If I had to choose a word to describe how I feel about working as a nurse at RCH over the past 7 years, my heart would choose gratitude. This feeling of gratitude all originates to one common denominator and that is Barbara Frank. Barbara hired me as a new grad nurse and as time went on, she never failed to give me opportunities to grow, learn, and advance in my roles here. Ultimately, I became one of her managers. But this letter is not about me, it is about the most honest, hardworking, and understanding person I have come across at RCH.
Being able to work alongside Barbara, I got to see how she always aims to be fair in how she approaches any person or problem that comes her way. This, I found, is one of the hardest things to do. She works endlessly to meet the demanding needs of her leadership role even at her own expense. Often times, when I would take work home or stay late she would tell me, "Don't be like me" or "Spend time with your family". She always looked out for me and encouraged me to have work-life balance. This care and concern for personal well-being did not end there. A few years ago, after my husband and I found out that we could not have kids on our own, we were faced with the decision to do In-Vitro Fertilization. For those of you who do not know, this process is extremely taxing on a couple, especially the woman, physically, mentally and emotionally. Sounds like a great combination for a person who is in a leadership role at RCH. Nevertheless, the moment I mentioned any of this to Barbara, she always urged me to get to countless appointments, take mental health days if needed or just let me cry on her shoulder. She never hesitated to make me feel like she wanted this baby to happen as much as I did. I would have never been able to get through that and have the beautiful baby boy that I do now if it were not for her support.
I am not the only person she does this for. I have witnessed her do this for any of her staff or co-workers without them having to ask for help in the first place. She has the intuition and a compassionate heart to recognize when someone is struggling. This woman will go to bat for you. I could write a novel on all the ways this person deserves all the recognition in the world, but of course, she would not want all that fuss. I am GRATEFUL she hired me as an eager new grad. I am GRATEFUL she gave me several opportunities to advance myself professionally, always believing in me. I am GRATEFUL for the opportunity to learn from her in how she makes decisions and approaches conflict and difficult situations. I am GRATEFUL for her never-ending devotion to my well-being. I am GRATEFUL to know her and I will never turn down any opportunity to share what a wonderful human being she is. She is kind. She is smart. She is important.
Barbara Frank's biggest fan
Barb is always the first one to arrive on the unit and the last one to leave. She has such an incredible work ethic and is an inspiration to so many. I worked for Barb for 12 years and she was the best boss I ever had. She's fair, kind and always took care of business. Many years ago I went through a tough divorce and had to split time with my children. I didn't know what I was going to do or how I would be able to schedule my work and the days with my children. One day Barb saw the distress in my face and pulled me into her office and said, "Are you okay? Do you need anything?" I broke down and cried in her office and told her my story. She worked with me and my work schedule so I wouldn't miss so much time with my children and did that for me for many years. To this day it still brings me to tears how wonderful she was to me. She did not have to accommodate me the way she did and because of her kindness and leadership, I was able to balance my work and personal life as a mother. Barb, I really can't thank you enough for the impact you made on my life and will forever be grateful to you.