Learn more about our Austin expansion

New North hospital now open

Cynda Conrad is the Encouraging Listener. I am the Difference at Texas Children's Headshot Image.png
Texas Children’s Hospital

Cynda Conrad is the Encouraging Listener

Leading a team is in many ways like managing a family. Communication, providing guidance and ensuring each member feels heard are essential to maintaining a positive and supportive environment. 

“We’re going to accomplish our goals, we’re not going to stress along the way, we’re going to work together and hopefully make things fun,” says Cynda Conrad, manager of Patient Family Services (PFS) and Child Life at Texas Children’s Hospital – The Woodlands, as she summarizes her approach to leadership at work and at home as a mother of two young children. 

Cynda has led the Child Life and PFS teams at our hospital’s campus in The Woodlands for eight of the almost 18 years she has been a Texas Children’s employee. Knowing that self-care looks different for everyone, she helps her team reinforce important boundaries and ensures they have the physical and emotional resources they need. She is a leader who cheers on her team, encourages, and listens to them. 

“I want to hear what is going on so I know how to step in to support them, handling logistics or answering questions, so they can focus on the direct patient care work.” 

A former child life specialist, Cynda knows first-hand that there are daily challenges her team members face. They manage the emotions of their patients during difficult or scary moments, advocating for what they need while also supporting parents and siblings. 

“Advice I took to heart early in my career was, ‘Don’t overthink everything. Don’t try to do everything perfectly. Do the best you can to meet that family’s or patient’s needs in that moment.’”  

Similarly, Cynda wants members of her team to feel calm and stress-free during moments of difficulty or uncertainty, knowing they have the support of her and their fellow teammates. Her motto is “Let’s talk about it and figure it out together.” 

A Career Comes Full Circle 

Working at Texas Children’s was a dream rooted in Cynda’s childhood. Between the ages of eight and nine, Cynda came regularly from her home north of Houston in Conroe to Texas Children’s to receive laser treatments on her port wine stain birthmark.   

“I remember as a child seeing the big buildings and feeling nervous for my appointment.” 

One of the first people she met upon arrival was a child life specialist. To ease her fears, the child life specialist used a doll to stand in as patient, demonstrate the procedure for Cynda and help her understand what to expect during her visits to our hospital. Cynda carried the doll, which she keeps in her office even today, to every appointment and looked forward to seeing “her special nurse.” Not only did the interactions ease her nervousness and increase Cynda’s feelings of excitement as she neared the big, colorful Texas Children’s letters outside our hospital, it inspired her career. 

Cynda knew she wanted to work with children and, as she grew older and better understood the role, becoming a child life specialist seemed like a perfect fit. Knowing she wanted to work where she had received such excellent care as a child, Cynda completed her clinical internship at Texas Children’s and joined our One Amazing Team. She began her career as a child life specialist in a float position, quickly moved to radiology, then spent about five years in Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center, before assuming her current role at The Woodlands Campus. 

“What keeps me here is the heart of our mission – working within an amazing team to provide excellent care to our patients and families.” 

Faith, Family and Fate 

For Cynda, connecting to the core beliefs of her faith as a source of strength and hope has proven essential in a lengthy career caring for others. She and her husband attend church regularly and can be found “running around” to their children’s sporting events and activities or spending quality time at home together. 

Cynda’s daughters, who are nine and three years old, have plenty of time to explore their own career aspirations. She says her eldest daughter is likely to be a scientist of some kind and jokes that whatever her youngest decides to do, she is going to be in charge. 

“Having children helps you relate to other children, what their interests are or how they are processing what is happening in their world. It also gives insight into what their parents might be feeling and how we can help with that.” 

While discussing the unique opportunities she has had to serve our patients, Cynda tells of once meeting a very shy little girl who, like Cynda, had a port wine birthmark. “She had a tough time looking people in the eye and the mom was very nervous but when I walked in to talk to them about their appointment, mom lit up.” 

Cynda says they did not talk about having a birthmark or what that feels like that day because the family was there for other reasons, but she knew that being in that space with someone who looked like the little girl made a difference for them in that moment.  

As she recalls the story, it is easy to see why Cynda’s ability to help people feel at ease is The Difference for her team and our patients. We are grateful her career brought her full circle to Texas Children’s, where she listens and leads our Child Life and Patient Family Services teams with grace and encouragement. 

Ready to use your unique skills and talents to Be the Difference at Texas Children’s? Your perfect fit could be a career at any of our locations. Search for openings and apply today!