Stacie Hartlage, R.N., guides pediatric heart patients and their families to quality care at a stressful time

If you have a patient with a congenital heart disease, you want to make sure he or she gets quality care. But it’s also comforting to know your patient will be well supported and guided through the often complex world of specialist medical care.

Stacie Hartlage, R.N., is nurse navigator with Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville. She helps families learn about the heart condition, understand the finances of treatment, coordinate appointments with specialists and more.

A unique service to help families

“I am an advocate for these families,” Stacie said. “I want to make the process as stress-free as possible.”

Families have a direct line to Stacie through her office and cellphone. There is an after-hours access line because there are times when the need for help goes beyond the work day.

Nurse navigator is especially helpful to families away from home

“All patients who need to be seen for any cardiac care can benefit from this service,” Stacie said.

The nurse navigator also helps families transferred to Norton Children’s from any of 16 outreach centers or 28 tele-echocardiogram sites.

“These are families basically out of their local area and may not have the resources once they come to Louisville. We want to make sure they are taken care of, comfortable, and educated about the care they are receiving,” Stacie said.

Experience helping children

Stacie worked for almost 20 years as a critical care nurse in the “Just for Kids” Critical Care Center at Norton Children’s Hospital before joining Norton Children’s Heart Institute as a nurse navigator.

Make a referral

Download and print the form to refer a patient to the Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville. Fax the completed form to University of Louisville Physicians at (502) 588-7728 .

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As an intensive care unit nurse, Stacie witnessed families’ stresses and anxieties caring for a child with a complicated heart condition.

“A lot of these parents spend hours sitting at the bedside, watching the monitors. It’s very hard for them to go through,” Stacie said. “For most parents, this is something they have never been through before.”

Through her experience, she is able to help families understand the process and ease some of the anxiety.

Care at Norton Children’s Heart Institute includes diagnosing fetal heart conditions so the team is ready to take action when the baby is born. Our board-certified specialists are experienced in caring for newborns and older children with congenital or acquired heart conditions.

Because more and more children born with heart conditions are growing into adulthood, we’ve added specialists to provide specialized adult congenital heart care.

-David S. Martin

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