Nurse-led team wins award for hemophilia education and support in Ethiopia

A special partnership between Children’s Minnesota and Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital (TASH) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was awarded a prestigious honor for their blood disorders education work. The partners received the 2021 Hemophilia Treatment Centre Twins of the Year award from the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) in April 2022, where they were also honored for their acquisition and implementation of the only coagulation laboratory in Ethiopia to enable the formal diagnosis of hemophilia.

While hemophilia is a readily diagnosed and treated condition in developed countries like the U.S., it’s estimated 75% of people with hemophilia are undiagnosed with serious health consequences including death in developing countries. This disparity in outcomes and access to treatment drove Nicole Hart, BSN, RN, CPHON, clinical nurse in the cancer and blood disorders clinic at Children’s Minnesota, to find ways to improve hemophilia care in Ethiopia.

The WFH connects an established hemophilia treatment center (HTC) like Children’s Minnesota with a developing HTC through a program called “twinning.” The two-year partnership facilitates bleeding disorders education and support for the development of the HTC. Hart sought to be paired with an Ethiopian HTC because she has worked with a large population of Ethiopian patients at Children’s Minnesota’s cancer and blood disorders clinic and the disparity was evident. Dr. Susan Kearney, MD, hematologist and oncologist, medical director of the hematology treatment center at Children’s Minnesota, partnered with Hart on this program.  

The team from Children’s Minnesota was paired with TASH in January 2019 and traveled to Addis Ababa that same year. During their visit, the collaborating teams provided home visits, physical therapy training, nurse education, and public education and outreach. The Children’s Minnesota team also lead a teaching session during a World Hemophilia Day event for 145 attendees, including Ethiopian physicians, nurses, physical therapists, government officials and families affected by bleeding disorders.  

When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, travel to Ethiopia was restricted and the twinning program moved to a virtual format. The training continued via Zoom; in May 2021, the team from Children’s Minnesota hosted a two-day virtual training event for nearly 40 other health care professionals in Ethiopia; attendees represented five regions of Ethiopia. One of the biggest achievements of this twining program was the acquisition of a coagulation laboratory at TASH, allowing health care providers there to accurately diagnose and treat patients with hemophilia.  

  • Allison Allbright, HTC Program Coordinator
  • Camerone Bey, Director of Research and Sponsored Programs, Children’s Research Institute
  • Angie Blue, HTC Director
  • Emily Chapman, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs
  • Jay Charles, RN, Green Bay Hemophilia Outreach Center
  • Stephanie Davis, Administrative Assistant
  • Stephanie Fritch-Lilla, MD, Hematology and Oncology Board Certified, Pediatric Board Certified
  • Charity Geary, PT, Green Bay Hemophilia Outreach Center
  • Cheryl Hansen, Physical Therapist, Physical Therapy
  • Nicole Hart, BSN, RN, CPHON, Clinical Nurse, Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic
  • Marvin Holmes-Leopold, HTC Operations Manager
  • Kim Jacobson, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Hem-Onc Providers
  • Susan Kearney, MD, Hematologist and Oncologist, Medical Director of HTC
  • Margaret Heisel Kurth, MD, retired Children’s Minnesota Hematologist
  • Rachel Laquere, RDN, LD, Pediatric Dietitian, Hematology and Oncology
  • Nicole Leonard, BSN, RN, CPHON, Clinical Nurse, Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic
  • Jennifer Lissick, PharmD, BCPS, Hematology Clinical Specialist
  • Justin Nelson, MHA, HTC Operations Manager
  • Jessica Ovans, PT, DPT, Rehabilitation Clinical Supervisor
  • Skye Peltier, PA-C, MPH, Clinical Director, Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic
  • Sue Purdie, BSN, RN, CPHON, Clinical Nurse, Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic
  • Vicki Schaefers, MS, RN, CNP-AC/PC, Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic Director
  • Susan Sencer MD, Hematologist and Oncologist, Medical Director of HTC
  • Jill Swenson, Social Worker (LICSW), Social Work

Honoring nurses with the DAISY Award 

The DAISY Award | For extraordinary nursing faculty. Honoring nurses internationally in memory of J. Patrick Barnes.The DAISY Award is an international recognition program that celebrates extraordinary nurses and the skillful, compassionate care they provide patients and families every day. Children’s Minnesota is proud to be a DAISY Award partner and has celebrated hundreds of nurses since its establishment at Children’s Minnesota in 2008.  

