December 2012

Our Journey to Excellence...

Damita J. Williams, RN, MSN,
MA, CPN, NE-BC

Congratulations to all of you for your incredible 83 percent participation in the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) Survey!

Dear Colleagues,

First let me congratulate all of you for your incredible 83 percent participation in the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) Survey! Children's beat the national average of 72 percent by 11 percentage points. Of 16 units, only two fell below the national average and four achieved 100 percent. They were the Cath Lab, NICU, PACU, and Transport Team. Once data is received back from NDNQI it will be shared with all the participating units.

In October, five nurses from Children's were able to attend the national Magnet conference in Los Angeles. Our continued commitment to send nurses each year to the conference is a part of what is needed to continue our journey toward applying for Magnet designation again in the future. Everyone that attended was very excited about the conference. Shant'e Page, from NICU, captures the excitement and inspiration in the Magnet article included in this issue.

It was great to see so many of you at the September Town Hall meetings. Our focus on the Pillars of nursing care included a discussion about service, quality, safety and community and articulated a few of our goals for the 2012–2013 fiscal year:

  • To improve overall employee engagement scores
  • Improve nurse satisfaction
  • Rebuild confidence and trust in leadership
  • Fill all leadership positions

I also shared with you my experience regarding the work I and others are doing to bring "help, hope and healing to hurting humanity" in the Dominican Republic. The 2012 team included more than 160 medical and non-medical individuals and families whose ages ranged from 5 to 80. We saw upward of 3,000 patients and wrote some 8,000 prescriptions. We provided 300 eye exams and 150 dental exams. An information session was held in October, and over 60 employees have expressed an interest in participating in the June 2013 trip. It will be an awesome time to expand our commitment to the Community Pillar beyond the borders of CHM and the United States.

My best wishes for a happy holiday season to one and all! Sincerely yours,

Damita J. Williams RN, MSN, MA, CPN, NE-BC
Vice President Patient Care Services
Children's Hospital of Michigan

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Employee Voice Leads
to Lean Six Sigma Project

As a nurse on the floor, I had no idea that there was so much waste. We were able to pull together all the people involved in formula ordering, production and distribution to see why the waste was occurring.

When dietitian Jody Emmi, RD, saw a cart full of formula being taken back to her department destined for the trashcan she thought, "There must be some way to prevent this waste." Remembering that Lean Six Sigma had recently asked for new project ideas, she suggested that formula waste would be a good topic to investigate.

"I just thought there had to be something we could do to reduce waste in the handling and ordering of infant formula," she said. Following a feasibility study, a Lean Six Sigma team took on the challenge of discovering why so much formula was going unused and what could be done to reduce the waste. They used DMAIC, the shorthand that describes the critical elements used in Lean Six Sigma methodology: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.

Director of PET Services Patricia Woodcroft, and Staff Nurse Sherrie Rutledge were Green Belt leaders for the project. The team's objective was to identify and validate the root causes of formula waste by monitoring the process; identifying, evaluating and selecting the right improvement solutions; and developing an approach that would be effective in correcting the problem.

"As a nurse on the floor I had no idea that there was so much waste," says Rutledge, adding that the process involved so much more than the order. "We were able to pull together all the people involved in formula ordering, production and distribution to see why the waste was occurring."

In analyzing the root cause of the waste, the team discovered that the dietary staff prepared formula once daily from orders that took place before morning physician rounds took place, or in the case of NPO orders, at night. New orders for the day often appeared after the existing formula had been prepared, resulting in waste. In addition, NPO status orders did not appear on screens monitored by the dietary staff and the guidelines/formula order entries appeared on the monitor in multiple ways, adding confusion to the process.

Assisting the team was Operations Analysis Director Hanadi Dorra, MS, MBA. With her applied math and engineering background, she was able to quantify and measure the data being collected and translate that into cost savings that would justify making changes in the process.

"Hanadi was a key participant in this project," says Annette Hartner, RN, MSA, administrative director of continuous process improvement. "You can't monitor something you can't measure."

