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2023 Healthcare Hero: Dr. Jose M. Arias-Camison

Dr. Jose M. Arias-Camison, St. Francis Hospital, Trinity Health Of New England Medical Director, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit & Interim Chair of Pediatrics, St. Francis Pediatrics Return to the honorees homepage
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Winner Category | Physician

Dr. Jose Arias-Camison is the director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Francis Hospital. He is also the interim chair of pediatrics and oversees the care of all newborns at the three birthing hospitals within Trinity Health Of New England.

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

In February, Zahraliz Angueira was born at 22 weeks, weighing 12.4 ounces. She was too small for our equipment, but we were able to put in a breathing tube and umbilical lines to support her for the first few weeks.

Her condition was critical. Her eyes were fused, and her skin was translucent. She had severely immature lungs, which required months of intensive care. She had low blood pressure, renal failure and acute electrolyte imbalances.

After 128 days in the NICU, Zahraliz went home with her mother and family. Everyone in the hospital came out to say goodbye. It was a very emotional day.

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

Families of critically ill newborns have life-changing experiences. Providers can also feel overwhelmed. We try not to get emotionally involved with our families, but it’s very hard because we love our babies, and we care for their parents.

We have heartbreaking experiences, but when miracles happen, it’s extremely rewarding for my team.

What’s your next major goal and/or challenge?

A continued major challenge is trying to find solutions to staff burnout and staffing challenges. A major goal is to be kinder to myself by focusing more on self-care.

Personal Side

Favorite way to relax: Travel abroad with my wife and children, hiking with my dogs, pretending to cook while drinking a nice glass of Spanish wine.

Hobbies: Star Wars toy collectibles, anything sci-fi related.

Favorite movie: “Deer Hunter”

Currently reading: “Point-of-Care Ultrasound for the Neonatal and Pediatric Intensivist”

Favorite cause: We are all the same: Advocate for equal treatment of everyone.

Fun fact: My wife, Amy, was my English teacher over 33 years ago. We met in Spain when I was a pediatric resident at the University Hospital of Salamanca, and she was an exchange student. She was supposed to leave that fall, but decided to stay an extra year and began teaching English to make some money, and I was one of her students.

We got married in December 1990 in Southington and moved back to Spain so I could finish my pediatric training. And to bring it full circle, she was born at St. Francis Hospital. Part of my medical training was in Beantown where I got my strong Boston accent.

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