Some days Bill Moore wondered if he was actually helping the children in his care. Then patients’ families gave him a Patient and Family Choice Award.
He started with a career in marketing, moved to the music business, and has found his calling at Monroe CarellJune 16, 2023
William “Bill” Moore. Photo by Susan Urmy.
When William “Bill” Moore started working at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in November 2022 as a care partner, he arrived as “a blank canvas, with a good heart and good attitude.”
A second career for Moore, who has a marketing background and has spent more than a decade on the road in the music industry, he wants to be at his best to help care for children. Sometimes, however, he has doubted himself after some hard days.
He has worked as a sitter for children and adolescents admitted to Monroe Carell for mental and behavioral health during many of his shifts.
He’s wondered if he was doing a good job or if he was actually helping the children. His Monroe Carell mentors and many supporters assured him he was. Recently, he received a surprise validation — this time from patients’ families.
“Bill makes it a top priority to connect personally with every patient and puts himself in their shoes. He is always looking for an opportunity to improve a child’s experience in our hospital.”
Moore was one of five employees chosen this year to receive a Patient and Family Choice Award, sponsored and selected by each of Vanderbilt’s four patient and family advisory councils. Nominations were submitted by patients and families.
The 2023 Patient and Family Choice Award honors employees from across Vanderbilt University Medical Center who act with compassion and excellence to provide an exceptional experience for patients and their families. This year the patient and family advisory councils bestowed awards to five individuals from Vanderbilt University Hospital, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital, Vanderbilt Adult Ambulatory Clinics, and Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital.
One of his family nominators wrote: “I have never seen anyone respond so well to my child’s behavior. Where so many hesitated and stepped back, he stepped forward. He did ALL of this with smiles and respect…He was really great at listening to what I had to say and asking the right questions in the right moment that helped him help my child. This man is a genuine treasure, and I wish I could’ve put him in my pocket and brought him home with me.”
Ryan Hamman, Moore’s supervisor, isn’t surprised by the nomination or the win.
“Bill embodies our mission of personalizing the patient experience through our caring spirit and distinctive capabilities. He makes it a top priority to connect personally with every patient and puts himself in their shoes. He is always looking for an opportunity to improve a child’s experience in our hospital,” said Hamman, MBA, RN, NE-BC, manger Patient Care Services – Float Pool at Monroe Carell.
“I think about how I would want to be treated in this situation — even if it’s just for today. Sometimes it takes sitting down with a kid, one on one, and just letting them talk and listening.”
Moore knew he had been nominated — there were over 2,000 across the advisory councils — but when some time had passed, he assumed he didn’t win. Then, a line of people, including Hamman, approached him with balloons, a gift bag and a plaque while he was working in the pediatric intensive care unit.
“I am so honored to receive this award,” Moore said. “I am so privileged to work here. I am thankful to everybody who has supported and encouraged me throughout my journey to become a nurse. That includes teachers, nurses, family, supervisors, and friends, but most of all, the patients.”
Originally from Detroit, Moore came to Nashville to work in the music industry. He spent about 12 years there until he left to be a stay-at-home dad to his now 7-year-old son, James. He has passion for helping children and wants to be a part of the solutions to help this and future generations, particularly in mental health.
An overnight stay at Monroe Carell when his son was 3 years old inspired him to pursue nursing. The attentiveness, kindness and caring attitude of the nurses was amazing.
Moore said when he is caring for a child, his approach is simple. “I think about how I would want to be treated in this situation — even if it’s just for today. Sometimes it takes sitting down with a kid, one on one, and just letting them talk and listening.”
His approach works. Another parent nominator wrote: “He quickly picked up how to interact with my child based upon her needs. He was able to recognize when she was uncomfortable and responded quickly and efficiently to behavior that stops most people in their tracks. He also was able to help me be as comfortable as possible in a difficult situation. I know he will do great things with many children like mine in the future!”
The nominators statements are humbling for Moore. “I don’t know when I am kind to somebody matters, so I just need to be kind all the time,” he said.
Just before the pandemic, Moore decided he wanted to go to nursing school. That dream was put on hold to stay with his son for virtual learning. Being a care partner was his next step. The validation from the nominating families and his supportive team has inspired him to return to nursing school to fulfill that dream, and he is in the process of applying.
“I am so thankful for so many people in the float pool and patient safety who guided, supported and trained me. I go into every day trying to model the kindness and positive behavior of those people who have helped me along the way,” he said.