah Sharp
  • Ashleigh Sifrit
  • Camilo Silva
  • Zachary Smith
  • Michelle Sooter
  • Joshua Stabler
  • Whitney Sterling
  • Micah Stone
  • Julie Swor
  • Cheryl Tapp
  • Evangeline Tayong
  • Myesha Thomas
  • Tanner Thompson
  • Andrew Todd
  • Alexa Troutman
  • Jordan Tubb
  • Cristita Tygart
  • Jacob Vasquez
  • Sindu Vasuthevan
  • Adam Walton
  • Whitney Warren
  • Ashley White
  • Marianne White
  • Shaye Whitt
  • Kelsea Williams
  • Nailah Williams
  • Scott Williams
  • Ethan Winegarner
  • Jessica Wolff
  • Dalton Wren
  • Annalyne Yatan
  • Eduard Neil Yatan
  • Ashley Zarate
  • Mari Zavala
  • Hazelle Zulueta

UMC Shines the Light to Beat Cancer

One speaker called it “a strange predicament.” A series of “electric shocks” through his elbow began a journey that revealed lung tumors and a cancer diagnosis. After five rounds of chemotherapy and several platelet and blood transfusions, the man became a survivor and not just a victim. “I was surprised,” he said, “as I hadn’t smoked in fifteen years. My quitting, of course, came after having spent thirty years smoking.” But the story seems the same for many: they’re mostly asymptomatic or symptomatic with what seem like health nuisances than the prospect of something serious like cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, there were about 236,740 new cases of lung cancer, split almost evenly between men and women. Of those cases, nearly 130,000 people lost their lives.

In the UMC Cancer Center, staff hosted the first annual Shine the Light event, a combination memorial and awareness event meant to honor those who have lost or are fighting cancer. The event also provided life-saving education. Dr. Shabnam Rehman, a hematology oncologist, meticulously taught those in attendance about preventative measures and types of treatment. She said lightheartedly, “If we have a mass (tumor), we have weapons of mass destruction,” which garnered laughs from an otherwise solemn crowd. Upon arrival, each attendee was given a small flashlight for the event’s defining moment. Between short testimonials, like the one shared above, Cancer Center staff emceed and offered thoughtful reflections on the importance of recognizing cancer early and the vital importance of screenings.

A musician played soft, live acoustic music. Among the songs was Johnny Cash’s “Walk the Line,” a song that seemed salient to the event’s theme. Children and their parents wore custom-printed t-shirts bearing the faces of those they honored—those lost to cancer. Though there were several rows of chairs in the center of the room facing the front podium, people gravitated to the room’s edges, sitting in a way that they could all face each other and see the faces of those that have shared their struggles. I’m uncertain if they realized the sweetness of that instinct. However, in the end, these strangers seemed like a large family, and perhaps that’s what they were.

When the survivors finished their stories, the attendees were asked to join others in a moment of silence. During that moment of silence, everyone would turn their lights on and shine them toward the ceiling, and when the time came, that’s what they did. Everywhere, at once, soft blue orbs flooded the ceiling, dancing like bubbles atop water. Some lights waved frantically, and others hovered solemnly; one light would cross into another, doubling its brilliance. Behind the act’s subtlety were quiet, thoughtful people smiling at the lights, remembering those they love. When it ended, and the lights went out, the event had accomplished what it hoped to do: Shine a Light on cancer, reveal it for what it is—something we can overcome and face together.

A Letter to TeamUMC

Dear TeamUMC,

Our Passion is You is more than a Brand Promise to patients. It is our promise to our employees as well. Each year we implement new ways to provide the best working environment possible for all of us. Several changes were made in 2022 to support you and your family through the UMC Wellness + program. We are thankful you shared how some of these changes impacted your work life as well as your personal life.


UMC cares about your Financial Well-being:

  • All eligible employees received the annual RETENTION BONUS ($2.5M+ paid). UMC is the only hospital we know offering bonuses to all employees.
  • UMC employees saved more than $700,000 in out-of-pocket pharmaceutical expenses in 2022 through our Rx Perks (MTM) program.
  • UMC extended prescription pick-up in the BATC so employees in this building can take advantage of the UMC Pharmacy without making the drive to the main campus.

