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Nursing Excellence finalists: Advancing and Leading the Profession

Nursing Spectrum announces its 2010 Nursing Excellence finalists in the Advancing and Leading the Profession category. The winners will be chosen May 12 at the Sheraton Society Hill in Philadelphia.

Angela Coladonato, RN, MSN, NEA-BC
Sr. Vice President/CNO
The Chester County Hospital, West Chester, Pa.
Nominated by: Catherine Weidman

Nursing at The Chester County Hospital has blossomed since Angela Coladonato’s arrival. Coladonato developed a strong leadership team and has guided nurses at the community hospital through the development of a three-year strategic plan focused on nurses.

She has led and helped developed the shared decision-making council, unit councils and more to meet the professional development needs of the staff. Coladonato instituted the hospital’s money-saving Patient Safety Assistant program. Before that program, the hospital was using expensive agency nursing assistants for overtime to cover patients on 1:1 observation.

Angela Coladonato, RN

By hiring dedicated staff to manage patients who need 1:1 supervision, the hospital has improved patient and staff satisfaction, provided a safe environment and saved $250,000 annually. Coladonato has started the hospital on the journey toward Magnet status. She has obtained funds for nurses to be reimbursed for certification and started an annual tea to celebrate certification. Coladonato has connected with staff by having face-to-face meetings on all shifts to discuss employee satisfaction.

This fall, she conducted 67 meetings on all shifts and units to seek insight for improving employee satisfaction. Coladonato holds quarterly meetings on all shifts to have a forum for unit secretaries, nursing assistants and techs to discuss their specific concerns and issues. Her mentorship is genuine and based on the premise that the leadership team needs to be the best possible. She is positive in her support and encourages growth and development in the leadership team.

Elizabeth Craig, RN, MSN, CRNP
Vice President Patient Care
Lankenau Hospital, Wynnewood, Pa.
Nominated by: Elaine Thompson

Elizabeth Craig makes best practice, high-quality patient care a top priority. Earlier in her career, as patient care manager in labor and delivery, high-risk antepartum, postpartum and newborn nursery, she helped develop a postpartum depression screening, supported a breast-feeding initiative with a 27% increase in postpartum conversion and coordinated implementation of patient-controlled epidural analgesia.

Elizabeth Craig, RN

As vice president of patient care services, Craig strives to provide the human, fiscal and material resources to support the nursing staff in giving care and services with unsurpassed excellence. She has found creative ways to keep staff engaged and motivated.

Recently, in collaboration with a physician colleague, Craig spearheaded development of transformational bedside care teams, which involved a shift in how physicians and nurses partner to support care delivery. The new approach has led to statistically significant improvement in patient satisfaction, mortality, complications and core measure appropriate care scores.

In her effort to reduce hospital-acquired infections, Craig has led teams that have demonstrated statistically significant decreases in urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections and ventilator-associated pneumonias.

Patricia Gerrity, RN, PhD, FAAN
Associate Dean for Community Programs
Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions, Philadelphia
Nominated by: Roberta Waite

Patricia Gerrity is lauded for her commitment to community and service to improve health outcomes for urban populations, particularly in North Philadelphia. She has been selfless in developing one of the most innovative nurse-led centers in the country.

Patricia Gerrity, RN

The American Academy of Nursing cited this center as a national model. This nurse-managed, multidisciplinary health center provides a full range of primary care, dental services, behavioral health services and health promotion and disease prevention. The center is featured in the AAN’s Raise the Voice campaign video, which profiles how nursing solutions can transform healthcare.

The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality profiled the nursing center on its Health Care Innovations Exchange. Early on, Gerrity received a large program grant to deliver services but had no building from which to deliver primary care. So, the community found a space for primary care services in a recreation center. Four years later, in 2002, a $3.3 million health center building was constructed, and services were extended beyond primary care to dental and behavioral health.

In 2005 and 2006, there were about 19,000 visits, and Gerrity is fundraising for a new wing for medical specialties. The patient population is made up primarily of inner-city, public-housing residents.

About 75% of those served are covered by the state Medicaid plan, and the remaining are uninsured, yet no one is turned away. When Gerrity provided a tour of the center for the chair of the Department of Medicine, he repeatedly asked how she did it. What did it take? It took a nurse and her unique nursing vision.

Aline Holmes, RN

Aline Holmes, RN, MSN
Senior Vice President, Clinical Affairs and Director, Institute for Quality and Patient Safety
New Jersey Hospital Association, Princeton, N.J.
Nominated by: Barbara Chamberlain, APN, PhD

As founding director of the Institute for Quality and Patient Safety, which is part of a statewide, nonprofit trade organization, Aline Holmes has been instrumental in improving the quality of care hospitals provide to their patients. Her efforts are directly responsible for several positive changes within New Jersey’s healthcare system. She has shepherded statewide efforts in medication safety, ICU care, pressure ulcer prevention, racial disparities, ventilator-associated pneumonia, rapid-response teams and more, with measurable results. As director of the institute, Holmes was a hands-on leader of the Collaborative to Improve Quality of Care and Patient Safety in the ICU and the Collaborative to Reduce the Incidence of Pressure Ulcers. As a result of her leadership and involvement in these efforts, participants in the first collaborative achieved a 73% reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infections and a 55% reduction in ventilator-associated pneumonia. These improvements prevented 216 potential patient deaths. The pressure ulcer collaborative achieved a 70% reduction in the incidence of pressure ulcers in two years. The success of these initiatives earned national and international recognition. Holmes was invited to present before the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel in Oxford, England, and traveled across the U.S. and Canada to tell groups and hospital associations about best practices and offer help and expertise. Holmes also received a grant to implement Transforming Care at the Bedside, which is designed to give nurses tools that will increase job satisfaction, retention and allow them to spend more time with their patients. She helped pioneer the Staff Nurse Advisory Council and Nurse Managers Advisory Council to better empower nurses in their workplaces, and served as past president of the state’s organization of nurse executives.

Jan Nash, RN

Jan Nash, RN, MSN, PhD, NEA-BC
Vice President, Patient Services
Paoli (Pa.) Hospital
Nominated by: Linda March for Christina Felder, Staff Nurse

Jan Nash has led a $145 million project to redesign and transform patient care in a new patient care pavilion at Paoli Hospital. The model ultimately was implemented throughout the health system. The model involved not only decentralized nursing stations to bring nurses physically closer to their patients, but also the decentralization of ancillary services to the unit level. This included the creation of new roles to assist nurses so they could stay focused on planning and executing patient care. In 2005, the work Nash had done at the hospital and in collaboration for the hospital system culminated in Magnet status. Her accomplishments and the documentation of her progressive programs were powerful drivers of that achievement. Most recently, Nash launched the new Patient Care Facilitator role for nurses at Paoli. This unique model establishes the nurse as a clinical leader and patient advocate. The PCF coordinates and facilitates the care of patients for staff nurses, physicians, case managers, social workers, therapists and families with amazing results. Under Nash’s leadership, Paoli’s vacancy rate has remained less than 2% since 2006. Part of that success comes from involving the staff in decision making through a shared governance system. Numerous nurses and managers have cited and written personal stories about the impact Nash has had on their growth as professional nurses and nurse leaders.

By | 2020-04-15T14:11:27-04:00 April 19th, 2010|Categories: Philadelphia/Tri-State, Regional|0 Comments

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