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Three Named Health Care Heroes by TBJ

WakeMed’s Joanna Burgess, BSN, RN, Ed Keating, BSN, RN, and Brian Klausner, MD, won Triangle Business Journal’s 2017 Health Care Heroes awards. They are among 19 honorees recognized as leaders in their field who have made significant contributions to health care.

JoannaBurgess-WakeMedJoanna Burgess, BSN, RN, CWOCN

Thanks to Joanna Burgess, BSN, RN, patients who have an ostomy never have to feel alone. Burgess’s own ostomy journey began when she was just three years old and her personal experience helps her understand the ongoing needs that an ostomy patient faces.

Burgess joined WakeMed as a specialized wound, ostomy and continence nurse in 2009 and helped establish WakeMed’s Ostomy Support Services in 2014. Today, Burgess continues to ensure that anyone needing to talk about their ostomy has an informed and compassionate resource available to them.

When a person has to have an ostomy, people cannot imagine what it is going to be like. There is a lot of shame associated with it. I tell them I have an ostomy, and they can’t believe it. They immediately feel hope, and if I can teach them a way to change their perception, it can make all the difference.

EdKeating-WakeMedEd Keating, BSN, RN

Every year, WakeMed’s Children’s Emergency Department cares for hundreds of pediatric patients in mental, emotional or behavioral health crisis. These patients have an advocate and ally in Ed Keating, BSN, RN, who until recently managed WakeMed Children’s Emergency Department (ED) and now manages the ED at WakeMed North.

Keating has worked tirelessly to raise awareness for children with mental illness and develop services that better meet the needs of this vulnerable population, presenting at conferences across the country. His efforts laid the groundwork for creating WakeMed’s first pediatric inpatient psychiatric holding unit, which opened last year.

Children have a right to feel safe, respected, have personal boundaries protected, receive reliable and consistent responses, and to develop trust with staff.

Today, instead of spending days in the Children’s ED, these children and their families have access to a private room with a bathroom, a group play area and the chance to be involved in their daily schedule.

Brian Klausner, MD

Brian Klausner, MDBrian Klausner, MD, has spent his career advocating for patients and driving quality improvement. In addition to working as a primary care physician, Dr. Klausner serves as medical director for WakeMed’s Community Case Management program, which works to improve the health of uninsured and homeless patient populations.

As medical director, he drives collaboration with community partners to ensure patients are connected with a medical home and get the resources they need, whether it is blood pressure medication, counseling, housing or legal assistance.

Dr. Klausner also serves as medical director of WakeMed Key Community Care, where he advocates for enhancing the quality and coordination of care while reducing costs.