The "quick wins" in the case of the formula waste reduction process are:

  • The time of formula preparation has been modified to incorporate order changes generated after morning rounds.
  • EMR enhancement has resulted in clear orders that appear more consistent to the dietary staff.
  • A cost savings approaching an annual average of $29,000.
  • The process will continue to be monitored.

"In a large organization like the DMC, there are many people in all departments running different processes," says Hartner. "As you work through each process with all the people involved in the same room, the light bulbs start to go on. We have seen with Lean Six Sigma how this kind of group input generates the 'out-of-the-box thinking' that leads to solutions."

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Notes from the National
Magnet Conference

Most of us often say, ‘I did nothing special,’ or, ‘I was just doing my job.’ But to the people that we do that job for, we are like superheroes!

I returned from the Magnet conference in L.A. with an abundance of knowledge, inspiration and drive. I laughed and cried and had many, many "ah ha" moments. The experience for me was not only career changing, it was life changing.

Most of us often say, "I did nothing special," or, "I was just doing my job." But to the people that we do that job for, we are like superheroes! I met some amazing people that truly touched my heart and I heard some dynamic stories that made me think differently about the work we all do everyday.

The main keynote speakers at the conference included former patients who had been touched in significant ways by the care of nurses. There were family members who had experienced the loss of loved ones. They spoke about how the actions of nurses had changed their lives. And there were motivational speakers who spoke about how trust is the number one factor in ANY successful relationship.

From left, Kathleen McMahon, Wendi Tague, Hitomi Kobayashi, Shant'e Page and Madelyn Torakis

Individual session speakers were great as well. They gave me many new ideas about how they had been able to make changes to improve their units and their organizations. In one session I learned about what one unit had done to raise their employee satisfaction numbers from 32 percent to 95 percent in just a couple of months.

These sessions gave me a great deal of hope, not only for where we are going as the NICU, but where we are going as Children's Hospital of Michigan. We still have work to do and I know that we can do it! I think our most recent leadership change is the first step in giving nursing a voice, building trust with higher-level management and showing us to be a solid and unified group. In just a couple of years I expect that not only will we be recognized at the conference for our designation, but for sharing the stories of our own successes.

On Thursday night we went to a world film premier of the movie, If Florence Could See Us Now. This movie was amazing! It showed nurses in a way that I don't think many people see us. It confirmed that we are the #1 respected and trusted profession around. The plans are for the movie to be in theaters by Nurses Week 2013 and you all have to see it!

In the meantime, it will be exciting to bring the new ideas we learned at the conference to you.

All the best,
Shant'e Page, RN
Staff Nurse, NICU

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APNs Add to Quality Care
at Children's Hospital
of Michigan

Meet the APNs here at Children's Hospital of Michigan. Click here for a complete directory of the group.

With more than 70 advanced practice nurses (APNs) serving in 31 different specialty areas, DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan patients and staff benefit from a wealth of nursing knowledge. Who is considered an advanced practice nurse? According to the National Councils of State Boards of Nursing Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification & Education (July 2008) an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) is a nurse:

  1. who has completed an accredited graduate-level education program
  2. who has passed a national certification examination
  3. who has acquired advanced clinical knowledge and skills preparing him/her to provide direct care to patients, as well as a component of indirect care
  4. whose practice builds on the competencies of registered nurses (RNs)
  5. who is educationally prepared to assume responsibility and accountability for health promotion and/or maintenance
  6. who has clinical experience of sufficient depth and breadth to reflect the intended license

There are four recognized categories of APNs:

  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Certified nurse-midwife (CNM)
  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)
  • Certified nurse practitioner (CNP)

During subsequent issues of I&E you will be introduced to many of the APNs here at Children's Hospital of Michigan. In the meantime please feel free to click here for a complete directory of the group.

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Looking at the Impact
of Evidence-Based Practice

The year of planning resulted in a fantastic day for all who attended. Our keynote speaker was amazing, and we saw many high quality poster presentations and heard unique panel discussions.

