Outstanding Nurses

2012 Outstanding Nurses Awards

Recognizing the unsung heroes of health care.

2012 Outstanding Nurses Awards
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CAROL DROEGEMUELLER

Regions Hospital Stroke Center
Adult health clinical nurse specialist and stroke program coordinator focusing on quality care for stroke patients in all facets of stroke illness

“My favorite stories are those in which the interaction you have with someone results in a ‘light-bulb moment’ and you realize some small speck of new understanding took place and is likely to have a positive influence. This goes both ways, as I know it happens to me as often as it happens to the patient, family, or staff member!”

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Know the signs and symptoms for stroke, such as sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; loss of vision or double vision; confusion or trouble speaking or understanding; trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination; and severe headache.
Do not delay in calling 911. The best stroke treatment options are available when hospital arrival times are fast.

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BETH ELCHEK LAVELLE

Westfields Hospital
Education coordinator focusing on learning and need assessments, as well as planning, supporting, and providing staff education

“I was one of the early supporters of patient- and family-initiated rapid response teams: a designated group of medical professionals who can be assembled quickly to deliver critical care anywhere in a hospital. I served on a national task force, taught the subject at multiple national conferences, and was instrumental in setting it up in my health care system. Although initially controversial, the practice of patient- and family-initiated RRT is now considered common and best practice.”

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Write down your questions. Concerns can be forgotten in the whirlwind of health care, and it is easy to misunderstand what is said during a short visit.
Find health care providers who will be your partners.

“The patients, families, and friends who have passed through these doors are the ones who have taught and will continue to teach me about my impact
as a nurse.”
— Rebecca Englund

REBECCA ENGLUND

Regions Hospital Emergency Center
Charge registered nurse focusing on emergency care

“I welcome you to our ER. I am often the voice on the other end of the phone call that you don’t want to receive in the middle of the night. It is my job to care for your physical and emotional needs. It is my hope that I make you feel comfortable and less scared.

“It is in these brief moments that there is an opportunity to truly help others. Being present in the moment and listening and empathizing with compassion are some of the most healing interventions one can give.”

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Safety! Safety! Safety! A lot of what we see in the ER could have been prevented.


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MARY FRITZ-BARFNECHT

Ridgeview Regional Radiation Oncology
Registered nurse in radiation oncology, focusing on new patients, teaching, collaboration, and advocacy

“Through the years, my eyes and heart have been opened as I have met the nicest patients during the most trying of times. I am in awe of those who fight their cancer with determination, dignity, thankfulness, and—believe it or not—humor!

“I’ve learned about life and loving. I’ve learned not to put things off and to celebrate success along the way. I’ve learned about life’s journey, including the final chapters.”



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“Outstanding staff nurses are caring, compassionate individuals who consistently look for innovative ways
to elevate our profession.”
— Terry Graner

TERRY GRANER

Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Allina Health
Chief nursing officer, focusing on nursing and exceptional care

“It’s been a number of years since I worked as a bedside nurse. Today, my success stories come in my work with Abbott Northwestern’s nursing staff. I feel tremendously privileged to lead a group of nurses who rise to the challenge of being innovative, compassionate experts in their profession.

“In my role today, I hear from patients and families about the exceptional care they’ve received from nurses. Those personal notes and stories are testaments to the bond that forms between patients, families, and the nurses providing care.”


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