Team Members from the Surgical Care Special Isolation Unit Team
May 2021
Surgical Care Special Isolation Unit
Surgical Care Unit
Children’s National Hospital
United States
Jacqueline Newton MSN, RN, CPEN, NE-BC
Ginger Winder MSN, RN, CPN
Margaret Gill BSN, RN, CPN
Erika Hilborn BSN, RN, CPN
Julie Kelly BSN, RN, CPN
Elytia Quander-Toney BSN, RN, CPN
Christopher Pacious BSN, RN
Tiffani Pietrucha BSN, RN, CPN
Nicole Zeller BSN, RN, CPN
Eliana Maldonado BSN, RN
Kelci Campbell BSN, RN, CPN
Angela Adams BSN, RN
Kate Adu-Gyamfi BSN, RN
Isabela Azucena BSN, RN
Julia Balasundaram BSN, RN
Lizette Bonilla BSN, RN
Claude Boursiquot BSN, RN
Bryona Brooks BSN, RN
Callie Bove BSN, RN
Molly Burns BSN, RN
Yoleyla Casillas BSN, RN
Constance Chaduka BSN, RN
Whitney Daniels BSN, RN
Elizabeth Demott BSN, RN, CPN
Jennifer Eckert BSN, RN
Emily Evangelista BSN, RN
Margaret (Meg) Falcone BSN, RN
Glenna Golding BSN, RN
Karina Gonzalez BSN, RN
Alyssa Granger MSN, RN
Kelly Hayes BSN, RN
Lindsey Halversen BSN, RN, CPN
Scholastica Ibezimako BSN, RN, CPN
Emilee Kerwin BSN, RN
Jodi Klemowski BSN, RN, CPN
Sunlola Kuti MSN, RN
Anna Kovalcik FNP, RN, CPN
Kimberly Lehmann BSN, RN
Elizabeth Love BSN, RN
Cara Midwinter BSN, RN
Olivia Molnar BSN, RN
Candace Narcis ADN, RN
Olivia Oriaku BSN, RN
Reshma Patidar MSN, RN, CPN
Elizabeth Puglisi MS, RN, CPN
Bridget Reese BSN, RN
Mollie Reese BSN, RN
Helena Rodriguez ADN, RN
Karen Rodriguez BSN, RN
Shira Rosenbaum MSN, RN, CPN
Soory Samiy MSN, RN, CPN
Haley Sanchez BSN, RN, CPN
Emily Schreiber ADN, RN
Jenna Sullivan BSN, RN
Laura (Liz) Thorpe MS, RN, CPN
Iris Torres BSN, RN, CPN
Sara Turner BSN, RN
Jennifer Birkland CCT
Adwoa Dadzie PCT
Acacia Daniels PCT
Cindy Diaz CCT
Tracie Francique PCT
Acolia Gray PCT
Shawniqua Guest PCT
Kiya Holland PCT
Destinie Mack PCT
Hilda Odame-Ansa PCT
Olayemi Ogunraiyewa PCT
Cyndis Osei-Bonsu PCT
Blake Powell PCT
Janae Shawn PCT
Evelyn Whitfield PCT
Griselda Diaz Villalta USA
Michelle Lomax USA
Tawana Smith USA
Angela Brown UCA
Latoya Carroll UCA
Shawnetta Floyd UCA
Joeann Majors UCA




To counter this immense pressure, the SCU nursing team has responded with the utmost care, compassion, and connection with patients and families even behind the layers of PPE.
For the past year, the SCU has been at the forefront of the COVID19 pandemic by caring for more than two-thirds of all children admitted to the hospital with COVID19, as well as a countless number of Patients Under Investigation (PUI). The transformation of the SCU into a Special Isolation Unit (SIU) has been nothing short of extraordinary and inspiring as the team has consistently delivered exemplary clinical outcomes, introduced innovative best practices, and reliably demonstrated outstanding teamwork and resiliency.

In normal day-to-day operations, the SCU functions as an acute care inpatient unit caring for pre and post-operative surgical patients as well as trauma and burn victims. However, in the past year alone, the SCU has also embraced the addition of the Colorectal program as well as an expanded scope including Cardiology, Endocrinology, Oncology, and Behavioral Health patients all afflicted with COVID19 and admitted to the SIU. This expanded scope and increased acuity have only highlighted the team’s talents and ability to adapt and persevere even in the most challenging circumstances of a worldwide pandemic. The response of the SCU to transform operations into an SIU with dual and distinct operations is truly the epitome of a DAISY Team as each team member has gone above and beyond to achieve the best possible patient care outcomes. Led tirelessly by Nurse Manager, Ginger Winder, RN, MSN, CPN, the SCU first activated the SIU on March 6, 2020. Since that time, Ginger has facilitated and supported a work environment and safety culture that has allowed the team to thrive and excel even amidst a pandemic. Much of this success is equally shared and credited to the entire SCU nursing staff who have demonstrated relentless compassion and expertise in caring for children and families affected by COVID19 while maintaining the equivalent proficiency and care for surgical, trauma, and burn patients. With creativity and collaboration, the SCU nursing staff have redesigned workflows to ensure the safest delivery of care for patients, families, and team members with the strictest adherence to infection control measures aimed to prevent the spread and transmission of COVID19.