The DAISY Award was created by the DAISY Foundation, formed in 1999 by Bonnie and Mark Barnes after losing their son, J. Patrick Barnes, to complications of the auto-immune disease ITP. The Barnes family was awestruck by the work nurses do every day for patients and families and they wanted to say “thank you” to nurses everywhere. The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award is now celebrated in over 5,000 healthcare facilities, in schools of nursing in all 50 states, and in 32 countries around the world! Over 177,000 nurses have received The DAISY Award and over 2.1 million nominations have been written.   

Recognizing the many roles nurses serve in the organization, the Professional Development Council expanded the DAISY Awards by adding three award opportunities in 2021, including DAISY Nurse Leader Award, DAISY Award for Nurses Advancing Health Equity and DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students; these awards are in addition to the DASY Award for Extraordinary Nurses that has been presented in past years.    

DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses  

Recognizes the extraordinary, compassionate care nurses provide patients and families every day at Children’s Minnesota. The following nurses were nominated in 2022.

  • Cassondra Markley, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, 7th Floor Minneapolis
  • Corbin Moulder, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, St. Paul NICU
  • Dani Larsen, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, St. Paul NICU
  • Erin Today, RN, CPEN, TCRN, Clinical Nurse, Minneapolis Emergency Department
  • Hannah Pinkerton, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, Minneapolis Infant Care Center
  • Kate Batcha, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, Cardiovascular Care Center
  • Lori Snyder-Proulx, BSN, RN, CCRN, Clinical Nurse, Cardiovascular Care Center
  • Nicole Bruegger, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, St. Paul NICU
  • Pattie Beseth, BSN, RN, CCRN, ELBW, Clinical Nurse, St. Paul NICU
  • Pema Diki, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, 6th Floor Minneapolis
  • Vernon (V.J.) Hachaba, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, Minneapolis Float Team   

DAISY Team Awards

Team Eliza: 

  • Julie O’Hara, BSN, RN, NICU, Clinical Nurse, St. Paul NICU
  • Chad Sanders, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, St. Paul NICU
  • Scott Schuster, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, St. Paul NICU  

DAISY Nurse Leader Award

Honors nurse leaders creating an environment where staff are valued and their expertise recognized, resulting in excellent outcomes for patients and families. 

  • Pam Stading, MPH, BSN, RN, NE-BC, Patient Care Manager, Cardiopulmonary Services
  •   Kailyn Wilcox, BSN, RN, CPN, Patient Care Manager, Minneapolis Limited Stay Unit

DAISY Award for Nurses Advancing Health Equity   

Recognizes individual nurses or nurse-led teams whose work advances health equity, mitigating health disparities that are caused by social determinants of health.  

Nurses of Color Employee Resource Group Leader Team:

  • Song Khang, BSN, RN, CPN, Clinical Nurse, Nursing Informatics
  • Zaundra Smith, RN, Clinical Nurse, 5th Floor St. Paul

DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students   

Recognizes and celebrates nursing students for the above-and-beyond care and compassion shown to patients and their families.  

  • Sydney Bramer, Specialty Clinic Assistant, Hematology-Oncology Clinical Minneapolis (Herzing University Nursing Student) 
Corbin Moulder
Corbin Moulder
Dani Larsen
Dani Larsen
Hannah Pinkerton
Hannah Pinkerton
Vernon (V.J.) Hachaba
Vernon (V.J.) Hachaba
Pema Diki and team
Pema Diki and team
Kate Batcha and Lori Snyder-Proulx with team
Kate Batcha and Lori Snyder-Proulx with team
Erin Today and team
Erin Today and team
Kate Batcha and Lori Snyder-Proulx
Kate Batcha and Lori Snyder-Proulx
Team Eliza
Team Eliza
Cassondra Markley and team
Cassondra Markley and team

ED teams receive DAISY Award for excellence during pandemic 

When COVID-19 cases reached pandemic levels, interprofessional team members in Children’s Minnesota’s emergency departments were at the forefront of care for our most vulnerable patients. Information about COVID was still emerging as nurses, physicians, therapists, child life specialists, social workers and others courageously reported to shifts, provided needed care, and adapted to new practice expectations while protective medical supplies were at critical levels.  

