October 23, two Children's staff members were named finalists
for the prestigious 2003 Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award,
which is given by a Massachusetts nonprofit dedicated to strengthening
the relationship between patients and caregivers.
Elizabeth Aldridge, RN, staff nurse on the Inpatient
Oncology, and Joanne
Wolfe, MD, MPH, medical director of the Pediatric Advanced
Care Team for Dana Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Care,
were among four caregivers named as finalists by the Kenneth B.
The award acknowledges care "in which caregivers, patients
and families relate to one another in a way that provides hope to
the patient, support to caregivers and sustenance to the healing
process," according to the center. The final award was given
to Paula Rauch, MD, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Aldridge and Wolfe work with some of Children's sickest patients,
and colleagues and families praise them for their personal dedication
to patient families.
"Beth's dedication is limitless," says the nurse
who nominated Aldridge. "She has escorted a patient to his
prom, washed laundry and sewn clothes for others, all while consistently
assessing treatment options for some of the most complex illnesses."
Like Aldridge, Wolfe builds personal relationships with those she
cares for. "She will always freely dispense an embrace that
can bring a smile to my daughter's face—and her generous
hugs have helped me too," says the mother of one patient.
As one of Wolfe's coworkers puts it, "Joanne has dedicated
her professional life to making meaning out of tragedy and creating
a sense of solace and comfort out of what may seem unbearable."