Month: May 2009

Know Better Care

A NICU advanced practice registered nurse sent me the following example of how our Health Center staff works under stressful conditions. It is a wonderful story about a professional, caring, and compassionate team that quietly goes about excellence day in and day out. Thank you for sharing your story.

Dr. Laurencin, I would like to tell you of an event that reminded me why our NICU is so incredible not only because of the great work we do but also because of the incredibly talented, caring staff that continue to provide the highest level of care imaginable.

I was on Saturday night when we received a call from the ER asking for help with a code of a 23-week gestational age infant that was born at home and was being brought in by the EMT’s. We gathered a team of myself, our PA, four nurses and our respiratory therapists. When the infant was brought in, the EMT’s transferred care to us (they did an amazing job at keeping this tiny infant alive for 1/2 hour). Being the team leader, I intubated the infant and instructed the resuscitation. I use the word instructed loosely because after working with such highly skilled nurses for so many years they intuitively knew what I needed before I even asked. As my requests came out of my mouth, the ETT, meds, lines, and blood work were already being performed before I could complete my sentence. The staff did such an amazing job because we work so fluidly with each other and know our job so very well. Even with the stress and apparent futility of the situation, all involved worked diligently and professionally to give this tiny infant and his family the best possible outcome. The caring and compassion that the team showed the family members brought tears to my eyes. Giving a family the best possible minutes of a short life was never better displayed than at this time. I could feel the nurses gather the family under an umbrella of warmth and understanding just by their kind words and gentle hands, helping them cope with the grief of losing this tiny baby.

I would like to thank Joe Varano, Pam Marino, Viv Hary, Bridget Krauss, and Torylynn Gagnon for their incredible talent and compassion as neonatal caregivers. I am so proud to be called a member of this team. I can never imagine being able to provide better care than what is found within the home of our NICU and the people who make up our family. I also would like to thank the ER team that helped us, especially Kathy who was our foundation in the unfamiliar setting of the emergency department. Without her help our job would have been much more difficult than it already was. Thank you for your time.

-Wendy Petow A.P.R.N.

Lincoln University’s 150th Commencement

Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.
Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.

Recently, I was the keynote speaker during Lincoln University’s 150th commencement exercises and received a Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa. I am extremely honored to have been chosen to receive the Doctor of Science degree from Lincoln University, an outstanding university with a rich tradition of excellence.

Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was chartered in 1854 and was the first institution in the world to offer higher education in the arts and sciences for male youth of African descent. Since its inception, Lincoln has attracted an interracial and international enrollment from the surrounding community, region, and around the world. Lincoln University’s alumni include Langston Hughes, ’29, world-acclaimed poet; Thurgood Marshall, ’30, first African-American Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; and Kwame Nkrumah, ’39, first president of Ghana. Bishop Desmond Tutu and Mrs. Rosa Parks have been among those who have been so honored by Lincoln University with honorary degrees in the past. I am very humbled to be part of this very prestigious group of honorees.