Compassionate Care Is Powerful Medicine
Compassionate Care Is Powerful Medicine
At Cincinnati Children’s, we know that compassion is an integral part of the healing process. It’s as important to the patient’s care as the most advanced surgical technique or innovative drug therapy.
It’s also critical to the care team that we show compassion to ourselves and each other.
We value compassion so much, in fact, that we make a special effort to honor those who exhibit this quality in their work. The most recent recognition was held on Sept. 26 at the 5th annual Dr. Curtis Sheldon Compassionate Caregiver Award Ceremony.
The award celebrates extraordinary professionals who model compassion and whose professional achievements have helped to create healing environments for our patients, families, colleagues and community.
“Every day we meet people who are at their most vulnerable and stressed. They entrust us with the most precious people in their lives and look to us for help,” said Steve Davis, MD, MMS, president and CEO. “And every day we take up that challenge, focusing our skills, energy and resources on delivering the best outcomes possible for our patients and families. It’s demanding work. And though we have many successes, we don’t always get the outcome we want. But what makes this work doable is compassion. Compassion is what allows human connection to happen.”
This year, there were 43 award nominations across 33 departments.
Winners honored for the 2023 award included:
Winner: Shyla Miller, speech pathologist III, Speech Language Pathology
- Nehal Parikh, DO, attending neonatologist, Perinatal Institute
- Kathy Shaffer, social worker III, Psychiatry Intake Response Center
Winner: Social Work Team in Pediatric Primary Care
- Hopple Street General Pediatrics
- CHECK Center Clinic Staff
Read more about our winners:
Shyla Miller, speech pathologist III, Speech Language Pathology, won the Compassionate Caregiver Award in the Individual category.
Shyla Miller, speech pathologist III, Speech Language Pathology, saw a need within her field of study for audiologists and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) with under-represented backgrounds and acted. That vision and commitment to equity led her to co-create a four-week, hands-on experience for high school students to learn about her beloved profession. It’s called Students Learning About Speech and Hearing.
Her passion for inspiring students inspired her nomination and selection for the 5th Annual Dr. Curtis Sheldon Compassionate Caregiver Award.
Over two summers, Shyla has mentored 32 high schoolers through the program and involved over 80 volunteers from Cincinnati Children’s, the Greater Cincinnati community, as well as throughout and beyond the United States to deliver an exemplary and evidence-based experience. Many students have completed the program to go on to study pre-audiology/speech language pathology or pre-medicine in college.
Shyla’s compassionate influence carries on among her peers and in the care of her patients.
“She is known in Speech/Language Pathology for the creative materials she develops based on the individual needs of a child,” wrote Erin Redle Sizemore, speech pathologist II, who recalls Shyla creating a screening assessment tool based entirely on the popular cartoon “Paw Patrol. “Shyla is truly a master clinician.”
Shyla has collected over 200 books with diverse main characters to make certain that her patients feel represented in her therapy session materials and serves as the former chair and current cultural and linguistic diversity liaison between Speech-Language Pathology and our health system. Congratulations to Shyla Miller and all the nominees and finalists for delivering compassionate care.
Finalist Kathy Shaffer, social worker III, Psychiatric Intake Response Center
Finalist Nehal Parikh, DO, attending neonatologist, Perinatal Institute
The Social Work Team in the Pediatric Primary Care Center received the Team award. They are (l-r): Theresa Popelar, LISW; Meg Angstadt, LSW,
The role of social worker is synonymous with support in Pediatric Primary Care (PPC). At least now it is. Traditionally associated solely with trauma by families, the Social Work team has changed the perception of their profession by consistently doing their part to aid healing and growth.
The team’s unwavering commitment to empathy was honored with the 5th Annual Dr. Curtis Sheldon Compassionate Caregiver Award.
“The Social Work team assists families in recognizing their strengths, resilience and self-advocacy, nurturing hope and enabling a brighter future,” wrote the PPC Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology team, including Aria Fiat, Chim Okoroji, Heather Strong Harrison, Kristen Cornish, Paige Ryan, and Phoebe Christian. “By fostering a safe and healing environment, they guide the therapeutic journey with sensitivity and respect.”
If an overwhelmed mother is anxious about her new baby, members of the team listen and offer praise to build self-worth and confidence. If members of the team witness mistreatment, the Social Work team has the courage to speak up in the name of well-being and in creating an inclusive work environment for all.
Collaborative. Innovative. The team has partnered with the Spiritual and Grief Care Center to improve and sustain processes around patient loss, providing critical support during these difficult times. They’ve organized team-building days and potlucks to build camaraderie and have paved the way to a safer, more trauma-informed division through their partnership with PPC leadership.
Congratulations to the PPC Social Work team and all the nominees and finalists for serving as an example of compassionate care at Cincinnati Children’s.
CHECK Center clinical staff accepts their finalist award.
The Hopple Street team shows off their finalist award.