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Going Above and Beyond

Employee Engagement

Volunteering When Needed the Most

Without hesitation, during the January 2021 surge of COVID-19 patients, 7 PACU nurses with previous ICU experience volunteered to “re-train” and return to the ICU. Their dedication to supporting their colleagues, outstanding initiative, and resourcefulness demonstrates exemplary professional practice and a deep commitment to patient care. A special thank you to these exceptional nurses!


Avani Rakholia


Among the many dedicated SHC RNs who

consistently go above and beyond to

uplift our community is Avani Rakholia,

BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse IV on J2 and an

SLC Magnet and Professional Growth

and Development Council member. Avani's passion for community service runs deep and is demonstrated by her past projects such as the inpatient eyeglass drive and the Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program.

Despite COVID-19, Avani's heartfelt passion to volunteer has not yielded. During early 2021, she organized a toy drive that collectively donated 700 toys and $350 in gift cards for older children. As a part of this endeavor, Avani collaborated with many SHC nurses, with special kudos to Ammie Gates, MSN, RN, CNOR, OR Clinical Nurse who helped the OR team donate almost 300 toys. This inspirational organization-wide initiative, led by Avani, is truly a wonderful cause and showcases her collaborative spirit of giving. Avani also partnered with the Magnet and Professional Growth and Development Council and the San Jose Fire Department to donate backpacks for children going back to school. Thank you, Avani, for all that you do to support our community and beyond!


In Avani's words:

“One way that I love to give back to my community is through volunteering. Since this is one of my passions, I joined the Magnet SLC Community Outreach committee to broaden my reach of how I can give back. Last winter, I partnered with the San Jose Fire Department to collect toys for children during Christmas- and a BIG thank you to our SHC community because it was a huge success. Currently, I am thrilled to begin once more volunteering with the Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program. The OMA program is near and dear to my heart. It is an intergenerational patient-centered program that facilitates elderly people with dementia to creatively express themselves through art."

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Special Gratitude

  • Joe Simmons, Lead CVH APP- Joe helped tremendously during the toy drive. He came in at 5:30 AM before his shift to drop off collection bins throughout the hospital. He also rented a U-Haul truck to pick up the collection bins from the San Jose Fire Department and he came in on his weekend off to bring more collection bins.

  • Eden Marie Etrata, CN IV from the Lane Surgery Center OR spearheaded the drive for her department.

Thank you, Joe and Eden!



Paras Barnett


Paras Barnett, BSN, RN, HNB-BC, CMS-RN, one of SHC's Caritas Coaches, is an extraordinary example of a nurse who went above and beyond throughout the pandemic to care for others. Paras’ work to promote therapeutic healing and resilience through essential oils was described in her journal article, COVID-19: An Organizational-theory-guided Holistic Self-caring and Resilience Project. She also presented her work at the International Association of Human Caring (IAHC). This conference seeks to share scientific endeavors that deepen our understanding of the importance of caring theory, practice, and research.


Thank you Paras, for your exemplary professional practice and commitment to others. Also, thank you to the many others, who like Paras, integrated and exemplified Caring Science by reaching out and have been a source of strength and resilience for others during the ongoing pandemic.


Exemplary J2 Nurses

Last summer, J2 cared for an ECMO lung transplant patient who incorporated salsa dancing into his rehabilitation plan. The patient spent two months on J2, experiencing the wonderful and supportive care of the J2 professionals, under the Magnet pillar of Exemplary Professional Practice. When the patient was discharged, he promised to return to dance salsa with his physical therapist.


Both the patient and his family did not forget the exceptional care J2’s nurses and interdisciplinary team provided, nor did they forget his promise to his physical therapist. Five months after his discharge, the patient returned to J2 and say thank you to his nurses, doctors, physical therapists, nutritionists, respiratory therapists, nursing assistants, case managers, social workers, and all other members of his care team. The patient expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the care he received and he expressed that not a day goes by where he and his family aren’t thankful for everyone in Stanford Health Care, especially J2, and the second chance at life that he received. He then shared a dance with his physical therapist while his care team cheered him on. Witnessing their patient dance was a magical moment for the J2 interprofessional team.


