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Champion Award Recipients
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2018 Champion Award Recipient

Dennis Lund, M.D.

Denny Lund, MD was nominated by Former President, Margaret "Muggs" Helin and Laura Koehler, Former APSNA board member.  Dr. Lund is described as a highly skilled surgeon and a nationally recognized leader in Pediatric Surgery.  He trained under Dr. Hardy Hendren and became one of the few surgeons at that time to perform the complex surgeries to repair cloacal exstrophy, saving the lives of children who previously died from this condition.  His patients loved and trusted him, and they traveled from all over the country to obtain their care from him.  He had the vision to start the pediatric surgery program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he was Surgeon-in-Chief, and after a few years was instrumental in providing leadership and obtaining funding for a Children’s Hospital, the American Family Children’s Hospital, at the University of Wisconsin.  He felt strongly that the only way to truly provide excellent pediatric care, was to have a pediatric focused hospital.  We started with 58 beds 10 years ago, and now have over 100 beds, including a level 1 NICU.  This very successful Pediatric Surgery program now has 5 surgeons, 4 Nurse Practitioners, and 3 nurses, and participates in many multi-institutional research projects, which is a tribute to Denny’s efforts.  Denny has since become the Chief Medical Officer of Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, where he continues to bring his skills, compassion, and leadership to impact the health care of children.

Laura Koehler, former APSNA Board Member, writes, "Dr. Lund led by example. He was forward thinking in recognizing the need for a pediatric surgery team at our hospital at a time when we did not have a dedicated pediatric surgeon.  He recognized the importance of excellence in pediatric surgical nursing and recruited Muggs to be his nurse practitioner.  Together they built our pediatric surgery program, which has continued to grow and excel over the years, welcoming me into the family 11 years ago, and hiring many additional surgeons, nurses and nurse practitioners over the years."

"Throughout the time that I worked with Dr. Lund he made it clear to everyone on our team, as well as our patients, that the surgeons could not function without the highly skilled care of nurses and nurse practitioners by their side. He had the utmost respect for our roles and we always felt valued as an important part of the team working with him. He taught us to work to the highest scope of our practice and fully supported us as the experts in pediatric surgical nursing care."

"I have never met a surgeon who was a stronger advocate for APSNA and all that we stand for. He believes in providing excellence in pediatric surgical nursing care and he has supported the efforts of pediatric surgical nurses throughout his career.  He is most deserving of the APSNA Champion Award."


Past Recipients:

2017: Miami Associates in Pediatric Surgery, P.A.

2016: Steve Stylianos, MD

2015: Michael P. Hirsh, MD

2014: Charles A. Lankau Jr., MD

2013: Henri Ford, MD

2012: Rodrigo Mon, MD & Federico Seifarth, MD

2011: Moritz Ziegler, MD


Past Champion Award Recipients

2017: Miami Associates in Pediatric Surgery, P.A.

It is with great pleasure that APSNA honors the Miami Associates In Pediatric Surgery Group – Drs. Cathy Burnweit, Leopoldo Malvezzi, Colin Knight and Fuad Alkhoury with the Champion award.

It is an expectation for this group that all nurse practitioners joining the department of pediatric surgery become APSNA members. It actually is part of the orientation checklist to be done on the first day of hire. They remunerate our membership dues annually and our APSNA conference registration. Because of their continued support, encouragement and expectation the five nurse practitioners that have in the past and present worked with them have all held board positions in APSA. Collectively these 5 NPs have given sixteen years of APSNA service, only possible because these champions recognize the value and trust the APSNA in guiding the care of their pediatric surgical patients.

They are the only pediatric surgery group in the country that can claim having two past presidents and two founder recipients.

These are some of the qualities described in their letters of recommendation:
“ Their support is strong and consistent. They hold our expertise in the highest regard. They request updates from our conferences and our listserve and make process changes based on the information brought back from conference.” Often, almost weekly, the question is asked, “what does the APSNA listserve say?” or “why don’t you pose that question on the APSNA listserve.”

They are often seen sitting in the office asking us about our new projects with APSNA. “They understand that APSNA makes us better clinicians and they show full interest in what is new and upcoming in the world of pediatric surgical nursing.” They have supported our endeavors by partnering with the Global Health SIG years ago, welcoming APSNA members to our facility for immersion experiences, and most recently the Choosing Wisely Program.

