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Baylor Stories Commitmen t & Compa ssion


I hope you find them as inspiring as I do. Nearly every day for the almost 20 years I have been

Baylor Health Care System has always prided itself on its innovative programs,

with Baylor, I’ve heard stories about how individuals on our staff have changed someone’s life forever, or just made someone’s day a little brighter. And these are merely some of the anecdotes that have been shared with me. Countless compassionate acts by members of the Baylor family go unreported, but they are no less meaningful.

advanced technology, topnotch facilities and forwardthinking approach to health care. But our greatest resource is

I would like to share a handful of these stories in this

not our buildings or our machines or our strategic plans. It’s our

publication because they are not simply the stories of

people. It’s the 20,000 dedicated members of the Baylor family

individuals or small groups of employees­—they are the story of

who make an impact both inside and outside our walls­—across

Baylor. They represent acts of kindness, sacrifice, selflessness,

our community and across the world.

thoughtfulness and even heroism...

They represent us.

Joel A llison President and CEO, Baylor Health Care System 2


Table of



Thousands of Miles to Deliver Thousands of Smiles


Sharing a Part of Himself


Planning the Perfect Day


Compassion for All


A Dark Cloud with a Blue Lining


Delivering a “Christmas Miracle”


A Hero’s Welcome


Outstanding Service with a Side of Soup


A Challenge of Earth-shattering Proportions


Keeping It Fresh


Recognizing a Cry for Help

19 The Chauffeur


A Real Somebody

20 One Call, That’s All


Extreme Makeover: Baylor Edition

21 From Their Heads and Their Hearts


Angel in the Wings

22 Saving More than a Job


From Baylor with Love

23 Preparing Young Minds 3

Thousands of Miles

To deliver thous ands of smiles The slums of Nairobi, Kenya–widely considered the most

The goal was

impoverished neighborhoods in the world–are not the place

to provide 5,000

you’d expect to find two petite American nurses. But for Cecilia,

children with

a Baylor health care improvement leader, and Susie, a nurse

backpacks containing

supervisor, going there was a chance to make a difference in

clothes, personal

the lives of some of the world’s poorest children. Susie and

hygiene products, socks and shoes. In addition, Susie’s

Cecilia made the relief trip to Africa with a local charity—a

organization partnered with other charities to provide the

charity Susie founded at Baylor nearly two decades earlier that

children with meals and basic medical care, if needed, and

has since become one of the largest in North Texas.

distribute medications donated in part by Baylor.

In Kenya, Susie and Cecilia helped orphaned children, children

In the end, the pair didn’t meet their objective of helping

with AIDS, children without homes, refugee children and

5,000 children—they surpassed it, bringing smiles to the faces

children living in destitute conditions. There were 1.5 million

of 6,000 children in desperate need of aid.

people living in the slums where they worked. Flies buzzed around the children’s dirty faces and dust hung in the air. 4

Sharing a part of himse lf

After more than a decade of struggling

However, when her co-workers learned of

with a degenerative kidney disease, Angie,

her situation, three offered her a kidney and

manager of a Baylor business unit, was

even tested to be donors, including Brandon,

faced with a tough choice: get a transplant

an analyst with her unit. While Brandon was

or spend the rest of her life on dialysis.

a match, Angie was hesitant to accept such

However, she’d watched both her parents

a life-altering gift. But he wouldn’t take “no”

tied to dialysis, and she knew that wasn’t the

for an answer. When she finally accepted his

life for her.

generous offer, Brandon, who has a great

sense of humor, jokingly nicknamed the

While she had made up her

kidney he donated “Angie junior.”

mind, whether or not she

The gift has had a profound effect on their

would actually receive a

relationship. They view each other not as co-

new kidney was out of her

workers or even friends, but as real family.

hands. Angie’s hopes began to fade after

Angie’s two daughters now refer to Brandon

several of her family members were tested

as their “brother,” and he is even invited to

and none was a match.

family holidays.


