Adventist HealthCare & You Magazine (Spring 2022)

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4 Adventist HealthCare’s nursing executives

This issue of Adventist HealthCare & You coincides with National Nurses Week 2022. Adventist HealthCare is grateful to the 1,451 dedicated nurses on our team who serve patients in our hospitals, healthcare offices and homes throughout the D.C. region. We appreciate the vital part you play in our Mission of extending God’s care through the ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing. Thank you!

Faith Community Nursing





3 Caring for Crime Victims Far Beyond the Bedside

4 Caring Runs in the Family 6 A Day in The Nursing Life 10 Be Part of a Family of Caregivers, Caring for Your Family

13 CNA Academy Opens Doors of Opportunity for Tomorrow’s Healthcare Workers

14 Intensive Care Unit Nursing: Treating COVID-19 Patients

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deal not just with the physical, but the mental, spiritual and emotional,” explained Kathleen Coleman, program manager of Adventist HealthCare’s Faith Community Health program. She leads a 40-hour course to train and support faith community nursing, a specialty recognized by the American Nurses Association. It focuses on ensuring that individuals who might not advocate for themselves get the care they need. The program is one aspect of Adventist HealthCare’s commitment to serve health needs in our community. For the past 25 years, Adventist HealthCare has partnered with leaders in churches, colleges and other organizations to assess the critical health priorities of their members. Adventist HealthCare also provides tools, services and best practices to help those who otherwise might not seek care, even when facing chronic disease such as diabetes or congestive heart failure. Kathleen also hosts the Healing Connections Forum to provide regular educational and discussion opportunities to nurture an ongoing faith network. When COVID-19 hit, Kathleen knew she needed to help her network of 70 organizations find credible health information, organize donations of food and diapers, and leverage county, state and federal resources to address insecurities that impact wellbeing. “It’s all part of our commitment to ensure whole-person health,” Kathleen said. As the pandemic continued, she soon saw rising levels of stress, anxiety and depression in the people she serves. She now partners with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing to offer Mental Health First Aid Training, a virtual six-hour course to help anyone – including faith leaders, first responders or community members – learn how to respond to signs of mental health and substance-use challenges in both adults and youth. Last year, 175 participants completed the training. Kathleen said the work is making a difference. “Through our efforts, we are empowering others to be advocates for health, hope and healing to help people in crisis and link them to professional providers.” To learn more about the Faith Community Health program, visit

New Care Spaces for and by Nurses On the cover: See page 14 to learn more about Katherine Dominguez, RN, and her work in the intensive care unit at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center.



CARING FOR CRIME VICTIMS FAR BEYOND THE BEDSIDE Nursing was not always the path for Jessica Volz. Neither was forensic medicine, the specialty in which she has had international impact.


ER life’s work caring for crime victims began with relentless curiosity and a fateful stop into the nursing school office as a discontented college undergrad. Jessica is now a nurse practitioner with a doctorate in nursing leadership, and her passion for her patients extends well beyond Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center. She joined the hospital in 2007 as an emergency room nurse, a challenging first assignment that she says took a while to love. Her patience and a mantra of “give it a year” opened her eyes to a unique patient population: victims of abuse and neglect. Shady Grove is home to the Montgomery County’s only Forensic Medical Unit. Early in Jessica’s career, forensic nursing was largely procedural. Physical evidence was needed to prosecute abuse cases. Law enforcement tasked hospitals with collecting it. “I started to see that patients really found value in the exam itself, regardless of whether or not they were able to or wanted to participate with law enforcement,” she said. Soon, Jessica and her colleagues realized forensic nurses could provide more than just physical healing and medical testimony in court. She saw caregivers as a bridge to connect patients with resources to break patterns of abuse and neglect.

