HomeNews & TopicsEducation and Professional DevelopmentHospital News salutes Nursing Hero nominee Patty Henderson

Hospital News salutes Nursing Hero nominee Patty Henderson

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Patty Henderson, RN, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Markham Stouffville Hospital

The world has changed very much since the days when Florence Nightingale was a leader – but some nurses who accepted the challenge to follow in her footsteps and help others in need have not. There are few like Florence Nightingale in our world today – but within our world at Markham Stouffville hospital there is still one – Patty Henderson.

Patty Henderson has worked at Markham Stouffville Hospital for over 20 years and the number of lives she has impacted during that time is immeasurable.

I have never heard anyone say anything less than amazing comments about Patty – from her colleagues to the families she works with – everyone she meets leaves feeling lucky to have had her in their life, even for a moment.

Patty works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) taking care of our smallest patients and her colleagues say she was born to be a nurse. She is a natural caregiver and provides exceptional care to every patient and family she meets. She is a trusted advocate for her patients and once she has gone home, her concern doesn’t fade – she even calls the unit from home often to check and see how the babies are doing.


Patty works tirelessly with families of fragile newborns to help them develop the skills and confidence to take their babies home as soon as possible.

Patty is the heart of our NICU at Markham Stouffville Hospital. She is a caregiver, friend, teacher and the person everyone goes to for advice. She has the patience of a saint and has the ability to put anxious parents at ease. She has this gift to provide comfort to an anxious parent within seconds of meeting them while simultaneously dealing with complicated and at times, emergency health-care procedures. It’s truly remarkable.

“Patty helped care for my little boy when I delivered him at 35 weeks. When I walked through the hospital doors and found out that we were going to have our baby early, seeing Patty there helped me to be calm and know whatever was to happen, he was in the best possible hands and all would be okay,” says Julie Atkinson, parent and Child Life Specialist at MSH. “I had the best and most experienced NICU nurse anyone could ask for.  Cooper is seven now and Patty still continues to ask about him. She carries a piece of each of the families she cares for with her and I believe they all carry a piece of her too.”

Patty continues to amaze me every day with her commitment to an excellent patient experience, her compassion for families and coworkers, her passion for quality and teamwork and her dedication to ensuring that everyone who crosses her path experiences human empathy and understanding. Her mannerisms and how she approaches her work in a positive and energetic way is inspiring to all of us who work with her and I cannot think of a better way to recognize Patty than to nominate her for the 2015 Nursing Hero Awards.


We have all met someone in the health-care world who has an amazing story – their glory moment that everyone knows them for. Patty has so many stories, and is regarded by so many people as a hero, an angel and someone who truly changed their life that when people think of her, they don’t just think of her one great story – they think of how she makes everyone feel every day and how she is the true embodiment of what every nurse should aspire to be.


She is the type of nurse I think of when I hear “Nursing Hero” – the one who is a hero every day, without recognition and without ever wanting anything more than for her patients to be well and their families to be comforted, positive and in good spirits.


Nominated by Cheryl Osborne, Patient Care Director, Maternal Child Services, Markham Stouffville Hospital.

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