Planning the Perfect Day Following through with a commitment

“wedding planner” and worked with

for the sake of love is something to

volunteers who offered to help with

which many people can relate. It’s also

the cake and flowers.

something Baylor social worker Tonya

The Baylor chaplain even volunteered

made possible for one couple caught in a

to perform the ceremony. However,

heartbreaking situation.

before the big event could take place,

A terminally ill patient and his girlfriend

the patient was transferred to an

In fact, the wedding was on Tonya’s day

of 15 years had decided to marry as soon

extended care facility. The couple was

off, allowing her to attend and make sure

as they could. But that meant getting

very upset at the prospect of moving, and

everything went off as planned.

married in the hospital—not exactly

thought that their plans for the wedding

While the circumstances surrounding

the destination location most couples

would be delayed.

the ceremony were far from ideal, Tonya

dream of when they decide to wed. When

Instead, Tonya took it upon herself to

made sure the two soul mates had their

Tonya heard their plan, she became the

coordinate the plans with the new facility.

perfect day.


Compassion FOR ALL The compassion of Baylor employees

Barbara first met the young woman

in severe pain. Barbara spoke with a nurse

often extends beyond shifts and hospital

in need during her Sunday school class.

at the nurses’ station and convinced her to

walls. In the case of Barbara, a nuclear

The woman shared that she was having a

administer pain medication, then drove the

medicine tech, the desire to help took her

bilateral mastectomy at a non-Baylor facility

woman home and got her settled. Barbara

inside another local hospital.

and was all alone, without any family or

was told a caregiver was going to come by

friends to assist her. Making things even

later to help her.

more difficult, she was a single mom with a

The next day, the caregiver called Barbara

two-year-old daughter. Barbara couldn’t just

asking for assistance. So Barbara continued

stand by and do nothing, so she planned

to provide care for the woman and her

to stop by the hospital to visit before the

child, helping with transportation, bathing,

woman was discharged.

cooking, cleaning and buying groceries.

When she arrived at the hospital, she

But most importantly, she helped provide

found the woman had already been

the hope and encouragement the woman

discharged, but had no ride home and was

needed to persevere. 7

Acquiring a condition that forced a trip

A Dark Cloud

with a Blue Lining


only to find he’d been burglarized.

to Baylor’s emergency department was

Shortly thereafter, his situation grew

just the start of a long run of bad luck for

worse when he was diagnosed with atrial

one indigent patient. Upon discharge,

fibrillation, which landed him back at Baylor.

the elderly man was referred to a charity

But that was when his luck changed.

clinic, where he was diagnosed with

Aware of his situation, the physicians

hepatitis C and cirrhosis. Over the next

on his unit contacted his daughter.

couple of years, he was in and out of the

She wanted to care for him if he could

hospital, sometimes for prolonged stays.

get to Detroit. While he didn’t have

Following one stay, he did a stint at

the means, he had doctors who were

a nursing home, where he was able to

willing to reach into their hearts and

reconnect via Facebook with his daughter,

their pockets. They gave him a plane

whom he hadn’t seen in 15 years. She

ticket and an envelope filled with

lived in Detroit and had children of her

cash. Although they expected nothing

own—grandchildren he’d never met.

in return, they received the tears of

However, that bit of good news was

joy and gratitude of an elderly man

quickly dimmed when he returned home

reunited with his long-lost family.

Delivering a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE Sandy, a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) transport

her own family for part of the Christmas holidays.

nurse, didn’t think twice about saying “yes” when she

So she met the Arkansas woman and her baby for

received a phone call the day before Christmas Eve asking

the first time on Christmas Eve, right before

for her help.

assisting with the neonatal transport.

