Compassion, skill and unwavering commitment: Puja Pandit Honored for Life-Enriching Care of Young Patient
Roseville, CA – Puja Pandit, RN, has been named Regional Caregiver of the Year by Maxim Healthcare Group, a national provider of home healthcare, companion and behavioral care, healthcare staffing, and workforce solutions.
The Roseville resident was recognized for her compassion, skill and unwavering commitment to a young patient. She was also a finalist for Maxim’s John “Doc” Langley National Caregiver of the Year award, which was presented during a virtual awards ceremony held on December 1.
In 2012, Pandit was assigned to work with Haven, then a nine-year-old diagnosed with Trisomy 13, a chromosomal condition associated with severe intellectual disability and physical abnormalities in many parts of the body. Haven needed round-the-clock care, which included a gastrostomy tube (G-tube) for feeding and constant monitoring for respiratory issues. Pandit formed an immediate bond with Haven and her family and has provided loving care for this young patient for eight years.
“The way Puja quietly goes about providing the best care possible for her patient is the very essence of nursing. For the last eight years, Puja has been able to find ways to provide care and support to Haven and her family on an ongoing basis every day. She is amazing in all of our eyes.”Barbara Crane, clinical manager Maxim Healthcare Services
During the years Pandit has cared for Haven, the little girl has rarely needed hospital visits or emergency care, even as the disease progressed. Pandit has worked with her client’s family to ensure she was kept safe at home, accompanying Haven and her mother, Kassondra, to doctor appointments and managing Haven’s medications, enteral feedings, and treatments. Pandit vigilantly assesses Haven and communicates with her doctors about any early warning signs of infection or other changes in health status to ensure the best possible outcome.
Because of Pandit’s experience, she has been able to make suggestions to the family that allow them to better care for Haven at home. Pandit helped the family understand the benefits of palliative care.
Essence of nursing
Knowing the importance of activities to stimulate growth and development, Pandit also takes Haven on walks in her wheelchair, reads her stories, and listens to music, which often bring a smile to Haven’s face. During their walks around the neighborhood, they are frequently greeted by friends and neighbors. One neighbor was so inspired by the special relationship between Pandit and Haven that the neighbor enrolled in school and became a nurse. Over the years, Pandit has inspired and encouraged others around her to become homecare nurses. She advocates that homecare nursing means, “Every day you get to be the best nurse you can possibly be.”
A panel of judges selected Pandit and three other regional winners from hundreds of nominations across the country. Now in its ninth year, the Caregiver of the Year Award program celebrates nurses and home healthcare aides for the key roles they play in delivering quality, patient-centered care to some of the nation’s most medically fragile and chronically ill patients. This year, the prized award was renamed the John “Doc” Langley Caregiver of the Year Award in honor of the significant contributions that former Chief Medical Officer John “Doc” Langley has made over his 10-year career with Maxim.