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2018 Servant’s Heart Award Winner
Working in discharge planning in the neonatal intensive care unit and family birth center at Niswonger Children’s Hospital, Rhonda puts the needs of others first and provides a steady hand during times of crisis. In her position, she makes sure babies have appropriate resources and follow-up in place as they go home from the hospital, but she goes far above and beyond the normal requirements of her job.
Quite often, new mothers and their families in the NICU have limited incomes and resources, or have legal complications, and Rhonda is there to assist, sometimes personally driving folks to legal appointments or court hearings.
On one occasion, she was scheduled to work half a day and then go home, but when a baby passed away that morning, she stayed at work to support the grieving mom – going to the funeral home with the mother to help make funeral arrangements.
In another instance, a family with twins was in distress when one of the babies had to be transferred to the NICU at Vanderbilt, and the family didn’t have the money or means of reliable transportation to get to Nashville to be with their child. Rhonda reached out to Kari’s Heart Foundation and was able to secure a rental car so they could visit their child in critical condition at Vanderbilt.
Rhonda often will pray with families who are in a difficult situation. Even when she’s off work, she takes calls from the NICU or family birth center to assist if there’s a crisis, and will even come in to work on her off-days if needed. Rhonda has an amazing passion for helping her patients, families and team members. The impact she’s had on the lives of others is huge.