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Mildred "Polly" Hesterberg

Mildred "Polly" Hesterberg

1929 - 2022

Hesterberg, a director of pediatric nursing at Johns Hopkins, was born in Creagerstown, Maryland. She graduated from the Church Home and Hospital School of Nursing in 1952.

Hesterberg served as head nurse for pediatric nursing at Baltimore City Hospitals from 1953 to 1954, and head nurse at Kuakini Hospital in Honolulu from 1954 to 1956. She then joined the Baltimore City Hospitals School of Nursing as an instructor in pediatric nursing.

In 1961, Hesterberg was appointed an instructor in pediatric nursing at The Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing. She stayed until 1966, then took a break to raise her children. In 1968, Hesterberg became coordinator of the Parent Living-In Program for Johns Hopkins’ Children’s Medical and Surgical Center. During her tenure, she helped smooth relationships between physicians and families, and conducted regular classes about how hospital employees could be more responsive to the needs of families. For this, she was frequently referred to as the “Mother of the Children’s Center.” She retired from this position in 1999.

For many years, Hesterberg accompanied other pediatric nurses from Johns Hopkins on annual trips to Green Mount Cemetery to visit the grave of Harriet Lane Johnston, the founding benefactress of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, and leave flowers.

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