Meet Our Nursing Award Winners

June 3, 2019

Sepsis Alliance Honors Nurses Leading the Fight Against Sepsis – a Leading Cause of Death in U.S. Hospitals

Sepsis Alliance recognizes six inspiring nurses dedicated to reducing deaths from sepsis, which takes a life every two minutes in the United States.

San Diego, Calif, June 3, 2019 – Today, Sepsis Alliance announced the 2019 recipients of Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Awards. From a pediatric nurse in Mbarara, Uganda, to a sepsis coordinator in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 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 people and takes 270,000 lives every year in the United States.

Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Awards recognizes 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 from anywhere on the globe, two nursing students and a sepsis coordinator.

“The 2019 Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Award recipients, are inspiring examples of how one nurse can initiate and lead major life-saving changes in their organization no matter the size or location,” said Thomas Heymann, Sepsis Alliance President and Executive Director. “Nurses are on the frontline of sepsis identification and management. We want to empower them to make improvements to sepsis care every step of the way.”

The 2019 Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Award winners are:

  • Kimberly DeNicolo, Pediatric Nurse Award recipient, is an ED Quality Coordinator at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. In 2018, she planned a multidisciplinary rapid improvement event, which led to major process enhancements and improved treatment time for sepsis patients in her facility.
  • Tracy Lowerre, Pediatric Nurse Award recipient, is a nurse clinician at the Children’s Hospital of Richmont at VCU Health in Richmond, Virginia. She was instrumental in improving antibiotic administration times within her facility. Over the last seven quarters, more than 70% of all new stat IV antibiotics for sepsis patients in her facility were administered within 60 minutes of the order.
  • Mathias Mugabe, International Pediatric Nurse Award recipient, is a nurse at Holy Innocents Children’s Hospital in Mbarara, Uganda. He helped reduce the risk of newborns developing sepsis in his community through a community outreach initiative that increased the numbers of mothers delivering in sterile hospital environments with qualified staff.
  • Kristen Buck, Sepsis Coordinator Award recipient, Lead Sepsis Improvement Specialist at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She facilitated the implementation of Code Sepsis in two acute care hospitals. This resulted in a reduction of severe sepsis and septic shock mortality from 26.8% to 20.29% in just 12 months.
  • Celes Mora, Nursing Student Award recipient, is pursuing her Master of Science in Nursing at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She was inspired to study nursing after caring for her grandfather who became deathly ill with sepsis. As a volunteer, Celes runs free healthcare screenings and clinics. When she graduates, Celes plans to work as a pediatric nurse to raise awareness of sepsis in underserved communities.
  • Raechel Rowland, Nursing Student Award recipient, is a sepsis survivor pursing her Masters of Science in Nursing at Aspen University. She is also a Lean Practitioner at Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she is helping build a standardized sepsis care program.

Kimberly DeNicolo, Tracy Lowerre, and Kristen Buck, will receive their awards from Sepsis Alliance founder Carl Flatley, DDS, MSD, at the 8th Annual Sepsis Heroes gala on September 12, 2019.

“Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Awards recognizes 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 unnecessarily died of sepsis when she was 23 years old.

To learn more about Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Awards, please visit  To learn more about the award recipients, please visit

To purchase tickets to the 8th Annual Sepsis Heroes gala, please visit

About Sepsis Alliance:

Sepsis Alliance is the leading 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. In 2011, Sepsis Alliance designated September as Sepsis Awareness Month to bring healthcare professionals and community members together in the fight against sepsis. In 2018, Sepsis Alliance created the award-winning national campaign, It’s About T.I.M.E.TM, to educate the public about the signs and symptoms of sepsis and to highlight the urgent need to seek treatment when symptoms are recognized. Sepsis Alliance 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. Since 2007, sepsis awareness in the U.S. has risen from 19% to 65%. Sepsis Alliance is a GuideStar Platinum Rated charity. For more information, please visit Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter at @SepsisAlliance.

Media Contact:

Angelica Estrada