New Head of Nursing joins Red Cross Hospital
Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital is delighted to welcome Mitzi Franken as the new Nursing Manager of the hospital.
Franken joins the hospital from Mowbray Maternity Hospital where she worked as Assistant Manager: Neonatology for the past six years.
With 25 years of experience, Franken is well-positioned to take on this senior role at South Africa’s only Children’s Hospital.
Having first started her career at Tygerberg Hospital in 1991, after qualifying as a Registered Professional Nurse at the then Otto du Plessis Nursing College, Franken has worked her way up the career ladder. After three years at Tygerberg Hospital, she worked in midwifery and neonatal nursing care at the Nkhoma Hospital in Malawi before moving to Karl Bremer Hospital where she was instrumental in the establishment of the first 30-bed Kangaroo Mother Care Unit.
She also worked at the Muscat Private Hospital in the Sultunate of Oman, where she played a prominent role in the opening of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU); before finding her way back to Tygerberg Hospital where she worked as a Mentor Trainer in the Department of Paediatrics.
She chose a career in nursing after regularly being told the story of her birth – her father had to drive more than 300 kilometres to get her mother to the hospital after she decided to come four weeks earlier than her due date and after her mother was advised not to have another child. She also happened to be born on 12 May, sharing a birthday with Florence Nightingale. So ever since she was a little girl she wanted to become a nurse – only years later she would realise that the imprint of these stories must have played a big role in her choice of career.
Throughout her career she has realised that every life counts and has actively been involved in teaching and training staff to care for vulnerable babies – it required behavioural change, but she can proudly look back and say that she played a role in the transformation in care for babies.
With a wealth of experience in paediatric healthcare and as the Chairlady of the South African Kangaroo Mother Care Foundation, Franken is a great asset to the team and will provide leadership to the nursing department within the hospital.
"I am confident that Mrs Franken will be an invaluable asset to the hospital and continue to advance the great level of care which it is so well known for," said the Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo.
“It is a great honour to be part of this great academic institution and to be of service here. I am looking forward to maintaining the high standard of nursing care in this facility, but also to in time, benchmark nursing against world-class nursing services and ultimately strengthening care to our patients and their families,” says Franken about her appointment at the hospital.
“I have no doubt that Mrs Franken will lead our Nursing Department with excellence. We are blessed to have a person of her calibre as part of our management team,” says Dr Matodzi Mukosi, CEO of Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.