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Rachael Pelaez is Employee of the Year

Posted on May 26, 2017

Rachael Pelaez, left, with Jonathan Ellen, M.D., president, CEO and physician-in-chief, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital; vice dean and professor of pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Congratulations to Rachael Pelaez, R.N., cardiovascular nurse in the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU) for earning the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Employee of the Year award.

Rachael was September’s Daisy of the Month, after being nominated by a family that travelled across the country to deliver their “very critical baby at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.” The family spent 62 days in the CVICU with their newborn and wrote in their nomination letter: “Rachael touched our hearts forever. An amazing nurse is never, ever to be forgotten.”

Rachael, a charge nurse, is also an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) specialist, working with a pump to circulate blood to allow a patient’s heart or lungs to rest and heal. She works closely with families of critically ill patients. She is co-chair of the Heart Center Education and Professional Development Shared Governance Council and has shared her knowledge and inspiration with Johns Hopkins All Children’s since 2004.

“Rachael demonstrates excellence and compassion every day,” explains CVICU senior director of nursing Lisa Moore, R.N. “She consistently goes above and beyond to meet the needs of our patients and families. Rachael is very deserving of this special recognition.”

“Rachael is always flexible and willing to help the CVICU in any way that she can,” adds supervisor and clinical manager Nikki Hurley, MSN, R.N. CPEN. “On very stressful days, Rachael is often overheard saying, ‘It will all work out.’ She goes above and beyond for the team and most especially our families. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is very lucky to have her.”

Continuous outstanding performance is the common theme of our Employee-of-the-Year recipients, as are exhibiting exemplary leadership, providing help and guidance to colleagues, patients and families as applies and adhering to the Johns Hopkins All Children’s employee culture every day.

Pelaez received the award at the Employee Recognition Luncheon on Wednesday in the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Education Conference Center.

The Employee Recognition Luncheon also acknowledged Employees of the Month and nursing Daisies of the Month, and Patient Safety & Quality Good Catch and Star awards.

Awards All Around

Jacquelynn Warfield, R.N. III, Hematology/Oncology Outpatient Clinic, and Many Nguyen, Clinical Systems pharmacist Each received Patient Safety Star awards, having already been selected during the year for Good Catch awards. These two winners will represent Johns Hopkins All Children’s at the annual Patient Safety Summit this year in Baltimore, Maryland.

Pelaez’s award was saved for last and announced by Jonathan Ellen, M.D., president, CEO, physician-in-chief of Johns Hopkins All Children’s and vice dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“One of the things that stood out for me when I came here was the reputation of the staff—from the support staff to nursing to pharmacy—and how many times people tell us they have received great care,” Ellen says. “What’s amazing is your resilience and fortitude and dedication. These are the moments that I’m most humbled, when I think of the people and their dedication, their commitment and care. ... It truly is something that the world needs more of. You’ve taken that extra step that I think inspires all of us.”

As Employee of the Year, Rachael is “our ambassador,” says Joe Conrod, Human Resources director, who emceed the event. “But you’re all winners today.”

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