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Take a look at some of the heart heroes nominated for the Enduring Heart and Soul Transplant Coordinator Award!

Mallory Carroll - CHOA Egleston

Nominated by Marissa Waddleton, Katie Berkowitz, Rochelle Liverman, Kelci Laporte (4)

Why she is a heart hero:

  • My son, Kaleb,  was transplanted at 6 months old in 2014. Mallory is the one who called us and told us there is a heart available for Kaleb. She made special stops to see us, even if she wasn’t working inpatient that week. She makes sure we are always taken care of and goes above and beyond for us. Anytime I have a concern with Kaleb, she makes sure everything is checked off and listens to my concerns and addresses them. She’s more than a transplant coordinator, she is like family with how much she cares about us.   
    – MW
  • Mallory has been an exceptional colleague to work with in transplantation over the years.  She is truly dedicated to her patients and to the function of the entire multidisciplinary team!
    -RL
  • Mallory regularly goes above and beyond with our transplant families.  She takes a lot of time out of her busy day to check in on patients and to make sure that all questions and concerns of patients and families are addressed.  She has also worked very closely with the nursing staff to ensure great care for our patients requiring ventricular assist devices before transplant. Mallory works very hard every day to make undergoing as easy and smooth as it can possibly be.
    -KB
  • I worked with Mallory in our heart transplant department for over six years. I orientated her into this role and watched her grow into an excellent Nurse Practitioner. She is one of the most hard-working people I have ever met and it is very evident of how much she cares for our patients and families. She always goes the extra mile to make sure our families and patients understand every part of the transplant process. She has contributed greatly to our
    program’s success, including developing our VAD program.  Families will often call the heart transplant office and ask directly to speak with her, because of their comfort level and trust that they have developed with her. I would most definitely recommend her for the Transplant Coordinator Award. – KL
Courtney Musselwhite - Children's Vanderbilt

Nominated by Michael Urso, Justin Godown, Karen Kohl, Katherine Harper, and Nicole Lambert, George Nicholson, and Nancy Jaworski (7)

Why she is a heart hero:

  • Courtney exemplifies the true meaning of She cares for not only her patients, but their families. Kourtney goes above and beyond the normal call of duty to ensure everyone is as comfortable as possible. She is knowledgeable, compassionate, caring, intelligent, and always available when we need her.
    – MU
  • Courtney is absolutely amazing and truly deserving of such an honor.  She joined our team a little over 1 year ago and clearly had some big shoes to fill.  We recently lost our transplant coordinator (to retirement) who had been working at Vanderbilt for 30 years.  This was a huge loss and it was hard to imagine replacing her.  However, Courtney was perfect for this role. She hit the ground running and has done an absolutely incredible job! She works tirelessly, staying late many days of the week to ensure the patients are well taken care of and their concerns are addressed in a timely manner.  She is incredibly well organized and is truly the glue that holds our team together.  The patients and families adore her. I could not think of a more wonderful person to have on our team and I am delighted to nominate her for this award. – JG
  • Courtney is a huge asset to our transplant She has mastered the ability to be “everything to everybody”.  She is greatly valued by our physicians and families and is truly deserving of such an award. – KK
  • Courtney is an invaluable member of our Pediatric Heart Transplant team. She has a true gift of teaching and does a phenomenal job educating new and current transplant patients and their families.  She is organized and quick to troubleshoot any problems or hurdle that arises.  She comes to work every day with a smile on her face and never hesitates to offer a helping hand. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award than Courtney. -KH
  • Courtney had the very difficult job of taking over for the transplant coordinator who founded the program and had been with the program for many years. She did this with exceptional success and enthusiasm that has made her an asset for the entire pediatric heart institute, and more importantly, for the children and families of children, who are undergoing heart transplantation. – NL
  •  Courtney is a rock-star!  She has done a tremendous job of taking over the transplant coordinator role in our program.  Our patients and their families adore her and it is clear that she is truly vested in their well-being and happiness.  I cannot imagine our transplant program without her leadership, communication, and organizational skills. -GN
  • There are many aspects that contribute to
    excellence in any role and in healthcare one must often combine expert
    clinical skills with compassionate human interaction to achieve
    excellence.  The role of transplant coordinator is no exception in
    that it requires expert knowledge of UNOS regulations, the healthcare
    system as well as the needs of an individual patient and family.  This
    is a task that Courtney easily accomplishes regularly.  Courtney
    meets each family as they are, whether highly educated and
    knowledgeable or frightened and anxious, she smiles, she reassures,
    and then she calmly leads them through the process.  Sometimes it is a
    simple process with questions asked and answered and sometimes it is
    profoundly difficult with challenges in clearances or psycho social
    issues but through it all Courtney maintains a compassionate
    professionalism that allows providers, patients and families to trust
    her.  Courtney possess a stellar work ethic which makes her uniquely
    suited to this role, her dogged perseverance of an issue often allows
    a family or provider’s need to be met against very difficult odds.
    Not one to enjoy difficult conversations, Courtney nevertheless
    undertakes them when necessary.  It is difficult to explain in words
    just how special Courtney is and why our patients, families and
    the hospital is successful because of her presence, however, it is this
    simple, Courtney is an expert nurse who combines the best in the art
    and science of nursing to elevate the quality of healthcare we are
    able to provide to our transplant patients and families. – NJ
Carrie Honzo - Children's Colorado

Nominated by Gina Audino

 

Why she is a heart hero:

