Gifts of Hope: Why I Stand Behind Riley

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Stephanie Davis with Riley kid Emily Spiegel

Becoming a member of Riley Society wasn’t a difficult decision. It’s important to me to give back to Riley because Riley has given so much to my family.

  • Riley Hospital shaped the type of physician I have become by providing me with outstanding training as a pediatric resident and pediatric pulmonology fellow.
  • Riley supports my pediatric pulmonary research team in the conduct of investigator initiated studies; donations through Riley Children’s Foundation have allowed our research and patient care programs to grow and thrive. That support was a big part of the reason I decided to return to Riley as a physician scientist.
  • And, on the most personal level, Riley has taken excellent care of each of my three sons.

I was in the middle of my fellowship at Riley Hospital when I became a Riley parent for the first time. My husband Sam and I brought our oldest son Harrison to Riley to be treated for jaundice when he was a newborn. He also needed physical therapy to address low muscle tone. Harrison ended up doing very well and is now a college student at Clemson University. We were really happy with the progress he made in physical therapy, and there was no question we felt comfortable at Riley.

A few years ago, our son Jackson needed an emergency appendectomy. He was in intense pain at home, but he’s a pretty tough kid so it took my husband and I some time to realize that he likely had appendicitis. Even though it was 11:00 on a Monday night, Riley has surgeons in house 24/7. I was impressed with the fact that Riley Pediatric Surgeon Dr. Tom Rouse, and the entire OR team evaluated him in an expeditious manner and conducted the surgery so quickly.

I stayed with Jackson in his hospital room on 8 West as he recovered. Having that experience gave me much more appreciation for the fatigue parents experience while their child is in the hospital.  The care we received was great. Everyone from physicians to nurses to the school program staff were extremely responsive to our needs.

My youngest son Parker has also been treated at Riley—in his case he needed outpatient surgery performed by Riley Pediatric Urologist Dr. Richard Rink. Again, the nurses were great and Dr. Rink was fantastic. I really appreciated the caring staff at the Riley Outpatient Center staff and the day surgery team.  The staff really made Parker more comfortable. That is an advantage of Riley—everybody is trained in dealing with children. All of the anesthesiologists and surgery specialists are trained in pediatrics, so they know how to take the fear out of going back to the operating room. They know how to make it fun. They know how to make it less scary. That means so much to the child, and to the parents.   

I wish more people across the state fully understood what a phenomenal hospital we have in Riley, and how much the support of the community has helped us become one of the nation’s strongest children’s research hospitals.

Riley deserves the widespread support it receives from people in the community, including those of us who work here. I am glad to see a growing number of colleagues taking part in the Gift of Hope Happens Here Employee Giving Program—it feels good to know that our collective gifts can do so much good for the Riley families we serve.

Stephanie Davis

Stephanie Davis, M.D., is the Section Director of Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy and Sleep Medicine at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. She and her husband Sam are the parents of three sons, all of whom have received treatment at Riley Hospital.

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