WICHITA –The Frist Humanitarian Award was created in 1972 to honor outstanding individuals for their humanitarian and volunteer activities. Named in honor of Dr. Thomas F. Frist Sr., the Frist award recognizes individuals who demonstrate remarkable concern for the welfare and happiness of patients and who have performed extraordinary acts of kindness. Nurse navigator Jolinda Kelley is one of those people.
“I’m very proud of Jolinda and her accomplishments,” said Wesley Healthcare president and CEO Bill Voloch. “It’s such an honor for our hospital to have such a tremendous employee like Jolinda. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award.”
Kelley, RN, BSN, is Wesley Medical Center’s nurse navigator for high-risk pregnancies. She has worked at Wesley since 2004, but has been officially working on behalf of parents undergoing difficult births since 2013. She serves as a liaison between the patients, their families and social and healthcare services. She provides support, encouragement and an understanding heart, particularly for those who lost a child during pregnancy or soon after birth.
“When my daughter passed here back in 1996. I was not given much time with her,” Kelley said. “Not that there’s ever enough time with your child, but I’m a voice for those parents to tell them you can have as much time with your child as you need.”
Those who work with Kelley couldn’t agree more.
“It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night staff call her, she always come in for the patients,” wrote a coworker who nomination letter was one of several the Frist committee received on behalf of Kelley. “Many times the staff will call just to solicit advice, and the next thing you know, Jolinda is by their side. If you ask her why she came in, the answer is always the same: “Because it’s the right thing to do for our patient and you.”
Kelley is known for being there for families – before, during and after their pregnancies. She helps families work through their grief issues and provides them with the gift of time, energy and service during one of the most difficult period of their lives.
Kelley was also recognized for her involvement in the Wichita community, having been a foster parent to more than 60 children, most of them with special needs.
“Sometime in our lives, we are all going to be met with difficult decisions,” her coworker wrote. “We can only hope and pray that when the time comes, we have a Jolinda Kelley in our corner to guide us and show us as much love and compassion as she shows our patients and staff every day.”
For more information about Wesley’s maternity nurse navigation program, please visit www.wesleymc.com.
Wesley Healthcare is the region’s leading acute-care hospital network providing a full range of diagnostic and treatment services for patients throughout Kansas and northern Oklahoma since 1912. As a leader in Overall Recommended Care in national surveys, Wesley Medical Center treats more than 24,000 patients annually and delivers more than 5,800 babies – more than any hospital in a 13-state region. Wesley provides the most extensive emergency network in Wichita, with Wesley ER, Wesley West ER, Wesley Woodlawn ER, the region’s only pediatric ER, Wesley Derby ER. Wesley owns and operates Wesley Medical Center, Wesley Woodlawn Hospital & ER and Wesley Children’s Hospital. To learn more about Wesley Healthcare, please visit www.wesleymc.com.