INCREASING NEED Growing rates of domestic violence have expanded the specialty of forensic nursing. As director of Shady Grove’s Forensic Medical

Unit, Jessica has taken its program from a couple of on-call nurses to a full-time team of eight. Every nurse is certified in specialized assault examinations. She and two other Shady Grove nurses contributed to a textbook on forensic nursing published this year. “We’ve really gone from a service that provided sexual assault exams to a unit of forensic nurses, “Jessica says. “And that evolution has been a mutual learning not just for us, but for our community partners as well.” Those partners include law enforcement, prosecutors, child welfare services, the county’s Family Justice Center and nonprofits that assist victims. Jessica also serves on the county and state human trafficking task forces and on their teams addressing domestic violence. She is making Shady Grove’s forensic nursing program an international model, hosting colleagues from Brazil to help them launch a practice. In 2020, she was elected to the prestigious American Academy of Forensic Sciences, which this year is making nursing a subspecialty. Most important to Jessica is making sure community members who need the unit’s services know reaching out can change their lives in positive ways. “What has happened to bring somebody to us doesn’t define who they are, and it doesn’t have to define how the rest of their life goes. I think there’s a lot of hope that can come out of these situations,” she said. “I think that’s a big step forward, just giving people a place to start.”

To learn more about the services that Shady Grove Medical Center’s forensic nurses provide or to make a gift to support their work, visit or call 240-826-6225 for immediate, confidential assistance. AHCYOU.COM/SP22



Caring Runs in the Family For some people, caring for others seems second nature, like it’s in their genes. As we celebrate Mother’s Day, meet three mother-daughter nurse duos at Adventist HealthCare hospitals who are passing down a tradition of compassionate care.

MICHELE AND MORGAN BRASHEAR Morgan started her nursing career during one of the most challenging moments of the last century: the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. But she had a secret weapon for navigating the hospital: her mom, Michele. Michele came to Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center in 1997 to work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where she has cared for babies for 25 years. In 2020, Morgan graduated from nursing school and came to join her. “It means everything to me that Morgan followed in my footsteps,” Michele said. Morgan started as a medical/surgical nurse when she first arrived at Shady Grove, but when the opportunity came to transfer to the Labor & Delivery Unit, she took it. “Growing up, I watched my mom and got to see the passion she had for her unit, the way she worked with the moms and babies. She was so dedicated to her patients, and it really inspired me,” Morgan said. Now, the two work on the same floor at Shady Grove. They drive in together, take breaks together and have leaned on each other during the pandemic. “It’s such a special time for us,” Michele said. “We understand what the other is going through, during this time especially. I’m so grateful for this time with Morgan.” One of the reasons Michele has stayed at Shady Grove Medical Center for so long is because of the people she works with. And now, she shares that same camaraderie with her daughter. “As a new nurse, the support I’ve received in the Labor & Delivery Unit has been amazing,” Morgan said. “Everyone is willing to help you and support you. You are never alone.”

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Michele and Morgan Brashear

It means everything to me that Morgan followed in my footsteps.”


— Michele Brashear, RN Rachel and Rebecca Lall

JENNY AND ANNA RENZI With one parent as a nurse and one a doctor, it seemed natural that Anna might follow their footsteps into medicine. In 2017, Anna chose to practice nursing in the Pediatric Emergency department at Shady Grove Medical Center – the same hospital where her mom has worked for more than 30 years. “It was great when I first started. I already knew so many people because of my mom,” Anna said. Anna’s mom, Jenny, has been working for Adventist HealthCare on and off since 1982. After taking some time off to care for her children, she returned to Shady Grove Medical Center’s Emergency department as a nurse in 2006. “I’m really happy that Anna ended up here,” Jenny said. “Everyone is so helpful and nice. It’s a big family, so it was a great place for her to start.” While Jenny primarily works in the Emergency department, she sometimes floats to the Pediatric Emergency department, where she gets to work alongside her daughter on special cases. “She has so much experience,” Anna said. “I love getting to learn from her.” COVID-19 has made their roles extra challenging, but Anna and Jenny are able to rely on their teams and each other. “You have to have thick skin in this profession,” Jenny said. “You have to learn to bring home the good stuff and leave the hard stuff at work.” For Anna, leaving behind the “hard stuff” isn’t an easy task. “I’m an empathetic person,” she said, “and it’s hard for me not to get attached to my patients. We as nurses give so much, and sometimes we get that back from our patients. So as much as we try, sometimes you can’t help but take it home.” Despite the difficulties, Anna and Jenny both love what they do. “Give nursing a chance,” Jenny said. “Come in and get your experience. Stick it out. You’re never alone.”