“Thank you so much for helping to bring about the MTM pharmacy. I save almost as much as I make monthly on my medication costs. I always tell everyone about this wonderful service. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”


UMC cares about your Emotional Well-being:

  • Your Tranquility Room received a facelift along with additional massage chair spaces. You are encouraged to take a few minutes, there, to destress
  • UMC has three on-site Psychologists who frequently round on units and are available to all UMC Staff.
  • TEXTCOACH offers free tele-psychiatry sessions for employees needing immediate access to counseling.
  • Employees can access MeQuilibrium to identify a path to improvement and greater resilience.
  • We now have a substantial group of employees certified to lead Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM); they are ready to intervene and assist employees after traumatic events.
  • Improved access to EAP Counseling from 8 to 12 sessions per year for employees and their families.

“My husband passed away earlier this year. I have never done therapy or gone to counseling or anything of the sort because I’ve always been “fine.” Well, after he died, I was no longer fine. I was grieving heavily and not coping as well as I thought I should be. I went to EAP to reassure myself that grief is okay and to find healthy coping mechanisms. I’ve worked hard on finding who I am as a person independently and have grown a lot emotionally. EAP helped me tremendously, and I still go whenever triggering events happen in my life. I encourage everyone to utilize EAP whenever they struggle or need someone to talk to.”


Lastly, UMC employees have served as energetic and effective Ambassadors in our community…serving meals, building ramps, and caring for many, including our adopted school, Brown Elementary. You are showing Passion in Action – all through the year!

Thank you for working at UMC and for cultivating our SIOP culture – for our patients and each other. UMC is growing, and we have a bright future of mission-minded work ahead. So, we will remain vigilant to serve and to improve year after year. Toward that end, your opinions and ideas are needed to help guide the ship. Please share your feedback by completing your survey from February 6 – February 19.

With much gratitude,

Mark Funderburk

 

UMC to Give Employee Retention Bonuses in 2022

Dear TeamUMC,

As Leadership Council gathered this year, our theme was GRATITUDE. Because of your passion for service, UMC has much to be thankful for. Your strong resolve to serve each other and our patients has never wavered. On Friday, December 16th, Retention Bonuses will be distributed at our Christmas Party. I know of no other hospital that provides a retention bonus to all employees. But then, Service is our Passion is one-of-a-kind…it is the heartbeat of UMC. Thank you for bringing it to life each day.

Service: Your skill and compassion ranked UMC nationally in the top 10% for patient experience. UMCP Urgent Care clinics ranked #1 of 871 like clinics in the NRC database. UMC was voted Best Hospital & Best ER by the Lubbock AJ. And our own Dr. Craig Barker was voted Best Physician. Our patients feel cared for and confident in you.

Quality: Your tenacity toward improvement led to great achievements: Re-designation of MAGNET, Re-verification of Level 1 Trauma & Level 2 Pedi Trauma, Six National Awards for Women’s Choice, and Ranking #21 of 590 Texas hospitals by US News Best Hospitals.

Stewardship: Our noble mission of charity & education marches forward because of financial strength. For our community: UMC invested in the historic Chatman Clinic remodel to secure their services in partnership with UMC & CHCL. And Rx Perks provided a huge blessing – over $700,000 in savings to employees in out-of-pocket pharmaceutical costs.

Teamwork: For over a decade, Texas Monthly has named UMC & UMCP Best Companies to Work for in Texas. Marketing received national accolades for telling our pandemic story of teamwork and grit. And Team UMC managed up their peers over 30,000 times in 2022! Teamwork is evident and valued.

Growth: Family and Children’s Clinic @ 98th & Frankford opened with the first drive–thru clinic in TX. And we raised the final beam – full of blessing and good wishes – for our Health & Wellness Hospital, opening Dec 2023. We grow because patients trust you and thus UMC. Day in and day out, you show our brand promise – Our Passion is You – is the real deal.

Wishing you and your family a blessed holiday season. We remain Firm not Fearful.

With much gratitude,

Mark Funderburk


UMC hopes to show appreciation to our employees by offering end-of-the-year retention bonuses. While we hope the bonus adds to the holiday cheer, no gesture, no matter how big or small, can encompass the courage, sacrifice, and generosity our employees show to our patients and their families every day. With our sincerest hearts: Thank you.

 

Please review the following criteria for information on how annual retention bonuses are distributed and who is eligible to receive them within the hospital system.

