Laurel Edinburgh named Minnesota Pediatric Nurse Practitioner of the Year; Maria Christu and Jeff Weness receive business industry recognition

Minneapolis, Minn. – (May 30, 2013) – Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota today announced that three of its leaders have been recognized by professional organizations and business publications for their leadership and professional contributions.

Laurel Edinburgh, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Children's, was named Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) of the Year for 2013 by the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP). Each year, the award is given to one Minnesota PNP who best exemplifies the mission of NAPNAP, which is to promote optimal health for children through leadership, practice, advocacy, education and research. Laurel was honored at the Minnesota chapter's NAPNAP May 9 annual meeting.

"A leader in assessing and treating children who are victims of child abuse and sexual exploitation, Laurel is a recognized expert in matters of risk, resiliency and stigmatization of sexually abused teens," said Patsy Stinchfield, MS, CPNP, director of infectious disease and immunology at Children's. "As developer of the Runaway Intervention Program and a sought-after national and international consultant, we are thrilled to see Laurel recognized for her contributions to the field of children's health and for her advocacy on behalf of child victims of sexual abuse."

Maria Christu, general counsel, vice president of advocacy and a member of the executive team at Children's, was named a winner in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal's annual Women in Business Awards. Each year, the publication recognizes 50 women for their professional achievements, leadership qualities and contributions to the broader Twin Cities community. Christu was featured in a special publication on May 24 and was recognized at a luncheon on May 23.

"Maria has spearheaded key initiatives designed to provide high-quality, cost-effective care, including serving as a lead negotiator for the new Mother Baby Center, a collaboration between Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Children's," said Theresa Pesch, president of the Foundation, Children's. "She is also an avid believer in giving back to the community, organizing efforts at Children's to support the Ronald McDonald House and Second Harvest Heartland, and serving on numerous community boards – we wholeheartedly endorse her recognition as a leader in our community."

Jeff Weness, senior director of corporate development at Children's, was named one of The (Real) Power 50 by Minnesota Business. Recipients of the recognition are considered key influencers in their industries and organizations. Weness was honored during an April 25 dinner and featured in the May 2013 edition of the magazine.

"Jeff is absolutely a linchpin here at Children's and we are excited to see him recognized for his ability to pull people together around a common goal," said Pesch. "His skill in forging partnerships with companies across Minnesota and the region are vitally important to Children's and our mission of championing the special health needs of children and their families."

About Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Serving as Minnesota's children's hospital since 1924, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is one of the largest pediatric health care organizations in the United States, with 381 staffed beds at its two hospitals in St. Paul and Minneapolis. An independent, not-for-profit health care system, Children's of Minnesota provides care through more than 12,000 inpatient visits and more than 300,000 emergency room and other outpatient clinic visits every year. Children's is the only Minnesota hospital system to provide comprehensive care exclusively to children. Please visit