Palliative Care nurse receives national recognition
Petti-Jeanne Sheldon, RN, palliative care coordinator for St. Mary’s Health Care System, has been named the 2018 Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse of the Year. This national honor will be presented to her in March at the annual joint assembly of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the Hospice and Palliative Nurse Association (HPNA) in Boston.
Sheldon was nominated for her role in advancing palliative care at St. Mary’s and nationwide. In addition to her patient care and administrative roles at St. Mary’s, she serves as the HPNA’s Southern Atlantic District Leader over Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia, and is a member of the Trinity Health palliative care team, which serves patients at Trinity Health hospitals in 22 states.
She is a member of the Georgia Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Education Committee and serves on the working group of the Georgia Cancer Control Consortium (GC3), a statewide, volunteer, grassroots organization that successfully worked with the state government to create the Georgia Palliative Care and Quality of Life Advisory Council in 2016.
Palliative Care is specialized medical care for people living with serious illness, focused on providing relief from symptoms and stress. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family by providing an additional layer of emotional, psychological and spiritual support. It is appropriate at any age or stage of a serious illness, and can be provided along with curative treatment.
“I am thrilled by this tremendous nursing leadership award to honor Petti-Jeanne,” said Maria Gatto, Trinity Health System Director of Palliative Care and one of Sheldon’s nominators. “It shows she is a true servant leader in this growing specialty field of Palliative Care. We are proud to continue to provide her with ongoing support as a nurse leader, expanding palliative care services within the hospital and outside in the community.”
Particularly outstanding to Sheldon’s nominators is her leadership in improving palliative care at a statewide level. The efforts of the GC3 work group and more than a dozen partnering organizations led to the passage of Georgia House Bill 509, which went into effect July 1, 2016. The law created the Georgia Palliative Care and Quality of Life Advisory Council to provide advice about state palliative care initiatives. It also established a consumer and professional education program to provide information about palliative care to the public, health care providers and health care facilities.
“I am very proud of this special person,” said St. Mary’s President and CEO Don McKenna. “The impact she has had on palliative care at St. Mary’s, across the state of Georgia, and throughout the nationwide Trinity Health ministry cannot be overstated. Our whole St. Mary’s family extends our thanks and congratulations to her.”
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