UMC Retention Bonus 2022 Criteria for Distribution:

Full-Time Bonus Eligibility Requirements:

  • Employees hired before Jan 2, 2022, who worked an average of 72 hours per pay period from 12.19.21 thru 11.19.22, will receive 20 Retention Hours plus 1 hour for every year of service.
  • Employees hired after Jan 1, 2022, and before June 19, 2022, who worked an average of 72 hours per pay period from the start date thru 11.19.22, will receive 10 Retention Hours.

Part-Time Bonus Eligibility Requirements:

  • Employees hired before Jan 2, 2022, who worked an average of 36 hours per pay period from 12.19.21 thru 11.19.22, will receive 10 Retention Hours plus ½ hour for every year of service.
  • Employees hired after Jan 2, 2022, and before June 19, 2022, who worked an average of 36 hours per pay period from the start date thru 11.19.22, will receive 5 Retention Hours.

**Average Hours Worked includes Admin Leave, PTO, EI, EICO, Rescue, Jury, Orientation, and Overtime hours.

***Employees not eligible for the bonus: Agency, contract, & temporary staff, employees who gave notice of termination, placed on suspension, or received Final Written Corrective Action in 2022, and employees not working the minimum hours required per pay period.

Come to the Wellness+ Fair in January

Date: January 27, 2023

Time: 7:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Location: McInturff Conference Center

UMC Employee Wellness and Resilience is hosting the end-of-the-year Wellness+ Fair, a relaxing and informative event focused on helping UMC employees in a few important areas of their life. Booths will focus on Career, Physical, Emotional, Communal, and Financial well-being.

In addition to some of the booths, attendees are automatically entered to win free:

  • Air Pods
  • Apple Watch
  • Bento Box
  • Noise Machine
  • MeQuilibrium Water Bottle

The Wellness+ Fair will also include free chair massages, a calming station, and door prizes while supplies last.

Physical well-being includes health questionnaires and integrated BMI information, gym reimbursement programs, Live In Control information, and workplace physical fitness tips from our Level 5 instructor.

Emotional well-being includes sign-up stations for MeQuilibrium and Wellness+, an overview of TextCoach web-based counseling, Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPSS) information, and the new Tranquility Room.

Spiritual well-being includes Pastoral Care services, including the Blessing of the Hands, Peer Support Teams, Critical Incident Stress Management, and Code Lavender.

Communal well-being includes Passion 360 sign-ups and information, Passion in Action and community volunteer opportunities, and Volunteer & Guest Services representation for information on Seniors Are Special, Pet Therapy, and Cuddle Club.

Financial well-being includes representation from Human Resources, with information on Employee Benefits, Flexible Spending Accounts, Retirement Plans, and Rx Perks.

Finally, Career well-being includes Career Level 5 Leadership, scholarship information, including the Reach for the Stars Scholarship, and career investment opportunities, including Administrative Mentorship and Pathways.

The Holiday List

As we move into the Holiday Season, and hopefully an opportunity for more leisure, we’ve put together a curated list that might help with rest and relaxation and help organize all the family events. We hope you enjoy the holiday season!

Books

Kindle Vella is a new service from Amazon that breaks popular genres down into episodes, like watching a show on Netflix. Instead of reading an entire book, readers can move from episode to episode at their own pace, with episodes ranging from a short 500 words to nearly 5000. The cost of every episode is determined by its length. To purchase an episode, readers must own tokens specific to the Kindle Vella service. This is a great way to get in some reading in the genres you love without committing to a full book, which is especially helpful in our busy world.

Klara and the Sun, written by Nobel Prize Winner Kazuo Ishiguro, is a powerful novel that explores our changing world, family, friendship, and heartbreak. In the book, Ishiguro looks at our rapidly changing modern world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love?

I’ve Loved You Since Forever, written by Hoda Kotb and illustrated by Suzie Mason, is one of the books featured in our new Bereavement Library in the Family Birth Center. The book is a celebratory and poetic testament to the timeless love between parent and child. With Kotb’s lyrical text, young ones and parents will want to snuggle up and listen to this audiobook together over and over again.

Podcasts

Huberman Lab, hosted by tenured Professor of Neurobiology Dr. Andrew Huberman, discusses neuroscience: how our brain and its connections with the organs of our body control our perceptions, behaviors, and health. They also discuss existing and emerging tools for measuring and changing how our nervous system works. Learning more about ourselves helps us physically, mentally, and cognitively, promoting better overall health and well-being. Huberman Lab is available on all major podcast platforms.

