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