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Spotlight: Emily Depetris

Friday, January 25, 2019
By John McHenry
Emily Depetris

Emily Depetris, a child life specialist who works with the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU), believes there is always something to be thankful for, even during challenging days.

To encourage her fellow teammates in the Duke Heart Center, Depetris created a "Tell me something good" email. Every week she highlights current and former patients from the PCICU who had a positive experience or milestone in their life.

"Emily is passionate about sharing good news with others to encourage them," said Kelly Ellington, the nurse manager of operations for the unit. "She spends hours every week finding and sharing these stories, and ensuring the proper patient consent is obtained to do so."

The emails often include pictures of current patients when they finally get to go outside or eat, and former patients growing up enjoying every day life, vacations and milestones like high school graduation.

"All of us find needed encouragement through Emily's emails, every day at work," said Michelle Mason, RN, CNII, a clinical nurse in the unit. "She deserves a lot of praise for helping our team stay positive and for caring for us and our wellbeing."

Though the weekly email takes Depetris hours every week to compile, she says that the time is well spent.

"Everyone in the PCICU, and the broader pediatric heart center, is doing amazing work each and every day," said Depetris. "I want everyone in our heart center to never forget the difference that they are making for our patients and their loved ones' lives."

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