Dr. Robert Sicoli, medical director for Minneapolis and St. Paul emergency departments at Children’s Minnesota, initiated a special recognition for the interprofessional ED teams, citing their “above and beyond” efforts to provide antibody infusions to 262 very high-risk patients in the ED. He reported the teams willingly assumed responsibility for developing a protocol and cared for the patients needing the monoclonal antibody infusions, which ultimately reduced serious illness within the community. Caroline Njau, MBA, BSN, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer worked with Children’s Minnesota’s Professional Development Council to celebrate the DAISY Team Awards for the ED interprofessional teams on the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses to recognize their extraordinary care of the community. The awards were presented to the teams by Dr. Sicoli in May 2022.

The DAISY Award is an international recognition program that celebrates extraordinary nurses and the skillful, compassionate care they provide patients and families every day. Children’s Minnesota is proud to be a DAISY Award partner and has celebrated hundreds of nurses and interprofessional partners since its establishment at Children’s Minnesota in 2008.

Nurses Week Awards 

The Nurses Week Awards at Children’s Minnesota recognize nurses who demonstrate excellence in the REACH Nursing Professional Model categories: Advancing Excellence, Partners in Care, Nursing Care Delivery, Shared Governance and The Children’s Way. Recipients are nominated by their peers and selected by the Professional Development Council.

Nurses Week is an annual event devoted to highlighting the countless ways registered nurses work to improve health care each and every day. Nurses Week is celebrated in May to also honor the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. 

Advancing Excellence 

  • Andrea LeRoy, BSN, RN, RNC-LRN, Clinical Nurse, Infant Apnea Program
  • Kamma Pekarek, BSN, RN, RNC-LRN, CBC, Clinical Nurse, Special Care Nursery Minneapolis
  • Erin Today, RN, CPEN, TCRN, Clinical Nurse, Minneapolis Emergency Department

Partners in Care 

  • Chris Bailey, BSN, RN, CCRN, Clinical Nurse, Minneapolis PICU
  • David Burnham, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, Minneapolis PICU
  • Heidi Voss, BSN, RN, RNC-LRN, Clinical Nurse, Minneapolis Infant Care Center   

Nursing Care Delivery 

  • Stephanie Halverson-Boyd, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, Minneapolis NICU
  • Lynn Heidbrink, BNS, RN, CPN, Clinical Nurse, 6th Floor Minneapolis
  • Wanda Ohman, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, 6th Floor Minneapolis

Shared Governance 

  • Austin Rondou, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNL, Clinical Nurse, Minneapolis PICU
  • Lisa Sanford, BSN, RN, CCRN, Clinical Educator, St. Paul PICU
  • Megan Skowronski, BSN, RN, RNC-LRN, CBC, Clinical Nurse, Minneapolis Special Care Nursery 

The Children’s Way 

  • Katelyn Kimball, BSN, RN, CPN, Clinical Nurse, Heart Clinic
  • Raeann Pfeiffer, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, 7th Floor Minneapolis
  • Kelly Worth, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, Minneapolis Sedation and Procedural Services   

Medical Education Nurse Teaching Award

The Medical Education Nurse Teaching Award recognizes a nurse on each campus who enhances the education of Children’s Minnesota’s medical resident and medical student teams. Recipients of the award are chosen based on resident nomination and are typically celebrated in the spring during Nurses Week.

  • Myles Beckman, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, St. Paul Emergency Department
  • Colleen Wood, BSN, RN, CPEN, Clinical Educator, Minneapolis Emergency Department

Lynn Heidbrink

Katelyn Kimball

Andrea LeRoy

Wanda Ohman

Kamma Pekarek

Raeann Pfeiffer

Megan Skowronski

Erin Today

Kelly Worth

March of Dimes Heroes in Action 

Three kid experts from Children’s Minnesota were honored at the March of Dimes 2022 Minnesota Heroes in Action awards ceremony. Heroes in Action recognizes excellence in the health care profession and honors the tireless work of nurses and maternal and infant health providers throughout the community.

