Ben Schrieber, a 2015 graduate of the Nursing program at St. Louis Community College, recently earned the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses for the month of February at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.
The award honors nurses who go above and beyond focusing on patient/family-centered care.
Schrieber joined the Cardinal Glennon staff in 2012 as a patient care technician in the emergency department. He continued to work in the emergency department after becoming a registered nurse in summer 2015.
DAISY is the acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The DAISY Foundation was formed in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at age 33 of complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura. The nursing care Patrick received when hospitalized profoundly touched his family, who then started the DAISY Foundation.
A committee selects winners from submission by patients and their families, fellow nurses, physicians and staff members. More than 2,000 healthcare facilities in all 50 states and 15 other countries participate in this award program.
Schrieber was recognized for combining exceptional, timely nursing care while entertaining a very frightened young patient by giving her popsicles – and dancing.
Cheryl Hendricks Henson wrote on the Cardinal Glennon Facebook page: “Ben, RN, was not only an awesome nurse, he also calmed our daughter’s fears and had her back at all times. I don’t care to visit the ER again anytime soon, but it is nice to know there is someone there that truly understands the children’s health needs as well as emotional needs. Congratulations Ben!”
A former St. Louis City police officer, Schrieber was injured on the job and was unable to continue his career. A family tragedy led Schrieber toward a new career in healthcare.
“While trying to decide the next chapter of my life, our youngest son was born,” Schrieber said. “A couple of days after his birth we were informed that had Fanconi Anemia, a one-in-a-million bone marrow depleting blood disorder that leads to cancer. After much prayer and research, a bone marrow match was found for Pounder, and he received a bone marrow transplant when he was 13 months old. At the time, I decided that my next career move would be that of a teacher and coach due to the fact that I love working with kids.”
Unfortunately, even after a successful bone marrow transplant, Pounder’s body could not repair itself because of the Fanconi, and he passed away four months.
“He was here for such a short time, but he changed the lives of everyone he came into contact with,” Schrieber said. “Watching my son fight so hard for life and working, praying, and crying with a team of nurses who are still, seven years later, more family than anything else, led me to promise my son that I would honor him by paying forward the kindness, love and care that he received from such amazing individuals.”
Schrieber turned to St. Louis Community College to study emergency medical technology while on the waiting list to enter the nursing program, and then completed his nursing degree in 2015.
“Originally I looked at Meramec because of how affordable it was and what a great value as far as an education,” Schrieber said. “My decision was solidified after talking to multiple hospital administrative personnel, who related to me how well equipped and respected the graduates and program were.”