REBECCA AND RACHEL LALL As a fourth-generation nurse in her family, Rachel grew up around nursing before she became a registered nurse herself. Her great-grandmother was a military nurse in India for 30 years. Her grandmother served for 45 years as a nurse in a general hospital in India. Her mother has been a nurse for 28 years and cares for medical-surgical patients at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center. “When I was young, I watched my mom and grandma – amazing, independent women – care for others in need and I wanted to be as strong and independent as them one day,” Rachel said. In high school, Rachel had an interest in science and volunteered at a Florida hospital. When it was time for college, she recalls wanting to choose a path that would make a difference for people. In 2020, Rachel graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and moved with her family to Maryland to start her career. In January 2021, Rachel’s mom, Rebecca, began working at White Oak Medical Center. About the same time, Rachel had

It’s hard for me not to get attached to my patients.” — Anna Renzi, RN

Anna and Jenny Renzi

been hired as an Intensive Care Unit nurse at the same hospital and selected for the Adventist HealthCare Nurse Residency program. The program offers six-month, on-the-job training to give new graduates supervision and support from an experienced registered nurse. “The program helped me get to know my co-workers, build knowledge and experience in patient care, and understand more about the conditions in my specialty before I was on my own,” added Rachel. Rebecca is beyond proud of Rachel. “Nursing has offered a piece of satisfaction for my family for as long as I’ve known. That satisfaction is about bringing people comfort. We can sit, talk and work to understand from the patient what is happening and help with what they need,” Rebecca said. On the tough days, the two seek each other’s support. “I really like that my mom works in healthcare. She gets it and helps us to be able to not keep everything from our day with us,” said Rachel. “It’s important to separate work from home because there will always be more people who need us.” AHCYOU.COM/SP22




They are medical experts, educators, advocates. Many patients call them angels. Here’s a glimpse at the work of three Adventist HealthCare nurses and insight into what ignites their passion for caring for others.



ON THE INTENSIVE CARE UNIT: SACRED MOMENTS TRANSCEND WORK In August 2019, Cecilia Blanc, RN, a Medical/Surgical Unit nurse at Shady Grove Medical Center, transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, turning her world upside down. Instead of running from the unknown, Cecilia faced it head on, becoming an assistant nurse manager on the unit in September 2021. And while life working in the ICU has always been a rollercoaster, COVID-19 has presented its own set of challenges. “We’ve been caring for COVID-19 patients for a while now,” Cecilia said, “but at the beginning, I was completely blindsided by how sick these patients were. I’m more used to it now, but it has been a huge adjustment.” Cecilia starts her workdays by getting up, exercising and then heading off to the hospital. When she gets in, the nurses on the unit have a huddle to pass along any important updates, and Cecilia gets a report from the previous shift about every patient on the unit. After doing rounds and checking in with her patients, Cecilia evaluates materials and equipment on the unit. One thing Cecilia has missed during the pandemic is the ability for face-to-face time with her teammates. “With COVID around, we can’t be in the break rooms together or eat together at the same time,” she said. “I underestimated the time we spent together talking, bonding and sharing prior to COVID. That’s been hard because our working relationships are so important. We miss each other.” Although they can’t work as closely as they might have before COVID, Cecilia says her team is the reason she made it through the last two years. Despite the challenges of the ICU, Cecilia is still so proud of the resiliency of her team, and herself. “Sometimes on the unit, we’re the only ones allowed to be with patients while they are dying,” she said. “So we don our PPE and go into their rooms, making sure we are holding their hands in their last moments. It’s an honor to take care of the patients from the beginning to the end. Moments like that make it worth coming in every day.”