Some 130 staff nurses, advanced practice nurses, managers, nurse educators and other health care professionals attended the September 28 DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan Nursing Conference at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial. The purpose of  the conference, titled Promoting Excellence Through Evidence-Based Practice: Transforming Health Care in 2012, was to discuss the impact of evidence-based practice on the delivery of health care and health care expenditures.

"The year of planning resulted in a fantastic day for all who attended," says Hitomi Kobayashi, PhD, RN, director of the Children's Hospital of Michigan Center for Excellence in Pediatric Nursing. "Our keynote speaker, Mary Sitterding, PhDc, RN, CNS, executive director of nursing research, professional practice and operational improvement at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, was amazing. In addition, we saw many high quality poster presentations and heard unique panel discussions."

Kobayashi thanks planning committee members Heather Bartlett, MSN, RN, CPNP; Pat Beierwaltes, MSN, RN, CPNP; Carolyn Clemons; Moira Longworth, BSN, RN; Deborah McWilliams, MSN, RN, CPNP; Beth Page, BSN, RN, CPN;  and Beth Voyles, RN, CPN; for a "job well done." She also acknowledges the support of nurse managers who sent so  many nursing staff to the conference and encouraged them to present posters. "These research and EBP projects are a critical component for improving our nursing practice," she adds.

"Finally, I would like to say how much I deeply appreciate our CNO, Damita Williams, whose presence made a big difference with our nursing staff," says Kobayashi. "We can feel and see her support."

Abstracts Presented by CHM Staff Members

Challenges of Change: Implementing the 6th Edition Changes of Neonatal Resuscitation
Kim Roman, MSN, RN, and Mary Ellen Zajac, RNC-NIC, BSN
CHM Nursing Education/NICU

The Impact on Health Literacy of an Educational Program designed to teach Gastrostomy Tube Care to a Low Literacy Urban Population: A Pilot Study
Jennifer Ellsworth; Melori McDonald, MSN, CPNP; Christine Sandison, BSN, RN; Hitomi Kobayashi, PhD, RN
CHM GI Clinic

The Effect of a Needle-Free Lidocaine Injection System on Pediatric Procedural Pain and Satisfaction: A Randomized Double Blind Controlled Study
Jennifer Ellsworth; Denny Mershman, BA, BSN, RN; Steven Rubinstein, CCLS, CPST; Hitomi Kobayashi, PhD, RN
CHM ED/Child Life

Efficient and Accurate ED Patient Thru-Put: It's a Collaborative Effort
Sharon A. Simpson, BSN, RN, CPN
CHM Care Management

Improving Nurse/Physician Communication
Nicole Sarkett, RN, CPN, and Rita Cvetlovski, RN CHM IRP

Implementation of Advanced Technology Prismaflex® CRRT Machine in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit: Evaluation of Training Program
Katie Rohrhoff, MSN, RN
CHM Nursing Education/PICU

Seizure Precautions in Hospitalized Pediatric Patients
Patricia Beierwaltes, MSN, RN, CPNP
CHM

Independent Observer and Real-Time Correction and Feedback Model in the Prevention of CLABSI in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Mary Caverly, MSN, RN, CPNP; Lauren Kelm, MSN, RN, CCRN, CPNP; Katie Rohrhoff, MSN, RN
CHM PICU/Nursing Education

Creating a Positive Patient Safety Culture in the NICU
Kim Roman, MSN, RN, and Eunice Woldt, MSN, CNS, RN
CHM NICU/Nursing Education

Continuing Education: It's Not Just About Contact Hours Anymore
Lynne Hillman, Med, BScN, RN, and Mary Ann Lynch, BSN, RN, RN-BC
CHM Nursing Education

Parental Perception of Uncertainty in Spina Bifida
Patricia Beierwaltes, MSN, RN, CPNP
CHM

Early detection of Hearing Loss with Newborn Hearing Screen
Stacie Pfeifer, BSN, RN
CHM IRP

Stay! Don't Go! Stay!
Jennie Basirico, BSN, RNC; Stephanie Hoover, BSN, RNC; LaChelle House, ADN, RN; Shant'e Page, RN
CHM NICU

