Dorchester nurses honored at Nurse Excellence Awards event

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Special to Dorchester Banner/UMSMC
Ruth Ann Jones, UM Shore Regional Health’s senior vice president, Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer, far left, pauses with Easton and Dorchester PACU team members Colby Robbins, Holly Frase, Leslie Mansfield, Sara Rissolo, Brittany Gowe, Jamie Riley and Sydney Milligan, PACU manager. PACU won the 2016 Unit Award for Empirical Outcomes.

WYE MILLS — Kimberly Kral, clinical coordinator for the Emergency Department at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Dorchester, and nursing team members serving in the hospital’s Post-Anesthesia Care Unit were among the honorees at UM Shore Regional Health’s Annual Nurse Excellence Awards Presentation and Graduate University (GU) and Critical Care University (CCU) Graduation last week.

The 2016 Nurse Excellence Awards and Critical Care University and Graduate University celebration took place on May 9 at the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College. Ms. Kral won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Advocacy and Mentorship, and the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), which serves UM Shore Medical Centers at Dorchester and Easton, won the Unit Award for Excellence in Clinical Outcomes.

Ms. Kral’s nomination cited her outstanding dedication as a “motivator, challenger, professional role model and friend” to the novice nurses working in the Dorchester ED and her clinical competence in handling the varied high-intensity care required in in the ED, including pediatric and trauma cases and disaster situations. Nominators also noted Ms. Kral’s strong support for nursing staff development and advancement, her advocacy for her patients and her active participation on varied ED committees.

Other individual nursing award winners honored at the event were Mary Collins from UM SMC at Easton, and Betsy Greaves and Steven Jacobson, from UM SMC at Chestertown.

The Unit Award for Excellence in Clinical Outcomes recognized the progress made by PACU nurses in staffing, educating unit team members and patients, and improving patient satisfaction scores. The PACU team created successfully created a new scheduling system to meet the volume needs of both hospitals. They also created a video and pamphlet for discharged patients with special care needs, a staff “helpful hints” manual for use with specific procedures and surgeries, and a revamped, competency-driven orientation program for new PACU nurses.

Other nurses from UM SMC at Dorchester recognized were: CCU graduates Laura Jackson, Melissa Maynard, Justine Schnaitman and Samantha Stevenson; and GU graduate Diana Cox. They were called onto the stage to receive their certificates along with 23 other graduates from UM Shore Medical Centers at Chestertown and Easton.

Leading the event presentations, Ruth Ann Jones, UM Shore Regional Health’s senior vice president, Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer, noted that this year’s honorees were selected from a total of 43 nominations, the greatest number submitted since the awards were established. “This awards program was established by nurses and for nurses as a way to recognize those who go above and beyond for our patients and their families, and for their communities,” she said. “All of this year’s nominees deserve our appreciation, as do their families and other supporters who help make it possible for them to go the extra mile in the care they provide.”

Ken Kozel, president and CEO, spoke glowingly of the key role that quality nursing plays in achieving the organization’s mission, Creating Healthier Communities Together, and its vision, to be the Region’s Leader in Patient Centered Health Care. He stated that while one constant in today’s health care is change, another constant is that leadership makes the difference in navigating change. “This evening we are surrounded by nurse leaders who believe in excellence, and they achieve it by focusing on relationship based care, evidence based care and professionalism,” Mr. Kozel said.

Mr. Kozel also thanked the 28 CCU and GU graduates for selecting Shore Regional Health to begin their nursing careers, and encouraged them to continue their professional development as the next generation of nurse leaders who will help the organization to continue to thrive in the coming decades.

John Dillon, chairman of the Board of UM Shore Regional Health, stated, “Board members are keenly aware of the quality of nursing offered in the hospitals because we so often hear from people in the community about how wonderful our nurses are. Our nurses have played a key role helping us become one of the best community hospitals in the nation, in my opinion.”

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