Every year, Valley Children’s Healthcare produces an annual report that highlights dedicated nurses and their contributions. In this year’s annual report, two of our very own alumnae from within the School of Nursing were recognized.

“It is a great time to reflect upon the difference we make in delivering quality patient care at Valley Children’s, both as individuals and as part of an interprofessional team,” said Beverly Hayden-Pugh, Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations and Chief Nursing Officer at Valley Children’s.



Andrèe Soares has been a part of Valley Children’s Healthcare for 28 years as a registered nurse. The School of Nursing alumna, who received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1989 from Fresno State, is being honored and recognized for her excellence in leadership. She has taken on many challenges and completed many notable tasks to receive this distinction, including improving the standardization of delivery room practices and serving as one of the early S.T.A.B.L.E instructors to educate health care workers on the principles of infant stabilization prior to transport.

In 2011, she led Valley Children’s California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative  and the Delivery Room Management Quality Improvement Collaborative. The foundation to improving delivery room standardizations was due to Soares’ strong leadership within those very significant collaboratives.

In the 2016 Valley Children’s Nursing Excellence Annual Report, Valley Children’s says of Soares, “According to one of her staff members, Andrèe leads with a calm and steady grace and is so knowledgeable about human nature, which enables her staff to work and learn in a very comfortable environment.”

Soares’ leadership extends far beyond her medical profession. She is currently involved with quite a few youth organizations, including 4-H, the Los Banos Future Farmers of America Agriculture Boosters and the Los Banos High School Athletic Boosters.

She has also been an elected member of the Los Banos Unified School District Board of Trustees since 1988, serving twice as the Board president.

Soares’ excellence in leadership, through nursing and beyond, has no doubt set standards and positively impacted the lives around her.



Christan Rousey, a 2009 alumna of the School of Nursing, was also recognized for her nursing leadership at Valley Children’s, but particularly in the area of innovative contributions. As a front line registered nurse, she is known for her retroactive research study of sepsis in the pediatric oncology population.

One to always rise to the challenge , Rousey  developed a “DKA Pathway Help Sheet” explicating the most effective way to intervene and treat patients who have diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). According to Valley Children’s , diabetic ketoacidosis is a medically complex issue for pediatric patients that requires many interventions and Rousey’s work on it has been adopted as a routine tool for nurses who work with DKA patients. Rousey’s simplification of the complex process has been integral to teaching and assisting her colleagues in the complex area.

An outstanding attribute that Rousey possesses is her diligence and belief that true learning never ends. As an educator, Rousey is constantly researching new initiatives and practices and truly understands that knowledge is power.

“Rousey is deeply committed to ensuring that Valley Children’s processes and policies reflect evidence-based best practices,” said Valley Children’s. “She is disciplined, methodical and creative in her ceaseless efforts to elevate patient care and enhance patience safety. Her diligence in continually educating herself and her peers helps ensure that patients are receiving the best possible evidence based care.”

For instance, in reading about Acute Chest Syndrome, Rousey discovered that because the condition is rare, many of the early warning signs are not noticed. Because of her fascination with her newfound knowledge, she developed an educational handout about the syndrome, which was distributed throughout the medical unit.

Rousey’s quest for innovation has indeed left its mark.


It is individuals like Soares and Rousey that carry the torch of leadership, innovation and passion as alumni of Fresno State. Their dedication and zeal transcends a mere job description and is the very reason life changing progressions are discovered.

[All images and copy courtesy of Valley Children’s Healthcare. View the Nursing Excellence Annual Report in full at the link.]

– Story written by Sierra Frank, CHHS Communications Student Assistant