Joliet EMS coordinator Leslie Livett keeps humanity in patient care

Livett: ‘We do great things for the community’

Leslie Livett, registered nurse and EMS coordinator for Ascension Saint Joseph-Joliet poses for a photo on Monday, April 1, 2024 in Joliet.

An emergency medical services trauma coordinator at a Joliet hospital said patients are people first and must be treated that way.

Leslie Livett, a registered nurse and EMS coordinator at Ascension Saint Joseph-Joliet, said patients appreciate having their needs humanely addressed. The ideal paramedic is “anybody who is interested in helping people and making a difference in people’s lives,” she said.

Because for patients, getting into an ambulance can be “a really scary thing,” Livett said.

“You don’t know what to expect,” Livett said. “But the medics treat them like they’re human beings when they talk to them. They normally don’t use a lot of medical terms they wouldn’t know.”

Livett gives the paramedics the same consideration. She said she often brings treats when she visits local fire departments to review calls.

“We celebrate their success of taking really, really great care of patients,” Livett said.

Although Livett has worked at Saint Joseph-Joliet for 24 years, she can’t imagine working anywhere else “because we do great things for the community,” she said.

“I love the people that work here, and I love my job,” Livett said.

Saint Joseph-Joliet has three key ways it honors people beyond delivering health care. One is the annual STEMI breakfast in February, which it has held for the past 24 years, Livett said. The breakfast honors the EMS “heroes” who take great care of heart attack patients and gives the patients a chance to meet them, too, she said.

The second is the Barna Brain Breakfast, which honors the hospital’s former stroke coordinator Leslie Barna, who died in 2021.

“She was my very, very dear friend, and I miss her,” Livett said. “She did amazing work with our stroke patients, and we’re continuing that in her honor.”

In addition, the Barna Brain Award is presented quarterly to Saint Joseph-Joliet’s community partners assisting in achieving the shortest response times for the treatment of patients.

“We celebrate their success of taking really, really great care of patients.”

—  Leslie Livett, registered nurse and EMS coordinator for Ascension Saint Joseph – Joliet

The third is the honor walk. This is a voluntary ceremony of respect after a patient has died and their organs are to be donated. An announcement is made on the intercom, and anyone in the hospital that day can accompany the family on a walk to the operating room to honor the patient’s gift of life, Livett said.

“It’s very moving,” she said.

In addition to her EMS and trauma work, Livett also has championed pediatric emergency care and previously has coordinated the annual Region VII Pediatric Priorities Conference and the EMS Safety Fair, which more than 700 first graders attended, according to a 2016 news release from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

In 2016, the IDPH and the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children program honored Livett with the Ron W. Lee, M.D. Excellence in Pediatric Care Lifetime Achievement Award, according to the release.

Livett said her mother inspired her to become a nurse.

“My mother was a nurse. She died when I was really young,” Livett said. “And I’ve always loved helping people.”