St. Paul nurse receives Guardian Angel Award named for UT Southwestern vice president

November 14, 2003

DALLAS - Nov. 14, 2003 - Two decades of caring for the sickest of newborns and their anguished families has taught Aziza Young quite a bit about joy and sorrow.

"This line of work can be emotionally wrenching, but the fulfillment I get from being a part of the journey these babies take is a wonderful privilege and a great source of happiness for me," said Mrs. Young, nurse manager of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at St. Paul University Hospital.

Mrs. Young received the 2003 Cyndi Bassel Guardian Angel Award last night during ceremonies at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel as part of the Southwestern Medical Foundation's annual Charles Cameron Sprague Community Service Awards dinner.

The award was created by Margot and Ross Perot to recognize nonphysician health workers who consistently go above and beyond the requirements of their jobs to serve patients in exceptional ways. The Perots established the award in 1997 and named it for Cyndi Bassel, vice president for external relations at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, whom they felt exemplified its purpose.

Soon after earning her nursing degree from UT Arlington in 1981, Mrs. Young became the first new graduate ever to work in St. Paul's NICU. Although positions in the unit are normally reserved for nurses with many years of experience, those who interviewed her recognized a maturity beyond her age and unique aptitude for the job. Five years later she was promoted to her current position.

"These small, sick babies get a part of me like no one else," said Mrs. Young. "The first time I ever stepped foot in the NICU, I realized that I had found where I wanted to be. It's a great feeling to go through the day feeling needed and knowing you really can make a difference."

Mrs. Young also has been a trailblazer in modeling and teaching ethics to hospital staff. Her commitment to ensuring that patients and their families are treated with compassion and integrity has spurred the adoption of new guidelines for helping them deal with grief and loss.

"I believe Aziza Young has done more to promote ethics in care-giving than any other person I know," said Bitsy Henderson, president of the St. Paul Foundation. "Her extraordinary impact in ethics, leadership, and family and staff education has extended far beyond the neonatal intensive care nursery. She is a true St. Paul leader - quietly confident, professionally competent, committed to a team approach, quick to compliment and recognize others, and self-effacing about her own gifts and multiple talents."

Mrs. Young lives in the Dallas area with her husband of 20 years, Chuck, and their two daughters.
To automatically receive news releases from UT Southwestern via e-mail, subscribe at

UT Southwestern Medical Center

Related Babies Articles from Brightsurf:

Babies' random choices become their preferences
When a baby reaches for one stuffed animal in a room filled with others just like it, that random choice is very bad news for those unpicked toys: the baby has likely just decided she doesn't like what she didn't choose.

What happens when babies with heart defects become adults?
More than 90% of babies born with heart defects survive into adulthood.

Why babies not always remember what they have learned
If and how babies recall what they have learned depends on their mood: what they've learned when feeling calm is inaccessible when they're acitive and vice versa.

Watch: Babies know when you imitate them -- and like it
Six-month old infants recognize when adults imitate them, and perceive imitators as more friendly, according to a new study from Lund University in Sweden.

At 8 months, babies already know their grammar
Even before uttering their first words, babies master the grammar basics of their mother tongue.

Babbling babies' behavior changes parents' speech
New research shows baby babbling changes the way parents speak to their infants, suggesting that infants are shaping their own learning environments.

Do babies like yawning? Evidence from brain activity
Contagious yawning is observed in many mammals, but there is no such report in human babies.

Why two out of three babies are cradled on the left
Over two thirds of all people prefer to carry a baby in their left arm.

Babies born with broken hearts
Researchers are exploring how irregular filling mechanics may contribute to defects in developing fetal hearts because inefficient filling leads to energy losses that alter the heart's structure and performance, and studying how filling mechanics and flow structure change over the course of gestation.

How do babies laugh? Like chimps!
Few things can delight an adult more easily than the uninhibited, effervescent laughter of a baby.

Read More: Babies News and Babies Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to