On a frigid January night, a 22-month-old boy suffering from hypothermia arrived at Chippenham Hospital's emergency room, his mother and grandfather at his side. While Dr. Kevin Connelly, a pediatric emergency physician, was treating the boy, he learned that the family was homeless, living out of their car and without food. Connelly sought help from adult and child protective services, hoping to find the family housing, but was left hanging.
That's when Cartora Neclos-Nibbs stepped in. A registered nurse and case manager in the emergency department, Neclos-Nibbs spent hours with the family, taking care of their needs and getting them into the social services system. "Cartora took it upon herself to help this family, and in my opinion, saved this child's life," Connelly says.
After serving as an emergency-room nurse for 18 years, Neclos-Nibbs has spent the last four years as a case manager, doing social work and management in the ER. "This is truly what I was meant to do," she says. Her nursing experience has given her insight to understand both patients' and physicians' needs.
"As an RN, she has the philosophy on how patients should be treated," says Connelly, "and a caring attitude that pushes her to go beyond her normal job title."
Neclos-Nibbs educates patients about what their insurance plan covers for treatment and medication, secures medical care and equipment, and discharges them from the hospital. She also helps homeless people who are admitted to the hospital find community resources and placement through social services. "I enjoy helping those who aren't as fortunate as others," she says.
She also helps to place children and adults in protective services if abuse or neglect is suspected.
"I'm inspired by the smiles on patients' faces when I'm really able to come through for them," she says.