Over the course of several weeks, health care providers are nominated by colleagues, supervisors or the families they have served. March of Dimes received more than 400 nominations that were narrowed down to 59 finalists by a selection committee. The process culminated at the awards ceremony where the March of Dimes recognized 14 of the most outstanding nurses and maternal and infant health providers. 

Nicole Hart, BSN, RN, CPHON, nurse case manager in the hematology/oncology clinic, won in the Innovative and Non-traditional Nursing category. The award honors nurses who practice in non-traditional settings such as: informatics, holistic/integrative healing, quality improvement, legal nurse consultants, entrepreneurial nursing and global/humanitarian nursing. After learning of the disparities in hemophilia outcomes and treatment access between developed and developing nations, Nicole began researching The World Federation of Hemophilia’s “twinning program.” Through this program, a developed clinic works to improve access to care, resources and education for a developing clinic. Nicole spearheaded Children’s Minnesota’s partnership with Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital in Ethiopia. The partnership has since won the Twins of the Year award from the World Federation of Hemophilia, garnering recognition for facilitating bleeding disorders education and implementing the only coagulation analyzer in the country.

Nicole Ostertag, BSN, RN, Minneapolis Med-Surg Float team, was a finalist in the Excellence in (Maternal Child Health) MCH category for using her experience, exceptional clinical skill and great bedside manner to establish trusting relationships with her patients and their families. Nicole also won the March of Dimes’ ambassador drawing and raised more funds than any other ambassador! In addition to caring for her patients, she shares her wealth of experience as a preceptor – someone who teaches and supervises nursing students and current nurses looking for more experience.

Andy Berndt, MSN, RN, NE-BC, vice president of critical care and neonatal services, was surprised during the ceremony with the Exceptional Partner award. The honor was presented by Andy and Jenny Brown who fundraise for the March of Dimes neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) Family Support Coordinator positions at Children’s Minnesota. Andy received the surprise award after posing with a novelty check representing the Brown family’s fundraising efforts in support of Children’s Minnesota.

Presentations and publications

Children’s Minnesota nurses are:

  • Researchers who contribute to the creation and promotion of evidence-based practices.
  • Educators who welcome and onboard new nurses, and who readily share their expertise with colleagues.
  • Lifelong learners who are continuously looking for ways to stay current on best practices, all in the name of patient-centered care.

Children’s Minnesota nurses led or participated in the presentations and publications listed below, showcasing the researcher, educator and learner roles they readily take on, in addition to providing remarkable care to patients and families.

Brittany Dahlen and Jamie Heil

Brittany Dahlen, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, CPN and Jamie Heil, BSN, RN, CCRN, CBC

  • “Decreasing Caregiver Anxiety: Caregiver simulation program for the care of infants with complex cardiac conditions”, Society of Pediatric Nursing Annual Conference, April 2022, Anaheim California

Teresa Herriage DNP, APRN, CPNP, CPHON

  • “New Member Orientation for Nursing” and “COG Nursing Updates”, Children’s Oncology Group (COG), September 2022, New Orleans, LA

Ian Wolfe, PhD, MA, RN, HEC-C

  • “The Ethics of Referral: Ethical and Professional Issues in Pediatric Quaternary Care.”, American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, October 2022, Portland, Oregon
  • “Resuscitation decisions in fetal myelomeningocele repair: not within parental discretion.”, 17th Annual Pediatric Bioethics Conference. Seattle Children’s Trueman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics, July 2022, Seattle, Washington
  • “When Ethical Healthcare Is Prohibited By Law, How Do We Respond?”, American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, October 2022, Portland, Oregon

Erica Cooper, MSN, RN, PED-BC, NPD-BC and Lindsay Schipper, MBA, DNP, RN, PED-BC, NPD-BC, NE-BC

  • Patient Care Experiences to Elevate the Practice Based learning Domain, American Nurse Credentialing Center: PTAP Virtual Symposium, April 2022, Virtual
Judy Goebel

