Local nurses honored for critical, life-saving reactions | MedStar Health

Local Nurses Honored for Critical, Life-saving Reactions

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BALTIMORE (April 2019) – A home healthcare nurses recently received awards for heroic actions that saved people’s lives. RNs at MedStar Visiting Nurse Association Heather Fitzhugh-Boehm and Jennifer Shrader were awarded MedStar Health’s 2018 Safety HeRO awards for taking charge in separate, critical moments that without intervention could have led to disastrous consequences.

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Fitzhugh-Boehm’s heroic story occurred last January when she helped rescue a family from a house fire. After finishing a home visit, Fitzhugh-Boehm noticed dark smoke in the sky. As she drove closer to it, she realized a rowhome was on fire.

Fitzhugh-Boehm immediately called 911. Then she heard someone scream.

A woman on the second floor of the house needed help. She had a baby inside and wanted to drop her out the window.

Fitzhugh-Boehm acted fast. She asked the woman to drop down a blanket she could use to catch the baby. Neighbors arrived, and with their help, Fitzhugh-Boehm was able to catch the child safely. Soon after, firefighters arrived and rescued the mother.

For her heroic actions and commitment to safety, Fitzhugh-Boehm received the 2018 Super HeRO award. 

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Shrader’s safety moment happened in the fall. During a home visit, Shrader’s patient told her he had been feeling particularly unwell that day. She urged him to go to the hospital, but the patient was hesitant. Shrader respected her patient’s wishes and instead asked him to text her later that evening when he made it upstairs safely.

After not hearing anything for several hours, Shrader returned to the house. She found the patient unconscious and bleeding from his head.

Shrader quickly tended to the patient and called an ambulance. The patient was taken and admitted to the hospital with diagnoses of sepsis and staph infection.

For her dedication to patient care and safety, Shrader received the 2018 HeRO Good Catch of the Year award.

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Both Heather Fitzhugh-Boehm and Jennifer Shrader received their awards during MedStar Health’s annual Hero Awards ceremony. The awards honor MedStar Health associates who exemplify an unwavering commitment to safety.

About MedStar Visiting Nurse Association

MedStar VNA provides home healthcare services for homebound, disabled and chronically ill patients in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. A nonprofit, Joint Commission-accredited organization, MedStar VNA treats patients through skilled nursing and physical, occupational and speech therapies. MedStar VNA is a proud member of the MedStar Health system. For more information about MedStar VNA, call 800-862-2166 or visit MedStarVNA.org.

Media Contact

Carrie Koenig

Vice President, Patient Experience & Communication
MedStar Visiting Nurse Association


Andrea Wilson

Senior Marketing and Communication Specialist


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