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Bright Futures

Articles and Updates from Phoenix Children's

July 07, 2022
Our nurses are dedicated to the Phoenix Children’s mission

Phoenix Children’s mission is to provide hope, healing and the best healthcare for patients and their families – and we are grateful to have incredible staff members that live out this mission each and every day.

Here, nurses from departments across the health system share how they personify our mission, and what being a nurse truly means for them. These nurses may come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, but they all have one thing in common – they have inspired both their colleagues and patients alike.

How does the Phoenix Children’s mission to provide hope, healing and the best healthcare for patients and their families resonate with you? 

“I have been fortunate enough to work at Phoenix Children’s for a total of 29 years. Phoenix Children’s is a very special place; it’s where I started my pediatric nursing career in 1982, which was also around the time our hospital was born. The mission of hope, helping and the best healthcare provided to our community was rooted within me as a new graduate clinical nurse. I left Phoenix Children’s twice – once to get married, and another time to raise my young family, but Phoenix Children’s always drew me back. When our new beautiful tower was built on the Thomas Campus in 2011, I knew I wanted to fulfill my goal to finish my nursing career at Phoenix Children’s. I am thankful Phoenix Children’s has embraced our community and that I continue to be part of this important mission.” – Brenda Strom, MSN, RN, CPN in gastroenterology and hepatology

Kellie Badger

“Phoenix Children’s stems way back to 1987 for myself and my family. A very close family member of mine was cared for by the Phoenix Children’s team. Without the hope and healing my family was provided, I’m not sure my family member would still be with us today. I always dreamed of being a nurse here, and now that I have had a chance to be part of the Phoenix Children’s nursing team for nearly 14 years, I am the lucky one who gets to take care of our precious patients and families by giving them hope during a vulnerable time, healing with the best of our knowledge and no doubt the best healthcare we can provide.” – Kellie Badger, clinical research nurse in dermatology

How do you keep this mission top of mind day-to-day?

Karah Hedquist

“Phoenix Children’s has always held a special place in my heart since I was a patient here many years ago. When I was a patient, the care that my family and I received greatly impacted my nursing career and the care I provide. My patients, their family members and my co-workers impact the compassionate and healing care I provide at Phoenix Children’s.” – Karah Hedquist, BSN, RN, CPN in hepatology, nephrology, neurosurgery, renal, transplant and pediatric epilepsy monitoring unit

Ariana Bowie

“Working in apheresis and dialysis with children and their families, I keep the mission of Phoenix Children’s in mind by reminding myself and staff I work with to always place the patient and family first. We may not always see the patient or family at their best – but we must provide the best care we can with compassion. As the only pediatric dialysis center and the only pediatric-dedicated apheresis center in Arizona, we have patients and families travel across the state to receive treatments here at Phoenix Children’s.” – Ariana Bowie, BSN, RN, CPN, manager of apheresis and dialysis

Can you tell us about some of the ways you personify the Phoenix Children’s mission in your work?

“I have worked in the Dermatology Department for nearly 12 years. Together with my colleagues, we started the only Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) clinic in the southwest. There are only a handful of multi-disciplinary clinics for this population in the United States, and I am so proud that we are one. We provide one-of-a-kind services for such a rare disease, and one so devastating that most people have never heard of it. We have no cure yet, but that is why we continue to do research as a team in collaboration with national and international organizations.” – Kellie Badger

“In our Hepatology Clinic, I enjoy helping patients who are diagnosed with Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD/NASH) understand how following healthy lifestyle habits can improve their health for now and for the future. I have collaborated with the Emily Center to develop a health education resource booklet in English and Spanish. It is a written health education guide and teaching tool for the entire family, not just the patient.” – Brenda Strom

If you could give advice to a new Phoenix Children’s nurse, what would you tell them?

“My advice to a new Phoenix Children’s nurse would be to introduce yourself to everyone you meet and always offer a smile, even if it’s behind a mask. Sometimes this small act of kindness can go a long way for patients, families and colleagues.” – Ariana Bowie

Cassi White

“I would tell a new Phoenix Children’s RN to engage and empathize with the families that you work with. You will learn a lot more than any nursing class or book will ever teach you when you simply listen to them. We want our staff to build partnerships with families and bring them into the forefront of their child’s care. Developing opportunities to strategize care and making sure that their child has their optimal needs met is how we help start build the road to recovery.” – Cassi White, RN, BSN, CPHON, hematology and oncology clinical supervisor

“Phoenix Children’s is a special place to work; it is where miracles happen every day. Never be afraid to ask questions and to always be open to gaining new knowledge. A wise nurse that used to work at Phoenix Children’s once told me to always smile in the hallways, because you never know who needs to see it.” – Karah Hedquist

What advice would you give someone who is considering pursuing a career in nursing?

“My career in nursing has been one of the greatest highlights of my life. I have had many rewarding experiences and met amazing people – both staff and patients. I would recommend the nursing profession to anyone that is considering a career in healthcare. There are endless opportunities to navigate in this versatile role and many different paths to explore. In my 10-year career, I have been a bedside nurse, clinic nurse, travel nurse and now a clinical supervisor. The world is open for you to learn and discover your calling.” – Cassi White

“Go for it! Nursing is the hardest job you will ever love. Nursing programs today make it more convenient to enter nursing as a career by offering in-person and online choices, and you can take one class at a time, even while you work full time. As a nurse, you will have the opportunity to seek out a vast various of nursing jobs and experiences based on your clinical preferences. Never stop learning! Would you believe I earned by master’s in nursing with emphasis in nursing education from Grand Canyon University at the age of 57? So, go for it! You will literally impact and positively change the lives of patients and families every single day of your nursing career.” – Brenda Strom

Nurses like these show true dedication to the Phoenix Children’s mission, and we are so grateful to have them on our team. If you would like to recognize a Phoenix Children’s staff member for going the extra mile to embody this mission, please nominate them for a Daisy Award by filling out this form.

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