Mary K. (Katie) Sabato, MS RRT, of Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland, received the 2005 VIASYS Healthcare Neonatal and Pediatric Fellowship Award on behalf of the ARCF and VIASYS Healthcare. The fellowship is designed to foster projects in the field of neonatal and pediatric critical care. In 2000, Katie was one of two respiratory care practitioners who partnered with a young Belizean pediatrician, Dr. Egbert Grinage, to provide mechanical ventilation for pediatric and neonatal patients in Belize City, Belize. Traditionally, nurses in Belize would have to hand-ventilate pediatric patients - sometimes for as long as 48 hours. Katie was selected for the award for helping to secure ventilator equipment and providing mechanical ventilation and ventilator maintenance training to Belizean nurses and physicians.
"During our first trip we repaired an old donated ventilator just in time to use it on a premature baby who became Belize's first neonatal patient to survive on our mechanical ventilation equipment," said Sabato. "The generous donations of companies like VIASYS Healthcare have resulted in better outcomes for children who would otherwise face inadequate or non-existing medical care."
Since 2000, medical teams have returned to Belize to continue to educate and support the medical staff at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and Universal Medical Hospital. As a result, survival rates of infants in Belize have increase from 0 percent to 48 percent and are expected to increase. Sabato's success inspired her colleagues at Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland to work with her to create a medical missionary group, Medical C.A.R.E Inc., to help children of all races. Next year, C.A.R.E. is planning to go to Nigeria to open that country's first pediatric cardiac center.
Becky Mabry, Senior Vice President Global Marketing for VIASYS Healthcare said,"VIASYS is committed to clinical education, research and to programs that enhance patient care. Katie Sabato has made a significant, long-lasting impact in a place where respiratory care resources are in short supply. VIASYS is proud have had the opportunity to play a small part in that endeavor."