Outpatient in a Bed: A Novel Approach to Comprehensive Acute Burn Care Delivery
Elizabeth Ciaravino, BSN, RN; Shant'e Page, RN; Eunice Woldt, MSN, IBCLC; Ginger Young, BSN, RNC
CHM NICU

Noise as a Dissatisfier for Families and Staff: What's a Nurse to Do?
Dayle Ciurysek, GScN, RN, CPN, and Laura Morasset, BSN, RN
CHM 5W

Detecting Catheter-associated UTIs in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Patient
Mary Wagner, BSN, RN, and Erica downs, BSN, RN
CHM PICU

Stay in the Safe Zone
Lynn Symproch, MPH, CIC; Beth Toftey, MPH; Amy Bronzoski, ADN, RN; Laura Carpenter, BSN, RN, CPN; Jennifer Cockels, AND, RN, CPN; Karen Karoutsos, ADN, RN; Tina Kaunelis, BSN, RN, CPN; Janel Kooienga, SN, RN, CPN; Jennifer Lowell, BSN, RN, CPN; Colleen Lucia, ADN, RN; Charlene McDougle, BSN, RN; Lisa Wilke, BSN, RN
CHM 6E/Infection Control

Using National data Base for Evidence Based Practice Nursing Research
Patricia Beierwaltes, MSN. RN, CPNP
CHM/Wayne State University

PACU RNs Enhancing a Healthy Environment
Patty Reaume, BSN, RN, and Kelly Owens, BSN, RN
CHM PACU

All the King's Horses and All the King's Men are Helping to Eliminate Falls at CHM
Sandra K. Conoff, BSN, RN, CPN; Michelle Crandall, PT, CBIS; Roberta Lindsay, MSA, BSN, RN; Rita Peterson, LRT, RRT; Laura Walker, CCLS
CHM Fall Elimination Committee

Reducing Disparities: Engaging Family Voice in Shaping the Research Agenda
Allison L. Gall, MD; Beverly Crider; Felicity W.K. Harper, PhD; Susan Eggly, PhD; Hitomi Kobayashi, PhD, RN; Kathleen L. Meert, MD; Louis A. Penner, PhD; Herman Gray, MD, MBA; Terrance L. Albrecht, PhD
CHM, WSU School of Medicine Departments of Pediatrics and Oncology, Karmanos Cancer Institute Population Studies and Disparities Research Program

Patient- and Family-Centered Care as an Approach to Reducing Disparities in Asthma Outcomes in Urban African-American Children
Allison L. Gall, MD; Beverly Crider; Felicity W.K. Harper, PhD; Susan Eggly, PhD; Hitomi Kobayashi, PhD, RN; Kathleen L. Meert, MD; Louis A. Penner, PhD; Herman Gray, MD, MBA; Terrance L. Albrecht, PhD
CHM, WSU School of Medicine Departments of Pediatrics and Oncology, Karmanos Cancer Institute Population Studies and Disparities Research Program

The Professional Nurse Council-Sponsored 2012 National Cereal Drive: "Because Hunger Doesn't take a Summer Vacation"
Pamela J. Taurence, RN, CCM
CHM Care Management

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Two Children's Hospital
Nurses Win DAISY Awards

Jackie DiPaoli

Erica Downs

Erica Downs, BSN, RN, and Jackie DiPaoli, BSN, RN, were both recognized by grieving parents of children who died in the PICU after months-long struggles. Both families sent letters saying how much they appreciated, and were helped, by Downs and DiPaoli during this very difficult time in their lives.

"It always amazes me that parents who are experiencing such a terrible loss can take the time to write about what we did," says DiPaoli, who has worked at Children's for the past five years. "It feels new every time to see what an important role we can play in helping parents through the saddest time in their lives."

Downs has worked at Children's off and on over the past seven years beginning as a student and then working as a staff nurse on several units. She is currently in the PICU, where there is a daily struggle to save the lives of newborns.