Judy Goebel, RN, BAN, VA-BC, Natalie Lu, MSN, RN and Carrie Overgaard, BSN, RN

  • CLABSI Champions: Creating a Culture of Safety, Association for Vascular Access 2022 Scientific Meeting, October 2022, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Teresa Herriage DNP, APRN, CPNP, CPHON

  • “Standardizing Pediatric Oncology New Diagnosis Education Through Implementation in the Electronic Medical Record”, Association for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses (APHON) Conference, September 2022, West Palm Beach Florida

Becker, C. R., Bergmann, K. R., Vazquez-Benitez, G., Bretscher, B. M., & Kharbanda, A. B. (2022). Resource utilization and outcomes among children risk stratified by pediatric appendicitis risk calculator at a tertiary pediatric center. Acad Emerg Med, 29(4), 415-422. doi:10.1111/acem.14433

Bergmann, K. R., Nickel, A., Hall, M., Cutler, G., Abuzzahab, M. J., Bretscher, B., Lammers, S., Watson, D., Hester, G. Z. (2022). Association of Neighborhood Resources and Race and Ethnicity With Readmissions for Diabetic Ketoacidosis at US Children’s Hospitals. JAMA Netw Open, 5(5), e2210456. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.10456

Ekstrom, J., Alfath, Z., & Schneider, K. (2022). Sexual History Documentation and Sexually Transmitted Infection Screening for Mental Health Patients in a Pediatric Emergency Department. Pediatr Emerg Care, 38(1), 9-12. doi:10.1097/PEC.0000000000002593

Haase, J. E., Stegenga, K., Robb, S. L., Hooke, M. C., Burns, D. S., Monahan, P. O., . . . Moore, M. (2022). Randomized Clinical Trial of a Self-care and Communication Intervention for Parents of Adolescent/Young Adults Undergoing High-Risk Cancer Treatment: A Report From the Children’s Oncology Group. Cancer Nurs, 45(4), 316-331. doi:10.1097/NCC.0000000000001038

Hansen M, Bendel A, Blabolil JA, Hooke MC., Cerebellar Mutism Syndrome in Children After Surgery for a Posterior Fossa Tumor: Patient Characteristics and Recovery, J Pediatr Hematol Oncol Nurs. 2022 Jul-Aug;39(4):243-249. PMID: 35446165

Hooke, M. C., Mathiason, M. A., Blommer, A., Hutter, J., Mitby, P., Taylor, O., . . . Hockenberry, M. J. (2021). Symptom Clusters, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life: A Latent Class Analysis of Children During Maintenance Therapy for Leukemia. Cancer Nurs. doi:10.1097/NCC.0000000000000963

Langevin, M., & Fitzgerald M. (2022). Guided imagery. In R. Lindquist, M., F., Tracy & M. Snyder (Eds.). Complementary and Alternative Therapies in Nursing (9th ed., pp 136-144.) Springer Publishing Company.

Lee, D. B., Schmidt, C. J., Heinze, J. E., Carter, P. M., Cunningham, R. M., Walton, M. A., & Zimmerman, M. A. (2022). Retaliatory attitudes as mediator of exposure to violence and firearm aggression among youth: The protective role of organized activity involvement. Dev Psychol, 58(5), 990-1002. doi:10.1037/dev0001339

Nickel, A. J., Bretscher, B. S., Truong, W. H., Laine, J. C., & Kharbanda, A. B. (2022). Novel Uses of Traditional Algorithms for Septic Arthritis. J Pediatr Orthop, 42(2), e212-e217. doi:10.1097/BPO.0000000000002024

Raghubar, K. P., Chambers, T., Hill, R. M., Taylor, O., Hockenberry, M., Hooke, M. C., . . . Scheurer, M. E. (2022). Longitudinal investigation of suicidal ideation and associated factors during pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia chemotherapy. Psychooncology, 31(10), 1782-1789. doi:10.1002/pon.6014

Ratliff-Crain, D., Wallingford, B., & Jorgenson, L. (2022). Using a Bundle Approach to Prevent Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in Very Premature Infants. Adv Neonatal Care, 22(4), 300-308. doi:10.1097/ANC.0000000000000920

