I first met Dr. Keener over 20 years ago when I was a college student seeking a career mentorship in medicine. Her energy was infectious, and within just a few minutes I knew what the most important things in her life were – her family, contributing to the wellbeing of neonates and children, educating the next generation of parents and physicians, and in a perfect marriage of the first three things – Safe Sitter®. Throughout my final college years and medical school during which I worked with Dr. Keener in the Office of Medical Service Learning, I tried to absorb everything I could from her.
Read everything you can get your hands on. Value your time and expect others to do the same. Know the limitations of your knowledge and skills. Contribute to your community beyond the profession. Be grateful. Be honest. Spread kindness. Be passionate about the things you care about. Laughter is the best medicine.
This is just a sliver of what Dr. Keener has imparted to me over the years. Although I feared my pursuit of pediatric critical care instead of neonatology might affect our relationship, Dr. Keener continued to enthusiastically support me in every endeavor. When Dr. Keener asked me to consider taking on the role of Medical Director of Safe Sitter® several years ago, I was incredibly honored, nervous to fill such enormous shoes, and appreciative of the opportunity to contribute to something about which she feels so committed and passionate. I will never come close to appropriately thanking Dr. Keener for the impact she has had on my career and my life, but through Safe Sitter® I can both honor her legacy and use my knowledge and experience as a physician and an educator to contribute to the wellbeing of communities near and far.
Sara Ross, M.D.