IN THE OPERATING ROOM: CONSTANT CHANGE IS A CERTAINTY Hanah Sison, RN, didn’t set out to become a nurse, but now she can’t imagine doing anything else. “I originally wanted to become a chef because I love to cook and eat,” said Hanah, who is the operating room (OR) charge nurse at Adventist HealthCare Fort Washington Medical Center. “Being a nurse is a fulfilling job, so it wasn’t hard for me to love what I do.” Originally from the Philippines, Hanah received her nursing degree and worked in the Philippines for five years before moving to the United States in 2016. She began working at Fort Washington Medical Center in 2020 – the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the first wave of the pandemic, when vaccines weren’t available, Hanah said she worried about the safety of herself, her family and the people around her who were high risk. She knew working in healthcare meant she and her team had to be ready for what was to come. Her teammates have helped her through the difficult, turbulent days. “We treat each other like family. We always help each other out,” Hanah said. Though healthcare during a pandemic is never “typical,” Hanah usually begins her day at 7 a.m. She dons her uniform – scrubs, scrub cap, face mask and eye shield – and makes her rounds through the OR and Patient Recovery Unit. The walkthrough gives her an idea of what is going on at the hospital and what her team’s day could look like. As a charge nurse, Hanah oversees the workflow and continuity of care in Fort Washington’s OR and Patient Recovery Unit, a fast-paced environment where minor



issues, small tasks and emergency cases pop up frequently. These make up most her day. She rounds frequently to understand how to help her team members with their workload and to ensure they get the breaks they need. She puts together call lists, room assignments and schedules. She updates a white board so her team can see their assignments for the day, who is on call and which shifts need coverage. The most difficult aspect of being an OR nurse, Hanah said, is the struggle to find personal time. “I work closely with patients and most of the time I must prioritize them over anything else,” Hanah said. That means staying late to finish a case or coming in on a day off to help. “Once we get called in, through rain, shine, or snow, we have to come in for our patients.” The best part of the job is being able to “pay it forward,” and giving back to her patients just as others have given her opportunities and blessings in the past. “I enjoy the sense of fulfillment, when I know that I helped someone, in one way or another, get through their tough times and to be a part of their healing process.” Despite the challenges she’s overcome as a nurse – the process of moving to a new country and working during an unprecedented global pandemic – Hanah is optimistic, excited for her future and thankful to be where she is. “They say if you love what you do, you can overcome any difficulties,” Hanah said. “I believed in myself and my dream to become a good nurse and to help my family have a better life. If I was given the opportunity to turn back time and be able to choose between being a chef and being a nurse, I would still choose to be a nurse.”

IN THE CARDIAC CATH LAB: HEART CARE IS FINELY TUNED “We’re your pit crew and we take care of everything you need with teamwork and precision.” That’s how Lester Ortiz, RN, manager of the Catheterization (Cath) and Electrophysiology (EP) labs at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center, explains to some patients what the Cath Lab team does to prepare for a heart procedure. The team of nurses and techs that prepare the patient, room and equipment for each procedure work a lot like a race car’s pit crew. It’s their business to work together, yet they each have specific tasks that ensure a heart procedure is safe and goes smoothly for the patient. The Cath Lab nurses, who assist the interventional cardiologist performing a heart procedure, have a unique view and role to play. “We see the heart pumping, the heart arteries, and if we find a problem, the team can fix it right away,” Lester said. “In our field, a stent is placed in an artery and we watch the blood flow return to the heart. It’s a lot of fun.” Lester starts his day with a 3-mile bike ride to work. “Biking to work is my cup of coffee,” he added. He and the rest of the team arrive at 7 a.m. and work begins right away to prepare the room, make a sterile tray, get the necessary medicines, and learn about the first patient of the day. Once the patient and the doctor arrive to the lab, a nurse connects the patient to the monitor to keep the patient safe during the one-to-two-hour procedure. When the procedure is finished, Lester or another nurse gives a report or shares information with the nurse who will care for the patient in a specialized cardiac care recovery area for the next few hours. The Cath Lab team repeats the process for each patient and procedure that day. Lester thrives on teamwork and leans on his faith in God as the foundation for all his interactions. “It’s the little things that show we are not living for ourselves,” Lester said. “When a patient comes in anxious, I take the opportunity to sit with

