Elias receives honor for service to Heart Center patients, families

Barbara Elias, the ventricular assist device (VAD) coordinator for Texas Children’s Heart Center, was recently honored with the Daisy Award, a national award that recognizes clinical nurses for the extraordinary work they do for patients and families each and every day.

Elias was recommended for the award by the mother of a patient who said that for the past 16 months Elias has gone above and beyond for her and her daughter, showing them both “the utmost care and compassion.”

“No matter what time of the day or night, she is always just a phone call away,” the mother said. “Even after the numerous times we woke her in the middle of the night, Barb jumped into action and showed as much care for my daughter as I do as her parent.”

The mother said Elias always maintained a professional demeanor while giving her daughter and family emotional support.

“She is a great asset to the heart failure program,” she said. “I hope one day she will receive as many blessings as she has bestowed upon the countless patients and families she has touched through her kindness.”

Elias has been Texas Children’s since 2015, starting out in the adult VAD program before moving to pediatrics. In her job as the VAD coordinator Elias is the liaison and general resource for all VAD patients, families and caregivers, conducting a variety of tasks including obtaining insurance and prior authorization for all VAD implants, conducting preoperative assessments and evaluations, intraoperative pump preparation, postoperative rounds, assistance with daily interdisciplinary rounds, pump assessment, wound care and management, collaboration with teams for procedures on VAD- supported patients, daily management of all device patients including family updates, monitoring of anticoagulation and patient transport.

Elias also handles teaching patients and family members device therapy at discharge, and VAD education and training to various other audiences such as paramedics and school personnel. She also coordinates outpatient therapy in areas sometimes not associated with Texas Children’s when patients live in alternate locations and participates in VAD patient research.

“Barb is excellent at what she does and always puts our patients and families as ease,” said Congenital Heart Surgeon Dr. Iki Adachi. “She is a perfect fit for the Daisy Award.”

To learn more about the Daisy Award and/or to nominate someone for the recognition, click here.