“Get involved, make the most of your time at AU, utilize your resources and remember that Adelphi will always have your back”.
Member of Adelphi University’s 10 Under 10
Registered nurse, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Cohen Children’s Medical Center
Dhalia Puri ‘12, MSN, RN has dedicated her life to stepping up to help others. As a Panther, a pediatric intensive care nurse and a passionate volunteer, she has continuously demonstrated her leadership skills by identifying others’ struggles and taking action to help them heal.
It makes complete sense that Puri would be a PICU nurse at Cohen Children’s Medical Center (CCMC); providing direct care to complex critical care patients–including open-heart surgeries, cardiac disease, neurosurgical, renal transplant and trauma cases–requires the highest level of training and empathy for her pediatric patients. Puri is up for the challenge. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in social work from Adelphi in 2012, she started her career as an addiction and adolescent psych counselor at South Oaks Hospital. After earning her nursing degree and switching to CCMC, she went on to receive her master’s in nursing education. Now she has achieved “clinical nurse III” status, is certified as an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) nurse and serves as a mentor to new nurses and nursing students.
In addition to her nursing skills, Puri’s leadership skills have made her a stand-out among her peers. She currently serves as the chair of the Collaborative Care Council, where she represents her unit on an interdisciplinary team whose focus is on improving patient care and nursing practices. Other involvements at CCMC include: Magnet champion, PIVE Pro, Infection Control champion, Skin care champion, ABCDEF team member, Healthy Work Environment Facilitator and a Survey Ambassador for Employee Engagement survey and NDNQI. Dhalia’s leadership has been recognized by numerous awards, including the 2020 Daisy Award and the 2019 Nursing Excellence Award.
In addition to her dedication to her career, Puri makes sure to carve out time to volunteer. For six years, she has served as a wish grantor and virtual coach at the Make a Wish Foundation. In these roles, Puri is the intermediary between the wish child and family and the foundation. She also mentors new volunteers as they learn the wish granting process.
Puri credits Adelphi for her achievements. She is grateful for the guidance of her Adelphi mentors, Tara Wagner and Michael Berthel, who “pushed me out of my comfort zone when necessary and gave me opportunities to enhance my leadership skills.” Puri’s peers encouraged her early to take on a larger role on campus as well, supporting her successful run as class president freshman year. Her membership in Sigma Delta Tau sorority introduced additional leadership opportunities, including becoming president of the Inter Greek Council.
All of my skills that I learned at Adelphi, I use today at CCMC. At Adelphi, I was always being motivated and pushed to be a better leader and the best version of myself. I am very thankful for all of my experiences and for all of the opportunities to be involved on campus. Adelphi will always have a piece of my heart.
Adelphi is in Puri’s heart for another reason as well. It was on the Garden City campus where she met her fiancé John-Carlos Ortiz ‘10!
Puri continues to put patients first during COVID-19, picking up additional shifts and transitioning among departments that most need her help. Seeing past her own stress and workplace demands, Puri saw her coworkers struggling to recharge and find meals. She quickly did what she does best: Puri raised money through social media and distributed snacks and food to multiple Northwell Hospitals on multiple days. That is what it means to step up and help others.