The Brite Lite employee recognition program was launched in 2002, and highlights five employees who have gone above and beyond their everyday duties to make the patients and families with whom they come into contact feel safe, important, and well cared for.
Brite Lites are selected as those who best exemplify “the four Cs” at Hasbro Children’s Hospital: caring, communication, cooperation and competence.
Congratulations to Our 2020 Brite Lites
Patients and their families salute Hasbro Children's Hospital's 2020 Brite Lites.
"For perspective, when we visited the only clinic in the world for our disease, the expert doctor there said that Henry is doing better than any other child with his mutation."
"Bob Bissitt will remain the Stewart Family's face of Hasbro Children's Hospital. We will look back at our time spent in a children's hospital, 2000 miles from home, in the middle of a pandemic with warmth and fondness."
Lee Polikoff, MD, Pediatric Intensivist, Division of Pediatric Critical Care
Compassion: We had a very challenging hospital stay before going into the PICU, and once we got into the PICU made an immediate connection with Dr. Polikoff. He listened to our story, and not just listened but understood the challenges we had and reassured us he would do everything he could to turn things around for us.
We seemed to form an instant partnership with Dr. Polikoff. It usually takes time and trust on both sides to form a "Team Approach," but this time even though Dr. Polikoff didn't know us, it felt like he instantly joined forces with us and we became a team. There seemed to be an instant connection, where we combined our knowledge and understanding of our son with his knowledge and expertise. I could feel his concern and compassion, and it brought such a reassurance that we were not alone in the situation and it brought such comfort to know he was watching over our son as well.
Accountability: Dr. Polikoff worked very hard in communicating and making sure everyone was on the same page. As I mentioned we had a very challenging stay before going into the PICU, and Dr. Polikoff made sure we had the continuity of care. He was constantly communicating with us as parents, the nurses, the PICU docs, Neurosurg and Pedi surg.
Respect: Dr. Polikoff went above and beyond in making sure Josh got the care he needed and that our concerns as parents were heard and understood. He advocated for what we felt Josh needed, even though it meant he had to step out on a limb. I truly felt like he advocated for our son just as much as he would have if it was his own child in the situation.
Excellence: There are so many ways Dr. Polikoff showed excellence, but one stands out in particular to me. It was during morning rounds, and Josh's situation had gotten worse overnight. We had all the doctors in the room, but it felt like it was just me and Dr. Polikoff. He made direct eye contact with me and did not look at anyone else around him. It was not the typical "rounds" conversation, he took time to encourage me, and let me know I was not alone. The conversation was almost surreal. He spoke with such compassion and authority it was like his words pierced my heart. At one point in the conversation, one of the other doctors said something jokingly and Dr. Polikoff, without breaking eye contact with me said " I'm serious, this is important you need to understand I Got You, I have Your back."
Even as I type this out a few months later, my eyes are filling up with tears. I don't know if words can express just how much that conversation impacted me. My son has had over 20 different surgeries and countless hospital stays and I can say I have never felt that kind of compassion, and understanding from any other doctor, nurse, or provider. It truly impacted me and is something I will never forget. It may have seemed like just another conversation, but it was so much more.
Abbey Lamb, PT, DPT, Physical Therapist, Children’s Rehabilitation Services
Compassion: Abbey began working with Gray after his tracheostomy and quickly became his favorite person. She gave an unparalleled level of care to help him quickly catch up on milestones.
Accountability: Abbey faithfully worked with Gray everyday but also coached my husband and I to continue working with him on our own. She really helped us develop our own confidence.
Respect: While working around his trach/vent tubing, she never pushed up to do anything we weren’t comfortable with.
Excellence: Abbey was truly a joy to work with and learn from. Grayson has excelled so much through her commitment to his global development. She was ever mindful of his medical needs while continuing to push him to do things he had never done before. I cannot overemphasize the impact Abbey had on Grayson during his hospitalization. She made such a huge difference helping him recover mobility after his intubation and surgeries.
