Gilchrist is well known for compassionate caregivers. Each year, exceptional Gilchrist and GBMC staff and volunteers are honored with the Nancy J. Petrarca Compassionate Caregiver Award.
This year, 31 Gilchrist staff and volunteers were nominated for the award, and Gilchrist Kids volunteer Tara Archer was named a top five finalist out of a pool of 87 nominees.
Tara was honored for going above and beyond for the Gilchrist Kids patients and families she visits. Tara visits families on a weekly basis in their home to interact in a variety of ways with patients, siblings or anyone who happens to be there during her visits. She gives as much of her time weekly as she can.
She reads, draws, does crafts and even decorates children’s rooms for holidays or special occasions with materials she has purchased herself. She also comes to the Gilchrist Kids inpatient pediatric unit to visit patients on respite or at the end of life. She has offered creative interventions for sometimes challenging behaviors. Her training as a teacher enhances her approach with the children, and they all respond to her in a loving way.
Tara shows the utmost respect to patients, families and staff. She appreciates anything she can learn from the staff, whether it’s medically, emotionally or spiritually. Her love for our patients is healing in itself.
When two children were at the end of life and another in respite, Tara came to help after a very busy work day. She spent time with the patients and answered questions from a family that was visiting from out of town. She was professional, kind and astute in recognizing their emotions. She allowed the staff to care for their patients at an extremely difficult time.
When Tara volunteers, she is so happy to be there and lights up the unit with the love of her job. She always gives 120 percent and is an essential part of the Gilchrist Kids team. She is humble and compassionate, and reflects all the qualities Gilchrist values in a team member.
We are honored to have Tara as part of the Gilchrist family, as well as all of the Gilchrist employees and volunteers who were nominated. These outstanding employees help to make Gilchrist a nationally recognized, nonprofit leader in serious illness and end-of-life care.