Giving Thanks to Our NICU Family

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Ian Maclaren


A neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)  is an intensive care unit specializing in the care of ill or premature newborn infants. There’s little question that the NICU can be a place of stress and disappointment.  But it can also be full of wonderful and sweet moments, with adorable babies and hopeful parents. It’s true, though, that you have to be wonderfully skilled to work in an environment where there are difficult days of fighting hard battles on behalf of the tiniest babies.

Yet the  empathy and compassion the entire caregiving teams at CHRISTUS Health hospitals manage to extend are exemplary.  They have the professional capacities but also relate to their patients in a personal and human way.

How do we know this?

Through the years, hundreds of parents and former patients return to the grounds of CHRISTUS hospital campuses for annual NICU reunions. A recent one at CHRISTUS Southeast Texas St. Elizabeth in Beaumont showcased not just their remodeled facility but the amazing feeling families get in reconnecting with those who supported them during tough emotional times.

These reunion events bring back together the children and their parents who spent time in the NICU with the medical professionals who cared for them. The smiles are contagious.  This is the great visual proof that CHRISTUS Associates must be doing something right.

A CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-South nurse holding up a baby


And now there’s quantitative proof of the kind of feelings we see pictured at NICU reunions.  CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-South has those exciting numbers and received a 2016 Guardian of Excellence Award® win from Press Ganey to back it up.

The Guardian of Excellence Award® recognizes top-performing health care organizations that have consistently achieved the 95th percentile or above of performance in Patient Experience.


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Patient satisfaction is an integral part of CHRISTUS’ delivery of health care, and Press Ganey helps CHRISTUS evaluate how they are doing on that front.  According to Press Ganey we’re doing well.

The Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award® is a nationally-recognized symbol of achievement in health care.  Presented annually, the award honors hospital and health care systems that consistently sustain performance in the top 5 percent of all Press Ganey clients for each reporting period during the course of one year.

“We’re always striving to clearly hear the voices of those we serve. We want to know what we are doing is making a positive difference,” explained Lauren Goodman, PRC, CHRISTUS Health system director of Market Research. “Press Ganey’s recognition means that we are at the very top of the more than 50 percent of all U.S. hospitals Press Ganey partners with to help improve outcomes. We’re proud of our awards.”

During this year’s Press Ganey national conference in Orlando, CHRISTUS Health was recognized for two awards: Guardian of Excellence for Patient Experience® (CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital South and CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital-Alamo Heights)  and Guardian of Excellence for Employee Engagement® (CHRISTUS St. Michael Rehabilitation Hospital).

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CHRISTUS Health’s leaders in attendance at this year’s Press Ganey 2016 National Client Conference.  Thirty-one leaders attended including 17 executive leaders; Press Ganey’s 2016 Nurse of the Year Award finalist, Sandra Pena from CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital-Alamo Heights; and two featured presenters, Preston Gee, Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Lauren Goodman, System Director of Market Research


The celebration of the Guardian of Excellence Award® from Press Ganey continues for CHRISTUS Spohn as they’ve invited the entire CHRISTUS Spohn region (all Associates) to CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital-South’s  cafeteria to help recognize their work to improve patient satisfaction and create an environment that supports a family’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

The NICU team at CHRISTUS Spohn South treat the tiniest of patients, but they are planning to celebrate in a big way.  Their work to optimize the patient care experience and help others overcome challenges was recognized by Press Ganey.