them and explain that they’ll be OK. That’s why I’m a nurse.” “When they feel loved, they can trust you and feel more comfortable in your care,” he added. “We strive for it.” Lester has also been a part of patient care from another angle, in the Emergency department (ED). In 2000, Lester began working as an ED intern at Washington Adventist Hospital (now White Oak Medical Center). He was part of a program that was a precursor to Adventist HealthCare’s current Nurse Residency program, which provides training and a nurse preceptor to new graduates during their first six months on the job. “Emergency department nursing is very busy and gives you the chance to experience and care for a variety of health conditions,” Lester said. “Emergency care is wonderful. I loved it.” After 15 years of ED nursing, Lester was ready to shift gears. That’s when he moved into cath lab nursing. “I wanted to continue to grow and expand on my critical care skills while continuing to work for Adventist HealthCare.” It was the right move. “Cath lab nursing is completely different, and it’s so great,” he added. His emergency experience helps with another unique responsibility of the Cath Lab team: to be ready 24/7 for patients who are having a heart attack. Adventist HealthCare Cath Lab nurses and techs rotate on-call duty, so hospitals always have an expert team ready to rapidly treat a patient. Lester recently became a nurse manager of his team after five years as a cath lab nurse. He is delighted to be a leader and help continue the strong legacy of Adventist HealthCare heart care. Learn more about our dedicated nurses at SP22Nurses.




Make a difference and love where you work. Join the team of compassionate caregivers at Adventist HealthCare.

Be Part of a Family of Caregivers, Caring for Your Family For 115 years, we’ve served the Washington, D.C., region. We are committed to our Mission, to extend God’s care through the ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing. Check out some of the opportunities for nursing careers with us and meet those who are making a difference in our community.

EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT REGISTERED NURSE As an essential member of the care team during a medical emergency, your expertise will get patients feeling better and to the next step in their care. With awards and accreditations for quality and safety – including in stroke and heart attack care – Adventist HealthCare’s Emergency department teams are prepared to care for the community 24/7. “Coming from a non-religious institution, I don’t think I’d ever go back after coming to Adventist HealthCare. Shady Grove feels like family. Many employees have



transitioned into new roles but have stayed within the system and that speaks volumes. The healthcare benefits are great for me.” – NICOLE HOPKINS, RN, Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center “I have been working for Adventist HealthCare for 20 years; in those 20 years, they have seen me grow in all my career goal stages in life. I started as an Emergency Department Technician, then became a Registered Nurse, completed my bachelor’s of science in nursing, and recently became a Certified Emergency Nurse because of Adventist HealthCare’s career ladder growth opportunities.” – INGRID SAAVEDRA, RN, Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center

Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center in Rockville

CARDIAC CATH LAB AND CARDIAC STEPDOWN REGISTERED NURSES Join the trusted heart care team at Adventist HealthCare. Our nationally recognized heart care services hold several accreditations and awards from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. As part of our heart care team, you’ll help educate patients and their families through the continuum of care, take part in patient-centered care and work with a dedicated team focused on excellent patient outcomes and experience. “Teamwork is huge. It’s one of the things I like most about working here. My coworkers and the faith-based Mission keep me here and continuing to grow and expand my skills.” – LESTER ORTIZ, RN, manager, Cardiac Cath and EP Labs, White Oak Medical Center

INTENSIVE CARE UNIT (ICU) REGISTERED NURSE With multiple opportunities available on the ICUs, Progressive Care Units, Intermediate Care Units and Cardiovascular Intensive Care Units at our award-winning hospitals, you can join an expert team that specializes in treating complex medical conditions, life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

