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Who We Are

Jennifer's Story

In January 2023, I transitioned to the Philanthropy department after spending valuable time on the Communications and Marketing team as a Digital Marketing Coordinator. In my current position, as Philanthropic Digital Communications Manager, I am fortunate to help make it easy for supporters of Children's Mercy to contribute to important programs within the hospital. By enabling online donations, I ensure that individuals can easily contribute to the funding of critical initiatives. Additionally, I assist the Philanthropy team in effectively communicating the profound impact that these generous contributions have on our patients and families - whether it is through monetary donations, volunteering efforts or thoughtful in-kind gifts. As I grow older, my desire to give back to the greater good of the world through my career increases. Therefore, it was only natural for me to choose to work at CM, a place that aligns with my values and allows me to make a positive impact. Additionally, I am proud to work for an company that embraces diversity and inclusion, making it a priority and “walking the talk” at all levels of our organization.

 

               —Jennifer Silvers, Manager, Philanthropic Digital Communications

Amy's Story

I started my career at CM in 2002 – over 20 years! I’m a Staff Nurse in the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic. There are so many reasons I continue to work here – but the patients top the list! Early in my career, I will always remember a burn patient that I was fortunate to help treat for many months. His strength and fight were immeasurable. It’s because of these moments that I am encouraged by the work we do here. My own kids often ask me why I work with sick kiddos, and I share with them that it is such a gift to help someone during a tough time in their life. We get to be their helpers, hope, and sometimes a shining light. 

 

                                              —Amy Findlay, Staff Nurse Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT)

Jon's Story

I grew up in the Kansas City area, but I attended nursing school a few hours away. During my time in school, I fell in love with pediatrics and knew that Children's Mercy had an excellent reputation throughout the state. I felt that if I wanted to start my career off right, this was where I needed to be. Each day I provide direct care as a bedside nurse to some of the most vulnerable patients in the region. During what is likely one of the worst moments of someone's life, I have the chance to make an impact that will hopefully make their time in the hospital a little more bearable. We see things every day in the PICU that are really hard but, as a team, we keep coming back because someone has to help fight for these kiddos. This is an emotionally and physically fatiguing job at times, but I am extremely proud of the work we do here. Every interaction with a child leaves an impression on me – and there are hundreds of moments with patients and families that have all played a part in who I am today. 

 

                                                                  —Jon Foley, ICU Staff Nurse 

 

Laura's story

I’m a Senior Research Communications Specialist, specifically working for the Children’s Mercy Research Institute (CMRI). When I tell people that I work at CM, they often aren’t aware that research takes place here. I’m excited to tell them about the collaboration that happens between so many multidisciplinary teams – and share a little about what makes my role so exciting. My work involves communication, through channels that support our research staff, as well as providing communication to the public about the amazing work our research teams are conducting. I also work on initiatives that try to make research more understandable and accessible to potential participants and their family members. One of the best parts of my job is when I meet with kiddos who are participating in research studies at Children’s Mercy. Their stories vary but they all share one common link -  their desire to find cures and hope for future families who might experience a similar diagnosis. It’s a privilege to work with these families and the talented teams at CM!

 

Laura McCallister –Senior Research Communications

         

Martha's Story

I chose the opportunity to work as a Pharmacy Technician at Children’s Mercy to advance my career and meet new challenges within the medical field. I am inspired every day by the resiliency of our patients. My role enables me to help improve medication management, patient safety, and serve as a liaison to the medical staff. I love what I do and use it as my ministry— touching the lives of children in need through empathy and compassion. We are truly health advocates, and it is a privilege to be entrusted with the care of our patients and families! At CM, we all put heart into our work here.

