St. Mary’s nurse finalist for NICU award

A nurse who works in the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction is among the finalists for national awards recognizing the efforts of health care professionals to care for infants.

Natalie Sorrentino was one of four finalists for the NICU Heroes Awards presented by Mead Johnson Nutrition and Hand to Hold, a national nonprofit NICU parent support organization.

Families from 30 states nominated neonatal nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals who helped make a difference for their newborns.

Sorrentino, a nurse in the NICU at St. Mary’s for  nine years, was nominated by Becky Price of Grand Junction, whose daughter Bella Grace, born in December 2011, arrived early with numerous life-threatening health problems. She was cared for in the NICU at St. Mary’s for about three months.

“Natalie is an amazing person who magnifies what it means to be a nurse,” Price wrote in her nomination. “She was so kind and compassionate while caring for our daughter.  … Natalie is phenomenal at what she does and continually goes above and beyond to care for these little miracles and their families.”

Two health care professionals were selected as winners of the NICU Heroes Awards: Stephanie Horecky Hall, a neonatal nurse practitioner at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and Dr. Stewart Lawrence of Mountain States Neonatology in Boise, Idaho.