Straight Talk - “Exemplary Coworkers”

September 15, 2011

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

There is one thing I never get tired of hearing about: The selflessness, competence and compassion of the amazing women and men who work at NCH.

Here are three recent examples of why what we do makes such a difference. The first two are RN Daisy Award winners.

Elizabeth Fitzsimons, RN-NN Intensive Care Unit. Nominated by Kristine Andreasen RN (NN PACU). “Elizabeth cared for my sister Karen (also an NCH nurse) last August for two weeks in the NN ICU. She was her nurse almost the entire time. There is not enough room to express the gratitude of my family and myself. Her care was supportive and compassionate. She made us feel comfortable in the care Karen was getting. She remained professional while at the same time keeping the ability to hug, support, listen, offer those words of comfort, or even shed a tear with us. I know it can be difficult taking care of a fellow nurse or nurses’ family, but Elizabeth requested to be Karen’s nurse through her final days. She put my friends and family at ease. Even with my critical care backgrounds, I took the situation as ‘family’ not as a ‘nurse.’ She was able to explain things to me when I needed it. Karen received safe and competent care as well as respect and dignity and privacy at all times. This meant more to me than anything. The loss of my sister was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I was so grateful to have such a loving and caring nurse there for all of us. There is no way of expressing how fortunate Karen was to have Elizabeth as her nurse and NCH to have her on staff. My friends and family will be forever grateful. As Karen looks down from heaven as an angel, she is looking at Elizabeth an angel here on earth! Thank you, Elizabeth.”

Sue Zampell, RN-5 South Rehab. Nominated by Josephine Marks, RN. “I have worked at this beautiful hospital for 21 years and in that time have experienced many touching, selfless, and caring episodes. Sue epitomizes the caring-giving spirit that is ours at NCH. Several times I have seen her go to department stores and buy clothing to dress homeless patients on their discharge from the hospital. For one homeless patient, she bought underwear, shorts, socks, sneakers, jeans and shirts. The patient hugged her and cried. Sue cried, and all present cried. Whether this man lived in a mansion or had nowhere to live had no bearing on the compassionate care Sue delivered.”

Mitch Pierre, transporter, in the holding area of cath lab. Tammy Houchin, RN, Cardiac Cath Lab, wrote, “Patients post cardiac cath are required to remain flat to avoid bleeding from the arterial puncture site. I had a patient with a movement disorder that greatly increased his risk for bleeding. He was unable to remain still, was becoming increasingly agitated, and trying to get out of bed. As I stood at the bedside trying to prevent the patient from bleeding, Mitch came to assist. His presence helped quiet the patient and allowed me to negotiate his cooperation. Mitch sat at the bedside, and I got the needed medications from the pharmacy. The meds were administered, and the patient did well. Mitch did all this without being asked! He acted superbly and deserves a big thank you.”

All three of these exemplary coworkers deserve not only our thanks, but also our heartfelt gratitude for representing the very best in competent and compassionate caregiving. Congratulations to Elizabeth, Sue and Mitch.


Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

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