Berdette Carrasco, a registered nurse at Arrowhead Hospital in Glendale, was honored as a “Health Care Hero” Aug. 18 at the 10th annual Health Care Hero Awards breakfast at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix.
The event, sponsored by the Phoenix Business Journal and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, honors “the Valley medical community’s best of the best.”
Carrasco was named 2011′s Health Care Hero in the category of Community Outreach for her work with the MISS Foundation’s CARES (Comfort and Resource Enhancement Services) Program. Carrasco works with colleague Dana Southworth to support families expecting babies with life-limiting health problems, offering perinatal hospice services throughout one of life’s most difficult and tragic experiences.
The loss of her 5-year old son Jacob in 2007 from a brain condition inspired Carrasco to help other families facing such challenges. In her acceptance speech, Carrasco thanked her husband along with her three living children “for sharing their mommy with other families in need.”
Carrasco went on to cite her reasons for choosing a career in health care, adding, “For me, to accept the loss of my child as part of a bigger plan has been a difficult journey. I have come to understand that without the experience of caring for my child with special needs…I would not understand the needs of the families I service to the extend that I do. I am proud to say that because of Jacob, I stand before you today.”
Carrasco has been featured in two articles for Raising Arizona Kids: “House of Hope,” about Ryan House (October 2008) and “Finding Purpose in Grief” When Birth and Death Merge”, about perinatal hospice (March 2011).
Finalists and winners were chosen from several other categories, including Physician, Education, Nursing, Dental and Researcher/Innovator and more.
The staff of Raising Arizona Kids extends gratitude and congratulations to Carrasco and all of her fellow 2011 Health Care Heroes for their tireless efforts and dedication to make a difference in the Valley’s medical community. — Mary Ann Bashaw
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Arrowhead Hospital, Berdette Carrasco, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, CARES Program, Health care, Health Care Hero, medicine, MISS Foundation, nurse, perinatal hospice, Phoenix Business Journal
Mother’s Day is an occasion to celebrate the joys of motherhood with family and friends gathered close to honor beloved matriarchs. Flowers abound and phones ring with messages from far-flung sons and daughters. But what about mothers who have lost a child? For them, Mother’s Day becomes a day to dread, one where the pall of loss and sadness hangs over every moment. They are deprived of the chance to push children in strollers or to hear the footsteps of an active child coming and going in life.
To honor these mothers and their families, as well as all children who have been lost too soon, the MISS Foundation is sponsoring the inaugural “Empty Strollers, Empty Shoes: We Walk for Them,” an international memorial walk. The goal of this event is “to make a statement and build community on one of the most symbolic days of the year for families – Mother’s Day,” says Kathy Sandler, executive director of MISS, a volunteer-based 501 (c)( 3) organization dedicated to providing support and long-term aid to grieving families after the death of a child at any age, from any cause.
You’re invited to join families at the Phoenix Zoo early on Mother’s Day morning — Sunday, May 8th — to push an empty stroller or wear a child’s pair of shoes around your neck. Registration, which includes a family day pass to the zoo, opens at 6:45am and the walk starts at 7:30am. Families can gather pledges and build or join teams of walkers. Over 300 walkers are expected with the hopes of raising $30,000. Details are available at firstgiving.com/missfoundation.
Following the walk will be “Beautiful Soles” event at the zoo’s Lakeside Ramada, where families can decorate donated shoes in memory of their child; these shoes will then be donated to two Valley crisis centers, A New Leaf and Child Crisis Center. Families who cannot attend but who would like to contribute in a special way can check out the website for details on purchasing footprints carried by other walkers for the Footprint Garden, also at the Lakeside Ramada.
Joanne Cacciatore, PhD, founder of the MISS Foundation, lists the objectives for the event on her blog drjoanne.blogspot.com: public awareness, honoring, solidarity and resource building to help raise much-needed funds so that MISS can continue worldwide outreach efforts.
Empty Strollers, Empty Shoes will offer the community a chance to come together to pay homage to families who have experienced one of life’s greatest losses – that of a child. This event will also give those families a chance to grieve together and to pay tribute to their children as they walk toward a future of remembrance and hope. — Mary Ann Bashaw
EDITOR’S NOTE: Mary Ann Bashaw is writing a yearlong series on “Finding Purpose in Grief.” Articles published to date include: The MISS Foundation Offers a Light at the End of Life’s Darkest Tunnel and When Birth and Death Merge. Her next installment, “Fathers Reflect on Grief,” will appear in our June 2011 issue.
Posted in Donations, Events, Fundraising, Nonprofits, Volunteer opportunities
Tagged 501(c)(3), A New Leaf, Child Crisis Center, crisis centers, daughters, death of a child, donations, Empty Strollers Empty Shoes, family, flowers, friends, fundraiser, grief, grieving, honor, Joanne Cacciatore, Kathy Sandler, Lakeside Ramada, loss, matriarchs, memorial walk, MISS Foundation, Mother's Day, motherhood, phoenix zoo, phone calls, pledges, shoes, sons, support for grieving families, walkers