Photo by Becca Sabot
Staff Nurse, Infant Care Center
Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Don’t let Winnie-the-Pooh fool you. Hollenbeck treads on sacred ground, caring for our most fragile babies with divine purpose and decades of science. “We do not get to rock babies all day long,” she says of her care team. “We’re very like-minded in focusing on the developmental needs of infants.”
Hollenbeck and team monitor the cues of our tiniest humans while caring for families during their toughest moments. Medical advancement saves babies, she says, but it also adds complexity to caregiver-family relationships. “As a society, we increasingly expect medical personnel to fix that which is perceived as broken. Sometimes there is not a way, and it is devastating for some families when care is what we can provide as nurses, without achieving ‘cure.’”
But tough stuff does not stop Hollenbeck from doing what she believes in. “For me it’s about the relationships, and that I can live out what God wants me to do.” You can see her passion in the doctorate in Transcultural Nursing Leadership she’s working on, and the model she developed to promote positive relationships between caregivers and families in hospitals. You can see it in her missions to Mexico and Guatemala, where she studies healing rituals and works for social justice.
And you can feel it in every baby she touches: “I put my hands on the babies’ heads and on their feet and I tell them I am going to take good care of them.”