Melanie Chichester Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award

Melanie Chichester, BSN, RNC-OB, CPLC, RNC-IAP, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). It is the organization’s most prestigious honor for excellence in the nursing care of women and newborns, given to an AWHONN member with exemplary accomplishments in women’s health, obstetric and neonatal nursing and contributions to the association.

Chichester received her Lifetime Achievement Award at a special AWHONN ceremony.

Chichester is a high risk antepartum nurse in Labor and Delivery with over 35 years of experience. She received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Delaware, and holds board certifications in Inpatient Obstetrics, Perinatal Loss Care and Inpatient Antepartum Care.

Chichester has supported and guided women in labor and delivery for more than 35 years.

She is passionate about perinatal loss care and education, teaching students, peers and allied health care professionals locally and nationally about best practices for anyone experiencing pregnancy loss. Among her contributions, she has:

  • Helped facilitate the Loving Arms Perinatal Loss support group at ChristianaCare for over 20 years.
  • Advocated for loss education for all health care professionals.
  • Been part of the Infant, Maternal, and Perinatal Advance Care Team (IMPACT), an interdisciplinary group which offers an extra layer of support to families anticipating a baby with a life-limiting diagnosis.
  • Participated on the planning committee for a multidisciplinary, biennial perinatal palliative care conference.

“Melanie embodies ChristianaCare’s core values of love and excellence with every patient, family member and caregiver she touches,” said Danielle Weber, MSN, MSM, RN-BC, NEA-BC, interim chief nurse executive at ChristianaCare.

“A tireless advocate for newborns and their mothers, Melanie has elevated the level of labor and delivery education nationwide through her tireless work. And she’s also just as committed to taking on the hardest jobs – supporting parents who have suffered a loss during their pregnancy. She is a shining example of what every nurse should strive to be.”

Chichester is a two-time DAISY Award winner, considered an “angel” by a family that nominated her.

For her exceptional commitment, Chichester is a two-time DAISY Award winner. “Melanie knew us,” wrote the patient who nominated her. “She knew what to do when we didn’t. She made sure everyone around us respected us and our unborn child. She was protective, my advocate and my voice. She put us at ease.

“Melanie made sure every step we went through wasn’t a surprise. She let me guide the way without judgment, making every decision I made the right one. She made sure my husband was involved and hugged and a part of everything. She knew all we wanted was to hold our baby and have memories to cherish forever. She made sure our child was cared for.

“Melanie was our angel. Thank you, Melanie, for loving our family the way you do. We will forever be thankful for you.”