Radiating Hope: Radiology Department Blog


Emily VanSwearingen Nominated for the Ruth Lyons Award of Excellence in Child Life & Integrative Care 

Post Date: June 11, 2024
Emily VanSwearingen Nominated for the Ruth Lyons Award of Excellence in Child Life & Integrative Care 

The Ruth Lyons Award of Excellence in Child Life & Integrative Care is reserved for an individual whose practice demonstrates emotional care for patients, families, and colleagues that is of the highest caliber. The Ruth Lyons Award is given to a division member who is known for his or her compassion, effective collaboration, family-centered care, and ethical behavior. 

Emily Vanswearingen made such an impression on her supervisor that Rachel Smith nominated her for the Ruth Lyons Award. Even though Emily didn’t win the award, at least she was recognized by her co-workers due to her dedication and hard work. 

Here is what she wrote: 

Hello, my name is Rachel Smith and I have the pleasure of introducing my employee, Emily VanSwearingen, as one of this years’ Ruth Lyons nominees. I would be remiss to not also include another employee who is still in his introductory period but is absolutely included in this nomination: Josiah, her facility dog.   

Among her many contributions to improve the experience in Radiology, Emily brought us a significant positive change this past November. 

About four years ago, Emily came to me and asked for my support in working towards a facility dog in Radiology. In an email she sent to our department leadership, she wrote, “I think a facility dog would be such a great asset to my practice as a Child Life Specialist … there are extensive opportunities for the dog to be integrated into the various areas within Radiology.” 

I knew very little about the Facility Dog Program and think I even asked her initially, “Where does the dog go after work?” Emily never lost sight of this opportunity, and while the path wasn’t always straight, Emily was matched with Josiah in November and things haven’t been the same since. It is not lost on me how much dedication and commitment this has required.   

Josiah and Emily are truly a dynamic duo in our Radiology department.  I have told her that she will no doubt be giving a talk one day about how a dog improved our human interactions.  The positive feedback Emily has received has been overwhelming.  I have so many quotes to share but will share one from a parent: 

Congratulations, Emily (and Josiah)! 

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About the author: Rachel Smith

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About the editor: Glenn Miñano

Glenn Miñano is a media specialist in the Department of Radiology, providing graphic design, photography, printing, video services, and administration of the department’s online properties. His works have been published in several medical articles, such as the American Journal of Radiology and the American Institute of Ultrasound. He has been providing these services to the Radiology Department since 1996.

About the editor: Meredith Towbin

Meredith Towbin is a freelance copy editor and writer. She has copyedited the Department of Radiology’s blog since it launched. She also works as a copy editor for the home improvement website BobVila.com. Her writing has been featured on HuffPost as well as other writing sites.