Fountain Valley Regional Hospital honors employee who goes above and beyond

Sep 18, 2023

Adrienne Feilden does much behind the scenes as a child life specialist at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center.

But Feilden and her work were cast into the spotlight last week.

The hospital held a surprise ceremony to honor her for being named a 2022 winner in the Tenet Heroes program. Additionally, Feilden was one of 25 Tenet employees nationwide to be named to the Tenet Heroes Hall of Fame, the highest recognition an employee can receive, Fountain Valley Regional Hospital CEO Randy Rogers said.

Texas-based Tenet Healthcare, which operates 60 hospitals and more than 400 surgery centers across the country, is the owner of Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center.

Rogers was among the employees to congratulate Feilden for being a standout at the Sept. 6 ceremony. A representative from Rep. Michelle Steel’s office presented her with a certificate, and Fountain Valley Mayor Kim Constantine also was in attendance.

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Adrienne Feilden, left, is hugged by nursing student Judit Ramirez, who was mentored by Feilden at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital. (Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“I’m just so appreciative for Tenet recognizing the work that I do and how much I love my job,” said Feilden, 47, who lives in Long Beach. “I believe that’s the part that shows, and it is the reason I’ve stayed with the organization for over 16 years. A lot of times, the field of child life isn’t as incorporated within the medical community or administration. But what’s great about working at Fountain Valley is because I’m a one-person program, I can kind of make it [be] what I want it to.

“They have always been so supportive of my role here at the hospital. That is why it’s been so successful and why I get to have the honor of reaching kids not just within pediatrics but throughout the hospital, which is great.”

A child life specialist helps hospitalization and illness hopefully become less traumatic for a child, teaching them coping strategies. Feilden helps prepare kids for procedures using play or teaching dolls.

She also organizes special events for the children in the hospital, including an upcoming “trunk or treat” Halloween celebration in the parking lot. When the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus visits the hospital, it’s Feilden who makes it happen.

Of course, there are other times that are less celebratory, like when she went to the adult intensive care unit to provide grief support for two school-age children who had lost their mother.

“Really, it’s just being an advocate for the voice of a child or teenager within the medical setting, which can be challenging sometimes,” Feilden said. “Sometimes the voice of a younger patient can kind of get lost in the system … so it’s my job to speak up for them sometimes, whether it be pain control or a specific preference that helps them deal with being in the hospital.&rdquo

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Adrienne Feilden was honored with a cake during her surprise party for her for receiving the 2022 Tenet Health Hero Award. (Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Crystal Carlos is anurse manager at Fountain Valley Regional who works with Feilden often.

“Adrienne’s always very vocal about reminding all of us that the child’s perspective is so important,” Carlos said. “She’s exceptionally good at getting the community together, different agencies to support the kids in the community. That’s her true talent, and she maintains all those relationships for the good of our patients.”

Feilden agreed with that assessment.

“I love linking people together,” Fielden said.

She was also pleased to see a couple of other special guests at the celebration, including Dara Ogundiwin, one of the hospital’s consistent volunteers.

Judit Ramirez is a former patient of Feilden’s who also attended. She was admitted to Fountain Valley Regional in 2018 after a tumor was found close to her pancreas.

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Adrienne Feilden is overwhelmed as she is recognized with a surprise party for receiving the 2022 Tenet Health Hero award on Sept. 6. (Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Getting out of those woods was a process that included many procedures, but Ramirez graduated from Cal State Fullerton last year with a bachelor’s degree in public health and said she now wants to be a nurse at Fountain Valley Regional.

Feilden called having her at the celebration a full-circle moment.

“What’s great is now that I’m not her child life specialist, I’m more of a friend to her,” she said. “We’re figuring out when we can catch up with lunch.”

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