Our Sepsis Heroes Evening is not only about raising sepsis awareness, but is also about recognizing people who are directing their time and energy to raising sepsis awareness. To that end, Sepsis Alliance is honoring a few people and organizations who we've identified as Sepsis Heroes.
The first Sepsis Hero we are honoring is someone who many Sepsis Alliance supporters may recognize: Jennifer Ludwin.
Jennifer has recounted many times her story of survival against a disease that claimed her fingers, as well as her legs below the knees. She is one of our Faces of Sepsis.
Jennifer may have been hit hard by sepsis, but she is not one to sit still. She has recently completed a dual degree master's program at The Ohio State University and currently works as a Graduate Teaching Associate in the Human Development and Family Science Department. Jennifer has participated in the video Sepsis: Emergency, been a guest on the Rachael Ray show, told her story at TEDx, and has spoken to countless groups about the seriousness of sepsis and the need for awareness.
The North Shore-LIJ Health System was chosen to receive a Sepsis Heroes Award in recognition for its leadership role in improving care for sepsis patients across all of their hospitals. NS-LIJ’s public commitment and dedication to sepsis victims serves as a model for other organizations, both here and across the globe. NS-LIJ also organized and hosted the Merinoff Symposium in 2010, a ground-breaking international conference on sepsis which helped spur the formation of the Global Sepsis Alliance, the organization behind World Sepsis Day.
Sepsis Alliance chose to recognize Spike Out Sepsis because of the annual event's unique approach to raising sepsis awareness and funds for Sepsis Alliance. Many people help organize and run this event every year and each and every participant plays a valuable role in its success. To honor Spike Out Sepsis, SA is giving awards to two co-founders, Jennifer MacDermott and Alicia Rendon. Both Jennifer and Alicia have seen first-hand what sepsis does.
Jennifer graduated from Arizona State University with her Bachelor of Science in nursing in May 2005 and Master of Science in nursing in 2009. She has worked as an RN in both medical and surgical intensive care units (ICU) and is currently working as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Surgical ICU at Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University. Jennifer has cared for patients with sepsis who were admitted to the ICU for medical and surgical conditions and saw that sepsis can affect any patient. After learning about how lives can be saved with proper identification and treatment, Jennifer became involved with Sepsis Alliance and co-founded the Spike Out Sepsis (SOS) sand volleyball tournament to assist in raising awareness about sepsis.
Alicia graduated from The Ohio State University with her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) in June 2004. She worked as a RN in the Progressive Care Unit (PCU) at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for 3 years. She then transferred to the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU), where she worked with many patients who had sepsis. She saw the negative impact sepsis had on patients and their families, but also learned that with proper detection and rapid treatment sepsis could be prevented, thus saving lives. Thanks to Dr. Jim O’Brien’s passion and dedication to sepsis, Alicia joined the Sepsis Alliance team and was one of the co-founders of the Spike Out Sepsis (SOS) volleyball tournament fundraiser. She continues to be on the planning committee for the annual event. Alicia is now a Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP) at Mercy Primary Care in Willard, Ohio, where she hopes to continue to raise awareness about sepsis to healthcare providers and the community.
Jennifer Anderson lost her sister, Erin Flatley, to sepsis 10 years ago. Following Erin's death, Jennifer began in 2003 the BUGS Classic annual fishing tournament to help raise awareness of the disease and funds for the Erin K. Flatley Foundation. The event takes place every May in Dunedin, Florida.Jennifer has been steering the tournament from the beginning and is being honored for her hard work and dedication to sepsis awareness.
Read about Jennifer in her own words here.
Congratulations to our first Sepsis Heroes.