Partners in Care, Partners in Hope

The Family Advisory Council at Nationwide Children's Hospital is proud to award an annual recognition for excellence in family-centered care. This award is presented to an employee, health care provider or department of Nationwide Children's in recognition of their outstanding achievement in care that reflects excellence in the core concepts of family-centered care. Patients and/or family members of patients who have been treated at Nationwide Children’s are invited to submit nominations.

The deadline for nominations is typically each December. Nominate a standout staff member or team now! See award concepts and criteria below.

2018 Award Recipient - Dr. Anya Froelich


Jonathan and Kirsten Harberts, Dr. Anya Froelich and Allison Puchala. Allison created the artwork presented to Dr. Froelich.

Words cannot sometimes adequately express the impact Dr. Anya Froelich, Clinical Psychologist, has had on my two sons and on our family. My oldest son, Benjamin, was diagnosed in 2014 with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders and has been under Dr. Anya’s care since then. She immediately assisted us in attaining early intensive behavioral interventions (EIBI) for Benjamin while receiving professional guidance on navigating Benjamin’s pathway to recovery.  Her personal commitment was incredible in assisting us in coming to terms with the diagnosis and what level of support Benjamin would need. She graciously answered all questions we had pertaining  to  home centered applied behavioral analysis (ABA)  and thoroughly explained why this was going to be the best option citing research, data, and explaining Benjamin’s psychological evaluation.

A few years later we were delighted and excited about our newest arrival, our second son, Elliott. My husband and I had high hopes that our son would be typical developing. By the end of 2016, however we began to have concerns. We shared a series of videos and emails showing my younger son’s behavior. After a series of emails and conversations, Dr. Anya gently guided us into coming to the conclusion that Elliott would benefit form a thorough evaluation at the CDC and instantly ordered Elliott’s diagnostic testing. This was probably one of the most difficult periods in our life. I felt as though we were reliving all the anxiety and emotional turmoil that we had gone through with our first son’s diagnostic process. The worst Deja Vu experience, as we were waiting in agony for a doctor to deliver difficult news.  We had lived the journey of autism with Benjamin, and enjoyed the tour guide, but the realism of the complexity of Benjamin’s behaviors had set in and if he would ever be able to live an independent life. We were trying to envision our new found life and reality with Benjamin and Elliott potentially being diagnosed and how it would change our family. Dr. Anya was there for us every step of the way, whether we needed information pertaining to Elliott’s diagnostic process or just needed someone to emotionally partake in this difficult journey.  

To make a long story short, Elliott was also diagnosed with ASD a few days before his second birthday. I can only imagine how it must feel for a doctor to deliver a difficult diagnosis; however, having to deal with the emotions of a family and treatment recommendations for a second time certainly adds another layer of complexity.   But every once in a life you here a few simple words that give you encouragement to move forward, like a few sunrays that are able to break through thick clouds. As I fearfully stepped into the meeting room, Dr. Anya simply looked me in the eyes and stated with confidence that I could do this a second time. Dr. Anya dealt with my family with such empathy, grace, and encouragement.  She was extremely supportive during this difficult time and we owe her a tremendous amount of gratitude for her personal emotional investment, parent education, and professional guidance that we have personally received during this time.

Dr. Anya deserves the highest recognition for her personal commitment in the treatment of my sons in the early intensive behavioral intervention program and for her outstanding dedication to assist a family with two siblings affected by ASD. She was able to make treatment more accessible to us by arranging back to back weekly team meetings at the CASD and by allowing collaboration across teams to provide support specific to our family. She also instituted sibling play that allows for collaboration of behavioral intervention aides and treatment of our sons together for designated period of times. Under her leadership, Benjamin and Elliott have both made tremendous progress in the cognitive, social-emotional and communication domains. Dr. Anya’s dedication to the field is remarkable as she is knowledgeable of all theories, methods, and innovative strategies to assist our sons with ASD. She has went above and  beyond to advocate for our sons in the community, whether it would be participating at an IEP meeting, conducting an observation  in the community, or accompanying my family to a difficult doctors visit. Benjamin and Elliott lead a more functional, happy, and overall better quality of life as a result of Dr. Anya’s treatment recommendations.

-Kirsten and Jonathan Harberts

Award Nominees Included:

  • Dr. Samiah Al-Zaidy and Dr. Jerry Mendell, Gene Replacement Therapy, SMA Clinic and Neurology
  • Kristina Booth, Nurse Practitioner, Specialty area – Urology/Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction
  • Jennifer Campbell, Physical Therapist
  • Doctors/Nurses/Staff of the CTICU
  • Brooke Klute, NICU Nurse
  • Dr. Marc Levitt, Colorectal Surgeon, Director of the Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction
  • Trevor Miller, Recreational Therapist
  • Dr. Jonathan Pindrik, Neurosurgeon
  • Ashley Reeves, Registered Dietician in Genetics/Metabolics (4 nominations)
  • Dr. Daniel Rowland, Cardiologist
  • Dr. Walter Samora, Orthopedist
  • Dr. Richard Wood, Colorectal Surgeon

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.