The healthcare profession is demanding and nurses and nursing assistants take on a huge role in ensuring people get the proper care they need. It takes special individuals to work in a field that can not only be physically draining but emotionally challenging as well. It’s the care and encouragement from nurses and nursing assistants that so often pulls patients and families through great ordeals. The Nurse of the Year and Nursing Assistant of the Year awards were created to honor those professionals who make the care of their patients their utmost priority and provide inspiration to their peers by exhibiting skills and dedication that go above and beyond the call of duty. It is the exemplary work ethic and compassion of the award winners that make them stars in their field.
Positive Promotions proudly announces the 2012 “I Make a Difference” Award. We invite you to nominate a nurse and nursing assistant who you feel makes all the difference in other people’s lives. All nominees will receive an exclusive recognition gift. In addition, nominees will have the chance to be selected by their peers as a first or second place winner. First place winners will receive an engraved crystal trophy and a $500 cash donation to the healthcare facility which they serve. Second place winners will receive a certificate and $250 cash donation. Nomination forms will be available before Nurse and Nursing Assistant Appreciation Week, May 6-12, 2012.
The 2011 “I Make a Difference” Nurse of the Year went to:
Amy Lantz, LPN
Meadow View Nursing Center
Every morning that Amy heads to Meadow View, she is committed to making it a great day for each resident and staff member. Amy works with individuals who have Alzheimer’s and dementia, and her patience and creativity ensures that they enjoy their lives as much as possible. One example of this is the wall hanging of a farm scene that she added to her unit. It has fur and fabric that the residents can touch to feel different textures. Although she has daily nursing duties, Amy always finds time to go for walks with residents and participate in craft projects with them. Her kindness, assistance, and warm smile are appreciated by all.
Charles Freeman, MSN, RN
West Hills College
In the struggling economy, Charles has been able to secure funding to expand and improve nursing education programs at his school. Among his money-raising endeavors, he attained grant money for a simulation learning lab, a valuable resource for his nursing students. He also implemented a program recognizing the initiative and hard work of nurses. And, no matter how busy he is, he’s always willing to share his knowledge and skills with those around him. All of this adds up to his students getting a better education. In fact, the nursing assistant program at the college has a 97 percent pass rate.
Marilyn Borgstadt, RN
Midwest Physicians Surgery Center
Lee’s Summit, MO
Marilyn’s bright smile and outstanding service to patients, families, physicians, and co-workers makes her stand out from others in her profession. With a caring heart, she strives to give her best to those she works with. A preoperative and post-anesthesia care unit nurse, Marilyn helps out wherever her skills are required. She serves as charge nurse when necessary, has been nurse manager of the center, and is its infection control nurse. No matter what is needed, she always displays flexibility to ensure patients are well cared for. In addition, her outstanding clinical skills and positive attitude make her a great role model for her peers.
Donna Kay-Matlock, LPN
Polk County Board of County Commissioners Adult Day Health Care Program
With Donna in charge, Polk County’s adult day healthcare program has become a model for other such programs in the state of Florida. Donna, who began working in 1989 as a supervisor at one of the county’s four facilities, was appointed program manager in 1998. Her experience, as well as her commitment to excellence, makes quality care possible for seniors in Polk County. Although her position keeps her quite busy, she never passes up a chance to reach out to staff or sit with a caregiver in need of support. She values the input of co-workers and boosts morale with praise for jobs well done.
The 2011 “I Make a Difference” Nursing Assistant of the Year went to:
Benita Rochez, CNA
Jewish Home Lifecare-Sarah Neuman
A nursing assistant for 22 years, Benita shines amongst her peers and is greatly appreciated by the families of those who reside at Sarah Neuman. The daughter of one resident Benita cares for helped nominate her for this award. The woman said that Benita has formed a special relationship with her mom, her, and her eight siblings. The resident’s daughter added that she has “nothing but high praise for her (Benita) both personally and professionally.”
Stephanie Plowman, CNA
Colorado Springs, CO
Stephanie meets the challenge of caring for patients and addressing families’ concerns effectively, which can be very difficult as people face the end of their lives. Described by her nominator as the best CNA she’s ever worked with, Stephanie drives long distances to care for patients in rural areas and makes emergency visits when necessary. And she never hesitates to cover for fellow CNAs when they’re on vacation or call in sick. Additionally, Stephanie was instrumental in setting up a computer program that allows CNAs to turn in their weekly schedules via the Internet.
Maria Roe, CNA
War Memorial Hospital Long Term Care
Sault St. Marie, MI
Being a CNA is no easy job, and Maria does it over 60 hours a week. Her coworkers say she is one of the hardest working people they know. While others would be overwhelmed with her schedule, Maria never complains and continuously performs her duties with enthusiasm and kindness. Her strong work ethic benefits residents at two different facilities—War Memorial as well as an assisted living home. Her dual employment is an advantage for some residents. When they transfer from the assisted living facility to War Memorial Long Term Care, seeing Maria’s familiar face in their new home it puts them at ease. Maria makes a difference in the lives of her co-workers as well as she is always willing to teach them skills or offer a helping hand.
Crystal Major, CNA
Franke at Seaside
Mt. Pleasant, SC
Crystal has enriched the lives of those in her care even though many of them struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. She gets to know each resident’s likes and dislikes, and makes sure everyone is clean and well dressed throughout the day. Her demeanor and effective communication skills make each resident feel like he or she is Crystal’s favorite. One resident’s family actually plans around Crystal’s schedule so they know that, when they hold a special family event or are gone for the day, Crystal is there to care for their mother. Each task that Crystal accomplishes, no matter how challenging, is completed with a smile, gentleness, and patience.