Diego Cardenas-Nunez
March 2018
Newborn ICU
University of Virginia Health System
United States




I have had the privilege to work with Diego in the NICU for quite some time now. His kindness, caring and selflessness are evident in everything that he does. When I hear the term "good people", Diego pops up into my mind.
Since Diego is fluent in Spanish, his ability to easily communicate with our Spanish speaking families is invaluable. He is able to provide them with ease of mind just knowing that when they call to get information about their baby, he will be able to communicate not only information to them about their child but also communicate information to the medical team about concerns that they may have,knowing that he will advocate for them.
Most recently, we sadly had a patient develop a life-threatening condition quite suddenly after having spent about 3 months in the NICU. Baby A's family was Spanish speaking only and so Diego had become the primary RN not only for the baby but also the family. Baby A ultimately lost her battle and passed away quite unexpectedly. Diego was made aware of the passing and quickly made his way into the unit on his day off so that he could be a support for the family. While he provided emotional support, he also helped them navigate through the information provided to them by the medical team in terms of events leading up to the death along with their desires for managing the remains. He even went as far as finding a funeral home for the family near their home in Northern Virginia and even selflessly offered to pay for half of the interment costs.
I know that even though this family was deeply grieving for their loss, Diego brought them peace of mind knowing that they would be well cared for during their difficult time.
Diego inspires not only the seasoned healthcare providers but most importantly he inspires our novice providers. My hope is that they all "grow up" to be just like him. A warm, gentle, caring and selfless healer. He is a joy to work with. He makes us all want to be better providers.