 

                                                                  —Martha Stricklin, Pharmacy Technician I

Christopher's story

I am a Program Manager of Education and Learning for the Office of Equity & Diversity but my relationship with CM really began years ago. When I was 11, I came here as a patient to receive life-saving measures. Doctors discovered that I had a tumor attached to my thymus gland and it was putting pressure on my heart. I had open heart surgery and was in recovery at CM for about 2 weeks. My mother always talks about the incredibly kind people she met—the nurses who watched after me so she could go home to shower, the volunteers who helped her navigate the hospital, the food service workers who came into my room with the biggest smiles. Working at the very hospital that saved my life is one of the best parts of my job. My role focuses on helping train and develop our hospital staff at all levels in providing exceptional and equitable care to our patients and families. Whether it is through diversity training, hosting educational learning opportunities, or providing staff with resources, my hope is that I am able to equip CM employees with the language and tools necessary to provide quality healthcare for all of our patients regardless of race, gender, sexual and gender identity, language, ability, religious, or socioeconomic status. I’m proud of the work I do here because it helps contribute to the experience of our patients and families.

 

 

—Christopher Thomas – Education & Learning Program Manager – Equity & Diversity

Demetrius story

I chose to work at Children’s Mercy as a Field Training Officer because I wanted to work in a family-friendly environment – and CM is all about the kids! It’s my job to ensure the safety of our families and help make their day a little brighter. I also spend time helping to train and mentor other dedicated individuals as Field Training Officers. In the Security Department, we are a team, and we take care of one another just like we take care of the patients and families who visit our hospital. This is a great place and it's an honor to work here!

 

—Demetrius Sanders – Security Officer Armed

Taryn's story

 I am a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in the Endocrinology Clinic. I came to Children’s Mercy after my family relocated to Kansas City. When I saw this position was available, I knew that this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I watched my brother spend a lot of time in the hospital throughout his life. When I would come visit him, he would be at the nurse’s station, listening to music and laughing with the staff and I knew I wanted to work in this profession. My goal is to provide my patients with a positive experience and, even though they are kids, to include them in the decision making so I build trust from the beginning. In Endocrinology, I am able to coordinate care with multiple team members including diabetes educators, nurses, dieticians, research coordinators, social workers, psychologists and more. At Children’s Mercy, we are like family – providing support to one another so we can provide the highest level of care to our patients and families. I feel honored to work here!

 

—Taryn Vaeth – Nurse Practitioner, APRN II – Endocrinology

Janee's Story

I work in the Transfer Center at our Adele Campus as a Communications Specialist. This role is unlike any other healthcare role I have had, and it has truly been a rewarding experience. As a Communications Specialist, I do a lot of behind the scenes work to make sure patients get from point A to point B. Every day is something new and I’m constantly learning. My first and most memorable experience with Transport was when my own son was transported to the ICN for RSV. I was scared but the team was so kind and ensured we felt safe and cared for during the ride. It motivates me to make sure all of our patients and families have the same experience. The Transport team is truly like a family. We go through so much together and we lean on each other for support and motivation. I don’t think I ever imagined being in this role but I’m grateful every day that I made the leap. I feel blessed and lucky to work with such a talented and compassionate team - and for a great organization.

Janee Chapman, Communication Specialist

Children's Mercy employee at a computer

Liana's story

I love that my job allows me to educate and work with families that are self-pay patients by providing a good faith estimate during the pre-registration process. As a Pre-Registration Representative, I do my best to guide and inform them, while always remembering that they are often working through stressful situations with an ill or medically complex child. I am also trilingual – native in Portuguese and Spanish and fluent in English – and this allows me to use my skills to provide exceptional customer service. Recently, I was on a call with a family, and we were communicating in Portuguese. They were so grateful to be speaking with someone who spoke their native language – and then they recognized my voice! They recalled working with me when I was in a frontline role as a Patient Access Representative. We were overjoyed to reconnect and share the commonality of our native language. It’s a gift to provide this service at Children’s Mercy – and to work for an organization that places value on everyone – our patients, families, and staff.

