Crafting Miracles in the NICU
Susie Egami, Providence Holy Cross NICU nursing manager
In the heart of Southern California, Providence Holy Cross NICU nursing manager, Susie Egami’s journey to health care wasn’t a straightforward path. Growing up in Pasadena, Susie initially leaned toward the arts until a decision to pursue something more practical led her to consider an alternate path. A pivot toward the “family business” — with a physician father and a nurse sister — soon followed and Susie found herself deciding between medical school and nursing. Ultimately, nursing won her heart. “I really wanted something to do with the start of life,” she mused.
Susie’s Providence Holy Cross journey as a registered nurse began in 2011, right after the NICU opened. Her connection with her patients has always been intimate and personal. “I loved to find a family and a baby that I connected with. They would even invite me to their homes and cook for me,” Susie fondly remembers. However, not all tales have happy endings. “In some cases, the babies didn’t make it. There was one patient I took care of for his entire life, six to eight months. And when we went to the funeral, his mom wanted me to tuck him in,” she recalls somberly. But it’s “the long-term connection and love that you can give to a family” that truly kept Susie devoted.
Susie’s commitment to Providence Holy Cross isn’t merely a job. It’s about the mission, vision and values of the medical center. “You can walk in and feel the spirit,” she explains. This spirit extends to the entire team who believe in the Providence Promise of “know me, care for me, ease my way.”
A significant milestone for Susie was her role in the recent NICU expansion. Acting as a clinical consultant, she was the bridge between architectural design and understanding a NICU’s unique requirements. Partnering with philanthropy, she played an instrumental role in ensuring Providence Holy Cross could provide exceptional care right in the community.
“We’ve really tried to make it a place of peace that celebrates family,” Susie reflects, emphasizing the importance of having more space and facilities. With the increase in additional beds, the NICU can retain more patients. A forthcoming service, therapeutic hypothermia, ensures specific neonatal patients receive timely care, reducing transfers and keeping families together.
Outside of her role, Susie achieved a commendable milestone this year — becoming a published author. Her research during the COVID era, focusing on staff well-being, was published in the National Association of Neonatal Nurses.
Together, we can provide care that transforms lives, now and for years to come.