For obstetrical nurses Diane Leeder and Christa Profaca, it was just another day shift at the Mills-Peninsula Family Birth Center. For Kari Loeser, a healthcare compliance attorney at Genentech in South San Francisco, it was the day she labored to give birth to her first child.
Loeser was starting to think that she might not be able to deliver without surgery when the nurses joined Mills-Peninsula OB-Gyn doctor Rebecca Dupont, M.D., in her room.
“Diane said 'We need to get some sun in here' and opened the curtains,” Loeser recalls. “Then they put me through almost yoga-like poses. Their years of experience showed as they helped me focus, and Sydney, my daughter, was born.”
Profaca, a labor and delivery nurse for almost a decade, said the credit really belongs to Loeser. “Basically, when women trust us, they’re willing to do what they need to do,” she says. “They are the ones who inspire me.”
Loeser, in turn, gives credit to Leeder, Profaca and Dr. Dupont for their “support, encouragement and dedication.” She was able to express her appreciation for them through the Guardian Angel recognition program – a way to honor a nurse, lab technician, volunteer, physician or other caregiver with a gift that is reinvested in the care they provide.
“It seems like a great program,” Loeser says. “You recognize outstanding service, and you also make a charitable gift supporting the hospital.”
Recent patients are invited to honor their caregivers. Their “Guardian Angel” receives a card with a message from the patient, as well as a custom-crafted lapel pin.
“I love being able to be a part of something that’s a milestone in anyone’s life,” Leeder says, who has been a labor and delivery nurse for more than 20 years. “Birthing is a spiritual journey.”
Profaca says she’s moved by the fact that women remember to acknowledge their caregiver at such a busy time in their lives. “We do our work because we love it, but it feels good to be honored.”