—Liana, Pre-Registration Representative II, Patient Access

Lisa's story

Building relationships and open communication is very important to me. My role as a Senior Employee Relations Representative, in the Human Resources Department, allows me to do that each and every day. No two days are ever the same!  Just when I think I have my schedule planned, one phone call can change everything.  However, that’s okay because I am here to offer support to Children’s Mercy staff and help them mitigate difficult situations. I work alongside an amazing team that is passionate about providing the right guidance to employees throughout our organization. Additionally, our leadership is top notch and really challenges each one of us to consider every aspect of every situation - to make sure we are guiding in a fair and consistent manner.  When our employees feel they are valued and have a voice, this reflects in the service they provide to our patients and families. I am both proud and honored to work here! 

 

—Lisa Grimsley, Senior Employee Relations Representative

 

Myranda, a respiratory therapist at Children's Mercy, holds a tube attached to a medical machine

Myranda's story

In college, I worked clinicals at Children’s Mercy and that experience was so fulfilling that I knew I wanted to work in pediatrics once I attained my degree. As a Respiratory Therapist, I work alongside patients and families to ensure that kids are able to breathe better through a variety of treatment options like nebulized medicine, inhalers, suctioning, and delivering pressured breaths given by nasal cannulas and ventilators. I also spend time educating families about what’s going on inside the lungs. Working here as an RT is fun, challenging and, most importantly, very rewarding. One of my fondest memories was treating a little girl for severe asthma exacerbation in the ED. She was breathing so hard that she could not talk and was extremely anxious. After some time with the nebulized and IV treatments, she was playing, talking and having fun again. She was so happy to go home that she gave me a hug and a sticker before she left. I still keep that sticker on my employee badge as a reminder of the important work I do here each day.

—Myranda, Respiratory Therapist

Audra's story

Working at Children’s Mercy was always a dream of mine. As a child, I was a patient at Children’s Mercy and received exceptional care from the staff I encountered during my visits. I knew that one day I wanted to give back to the place that helped me and my family during a challenging time.

In Radiology, we work as a team to ensure that our patients and families feel comfortable when they visit us for imaging tests. It’s a joy to see bravery, resiliency and smiles from our patients – it means we’ve done our jobs well! The impact we can have on each child that walks through our doors is huge and when I share with people that I’m a part of this department and organization – I feel so much pride – because AMAZING care happens here every day.

—Audra, Radiologic Technologist

Children's Mercy Staff Nurse, Crystal, standing outside of the playground at Adele Hall. She is smiling and wearing a pink Children's Mercy t-shirt.

Crystal's story

I chose Children’s Mercy for many reasons, including the vision of this organization, which has always been dear to my heart. Children's Mercy believes in “creating a world of wellbeing for all kids” and so do I!

As a nurse, I feel that one of the most profound ways to make a difference in the experience of a patient and family is to genuinely listen to their needs and show compassion and care. I value times when I can hold a child’s hand through a scary procedure and watch them overcome it. I also love sharing silly moments with patients and seeing them smile – and even laugh and play in the midst of their difficulties. These are the facets of my job that bring me joy.

Children's Mercy is also an organization that places high value on the staff. I feel supported in my role which continues to fuel my passion for pediatric health care. I feel so blessed to work here!

—Crystal, Staff Nurse
Emergency Department

Marianne, Children's Mercy Research Associate Masters, standing in the CMRI building. She is wearing a white lab coat and smiling.

Marianne's story

I was introduced to Children’s Mercy 20 years ago – and knew this is where I wanted to work! I’m a Research Associate Masters, and I work in the Neonatology research laboratory where we are dedicated to finding underlying mechanisms of inflammatory diseases of the lung and intestinal tract of preterm infants. Being a part of this team has given me opportunities to grow both personally and professionally as I collaboratively work with researchers from other cultures and intellectual backgrounds to find answers to pediatric illnesses. I love being a part of this amazing research team and an organization where everyone is dedicated to our hospital’s vision – “To create a world of wellbeing for all children.”