Scribner-O’Pray, M., Taylor, E. D., Krause, E., Nickel, A., & Bergmann, K. R. (2022). Factors Associated With Low Procedural Pain Scores Among 1- to 5-Year-Old Patients Undergoing Facial Laceration Repair. Pediatr Emerg Care. doi:10.1097/PEC.0000000000002744

Tanner, L. R., Sencer, S., Gossai, N., Watson, D., & Hooke, M. C. (2022). CREATE Childhood Cancer Rehabilitation Program development: Increase access through interprofessional collaboration. Pediatr Blood Cancer, 69(11), e29912. doi:10.1002/pbc.29912

Turcotte, L. M., Watson, D., Tanner, L., Hoover, A., Gilchrist, L., Finch, M., & Messinger, Y. H. (2022). Real-World Cost of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Care Among Commercially Insured Individuals in the United States: Effect of Era and Age at Diagnosis. JCO Oncol Pract, 18(11), e1750-e1761. doi:10.1200/OP.22.00344

Unger, C. (2022). Introducing a Resiliency Bundle for Home Care Nurses. Home Healthc Now, 40(4), 202-208. doi:10.1097/NHH.0000000000001093

Weigert, R. M., McMichael, B. S., VanderVelden, H. A., Lee, D. B., Cutler, G. J., Troy, M. F., & Bergmann, K. R. (2022). Parental Childhood Adversity and Pediatric Emergency Department Utilization: A Pilot Study. Pediatr Emerg Care, 38(12), 665-671. doi:10.1097/PEC.0000000000002875

Wolfe, I. D., & Kon, A. A. (2022). Medical Futility in Pediatrics: Goal-Dissonance and Proportionality. In Pediatric Ethics: Theory and Practice (pp. 253-273). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Wolfe, I. D., Lillegard, J. B., & Carter, B. S. (2022). Parental request for non-resuscitation in fetal myelomeningocele repair: an analysis of the novel ethical tensions in fetal intervention. Journal of Perinatology, 42(7), 856-859.

Wolfe, I.D. (2022). From the ethics inbox: Supporting patients’ care goals. American Nurse Journal: ANA on the Frontline, p. 35

Wolfe, I.D. (2022). When clinicians marginalize decision-makers. American Journal of Bioethics. 22(6): 26-28

Wolfe, I.D., Brunnquell, D., Sorensen, R., Antommaria, A. (2022). Ethics Rounds: Would a temporary tracheostomy still benefit an autistic child if it requires prolonged sedation and restraints? Pediatrics. 149(3):e2021054469

New degrees and certifications

To demonstrate a commitment to professional development, the Children’s Minnesota REACH: Nursing Professional Practice Model identifies ‘Advancing Excellence’ as a key component to providing remarkable patient care. Professional development of all kinds, whether that’s graduating from a degree program or obtaining a formal certification, demonstrates a nurse’s knowledge, skills and abilities by meeting rigorous national standards.

Congratulations to the following Children’s Minnesota nurses for their professional development accomplishments in 2022 and for inspiring others in their professional journey.

Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing  

  • Autumn Campbell
  • Jill Dotzler
  • Jeanne Gergen
  • Maran Marsh
  • Denise Moen
  • Jocelyn Rudd
  • Joseph Schwartz

Master’s Degree in Nursing

  • Jade Kelzenberg
  • Kaitlin Mayo
  • Laura Myers
  • Nina Noe

Doctor of Nursing Practice  (DNP)

  • Heidi D’Kae
  • Taylor Iwasko
  • Courtney Kenefick
  • Sarah Slater
  • Andree Wilson-Nixa

Acute/Critical Care Nursing (Neonatal CCRN)

  • Meghan Donaghy
  • Amanda Plummer
  • Tara Stark
  • Joan Windberg

Acute/Critical Care Nursing (Pediatric CCRN)

  • Ashley Nelson   

Certified Diabetes Care Education Specialist (CDCES)

  • Myah Middendorf

Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN)

  • Erin Today    

Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN)

  • Sophie Chen
  • Amine Johnston
  • Wendy Martin
  • Patricia Morel
  • Kayla Wagner
  • Colleen Wood

Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP – PC)

  • Taylor Iwaszko
  • Sarah Slater

Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS)

