We are thrilled to announce that Barbara “Barb” Buttchen, RN, has been named Caregiver of the Year for the North region. The Caregiver of the Year award recognizes nurses, caregivers and behavioral health professionals who embody our values and demonstrate excellence with their patients and in their communities. During her time with Maxim, Barb has positively impacted her office and the families she cares for in the Madison, Wisconsin, area.
Barb dreamed of being a nurse as a child, and she has been pursuing her passion for 52 years. “Barb Buttchen is one of the most unselfish, caring, kind and hard-working individuals I have ever had the privilege of being around. From the moment you first speak to her, you can tell how much she cares about other’s well-being,” shared Shannon Rake, RN, Clinical Manager in Maxim’s Madison office. Outside of her work with Maxim, she contributes to the health and wellness of her community by delivering for Meals on Wheels and caring for a friend with Alzheimer’s disease.
Currently, Barb cares for Nathaniel, a 38-year-old man with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – a genetic disorder that causes progressive muscle loss and affects many parts of the body. As a result, Nathaniel or “Than,” needs total care with his activities of daily living. Barb has been able to help him manage his condition and soothe him in scary situations.
Alice, Nathaniel’s mother, recalled, “He got trached – it was kind of an emergency trach; he wasn’t prepared for it. He came from the hospital scared because he was afraid to sleep. So Barb sat next to his bed and held his hand all night long.” Nathaniel’s father, Scott, added, “When he’s nervous, when he’s anxious, she’s there to calm him, she’s there to help him out. So the mood is brighter because Barb’s here.”
Barb hasn’t let her personal struggles affect the care she provides to Nathaniel and his family. She currently lives with lymphoma but keeps a positive attitude and continues to maintain her schedule and be a helping hand when needed. “You know if I might want to feel a little bit sorry for myself […] I think, well, I don’t need to be feeling sorry about anything because I’m being rewarded every day from my patients. When we’re saying goodbye from the visit and they say, ‘well, I’m glad you were my nurse today’, those are the kind of things that really uplift me and make me feel good about my work.”
Perhaps this comment from Nate Carrier, Operations Manager, sums it up best, “I just think in a world where you can be anything, you should be like Barb.”
Barb is one of four regional winners selected from hundreds of nominations across the country. One of our regional winners will be chosen as the National Caregiver of the Year at this year’s award ceremony.
Watch Barb’s video to learn more about how she exemplifies Maxim’s spirit and helps Nathaniel maintain his quality of life:
*Patient information and likeness featured with the consent of the patient/ family*
On September 19, 2023, Barb Buttchen was named the 2022 Caregiver of the Year. During the ceremony, Sarah Hinson, Director of Communications, Experience and Diversity said, “Barb is spoken of as one of the most unselfish, caring and hardworking individuals, and her work ethic has allowed her to do what she’s loved doing for more than 50 years.”