Louisa Salvin, R.N., began her exceptional career in an unlikely way—by studying music. It seems fitting. After all, her compassionate care and encouraging words are music to her young patients’ ears.
Salvin was selected as the 2010 winner of the Nancy Fedak Ross, R.N., Exceptional Nurse Award.
For the past 15 years, Salvin has worked in the Urology Department at Cardinal Glennon. Since 2005, Salvin has focused her considerable talents on spina bifida patients who have undergone continence surgeries. Salvin has developed extensive teaching materials and short- and long-term surveillance programs to help children and young adults become more independent with their bladder and bowel functions.
“One of Lou’s colleagues says she has always been an inspiration, the kind of nurse she aspires to be, stating Lou always has the patient’s best interest at heart and provides the most loving, compassionate and tender care,” said Jeannie Mollohan, executive director of nursing at Cardinal Glennon.
Salvin received her bachelor’s degree in music but returned to school to study nursing after three years of working in the music field. She received her nursing degree in 1979 and came to Cardinal Glennon, where she has spent her entire nursing career. Salvin worked with patients on the former burn unit and has worked with oncology patients and on a surgical unit for school-age children.
Working with spina bifida patients to increase their confidence and boost their quality of life is a passion for Salvin. Her devotion to her patients is apparent: Many of them came to the ceremony to watch Salvin receive her nursing award.
“My heart just gets bigger because of these patients,” Salvin said. “They work so hard for things that other children take for granted.”
Salvin credited her coworkers and gave a heartfelt thanks to Casimir Firlit, M.D., Ph.D., director of Reconstructive Urology, Neuro-Urology and Fetal Urology, whom she described as her mentor.
“He threw me the ball and I ran with it,” Salvin said.
Nancy Fedak Ross was a burn unit nurse at Cardinal Glennon and is a continued supporter of children’s causes. The award, now in its fifth year, represents a tremendous pool of talent at Cardinal Glennon.
This year’s nominees were: Debbie Boylan, Ginny Eason, Mary Farmand, Kathy Forcelledo, Lydia Johnson, Tiffany Moton, Katie Robbins, Tricia Steiniger, Carolyn Sutter and Lynn Yates.
“All of these nurses have exemplified leadership, dedication, passion and compassion and have been nominated by their peers for their exceptional nursing care and for the best care, best results they provide to all the children and families at Cardinal Glennon,” Mollohan said. “This group of nurses combined represents almost 300 years of nursing experience—almost 250 of which have been at Cardinal Glennon.”