Brecksville Nurse Practitioner earns statewide recognition
Julie Tsirambidis of Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics Brecksville office has been named a 2012 Pediatric Nurse Practitioner of the Year by the Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP).
Tsirambidis, a resident of Broadview Heights, provides care for infants, children and teens in the primary care office and also has administrative responsibilities at the hospital, serving as director of the hospital’s Advanced Practice Center.
Tracey Herstich, a critical care nurse practitioner in Akron Children’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, is a co-recipient of the award.
They are recognized for creating the first pediatric nurse practitioner program in Haiti through Akron Children’s Global Health Center, according to Stephanie Smith, awards chair for the Ohio chapter of NAPNAP. “Their vision for this program and compassion for the children of Haiti is truly a wonderful example for all,” she said.
Care in Haiti also helps children here
Herstich and Tsirambidis traveled to Haiti with other members of Akron Children’s medical staff in October 2011 to provide care at St. Damien’s Hospital, a children’s hospital, near Port Au Prince.
The goal of the trip was to lay the foundation for a program to train and educate Haitian nurses who wish to earn master’s degrees and become nurse practitioners. The biggest obstacle is financial – securing the funding to pay for about ten nurses to take time away from their daily work schedules – so they can afford to dedicate time to their continuing education.
Once that obstacle is overcome, having a steady supply of newly-trained nurse practitioners will go a long way to improving access to care in a country that currently only has one pediatric health care provider for every 100,000 children.
During the trip, they took over bedside care so some of the hospital’s caregivers could take time to learn. Tsirambidis says the experience gave her a unique perspective that she thinks about often.
“I find myself being more conscious of what parents share with me and ensuring a thorough examination at each visit, because I saw first-hand the severe and fatal ramifications of children who didn’t receive proper medical care and immunizations,” said Tsirambidis. “As a mother of four children, I understand the fears of a parent so I don’t simply wear the clinician hat. I walk along with ever other mother out there.”
Herstich and Tsirambidis plan a second trip to Haiti in November.
What is a nurse practitioner?
Herstich and Tsirambidis, who will be honored at a luncheon on Oct. 19 in Columbus, said they are “humbled” by the honor and hope it promotes better recognition for their profession.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with master’s degrees and board certification in a specialty, such as pediatrics. They can perform physical exams, order medical tests, write prescriptions, treat common illnesses and manage chronic diseases. They maintain a close working relationship with physicians and consult them as needed.
“Nurse practitioners are on the front lines of health care delivery and how it is changing to improve access to care,” said Tsirambidis.
Herstich added that she believes she and Tsirambidis, together, are a good example of the excellent career opportunities in advanced practice nursing.
“I enjoy the pace of critical care and Julie enjoys primary care,” she said. “We have also had the opportunity to get involved in research and Julie, in her role with our Advanced Practice Center, joins physicians on the hospital’s medical staff. Of course, we also balance our busy professional lives with our roles as wives and mothers of young children.”
About Akron Children’s Hospital
Ranked a Best Children’s Hospital by US News & World Report, Akron Children’s is the largest pediatric provider in northeast Ohio. With two pediatric hospitals, as well as 20 primary care and nearly 70 pediatric specialty locations, our dedicated staff handles more than 650,000 patient visits a year. We also serve as a major teaching affiliate of Northeast Ohio Medical University, and offer a number of pediatric subspecialty fellowship programs. In addition to our commitment to providing quality, family-centered care, we also strive to find ways to advance the prevention and treatment of childhood illness and injury through research. For more information, visit akronchildrens.org.
About Akron Children's Hospital Pediatrics
The Brecksville office is one of 20 pediatric primary care offices owned and operated by Akron Children’s Hospital. Founded in 1995, Akron Children's Hospital Pediatrics (ACHP) brings pediatric primary care to many northeast Ohio neighborhoods. Most offices offer evening and weekend appointments. ACHP pediatricians also have privileges at many local hospitals to ensure children receive the finest medical care when and where it is needed. Most insurance plans and Medicaid are accepted. For more information, visit akronchildrens.org/pediatrics.