"Sometimes, in their grief and frustration about what is happening to their child, parents take their frustration out on the nurses," says Downs. "But we understand and do whatever we can to help them through it. The challenge for me is to find a way to make the kids smile. It can be as simple as a song or a cartoon. You don't think such a small thing can make a difference, but it does."

For DiPaoli, finding the right career took a while. She began in business but "it just wasn't a good fit." Nursing combines her love of working with people with the ability to help them.

"I see miracles every day in the two different journeys these babies and parents are on," she says. "Some are just too sick to live, and others, somehow get better."

The DAISY Award is presented quarterly to publicly honor nurses who have provided exceptional and compassionate care to patients and families. It is based on information received from the At Your service (AYS) surveys completed by families. The DAISY Foundation was formed in January 2000 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 of complications from Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpua. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.

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Nurses of the Month

Barbara Koss

 

June

Acute Care
Barbara Koss, RN graduated from Regent's College in New York and has been at the DMC for 27 years. She works in the internal resources pool. "Working in patient care, I learn something every day and am impressed constantly by the knowledge, skills and caring of my co-workers," she says of her job. "One of the biggest challenges for me is being able to give the patients the time they need."

 

Sarah Minarik

 

Alternative Practice
Sarah Minarik, BSN, RN has been at the DMC for six years and currently works in the neurology clinic. "Here in the neurology clinic we have a continuously growing practice involving all aspects of neurology," she says. "Every family's situation is different. Finding a balance between their needs and treatment recommendations is our greatest challenge."

 

Todd Gidell

 

Critical care
Todd Gidell, RN, was a licensed builder before changing careers to become a nurse. Since coming to Children's in 1995, he has worked on 5 West and the ED and since 2010, has been a member of the Intensive Care Transport Team (PANDA One). "Nursing is not just starting IVs or performing procedures to me," he says. "We take care of families at perhaps the scariest time of their lives. The way we approach that care can make as much difference as being competent in your skill sets."

 

Rita Cvetkovski

 

July

Acute Care
Rita Cvetkovski, RN, attended St. Clair College in Canada and worked at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Windsor before coming to Children's seven years ago. She became a nurse to be in a position to help people, "especially kids," she says. "I love seeing the smiles on their faces, even though they are battling the biggest challenge in their little lives. The greatest challenge for me is seeing the kids in pain and their parents having to cope with what has been brought to them."

 

Moira Longworth

 

Alternative Practice
Moira Longworth, BSN, RN, works in nursing education as an acute care educator for 5 East, IRP and the IV Team. A patient at Children's when a child, she came to work as a nurse 26 years ago. If not a nurse, Longworth would be an elementary school teacher. "Our greatest challenge as educators is the constantly changing environment in the health care field," she says. "Keeping up with all these changes and educating the staff about them is a significant part of our role."

 

Amanda Sobolewski

 

Critical Care
Amanda Sobolewski, RN, wanted to do something in her
life that she felt would make a difference. "As a nurse, there are endless possibilities whether at the bedside or out in the community," she says. "The chance to educate others is always there." Sobolewski came to Children's eight years ago after graduating from University of Detroit-Mercy. She works in the NICU and "loves working with babies and their families."

 

Claire Hunter

 

August

Acute Care
Claire Hunter, BSN, RN, says of her job on 5 West, where she began working at Children's two and one half years ago, "Even though it is wild some days, it's home. Kids are my passion, and while it is rewarding seeing them recover from illness, it is heartbreaking when it doesn't happen." Before receiving a bachelor's degree in nursing from Michigan State University's accelerated program of nursing, Hunter earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Kalamazoo College. She says the psychology training helps her everyday in the nursing profession.

 

Kathleen McHugh

 

Alternative Practice
Kathleen McHugh, BScN, RN, came to Children's from Henry Ford Hospital in 2003. She is a graduate of the University of Windsor. McHugh's love for children brought her to a career in nursing and also is the reason she loves coming to work in the hematology/oncology clinic. "I love the children, families and my
co-workers," she says. "The greatest challenge we face here is dealing with children with life threatening illnesses."

