APP Award for Outstanding Physician
Congratulations to Dr. James Besunder, pediatric intensivist and critical care division director, for being named the 2019 Outstanding Physician by the Advanced Practice Providers Awards Committee for his longstanding commitment to advanced practice providers.
Ann Marie Brown, the first pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), had this to say about Dr. Besunder: “Dr. Besunder’s vision, perseverance and understanding of the PICU PNP role has been a steadfast foundation to our cohesive program,” she said. “The remarkably long tenure of many on our team is a testament to the camaraderie and healthy work environment he has fostered.”
In its inaugural year, the purpose of the Outstanding Physician Award is to acknowledge and identify that no one works in a silo or alone, according to Julie Tsirambidis, director of the Advanced Practice Center at Akron Children’s and a certified pediatric nurse practitioner at Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics, Brecksville.
“We are a team at Akron Children’s, and all efforts to support our practices are done in the interest of our patients,” she said. “In an effort to recognize this, I suggested creating a physician award to support the idea that our APRN and physician assistant (PA) providers are mentored and taught by their peers, including physicians. We wanted to recognize physicians who went above and beyond to mentor, train and support the APRNs and PAs in those practices.”
Seven physicians were nominated and those who nominated them shared examples how the nominee provided education and mentorship, and served as an APP advocate.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Beth Forst was also one of Dr. Besunder’s nominators.
“I have had the privilege to work with Dr. Besunder for the last 13 years,” she said. “His dedication to the evolving NP role in the PICU is seen on a daily basis. We have grown from a NP group of 2 to 14, starting out with only day shifts sporadically covered to 24/7 NP coverage.
“The time Dr. Besunder spends educating the APPs is seen at the bedside where he educates on a particular disease process or medical management,” she added. “He is an advocate for medical practice based on evidenced based research. His dedication to the growth of each provider in the PICU has been demonstrated by his support of research and professional growth.”
APP Award for Excellence in Practice
The APP Award for Excellence in Practice, which recognizes the exemplary care, teaching, leadership and advocacy of an APRN/PA, had 10 nominees. This year’s award went to Christine Singh, NP, in pulmonary medicine.
Nominated by multiple people in her division, here are a few highlights.
“Chris has mentored APPs through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF),” said Dr. Titus Sheers, director of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program. “She led efforts at Akron Children’s to allow APRNs to participate in call activities where allowed by medical staff guidelines. She has been nationally recognized for her expertise in CF education, co-moderating the first national workshop on Death and Dying in Cystic Fibrosis, and has served as conference co-moderator of the North America Cystic Fibrosis Conference, only the second nurse to ever do so.”
Chris has been involved in several quality improvement projects, working on various initiatives to improve CF care by standardizing treatment on pulmonary exacerbations, telephone triage of pulmonary exacerbations, improving OGTT testing on an annual basis, use of chronic therapies, as well as identifying areas in need of improvement based on patient and family experience surveys.
“Chris is truly an unsung hero of the adult CF Center,” said Betsy Bryson, a pediatric nurse practitioner in pulmonary medicine. “From 18 years ago when we only had 20 adult patients to a program with over 100 adult patients, Chris has been a leader as both the adult NP and as coordinator of the CF Center. She is the glue that holds the team together.”
“Chris is both the heart, and the life blood, of our nationally recognized Adult CF Program,” added Dr. Sheers.