“Aside from their support for the NPs they have also fostered a respect for APSNA to the fellows who come through our program.” Most fellows that come from our program make APSNA a priority in their practice in the same way that they have.

2016: Dr. Steve Stylianos

Dr. Stylianos received an unprecedented five letters of nomination for the Champion Award from the nurse practitioners and physician assistants from NY Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. His letters of support depict a gregarious leader, caring and compassionate pediatric surgeon who supports his professional staff through his personal dedication and professional encouragement advocating for their involvement in APSNA as well as their pursuit of further studies, professional development, and protected time for these. He is respected and popular for his poise and genuine advocacy for patients, families and nursing. Dr. Stylianos attended the APSNA 25th Anniversary Celebration to receive his award and had many of his nursing colleagues past and present in attendance to honor him. Please help us in congratulating Dr. Steve Stylianos!

2015 Dr. Michael Hirsh

Michael Hirsh was nominated for the Champion Award for the support that he has given to the nursing and nurse practitioner staff that he has worked with. He has encouraged the staff to join APSNA and attend the conference as well as to become involved. Dr. Hirsh attended the banquet and accepted the award.

2014 Dr. Charles Arthur Lankau Jr.

This year, the award was awarded posthumously to Dr. Charles Arthur Lankau Jr., and received by his son at the Founders Banquet. It was a very emotional evening that remembered Dr. Lankau, Chief of the Department of Pediatric Surgery at Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH) for almost 31 years. He was highly regarded for his commitment and advocacy for the establishment of best practice standards for surgical care for children throughout the State of Florida. Dr. Lankau supported and recognized APSNA, for its importance in pediatric surgical circles, and required that the nurse practitioners working for the service attend APSNA yearly. He supported APSNA in this manner since its inception. Dr. Lankau passed away on December 7, 2013; the dedication that he exhibited to the patient and the nursing staff will never be forgotten and his legend will live on at MCH.

2013 Dr. Henri Ford

This year's winner, Dr. Henri Ford from Children's Hospital Los Angeles, facilitated our International Nursing program, by nominating a Haitian nurse to come for an observership program at Miami Children’s Hospital. This endeavor took about 2 years to come to fruition, but Dr. Ford’s tenacity, trust and respect in APSNA was truly recognized. As Jenny Kreiss said at the Founder's Award dinner, "I wasn't getting anywhere with this project until I emailed Dr. Ford. He responded within minutes and was an enthusiastic part of the team from that moment forward."

2012 Drs. Rodrigo Mon and Federico Seifarth

Drs. Mon and Seifarth were the recipients of the 2nd Annual Champion Award for their countless hours dedicated to the translation of the APSNA Teaching Sheets in Spanish and French, respectively. Drs. Mon and Seifarth translated over 50 educational teaching sheets during their already time consuming fellowships. These teaching sheets benefit our patients, parents, and professionals. We will always be extremely grateful to Drs. Mon and Seifarth. They were humbled by this honor.

2011 Dr. Moritz Ziegler

Dr. Moritz Ziegler was selected for the first ever, “Champion” Award. As you know APSNA was founded by Diane Jakobowski and Gail Garvin 20 years ago!! Dr. Ziegler was selected for this honor for his substantial contribution to APSNA including being instrumental in helping Diane start this organization. A Letter from Dr. Ziegler upon receipt of this honor: To say that I was shocked by your e-mail was an understatement, shocked but extremely honored and grateful for this recognition by the group of dedicated professionals who make a pediatric surgical service go! Most importantly, you are the core of the team to assure best quality and safest care and outcomes for the children and families whom we are all privileged to treat. My nursing associations began when I met my future wife Barbara (married now 40 years) at 3:00 am over a bedside at Penn. At CHOP Diane was an awesome colleague and really "invented" the role that contributed to the founding of APSNA. I certainly could not have done my job without her dedicated commitment. By the way, I would love to share a Diane story or two at the banquet. I think I likely won this award because I have moved a lot in my career & therefore I have been exposed to many pediatric surgical nurses-1st at CHOP, then Cincinnati, then Boston, and finally Denver- in every place an amazing group of very special colleagues. So thanks, thanks, thanks!!! I am truly honored and humbled.