Movies

Spirited (2022) features Will Farrell and Ryan Reynolds teaming up in the musical retelling of Charles Dickens’s story A Christmas Carol, in which the greedy misanthrope, Scrooge, is taken on a magical journey.

A Christmas Story Christmas, a 40-years-in-the-making sequel of the classic, features little Ralphie all grown up with a family of his own. Peter Billingsley returns to play the central role, who catches up with old friends and forges new traditions with his loved ones.

Recipes

Almond Flour Cookies are deliciously soft and grain free with rich, caramel-like flavor from brown butter and gooey chocolate in every bite. These cookies are easy to make and the perfect weekday treat! Add a little butter for extra richness.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter (I like using salted butter)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups packed fine-blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 heaping cup of chocolate chips
  • Maldon sea salt for sprinkling on top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Brown your butter: add butter to a small saucepan and place over medium heat. The butter will begin to melt, crackle, and then eventually foam. Make sure you constantly whisk during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown and turn a nice golden amber color on the bottom of the saucepan; this usually happens once it foams. Continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a medium bowl to prevent burning, making sure you scrape all the butter from the pan. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the brown butter (or ghee or coconut oil), brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
  4. Next, stir in almond flour, baking soda, and salt until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Use a medium cooking scoop to grab the dough and place it onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. If you want thinner/flatter cookies, you can flatten them so that they are about ½ inch thick. You can even do ¼ inch thick if you like more flat cookies.
  6. Bake for 11-15 minutes until cookies begin to turn golden brown on the edges. The longer you bake them, the crispier they’ll be. They may look underdone on the tops, but that’s just because they’re made with almond flour.
  7. Allow cookies to cool for 10-15 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy them with a glass of your favorite non-dairy milk, or freeze them for later! They are amazing if you eat them frozen too! Makes about 12-14 cookies. 

Local Highlights

Thanksgiving is a lot easier if you’re not having to do all the cooking and preparation yourself. Take some of the stress out of Thanksgiving cooking by (mostly) avoiding the cooking altogether. Order your Thanksgiving meals from the following local restaurants and locations: Cracker Barrel, Escondido Grill, Glazed Honey Ham Co., H-E-B, Stella’s, or United Supermarkets.

If you’d prefer to avoid the hassle entirely, several restaurants are open for Thanksgiving, including Cracker Barrel, Overton Hotel, Saltgrass Steak House, and Woody’s Pizza.

As a side note, the new full-fledged restaurant, Chez Sami, offers exquisite French food designed by world-class chef Jon Walters. Just outside Lubbock in Wolfforth, this restaurant is a hidden gem, with rotating features that promise a dining experience unlike anywhere in Lubbock, great for a date night or relaxing dinner.

UMC’s First Annual Trunk or Treat

It was four days before Halloween and dark clouds hung eerily in the Northern sky, as somewhere down below, skittering like spiders across the Business and Technology Center’s grounds, were the most dreadful (and sometimes the cutest) creatures
abound. Maybe not actually spiders, no, but varieties of Spiderman from every far end of the Marvel universe imaginable, joined by fellow superheroes, too, many standing only a few feet or two. There was Ironman and Hulk, Black Panther and Wonder
Woman, heroes of all degrees, orange bags with pumpkin faces bobbing around their knees. Potters and Snapes of all size and shape sowed spells like Riddikulus that’d make the worst bogarts gape! From their castles on high, we saw princesses
pass by, each dressed in the glory of gowns and riches. Wights and witches, Frankensteins with stitches balancing flattened green heads and large-mouthed grins—all came together to congregate and meet, for UMC’s first annual Trunk or Treat!

UMC’s spooky staff members and generous local vendors all put the “boo” in candy-filled booths, and thousands of trick-or-treaters braved sky-high bouncy houses and browsed the selection of chocolates and gummies while running from the
groans of foot-dragging mummies (and sometimes mommies, too). Food trucks delivered plates of quesadillas, sweet drinks and barbeque, or honeyed sopapillas, and as the wan moon began to glow and the cold wind began to blow, the children scurried away
with their big evenings’ bounty.

In the end, the story is more about how a community came together and enjoyed the crisp weather as communities should do. A big thanks to all who made the Trunk or Treat a ball and showed that our care extends beyond our hospital walls—we’re
a region of caregivers, of providers that deliver on our most important promise, that Our Passion is You.