A new mother and her premature newborn in the Baylor

NICU were trying to get back home to Jonesboro, Arkansas, in time for Christmas. The surprised mom-to-be had been traveling on business when she unexpectedly went into

“It was definitely a reward and payoff when we landed at the airport in Jonesboro,” Sandy says.

labor and delivered her baby at Baylor. With all of her family

“Seeing everybody, seeing their

back in Arkansas, the new mother desperately wanted to

faces—they were just so excited.

bring her newborn home. Although she wasn’t scheduled to work, Sandy said she would help, even though it meant she would be away from

“It definitely didn’t feel like my job that day. It was truly worth it.” 9

A HERO’S Welcome Few people would be excited

been away from their families

about getting up at 6 a.m. on

for months. Kay first learned

a Saturday to go to the airport

about the incoming flight from

to meet a flight. But for Kay,

an announcement that ran in

their family members came

most of the returning troops had

an employee with Baylor’s

a local chamber of commerce

to the airport wearing T-shirts

to catch other flights. HTPN staff

HealthTexas Provider Network

publication, asking people

specially made to welcome

lent them cell phones to call

(HTPN), and more than 50 fellow to come greet the service

the troops back home. They

their families and tell them they

HTPN employees and their

members arriving at Dallas/Fort

handed out cold drinks, snacks

were back on U.S. soil...and

families, there was nothing else

Worth International Airport.

and hugs to the pleasantly

about the “welcome

they’d rather have been doing.

She emailed the word across

surprised passengers. And, of

home” they

Hundreds of weary troops

HTPN. The number of RSVPs she

course, they cheered.

received from

were returning home from

received was overwhelming.

Since DFW Airport is only an

members of

overseas war zones. Most had

Dozens of HTPN staff and

initial point of entry to the U.S.,

the Baylor family.


Outstanding Service

with a Side of Soup

Mia, a Baylor access services coordinator, checked in on one such patient from Cuba who didn’t speak any English. Fortunately, she spoke his native tongue and had intricate knowledge of Cuban culture. For example, after admitting him, she heard him ask his daughter to bring

North Texas is a melting pot of

his pillow and blanket. Mia knew that in Cuba, hospitals don’t give

hundreds of different cultures and

patients pillows, blankets and sheets.

home to recent arrivals from nations

This cultural awareness helped her gain the trust of his daughter who

around the world. Often, this presents

asked her to check on him when she had to leave for work. After Mia’s

additional challenges for caregivers.

shift, she went to visit him and asked if he had eaten anything because

Immigrant patients may not speak

in Cuba, patients don’t eat the hospital food. While food quality isn’t

English, and they usually carry with

a concern at Baylor, during his three days as an inpatient, Mia made

them memories of experiences with the health care system in their native land, which are not always positive.

homemade, Cuban-style chicken soup and brought it to him every day. The patient was overwhelmed by her kindness and exclaimed, “Mia is such a good person, especially her heart.”


responded to the crisis by opening

On another part of the island, Andrew

up their checkbooks. But Baylor

worked tirelessly on patients with

nurses Kathy and Lydia, and

traumatic wounds, lost limbs and other

Andrew, a wound care physician on

horrific injuries. He survived on military

the Baylor medical staff, answered

rations and slept on a cot in stifling heat

the call in person.

in an area cordoned off by razor wire. No

Parasites, HIV, open wounds,

While 7.0 may not seem like a big number, when it measures the magnitude of an earthquake, it’s devastating. That was the size of the catastrophic quake that struck Haiti in 2010. The destruction and the pleas for help from desperate victims flashed across televisions worldwide. Many people 12

matter how many patients he treated,

broken bones, tuberculosis and

there were always more.

severe infections—Kathy and

All three say the compassion of those

Lydia saw it all. The hospital where they were

around them reaffirmed their faith in

stationed was severely damaged, so patients

humanity. For many Haitians, it was three

received care in the facility’s courtyard, where

volunteers from Baylor that reaffirmed theirs.

flies buzzed around them. There was no running water or electricity. The generator was broken, so there were no fans to keep them cool. Still, the two did everything possible to provide care to newborns and others.

A Challenge of

Earth-shattering Proportions



Tyson, a Baylor health services researcher, never knows where

Tyson found a vendor that could provide hundreds of additional

his work may take him. But like any good researcher, he’s

pounds of fresh fruits and veggies per week. The produce, which

prepared to follow it wherever it goes. However, even he couldn’t

is offered at the Farm Stand along with healthy recipes, only costs

have imagined that it would lead to a job helping to manage a

shoppers around $1 per bag.

farmer’s market.

