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Celebrating our World-Class Employees:
Going Above and Beyond

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Proctor Pasikilades, RRT, Respiratory Therapist, Division of Pulmonary Medicine:

“I just wanted to take the time to congratulate you and your team for all the hard work and planning it took to get through this last week,” said Proctor Pasikalides, a respiratory therapist at Children’s National. “Children’s National comes out way ahead of the others in how they treat their employees. And it’s not just the full-timers and part-timers who are treated exceedingly well, it’s everyone, including parents and patients. So again, GREAT JOB DONE and thanks for making Children’s National my number one employer. I truly look forward to everyday I come to work here,” he added. 

Tonia L. Johnson, MSN, BSN, RN, Interim Clinical Manager, Children’s National Specialists of Virginia, LLC:

Tonia managed the Children’s National Specialists of Virginia during the snow storm and explains, “Children’s National Specialists of Virginia is a new facility and has only been opened for one month, my staff are all new and exuded excellent teamwork to get patient’s procedures rescheduled in such a short time frame.”  

She adds, “I am passionate about working at Children’s National because of the commitment to nursing exemplified by my nursing colleagues who came before me. I was very impressed with the level of dedication that nurses have who work here and it is evident in the average number of years a nurse chooses to remain employed at Children’s. Retention in nursing is a challenge but nurses want to be here. It is also evident in the number of nurses who willingly travel great distance to work at this hospital when there are other hospitals right in their back yard. I am most passionate about working at Children’s however because of the ability we have to restore health and happiness to many children and their families’ lives. I am passionate about children in general.” 

Parvathi Mohan, MD, Attending Physician, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition:

Dr. Mohan works in the Intestinal and Liver Rehabilitation in-patient unit, and during the snow storm explained, “Residents and support staff rose to the occasion and pitched in very well to ensure good care for the in-patients. The nurses were spectacular in the way they took on more chores in an effort to balance the shortage of staff during the storm.”

Dr. Mohan has worked at Children’s National for 20 years and added that one of the reasons she loves to work here is, “The resilience and unconditional trust and devotion of the children I care for.” She also added that what inspires her most about working at Children’s is, “The cordiality and commitment of my colleagues to children and to one another, and the prestige and fulfillment from working in an institution such as Children’s.”

Tara Taylor, Director, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit:

Tara managed Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) during the February 2010 blizzard and shared, “The NICU received a call from an area referring hospital requesting transport for a critically ill baby to Children’s National. Children’s transport team travels to local hospitals to transport patients who require care at Children’s National. At the time local news reported that Pepco and snow plows were suspending operations due to zero visibility. The team’s approach to traveling in difficult weather conditions-- rain, snow, wind, sleet-- is that all must agree and if any one person says no or feels uncomfortable then we do not take the call. Margaret Shanks, Neonatal Transport Nurse, spoke with the EMT driver, Kate Powell, and said that if she was comfortable trying to make the trip and everyone else agreed then we would attempt to get the baby. Margaret called the referral hospital and told the fellow there that we would head out, but we could not guarantee an arrival time if any and that the patient’s family should be informed that we might not be able to get there. The team actually got to the referral hospital and back in one hour and 30 minutes with no issues. The Neonatal Transport Team nurse went to check on the baby and mom a couple of days later and says that ‘the smile on her face was all that was needed to confirm we did the right thing by going out in the Blizzard of 2010.’ Thanks to Kate Powell - driver, Ken Seth-paramedic, Kathy Mills and Kathy Miles-RT, and Margaret Shanks, RN.”

Ira Cohen, MD, Anesthesiologist, Division of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine:

“The times I am most inspired at work is when the entire Children’s National community - doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technicians, assistants, support staff and families - come together and strive to do the best for our patients.” Dr. Cohen adds, “The most memorable moment for me during the snowstorms of 2010 was when on Wednesday morning, with a true full blown blizzard blowing, I turned from the Operating Room Scheduling Board and realized that so many of my colleagues had braved the weather and roads that we could run all 19 on-site anesthetizing locations.”

From a patient’s mother:

“To all the Children’s National staff who have left families at home, worked tirelessly for days, and ensured the Children’s National children continue to receive the best quality of care, we thank you! The rest of us need to realize how difficult it would be to remain at our workplaces for days at a time during a winter-weather crisis, but to be responsible for the health, care, and well-being of sick children makes the Children’s National staff that much more deserving of our sincerest appreciation.”

Karen Perry, MD, Chief Resident, Pediatrics:

Perry said, “My colleagues demonstrated tremendous dedication during the recent snow emergencies. Many residents voluntarily stayed on site to ensure their continuous care of our patients. Residents reached out to each other, volunteering to take shifts for colleagues with difficult commutes or family concerns. One resident, Madeleine Gagnon, rented a 4 wheel drive so that she could drive herself and her colleagues to and from work safely. On one of their early morning commutes (5:30 am), the residents came across a gentleman stranded in the snow in his wheelchair, so they stopped to help. Bob Kavanagh, one of our first year residents, assisted the man.”

Erin Garth, Inpatient Nurse Practitioner, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition:

“There is genuine respect and appreciation for employees at all levels at Children’s. This was exemplified in particular during and after the snow storms with Mr. Zechman’s emails, Dr. Newman’s comments at Grand Rounds and patient-family feedback. I have only been working at Children’s National for a short time. With extensive previous experience at other prestigious children’s hospitals, I am really impressed by this sense of staff teamwork and willingness to share ideas.”

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