By Dr. Ross Feldman,
Medical Lead,
Cardiac Sciences Manitoba

March 28, 2021

Mitral Rumble

Sals Star of the Week: Cathy Willey! Presented by Dawn Affleck.

I would like to recognize Cathy Willey, our dedicated Charge Nurse in the Operating Room as this week’s Sals Star of the week! Cathy recently celebrated 35 years of service as a Registered Nurse at St. Boniface Hospital.  Cathy began her career in the Operating Room in 1988 as a general duty perioperative nurse, joined the cardiac team in 2003 and became one of two cardiac Clinical Resource Nurses in 2010.  The cardiac program and the role of the Cardiac CRN was a beloved role of Cathy’s and one that she continues to cherish and reminisce about.  In fact, you will still see Cathy in the theatres on cardiac call on evenings and weekends.

As our charge nurse, Cathy provides leadership and communicates the daily cardiac and non-cardiac surgery operations of up to 13, sometimes 14 OR theatres in a typical day. She routinely serves as the liaison between cardiac programs and anesthesia, nursing and support staff. Over the past four years, she has “charged ahead” during floods, clinical consolidations, unprecedented nursing and support staff vacancies, pandemics and huddles, huddles, and more huddles. 

The best way to describe Cathy in her role would be to imagine an Air Traffic Controller at a very busy airport, who thinks of everyone coming into and out of the OR. From our perioperative patients, to nurses, to support staff, to surgeons, to anesthesia, and other clinical programs and units, Cathy is leaned upon by many.

Cathy routinely responds to both critical and non-critical situations with the agility and creativity of a fantastic leader!  Cathy has what is referred to as “cognitive flexibility” as she is able to think outside the box, seeing things from differing perspectives, and modifying her actions and behaviors to the ever-changing healthcare environment.   Cathy is also very good at taking obstacles and turning them into opportunities to learn and grow.  

In 2019, after many years in perioperative nursing, Cathy attained her certification in perioperative nursing (CPN (C), through the Canadian Nurses Association. This is yet another demonstration of her ongoing dedication to patient care, continuous learning, and model ling the way for her colleagues. I am pleased to recognize Cathy as a true star in healthcare and know that her entire team shares in this recognition.  Thank you for all you do Cathy!!!

This Week’s Faculty Publications

Spooner AJ, Berens PM, Reardon MJ, Wyler von Ballmoos MC. A Large Mediastinal Mass in a Young Woman: A Case of Giant Coronary Artery Aneurysm. Ann Thorac Surg. 2021 Mar 16:S0003-4975(21)00515-4. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2021.02.085. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33741325.

Kehler DS, Arora RC. Commentary: Does a “less is more” approach reduce delirium in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting?  J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2021 Apr;161(4):1285-1286. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2019.10.131. Epub 2019 Nov 13.

Muller Moran HR, Yamashita MH, Arora RC. Commentary: Vita ex machina-life from the machine. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2021 Apr;161(4):1333-1334. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2020.11.066. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

I hope you are staying safe and healthy.