  • An organ transplant is a life-changing
    journey. Throughout Lance’s entire journey—from the evaluation, to
    the transplant waitlist, to the surgery, to the hospital recovery stay, and back home—we have been under Carrie Honzo’s guidance as our nurse transplant coordinator. She is a special person who knows every single detail of our journey. She is always available for our questions and feedback, and she is the ear of all other members of our care team. From the day she saw us in the hospital we were surrounded with her reassurance, support, and kindness. She saw how poorly Lance was and gave him every ounce of her attention and commitment to ensure he had the very best care. She saw a terrified mom, worried about what the future might hold and she still has been with us every step of the way. Carrie exhibits everything you envision when thinking about what a transplant coordinator should be. She does more than you know and long after the doctors have gone home she is still there, checking in on us and taking care of us.
    -GA
Pamela Berman - UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Nominated by Kelly Fleegle

Why she is a heart hero:

  • My son had his heart transplant  almost 23 years ago at the age of 5 months old. He basically grew up at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. We lost his original coordinator due to retirement at a point in his life where he wasn’t really ready to meet new people, but Pam just really seemed to “get” Austin. She has always gone above and beyond when it came to our questions and
    concerns and also the scariest time in our son’s journey,  when we thought we were going to lose him due to rejection.  Pam became a wonderful new addition to our transplant team and was always there when we needed her for anything and everything. She was there to watch and help Austin grow into the man he has become and helped him to learn and understand what he can and can’t do when it comes to his health. She has always been one of his biggest supporters on his crazy journey. Austin is now transitioning to the adult transplant program but couldn’t have done it without all the support we received from his team, especially Pam. She deserves this award. Not just because she is an amazing transplant coordinator, but because she is a loving,
    caring, and just plain amazing person. To us, she is more than just our coordinator, she is our friend, or better yet, family.
Stephanie Soto - Stollery Children's Hospital, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Nominated by Lindsey Kemp and Christine Post.

Why she is a heart hero:

  • Stephanie Soto is currently the Pediatric Transplant Coordinator at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta.  She has been in this role for over 2 years now, and after getting to know her over this time there was no question that she deserves recognition for her contributions to not only the transplant faculty, but to the patients and families she deals with.

    Transplant is an exceptionally emotional journey. It can be debilitating for parents to see their children go through such uncertain and fragile times, and hope is such an important gift that can be given to families.  Stephanie specifically stands out in this area because she is extremely effective in balancing realistic outcomes and statistics with hope. Whether it be answering midnight emails from a parent whose child is waiting on the list or following up a week later after a child has had the flu, Stephanie makes each of her patients feel genuinely loved and helps keep parents strong.  On top of her authentic and kind personality, she is an incredibly skilled nurse and has a thorough understanding of transplant medicine.

    Whether it be about bloodwork or a biopsy result, she takes the time to explain in depth what everything means and never rushes a patient when they have questions or concerns.  Over the years, our transplant program at the Stollery has seen a few coordinators come and go, but Stephanie brings a different warmth and expertise that all of the families have come to trust and respect.

    Stephanie Soto is the epitome of what all transplant coordinators should be: intelligent, dedicated, compassionate and patient.  All of us parents at the Stollery are so honored to have someone like her looking after our children, and we want her to know that we recognize and appreciate her efforts. – LK & CP

Lynsey Barkoff - Lucile Packard Children's Hospital

Nominated by David Rosenthal.

Why she is a heart hero:

  • It gives me great pleasure to nominate Lynsey Barkoff for the Enduring Heart and Soul Transplant Coordinator Award.

    Lynsey is an outstanding transplant coordinator who demonstrates meticulous attention to detail and follow-through.  As our only full-time coordinator, Lynsey is often called upon to ensure that there are no gaps in care.  She fulfills this role, with enthusiasm, and good nature, which help our patients to receive technically excellent care while also feeling well cared for.  Lynsey advocates for our patients in many settings.  Whether it is a pharmacy, an insurance company or a provider, Lynsey always stands up for her patients and ensures that their needs remain front and center.

    Lynsey contributes to our program in multiple other dimensions.  She is a key organizer for the annual transplant camp, which is one of the highlights of the year for many of our patients, who find it to be a critical source of connectedness and belonging.   She has also organized a Holiday Dinner celebration for patients who are staying at the local Ronald McDonald House, helping alleviate the stress and loneliness of spending the holiday season at a hospital.

    Additionally, Lynsey engages in clinical research.  She helped plan a recent symposium to determine the optimal approach to re-transplantation in children.  She also volunteers her time for the multi-site Teammate trial, helping with recruitment and protocol

    Simply put, Lynsey is a key member of our program, who ensures that our patients receive great care, and who helps us to continually improve.

    •  

    Holly Thompson - Children's Hospital Minneapolis

    Nominated by Kristen Louwagie

    Why she is a heart hero:

    • Holly has been so great to have during this past year. She is so sweet and kind. Always takes time to listen to my concerns and answer all of my questions. She is a great CNP. We wouldn’t be where we are today without our amazing team. I don’t know how to thank you for all of the time and care you have given our
      •  

      Beth Johnson - Children's Hospital Minneapolis

      Nominated by Kristen Louwagie.

      Why she is a heart hero: 

      • Beth has been amazing to work with over the past year. This past year has been very difficult for our family. Beth has been so good to us. She is kind-hearted, great listener, very thorough, and an amazing CNP all around. She doesn’t only care about her patients, but about their entire family. I am so glad God brought us to this amazing team in such a trying time. Our transplant team is like a family.