  • Rachael Lamsal

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

  • Courtney Kenefick
  • Sara Wiplinger

Extremely Low Birth Weight (C-ELBW)

  • Margaret Cloud
  • Emem Danielson
  • Meghan Donaghy
  • Mariah Gronseth
  • Michelle Hall
  • Christine Johnson
  • Ruth Sharp

Holistic Nurse Baccalaureate Board Certified (HNB-BC)

  • Emily Lindbergh

International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)

  • Elizabeth Searcy

Inpatient Antepartum Nursing (RNC-IAP)

  • Vui Aipperspach-Tschannen

Inpatient Obstetric Nurse (RNC-OB)

  • Vui Aipperspach-Tschannen

Low Risk Neonatal Nurse (RNC-LRN)

  • Michelle Berggren
  • Tember Dickman
  • JoAnne Olson

Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse (RNC-NIC)

  • Beth Leeper

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP-BC)

  • Heidi D’Kae
  • Tanya Liukonen
  • Hillary Omisakin

Nurse Coach Board Certified (NC-BC)

  • Emily Lindberg

Trauma Certified RN (BCEN)

  • Cassandra Dufresne

Vascular Access Board Certified (VA-BC)

  • Angela Jensen
  • Pamala Trowbridge
  • Elisa Volk 

Nursing scholarship 

The Nursing Scholarship is generously sponsored by Children’s Minnesota Professional Staff and a neonatal grant, and is awarded through the Professional Development Council. Established in 2003, the donation has supported nursing professional development totaling nearly $700,000 in the last 20 years.

The Nursing Scholarship is available to all nurses and allied health professionals throughout the organization who are in pursuit of higher education and professional development opportunities, including conferences, courses, professional nursing certifications and research. In 2022, the Professional Development Council facilitated the scholarship review process and awarded scholarships totaling $43,147.66.

  • 19 scholarships ($27,122.18) to support completion of nursing degrees through tuition reimbursement. 
  • 7 scholarships ($6,749) for conference attendance to enhance knowledge and enrich nursing practice at the bedside. 
  • 2 scholarships ($2,819) for review seminars for new and renewed professional nursing certifications. 
  • Kayla Albrecht, MN, BS, RN, CCRN, Clinical Nurse, St. Paul PICU
  • Anastasia Brown, BSN, RN, CPHON, CCRP, Clinical Nurse, Hematology-Oncology Clinic
  • Raeme Cheatham, BA, Clinic Assistant, Hematology-Oncology Clinic
  • Heidi D’Kae, APRN, CNP, DNP, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, St. Paul NICU
  • Nicole Eilers, BA, CPR, Unit Operations Coordinator, Minneapolis Special Care Nursery
  • Claire Franke, RN, Clinical Nurse, Hematology-Oncology Clinic
  • Michael French, RN, Clinical Nurse, 7th Floor Minneapolis
  • Judy Goebel, RN, VA-BC, Clinical Nurse, St. Paul Float Team
  • Carley Hansen, MSN, RN, PED-BC, RNC-LRN, Clinical Nurse, Infant Apnea
  • Jamie Heil, BSN, RN, CCRN, CBC, Clinical Nurse, Cardiovascular ICU
  • Madeleine Kajencki, Clinical Support Associate, Minneapolis Float Team
  • Nadifia (Afiifa) Karie, MSN, PNP, Clinical Nurse, Minneapolis Special Care Nursery
  • Nathaniel Kling, MN, RN, PHN, Clinical Nurse, Pain & Palliative Care
  • Alyssa Kuehn, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, Wound Ostomy
  • Renee Lee, BSN, RN, IBCLC, Clinical Nurse, Infant Apnea
  • Jackelyn Lutes, BSN, RN, CPN, VA-BC, Clinical Nurse, Minneapolis Float Team
  • Abby Manitz, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, Minneapolis PICU
  • Kaitlin Mayo, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC, RNC-NIC, RNC-LRN, CCRN-Neonatal, Clinical Nurse, Infant Care Center
  • Feyisayo Ojoyeyi, RN, BA, VA-BC, CLC, Clinical Nurse, Minneapolis Float Team
  • Carrie Overgaard, BSN, RN, Quality & Patient Safety Coach, Quality and Patient Safety
  • Savana Phillips, CNA, Clinical Support Associate, Mercy NICU
  • Abigail Pickett, CNA, Clinical Support Associate, 6th Floor Minneapolis
  • Natalie Reker, DNP, APRN, PNP-PC, Clinical Nurse, PNP Neonatal Services
  • Austin Rondou, MSN, RN, CNL, CCRN, Clinical Nurse, Minneapolis PICU
  • Summer Schneider, CST, Surgical Technologist, Surgery
  • Megan Van Hoorn, RN, Clinical Nurse, St. Paul Emergency Department
  • Jamie Winter, BSN, MBA, RN, Nursing Director, Behavioral Health
  • Shuo Zhang, BA, Medical Scribe, St. Paul Neurosurgery Clinic