Zero Heroes

UMC has a goal of being a High-Reliability Organization (HRO). This means that although we operate in high-risk environments, we aim for ZERO preventable harm.

We are so proud to have multiple units making huge strides in achieving HRO!

These units operated with zero harm in the nurse-sensitive indicators in the Third Quarter 2022:

Zero Falls with Injury:

  • 3 East
  • 5W OBS
  • Ambulatory Infusion
  • Cancer Center
  • Cath Lab
  • CVICU
  • Endoscopy
  • FCU
  • MICU
  • Nursing Rad
  • NICU
  • OPS
  • Outpatient GI
  • PACU
  • Pedi
  • PICU
  • STAR
  • TSICU

Zero HAPI (Hospital-Acquired Pressure Injury):

  • 3 East
  • 3 West
  • 4 East
  • GT/SCU
  • Neuro
  • NICU
  • PICU

Zero MDRPI (Medical Device Related Pressure Injury):

  • 3 West
  • 4 East
  • Neuro
  • NICU
  • Pedi
  • PICU

Zero CLABSI (Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infection):

  • 3 West
  • 4 East
  • 4 West
  • BICU
  • CICCU
  • CVICU
  • GT/SCU
  • MS ICCU
  • Neuro
  • Pedi
  • PICU
  • TSICU

Zero Surgical Errors:

  • Ambulatory Infusion
  • Cancer Center
  • Cath Lab
  • Endoscopy
  • Nursing Rad
  • OR
  • Outpatient GI

Zero CAUTI (Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection):

  • 3 East
  • 3 West
  • 4 East
  • BICU
  • CICCU
  • CVICU
  • GT/SCU
  • Neuro
  • Pedi
  • PICU
  • TSICU

Burns:

  • Ambulatory Infusion
  • Cath Lab
  • Cancer Center
  • Endoscopy
  • Nursing Rad
  • OR
  • Outpatient GI

These lists have grown with each new quarter, and for that, we cannot thank you enough! We are so grateful for you and all you are doing to continue to provide the best in patient care and to help UMC become a Highly Reliable Organization.

HRO-Card-1
HRO-Card-2

OneTeam Leaders Build Resiliency Together

At the end of September, UMC employees met for the OneTeam Leadership Resiliency Workshop, intended to support employees in their personal and professional well-being. The event, made possible by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Employee Wellness & Resiliency Grant, was hosted by the keynote speaker, Nicholas Beamon, organizational culture and team development specialist. With Mr. Beamon’s coaching, a team of more than 330 employees and members of departmental leadership learned skills to help create resiliency, especially as we move into a more post-pandemic work environment.

UMC CEO Mark Funderburk offered the following remarks:

“As employees, I know you have a heart and mind that calls you to serve and care for others, along with a deep commitment to pushing through fatigue and challenging circumstances. This makes you incredibly special people. However, the pandemic has required more from us than ever before. Longer hours, harrowing patient experiences, and challenging childcare set-ups, to name a few.

In response to your ongoing service, it is my and our responsibility to support you…to provide you with the resources and tools to empower your personal resilience and help you show up consistently at full strength in every facet of your life. This program has been designed to share tools so that you can better care for yourself and experience satisfaction and fulfillment.”

The workshop is an effort of the Employee Wellness & Resilience Program, which is responsible for introducing workshops tailored to better employee mental health. In addition to workshops, the program offers day-to-day resources like MeQuilibrium; an app scientifically backed to help employees improve job satisfaction and suffer less burnout. No resource can comprehensively address the many facets that result from burnout and workplace stress. However, workshops, online resources, and personalized interventions like those from mental health professionals through the Employee Assistance Program seek to lighten the load of working in a strenuous environment. As always, it’s important to rely on one another, too, to show empathy and compassion for our team members as we do for our patients every day.

Chili Cookoff Adds a Little Seasonal Spice

Smells of cumin, garlic, chili powder, and other spices fragrantly waft through the air the second anyone leaves the elevators or the stairwell to the hospital’s second floor. The buzz of laughter threads through the loop of quirky Halloween songs
like “Thriller” by Michael Jackson and the Ghost Busters theme song. Outside, the weather is a crisp fifty degrees with light rain, clouds haloing the hospital, and the fall season palpably in the air. Inside, the warm McInturff has transformed
into an assortment of themed booths with a variety as prominent as the spice. The booths steam like cauldrons as chili warms in large crockpots. UMC employees wear costumes matching their booth’s theme, spooning smoking ladles of chunky chili
into small plastic cups for the sampling audience. Like many of the samplers, I test every booth’s chili—we’re encouraged to, equipped with red and blue tickets meant for judging the chili and a table filled with homemade salsas
for the People’s Choice Award.

