Two former English lit majors turned nurse-midwives will be awarded the Bedside Manner Award from the UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital.
Both faculty members of the University of Colorado College of Nursing, Josi Berry, MS, CNM and Susanne Kistin, CNM, MSN, will be recognized for providing leadership on multidisciplinary care teams with respect for all members of the clinical staff.
Jessica Anderson, DNP ’17, CNM, associate professor of Midwifery Services at CU College of Nursing, said the exciting announcement marks the first time to her knowledge that CU Nursing faculty have received the Bedside Manner Award from UCHealth.
Berry and Kistin will be honored among others at the UCHealth’s Annual Medical Staff Awards Ceremony and Dinner on February 21.
Josi Berry: “I love being with families as they welcome their little ones”
Josi Berry, MS, CNM
A Colorado native who graduated from CU Nursing with her BS in 2013 and her MS in Midwifery in 2019, Berry has been an instructor of clinical practice and a midwife with CU Nursing’s Center for Midwifery since 2020.
“My primary job is taking care of women and families, but we work with midwifery students so we have the instructor component integrated with the care of patients,” she says. “At the end of the day, our goal is to provide great care and get our people through their labor and birth in a safe and empowered way.”
Berry was born at home to a midwife in the early 80s – planting the seed for what would become her career. However, she took what she called “a pretty circuitous route” to midwifery. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature, she enrolled at the University of Texas where she intended to work on her PhD.
“I just sort of felt like I wasn’t directly impacting anyone, and I really wanted my work to make a difference – even in small ways,” she says. “That is something you absolutely get every day as a nurse.”
Since entering the profession, Berry hasn’t looked back.
“I love being with families as they welcome their little ones,” she says. “I love working with a team to help families navigate the exciting – and at times, stressful – process.”
In their nomination letter for the Bedside Manner Award, colleagues said Berry “provides a very calming environment for her patients and makes them feel they are the most important person in her care. She partners well with the nursing and other provider teams to ensure her patients have the best birth experience possible.”
Berry says she was surprised and humbled to be named a recipient of the award.
“Knowing that your teams and colleagues appreciate your work feels really good,” she says.
Susanne Kistin: “Healthcare is a team sport”
Susanne Kistin, CNM, MSN
A Senior Instructor of Clinical Practice and Clinical Lead of University Nurse-Midwives (UNM), Kistin has worked with UNM since 2014. She served as the interim practice lead in 2018 and is currently senior instructor of clinical practice.
Born and raised in Albuquerque, N.M., Kistin attended Colorado College in Colorado Springs, where she majored in English literature while completing her pre-med requirements.
“I grew up in a medical family and was lucky to be exposed to different models of medical care from early on,” she says. “My mother was a nurse in an OB-GYN clinic, and when she introduced me to her nurse-midwife colleagues, I was immediately smitten. They were doing exactly what I wanted to do – provide compassionate, respectful, and empowering care around all facets of sexual and reproductive health. I found an education program that combined the RN and CNM training so that I could become a midwife as quickly as possible.”
Kistin lived in New York City for more than 10 years while completing her midwifery training and took her first midwifery job at Boston Medical Center.
“I loved the East Coast, but always felt the pull back to the Southwest, and I am so happy to have landed back in Denver,” she says.
Having been part of UNM for eight years, Kistin says she feels fortunate to be part of a practice that holds its members to high standards of evidence-based and respectful care. Kistin considers the Bedside Manner Award from UCHealth to be a “huge and unexpected honor.”
“The provision of healthcare is a team sport,” she says. “I have my very specific areas of expertise, but I am only a small part of the system required to care for each patient.”
As the mother of two boys ages 13 and 11, Kistin spends a fair amount of time at soccer, and baseball games and theater practices when she’s not working.
“Like many Coloradans, I enjoy skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer, and like most English majors, I am never without a good book,” she says.