Stories from CARE for our Community's Future

Meriter Foundation

Voices from the Campaign

CARE for our Community's Future: Rachel Stephens

"I had great nurses when having my children but none of them looked like me. In one of my most vulnerable times, I would have loved to have a person of color on my birthing team. I want to be that for other women of color."

CARE for our Community's Future: Sara Stoltman

"We have an aging workforce. More people have left the NICU in the past three years than in the last 25 years, combined.

"It's great when they're here because the wealth of knowledge and experience they hold is hugely beneficial. But when they go, what will that look like? As someone who's planning to retire within the next couple of years, it's scary. We risk losing so much of that wonderful knowledge if we don't make a concerted effort to pass it on to the next generation of nurses.

"The thing about this impending shortage is we can do something about it —if we act now."
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Renee Bukovich, MS, RN, NPD-BC Manager, Nursing Education

"We endured a pandemic, where every team member's job changed—sometimes daily. I have assisted with several retirement parties where nurses are retiring from Meriter after 40 years, and I have seen nurses start and end their careers over the course of these two very long years.

"We absolutely must provide the same standard of care, but I fear that if the shortage grows; the vacancies will exponentially increase because the staff who are here will be asked to do more with less help."
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Sherry Casali, MSN, RN

Chief Nursing Executive at UnityPoint Health – Meriter

"From a very young age, I felt profound meaning and wholeness in helping and caring for others. But to truly care for someone else in need, you must have your own care needs met. "I am very optimistic about our ability to partner with our community to increase the number of new healthcare workers and help our devoted teams achieve the work-life balance necessary for their own wellbeing so they can continue to practice their passion for healthcare."