President’s Message August 2021


Summer is here!  And what a difference a year makes.

I’m really excited about this newsletter theme because mechanical circulatory support has evolved tremendously over the course of my career and offers so much promise for our patients.  While all of our work in cardiac intensive care relies on a highly functioning team, successfully managing a patient with a ventricular assist device (VAD) from the acute phase to the rehabilitation phase to transplant amplifies the importance of building an integrated, multidisciplinary team.  Elevating the expertise of all members of the team is essential to optimize outcomes.

When we began building a ventricular assist device (VAD) program at Children’s National, I remember feeling excited (and a little anxious) about the novel technology and inspired by my colleagues from many disciplines who were committed to finding a better way to support patients waiting for a transplant.  From the very beginning, cardiac intensivists, CICU nurses and educators, APPs, surgeons, skin and wound nurses, as well as physical, occupational, and speech therapists, dieticians, social workers, respiratory therapists, and child life specialists became a cohesive team with the goal of getting one VAD patient at a time safely to transplant.  Engaging the full team early in the development of the program has set a solid foundation for a now very busy service!

For the Society to better reflect the entire CICU team, our Special Interest Groups (SIG) will be expanding!  Bringing together the important disciplines within the Society will strengthen our connections, allow us to determine and share best practices, and ultimately improve the care that each patient and family receives.

We currently have 5 SIGs listed below. Please see the website for the contact information of the co-chairs if you’re interested in joining or learning more about the SIGs.

  • Bedside Nursing
  • Advanced Practice Nursing
  • Administrative (nursing and physician)
  • Nurse educator/Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Leadership SIG (made up of the co-chairs of all other SIGs)

We plan to create the following SIGs for each of the disciplines listed below and are also open to other suggestions for new SIGs.  Please email me if you have colleagues who may be interested in leading or joining one of the SIGs listed below.

  • Physicians (at all levels of practice)
  • Physical and Occupational Therapists
  • Child Life Specialists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Dieticians
  • Pharmacists
  • Social Workers
  • Respiratory Therapists

A special thank you to Louise Callow and Ashley Moellinger for co-chairing the Leadership SIG and working to expand the SIG opportunities.  We are excited to grow our networks and strengthen our connections with a full team.

I wish you each a happy and healthy summer!


Melissa B. Jones, MSN, APRN, CPNP-AC

President, PCICS
CICU Nurse Practitioner
Children’s National Hospital
Washington, DC, USA