Vanessa Battista ’01 RN, MS, CPNP, CCRC, a clinical instructor in the pediatric palliative care program, has received the 2011 Pediatric Palliative Care Award from the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium. The award citation states that Battista “has been committed to improving palliative care for all children. She understands the importance of education and instills knowledge about this care to her students and to practicing nurses.”
Battista was lauded for her interdisciplinary approach to pediatric palliative care education. A pediatric nurse practitioner in the neurology department at Children’s Hospital Boston, Battista helped organize a conference at Boston College in October 2011 where nationally recognized experts discussed new research trends, patient management strategies, and ethical issues in pediatric palliative care with 140 participants. “It is very exciting to teach people more about pediatric palliative care and to see the ‘light bulb go on,’ so to speak, as people see ways in which they can blend this into the work they do and recognize that palliative care is necessary everywhere,” says Battista.
A relatively new discipline at the Connell School of Nursing, pediatric palliative care seeks to not only relieve the physical and emotional suffering of children and adolescents living with serious illness with the goal of improving quality of life, but also to support family members and prepare them for all possible health outcomes. Battista helped design the Connell School’s pediatric palliative care curriculum, with funds from a variety of grants, including from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.