Getting to know mother-daughter duo Sheri and Stephanie

Mothers certainly know how to nurture. They have a calming sway … a healing touch … a soothing voice that they’ve refined over countless boo boos and late night emergencies. There’s just something about a mother’s touch. This, combined with countless other skills and experiences make these individuals exceptional caregivers. And when passionate caregivers connect with members of the community, amazing things can happen.

This plays out within the Parkview Health system in team members like Sheri Waite and Stephanie Bourounis, a mother and daughter who partner to teach new parents and grandparents about safe care for newborns. Both respected and skilled in their own rights, the women come together beautifully to support others entering a sweet new phase of life. In celebration of Mother’s Day, enjoy this Q&A with these warm, encouraging People of Parkview.

Names and Titles:

Sheri Waite, International Certified Child Birth Educator (ICCE) and PCT

Stephanie Bourounis, RN

Describe your education and career journey: 

Sheri:  I started at Parkview in 1988 as a house orderly. I helped open the New Life Center in 1989 as a UA. I became certified as a child birth educator within a few years, and have been teaching childbirth education and grandparenting classes for 25 years for Parkview Health. For the last 5 years I have been at the Parkview Ortho Hospital as a PCT. 

Stephanie:  I was a PCT throughout nursing school. In 2009, I worked in the coronary/medical ICU at Parkview Hospital Randallia. In May 2010 I started as an RN in Labor and Delivery at Parkview Regional Medical Center and eventually began teaching childbirth classes.

What is a typical day like for you? 

Sheri: I spend my day with orthopedic patients and expectant mothers or grandparents-to-be. I love working with the patients and their families, and with a wonderful group of co-workers at the Ortho Hospital and in the Family Birthing Center.

Stephanie: Always busy! I get the kids up and ready for school, drive them to school, help out with our family businesses – Cosmos House of Pancakes and Graber Roofing  – pick up the kids from school, make dinner, help with homework, play outside and then off to bed.

What’s it like working at the same hospital?  

Sheri: Everyone says that we sound alike and that we "look like sisters".  I love teaching Grandparents Class with her; we complement each other perfectly.

Stephanie: I love it! Someone always recognizes me through her. People love that we work together. I think it’s something fun and unique for our patients to see a mother/daughter team working together in the family birthing area.

What was Stephanie like as a child? 

Sheri: She was fun, entertaining and never a dull moment!

What was Sheri like as a mother growing up?

Stephanie: She was amazing! Super dependable; She studied with us all the time, made us dinner every night, had us eat as a family, took us to church every week, worked to send us to private schools. She’s an awesome grandma, too!

What is one of your fondest memories of Stephanie as a child? 

Sheri: She had a prayer corner that she created in the corner of her playroom. She would also share her play time with her sister, even if she didn't want to participate in that particular activity.

What does it mean to you to work with new mothers? 

Sheri: I love working with new moms and sharing all of my experiences as a mother, good and bad. 

Stephanie:  It really means a lot to me. It’s super rewarding. I find it to be one of the most positive and happy areas to work on the hospital.

How do you like to spend time together outside of work? 

Sheri: We enjoy family dinners and going to Parkview Park and the zoo with my grandkids.  We also enjoy shopping and baking together.

Stephanie: Playing with my children and going out to eat at new restaurants.

What was your proudest moment as a mother? 

Sheri: It is watching my daughters’ careers grow as a teacher and a Registered Nurse, following in my footsteps in teaching others and caring for others in the medical field.

Stephanie: Being able to nurse my son for his entire first year of life even after a disease I had as a child left me wondering if I could have children, let alone be able to nurse them.

If you could tell people to read one book in their lifetime, which would it be? 

Sheri: The Bible, it has been a lifeline for me through difficult times, especially during Stephanie's cancer journey.

Stephanie: The Bible

What is your favorite children’s book?

Sheri:  “Good Night Moon”. I read this book to my daughters all of the time when they were children.

Stephanie:  “Love You Forever”

What would we find on your bucket list and what do you plan to check off next?

Sheri: I would love to go to Napa Valley's wine country, as soon as possible!

Stephanie:  I would love to take a winter vacation and go skiing! 

How will you spend your Mother’s Day?

Sheri: We will have dinner at my house, or my daughter's lake cottage, with my family.

Stephanie:  I plan to be up at our lake cottage planting flowers and playing with my children. Then I will meet up with my mom, dad and sister for a nice BBQ at my house.

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