Notable Heroes in Health Care: Melissa Kersten

Last updated on December 17th, 2021 at 12:21 pm

Melissa Kersten, an advanced practice nurse practitioner at Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Regional Burn Center in Milwaukee, has dedicated nearly two decades of her life to burn care.

Kersten pursued burn care after a nursing school rotation at the burn center, where she found the impact that nurses have on patients and their families inspiring, according to Darlene Sargent, manager of the Regional Burn Center and Neuro ICU at Ascension.

After obtaining her APNP license in 2012, Kersten was instrumental in developing the center’s outpatient burn clinic, which opened in 2014 to reduce the wait time between an ER visit and follow-up care, Sargent said.

In addition to her career as a nurse practitioner, Kersten has volunteered at the Summer Camp for Burn Injured Youth in East Troy since 2004, first as a camp counselor then as the director for the past five years. Hosted by the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin Charitable Foundation, the free, week-long overnight camp helps children with life-changing burn injuries continue to heal from the emotional trauma of their burns and find a support system. 

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