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Meet Our 2020 Nursing Award Winners

August 11, 2020

Sepsis Alliance Honors Six Innovative and Hard-Working Nurses Who Are Improving Outcomes for Sepsis Patients Within Their Communities

Sepsis Alliance is proud to introduce the 2020 recipients of the Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Awards. This year’s honorees include a talented group of healthcare professionals who are spearheading impressive initiatives within their organizations to combat sepsis – the body’s life-threatening response to infection that takes a life every two minutes in the United States, and affects more than 30 million people globally each year. From a pediatric nurse helping to expand sepsis education and training programs throughout Uganda to a sepsis coordinator spreading awareness in Florida by speaking to community organizations about sepsis, each of the individuals who are being recognized this year play a valuable role in the fight against sepsis.

Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Awards recognize healthcare providers who demonstrate excellence in their work and a commitment to improving outcomes for sepsis patients in four categories. These categories include two pediatric nurses, a licensed pediatric nurse practicing in any location in the world outside of the United States, two nursing students, and a sepsis coordinator.

“In the age of COVID-19, the world is depending on nurses and other healthcare workers now more than ever before,” said Thomas Heymann, Sepsis Alliance President and Executive Director. “This year’s award recipients exemplify the dedication of the healthcare community that has become a hallmark of the last several months. Our six honorees are forward-thinking and selfless individuals who are making life-saving differences in their communities and leading the way in sepsis identification and management.”

The 2020 Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Award winners are:

  • Cheryle Aizley, Pediatric Nurse Award recipient, is a Pediatric Specialist for the Center for Professional Development, Innovation, and Research at Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. She worked with a team member to create an algorithm as part of the Code Smart Pediatric Initiative. This involved extensive collaboration with the pharmacy, pediatric physicians, and quality department to ensure proper execution of the hospital’s sepsis code for pediatrics.
  • Nicole Magers, Pediatric Nurse Award recipient, is a Clinical Educator and Critical Care Staff Nurse at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Critical Care Transport Team. Magers played a crucial role in the development of sepsis guidelines for the hospital. The implementation of these guidelines ultimately led to a 36.4% reduction in the time to antibiotics for neonate patients diagnosed with sepsis at discharge.
  • Clare Komugisha, International Pediatric Nurse Award recipient, is the Research Supervisor at Walimu in Uganda. Since 2012, she has worked with the organization’s Smart Discharges Team to train nurses to identify and treat children with sepsis and educate caregivers on reducing deaths after discharge among children recovering from sepsis. Komugisha is now supporting the Smart Discharges Program as it expands across Uganda.
  • Maureen Holtz, Sepsis Coordinator Award recipient, is a Sepsis Coordinator at Orange Park Medical Center (OPMC) in Florida. Her commitment to sepsis education across the continuum of care has enabled OPMC to maintain low mortality rates for patients with severe sepsis and septic shock. In addition to her work in the hospital, Holtz attends community outreach meetings where she educates others about the importance of sepsis awareness.
  • Gabrielle Lee Seilbach, Nursing Student Award recipient, is a student in the Bachelor’s program at Western Governors University and a Quality Analyst RN at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County (MHSC) in Wyoming. Seilbach’s passion for sepsis awareness and prevention was sparked when her grandfather was diagnosed with septic shock. She is now already making improvements at MHSC through her leadership in a Sepsis Work Group. The hospital’s sepsis compliance increased from 16% to 100% at the time of Seilbach’s submission.
  • Mathias Mugabe, Nursing Student Award recipient, is a student at Mayanja Memorial Medical Training Institute in Uganda as well as the recipient of the 2019 Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Award in the category of International Pediatric Nurse. He currently serves as the Institute’s Minister of Health, where he provides first aid to students who develop signs of sepsis. Mugabe also helped establish new on-campus handwashing and sanitation stations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and lobbied for additional infection prevention measures.

“These annual awards highlight the immeasurable value that nurses provide when it comes to the early detection and treatment of sepsis,” said Sepsis Alliance founder Carl Flatley, DDS, MSD, who created Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Awards in honor of his daughter Erin, who died of sepsis when she was 23 years old.

This year’s award recipients will be honored during the 9th Annual Sepsis Heroes gala on September 17, 2020. The celebratory evening will also feature a performance by Las Vegas headliner and America’s Got Talent finalist Daniel Emmet. The 2020 gala will be held virtually and is free to attend.

To learn more about the Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Awards, click here.

To learn more about this year’s award recipients, click here.

To register for the virtual 9th Annual Sepsis Heroes gala, click here.