 

Linda Goossens

 

Critical Care
Linda Goossens, BS, RN, experienced the fast pace of a nursing career when she was in the high school co-op program at St. John Hospital. She began at Children's 38 years ago and currently works in the PICU. "Everyone's opinion counts here," she says. "We function independently utilizing the skills and knowledge that we were taught to stabilize our critically ill patients and work toward good outcomes."

 

Annie Nichols

 

September

Acute Care
Annie Nichols, BSN, RN, worked as an aide in a nursery school before completing her education and coming to work at Children's two years ago on 5 West. "I am always impressed by how resilient, entertaining and optimistic children can be, even when faced with challenges," she says. "I also really love working with adolescents because many of them are at a turning point in their lives when it comes to solidifying healthy habits. I enjoy leading them in the right direction."

 

Mary Jo Tebbe

 

Alternative Practice
Mary Jo Tebbe, RN, specifically works on the Allscripts project for the ambulatory clinics. She waited until her children were grown to begin her nursing career by attending Macomb Community College. Following graduation Tebbe worked in the ER at St John Providence Hospital and came to Children's in January of 2012. "I love the fast pace and excitement of the ER but I also love the design and build of a useful EHR," she says. "The common denominator is that you are always striving to do what is best for the patient."

 

Cindy Fjeldstad

 

Critical care
Cindy Fjeldstad, RN decided to become a nurse at the age
of 30 because of the "caring nurses" who took care of her grandfather in the last days of his life. She is currently working toward a BSN and plans to continue on toward a master's degree. She says of her work in the NICU, "The babies here have multiple defects and illnesses but are so strong and amazing. They go through things that we as adults would give up on."

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Announcements

Save the date for our upcoming Town Hall meetings

December Town Halls with
Damita Williams, MSN, RN, MA, CPN, NE-BC

December 18
11:30am–12:15pm
12:30–1:15pm
Boardroom B

December 21
1:00–1:45am
2:00–2:45am
Classrooms 1, 2 and 3

December 22
11:30am–12:15pm
12:30–1:15pm
Boardrooms B and C

Cassandra Chassie

Cassandra Chassie, BA, BN, RNC-NIC, NE-BC promoted to Nurse Manager, NICU

Cassandra Chassie began her career at the Children's Hospital of Michigan in 1995 as a staff nurse on the Cardiology/ Stepdown unit. She has held several positions within Children's, including staff nurse roles in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Cardiac Catheterization Lab, before transitioning to a Clinical Manager Position in the NICU in 2006.  Cassi completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2000 from the University of Windsor and her Bachelor of Nursing in 2006 from Athabasca University.

In 2011, Cassi moved to the Clinical Manager position in the PICU and recently returned to the NICU as Interim Manager. It is from that role that she transitions to the role of Nurse Manager, NICU.

Cassi has also been an active member of the Critical Incident Stress Management Team and passed the Neonatal Certification exam in 2006 and the Executive Nurse Certification Exam in 2011.

Stephanie Hansford

Stephanie Hansford RN, MSN promoted to
Director PICU/Cardiology

Stephanie Hansford began her career at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in the Dietary Department in 1978. While working in that department for 5 years and attending college she was able to become licensed to practice as an LPN beginning in 1983. She then transferred into the nursing department, working on 4SW, the Nephrology/Urology unit. Within the six years working on 4SW she acquired an ADN.

In 1989 Stephanie transferred to the PICU as a staff nurse. She then earned a BSN and MSN from the University of Phoenix in 2001. Her leadership roles first started as Charge Nurse of 4SW, PICU/Cardiology. In 2009, she accepted the position as a Clinical Coordinator of the Cardiology unit. Since that time, Stephanie has served as the Clinical Coordinator and Interim Manager.

As a result of the leadership positions held throughout her career, Stephanie was named to the position of Director of 4SW, PICU/Cardiology.

Brenda VanWallaghen

Brenda VanWallaghen, RN, MSN, NE-BC
promoted to Director of Nursing Practice

Brenda VanWallaghen, RN, MSN, NE-BC and previously manager, 5 West and Observation Unit was named Children's Hospital of Michigan Director of Nursing Practice in October.

