Dorothy Cox-Fisher Award for Community Service
Voorhees Labor and Delivery Team:
Virginia Conley, RN
Marie Gibson, RN
Joyce Goldberg, RN
Susan Grupp, RN
Jane Hughes, RN
Noreen Palmay, RN
Christina Pease, RN
Corinne Pomykala, RN
Jenny Schott, RN
Jean Torrance, RN
Marene Walden, RN
Joyce Goldberg, RN, of Labor and Delivery at Voorhees, came across an article describing how Cindy Kerr started a program called CON-KERR CANCER at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to cheer her son, Ryan, who was going through chemotherapy. Cindy noticed that the pillowcases, although clean, were white and rough. Cindy envisioned the pillowcases in a variety of colors to help brighten the spirit of her son. Ryan displayed an immediate personality change to just this seemingly small change. Our nurses in Labor and Delivery in Voorhees joined the effort by holding a “pillowcase night” hosted by Susan Grupp, RN. Bringing their sewing machines and supplying the material to make the pillowcases, approximately 20 nurses along with their friends and family produced over 200 pillowcases. The team washed, ironed and prepared the pillowcases for delivery to our Pediatric units at Virtua.
The team again reassembled, this time at the home of Jane Hughes, RN, and included new members. They recruited friends and family to help in this special project and were able to create over 450 pillowcases, which were donated to the Pediatric floors within Virtua.
For helping to make a child smile and be able to put his or her head on a colorful and unique pillowcase, made with love, our thanks and congratulations to each of you!
Award for Service Excellence
Heather Hudson, RN
Mother Baby Unit, Memorial
After attending a Virtua Memorial Town Hall meeting at which Dr. Kolesk was discussing Memorial’s goal for creating an Outstanding Patient Experience, Heather couldn't contain her enthusiasm as she raised her hand during the question and answer period.
When called upon, Heather described how wonderful it would be if we could play a lullaby every time a baby was born at Memorial. Heather had heard about this being done at other hospitals, and she felt certain that playing the lullaby would be a wonderful tribute for new parents, as well as an affirmation of life for those patients and families in our hospital who were dealing with sickness and suffering.
Dr. Kolesk, a huge believer in the healing power of music, was immediately drawn to the idea. For the next few months, Heather researched other hospitals to see how they operationalized the lullaby and what their results were.
Heather was able to provide Administration with all of the information they needed to give the Lullaby Project the green light. While the next few months were filled with meetings and a few technical setbacks, we were finally ready to play the Lullaby for our first newborn baby and family.
Keeping with Virtua's "star," we chose "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" as the lullaby to be played. With the help of our marketing department, our motto became:
"A baby's birth spreads joy all around,
Listen closely for that Twinkle sound,
When you hear it you will know,
A baby was born just a moment ago"
With Heather's help, we played the first Lullaby for one of Virtua's own family—a Special Care Nursery nurse after the birth of her son Ryan.
Today, as you walk the halls of Virtua Memorial, you can't help but smile as you hear Twinkle Twinkle Little Star being played. For that brief moment in time, all patients and families are able to celebrate the miracle of a new life. We are forever grateful to Heather Hudson for making the Virtua Memorial Lullaby Project a reality.
Heather Hudson is a staff nurse who goes above and beyond to create an outstanding patient experience for every patient and family. Heather is constantly bringing ideas forward to help her team provide the best experience possible. Heather's only motivation is the patient. She is a true asset to Virtua. Heather's story is an inspiration for all of those caregivers at the bedside who question whether their voice can effect change. The change that Heather brought to Memorial brings smiles and happiness every day.
Award for Caring Culture
Team Memorial ED:
Kelley Stenton, RN
A patient was recently admitted to Memorial’s ER. The patient’s diagnosis was not a good one; he did not have much time left to live. The team listened to the man’s wishes and did something extraordinary. He expressed to Kelley Stenton, RN, that he had one final wish—to marry his girlfriend. Kelley discussed the idea with her co-workers and decided to have the wedding ceremony right there in the ER. Although it was too spontaneous to be made legal, at least the couple could get married in a “spiritual sense.”
When the patient’s girlfriend arrived, Kelley shared the patient’s wishes with her. The girlfriend was touched and agreed immediately. The “wedding planners” sprang into action. Kelley bought flowers, cake and sparkling cider. After the patient’s family arrived, Wendy Boer, Memorial’s Chaplain, began the ceremony. The ER was filled with both smiles and tears as the couple was married. After the ceremony, Kelley and the others tied tin cans to the back of the patient’s bed. The family was deeply appreciative of the thoughtfulness of the employees. We are so proud of our team and their exceptional level of caring. Congratulations to each of you!