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2022 Healthcare Hero: Sheila C. DeLuca

Winner Category: Nurse Employer: St. Francis Hospital, Trinity Health of New England Title: Senior Clinical Advisor, Medical/Surgical Intensive Care Unit Return to honoree page
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Sheila C. Deluca is a graduate of St. Francis School of Nursing with an advanced degree from Western New England University. She is a Catholic Bible School Studies Graduate and had MATH missions to Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The senior clinical advisor in the medical/surgical intensive care unit role relates to directly providing critical care to the community. This care includes the education of staff of all new critical care methods, support for all team members in their personal career objectives and support for team members at the bedside in all aspects of ICU care. Other roles are to evaluate ICU registered nurse progress and retention to foster a strong work-life balance while promoting excellence in care.

What have been your significant contributions to your organization in the past year?

The year 2022 required me and others to engage a post-pandemic world of nursing care. Together, we learned a new focus of nursing that related to the needs of the community in both recovery and reoccurrence. We could celebrate the lives saved through new innovations of care, while promoting the dignity of human strife.

This past year has brought about opportunities to promote partnership in care with other care areas. We have come together to establish a continuity of care within hospital systems. We meet regularly to engage other teams and promote community within care areas.

I have completed a six-month program learning the Caritas Philosophy of Caring Science. This brought me new approaches to nursing and leadership that encompassed compassion. This program brought new vision to everyday challenges. It gave me the idea to create an area called the RE-Charge Room for staff members to find solace amid the noise and find a peaceful place to break. Along with other nurses, we changed a space of work to a place of rest.

Tell us about a challenge in your job that you were able to overcome.

I had been given leadership roles in the ICU that were new to me during a period of changes and challenges. The team looked to me for balance and clarity that, at times, were nowhere to be seen.

The ability to maintain a trusting and functioning unit was the challenge, as so much depended on keeping the boat straight amid the waves. It was the respect and confidence of my peers that provided me the ability to provide direction and hope during this period.

How has COVID-19 changed the way you do your job?

COVID-19 brought out the very best of what a dedicated group of people, faced with many daily obstacles to overcome, could achieve with innovative thinking, bonding together for the care of strangers amid 1,000 unknowns.

We all united as the strongest team, working and enduring in ways that we would have never had the opportunity to experience. And we were aware of the strength of unity, the true definition of endurance and the lives saved due to our heart to heal another and the calling to care despite ourselves.

Personal side:

City of residence: Colchester

Favorite way to relax: Read, pray and walk

Hobbies: Hiking, running, crosswords

Favorite movie: “Mother Teresa”

Currently reading: “The Fifth Agreement,” by don Miguel Ruiz

Favorite cause: Hunger

Fun Fact: I am a pilgrim who has been on many long journeys around the world.

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