Brenda began her career at the Children's Hospital of Michigan as a staff nurse in 1985 after graduating from Madonna University with a B.S. in Nursing. She held many positions within CHM, including utilization management and airway management. She also worked for Children's Choice as a care coordinator, all while working toward a Masters of Nursing Administration from the University of Phoenix, for which she received her degree in 2004. Brenda became a Unit Manager in 2004 and it is from that role that she transitioned to Director of Nursing Practice.

Brenda co-led EMR implementation and adoption in 2005 for the Children's Hospital of Michigan patient care staff. She passed the Executive Nurse Certification Exam in 2009 and completed the DMC Leadership Academy in 2010.

Deborah Niedbala

Deborah Niedbala is named Director of Quality
and Patient Safety

Deborah Niedbala began her career at Children's in 1983 as a student nurse associate in the Emergency Department (ED). She completed her BSN in 1985 and continued as a staff nurse in the department. Deb continued to expand her knowledge base and in 1991, became the research nurse for the ED. From 1992–1996 her focus shifted from research to education and competencies as she became the preceptor in the ED.

In 2004, her ability to develop and orientate staff led her to the nurse educator role in the ED. Here she gained the knowledge and experience to direct and evaluate staff education and competency programs. Community and public education became part of her role. This led her to additional leadership roles in the organization. In 2004 she became the DMC Nursing Continuation Program administrator as well as received her MSN from Wayne State University.

In 2005, Deb had transferred her ED knowledge and accepted the position as trauma nurse clinician. Program development, patient education, trauma patient care and quality metrics monitoring and data base abstraction experience added to her knowledge skill base. In 2007 her expertise in the trauma program led her to the promotion of Trauma/ Burn Program coordinator. Her role continued to expand to trauma coordinator in 2009, where she assisted with the successful American College of Surgeons Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center verification.

In 2010, Debbie’s interest and commitment to quality and patient safety led her to accept the position of Clinical improvement coordinator for the Quality and Compliance Department. In 2011 Deb successfully passed her Certification in Professional Healthcare Quality.

Mary Klawitter

Mary Klawitter joins Childrens as Director of Regulatory Compliance!

Mary Klawitter comes to Children's with extensive expertise in regulatory readiness, quality clinical practice and education. Her experience with program planning and leading teams through regulatory surveys will assist Childrens in its regulatory readiness journey.

Mary began her career in 1978 as a staff nurse. She continued to gain knowledge and experience and in 1994 her career path led her to become a regional perinatal coordinator where she coordinated a program of outreach education and consultation for neonatal, obstetrics and pediatric health care providers improving the quality of perinatal care. In 1999 Mary became a clinical nurse specialist for women's and children's services at a local hospital. Responsibilities included maternal child regulatory readiness, magnet project coordination and Joint Commission Certification for specific women's health issues.

In 2006, she joined the Henry Ford Health System as a clinical nurse specialist for their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Mary was chair of their quality council and worked on many projects and research activities to improve neonatal care. Mary moved around through the Henry Ford system with the drive of quality and regulatory readiness. She was responsible for survey readiness, quality improvement initiatives. In 2010 she became the regional liaison for quality and compliance for the Henry Ford System and over the past few years has held a regulatory and quality compliance position.

Mary received her LPN diploma in 1978, Associates Degree in 1988, BSN in 1991 and her MSN in 1994. She is certified as a neonatal intensive care nurse and a neonatal resuscitation regional instructor. She is also a certified specialist in health care accreditation.

A wonderful holiday gift!

The history of DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan, formerly Children's Free Hospital Association, is now chronicled in a 176-page hardcover commemorative coffee table book just in time for holiday cyber shopping! Children's Hospital of Michigan – 125 Years – Always There Just for Them is the story of Michigan's first and most experienced pediatric hospital told through photographs and inspirational stories of the men and women who dedicated their lives to improving the health and well-being of Michigan's children. To purchase a copy of the book, click here. The cost is $47 plus tax and is discounted for purchases of two or more books.

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Four pillars of excellence