Creating Caring Moments, Everyday
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is one of the largest healthcare delivery networks in the Washington, DC, area, staffed by more than 4,500 associates. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis, caring for the whole person, MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options within a trusting and compassionate environment.
Our patients, their families, our guests, our fellow associates come first at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and we strive to create caring moments for patients and visitors everyday. Meet some of our top associates who truly demonstrates what sets us apart.
Hilary Dilks, OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Hiliary Dilks is a pediatric occupational therapist in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department at MedStar Georgetown.
Hilary’s creativity and dedication truly embraces our mission ofcura personalis. For two years, Hilary treated a young patient, helping him to become more verbal, social and independent in all aspects of life.
When she learned the boy’s greatest wish was to get on a bus and go “somewhere” – ideally, to New York City – Hilary set into action. Knowing the boy’s family could not afford such a trip, she researched the area and found a theater which specialized in providing shows to children and adults with sensory processing difficulties and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Hilary purchased two tickets with her own funds and determined to raise funds for the rest of the trip. She sponsored bake sales and asked for donations from friends and family. At last she had raised enough to cover the hotel stay, bus fare, cab fare, spending money and of course, tickets to the much anticipated Spiderman show.
“One of the things I love most about my job is helping young children learn to do things they couldn’t do before,” said Dilks.
Patient Administration, Neurosurgery
Renie Oliphant went above and beyond for her department one day after checking in a patient who was in a wheelchair. While the patient was being seen, his wife asked where she could get a bottle of soda. Renie gave her directions to Café Georgetown and the woman left the Neurosurgery department. By the time the patient’s appointment was over and he checked out, his wife had not returned, which was concerning to everyone.
About three hours later, the patient came back up to Neurosurgery looking for his wife. At this time, the patient informed the staff that his wife had a history of brain surgery and was suffering from disorientation and confusion. Renie took action immediately by calling Protective Services to help locate the patient’s wife. “If she were my mother, I would want everyone to do whatever they could to find her,” Renie remarked.
So Renie started searching.
After walking through the hospital, Renie found her sitting in the Lombardi Lobby holding two bottles of soda, calmly approached her, and escorted her back to the department to be reunited with her husband.
“That’s what we all do here – we all look out for each other, “ says Renie. “That’s the way I was brought up, and I knew I couldn’t leave to go home knowing that she was still lost. I just did what I thought was right and I am glad to have found her safe and sound.”
Bi Awoski, MD
Hospitalist, Department of Medicine
During daily interdisciplinary rounds, Dr. Awosika never rushes and allows ample time for each team member to address their concerns with each patient. She permitted a true multidisciplinary approach to each patient’s care, embodying cura personalis. Enhancing the 4 East sense of teamwork, Awosika is always the first to ask if patients or nurses need anything. She embodies innovation by being open to nurses’ ideas on how best to treat patients.
Dr. Awosika says “I wake up each day really feeling privileged to take care of patients from all walks of life. The fact that I have a chance to do it every day at this particular institution has been truly inspiring to me.“
Megan Rogers, LICSW
Social Worker, Case Management
Megan Rogers, social worker in the department of Case Management, is an example of excellence for the level of service and compassion she displayed to one particular patient on a hectic day in the Emergency Department.
An elderly woman who arrived in the ED by ambulance after her neighbors called 911 thinking she was no longer able to care for herself.Shortly after her arrival, ED staff quickly realized the patient was very mentally sharp with no evidence of failure to thrive.
“Providing a listening ear can make such a difference to our patients,” says Rogers. “The best part of my job is being able to give patients and families the peace of mind about the situations they are currently facing and preparing them for future hurdles.”
Child Life Education Specialist, Child Life Pediatrics
Matthew Dershewitz, child life education specialist in the Department of Child Life Pediatrics manages the Hospital School Program as a teacher on the Pediatrics units. He has slowly built the program to help the Hospital’s chronically ill and frequently hospitalized children keep up with their schoolwork while they’re in the Hospital. Because they must miss classes, they may fall behind and this upsets them. One particular patient who transitioned from the Hospital to the Ronald McDonald House missed nearly an entire academic year.
“Over the past six months, the patient has been at the Ronald McDonald House,” said Linda Kim, Child Life Coordinator. “Matt finds time every day for himself or a volunteer to call and read with this patient over the phone and ask him comprehension questions. Matt went above and beyond to make sure this patient stays educationally stimulated,” she added.
“I have witnessed Matt perform extraordinarily kind acts for patients over and over again,” says Linda. “Matt practices cura personalis and SPIRIT values every day and we are so lucky to have him as part of our team,” she adds.
“I know that what we do makes a difference in our patients’ lives and that they enjoy it,” says Matthew. “That’s ultimately what drives me and keeps me coming into work every day.”
Andrea Boyle, RN, BSN
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Andrea Boyle, RN, BSN of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, worked an entire day shift when the acuity of the patients in the NICU was very high. Andrea had a very busy patient care assignment and was also precepting a new nurse who needed her oversight. At 6:30 p.m., just prior to shift change on the unit, a baby with a very high fever was brought to the NICU from post-partum for a sepsis assessment. Andrea took the lead in assisting the resident physician in performing the assessment and ensured that all the orders were started prior to shift change, which showed outstanding teamwork and dedication.
Then, at the end of her shift, while giving her report to the incoming Nursing staff, a call came for a baby to be transported by helicopter from a hospital in southern Maryland to MedStar Georgetown. Andrea recognized the urgency of the situation and agreed to go on the transport flight, which brought her back to MedStar Georgetown well after 10 p.m. that night.
“The NICU staff always comes together as a team on days when we are faced with these kinds of challenges,” says Andrea. “Everyone chips in and does little things like this all time…It’s great to be recognized like this in the midst of how busy we all are.”
Clinical Manager, C4-1
Elly Palmer, clinical manager of C4-1, routinely demonstrates influential leadership and genuine compassion for both the MGUH staff and patients with whom she interacts.
“It was truly an honor to have been able to work with Elly and the C4-1 staff during my time as the interim clinical educator,” says her colleague Sara Hatchell, RN. “I was able to see countless actions that support both our SPIRIT values and cura personalis.”
“From participating in charge reports to rounding on patients, Elly works to help ensure effective communication exists between patients and the care team,” Hatchell explained.
“Working with the C4-1 staff is what truly what brings meaning to my work every day, especially being able to spend time with patients and hearing their stories and helping them, “ says Elly. “I also love being able to support the staff I work with. They work so very hard, so I’m glad that the little things I can do to show my support are meaningful to them.”
Chaplain, Mission and Pastoral Care
David Orr, chaplain in the department of Mission and Pastoral Care, is known for his service and compassion by the whole hospital.
One story that highlights his commitment to supporting our patients, body and soul, is when he met a young transplant patient earlier this year. The patient had developed an auto-immune disease and was in need of an emergency liver transplant. When she arrived on the pediatric transplant unit, David introduced himself to the young woman and her family and offered his spiritual and emotional support.
“Knowing David as I do, his ministry to this young woman came from his heart,” said Deacon Thomas Devaney. “His keen awareness of her physical, emotional and spiritual needs is a clear representation of putting the patient first.”
“This is just one of the precious people we get to serve and a caring moment that we at MedStar Georgetown get to offer every day,” says David. “It is a true gift to be able to work here.”