Taryn Hamre, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, CHOPN is an APRN on both the Pain Team, as well as the Sunflower Kids Pediatric Palliative Care Team at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) in Hartford, Connecticut. Dr. Hamre also serves as the Advanced Practice Provider (APP) representative on the hospital’s Medical Executive Committee and a member of the Ethics and Pain Steering Committees. Dr. Hamre holds a faculty appointment as an Assistant Professor within the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) School of Medicine.  Within this role, Dr. Hamre trains and mentors learners within CCMC who come from medical and nursing backgrounds in pediatric pain and palliative care.

“I have been an APRN at CT Children’s since 2003. During this time, I have expanded my knowledge and clinical skillset and have become passionate about sharing my understanding around pediatric pain and palliative care with my medical, nursing, and advanced practice colleagues. I have used my desire to teach as a conduit to forge relationships with people representing so many disciplines within the hospital I work and my community. With my own personal pursuit of continued learning, the Yale DNP program provided me the tools to become a healthcare leader. My experiences there as well as with the EPEC (Education in Palliative and End-of-Life Care), Foundations in Bioethics Program (Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics), the Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care PCEP (Palliative Care Education and Practice) programs as well as my appointment to the CT DPH Palliative Care Advisory Council have pushed me to extend my reach and have outfitted me to be equipped to be a voice on the state and regional level,” said Dr. Hamre.

“Our palliative care patients and their families have been tremendously impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions around hospital visitation policy changes.  During this frightening and unprecedented time, we all must do our part to protect the ‘many’ through social distancing, hand hygiene, wearing masks, etc. My colleagues and I strive to continue to show up for the ‘few’ – the ones on our pediatric palliative care team with chronic or life-limiting illnesses, that due to social distancing and hospital COVID-19 restrictions, are forced to face difficult days and even end-of-life in near isolation.  Only one caregiver/parent can be present at a time leaving them without the extra family and friend presence they typically draw strength and support from. Further, memorials, funerals, celebrations of life, etc., are restricted which impacts a family’s grief and healing process as they face the difficult days that lie ahead for them. The need for stronger advocacy from our team, in a variety of ways, has resulted,” said Dr. Hamre.

Dr. Hamre feels it is essential for nurses to be at decision-making tables within the hospital, community, task force, corporation, and government. “Nurses are trained to think holistically as advocates and remain focused with a framework that centralizes back to the patient. They add value from their experience on the front lines of health care delivery, are grounded in evidence-based practice, and possess strong interpersonal collaboration and communication skills. As key members of the health care team, nurses are influencers and change agents that would be an asset – with their unique and important perspective – to any boardroom or beyond,” says Dr. Hamre.