Interprofessional Case presentation - “We Just Wish She Could Tell Us What She Wants” A Special Child, A Special Family and A Special Calling


Presented by Julie M Miller, MDiv, Sara Bodenmiller, PNP, and Peter Baenziger, MD

Learning Objectives:

1. Review the unique challenges presented by a non-verbal patient, and ways to support the surrogate decision makers to ensure the patient’s best interest remains the central focus for all care.

2. Identify ways that a wholistic, interdisciplinary approach and collaboration across disciplines can optimize the care of complex pediatric patients and their families.

3. Demonstrate effective communication strategies to utilize when a patient’s clinical condition quickly changes from chronic to acute to critical, and ways to respond to, and support the patient, family and care team.

Reverend Julie Miller has served as the Chaplain for Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent for over 20 years and was the first Chaplain to join the newly formed Palliative Care team in 2008.   She is ordained through the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and is APC certified.  Julie is very involved in the greater Indianapolis community and often volunteers her time and skills to support special community events and fundraisers.

Sara Bodenmiller MSN, RN, PNP-BC obtained her BSN from Ball State University and worked at Riley Hospital for Children before obtaining her MSN from University of Michigan and became a pediatric nurse practitioner. She then moved to Massachusetts where she provided primary care to children in a community clinic as well as a school-based health center. Upon returning to Indianapolis, she worked as a Nurse Practitioner for the Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.  Her many experiences with medically complex patients sparked a passion for empowering the voices of children and their families to make values-based medical decisions, and in 2016, she became the lead clinician for the Pediatric Palliative Care Program.  Sara and her husband spend their time outside of work attending and volunteering at the many activities their teenage twins enthusiastically pursue.

Peter H. Baenziger, MD, completed medical school, pediatrics residency, and pediatric palliative care fellowship at Indiana University School of Medicine after growing up in the “first farm town West of Indianapolis”.  He now joyfully raises three children alongside his wife and is curious within palliative care about ventricular assist devices; psychological care for children at the end of life; and how families make values-based decisions for their children.  There are few outdoor activities Peter does not enjoy.

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