HOUSTON (October 28, 2014)

At Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, clinical teams contribute to several “special deliveries” every day. But earlier this afternoon, the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC) Campus – which is home to both Memorial Hermann-TMC and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital – enjoyed a different kind of delivery. Papa John’s pizzas, which had been preordered for a staff leadership luncheon, were hand-delivered by none other than Houston Texans Defensive End J.J. Watt. Needless to say, employees were stunned and overjoyed by the surprise.

Watt, who is known for his philanthropy as much as his star role on the football field, teamed up with Papa John’s to surprise at least one lucky winner every Tuesday during football season. In addition to giving customers the chance to meet Watt, Papa John’s is donating 10 percent of all Tuesday sales to the J.J. Watt Foundation, which provides after-school opportunities for children in the community to become involved in athletics so that they can learn character traits such as accountability, teamwork, leadership, work ethic and perseverance.

“Who could have imagined that we would get such an exciting surprise from something as simple as a staff pizza party?” said Craig Cordola, CEO of Memorial Hermann-TMC. “Today was certainly our lucky day!”

Last week, Memorial Hermann-TMC reached not one but two major milestones. Cordola, together with Memorial Hermann-TMC Chief Nursing Officer Victoria King, wanted to honor members of some of the leadership teams instrumental in making those recent accomplishments a reality and thank them for all their hard work over the past several weeks and months by co-hosting an appreciation luncheon of pizza and cake.

On Tuesday of last week, the Campus achieved one of the highest levels of recognition a hospital can receive – Magnet® recognition for excellence in nursing services by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®. Magnet recognition is the highest possible organizational credential granted by the ANCC, the largest and most prominent nursing credentialing organization in the United States, and less than seven percent of hospitals in the country have achieved Magnet status since the program’s inception in 1994.

Then, late last Thursday night at the UHC Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Memorial Hermann-TMC won the prestigious 2014 UHC Quality Leadership Award. The award is given to the top academic medical centers in the country that have demonstrated excellence in delivering high-quality patient care, as measured by the UHC Quality and Accountability Study. The Campus was one of only 12 member hospitals across the country chosen as an award winner.

“I can’t think of a group more deserving of such a thrilling surprise than these hardworking and talented leaders we were already coming together to honor,” said King. “I just wish we could have gathered our entire Campus to share in the moment! A big thanks to J.J. and Papa John’s for bringing our folks a lunch they’ll never forget.”