In addition, 2022 scholarship opportunities were expanded to support 23 preceptors ($3,696.96) to complete the preceptor development program, a series of three courses taken over a six-month period. The three courses include innovative teaching strategies such as reflection, portfolios, journaling, small group discussion and simulation.

  • Sarah Bruneau, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, Infant Care Center
  • Michelle Claxton, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, Post Anesthesia Care Unit
  • Sydney Gilbertson, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, 7th Floor Minneapolis
  • Korice Groshek, ADN, RN, Clinical Nurse, Infant Care Center
  • Debra Nelson, BSN, RN, CPN, CPHON, Clinical Educator, 7th Floor Minneapolis
  • Erin Nurkka, RN, Clinical Nurse, Limited Stay Unit
  • Faith Pyne, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse, Limited Stay Unit
  • Sarah Robinson, BSN, RN, PED-BC, Clinical Nurse, 7th Floor Minneapolis

Thank you to the Professional Staff for their generous contributions to nurses’ professional growth and development. 

Transition Out of Practice program: 2022 retirees share parting thoughts

The Transition Out of Practice program, developed by the Children’s Minnesota Professional Development Council, provides nurses leaving the profession a way to share their wisdom. Here’s what they said when asked to share their knowledge, thoughts and advice for current and future nurses.

Roberta Basol, MA, RN, NE-BC

“Following in my mother’s career track, I decided to be a nurse when I was in high school. The desire to care for people in a meaningful way has been so fulfilling. The path for me at Children’s has continued to fill my bucket by supporting professional nursing practice, leading to Magnet designation, the highest nursing honor achievable for an organization.”


Roberta Basol

Anne Boisclair-Fahey, DNP, APRN, CPNP

“What I value the most about nursing is the difference we make in a person’s life. While we may not remember all of our patients, they oftentimes remember us. Nursing is a highly respected field and satisfying at an emotional, physical and spiritual level. Early in my nursing career, I had our first child in 1980. Over time we learned that he had a physical disability. Having a special needs child affected how I served our families. I understood what they were going through with the multiple appointments, adaptive equipment, fear, anxiety and concern that accompanies a child’s diagnosis. I really understood what they were going through.”

Anne Boisclair-Fahey

Anne Boisclair-Fahey

Nancy Ferche, RN, BSN, PHN

“So many changes through the years to even begin to count. The ones I like best are when the changes have a definite impact on our children and babies. Also I like that we actual use research to improve outcomes. I was on the STOP committee for several years and the the changes we made at the bedside were huge, especially with central line changes and the dramatic reduction in infections.”

Theresa Kenzie, BSN, RN, RNC-NIC

Neonatal nursing is (relatively) a new nursing field. The strides we have made are phenomenal. When I started it was amazing that a 28 weeker survived. It was pre survanta. We stood at the isolette while the NG feeding dripped in. Now it’s 22 – 23 weekers, body cooling and new and exciting advancements around every corner.


Theresa Kenzie

Lisa Durben, RN, BSN, MBA,CLC,CCRN

Top 3 pieces of advice for new nurses:

“Knowledge and wisdom are not the same. Personal experiences are priceless especially when applied. Get involved in what you are interested in – look for opportunities.”

Thank you to all of our retiring nurses for their years of service, dedication to our community and deep compassion. There are not enough words to express the gratitude we feel.