You’ll work closely with the care team to provide ongoing assessments and minute-to-minute care. “I work at Adventist HealthCare Fort Washington Medical Center because of the executive leadership. The president provides a clear vision for the future. Additionally, the growth and opportunities are unlimited when you work hard. The team is like family. I truly enjoy providing optimum care for my community and am excited to be able to provide more services in the future with the vision that has been set before us. – TRAKINA HOGAN, RN, Intensive Care Unit Manager, Adventist HealthCare Fort Washington Medical Center

OPERATING ROOM REGISTERED NURSE Be part of expert surgical teams that hold recognitions from The Joint Commission, American College of Surgeons and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons for excellence in quality and safety. You’ll be responsible for the safe and effective delivery of patientcentered care and work in collaboration with a multi-interdisciplinary team focused on the well-being of patients. “A huge perk to being an OR nurse is the ability to care for one patient at a

Adventist HealthCare Fort Washington Medical Center in Prince George’s County

time. I enjoy the opportunity to reassure them, comfort them, and sometimes pray with them. It is a privilege to take care of patients, and it is an honor to care for those who have no voice when they are asleep. I know that at the end of each surgery, we have made a difference. We have improved someone’s quality of life and that is a source of joy!” – JASMINE TURNER, RN, Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH REGISTERED NURSE Become part of a team offering wellrounded care to help patients find healing and strength. The Behavioral Health Services team at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center treats a full range of mental health conditions on eight specialized units that serve people of all ages. “While working on the Shenandoah Unit at Behavioral Health, I have learned that it is okay for our teams to take a break, as it allows for an opportunity to come back together and be left standing stronger than we were before. I enjoy working with the team and feel supported by team members when times get challenging. Behavioral Health is a great place to work because of our team bond and support from leadership.” – JULIE ZINGESER, RN, Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center

With more than 6,000 employees, Adventist HealthCare is the largest employer in Montgomery County, Maryland, and continues to grow throughout the Washington, D.C., region. We’ve been recognized as a top place to work by The Washington Post in 2021 and Forbes in 2020 and 2021.




Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation in Rockville and Silver Spring

MED-SURG REGISTERED NURSE With over a century of caring, Adventist HealthCare has earned a reputation for high-quality and compassionate, Mission-driven healthcare services. We are committed to being the safest place to receive care and to excellent outcomes. Each of our acute care hospitals is accredited by The Joint Commission, a recognized symbol of quality across the nation. As a medical-surgical nurse, you’ll help patients heal from surgery so they can return home, confident they are on the road to recovery. “Working through COVID-19 was challenging at first, but not anymore thanks to my incredible team. I am proud to be a nurse and do what I can to keep our community healthy.” – MA ANDREA ALBERTO, RN, Medical Surgical Unit, White Oak Medical Center

HOME HEALTH REGISTERED NURSE Adventist Home Health helps patients recover from illness, injury or surgery safely in their homes. You’ll make a difference in the lives of patients through one-on-one home visits. You’ll help them to learn to live more independently and to take care of themselves at home. Adventist Home Health is a recognized leader in home care, and has been named a topperforming home care agency in the nation by HomeCare Elite® for nine consecutive years.

With a focus on our people, we want to be the best place to work and grow. We do this by creating a culture based on our values of Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence and Stewardship. Here’s what it’s like to work at Adventist HealthCare: • Work/life balance through nonrotating shifts • Recognition and rewards for professional expertise • Continuing education and leadership opportunities • Competitive comprehensive benefit plans offered • Employee appreciation recognition and events • Workplace wellness programs • Whole-person approach to care

“Adventist HealthCare is a great organization to work for because my team members are so helpful and I always feel like I’m surrounded by friends.” – ALLA LEVIN, RN, 12-year visiting home health nurse

Adventist HealthCare Home Health, serving eight Maryland counties.


