How Can You Help?
Share your StorySupport UsGet Resources

Sepsis Alliance to Honor Pediatric Nurses Working to Prevent and Improve Care of Children with Sepsis

August 8, 2016

Awards to be given to nurses who honor the spirit of Erin Kay Flatley, who died unnecessarily of sepsis following a routine surgery. Sepsis kills 12 children each day, resulting in 4,400 pediatric deaths annually, according to Pediatric Critical Care Medicine.

Sepsis Alliance announced the winners of The Erin Kay Flatley Pediatric Sepsis Nursing Award, a special honor designed to recognize the importance of nurses in the fight against sepsis in children.
The 2016 award recipients are Caroline Nightingale Riker from Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and Julie Albright Gottfried from Rochester Regional Health in Rochester, New York.

“These two outstanding individuals are true champions in our fight against sepsis,” said Thomas Heymann, Executive Director of Sepsis Alliance. “Sepsis Alliance is proud to provide recognition to those who are working to solve this devastating problem, and congratulates and thanks Caroline and Julie for their hard work.”

The nursing award was created to recognize and reward excellence in the area of pediatric sepsis prevention, care, and education. The honor is named after Erin Kay Flatley, an aspiring 23 year-old teacher who died suddenly and unexpectedly from sepsis. Erin’s spirit lives on in the creation of Erin’s Campaign for Kids, a new campaign that will provide education programs for nurses and health professionals to identify and treat sepsis, while recognizing achievements by healthcare professionals in the fight against pediatric sepsis.

By conservative estimates, sepsis causes 4,400 child deaths every year, the equivalent number of children needed to fill a kindergarten class every 48 hours.

“Every 30 days, sepsis kills enough kids to fill an entire high school’s graduating class,” added Heymann. “Considering the dramatic impact that sepsis has on our communities, it is alarming that fewer than half of American adults have even heard of it. This initiative is part of a national effort by Sepsis Alliance to promote improvements in awareness, prevention, care, and outcomes.”

In addition to a monetary award, Ms. Riker and Ms. Gottfried will be celebrated for their efforts at the 2016 Sepsis Heroes event, held in New York City on September 15, 2016.

“Nurses represent the front line against sepsis,” said Carl Flatley, Erin’s father and the founder of Sepsis Alliance. “I am excited to be working to honor nurses who embody the spirit of my daughter, and who are committed to winning the fight against sepsis for their young patients. We know we can win this fight, and that many of these deaths can be prevented.”

To learn more about this award and the 2016 honorees, please visit

About Sepsis Alliance

Sepsis Alliance is the leading nonprofit patient advocacy organization in North America. Sepsis Alliance’s mission is to save lives by raising awareness of sepsis as a medical emergency. The organization hosts national and community events, distributes educational information, and promotes training and education on sepsis prevention and early recognition and treatment. Sepsis Alliance also support sepsis survivors and family members with information about sepsis and Post Sepsis Syndrome, as well as a Faces of Sepsis community forum. The website receive 1 million visits each year. Sepsis Alliance, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is a GuideStar Gold Rated Charity.