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Meet Our 2018 Nursing Award Winners

August 2, 2018

Sepsis Alliance Honors Nurses Dedicated to Saving Lives by Improving Sepsis Outcomes

Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Award recipients will be recognized at the 7th Annual Sepsis Heroes gala by Sepsis Alliance founder Carl Flatley, DDS, MSD, and Denise Cardo, MD, the Director of Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

San Diego, Calif, August 2, 2018 – Today, Sepsis Alliance announced the 2018 recipients of Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Awards. From a pediatric nurse in São Paulo, Brazil, to a nursing student in Olathe, Kansas, this year’s recipients include a diverse and passionate group of nurses and nursing students committed to improving outcomes for patients with sepsis – the body’s life-threatening response to infection that affects 1.7 million Americans annually.

“The 2018 Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Award recipients, in every category, are leading the charge to improve sepsis treatment and awareness in their hospitals, training programs, and most importantly in their communities,” said Thomas Heymann, Sepsis Alliance Executive Director.

This year, in addition to the pediatric nurse and international pediatric nurse categories, the awards were expanded to include two new categories: sepsis coordinator and nursing student.

The 2018 Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Award winners are:

  • Andrea Cowan, Pediatric Nurse Award recipient, is a registered nurse in the Primary Children’s Hospital Emergency Department in Utah. She is currently helping to roll out the Inpatient Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes project hospital-wide, a project that was successful in the emergency department. She also helped design a lifesaving process that improved hospital response time to patients with signs of sepsis.
  • Mary Kate Abbadessa, Pediatric Nurse Award recipient, is a clinical nurse specialist- fellow at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 2013, she was part of a team that designed a sepsis alert that increased emergency department detection of suspected sepsis from 83% to 96%.
  • Gisely Schrot, International Pediatric Nurse Award recipient, is a registered nurse at the Sabará Children Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she established the hospital’s first sepsis protocol and continues to educate patients and staff about sepsis.
  • Leigh Cooper, Sepsis Coordinator Award recipient, is a sepsis coordinator at MountainView Regional Medical Center in New Mexico. Leigh led the rollout of a sepsis initiative that raised sepsis identification in the emergency department from 30% to 86% of cases.
  • Katherine Rucker, Nursing Student Award recipient, is the Quality and Outcomes Coordinator at Olathe Medical Center in Kansas. She recently returned to school to earn her MSN in Healthcare Administration at MidAmerica Nazarene University.
  • Yentel Newsome, Nursing Student Award recipient, is a nurse tech II/clinical secretary at WakeMed Health & Hospitals, and a nursing student at Wake Tech Community College in North Carolina.

Andrea Cowan, Mary Kate Abbadessa, and Leigh Cooper, will receive their awards from Dr. Flatley and Dr. Cardo at the 7th Annual Sepsis Heroes gala on September 13, 2018.

“Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Awards recognize the importance of nurses in the fight against sepsis, with the hope of inspiring nurses and future nurses everywhere to champion improved sepsis treatment in their facilities,” said Dr. Flatley who created Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Awards in honor of his daughter Erin, who suddenly and unnecessarily died of sepsis when she was 23.

To purchase tickets to the 7th Annual Sepsis Heroes gala, please visit

To learn more about Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Awards please visit

About Sepsis Alliance:

Sepsis Alliance is the largest sepsis organization in the U.S., working in all 50 states to save lives and reduce suffering by raising awareness of sepsis as a medical emergency. Sepsis Alliance is a charitable organization run by a dedicated team that shares a strong commitment to battling sepsis. The organization was founded in 2007 by Carl Flatley, DDS, MSD, whose daughter Erin unnecessarily died of sepsis when she was 23 years old. Carl created the organization to raise sepsis awareness among both the general public and healthcare professionals. Sepsis awareness can and does save lives, yet only 58% of adults in the US have ever heard the word. Sepsis Alliance also gives a voice to the millions of people who have been touched by sepsis – to the survivors, and the friends and family members of those who have survived or who have died. For more information, please visit Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter at @SepsisAlliance.