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Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas Manager Deb Maitre Wins National Nurse Management Award|
Maitre, who was only 16 at the time, was initially overwhelmed by the job.
Patients needed help with almost every aspect of daily life, from dressing to eating to bathing.
She went home the first night and cried.
Then something changed.
“I went back the next day and then the next day and ended up working there the rest of the summer,” she said. “I eventually realized that something had grabbed me and touched my heart: Those patients really needed me — and I needed them.”
She soon told her parents she wanted to become a nurse, no doubt about it.
Fast forward three decades and you can find Maitre fulfilling that dream as director of women and infants services at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. For her leadership of the nursing staff at Presbyterian’s Margot Perot Center for Women and Infants, Maitre has been recognized with the national Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek Excellence Award in Management.
Maitre is one of six winners from around the country in six different categories.
“Her stamp of excellence is on every aspect of patient care delivered at the Margot Perot Center,” said Martha Steinbauer, R.N., C.N.O., vice president of nursing at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. “It’s very evident that the special connection she feels to patients and the high standards she has for patient care have influenced nurse managers and floor nurses throughout the Margot Perot Center.”
Maitre’s responsibilities include the fiscal and clinical management of Labor and Delivery, Newborn Nursery, Special Care Nursery, Neonatal Intensive Care, High Risk OB, and Gynecological Surgery. During her 14-year tenure, she has helped oversee the multi-million dollar expansion of the Margot Perot Center, which included construction of an expanded NICU, addition of labor-and-delivery suites and creation of a high-risk OB unit.
An outgrowth of the Margot Perot Center’s NICU is a new 25,000-square-foot, 44-bed Special Care Nursery that provides care for infants who have improved and graduated from the NICU but aren’t ready to go home. It’s the only unit in the region and among a few nationally with private rooms where parents can stay in the room with their babies during their hospitalization.
The Margot Perot Center has grown well beyond labor-and-delivery services. Today, the center offers a comprehensive breast care program, a women’s oncology program and a full array of gynecological services, from the latest minimally invasive procedures for common health conditions to complex surgeries for advanced disease and conditions of aging.
“Her duties include a broad spectrum of complex and very demanding responsibilities, but Deb always performs her job with the highest level of expertise, professionalism and dedication. Those traits help make the Margot Perot Center one of the state’s top centers for women and their infants,” said Mark H. Merrill, president of Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.
“I think that passion comes from a sincere desire Deb has to see that patients are given the best care possible,” he said.
Empowering patients to improve their health and the health of their children has been another hallmark of the Margot Perot Center under Maitre’s leadership. Patient-education classes for soon-to-be parents teach couples about what to expect during delivery and what to do in emergency situations. Other classes offer nutrition advice and tips on child safety.
Maitre’s reputation has served as a magnet, attracting other nurses from around the country to join Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.
“I intentionally came to work in this hospital seven years ago because of her reputation in the national nursing community,” said Renee' Jones, R.N.C., M.S.N., W.H.C.N.P. Clinical Education Specialist. “She has been my boss, mentor, colleague, role model and more importantly an exceptional friend.”
Judges for the Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek award noted Maitre’s management style, which is to lead by example, never asking others to do something she isn’t willing to do herself.
Challenged with numerous administrative duties, Maitre still makes a point to mentor young nurse leaders and be a visible attendee at unit meetings throughout her division. During Maitre’s tenure, Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas has been named the “Best Place to Have a Baby” for more than 12 years by Dallas Child magazine.
“The only way to achieve this kind of success is to have highly skilled, highly trained teams of physicians, nurses and other caregivers, all striving together toward the same objectives,” Merrill said. “There’s no greater compliment to her leadership than that.”
Maitre, named a Great 100 Nurse in 2002 by the Texas Nurses Association, has fostered the development of clinical coordinators, clinical educators, an outreach coordinator and quality-improvement specialists in her units. She has developed a Family Advisory Committee in the NICU and helped facilitate the creation of Chloe’s Room, a specially designed room for parents of stillborns to say hello and goodbye to their babies. She helped develop an OB hospitalist program, among the first in Texas, that ensures availability of a board certified OB/GYN, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
While Maitre’s current work focuses on women’s medical care and the medical needs of patients at the beginning of life, she says the driving force that keeps her going is the same passion that captured her when she was taking care of the elderly years ago.
“There are a lot of similarities in the two patient groups,” she said. “They’re both very dependent on their caregivers. They need help with every aspect of daily life, and it takes a dedicated, skilled caregiver to address all those needs. I know our nurses have the same desire to carry out their work as I had caring for those patients during my summer job.”
Note to editors: Follow this link for a hi-res portrait of Deb Matire.
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