Pursuing the ultimate in person-centered care

“I want to be part of the change in the U.S. health care system, to be that pebble that ripples to change things on a global scale,” says Delao, a family nurse practitioner student at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. “To make global changes, you can start in your own backyard and watch it grow from there.”

Sara Delao
Sara Delao, family nurse practitioner student

Having worked five years as a registered nurse, Delao chose to embark upon an advanced degree in order to grow her scope and learn new tools, new strategies and achieve a different level of licensure.

“My ultimate goal is to pursue palliative and hospice nursing, which, I believe, is the purest form of nursing,” Delao says. "This care is 100 percent patient and family centered. It does not matter what anyone else wants, what matters is what the patient wants. The patient is the person stating the goals of care. The health care team is there provide support in reaching those goals."

Upon learning she was awarded the Amy T. Dean Courage Award, Delao knew her dream would become a reality. The endowed scholarship, established by Bernie Davitto, honors his late wife and supports School of Nursing students who are committed to research or clinical practice regarding end-of-life issues. Delao wants to be part of a change in health care that starts and sustains a national conversation about end-of-life care and management of chronic disease.

“I have cared for people from all walks of life with all types of ailments, but, when I am working with patients with palliative and hospice needs, I feel the greatest sense of joy, fulfillment and pride,” Delao says. “The fact that Dr. Davitto chose me to carry Amy’s torch and her spirit humbles me. Having his support gives me the extra strength to complete this journey.”