The employees serving behind the booths light up at the arrival of any sampler, explaining the qualities of their food, from what’s gone into it, and even how it should be eaten. Chad Curry, dressed as “Top Gun,” wears a green military
flight suit and what seems like a plaster mini-model of a naval F-15 wrapped fully around his waist. He explains that his chili contains exotic venison with jalapeno. It’s delicious, of course, as all the chilis are, each in their own way. Some
heap with chunks of hearty brisket, others with pebbles of corn or strings of New Mexican green chili. Some encourage adding Louisiana hot sauce to kick up the spice or dipping or crumbling miniature cornbread into the samples or bowls.

In the center of the room, a long line of tables holds large bowls of salsa, green and red, some as dark as merlot, a characteristic maintained from the blended peppers. Most of the booths’ hosts grin when asked if their chili is spicy. “No,
not really,” they say, “We kept that for the salsa.”  They’re right. The samplers walk away from the salsa table flush, sweating, and fanning their faces but smiling through the endorphin-releasing spice. When satisfied,
the taste testers confer in small posses, describing the qualities of the salsas, what they like and what they don’t, while dabbing beneath their running noses with small napkins. When in agreement, the groups drop their red tickets into voting
boxes and return to the fray. There’s more to eat, after all.

Most stunning, perhaps, isn’t even the chili itself. The mutuality and community so common through UMC’s halls, offices, and exam rooms echo through the conference center with one major difference: the costumes. Ursula casually strolls between
booths before stowing away behind her own, aptly named “Chillin’ Like a Villain,” clever in several ways. An inflated T-Rex, now a staple of Halloween tradition, flees wildly from a giggling young girl in an oversized pink shirt
and pigtails. Their chase ends at the Jurassic Park booth, with a small, leering Compsognathus and hay ornamentation framing the booth’s posts. Others sport large sombreros and ponchos or grass skirts with Hawaiian shirts tucked into their straps
or dangling gold chains like nineties rappers. Somehow, in a room with rappers, raptors, and randomness abound, the event has the quality of home—warm, merry, and conversational. In the home: family. Our UMC family, sharing, laughing, and taking
a moment in an ever-spinning world, for each other and for themselves.

Congratulations to the winners:

Best Themed Booth –  “Jurassic Park” – Surgical Anesthesia Unit / Outpatient / Day Surgery / PACU / STAR

2nd Place Themed Booth –  “Chili Big Miracles” – NICU

Scariest Themed Booth – “Island of the Dolls” – EC

Best Individual Costume – Chad Curry as “Top Gun” – EMS

Best Group Costume – “Mardi Gras” – McInturff

Most Creative Booth – “Dr. Death” – Professional Services

Spirit Award – “Candyland” – PEDI / PICU

2nd Place Spirit Award – “Bone Thug Nurses” – 3 West

 

Best of Show Salsa

Pediatric Pharmacy

MSICCU

People’s Choice Salsa

Patient Accounting

2nd Place Salsa

UMCP Neurosurgery

3rd Place Salsa

UMCP Internal Medicine

 

Grand Champion Chili

OR

People’s Choice Chili

HR Talent Acquisition

2nd Place Chili

MSICCU

3rd Place Chili

Surgical Anesthesia Unit / Outpatient / Day Surgery / PACU / STAR 

 

OVERALL, the 23rd Annual Chili & Salsa Cook-off Ultimate Fundraiser

Inpatient Pharmacy

 

Building Traditions in the Holiday Season

This time of year begins the Holiday Season, where each month brings colder weather and families closer together. Collectively, we assemble indoors with our bounties of Halloween candy, special Thanksgiving meals, and Christmas presents stacked under the tree. After two years of pandemic lockdowns and public restrictions, we might reflect on these holidays more fondly than before, our separation reminding us of how important togetherness can be. However, for some less fortunate families, sickness or tragedy might result in a hospital stay that prevents them from gathering. In the broader community, some less privileged families may not have the resources to provide an abundant table of Thanksgiving treats or Christmas presents. Every Holiday Season, our generous staff and UMC, as a charitable organization, do what we can to bring joy to everyone we can. We find innovative ways to celebrate by hosting fun and inclusive events.

