Emily Foltz
September 2019
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
University of Virginia Health System
United States




Emily Foltz is someone who I am thankful to call a co-worker and friend. She exemplifies every characteristic of a capable, confident nurse. On a crazy day in the NICU, she's someone you want working alongside you. There are many wonderful skill-based qualities I could rave about. Emily could probably get an IV in a block of wood, but this nomination is for the caring she provided for a particular family.
A set of twins were born prematurely. Emily initially cared for twin 1. She was with the parents every step of the way. While both twins faced many challenges, twin 1's chances were not good. Emily cared for him and for his family through his passing. She was meticulous when putting together his memory box. It was clear that she felt a personal level of responsibility in providing his parents with the most peaceful and positive memories of their son.
I worked with her two days after twin 1 passed. On that day, Emily was assigned to care for twin 2 who was very sick but fairly stable at the beginning of the shift. She expressed concern that it might be difficult for the parents because she had taken care of their other son the day he passed away. Her consideration of the parent's feelings that morning is exactly why she was the right nurse to care for their surviving daughter. Sadly, this twin also became increasingly unstable throughout the shift. As always, Emily was on top of every change, however subtle, and was a strong and consistent advocate for her patient and her patient's family.
Sadly, twin 2 also passed away that night. Emily was honest and compassionate when answering the family's questions. It was clear that they trusted her and leaned on her. The excellent care she provided their son and then daughter during their short lives was something they clearly appreciated. Nurses have to deal with death and dying, but to go through the death of two infants from the same family within days of each other has got to be tough. Emily stayed strong and focused without sacrificing her compassion and empathy. This balance was exactly what this family needed. I'm sure someday, after processing their grief, this family will look back with appreciation for Emily and her excellent care of their twins.