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2020 40 Under 40 Michelle Craven Vinson

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MICHELLE CRAVEN VINSON, M.D., 39

PEDIATRIC ANESTHESIOLOGIST, COOK CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Although quality and safety are imperative in her practice, perhaps Dr. Michelle Craven Vinson’s best attribute is the ability to connect with her patients and build rapport in a very short time during the pre-op visit just before surgery.

She is known for her “balloon drawings” and for the games she plays with the children during the induction of anesthesia, said her husband, Ryan Vinson, who nominated her.

“Michelle frequently picks up on a patient’s favorite animal or character during the pre-op phase of care and then colorfully illustrates this on the reservoir bag – which she calls a balloon to the children – that is actually a part of the anesthesia equipment,” he said.

When the children enter the induction room, they see the artwork complete their name on it. They focus on the balloon and are less anxious and scared, Ryan Vinson said. They get to take the balloon home with them once they are discharged.

Vinson was recognized as a “Healthcare Hero” in 2016 by the Fort Worth Business Press for excellence in the medical community.

She was valedictorian of her class at C.F. Brewer High School in Fort Worth and earned a BA Cum Laude from Rice University in Houston and an M.D. from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

– Paul K. Harral

Where did your first paycheck come from?

At the age of 16, I received my first printed paycheck from the White Settlement Recreation Center where I was a teacher for several different kids’ classes including gymnastics/tumbling, dance and cheerleading. … I worked for the rec center until I left for college.

What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?

I must have seen the Wizard of Oz at least a hundred times! It was my little sister’s favorite movie and we watched it over and over. Though I gave her a hard time about it, I secretly liked it, too. Watching this movie encouraged me to never give up or stop dreaming.

Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or she was important.

My parents were without a doubt the most influential people in my life growing up, not just because of their unconditional love but also because of their constant encouragement. We didn’t have a lot growing up, but they knew how much I loved to be involved in lots of different sports and activities and they sacrificed so much to be able to provide opportunities for me to participate. I played multiple sports including volleyball, basketball, softball, cross country and track and participated in cheerleading, dancing, tumbling, and even beauty pageants. Even when we didn’t have money to pay tuition or fees, they would find ways to make it happen, whether that meant providing cleaning service to the gym in exchange for classes or selling off things we owned to pay for my volleyball tournament trips. As busy as I always was, I found value in every single thing I did, and I truly believe it shaped me into a well-rounded person and who I am today.

What is your favorite song?

Get the Party Started, P!NK

Tell us about your photo shoot prop.

God, family and health and career are some of my biggest blessings. I have my grandmother’s old Bible to represent my walk with God and my stethoscope for my career as a physician. I also have my favorite photo of my two precious daughters, Hayley and Ella, and an issue of the Fort Worth Business Press featuring my husband, Ryan Vinson. I am extremely proud of him for his success in his entrepreneurial endeavors but mostly for the amazing husband and father he has become. My pose is a tribute to how much I have come to love Pilates.

Paul Harral
Paul is a lifelong journalist with experience in wire service, newspaper, magazine, local and network television and digital media. He was vice president and editor of the editorial page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and editor of Fort Worth, Texas magazine before joining the Business Press. What he likes best is writing about people in detail and introducing them to others in the community. Specific areas of passion are homelessness, human trafficking, health care and aerospace.

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