By Karima Roumila, MPH, Director of Support and Education
The Hydrocephalus Association (HA) with the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN) created an annual award in 2010 to honor Mary Smellie-Decker, RN, MSN, PNP. Mary exemplified excellence in mentorship through her work as a staff nurse, nurse practitioner and member of the Hydrocephalus Association Medical Advisory Board. As one of the first neuroscience PNPs in the country, her passion and commitment for mentoring was demonstrated as she guided both novices and experienced nurses. The scholarship not only honors Mary, but aims to inspire neuroscience nurses to continue her legacy of excellence in patient care and professional mentorship.
This year’s recipient of the Mary Decker Mentorship Award is Cathy Cartwright, RN, MSN, PCNS, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri.
Cathy exemplifies the qualities that Mary stood for: excellence in Neurosurgery, specifically hydrocephalus; dedication to patients; teaching and educating about hydrocephalus; inspiring others; leadership; and tremendous passion and nurturing for children with hydrocephalus. We are so honored to have Cathy Cartwright as this year’s recipient. Please read more about Cathy in this short bio:
Cathy Cartwright is a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist in neurosurgery at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Previously, she has been the nurse manager of several pediatric inpatient units, an instructor in pediatric nursing and a staff nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit. She received her BSN from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her Masters in Nursing from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Cathy received the 2011 March of Dimes Future of Nursing Award and most recently the Christina Stewart-Amidei Excellence in Writing Award from the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing and the Mary Decker Mentorship Award. She has written several articles on pediatric neuroscience and is the co-editor of the second edition of the book “Nursing Care of the Pediatric Neurosurgery Patient.” She has spoken nationally and internationally on various pediatric neuroscience topics and served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses as Director, Secretary-Treasurer and President.
When not busy with nursing, Cathy likes to travel with her husband, root for Mizzou football, cook, eat and run.