THA Honors Nursing Director
Since its founding in 1938, the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) has never awarded its prestigious President’s Award to a nurse; instead, honorees have generally been hospital presidents or other administrators. That all changed in November, when the THA honored a Children’s Hospital nursing director with its 2011 President’s Award.
Sheri Smith, RN, Nursing Director for Critical Care Services at Children’s Hospital, received the President’s Award for her leadership in patient safety initiatives. She was among 23 individuals and organizations honored by the THA at its 73rd annual meeting in Nashville in November.
According to THA, while attending a meeting of the Tennessee Center for Patient Safety in 2007, Smith became an early committed supporter of the center’s efforts to reduce central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI). Her hands-on leadership sparked a culture change in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units at Children’s Hospital.
“Sheri’s passion and commitment to quality health care continues to make us better as a hospital every day,” said Laura Barnes, Vice President for Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Children’s Hospital.
Keith Goodwin, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital, added, “I admire Sheri and am continually impressed with her commitment to providing the highest quality of care to our patients.”
The success in reducing CLABSI at Children’s Hospital is being used as a template in developing a statewide collaborative.
“We’ve been able to impact not only the care we provide to our patients here at Children’s Hospital, but we’ve also been involved in reducing the incidence of CLABSI in patient populations across the state,” said Smith, an active participant in programs aimed to improve patient care. “The Tennessee Center for Patient Safety and the Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care are the driving forces to improve care for patients in Tennessee.”
Smith joined the nursing staff at Children’s Hospital after graduating from nursing school in 1985; she oversees the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, transport, the Emergency Department and trauma.