Read more about job opportunities, apply for a position or donate to honor and support our nurses. Visit




CNA Academy Opens Doors of Opportunity for

TOMORROW’S HEALTHCARE WORKERS January marked the launch of an innovative training program, The John and Effie Macklin CNA Academy at Adventist HealthCare.


HE academy is unique among education programs for certified nursing assistants (CNAs), offering free classroom and clinical training in a hospital rather than a community college or post-acute care setting. The idea for the program had long been on Adventist HealthCare’s wish list. A generous donation from John and Effie Macklin made it possible. Adventist HealthCare leaders, the program’s directors, and John and Effie Macklin welcomed the academy’s first 15-member cohort in a lively launch ceremony on Jan. 31. Cassandra Hairston, Vice President for Community Engagement with NIH Federal Credit Union and a member of the Shady Grove Medical Center Foundation Board, also attended. The credit union provided the funds to supply trainees with scrubs and other items. Trainees spend four weeks in the classroom and then are supervised while learning at the bedside. After the program, they are equipped to sit for and pass the Maryland CNA certification exam. Once on the job, each new CNA is assigned an experienced preceptor, or mentor, to ensure their success. The program provides many benefits to its participants: • No cost: The average CNA course costs $1,300, and materials, exam fees and state registration are additional. • Paid training: Candidates are selected from current employees or become employees and earn a salary while they learn.

•R eal-life training: Candidates learn in the hospital setting to develop the skills that come with managing multiple patients with varying levels of need. • Immediate employment: Successful completion of the program guarantees participants a job at an Adventist HealthCare facility and can open doors to additional career opportunities. Many CNAs later become nurses or study for other medical roles. For Adventist HealthCare, the program will expand the pool of nursing assistants during a time of significant healthcare worker shortages. During the launch ceremony, trainees came forward to introduce themselves and express their heartfelt thanks to hospital leadership and to the Macklins. They explained how the program was allowing them to pursue their dreams of helping people and making a difference in a medical profession. Those sentiments echoed the words of Effie Macklin, who noted she and her husband made this financial commitment to “honor our mothers,” both of whom were nursing assistants. Effie also shared with the candidates what she and John had learned from their parents: “Be tenacious in what you do. Make it not just about a job, but a passion to make a difference in someone’s life.” Help fund future generations of healthcare heroes. Give to nursing education initiatives at our hospitals at AHCYOU.COM/SP22




TREATING COVID-19 PATIENTS When Katherine Dominguez, RN, wakes each morning, she starts her day with a prayer asking for strength for her work in Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU).


been more than two years since hospitals began treating patients with COVID-19. When Katherine graduated with her nursing degree, she never imagined her career would include caring for patients during a global pandemic, or how important her skills would become for her family.

AN UNEXPECTED TURN During nursing school, Katherine had rotations at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center in several departments, including Labor & Delivery, Medical-Surgical and Psychiatry. In February 2020, she joined the Emergency department at White Oak Medical Center as part of Adventist



HealthCare’s nurse residency program. Right afterward, community transmission of COVID-19 began to increase in Maryland. “When the pandemic began, we didn’t know how to deal with COVID,” Katherine said. “Even the experienced nurses I worked with didn’t, so we all learned together.” As a team, they learned how to treat COVID-19 patients, protect themselves with personal protective equipment and continue to provide exceptional care. Working in the Emergency department during multiple COVID-19 surges allowed Katherine to learn about critical care more quickly than she would have in a world without a

When patients are scared and their family can’t be there, I’ll go hold their hand and comfort them.” — Katherine Dominguez, RN

pandemic. She always wanted to work in the ICU, and her pandemic experience solidified that desire. After nearly 10 months of working in the Emergency department, Katherine suffered an injury at home that limited her ability to work. She felt stressed and frustrated, but her parents kept telling her, “God does everything for a reason.”