Patient Advocacy to Combat Gaps in Care and Enhance the Patient Experience

Daisy Mark, BSN, PCCN, CN III on AAU J7, recognized that SHC did not have a standardized practice for assessing home oxygen needs for patients. This lack of best practice also did not satisfy Medicare and insurance requirements for the approval of home oxygen use. Along with support from her manager, Theresa Cotter, BSN, CCRN, a multidisciplinary task force was created that included a pulmonary attending MD, case manager, physical and occupational therapy, social work, the J7 management team, unit educator, and CNS. This task force completed a literature review to determine best practices.


Additionally, J7 completed a thorough review of existing practices that identified inconsistent methods among staff, leading to case management asking for more supportive documentation of oxygen requirements to facilitate transitions of care, including insurance submission efficiently. The interdisciplinary team then developed an algorithm based on best practices to guide staff. This algorithm is now a J7 competency, “Demonstrates knowledge of the process for assessing and documenting patient home oxygen requirements using a standardized protocol.” Great work J7!

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Recognizing Each Other's Exemplary Care

With the goal of decreasing CLABSIs on E3 Inpatient Oncology, Mary Hanks, RN, OCN, CN IV, E3 Unit Educator created a festive way to make central venous line (CVC) auditing more fun, interactive, and competitive. Mary created a cheerful CVC tree and requested that E3's Vascular Access Device (VAD) Champions decorate the tree with recognitions of their E3 colleagues for completing perfect CVC audits or for being perfect role models of change-of-shift behaviors.

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Great work Mary, for thinking outside of the box and developing a creative and festive way to work on reducing CLABSIs and promoting patient safety.


A Brief Lesson in Nursing Nurses

By Tyler Lasky, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse II, Outpatient C1

"2021 was a rough year for everyone at SHC. We endured our second year of Covid, an increase in patients and their lengths of stay, and a consistent evolution of policies and procedures to keep ourselves and our families safe.  The mental and physical stress took a severe toll on every member of the hospital staff. Unfortunately, for the C1/B1 staff, the year culminated in tragedy with the unexpected loss of our collective family member and fellow nurse. The sudden loss immediately left a gaping hole in our hearts and sent our unit family searching for any possible way to fill it. There were many suggestions presented to patch our hearts, but myself and a few others, namely Jessica Yang and Kim Gecaine, felt a token of remembrance was needed. Brainstorming was done, and ultimately, we landed on a wearable pin. Over a handful of weeks, through many iterations and drawings, our pin was created as a great representation of this nurse; a penguin with glasses, in scrubs and wearing a stethoscope, and with his hair combed neatly. The back was inscribed with “Forever OBV” to signify that this nurse will always be a part of our unit. Each day we can wear this symbol and be reminded of him, keep his presence alive on our unit, and use this small token to help fill the void left in our hearts. 

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Tyler Lasky, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse II

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“A Brief Lesson in Nursing Nurses” came about when I was asked to present this pin to the rest of our unit family during a staff meeting. The concept of the presentation was to remind ourselves that healthcare workers also need to be taken care of. We are always focused on taking care of our patients that we forget to ask ourselves, and those we work with so closely, “how are you?”. In the brief presentation I discussed the importance of self-care and the consequences of not prioritizing ourselves. I reviewed additional resources to supplement self-care, the importance of nursing our fellow healthcare workers, and how to utilize our peers to cope. The presentation finished with the reveal of the pin project. The pin is also a reminder that we often need to look inward and evaluate ourselves. We are surrounded by a family of coworkers who are here to help and, most importantly, we need to be taken care of too."

Thank you, Tyler, for this important work to educate caregivers on how to care for themselves.

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