Congratulations to the regional finalists in the 2009 Nurse Excellence Awards in the Management category. For information about the award and how the candidates were chosen, click here:
JAIR BENTOS-PEREIRA, RN, BSN
Nurse Manager, Medical-Surgical Telemetry
Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center
West Islip, N.Y.
Jair views challenges as opportunities and is strategically focused on what matters most: the patient. He has assembled a network of needed resources and professionals, raised the bar, and set unprecedented standards of excellence. His favorite response to a compliment is: Its what we do. Those few simple words embody his courage, grace, and compassion in his role as leader, mentor, and manager.
He has added new members to the clinical ladder, improved core measure indicator results, and achieved Press Ganey scores that exceed Long Island benchmarks. Hes rallied staff to sit for national certification exams and set an example by returning to school for an advanced degree himself. He maintains an open door policy and has made himself available to the unit 24/7.
jair coaches his staff and makes them believe in themselves. He fosters a healthy, nurturing work environment, actively elicits input, and ensures that no one is left out. He tells his staff that mediocrity is not acceptable, great will just get them by, and excellence is their responsibility. He played a positive role in the acquisition of Magnet designation and in a recent site visit by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery for Bariatric Center of Excellence credentialing. He has conducted pilot studies, research studies, grand rounds, and helped organize community education sessions on bariatric surgery.
Jair is a true inspiration as a nurse manager, and staff is grateful to have been given the opportunity to work under his direction. He arrived just two years ago, and they say they havent been the same since.Cindy Charles, RN
CINDY CHARLES, RN, BSN, CHPN
Director, Acute Inpatient Hospice Unit at Newark Beth Israel Hospital
Saint Barnabas Hospice and Palliative Care Center
West Orange, N.J.
In her role as director, Cindy is responsible for overall end-of-life care of a group of patients who tend to be younger and for whom life has been a struggle. The unit is a 9-bed Inpatient Hospice Unit, and each day she is called to the bedside of a dying patient and the family to discuss care, hold hands, and address issues that are painful and precious.
Loved ones comment on how she listens and identifies needs, embracing every opportunity to help them. One family of a terminally ill infant girl wanted to bring her home to South America for Christmas, and Cindy personally called the airlines, passport office, and State Department, took the passport picture herself, and made everything happen in less than a week, with staff teaching the parents how to care for the baby in flight, and then seeing them off for Christmas and their last days together.
Cindy has also delivered nursing care to some of the most remote and impoverished areas of the world, particularly in the years that she and her husband have spent working in Africa.
A champion of education, Cindys leadership style is a lesson for new nurses who someday hope to assume leadership positions in our profession. Never looking for accolades for herself, Cindy consistently reaches out to nures and professionals in all disciplines to make sure that patients get the care they deserve. She readily accepts students on the unit and works with the medical director to educate new physicians on end-of-life care.Suzanne Palo, RN
SUE PALO, RN, BC, MA
Director, Cardiac & Pulmonary Fitness, & Community Health Education
St. Francis Hospital, Fitness Center
Sue carries out her role in a 300-bed tertiary, nonprofit, acute care, nonteaching community hospital, where she has the overall administrative and clinical responsibility for the Outpatient Cardiac Fitness and Pulmonary Rehabilitation programs and Community Outreach programs. She demonstrates endless enthusiasm and outstanding leadership qualities, and inspires her team members to take leading roles in their areas of knowledge and expertise. They say she guides them to achieve their goals and then steps aside.
Sue spearheaded the development of the Diabetes Care Center, working with the clinical nutritionist to organize and grow the program. She also developed the Early Intervention Program for patients discharged with a cardiac diagnosis, developing research on the subject and helping to achieve a 25% growth.
Through her work with the Gift of Life program, she has initiated, organized, and coordinated more than 100 lifesaving surgeries for children from all over the world. She works with Homeland Security to get visas and with the McDonald Foundation on housing accommodations. Her involvement in outreach programs includes the delivery of services to the poor and underserved. She finds sites, works with churches, coordinates and oversees the program, and actively participates in screenings, consultations, and referral processes.
Certified as a CPR and ACLS instructor, Sue is also an ACSM-certified exercise test technologist, and is ANCC-certified in cardiovascular nursing. In addition, she is the recipient of the St. Francis Managerial Spirit Award, the American Heart Outstanding Service Aaward, and the LI Business News Health Care Hero Award.Gail Sarli, RN
GAIL SARLI, RN, GNP, MS
Administrator, Long-Term Home Health Care Program
Visiting Nurse Service of New York
New York, N.Y.
Gail brings more than 30 years of clinical and managerial experience to her role in the long-term home health care and HIV/AIDS programs at VNSNY. She has overall responsibility for operations, a multidisciplinary staff, and for ensuring quality care and services, and is said to have a unique ability to see the big picture while getting right down to the most exacting detail.
She is adept at coaching and mentoring clinical and management staff alike, and in less than two years, has moved the program to proactive management of chronic illness that keeps patients out of the hospital, achieving 16% growth for the program this year alone. She has reduced staff turnover and introduced staff recognition programs that have boosted morale.
As a nurse, Gail is realizing her childhood dream and her mothers lifelong ambition, and is grateful that the profession has enabled her to make contributions in both hospital and nursing home settings and in education in both LPN and RN programs.
Some years ago, Gail almost left nursing to pursue an MBA and a business role in another field, but thanks to a young nurse she was mentoring at the time, she chose instead to become a nurse practitioner. She joined the early wave of NPs specializing in gerontology and served as director of Health Services for a Medicare managed-care special needs plan before joining VNSNY.
Gail is a gifted nurse and a clinicians clinician, with a financial skill set and a wonderful sense of humor, who has brought tremendous growth to this long-term care home health program. In fact, the VNSNY president and CEO personally suggested that she be nominated for this award.Ginelle Walker-Way, RN
GINELL WALKER-WAY, RN, BSN, MAS
Manager of Electrophysiology Lab & Cardiac Catheterization
Morristown Memorial & Overlook Hospital for Atlantic Health
Managing two Cardiac Cath Labs, Ginell oversees a $14 million budget, a staff of 60, and 120 beds, working with 40 cardiologists on 7,200 invasive procedures a year in two hospitals, 12 miles apart, that receive patients emergently and electively by land and air.
Accepting this position just three years ago, she quickly won the respect and confidence of the entire staff by making sound patient care and fiscal decisions. She cross-trained staff and improved quality and physician and nurse satisfaction at both sites; she saved $500,000 dollars in supply inventory by expanding the lead CV tech role to include inventory responsibility, working with vendors, and setting up a purchasing committee for review and trials. She looked at complications related to percutaneous femoral access and LOS, did research, set up evidence-based guidelines, and restructured the Groin team; she identified best practices for MI patients that led to improved outcomes and lowered expense.
Ginell has a well-developed business sense, excellent people skills, and fosters a climate for education for her staff. She is a Six Sigma Green Belt, qualified to lead IRB-approved research and quality improvement studies, chairwoman of the Acute MI Committee, a valued member of her professional nursing organizations, and is currently pursuing a second masters degree in business administration.
In her community, she is active in No Child Left Behind, has experience with special needs children, is a member of her local parent/teach organization, and was invited recently to get involved in an international project to develop cath labs in underdeveloped countries.
Ginell received the endorsement of the entire multidisciplinary Cardiac Service Line for this award.