At its 98th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) will recognize Sherri Roller, RN, MSN, staff nurse in the Family Birthing Center at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, as a 2016 Healthcare Hero. She was nominated for this award by Christine Dressel.
Ms. Roller has always been the kind of nurse who goes above and beyond what is required for her patients. As a nurse in the Labor and Delivery unit at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Ms. Roller has, on more than one occasion, purchased diapers, baby clothes, and even car seats for families in need. In one instance, when a young woman with no family ended up needing to stay in the hospital on her 18th birthday, Ms. Roller bought balloons, flowers, and a cake to make the day special for her patient. On another occasion, Ms. Roller’s shift ended while a patient was in labor but, instead of leaving, she “punched out” and returned on her own time to support the mom during delivery.
But it was the events of last October that cemented Ms. Roller’s status as a healthcare hero. Ms. Roller was on her way to work one morning when she was passed by an erratic driver. The driver turned and hit a pedestrian, who went flying into the air. Ms. Roller stopped and attended to the victim, calling 911 while she attempted to keep the patient alert. While waiting for the paramedics, Ms. Roller worked to keep the young man calm and—despite having no gloves to protect herself from the patient’s multiple, open head wounds—stop his bleeding.
After the patient was transported to St. Vincent’s, Ms. Roller went to work her scheduled shift and, despite being assigned to a difficult patient that day, never let her unsettling morning affect her care for patients. Ms. Roller checked on the accident victim she had helped and, when her shift ended, bought him a teddy bear in the hospital gift shop. When she entered his room in the ICU, he gave her a high five. There is no doubt she helped save his life that morning.
Ms. Roller began her career at St. Vincent’s as a secretary in the birthing and maternity unit 10 years ago, while going to school to become a nurse. Today, she holds an MSN and teaches clinical rotations to nursing students from Sacred Heart University and Quinnipiac University, serving as an inspiration for others.
CHA’s Healthcare Heroes award was developed in 2002 to celebrate the invaluable contributions of healthcare workers, both to their field and to the community at large. Now in its 15th year, the presentation of the Healthcare Heroes awards has become a highlight of CHA’s Annual Meeting.