Many disciplines consider and rely upon the SCU nursing staff to be the utmost experts in PPE donning and doffing as well as COVID19 testing protocols, de-escalation criteria, and general patient care and disposition logarithms. For example, the nursing staff has studied and revised workflows unique to the SIU to support meal tray delivery, specimen collection, emergency notification, and the use of telemedicine all under the stringent requirements of infection control practices for the COVID19 patient population. Redesigning these workflows required innovation, critical thinking, and analysis to ensure that best practices prevailed and remained both consistent and sustainable. Most notably, the role of the PPE Observer is another example of the team’s ingenuity and resourcefulness as the role was developed and refined on the SIU and remains an essential and relied upon resource for mitigating the risk of contamination or exposure to infectious agents.

As transformational leaders, Ginger and her leadership team have encouraged, endorsed, and contributed to the numerous innovative workflows that have been developed to enhance operations, efficiency, and the patient/family experience on both the SCU and SIU respectively. Recognizing the need to partner with multiple disciplines on the unique care aspects for the COVID19 patient population, a Care Delivery Team (CDT) was assembled with representation from SCU Nursing, Hospital Medicine, Infection Control, EVS, Social Work, Case Management, Respiratory Therapy, Child Life, Bed Control, Nurse Navigators, and Language Services. Aptly identified as the “SCU COVID/PUI Special Care Delivery Team”, the group meets monthly to discuss and strategize initiatives targeted to promote a collaborative and comprehensive team-based approach to the unique care needs of the COVID19 and PUI patient population. This venue has provided an opportunity for a multidisciplinary partnership that has allowed the team to problem solve in real-time for such challenging aspects of care delivery including PPE breeches, increasing social support and team member presence at the bedside, visitor management, translation services, and crowd control during critical events.

 Of note and as an action item from the CDT, Ginger has ceaselessly advocated for the need to provide translation services at the bedside for isolated patients as a disproportionate number of children impacted by COVID19 have been non-English speaking. With considerable resolve and tenacity, Ginger and her leadership team delivered on this need by placing iPads in each of the SIU rooms that could provide translation services (MARTTI) at the point of care.

In addition, Ginger aligned with the Welcome Desk, Social Work, and Security to ensure that visitor management was closely monitored and easily transparent to all key stakeholders. This collaboration led to a best practice adapted throughout the organization of clearly identifying those patients who were not permitted a second visitor due to COVID19 restrictions. The emotional impact of COVID19 on patients has been far-reaching and profoundly difficult for families managing an extended illness. Prolonged isolation, disruptions in school and work schedules, financial constraints, and the fear and anxiety of the pandemic alone have led to much despair and stress. To counter this immense pressure, the SCU nursing team has responded with the utmost care, compassion, and connection with patients and families even behind the layers of PPE. Often when family members cannot visit either due to their own illness or to care for ill siblings at home, the nursing staff will spend countless hours at the bedside to fill the void, play games, read stories, and deliver quality care to children in isolation.

In one tragic event, a child stricken with COVID19 lost her mother to the very same illness just immediately prior to her admission. The grief was insurmountable for this young child and the SCU nursing staff never left her side. The extent to which the SCU nursing team will go to support a child in need is endless. From bringing in home-cooked meals, clothing, ordering a child’s favorite French fries from UberEATS to posting encouraging hand-drawn messages on the windows for a patient who needs a little extra reassurance and praise, the SCU nursing team has by far gone above and beyond to fully encompass the emotional, psychological, and physical needs of all children afflicted with COVID19. To support one another, the SCU nursing team has also gone to great lengths by hosting virtual art lessons and group debriefing sessions.
In addition, frequent Town Hall meetings are held to foster open dialogue and discussion about the challenges and rewards of managing the daily operations of the SIU. Although team celebrations have been modified due to social distancing, the team spirit, camaraderie, and mutual respect is palpable and ever-present in every interaction. Teamwork is a hallmark characteristic of the SCU nursing team, and each team member is held in high regard. The SCU has not only maintained exemplary nursing outcomes during this pandemic, but they have also surpassed expectations. The SCU continues to exceed patient experience scores as well as BSN and certification rates. It goes without saying that the SCU has had an unprecedented year by caring for the majority of all patients hospitalized with COVID19 and they have delivered on this expectation with professionalism and poise.

Hands down, the SCU deserves this very special recognition for its role in this crisis. Under the guidance and support of strong leadership and combined with a dedicated and expertly talented front-line team, the SCU has operated in a dual capacity to meet the needs of both the COVID19 patient population as well as surgical, trauma, and burn patients all in one location. Perhaps most aptly described by Dr. Xiaoyan Song, the SCU nursing team “has consistently demonstrated the pursuit for excellence, resiliency, and compassion for the most optimal care and experience by all members of the Children's National family.