—Marianne, Research Associate Masters

 

Alicia, Senior Medical Interpreter at Children's Mercy. She is smiling and leaning against a bookshelf filled with books in the Kreamer Library.

Alicia's story

I am trilingual, speaking Spanish, French and English. I previously worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the health care industry where I provided translation services. When I saw the opportunity at Children’s Mercy, I felt it was the right fit for me and I knew the door was opening to my dream job.

I have the opportunity to serve people by bridging the communication gap – and connecting providers, patients and their families with the goal to achieve better health care outcomes. It brightens my day when I see a child’s precious face light up as I offer a sticker or show them how to change the color of the lights in the sky of the atrium. My job is simply amazing! There are constant opportunities to genuinely “do” for others and make a difference. This is a very special place – and I get to be a part of it!

—Alicia, Senior Medical Interpreter

 

Children's Mercy Environment Services manager, Rachael Hughes, leaning against a TRU-D robot in the Research/Education Unit of Adele Hall.

Rachael's story

I started in housekeeping in 2013, working in the hotel field, and soon moved into a supervisor role. I loved the responsibility and leadership opportunity to work with a team.

I began as an Environmental Services manager at Children’s Mercy in April of 2020, and shortly after became the project manager of the TRU-D program. I love the many opportunities I’ve had here to learn, grow, and get involved with so many different things.

In Environmental Services, we keep the hospital safe and clean, but we also touch so many aspects that impact the staff and families. To work here is to LOVE here - Children's Mercy offers encouragement, kindness and hope, but the heart of this hospital is hope.

— Rachael, Environmental Services Manager

John Davison in the entryway between 2400 and 2420 CC Buildings.

John's story

I am an Accounts Payable Manager at Children’s Mercy and have been with the company for about five years. Our team is responsible for accurately tracking and ensuring payments to suppliers. In Accounting, I work with a great team of dedicated individuals who understand our “connection to purpose” with the patients and families we serve. We take a lot of pride in doing our very best to serve this community.

Additionally, there isn’t a person who doesn’t get a smile on their face when I tell them where I work. I feel fortunate to work here – a place with a mission to help the kids of Kansas City and beyond – and it makes it easy for me to give 100% to my job every day!

—John, Accounts Payable Manager

Lenore Fleming,a Children's Mercy Child Life Specialist, wearing a mask and holding a teddy bear and a child's drum.

Lenore's story

During my college years, I was able to see a child life specialist provide support and facilitate positive coping for a young friend while he was in the hospital. It was incredible to watch the child life specialist help to ease his mind and melt away his fears through developmentally appropriate education and play. I knew instantly that this was the path for me.

When people ask where I work and what I do, I am proud to say that I am a Child Life Specialist at Children’s Mercy. It’s a gift to be able to work here and help children build confidence in themselves throughout their hospital experience. I am also lucky to receive such genuine support from my colleagues and the leadership team. I feel so blessed to work at Children's Mercy in a job that I love!

Lenore, Child Life Specialist

A photo of Sylvia Hernandez Smith, Children's Mercy Volunteer and Guest Services Outreach Manager

Sylvia's story

I have been with Children’s Mercy for almost 11 years and currently serve in the role as Volunteer and Guest Services Outreach Manager.

In 2008, while in Wichita, my daughter became ill, and her pediatrician called to say they found a mass on the base of her skull. During a late-night search for a neurosurgeon, I stumbled upon the Children’s Mercy website and found her care team. While she was being treated at Children's Mercy, I fell in love with the people here. Her survivorship is a miracle and the great care she received, and attention given to our whole family, moved me.

I feel blessed to be a part of this community. Philanthropy seems like such a small word, but the jam-packed action behind that word is so moving. I get to work with some of the most amazing team members in my department and throughout the organization. LOVE WILL move mountains – and I get a front row seat to see that love in action every day.

— Sylvia, Volunteer and Guest Services Outreach Manager

Melva Brownlee wearing a black face mask inside Children's Mercy Adele Hall chapel..

