We gratefully acknowledge the following committee members:
Sandra "Sandy" Suchomski, M.D.; Chairman; B.A.
Dr. Sandra "Sandy" Suchomski is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, University of Florida. She serves as the Chair for the First Coast Neonatal Symposium, the leading neonatal conference in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia. She coordinates the speakers and oversees all of the details for the symposium. In addition to being the Director of the First Coast Neonatal Symposium, she is also the Neonatal Director, Kids Kare Mobile Transport Team at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Jacksonville, FL and the Director for Neonatal Physician Extenders and Educational Affairs. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL and her Medical Doctorate at Quillen College of Medicine East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. She did her Pediatric Residency at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, VA and her Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo in Buffalo, NY. As a neonatologist she is well respected and loved by her staff. Over her career, she has been awarded with University of Florida College of Medicine Exemplary Teacher Award in 2013 and the Spirit of Magnet Teaching/Sharing of Knowledge from Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, FL in 2016. In her spare time, Dr. Suchomski enjoys spending time with her family, collecting baseball cards, playing the piano, and genealogy.
Maria Alvarez, RN; CLC
Maria Alvarez is currently enjoying the retired life. Prior to retirement, she was a registered nurse in the NICU at Wolfson Children's Hospital where she served for 26 years. During her working career, she was awarded NICU Nurse of the Year in 1989 and was a Legendary Caregiver in 2006. Maria served the unit as a preceptor, assistant nurse manager, supervisor, and had a passion for developmental care and infant massage. Maria now spends her time with her 16 grandchildren, family, sewing, reading, music, and arts and crafts. Maria assists in coordinating and putting together the center pieces and decorations for the symposium.
Charlotte McMiller- Green, RN; RNC-NIC; MSN
Charlotte McMiller-Green is an instructor at Keiser University Jacksonville. She is a Master of Science prepared nurse with a certification in high risk neonatology. She also serves as a NRP, ACLS, PALS, and STABLE instructor. Charlotte enjoys mentoring young nurses and providing education in many fashions. Charlotte serves the committee as our supply coordinator. She assists with ordering the bags, shirts, hoodies, pens, etc.
Erin Wade, MSN; RNC-NIC
Erin Wade, MSN, RNC-NIC, is a nurse at Jumpstart Pediatrics in Jacksonville, FL. She is a Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) Instructor and a S.T.A.B.L.E. Instructor. A consummate educator, she mentors students, staff, and families, in various aspects of improving care and the development of neonates. In addition to her service on the Neonatal Symposium Committee, Erin serves as the NICU’s representative to the e-doc (electronic documentation) committee at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. She is currently furthering her education in a post-graduate certification program in Nursing Informatics.
Meg Wolfner, RN; RNC; BSN
Meg Wolfner is a nurse in the NICU at Orange Park Medical Center. Meg serves as a STABLE Instructor and Preceptor, putting her fellow nurses' education at a top priority. She also serves as a charge nurse and PEP Level 4. Meg takes a special interest in getting parents and families involved in the NICU environment. Meg serves on the committee as our Food Coordinator. So if the food is what you enjoy, she's your girl!
William J. Ray, RRT
WIlliam "Bill" J. Ray is a resipratory therapist in the NICU at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. He holds a national certification in neonatal transport and is a member of the Baptist Medical Center LGBTQ Committee. He is an important part of the committee as he assists with signs, registration, and helping answer questions and checking everyone in. In his spare time, Bill enjoys scuba diving and riding his motorcycle.
Jenny Harper, RN; BSN; PICC Line Certified
Jenny Harper is a registered nurse in the NICU at Memorial Hospital Jacksonville. She serves her unit by precepting and working with students to get them engaged during their observations. She also serves as a relief charge nurse when needed. Jenny serves the symposium committee by coordinating the Julianne Andre Memorial Nursing Student Scholarship applicants and attendees. In her spare time, Jenny spends most of her time dedicated to her two children.
Amanda Broach, BSN; RNC-NIC
Amanda Broach BSN, RN is the Lead Assistant Nurse Manager in Wolfson Children’s Hospital NICU. She serves as a resource for the nurses and staff in the unit. She has served the unit as a preceptor, charge nurse, Unit Council Chair, and participates in the NICU's initiative with a focus on central line access blood stream infections. She strives to keep the staff updated/educated on system initiatives and unit updates. In 2015, she was recognized by her peers as a Distinguished Caregiver for going beyond the call of duty for the staff and received an award from the Great 100 Nurses of NE FL in 2019. She serves the committee as their technology coordinator and is responsible for updating the website and all social media accounts.
Laura Hampson, B.A.
Laura Hampson is a Professional Education Coordinator at Suwannee River Area Education Center, where her duties include managing trainings, including the First Coast Neonatal Symposium. Laura works to certify trainings for CE and CME credit, coordinates speaker needs, manages exhibitor applications, assists with conference communications and provides on-site coordination. Laura earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida. Before joining Suwannee River AHEC in 2012, Laura was a writer at the “Lake City Reporter,” “The Gainesville Sun” and “The Palm Beach Post.” She is a member of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals, Central Florida Chapter and is currently working to become a Certified Meeting Professional. She enjoys family, shopping, history and nature.
Amber Santos, RN; BSN; MBA
Amber Santos is a Jacksonville University graduate obtaining her BSN in 1998 and her MSN & MBA in 2006. She worked as a Pediatric nurse for the majority of her career in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and an outpatient specialty clinic as a research nurse and manager. Amber worked in pulmonary research for over seven years as well as hematology/oncology research for three years. As a research manager, Amber supervised and coordinated the responsibilities of research nurses and staff conducting studies at multiple sites within Florida. Amber has been a full time faculty member at Jacksonville University’s Keigwin School of Nursing since 2012. She has a passion for research, pediatric nursing, economics and leadership. In her spare time she enjoys traveling the world with her husband.
Charla Miller Nowak, Pharm D
Charla Miller Nowak is the Head of Newborn Intensive Pharmacy Services, Department of Pharmacy at Wolfson Children's Hospital, Baptist Health System, Jacksonville, Florida. She studied at Clemson University and the Medical University of South Carolina. She is responsible for providing pharmaceutical care to the Level III NICU at Woflson Children's Hospital and assisted with the development of the Level II NICU at Bpatist South.
Erin DeGidio, RNC; BC CCRN; N
Erin is a registered nurse in the NICU at UF Health Jacksonville. She serves as Unit Council Co Chair, preceptor and Magnet Champion. Prior to working at UF, she was a nurse at Wolfson Children's Hospital for many years. At WCH, Erin served as a transport nurse, PICC nurse, transport team coordinator, preceptor and ROP coordinator. She holds double certifications in High-Risk Perinatal Nursing and Neonatal CCRN. Erin enjoys traveling and scuba diving in her spare time.
Aimee Birkholz, RN; BSN