A great story has the power to inspire deeply, embrace and uplift, transform organizations, bridge gaps, and awaken our humanity. At University of Maryland Medical Centers Great Stories recognition event on March 13, six UMSON alumni were honored and two alumnae presented awards:

Great Support
Sonia Lee, BSN 16
Award presented by Cindy Dove, MS ’13

Excerpts from the story:

I met Sonia Lee during a mid-day shift on Trauma 6; I was the charge nurse. Sonia had come to assist our unit while we were understaffed.

As I watched Sonia perform her tasks, it was rather clear that she truly cared about her patients and loved her job. During her shift, Sonia spent over 45 minutes sitting at the bedside of a patient; they simply talked and bonded with one another. She even checked on the patients that she was not assigned to.

Sonia was proactive and made an effort to help the other nurses on the unit. She asked great questions and was eager to learn new things from the nurses.

Great Honor
Treza James, MS ’05
Award presented by Maureen Archibald, MS ’12

Excerpts from the story:

For the past seven months, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has had the privilege to care for a precious baby boy. Our team worked around the clock to provide healing for the infant, but he simply did not respond to standard treatment modalities.

Our team knew that end of life was approaching, so we began the memory-making process with the family. We arranged time for crafts, professional Christmas pictures with and without Santa, family portraits, a visit to the Healing Garden, and a recording of the baby’s heartbeat.

During a conversation with the primary physician, the infant’s parents expressed their interest in organ donation, so we collaborated with the transplant team and began the referral process. In the end, the decision was made to move forward with organ donation.

Although our team was saddened that Mom and Dad would not be able to take their baby home, we were happy that the parents had a desire to help others in need. It truly takes a special parent to think of others during their own time of crisis. To honor their selfless decision, we arranged a “Walk of Honor” to honor the infant’s life and the possibility of new life.

On their final night, an adult patient bed was delivered to our unit so the family could cherish their last night together. This was the first time Mom and Dad had laid with or slept in the same bed as their son.

The following morning, staff from all disciplines and departments — those directly involved and uninvolved with the NICU — lined the hallway for the Walk of Honor. At approximately 10 a.m., the baby boy was led through the NICU hallway by his parents and primary care team. As the family walked down the hallway, Mom and Dad embraced staff members with hugs and thanked them for their support. Though there were many tears of empathy and sympathy, there was no doubt that you could feel the support and respect that the staff had for the parents.

After the walk, Mom and Dad held their baby boy in their arms for the last time as he peacefully transitioned over. As they gave their final goodbye to our team, we presented them with 3D hand molds and a picture as keepsakes.

Great Family-Centered Care

  • Karen McQuillan, MS ’86, BSN ’81
  • Maureen Shirtliff, MS ’08
  • Paul Thurman, DNP ’18, MS ’07
  • Kendall Wieder, BSN ’18
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