Melva's story

Working at nonprofits has been my passion; caring for others is at the heart of how I live each day. I became an executive assistant when I left Washington, D.C. and returned to Kansas City to care for my mother. By training, I am a social worker and through the years, I have held other positions including vice president. However, I know that a title doesn’t always capture the many aspects of a job!

I came to Children’s Mercy to serve as the Executive Assistant for the Physician-in-Chief and the SVP of Ambulatory and Physician Operations, but I was hired to be a leader and trusted advisor for my colleagues. I champion their vision and coordinate the necessary support to enable them to achieve positive results. Additionally, I play an instrumental role in helping to maintain teams, support successful systems and perform various activities in collaboration with others.

To work at Children’s Mercy is to make a difference. We ultimately serve to provide the very best care to the children and families that walk through our doors. There is teamwork throughout this organization and everyone understands our mission and vision. Additionally, this is the most diverse and inclusive place for which I have had the opportunity to work. My co-workers are passionate, helpful and considerate – and I consider it an honor to call this so much more than a job. I am a better human because I chose Children's Mercy ... and they chose me!

Melva, Executive Assistant to Executive Vice President

Ugne's story

I started working at Children’s Mercy as a registered nurse, then left to attain my degree as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Now I’m back as a CRNA at a place I love, caring for the most amazing population – pediatric patients!

At Children’s Mercy, I work alongside others who are here because of their passion to provide the best care possible for the kids and families we serve. Throughout this organization, there are extraordinary teams that make my job so much better. I could not be happier with my choice to work at Children’s Mercy. This is my dream job!

— Ugne, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Ijon, a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children's Mercy.

Ijon's story

I was a collegiate athlete and student at the University of Central Missouri, then later attended Avila University, where I pursued a career in nursing. I chose this field because someone close to me had experienced the loss of a baby and I wanted to make a difference in the lives of neonates that have a fighting chance. I am now a Neonatal Intensive Care Staff Nurse at Children’s Mercy.

I came back to work at Children's Mercy because of the great experience I had here during clinical rotations, and I knew that it had the top NICU in the area. I love working with a care team dedicated to our smallest patients – and there is so much gratification in witnessing a baby who gets to go home! To all the nursing students out there who are just beginning their journey, hold onto that dream and 'be bold, be brave, be you!'

Ijon, ICU Nurse

Sean Haley, a Medical Social Worker for Children's Mercy Kansas City.

Sean's story

I joined Children’s Mercy in 2015 and currently serve as a Medical Social Worker for the Primary Care Clinics at the CM Broadway location. While pursuing my master’s degree, alongside my wife, at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, I researched reputable hospitals and Children's Mercy rose to the top of my list.

Practicing as a medical social worker allows me to utilize my vast array of skills to help families who are coping with difficult situations and have challenging decisions to make. It’s an honor to provide support and help them navigate through these issues. Each day, I am also surrounded by professionals who truly care about the work we do here. Our Social Work team believes in the heart of our Children's Mercy mission – to provide the best care to the children in Kansas City and beyond – and we strive to make that a reality each and every day!

Sean, Social Worker

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Telisa Hassen wearing a black Children's Mercy face mask and smiling with her eyes. She is sitting behind a computer monitor that has a Children's Mercy "save the date" graphic that she designed.

Telisa's story

I feel blessed to be a “creative” and love flexing that creativity in new ways. I found my path in Marketing after seeing a national commercial that inspired me, and in that moment, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the creative world.

I am now a Senior Graphic Designer at Children’s Mercy and have been with the company for 22 years. It’s been so satisfying to watch our brand evolve over the years and to know I’ve been a part of that process. It’s also beyond inspiring to work here and see the bravery and resiliency of our patients. I’ve met some truly amazing kids. It fills my heart with joy and humility to have even a small part in their journey, by helping to tell their stories. I am grateful to work at Children’s Mercy.

—Telisa, Senior Graphic Designer