In December 2020, Katherine’s father and one of her brothers contracted COVID-19. Their symptoms worsened, so they headed to White Oak Medical Center for care. While being evaluated in the Emergency department, they learned their oxygen levels were low and they were admitted to the Intermediate Care Unit (IMCU) before eventually being transferred to the ICU. Katherine, still sidelined by her injury, uniquely understood COVID-19 from a nurse’s perspective. She became the decision maker for her father’s and brother’s care. She wore two hats: one as a nurse who had treated COVID-19 patients and another as a daughter and sister. She struggled to help her family members understand what was happening and explain how treatment can affect a person’s body. “In this situation, it’s hard to not just think about your own feelings, but theirs too,” Katherine said. “You have to think about what they would want.” As 2021 began, her father and brother’s health continued to decline. They were transferred to a trauma hospital for an even higher level of care. Sadly, Katherine’s father passed away from complications from COVID-19 in January, and her brother passed away from complications from COVID-19 several months later.

MOVING FORWARD When Katherine returned to work at the hospital, it was hard on her family, especially her mother. They were scared for her to return and be around COVID-19 patients. When she returned, it helped that her colleagues surrounded her with support. “My coworkers were always making sure I was doing okay, and they would check in on me on my days off,” Katherine explained. Her supervisors temporarily moved her to the “fast-track” section of the Emergency department, which traditionally treats bumps, cuts and bruises, and did not often treat COVID-19 patients. As the year continued, Katherine felt ready to make the jump to a new unit, the one she always planned to work in: the ICU. Katherine enjoys her work in the ICU but the memories there are difficult at times. She knows the room in which her father was intubated, and the room where her brother received care. However, she uses her experience to provide a unique perspective to her patients and their families. On the first anniversary of her father’s passing, Katherine was assigned to a patient in the room where her father stayed during his time in the ICU. “It was a hard day, but I focused on how I was able to help care for someone in a similar position that my father was in and make a difference in their life,” she said. She cares for her patients and their families like they were her own. “When patients are scared and their family can’t be there, I’ll go hold their hand and comfort them,” she said. On the tougher days, she focuses on how proud her dad was of her becoming a nurse and says it motivates her to keep going. “When I’m helping people, I know he’s still proud of me.” Learn more about how our nurses live our Mission of extending God’s care at




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Adventist HealthCare complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. For more information, see link on our homepage at ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 301-315-3044. 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援 助服務。請致電 301-315-3044。

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New Care Spaces for and by Nurses


HEN Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center opens its new patient tower in 2024, nurses will have played a key role in designing the space. “The nurses had input during the design process, culminating in the room mock-ups where every ED nurse, technician and physician was encouraged to walk through the mocked-up rooms and give feedback,” said Michael Oxenford, RN, the hospital’s Director of Emergency Services, who is managing the clinical aspects of the construction project. “The architects incorporated as much of the feedback as possible in the final plan.”

The tower will add 150,352 square feet over six floors adjacent to the current Emergency department in Rockville. Patients, loved ones and caregivers will benefit from larger, modernized emergency and critical care rooms. New medicalsurgical rooms will complete Shady Grove’s transition to all-private inpatient rooms. The building also is one of the first in healthcare that can incorporate lessons learned over two years of caregiving in the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s going to be a wonderful setting,” said Joan Vincent, RN, Shady Grove’s Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer. In addition to added space and enhanced patient privacy, her nurses are excited about upgrades to their working environment, like more natural light, green spaces and added break rooms where caregivers can recharge. The tower also will relocate related services closer to one another in the hospital, reducing the time it takes for patients and caregivers to get from one place to another. “In this era, nurses are taking care of very different kinds of patients, and that means we need their input,” said Todd Cohen, Associate Vice President of Facilities and Real Estate with AtSite Inc. who is working with Adventist HealthCare full time to manage the project. Joan believes the tower will bring “a renewed sense of excitement about the hospital and the things we can do in nursing,” adding: “Our community is going to be the ones who gain.” Learn more about giving opportunities to support the construction of Shady Grove’s new patient tower. Visit