In October, spooky season invites UMC’s newest event, Trunk or Treat, on October 27th from 5 PM – 7 PM in the Business and Technology Center parking area. The event is a community outreach effort highlighting our Passion in Action initiative. Ultimately, the event serves as a safe space for children to Trick or Treat in a controlled environment under the supervision of family, UMC employees, and local sponsors excited to bring a little holiday cheer to children in the region. UMC Children’s Hospital also hosts our annual In-Patient Trick or Treat this year in the McInturff Conference Center from 10 AM – 11:30 AM, where departments around the hospital come together to help put a sweet smile on the faces of pediatric patients.

From year to year, sponsors have donated Thanksgiving meals to families in the hospital, offering them an opportunity to be a part of the Thanksgiving tradition despite an otherwise challenging situation. Around Christmas, Santa visits UMC Children’s Hospital, handing out toys to young children and helping to make their day a little more merry and bright.

Spreading cheer is the most important goal, but the hospital’s community involvement contributes to the public’s impression of our hospital. We become part of the community as we work daily to build trust through our commitment. We find ways to lessen the stress associated with long hospital stays. People remember UMC as a special place, no matter our patients’ circumstances.

The Holiday Season gives us, as individuals, an opportunity to be charitable not only to those under our charge but also to our fellow employees. We have an opportunity to recognize those we work with who bring light and enjoyment to our long days caring for others. As we move toward the end of 2022, consider ways you can reach out to others. Consider a simple Manage Up nomination, a card or gift, or just a simple “thank you” that might make someone’s day happier. Something as simple as kind words can go a long way. We all have something to give, some way to be considerate of one another, to show empathy and thoughtfulness—these sweet gestures, in a time dedicated to acknowledging and loving one another, sometimes make all the difference.

 

Deep Dive: Bereavement Library Helps Bring Healing

People stood quietly in a small semicircle around carts of books, chattering softly in an air that felt immediately more somber than most other events at UMC. In the Family Birth Center, small plastic-wrapped welcome packages containing a bright yellow rubber ducky sat on top of a book titled Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. The book was illustrated with the same child-friendly yellows, oranges, blues, and greens adorning many of the hospital’s common spaces. Outside, through the large windows on the south and west of the room, dark clouds linger at far distances in the sky, somehow balancing the theme of the meeting with the fresh array of colors inside, with the sincere whispers shared, occasional smiles, and the books. The attendees have come to honor the dedication of a new Bereavement Library, coordinated and assembled by mothers that lost their babies tragically after birth.

President Ronald Reagan established October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. He said in his dedication, “When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or a widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.” His sentiments, in some ways, reflected the statements by the cohort of mothers responsible for the development of the Bereavement Library. One mother admitted, “There are so many of us that suffer in silence.” A library, a naturally communal place, though one of quiet activity and knowledge, seems an appropriate memorial. The unique book selection serves as a small comfort for those beginning the grief process and a point of awareness to those that have not suffered as some mothers do, preventing, as the mother said, a “suffering in silence.” Each book serves as a voice, reminder, and buoy on unsteady waters that healing comes, even if it spans over an entire lifetime.

After each contributing mother shared their unimaginable experience of losing their child, there were tears, hugs, and even short applause, recognizing the strength it takes to speak on such a sensitive topic. The attendees were encouraged to examine the books, and most did, plucking one of the thin, broad-faced, and colorful titles from the rack and combing quietly through the pages. The titles are subtly indicative of why everyone’s come: Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You and On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman, I’ve Loved You Since Forever by Hoda Kotb, and Don’t Forget to Remember by Ellie Holcomb. In some ways, the titles evoke the solemn services UMC nurses provided to mothers who lost their children. The presenting mothers explained how nurses provided them with small mementos for remembrance, including locks of hair, photographs, or molds of tiny feet. Though small gestures in the face of such immense loss, these artifacts are eternal and loving reminders of what they had more than what they lost.

There, in the center of the shelves of books, was a small placard, an artifact, too, meant to seal the emotions and thoughts so prevalent for anyone experiencing this unwanted journey. The glossy, black placard with gold, italicized text reads, “You keep track of all of my sorrows. You have collected all of my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book.” The verse is Psalms 56:8. Beneath the verse, the placard reads, “In memory of: Noah, Harrison, and Carrigan.”

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