NICU nurse Christa Bedford-Mu was named National Magnet Nurse of the Year for New Knowledge, Innovation and Improvement at this week’s American Nurses Credentialing Center National Magnet Conference. Created in 2010, this recognition is given to five nurses annually for outstanding contributions in innovation, consultation, leadership, and professional risk-taking. Bedford-Mu joins Christi DeLemos as the second UC Davis Health nurse in three years to receive this honor.

UC Davis Health NICU nurse Christa Bedford-Mu has won a Magnet Nurse of the Year Award.
UC Davis Health NICU nurse Christa Bedford-Mu has won a Magnet Nurse of the Year Award.

Bedford-Mu is a board-certified neonatal clinical nurse specialist and a key participant in innovative telehealth programs at UC Davis Children's Hospital. She is a lead contributor to Supporting Pediatric Research on Outcomes and Utilization of Telehealth, a tele-visit and telehealth project aimed at improving the transition from NICU to home.

As part of the neonatal team, Bedford-Mu conducts pre-discharge live, interactive video visits with rural pediatricians providing detailed information about complex care. She also participates in post-discharge video visits with families, connecting both in the home environment and the medical provider's office. This program has allowed for earlier discharge, increased parental and provider satisfaction, and reduced readmission rates.

Bedford-Mu is committed to raising the standard for UC Davis Health partner facilities through subspecialty education that reduces the need for risky transport to a higher level of care. Over the last year, she was instrumental in designing an educational program for new UC Davis Health partners. The program focused on developing a broad range of nursing competencies through individualized educational plans and didactic educational programs with on-site mentorship. While still new, the program has allowed dozens of children to remain at their local facility, allowing families to stay in their homes, near their support networks, decreasing family stress, financial burden, as well as health care costs.

“Christa’s inspirational work illustrates the promise of telehealth to improve access to expert care in a patient-centric platform while reducing costs,” said Toby Marsh, Chief Nursing and Patient Care Services Officer. “She is a pioneer that challenges us to think differently, plan differently and imagine a better way to care for high-risk infants. I hope the entire health system joins me in congratulating her on this prestigious award.”