Joanna Spahis, RN, CNS, is a pediatric clinical nurse specialist at Children’s Health℠ who cares for patients with Down syndrome.
Spahis earned her master of science in nursing from Loyola University in 1988. She completed her bachelor of science in nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1984. She is certified as an advanced genetics nurse.
During her career, Spahis has developed a great love and expertise for the care of children with Down syndrome and their families.
At Children’s Health, she practices in the department of Pediatric Genetics. She obtains family histories and physical exams, orders tests and reports lab results to families, and provides counseling and referrals. She helped to create a program that assists children with Down syndrome as they transition into adulthood. She has also published manuscripts and online continuing education modules to teach patients, staff and students about Down syndrome and other genetic disorders.
Spahis is known for excellence in the nursing profession. She received the 2016 Children’s Medical Center Paula Dimmitt Award for Advanced Practice Professionals. She also earned a spot on the list of “Great 100 Nurses in Dallas-Fort Worth” in 2014.
Over the years, Spahis has made presentations to professional groups about a variety of topics, including “Transition Clinic for Adolescents with Down Syndrome: Four Year Review” and “Review of Data on 6000 Multi-Disciplinary Down Syndrome Clinic Visits Over the Past 25 Years.” She has also authored and co-authored published articles related to Down syndrome, genetics risk assessment and nursing in the field of genetics.
Outside the hospital, Spahis serves as nurse for PKU Camp, which provides a fun, educational experience for patients and families living with a rare, inherited disease called phenylketonuria. This weekend event takes place at Camp John Marc in Bosque County, southwest of Dallas.
She is a member of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics, the Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group and the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas. In the community, she also enjoys volunteer work through her church and participating in philanthropy walks and runs. She is also the organist at her church.
Education and Training
- Graduate School
- Loyola University of Chicago, Stritch Sch of Med (1988)