Luca Bartolini, MD, Director, Pediatric Epilepsy Program and Pediatric Neurologist/Epileptologist, Division of Pediatric Neurology
Compassion: Dr. Bartolini has been following us since Henry (now 9 months) was a newborn, at 5 weeks old and throughout the entire time we have been in his care, he has shown us competence and compassion for the unique situation we are dealing with having a rare, untreatable, totally random neurological disease. Dr. Bartolini first suspected we might have a genetic form of epilepsy when Henry's seizures did not abate after starting anti-epileptic drugs, and he moved quickly to have a genetic test done. We received results 10 days later, when Henry was 9 weeks old. Since Dr. Bartolini had been working with us so closely and seen what we were going through week after week with our little baby having unexplained serious seizures with breathing issues, he called himself to deliver the news that the results were positive. That single phone call changed the trajectory of our entire lives and it meant everything to us that the doctor whom we had grown to trust, who had helped us navigate these uncertain and terrifying waters so far was the one who delivered the news. While delivering difficult news is part of a doctor's duty, knowing how to deliver it with compassion, empathy, and leaving room for hope, takes a special skill. We have since met with many doctors regarding our diagnosis and not all have had remotely Dr. Bartolini's level of compassion for the difficult diagnosis our family has to manage. We will never forget Dr. Bartolini telling us on that call that if he were in our shoes, he would want to know as soon as possible which was absolutely correct, or that we have to "wait and see what Henry tells us" with regard to how this diagnosis presents itself, and that we understand so little about this disease, there is no telling what spectrum of phenotypes are possible or where we might land on that spectrum. We have clung to that hope in challenging moments and comforted ourselves with his kind words. It would be our hope that anyone in our shoes would hear such heartbreaking, lifechanging news from a doctor in the manner Dr. Bartolini delivered it to us.
Accountability: Dr. Bartolini has always shown accountability for Henry's care. He has followed through with every need Henry has had every step of the way from following very closely Henry's levels of drugs, leading the many med changes we have had, ordering continued tests to ensure we understand our symptoms as they evolve, and communicating frequently with us and Henry's team of doctors. In a case as complicated and rare as ours, we need a doctor who is as "there for us" as Dr. Bartolini, who follows through with what he says he will do, who stays on top of our symptoms and meds, and communicates with everyone in a timely fashion. We have never felt "lost in the shuffle" despite surely being one of his patients that requires more of his time and energy. For this we are grateful.
Respect: Dr. Bartolini has always shown respect for Henry and us as his parents in never treating him like he deserved pity or us like this diagnosis was the end of the world. Others have. He has made us feel empowered by the knowledge we have, rather than depressed by the diagnosis we've been given. He has respected Henry's dignity as a human being, entitled to the highest quality of life possible, and has carefully done his job to ensure Henry is receiving the best care so he can have a good life. He has also shown respect for Henry's condition, admitting early on that he was not an expert in the field of our specific diagnosis, but helping us navigate our epilepsy piece and working with our experts for our diagnosis to manage the rest. This has been crucial in Henry's progress so far, having a doctor who respects our son and diagnosis enough to communicate when he does not know answers and to work with others to find them. There has been no ego involved, Henry has remained the central priority at all times. This is not always the case with other doctors. We have appreciated Dr. Bartolini's respect of his profession and other professionals, of his "respect" of Henry's little beautiful brain and body, and of us as his parents in helping walk us through a path we never saw ourselves going down. He has always viewed Henry as a person, not a person with a limiting medical condition, despite the fact that he has one, and that has made all the difference. He has given us hope that we can find some semblance of a normal life despite this diagnosis if we just keep taking cues from our boy.
Excellence: Dr. Bartolini has always shown excellence in his care for Henry in holding himself to the highest standard. He has never spoken poorly about any other physician, though we have encountered a few who have not shown us the level of compassion he has, and instead has been reassuring in his care of us and in our decision-making in caring for Henry in difficult moments when we did not have his guidance. Dr. Bartolini has shown excellence in his ability to collaborate with other doctors to manage Henry's care, and in his ability to communicate with us, sometimes near daily regarding a change in symptoms or meds. He has never made us feel like we were navigating this alone, or that we couldn't get hold of him. Perhaps the #1 way Dr. Bartolini has shown excellence is in his brilliance knowing very early on that we were not dealing with a common form of epilepsy. We met him when Henry was 5 weeks old and when he continued to have 1-2 seizures a week until he was 7.5 weeks old, Dr. Bartolini was quick to suspect a genetic cause and order the test. Because of this, Henry is the youngest baby ever to be diagnosis with his rare condition at 9 weeks. Because of that, we were able to get connected with the 2 expert doctors in our condition who were able to get us on the right meds that are not typically used to treat epilepsy, and to get the proper early intervention services for Henry. This has made all the difference. For perspective, when we visited the only clinic in the world for our disease last week, the expert doctor there said that Henry is doing better than any other child with his mutation and is essentially defying science in the sense that we would imagine the effects of his disease to be much more severe based on what we know about how debilitating his mutation can be. Usually, children are incorrectly diagnosis with just intractable epilepsy and the process of getting a correct diagnosis can take years. That is lost time for a child's brain in being subjected to episodes that could be partially prevented by other, non anti-epileptic drugs. Dr. Bartolini saved us time and gave us the most time early on to treat what we can for our baby. We believe this has forever changed Henry's life for the better and we will never be able to thank Dr. Bartolini, or his experience and doctor instincts enough for getting that test early on for us. It, and he, has made all the difference.
