The Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners named Teresa Muterspaw the 2016 Pediatric Nurse Practitioner of the Year on April 29 during its spring conference in Newark, Ohio.
Muterspaw, a Wright State Physicians nurse at Five Rivers Health Centers Pediatrics, was recognized for the superior care that she provides pediatric patients, her commitment to teaching medical students and nurse practitioner students, her role in implementing the Centering for Parents classes and her ongoing dedication to the Vaccine for Children Program.
A graduate of the Wright State University-Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health, Muterspaw first became interested in pediatrics during her last year of nursing studies. During a quiet night caring for pediatric patients, her clinical instructor pointed out to her that many children cannot speak for themselves.
“Pediatrics was the most challenging rotation in my student experience,” she said. “I knew that was where I had to be.”
Part of her job includes teaching medical students from the Wright State Boonshoft School of Medicine. She teaches them the art of speaking to families and acknowledging their efforts in keeping their children healthy.
“I enjoy watching the third-year medical students elicit much needed information from families with this careful, respectful approach to medicine,” she said.
Muterspaw also helped implement Centering for Parents classes at Five Rivers. Women with babies of similar ages meet in regular sessions with their health care provider.
“The sessions present information in a relaxed way and create bonds of friendship, while providing well baby health care to the children,” she said. “We hope that we can decrease the infant mortality rate in the ZIP codes that we serve, which have some of the highest infant mortality rates.”
She is particularly pleased about the increase in the vaccination rate from 32 percent four years ago to 86 percent today. The Five Rivers Health Centers Pediatrics practice has an electronic connection that updates vaccinations from the office to a statewide recording system. This system keeps all children in the practice up to date on their vaccines.