Partners in Care, Partners in Hope (PICPIH) Award

The PICPIH Award is presented by the Family Advisory Council annually to an employee or health care provider in recognition of outstanding achievement and excellence in the core concepts of family-centered care. The nominees are chosen based on their demonstration of family-centered care in that they encourage patients and families to participate and collaborate in the decision-making process surrounding care. In essence, the winner each year exemplifies an employee who treats patients and families with dignity and respect. 

Nominations are open to all patients and families, and the selection of the winner is made by the Family Advisory Council Partners in Care, Partners in Hope Award Committee. In 2021, there were 27 nominations. It is truly remarkable that so many families and staff members took the time to express their gratitude and admiration for our health care providers and staff. Moreover, they also shared their very touching experiences through their nominations. Understandably, the review of the nominations continues to be a difficult process, and this makes each year’s recipient even more deserving. The deadline for nominations is typically each December. Nominate a standout staff member or team now! See award concepts and criteria below.

2021 Award Recipient – Dr. Anne E. May

2021 Partners in Care Award

Pictured left to right; Toyetta Barnard-Kirk, co-chair of FAC; Mr. Tim Robinson, CEO of Nationwide Children’s; Dr. Anne May, 2021 PICPIH recipient, and Dr. Karen McCoy, division chief, Pulmonary Medicine. This artwork, titled “Hopeful Help,” was created by Bella Jackson, a talented 14-year-old artist. The artwork depicts a butterfly with its glorious wings! These wings and hands represent all the families whose lives have been touched by Nationwide Children’s.


The 2021 PICPIH recipient is Anne E. May, MD, from the Division of Pulmonary Medicine. She is also a member of the Cystic Fibrosis physician teams, where she is the Sleep Clinic's medical director. In addition, she is an attending physician in both Pulmonary and Sleep Medicines.

Dr. May completed medical school at St. Louis University School of Medicine. After this she pursued her pediatric residency in 2004 and then a pediatric pulmonology fellowship, both at Nationwide Children’s. We have been fortunate to have her on staff here since 2010. Aside from her fellowship in Pulmonary Medicine, she also completed a sleep medicine fellowship at The Ohio State University College of Medicine (OSUCOM).

Dr. May is an assistant professor of Clinical Pediatrics at The Ohio State University School of Medicine. She was awarded Nationwide Children’s Distinguished Pediatric Pulmonary Educator Award in 2016 and the Outstanding Sleep Educator Award from the OSUCOM Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program in 2020. Her research interests include sleep disorders in cystic fibrosis, mental health effects of cystic fibrosis, and its treatment. She has authored several book chapters on pediatric sleep disorders.

"Dr. Anne May saved my daughter’s life. It wasn’t in the way that you typically think when hearing that statement. She wasn’t the RT cutting off my daughter’s onesie to preform chest compressions when she coded, she wasn’t the medic bagging my daughter for over 20 minutes from our living room, and in the ambulance, to the ED. She wasn’t the doctor who first intubated my daughter, or one of the many that re-intubated her. She wasn’t there Eliza’s first night when things were so unable and uncertain that everyone feared there wouldn’t be a second night. She wasn’t even there for the first three weeks when I was told “we are still trying to figure out if we can provide her enough support that she doesn’t die.” Even without being present for any of those pivotal lifesaving moments, Dr. Anne May fully deserves to be recognized for all she’s done for Eliza. Dr. May looked at my daughter and instead of trying to fit her lungs into a predetermined protocol, she recognized that Eliza needed an individualized plan of care. Dr. May not only provided that but ensured others did as well. She saved Eliza’s life by giving her a life. Eliza was able to come home, was able to play, learn to crawl and walk, then run. She’s been able to go to parks and the zoo, and has a life and a full life, because of Dr. May. And in that same regard, Dr. May has saved me as well. She always saw me as Eliza’s mom, always valued my opinions and thoughts. But more than that, she encouraged me to BE a mom. She made sure the little moments like me holding Eliza were possible. She placed value not only on how Eliza was doing medically but how we as a family were doing emotionally. One day in the PICU Dr. May sat down with me and told me she wanted to make sure I could get Eliza out of bed and hold her. I explained my fear and concerns regarding Eliza’s breathing, how any time I sat her up I could see fear in her eyes and then she’d go into distress and struggle to breath. Looking back, I’m sad to say I had accepted that was the way things would be, my daughter was going to stuck in her bed for a while. Dr. May listened. Later that night, as I was heading home, she went back to Eliza’s room. She sat Eliza up in bed and was able to see for herself what I had been trying to explain. She immediately called me, validated my concern and we discussed a plan for a resolution so Eliza would have the support she needed to be able to get out of bed, and get on a mat and play. It wasn’t just talk either, changes were made and within days I was getting Eliza out of bed and snuggling her. That is just one of many moments where Dr. May has helped me to find the balance and ensured I never lost sight of what was important. It wasn’t the numbers on the ventilator, it was all those important inchstone moments. Moments every family gets but you only truly appreciate when they’re threatened or feel impossible. So, Dr. May not only saved my daughter’s life by giving it back to her, but she saved mine as well."

– Michele Schwerdtfeger

Core Concepts and Criteria by Which Nominees Are Judged

  • Dignity and Respect  – Health care practitioners listen to and honor patient and family perspectives and choices. Patient and family knowledge, values, beliefs and cultural backgrounds are incorporated into the planning and delivery of care.
  • Information Sharing – Health care practitioners communicate and share complete and unbiased information with patients and families in ways that are affirming and useful. Patients and families receive timely, complete, and accurate information in order to effectively participate in care and decision-making.
  • Participation – Patients and families are encouraged and supported in participating in care and decision-making at the level they choose.
  • Collaboration – Patients and families are also included on an institution-wide basis. Health care leaders collaborate with patients and families in policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation: in health care facility design; and in professional education, as well as in the delivery of care.

Partners in Care, Partners in Hope Award is given at the Annual Employee Recognition Dinner and Awards Ceremony in January. Nomination forms are available throughout the hospital, may be downloaded in a printable form for mailing, or can be completed online.

Recipients will receive a beautiful piece of artwork designed and created by a local artist.

Selection will be by the Partners in Care, Partners in Hope Award Committee composed of patients, caregivers, family members and select staff members.