Additional Comments: Whatever praise can be given to a doctor at your hospital, should be given to Dr. Bartolini. We've been to 6 hospitals, worked with countless physicians and all echo our sentiments above about his knowledge, expertise, and compassionate care of Henry. While this is his job, it is our life, and he could easily do his job without doing it as well as he does. It is not an exaggeration to say, because of Dr. Bartolini, our child's life was put on a better path. Our wish for any other parent or child in our family's shoes would be that they have their own Dr. Bartolini to guide them every step of the way. We are so grateful in a small state to have a world class doctor like him. We remain forever grateful.
Robert Bissitt, Registered Nurse, Hasbro 5
Compassion: Bob saw our daughter and validated her struggle and strength. He recognized the challenges of caring for a 17-year-old female and did absolutely everything to help maintain her dignity and need for privacy. He was kind towards her and advocated for her in both her physical and spiritual needs (he communicated well with her medical teams and with the child life care team and chaplain services).
Accountability: Bob communicated extremely well with the team who took over her care at shift change. She never felt like she was working with a different group of strangers, as he had handed her over with kindness, accuracy, and personal care to the next team. It felt like she was only cared for by one cohesive group, not different nurses each with a limited understanding of her.
Respect: Being a male nurse, caring for a teenage female, he made sure that all her personal care needs were met by the appropriate staff (e.g., a foley removed by his teammate, Deb). He validated her efforts to push beyond pain and asked her thoughts on medications (not just the thoughts of her mom, who happens to be a doctor, or her father).
Excellence: Excellence comes in so many ways. Bob works as a person who loves his job, not just doing a job that pays the bills. Naomi felt that she was the most important person in the room when he took care of her, which is about as excellent as it gets in customer service. He communicated with each member of her physician team effectively, efficiently, and persistently if needed.
Additional Comments: Bob Bissitt will remain the Stewart Family's face of Hasbro Children's Hospital. We will look back at our time spent in a children's hospital, 2000 miles from home, in the middle of a pandemic with warmth and fondness. A time that had all the reason to be terrifying and painful will be remembered as comforting, comical, kind and safe directly because of the care he provided our daughter. I can speak as a physician and say that he is an asset to any medical community. Competent nurses are always an asset, but competence paired with kindness and advocacy make healthcare spectacular. Any doctor should be so blessed to work with a nurse like Bob. As a mom, he was a gift and answer to prayer for my daughter (who has had the need for quite a few medical encounters, not all of which have been even close to good). Having Bob as a nurse was an enthusiastic, fun, and kind reminder that excellent healthcare providers can make the difficulties of life with medical complications so much easier. He is definitely a BRITE LITE!
Wael Asaad, MD – Neurosurgeon, Department of Neurosurgery
Compassion: Dr. Asaad is one of the most gifted surgeons I’ve ever met. He operated on my daughter’s brain multiple times and was always there for us following surgery. He also visited Grace daily supporting her when times were difficult. He treated our daughter as if she was his own. He has such a kind patience that keeps your mind at ease, talking to my daughter with care and involving her with the surgical decisions made.
Respect: Dr. Asaad has such an amazing presence. He cared for and supported Grace with options and not ultimatums on surgical procedures.
Excellence: Dr. Asaad is an excellent neurosurgeon. He kept us informed and always encouraged our questions and feedback. He is truly a gifted doctor who not only cares about the patient’s brain but their whole wellbeing. While Grace was in the PICU for three weeks he would visit and make sure she was coping OK. He would encourage her by telling her how strong she was and that she was tougher than most adults. Dr. Asaad has changed my daughter’s life, giving her options that she hadn’t had before.