But he does more than simply pick up the phone and place

As a diabetes researcher, Tyson knows first-hand the devastation

an order: Tyson works at the Farm Stand every week. He’s even

that the disease can inflict—not only on individuals and families,

launched a research project around it, measuring factors that

but entire communities. He also knows the importance of good

enhance behavior change surrounding fruit and vegetable

nutrition, and the vital role fresh fruits and vegetables play in

intake. Hopefully, his innovative work will offer insight into

managing diabetes. That’s why he took the initiative to dramatically

better ways to help entire neighborhoods battle diabetes.

increase the availability and variety of low-cost produce offered at Baylor’s Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute’s Farm Stand, located in one of Dallas’ most underserved communities. 13

Recognizing a Cry for


She immediately felt he was in medical distress–possibly

Cheryl, a heart transplant

diabetic shock–so she pulled his hood back and saw that his

coordinator, had only

airway was blocked. When she went to check for a pulse, she

been working at Baylor for

discovered a Baylor patient ID bracelet on his wrist.

a few months when she

After she cleared his airway, the man roused. Cheryl gave him

demonstrated the kind of compassionate care that exemplifies

her coat and the man confirmed that he was diabetic. He had

the Baylor vision. Her day started just like any other—with an

been discharged from the hospital the previous day and had

early morning train ride to work. But upon stepping off the DART

collapsed while trying to return.

rail, Cheryl noticed a man lying on the ground with his jacket hood

Cheryl instructed the DART rail conductor to call an ambulance,

covering his face. While other passengers walked around him,

and she stayed with the man until paramedics arrived. Although

simply assuming that he was intoxicated and sleeping, Cheryl’s

many would say her actions were extraordinary, Cheryl believes

instincts as a nurse told her otherwise.

they were nothing special by Baylor standards.


A Real Somebody But the next morning, “nobody” turned out to be “somebody.”

Major surgery is a frightening prospect. It’s a time to turn to family and friends for support and comfort. But what if nobody can be there for you? That was the unfortunate

Though his shift didn’t start until 9 a.m., James came in at 6:30 a.m. to surprise her. He sat with her, offering comfort and encouragement until her procedure began at 9 a.m.

situation one elderly patient was facing—until she met James,

After the procedure, she found that an anonymous

a Baylor access services representative.

somebody had sent flowers to her room.

James was assisting her during routine check-in the day

The unassuming James doesn’t think he did anything

before her procedure. In the course of asking her the usual

exceptional. He simply sees his actions as part of his job. In

admission questions, he inquired who was going to be with her

fact, had the woman not related the story to a clinical liaison

before and after her surgery. “Nobody will,” replied the woman,

nurse prior to her discharge, his act of kindness would have

who lived alone in a retirement community.

gone unreported. 15

Extreme Makeover:

Baylor Edition It was Father’s Day, but

long stay in the Baylor Neonatal

pictures of the tiny patients

tion up. There to lend a helping

instead of spending it showering

Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for

and their families, creating

hammer were many of the

Dad with golf shirts and new

the infant. After going through

cherished memories.

Baylor caregivers Amber saw

ties, Amber, a former Baylor

such a trying ordeal, Amber

When Amber’s home was de-

on a regular basis. Instead of

patient and dedicated hospital

decided that she wanted to help

stroyed by the flood, she and her

scrubs, they donned hard hats.

volunteer, was trying to salvage

other families facing similar

family were forced into a small

Instead of latex, they slipped

clothes and keepsakes from her


apartment, seriously hampering

on work gloves.

family’s flooded home.

