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Subaru Stories: Seeing The World From Side Streets In South Philly To Dusty Paths In Death Valley

Photo credit: John Carlano

Subaru owners are fanatically loyal adventurers–signaling each other with a peace sign salute as they pass and referring to their cars as ‘Subies.’ Subaru Stories follows the journey behind 10 Philadelphian health professionals connected by a common thread: Their car. Where it takes them after work? That seems to be very different…

When she’s not traveling between General Pediatrics Unit, Pediatric Intensive Care, the Neonatal Unit or the Mother-Infant Unit at Cooper University Hospital, pediatric pool nurse Emily Butz can usually be found behind the wheel of her Subaru. At work, her usual routine is anything but routine–it requires her to adapt quickly to the needs of very different patients–some days she finds herself taking care of children, other days she’s with infants, some days she’s with mothers and families making sure they know what they need to continue their child’s care at home.

But the constant change that keeps her on her feet is just what Butz loves about her job. In fact, it’s what led her to explore her career in the United States and abroad.

“I recently developed a ‘hobby’ that is related to nursing,” says Butz. “Since last year, I’ve completed three trips with an organization that performs cleft lip and cleft palate repairs in other countries.”

Butz joins a team of doctors and fellow nurses that provide life-changing surgeries for free to children in need. Her role is to help children prepare for surgery and adapt to life afterward, managing pain and monitoring for postoperative complications.
“This really has been the highlight of my nursing career, and by far the most rewarding nursing job I have ever experienced,” she says.

Her travels aren’t all work-related journeys, though. Butz is a seasoned road tripper, who’s taken her Subaru up and down the coast as well as into the desert. Places that inspire her to help others, and to pursue her other passion: Painting.
“I actually really love to drive in the desert–I love the wide open views and seeing the long stretches of road in front of me,” says Butz.

And, although she’s now living a little further from the desert these days, she plans on going back soon with her husband Matt.
“I would love to take this car cross country in the next few years and visit some of our favorite places from our trip before,” she says. “There are some spots along the way that we couldn’t get to with my old car–a lot of national parks out west have unpaved roads that we want to go back and explore with our Subaru.”

Next stop: Death Valley.

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