A lot of hard work went into the Betty H. Cameron Women's and Children's Hospital, but we are not talking about the construction of the building. Barbara Buechler was the driving force behind many of the high-tech services now available to women and children. That is the reason she is a 2009 UNCW Razor Walker Award Winner. More than ten years ago, Barbara Buechler made a life-changing decision that brought her to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. “The very first interview that I had, we talked about what was going to be happening at New Hanover Regional Medical Center for women and children,” she said. “When I moved here from south Florida I wanted to move to a community where I really felt like I could make a difference.” Just "making a difference" might be putting it lightly. Buechler's hard work and determination resulted in a major impact on healthcare for women and children in and around the area. “We talked about growth for pediatrics, care for children and care for women, the vision the medical center had and the vision I could bring to that in order to make something really special happen,” Buechler said. Something special did happen, the Betty H. Cameron Women's and Children's Hospital. What makes this hospital unique is the family-centered environment that supports families through some of the most anxious times of their lives; when their child is sick or when having a baby. In fact, Buechler pushed for the hospital to have an all private room neonatal intensive care unit; the only one of its kind in the entire state. Buechler said, “Controlling the noise, controlling the environment, what we find is that babies have less trouble breathing, they eat better, they gain weight faster go home sooner, and their long term developmental outcome is really much improved.” Another example of what Buechler helped bring to the community - a pediatric intensive care unit. It is a life-line for parents who used to drive hours for their critically-ill child to get care; types of care that started as a vision, and ended as reality. “It is difficult to describe how I feel, really a mix of emotions. Extreme pride is probably the most important thing and not in, ‘this is my accomplishment’, but pride in this facility, organization for what we've brought to the community,” said Buechler. We will introduce you to all the Razor Walker Award Winners over the next few days. All of this year's Razor Walker Award recipients will be honored at a banquet next week at UNCW.
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