The 2020 Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Award in the category of Sepsis Coordinator was awarded to Maureen Holtz, Sepsis Coordinator at Orange Park Medical Center in Orange Park, FL.
“I believe very strongly that education for patients with sepsis and the staff who care for them is an integral part of the big picture,” said Holtz. “We need to teach our patients, especially those at high risk for relapse, what signs they need to look for as well as things they can do to decrease the risks, such as vaccinating, managing blood sugar, quitting smoking, and, of course, handwashing.”
This need for education and empowerment has inspired Holtz in her role as Sepsis Coordinator. “Education must be at a hospital-wide level and involve everyone: nurses, doctors, lab, etc. In my role, I interact with every nursing department and analyze process and workflow in many departments for efficiency and accuracy so we can quickly give life-saving care.”
Orange Park Medical Center (OPMC) has been able to maintain low mortalities because of this dedication to education across the continuum of care. In the past two years, OPMC has treated 1,529 patients with severe sepsis or septic shock and their mortalities average 4% for severe sepsis and 20% for septic shock.
In addition to her work in the hospitals, Holtz performs community outreach by speaking to senior citizen groups and civic organizations to raise sepsis awareness. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Holtz was also coordinating with the Sepsis Alliance team to host an awareness event in conjunction with a local car show that sadly lost a member to sepsis.
“To be recognized by Sepsis Alliance for the work that my team and I do is incredibly exciting. We have truly made recognizing sepsis, treating it and educating about it a part of our culture. Every department has awareness and is a stakeholder in constant education of staff, patients, and families in improving outcomes. The community partners we have are incredible. They are very engaged and really invested in learning how to recognize sepsis and get it treated quickly. Our community knows “We Know Sepsis”.