The importance of a good team can never be underestimated, especially when it comes to choosing your team of medical professionals for HH treatment.
For patients that have been to either Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital (SJH) or Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH) in Phoenix, Arizona – there is an individual that embodies both professionalism and compassion at the highest level. That person is Maggie Bobrowitz RN, MBA.
Maggie’s official title is the Neuroscience Program Coordinator, which includes the Hypothalamic Hamartoma Programs at both St Joseph’s and Phoenix Children’s Hospitals. Most of us who know her, and have put our loved one’s care in her capable hands, simply call her friend. I have known Maggie for over 15 years now – we met when we were working hard to bring Professor Rosenfeld to Barrow to demonstrate the innovative Transcallosal Approach for HH resection. I am quite sure the HH program would not be what it is today without her incredible commitment to excellence and dedication to every patient that comes for treatment.
I caught up with Maggie recently and asked her to give us all a glimpse of what it is she does and what drives her to always want to do more.
What do you like most about your job as HH Program Coordinator?
The most rewarding part of my job is when I see the tension melt away in the expressions of the patient/family’s face as they come to understand that our nurses and doctors really care about them and will do everything possible to maximize their quality of life and get them on the road to recovery. It is very satisfying when they realize that they have joined our Barrow family.
What does an average day look like for you at work?
My day begins around 6:15 in the pre-operative department seeing patients who have arrived for surgery. At this time I answer any last minute questions about their condition, surgery, and recovery process. I provide the family an overview of what their loved one will look like (head to toe) once surgery is finished. This time is also an opportunity for the families to vent their own concerns freely and privately once the patient goes back to the OR. Communication with the surgical team (surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurses, etc.), is also carried out at this time regarding clinical and research details. Other parts of my day are filled with seeing patients arriving for testing prior to surgery as well as communicating with others via phone regarding their condition or upcoming surgery.
In addition to direct patient interaction throughout the day, great effort is placed on developing educational tools which help patients and their families fully understand their medical condition, treatment options available to them, and what to expect during a hospitalization. These tools are created in the form of flyers, brochures, website content and patient handbooks and are constantly in a state of revision as technology evolves.
Program development is also part of my day as multidisciplinary teams require a great deal of collaboration to design patient treatment plans that minimize complications and maximize their quality of life. Emphasis is placed on work “behind the scenes” in terms of standardization of orders for patients in the hospital as well as recommendations for follow-up care. Standardized care ensures patients undergo tests, consultations, and treatments which have been identified as most beneficial for specific neurological disorders while implementing individualized care when appropriate.
Less glamorous work is performed to maintain documentation required by regulatory agencies which oversee research projects and medical education. Development of educational events for nurses and physicians is on-going and lead by various members of our team.
Did you always want to be a nurse?
I wasn’t sure of what industry I wanted to get into when I first started college, although I had been encouraged to go into nursing because it was a “secure” profession. A couple years into college I interacted with medical professionals on a personal level. This experience was devastating and eye opening to the flaws in medical care in the US. It was at that time I made the decision to get into this field and do my part in helping people in a medical crisis.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Most of my free time is spent with friends and family whether that is hiking to the top of a mountain summit or enjoying a glass of wine. If there is one thing I take away from the line of work I am in is that I don’t know what will happen tomorrow so I’m going to make sure I don’t regret where I spend my time today.
Many patients and families say you have lots of superpowers already – what other superpower would you like to have and why?
If I could develop a super power I would love to be able to make people happy and content with the life they have. We don’t all enjoy good health every day or financial success, but I hope we can find joy in the life we have. If I had the ability to help others gain this perspective I would be very happy.
Everyone needs a superhero on their HH team – I know most of us believe Maggie already has all the super powers one woman can handle. From the families that have had the good fortune to work with you Maggie, thanks for always being on our side, helping us through the challenges of surgery, and listening to our heartfelt concerns whenever we call.
Do you know another professional that has been willing to learn about the complexities of HH and wants to join the team of professionals we can rely on?
Send us their name and contact information and we will reach out and potentially add them to our list of Treatment Facilities on the Hope For HH website.