In the 5 years since opening its doors, Texas Children’s Hospital Woodlands Campus has received many accolades, including recently, the Hometown Hero award from Interfaith The Woodlands. A new hospital will inevitably leave a lasting impact on its community, but that typically isn’t enough to become a hero to its neighbors. Years of dedication have created a company culture that elevates employees, patients and community organizations. Texas Children’s The Woodlands has put service first. 

Ketrese White, DNP, MHA, RN, NE-BC, vice president of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, has been with Texas Children’s for over 20 years, starting as a staff nurse and gradually earning new responsibilities that took her to her current role. White’s commitment to servant leadership has helped to mold the culture of the company from the nursing floor to the executive suite. 

“From a young child, my parents instilled in me that respect for all and so I think that has helped me throughout my career,” she said.

Expanding to serve 

As her career has expanded, so has the organization around her. In the past 5 years, Texas Children’s The Woodlands has added 14 inpatient rooms and over 20 subspecialty clinics. 

“The Woodlands has had exponential growth in five years … but what hasn’t changed is our unmatched culture. We are a family. Our people, our patients and families, they remain the most important components of our success,” said White.

The commitment to service and community involvement that is fundamental to the culture at Texas Children’s The Woodlands has led their leadership to see the needs in the community around them. The hospital has grown in response to these needs. For example, in response to the negative impacts of childhood obesity, Texas Children’s The Woodlands created the Bariatric Surgery Program, which will soon apply for formal recognition by the American College of Surgeons for excellence in their field. When the Emergency Center became consistently busy with minor illness, an urgent care was opened to better serve children and families in The Woodlands. 

The ethic of service at Texas Children’s The Woodlands has been especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Growth and expansion to serve the community continued to be a priority, but White and her team knew that hospital staff in every department would benefit from extra care as well. 

“As leaders, our actions speak loud, so I take pride in having the ability to focus on empowering and supporting our teams so that they can achieve these incredible outcomes,” she said. 

Seeing the strain that the pandemic placed on hospital staff, White led a Workforce Well-being Committee that started with Welcome to Work pep rallies and continued to focus on employee wellness during the pandemic.

Looking towards the future

When looking to the future, White looks forward to growing with her community as Texas Children’s The Woodlands continues to lead out in pediatric care. For her that means, “creating services that focus on the patient while ensuring diversity. Workplace diversity is one of our strategic imperatives because it gives us the ability to increase innovation, improve patient relations and just helps us attract top talent.” Transforming pediatric healthcare is an abstract mission, but for White, it all comes down to the people. 

“I try to focus on curating a culture of trust, and then I have that unselfish mindset that it’s not about me, so I am truly grateful to be able to lead and help others reach their fullest potential,” she said. 

Advancing and growing for 5 years, and becoming a Hometown Hero to the people of The Woodlands is in part about community outreach, but also about genuine care for the people in the community. When looking back at what she has accomplished at Texas Children’s The Woodlands, White illustrates that spirit of service by saying, “What I am proud of most is this entire team.”

For more information about Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, or to make an appointment, call 936-267-5000.