National Nurses Week at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute
Celebrating the compassionate and dedicated cardiovascular nurses that care for our patients.
In honor of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, National Nurses Week is celebrated annually, starting on May 6 and ending on May 12 - Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Whether they are helping you out of bed, assessing your lung sounds, educating you on your disease process or assisting in the operating room, nurses and hospitals go together. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, of the 2.6 million nursing positions, 60 percent are hospital held positions.
With National Nurses Week upon us, we wanted to introduce you to three of the over 300 compassionate and dedicated cardiac and vascular nurses that practice at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. To nurses everywhere, “thank you” for all you do.
Georgeanne Barileau, RN
Heart Valve Coordinator
Georgeanne’s work with the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute was recently featured in the Spring 2010 Clinical Update e-newsletter for the cardiovascular professional.
“In my role as heart valve coordinator, I help to educate the patients, families, and friends on heart valve disease and available treatment options. My work with physicians includes working closely with referring physicians to streamline the referral process and working with cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and vascular surgeons to coordinate care for the patient once admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Helping patients return to their daily lives feeling better is definitely what I love about this job.”
Jennifer Sullivan, APN/C-NP
Lead Nurse Practitioner, Cardiac Surgery
Jennifer’s work with the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute was recently featured in an article in the Chicago Tribune.
"My clinical responsibilities, along with the rest of the cardiac surgery nurse practitioner team, consist of managing the care of cardiovascular surgery patients from immediately after surgery to discharge from the hospital. It is the nurse practitioner team’s responsibility to coordinate and deliver care according to the surgeon’s preference and communicate these preferences to the entire medical and surgical team. We are the eyes and ears of the team that allow the surgeons to be in the operating room without having to worry about their patients in the intensive care or step down units.
In the intensive care unit, we manage the patient's intravenous medication and monitor and assess the patient for any untoward changes including bleeding after surgery, irregular heart rhythms, and abnormal blood work.
On the step down unit, in addition to monitoring the health status of the patient, we work closely with a multidisciplinary team consisting of therapists, case managers, and social workers to ensure all patients are being discharged when they are medically ready and to a place where they will be most successful."
Suzanne Wallace, APN/C-NP
Ventricular Assist Device Coordinator
Suzanne’s work with the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute was recently featured in an article in the Chicago Tribune.
“I am an advance practice nurse that serves as one of the the ventricular assist device (VAD) coordinators. Once a patient is close to being discharged with a VAD in place, the true expertise of the VAD coordinator comes into play. I educate the patients, and their caregivers, on how to care for themselves and the device to remain infection-free once they are discharged into the community. The VAD coordinator also manage the patient's care as an outpatient, including the ever important and time consuming task of keeping the patient’s anticoagulation levels therapeutic. I essentially become the patient's lifeline.
There is a VAD coordinator on call 24 hours/day, 7 days/week to field any questions and manage any emergencies that may arise. I also work closely with the attending surgeon to ensure that patients continue to progress and heal. VAD patients either keep their device while waiting for a heart transplant or keep their device permanently as destination therapy. VAD coordinators have a vast knowledge about the different VAD devices, how they work and how to care for the patients that have them.”
Meet more of the exceptional nurses at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute
Cardiology Advanced Practice Nurses
- Robert Gottschalk, ND, APN/C-NP
- Kathleen L. Grady, PhD, APN/C-CNS
- Sara Kowalczuk, APN/C-NP
- Susan Tafini, APN/C-NP
Cardiac Surgery Advanced Practice Nurses
Atrial Fibrillation Coordinators
Heart Transplant Coordinators - Inpatient
Heart Transplant Coordinators - Outpatient
Heart Valve Coordinator
Vascular Surgery Advanced Practice Nurses
- Rita Herm-Barabasz, APN/C-NP
- Kara Easton, APN/ANP-C
Vascular Surgery Clinical Coordinator
Lipid Disorders & Metabolic Syndrome Clinic Advanced Practice Nurse
Kris Lathan, Director
Northwestern Memorial Hospital