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NY/NJ Regional Nurse Excellence Finalists: Clinical Care

Congratulations to the regional finalists in the 2009 Nurse Excellence Awards in the Clinical Care category. For information about the award and how the candidates were chosen, click here:

Infection Control Nurse Manager
Infection Control Department
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Northport, N.Y.

Janet spent 20 years providing nursing care to veterans, made the transition into Performance Improvement six years ago as Infection Control practitioner, and became an expert and invaluable member of the Infectious Disease and HIV Screening Clinic. She case manages the HIV population, runs the Hepatitis C Education Clinic, is chairwoman of the Pandemic Influenza Committee, and a member of the Emergency Management Committee. She works collaboratively with all services, maintains professional certification in Infection Control, and is a member of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Observing the way she treats each veteran is a lesson in morality. She is an exemplary human being and an ardent patient advocate who ensures needed services and support. She worked on the Medical Center’s Emergency Management Program, took the lead in developing scenarios for a regional Pandemic Exercise, and plays an ongoing role in the Emergency Management Group.

When the VA needed a regional surveillance program for early identification of MRSA on admission, Janet facilitated a meeting for coordinators and Infection Control practitioners from eight regional facilities. She developed Needlestick Injury Prevention Day and launched a facilitywide look back at staff’s Hepatitis B status, with 300 staff members being identified as not knowing their surface antibody status.

Janet has touched the lives of many nurses in many ways as role model and mentor. She has a huge heart and a conscience that doesn’t rest until the right thing is done. Truly, she is the glue that holds the Infection Control program together and helps to provide high-quality care to the most deserving patients, our veterans!

Jeanne Delaney, RN

Registered Nurse II, Emergency Department
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
Newark, N.J.

Running an inner-city Emergency Department that provides care to approximately 300 patients a day, Jeanne is known for the compassionate care she provides, even at times of high patient volume and acuity. She is a true team player who assists others with a positive attitude and excellent nursing skills. The consummate preceptor, she possesses an innate ability to impart knowledge to others, as was seen during the past year, when she volunteered to precept two foreign nurses, one from China and one from Korea, with English as their second language. She conducts impromptu inservice sessions to educate nurses and her leadership has been invaluable.

Jeanne exemplifies her commitment to exceptional care, and every member of her work group expresses a genuine respect for her experience, expertise, dedication, and passion.

She meets and exceeds the standards of ED nursing and goes above and beyond with her own special projects, such as pressure ulcer recognition and prevention, and the creation of a separate wound room.

Jeanne contributes to the profession not only at Newark Beth Israel’s ED, but globally, by using vacation time to attend healthcare missionary retreats in the rural areas of Jamaica, West Indie,s every year, from which she derives great satisfaction in helping to provide health, vision, and dental care to its residents. In this and so many ways, Jeanne gives much, not only to the patients she serves at home and away, but to all who are privileged to work with her.

Josephine Nemeth, RN

Registered Nurse — Staff Nurse, Acute Care for Elders Unit, Urban 2
St. Clares Health System
Denville, N.J.

Josephine consistently is a role model for the NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Health systems Elders) standards as a staff nurse on a Special Geriatrics Unit. She is called an “extraordinary” nurse who seeks out opportunities to develop and mentor new nurses by managing her own assignments while acting as their go-to resource person.

Her ability to think critically — in both emergent and nonemergent situations — produces positive outcomes for patients, families, and staff. She works with nurses, especially the newer ones, during codes. She helps them with everyday assignments, as evidenced by the PCA (Patient-Controlled Analgesic) “cheat sheet” she developed as a reference guide, after recognizing that the PCA machine was presenting a challenge on the unit. It was named a “best practice” by the organization and is now utilized on all campuses at St. Clares.

Josephine developed a process improvement with the creation of a new Specimen Label for containers going to the Lab. The label decreased the number of specimens being discarded due to lack of proper identification and the number of patients needing to give additional specimens. The label not only made patients and staff happier, but reduced LOS and improved quality, with the earlier recognition and treatment of infections. And Josephine enthusiatically embraced technology and acted as a change agent during the organization’s transition to an electronic documentation system.

She is a nurse who is said to “give her all” to whatever she does — and an excellent example of the best that nursing has to offer.

Mary Phelan, RN

CN III/Interim Nurse Manager, Ambulatory Care Center
Hospital for Special Surgery
New York, N.Y.

Working in an Ambulatory Care setting, Mary coordinates clinical processes, staffing, and quality, oversees orientations, and works with Medical and other departments to ensure compassionate quality care. She is an exemplary clinician, the “epitome of professionalism,” and highly regarded throughout the organization.

With knowledge and the ability to identify issues, solve problems, and follow though, the way Mary cares for patients is selfless, dedicated, and committed. She has extended herself to the community as a participant in a Pediatric Outreach program for 20 years, and thousands of children have been screened as a result. She also spends free time in a volunteer community program with the Shriners Organization, and willingly accepts additional responsibilities when needed, acting currently as interim nurse manager for her department.

She pulls her team together with great skill, and they have tremendous respect for her. To patients and staff alike, she is the “go-to” person who understands needs and challenges. It is not uncommon to find her following through after regular hours, calling patients from home to be sure they are following their treatment plans. Mary is also an excellent mentor, who provides support and guidance with kindness and reassurance, and due to her mentorship, several colleagues have obtained their baccalaureate degrees.

She is an extraordinary preceptor for nurses, an invaluable participant in multiple hospital projects, and an integral member of various committees. She is a member of the National Association of Orthopedic Nurses, maintains case management certification, and has received awards for Excellence in Nursing at HSS.

Carrie Lyn Sammarco, RN

Nurse Practitioner/Staff Associate Neurology
Judith Jaffe Multiple Sclerosis Center, Weill Cornell Medical College
New York, N.Y.

As a nurse practitioner and nursing liaison for five NewYork-Presbyterian campuses, Carrie dedicates herself to education and care of patients with MS and their families, promoting their wellness and addressing and managing their needs.

After her young cousin was diagnosed years ago with ALS, Carrie did some research and was struck by the disparity between the outcomes in patients with that disease and those with MS. Since then, her nursing career and education through the doctoral level have been dedicated to MS. She has invested herself in focusing on what would most benefit patients with Ms, developing curricula, classes, and educational DVDs for them and their caregivers. Patients say that they stay at the center because of Carrie, remarking on her great ability to care for them and be a compassionate, nonjudgmental, good listener.

She shares her knowledge with staff and uses every teachable moment. She has been involved at all levels of the MS Society, and with other MS NPs in the state. She is also on the Advisory Committee for MS Nursing, has given presentations on MS, and was awarded a grant to fund a project for NPs in the field of MS, using the grant dollars to film an educational DVD for nurses. She was the recipient of the John Dystel Nursing Fellowship in MS, sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and was recently published in the International Journal of MS Care.

Carrie was a member of the first DrNP class at Columbia University, sat for the American Board of Comprehensive Care exam the first time the examination was given, and continually encourages her colleagues to pursue further education.

By | 2020-04-15T14:45:04-04:00 March 23rd, 2009|Categories: New York/New Jersey Metro, Regional|0 Comments

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