Coworkers describe Valerie Carberry as someone who has a special ability to meet patients exactly where they are — literally and figuratively.
Sometimes that means caring for patients at a home, hospital or park. Other times it means meeting …
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Sometimes that means caring for patients at a home, hospital or park. Other times it means meeting clients in unseen places that are most difficult to inhabit, like depression, anxiety, substance use disorder, low self-esteem, developmental disabilities and trauma.
These are some of the reasons that Invest in Kids, a nonprofit that works to improve health and well-being of vulnerable children and families, awarded Carberry its Nurse-Family Partnership DAISY Award for extraordinary nurses.
“I’m very honored by the fact that I was recognized as someone who goes above and beyond,” Carberry said. “I just feel like that’s what I do in my job everyday. But it’s because I have a passion for it.”
The DAISY Award recognizes nurses who have made a positive and lasting impact on the lives of mothers and babies in Colorado.
“We are really proud to be recognizing nurses,” said Stephanie Helle, of Invest in Kids. “We want the community to know that our Daisy Award winners are special people who’ve made huge contributions to their team and the community.”
Carberry was nominated by her supervisor, for her outstanding quality of care, leadership and professionalism, as well as her unwavering commitment to helping others live healthier, happier lives.
“She has a great depth of experience and knowledge,” said Dr. Margaret Huffman, division director for Community Health Services. “She helps her clients overcome a lot of self-esteem issues and teaches them to advocate for themselves and their babies.”
Carberry has been in nursing since 1984, working in public health for the past 16 years. For the past 10 years, she has worked as a home visitor and public health nurse for Jefferson County Public Health’s Nurse-Family Partnership.
The partnership is a free prenatal and early childhood nurse home visitation program for first-time mothers and their babies who meet certain financial guidelines.
“We’re there to support them and provide them with the most updated information on not just pregnancy but baby care as well,” Carberry said. “Clients may see us more than they see some of their family members.”
Nurses like Carberry have 40 to 60 meetings with each woman in the program.
“I’m always impressed by our moms,” Carberry said. “They are so resilient. When a baby comes along, it’s a clean slate. That’s when moms want to change their lifestyle. I think people really want to do right by their kids and that’s the time you can do that.”
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