Beaumont nurse Jennifer Fogarty has spent the better part of her career working with transplant patients and raising awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation.
Gift of Life Michigan recently recognized her dedication with the 2020 Gift of Life Champion - Transplant Center Professional award.
Thanks to Jennifer and the transplant team’s hard work, Beaumont was the only hospital in Michigan to receive Platinum-level recognition in the 2019-2020 national Health Resources and Services Administration Hospital Challenge.
As an outreach transplant nurse coordinator, her main objective is to increase the program’s kidney transplant referrals. “I love transplant education,” explained Jennifer. “It has the power to change lives and offer second chance at life.”
Like everyone in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic meant a pivot from her daily meetings with patients on dialysis.
“Since I’m currently unable to meet with patients chairside, I spend most of my time on the phone, emailing and video chatting,” explained Jennifer. “I have been able to take on special projects and devoting more time to tweaking our referral process.”
Jennifer also spent part of the COVID-19 surge redeployed to a medical progressive care unit. While she hadn’t been nursing at bedside in nearly 13 years, she said the experience renewed her passion and appreciation for nursing. “These nurses were amazing and made me proud to work alongside of them.”
Jennifer believes that passion is at the root of change and is the cornerstone of commitment. “Without passion and drive, change isn’t possible,” she said. “I’ve been fortunate to have the support of my supervisors and physicians who have given me the autonomy to craft my role to uniquely meet our patients and their family needs.”