She combined her compas-

her photographic mission. Then

For the Baylor staff involved,

Three years earlier, Amber

sion for “preemies” and her

the popular television show Ex-

nothing gave them greater

gave birth to her son who was

passion for photography.

treme Makeover: Home Edition

satisfaction than being able to

born 10 weeks early. The pre-

She began visiting the NICU

selected her family for a new

volunteer to help one of their

mature birth meant a month-

regularly and offering to snap

house built from the founda-

dedicated volunteers.


Like many guys, Tommy, a Baylor occupational therapist, was planning to spend his Saturday working in the yard. But not long after stepping outside, he heard the shrill squeal of tires and the thudding sound of a crash. Lying motionless on the concrete, Mark, a motorcycle accident victim, only remembers the comforting presence of a gray-haired "angel" wearing white medical gloves. The angel was Tommy. Assessing the situation, Tommy's professional experience took over. He

Angel in the

suspected an injury to the C5 or C6 vertebra, and got as much information as possible from Mark in case he lost consciousness before paramedics arrived.


Weeks later, Mark and his family chose Baylor for his

returning to work and carrying out daily activities. The day of the

rehabilitation. Incredibly, his angel was there again—this time

accident, Mark knew Tommy only as a Good Samaritan. Today, he

as his therapist. Though Mark probably would never walk again,

knows him as a great neighbor, a close friend and the man who

Tommy worked closely with him both at the hospital and at his

gave him back his life.

home to improve his quality of life. He taught Mark the skills he needed to live as close to a normal life as possible, including 17

Baylor has always taken pride in offering

manager, and David, a surgeon on the

an hourglass than equipment used to

patients advanced technology. But just

Baylor medical staff, made the 6,000-mile

measure in utero heart rates. In addition,

because Baylor upgrades and replaces

trek to become technology consultants to

David taught Ukrainian surgeons how to

equipment and systems doesn’t mean

staff at the Ukrainian hospitals.

use laparoscopic equipment which had

that the technology being replaced is

The pair set up the potentially life-

been donated by a Baylor vendor.

ineffective. That’s why one Baylor Labor

saving equipment at the facilities and

After witnessing both the skill of the

and Delivery Unit donated their recently retired fetal heart monitors to three needy

Ukrainian caregivers and the lack

From Baylor with Love

hospitals in Eastern Ukraine.


of advanced tools, when Kristine and David returned home, they helped organize a sustained

Of course, having the equipment is one

trained Labor and Delivery staff how

effort through Baylor’s Faith in Action

thing; knowing how to use it is another. So

to use it. Prior to the special delivery,

Initiative to “adopt” the hospitals. Baylor

on their own time and at their own cost,

the hospitals used an arcane wooden

is continuing to send them much-needed

Kristine, a Baylor Labor and Delivery nurse

listening device that looks more like

supplies and equipment.

It’s not unusual for a patient to worry more about how their hospital stay is impacting their loved ones than they are about their own condition. That’s one reason Baylor caregivers are always focused on providing excellent service to the families of patients when they are visiting.



Misty, a pharmacy technician supervisor,

However, Misty didn’t stop there. She

took family caregiving to heart to help the

upped her already generous offer by

wife of an elderly stroke victim. The woman

volunteering to swing by on her day off and

didn’t drive and hadn’t been home for a

take the woman to the beauty parlor. After all,

week. The couple, who lived in Wylie, didn’t

“old ladies like to have their hair kept up,” the

have anyone they could call on for help. So

woman told her. When Misty picked her back

Misty, who also is a Wylie resident, offered

up from the beauty salon, she continued her

to drive the woman home. She even made

role as personal chauffeur. She drove the

arrangements to take the woman back to

grateful woman to several stores to complete

the hospital to see her husband any day she

errands before returning her to the hospital

was working.

to be with her husband. 19

One Call, That’s All

wheelchair-bound husband, where

kitchen amenities and other

they had no furniture and virtually

household goods. In addition, many

no amenities. Sleeping on the floor

volunteers got the word out among

night after night was only worsening

their neighbors and acquaintances.

her medical issues.

