As soon as we began our chemotherapy services on 1 West, Karen Zech took great initiative and became the "go to" person for all of the staff who were training to be chemo certified. She ensures they feel well prepared, facilitates their training, and is always available to help our staff and patients to ensure everything goes smoothly. She puts in a great deal of time to research each of our admitted chemotherapy patients and has taken a personal interest in each of them. She communicates with the RNs and physicians at the Cancer Center to make sure our patient receives the best possible care. She has become an invaluable resource to our unit as she is transforming herself into our local "expert" in regard to chemotherapy. Things could not have gone as smoothly as they have without Karen's dedication to this specific patient population.
Karen also takes a personal interest in each of our patients in very kind and thoughtful ways. we recently had a young patient battling cancer who happened to be turning 20 while he was admitted here. Karen arranged a birthday celebration for him, buying balloons, getting cake, and going out to shop for gift cards for him. Several RNs accompanied Karen as we went into this young man's room and sang “Happy Birthday” and presented him with the gifts. His face beamed! Later, I spoke with his mother and she told me he was very depressed about spending his birthday in the hospital, plus a bit fearful and this act of kindness really made him feel wonderfully blessed. She expressed a deep gratitude to us, but the credit definitely goes to Karen for all she did to brighten his day. Karen truly is exceptional!