The finalists in Nursing Spectrums Nursing Excellence Awards event, which takes place May 6 in Schaumburg, Ill., in the Community Service category are as follows:
Jo Ann Allen, MSN, IBCLC
University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago
Nominated by: Mary Ann Francisco
As a maternal child health nurse for 32 years, Jo Ann Allen long has been dedicated to patients with sickle cell disease and their families.
An active volunteer with the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Illinois for more than 25 years, Allen is a veteran volunteer as a summer camp nurse for SCDAI. In 1988, six weeks after giving birth, she was one of only two volunteer nurses for more than 60 campers, all the while with her son at her side. For nearly a decade, she has provided education for parents of newborns diagnosed with sickle cell disease or sickle cell trait.Susana Gonzalez, RN
Noting a need to help young adults living with sickle cell disease, she was instrumental in developing a Teen Leadership Camp Program to assist patients with completing their education, pursuing vocational development and developing coping skills. As a result, patients ages 16-20 are better able to cope with this chronic illness.
Susana Gonzalez, RN, BSN
Director, Perinatal Womens Services
MacNeal Hospital, Berwyn, Ill.
Nominated by: Hermilia Herrera
Susana Gonzalez has dedicated more than 25 years as a nurse, educator and community activist in numerous organizations. She is in her second six-year term on the executive committee for the board of directors of Mujeres Latinas en Accin, a domestic violence social support agency that seeks to empower more than 5,000 women, families and youths annually to become self-reliant and improve the quality of their lives. She also has volunteered for more than 10 years on the board of directors for the Chicago chapter of the March of Dimes and has a role on the board of directors for the Chicago Bilingual Nurse Consortium. She also supports an event that provides school physicals and gives out free school supplies and backpacks to students. This event also reaches hundreds of adults who come to seek wellness checkups. In addition, she spends a week every November giving free flu shots at a local homeless shelter and church during Thanksgiving dinner.Daisy J. Allen, RN
Daisy J. Allen, RN, BSN, MHA, MHRD, MEd
Cook County Bureau of Health Services, Chicago
Nominated by: Evelyn Littleson
An RN for more than 35 years and vice president of the Chicago chapter of the Black Nurses Association, Daisy Harmon-Allen has taken on full-time community service challenges. Her dedication to volunteering includes helping senior citizens in Bellwood, Ill., which has earned her recognition from several political leaders. She also serves local organizations such as Helping Ourselves Prisoners and Ex-offenders, the NAACP and American Legion Dorie Miller Post 915. Every first Saturday in August since 1998, she sponsors a childhood obesity workshop at Bellwood Healthcare. She instructs parents about the important of healthy eating habits and physical fitness for their children. Also, she stresses the importance of annual physicals, even when immunizations arent necessary. In 1979, Harmon-Allen founded her own independent nursing and academic scholarship. She has awarded more than 30 scholarships to students throughout the Greater Chicago region.Gloria M. Jonota, RN
Gloria M. Jonota, RN
Resurrection Home Health Services, Morton Grove, Ill.
Nominated by: Chris Traba
Although she lives and works in the Greater Chicago region, Gloria Jonota has not forgotten about her home village in the Philippines. With her niece, Jonota coordinated a mission team that provided care to residents of her village, where the annual income is less than $400. A nurse with more than 30 years of experience, Jonota volunteered her own time and finances to meet the team and coordinate with dentists from the village to set up health and dental stations for villagers in October 2010. The team brought supplies, medicine and equipment so that 700 residents were given medical/dental screenings, exams and procedures, along with preventive healthcare education. Besides her mission work, she also helped to raise funds to replace the roof of the church in her village. The church is the center of her village in the community, and it was very important to maintain its physical and spiritual structure. When Jonota worked in dialysis, she also helped the local hospital in her village obtain a dialysis machine from the U.S. She also provides money for scholarships for students in her village.Janice Nuuhiwa, RN
Janice Nuuhiwa, RN, MSN, APN/CNS, CPON
Staff Development Specialist
Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago
Nominated by: Susan Walsh
Janice Nuuhiwas community service starts at home in her Chicago neighborhood and extends all the way to a desperately needy village in Haiti. She is on the board of SurvivorVision, a charitable foundation for childhood cancer survivors and research, has helped organize cancer walks for CureSearch and was instrumental in starting, organizing and continuing the entire medical portion of a community care clinic at her church in Chicagos Andersonville neighborhood. For a week each year, Nuuhiwa volunteers in a small Haitian village in a medical clinic. She created a pharmacy system that provides needed medication to thousands throughout the year. While in Haiti, she uses a headlamp to fill prescriptions because there is no electricity. Nuuhiwa was in Haiti last year when the devastating earthquake hit. Along with her team, she was a first responder to the severely injured. One year later, she returned to serve the community and mourn with the Haitians on the anniversary of the quake.