As the word spread from volunteers

Baylor social work services first

to their friends, Dorothy was

contacted community service

inundated with emails from people

organizations for assistance, but

who wanted to help.

they came up empty handed. So

Within days the couple had a full-

they turned to Dorothy with Baylor

size bed with a frame and a head-

volunteer services and her army of

and footboard, a dresser, a computer

volunteers to bring hope out of the

hutch, an entertainment set, two

hospital and into the home of the

end tables and two lamps. Perhaps

Baylor volunteers are accustomed to bringing help

misfortunate couple.

most important of all, they had a

and cheer to patients while inside the hospital.

It only took one email from

Baylor team on their side that came

But one patient was also in desperate need of both

Dorothy to her crew. Generous

through for them when it mattered.

while at home. She lived in an apartment with her

Baylor volunteers provided linens,


When Amanda learned that her best friend’s 10-year-old niece was diagnosed with a brain tumor and would be undergoing chemotherapy, the Baylor radiology manager knew the young girl would have a tough road ahead. She was heartbroken when the child began losing her hair and had to shave her head. So Amanda decided to do something to show her support. Amanda started growing her hair out so she could make a donation


From Their Heads Their Hearts

to Locks of Love, an organization that makes wigs for kids who have

they also decided to step up to the barber’s chair to donate.

lost their hair due to illness. When two of her co-workers caught wind

In all, five Baylor staff members, and three others who were

of what she was doing and why, they decided to join her.

inspired by them, donated a total of 102 inches of hair.

All three women planned to make their gift at a special quarterly

For the kids who benefitted from their compassion, it was

event for cancer patients. Incredibly, when the time came, they were

more than a show of solidarity. It was something that made a

joined by five other women who were so moved by the gesture that

difficult journey a little easier.


As a Baylor medical

Pat suffered from debilitating

computer went on the fritz,

Sherry knew she needed it.

transcriptionist, Sherry

rheumatoid arthritis and

Sherry drove from her home in

She routinely made trips to the

is accustomed to having

worked from home. Due to her

Irving to Pat’s place in Grand

grocery store on Pat’s behalf,

physicians, administrators

arthritis, she was unable to

Prairie to pick it up and take it

ran other errands and even cut

and her co-workers rely

attend team training sessions

in for repairs.

Pat’s hair on a monthly basis.

on her to get the job done.

or have software upgrades

Like most people with

Sherry doesn’t think of what

One particular co-worker,

installed on her computer when

severe arthritis, Pat’s condition

she did as helping out a co-

though, had to rely on Sherry

needed—so Sherry brought the

impacted far more than her

worker in need. To her, helping

to be able to do her own job

training sessions and software

work life. While she was too

Pat out was just what close

as well.

installations to her. If Pat’s

proud to ask anyone for help,

friends do for one another.

Saving More than a Job 22

Preparing Young Minds It may have been a blistering hot summer day, but

The Baylor team handed out supplies donated by

thanks in part to volunteers from Baylor, 44,000

Baylor, including rulers featuring U.S. presidents,

DISD students weren’t “left out in the cold” when it

pencil packs and a list of healthy snack ideas.

came to being ready for the start of the school year.

up a sweat at the annual Mayor’s Back-to-School

“I loved seeing how happy and excited the kids were to get their school supplies,” said Debbie,

Fair—a collaboration between the City of Dallas,

an executive assistant at Baylor and one of those

state agencies, local organizations and those with

participating in the massive effort. “Some said, ‘Thank

a kind heart willing to give up part of their weekend.

you.’ Others didn’t say anything—they just had a big

At the free event, thousands of kids received school

smile, and sometimes that means more than words.”

Nine Baylor employees and volunteers worked

supplies, vision screenings, glucose screenings, dental cleanings, immunizations and haircuts. 23

We strive to be trusted as the best place to give and receive safe, quality, compassionate

patient care. 3600 Gaston Avenue, Suite 170 • Dallas, Texas 75246 • 214.820.4071 If you would like an additional copy of “Baylor Stories,” please email 24

©2011 Baylor Health Care System BHCS-703_AB 11/11

Baylor Stories - 2011