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Cook Children’s Named to No. 3 Spot on Forbes “America’s Best Large Employers” 2024 List

Cook Children's Health Care System earned a top spot on Forbes list of America's Best Large Employers for 2024.

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Cook Children’s Health Care System earned a top spot on Forbes America’s Best Large Employers 2024 list, debuting at No. 3 out of a lineup of 600. The rank acknowledges something we already knew — Cook Children’s is one of the best places to work among all large businesses across all industries nationwide.

Cook Children’s was also named No. 1 in the health care and social industry category among large employers on the list. View the entire list here.

Rankings are determined by a survey of thousands of Americans working for large companies defined as having more than 5,000 employees. The survey was administered by a national market research firm. Respondents remain anonymous and the companies on the list do not pay a fee to be included.

“It’s a huge honor to be recognized in this way on such a national level because it speaks directly to the culture we are working so hard to build here. One where our employees feel valued, supported and connected to our Promise, to our patients and to each other,” said Rick Merrill, Cook Children’s president and CEO. “It’s our people that make this place magical, and now the entire country is getting a glimpse of that magic.”Cook Children's Medical Center

A number of criteria was used in the survey to evaluate companies, including working hours, gender pay equity, opportunities for training and promotion, workload expectations, parental leave benefits, the degree of diversity on the management team and whether employees would recommend the company to their friends and family, according to Forbes. 

In recent years, Cook Children’s launched a number of initiatives to promote many of these gold standards for growing a healthy and happy workforce.

Healthy and Happy Employees Lead To Excellence

Working in health care can be personally and professionally fulfilling, but it’s no secret that it can also be hard. The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on health care workers across the globe, and exposed the burnout weighing on physicians, nurses and staff. Several internal surveys and listening sessions gave us a glimpse into the burnout Cook Children’s employees at all levels of the organization were experiencing.

“Our listening strategy is an investment in our people. Honest feedback helps us discover opportunities to improve and helps bring together leaders and teams to collaborate on solutions. No matter what your role is at Cook Children’s, your well-being matters,” said Kathy McLean, Cook Children’s Vice President of Brand and Team Experience.

In response, we are making meaningful changes and developing programs that reduce stress, support employee well-being both on and off the job, and cultivate a culture where employees feel like family.

“When we use our culture to build everything – from system strategies to our day-to-day work – we can deliver care that puts our employees and the children at the forefront of everything we do,” Kathy said.

It all starts with seeing the world through the eyes of others, whether it’s patients, family or staff. This gives our team members a unique perspective on where things are working well, as well as the opportunities for growth. Our employee feedback has been the catalyst for initiatives like the Employee Resource Groups supporting the many faces and voices within our organization.

In all of our employee benefit efforts — from providing primary care and mental health counseling for staff and their families, to supporting career development through tuition reimbursement, to expanded parental leave — our goal is to connect the dots for employee well-being. We know that helps pave the way for the safe, kind, respectful, collaborative, generous and imaginative care of our patients and their families. A healthy, valued and supported workforce allows us all to deliver on our shared Promise of “Everything for the child.”

“You cannot pour from an empty cup,” Megan said. “We believe in protecting the noble profession of caring for others by protecting our staff’s well-being and allowing them the autonomy they need to bring their best self to the job. We have the honor of caring for families, often on their worst day. That can take a toll, and we recognize and support the healing needed to continue to be present for the next situation we will encounter.”

US News & World reportAbout Cook Children’s Health Care System 

Cook Children’s is more than a health care system: we strive to be an extension of your family, growing with your child from their first steps to adulthood. By collaborating to deliver on our Promise—to improve the well-being of every child in our care and our communities, we connect the dots for our patients. Between primary and specialty. Between home and medical home. Between short-term care and long-term health. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, we’re 8,000+ dedicated team members strong, passionately caring for over 1.5 million patient encounters each year. Our integrated, not-for-profit organization spans two medical centers (including our new, state-of-the-art location in Prosper), two surgery centers, a physician network, home health services and a health plan. It also includes the Child Study Center at Cook Children's, Cook Children's Health Services Inc., and Cook Children's Health Foundation. And our impact extends beyond the borders of Texas. We proudly treat children from virtually every state in the nation and 32 countries. By seeing the world through the eyes of children and their families from all backgrounds, we’re able to shape health care suited to them: connected by kindness, imagination and respect—with an extra dose of magical wonder. Discover more at