Nurse.com Nursing Spectrum has chosen five finalists from the Philadelphia Tri-State region for the Volunteerism and Service category in our 2012 Nursing Excellence Awards program.
The finalists will be recognized May 8 in a ceremony at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, where a winner in the category also will be selected.
Melissa Martelly, RN, BSN, MA, PCCN
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia
Martelly spent six months in Tanzania in 2009 working in a primary health clinic, observing and providing care to mothers and babies, as well as engaging in cross-cultural dialogue on pressing healthcare needs. In addition to her time at the clinic, she taught med/surg nursing at the University of Arusha and provided assistance as a clinical instructor at a clinical site. In the wake of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Martelly tried to be part of the relief effort but was unable to find an organization willing to take her. Undaunted, she landed a contact who allowed her to participate later that year in a 10-day humanitarian trip, which found her triaging more than 300 patients a week. Within TJUH, Martelly addressed the problems preceptors were having with the role by developing a preceptor binder that operationalizes the process for preceptors and orientees and provides resources to aid in the process.Dianne L. Hyman, RN
Dianne L. Hyman, RN, MSN, OCN
Oncology Nurse Navigator
Cooper Cancer Institute, Camden, N.J.
For the past 10 years, Hyman has volunteered after hours to lead a breast cancer support group for women of color called “Sister Will You Help Me.” The group provides minority women with education, advocacy, peer-to-peer support and empowerment. Within Cooper Cancer Institute, Hyman has become a role model for patients and staff. She is able to provide patients with education, delivered in an effective manner, which improves patient compliance with the steps necessary to diagnose, stage and treat multiple cancers. Hymans MSN capstone project in 2010 was an initiative to educate, support and retain minority nursing students, recognizing that with the countrys changing cultural demographic, the nursing profession must provide culturally competent nurses to improve patient outcomes. Hymans nominator wrote: “Her dedication and determination has sustained her during 10 years of volunteerism and service to minority women with breast cancer. She has been a guiding light for this community.”Jennifer Nelson, RN
Jennifer Nelson, RN, BSN, CMSRN
Registered Nurse, Chair of Nursing Professional Development Council
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia
Nelson heads the Nursing Professional Development Council. She volunteered and assisted in organizing representation for a holiday gift-wrapping and dinner event for the homeless and underserved in December 2011. During the same month, she attended the Rudolphy Home for the Blind Christmas dinner with the hospitals nursing advisory council and medical ICU. As the unit-based council chair, she organized the first unit holiday party. In 2010, she assisted in organizing and collecting Christmas presents for a needy family, and she participated in the event in 2011. In May 2011, she participated in coordinating the hospitals Take Your Child to Work Day and volunteered at the event. Among her many acts of service outside the hospital, she prepared and volunteered at the Heart Healthy Community Support event at the West Philadelphia Senior Center in 2011 and is organizing the 2012 program. Her nominator wrote: “She is an engaging care provider who promotes strong patient- and family-centered interactions.”Sarah Riddle, RN
Sarah Riddle, RN, CCRN
The Chester County Hospital, West Chester, Pa.
Riddle sits on the Ventilator Associated Pneumonia Committee and has been instrumental in the work toward reducing VAP. As a result of the groups work, no patient has developed VAP while in the ICU since July 2007. She also is a member of the ethics committee and a core member of the preceptor group. She volunteered at a small hospital in La Gonave, a Haitian island, in 2009 and 2011, interacting with all levels of staff and supplying not only nursing care but working to stock supplies and share stories with the local nursing staff. She shared her experiences by writing an article that was published in Nurse.com Nursing Spectrum along with several photographs she took. Her nominator wrote: “While she enjoys implementing new therapies and modalities, she never loses perspective that a human being is at the center of this care. (Riddle) is compassionate with patients and their families.”Shawn Cassidy, RN
Shawn Cassidy, RN, CEN, BSN
ED Staff Nurse
Riddle Memorial Hospital, Media, Pa.
Employed at Riddle for more than 20 years, Cassidys roles in the ED have included staff nurse, triage nurse, team leader and preceptor. As a commander in the Nurse Corps of the U.S. Navy, he has done two tours of duty and multiple humanitarian missions abroad. He continues to serve in the Navy Reserve and returned to work in November 2011 after 10 months in Afghanistan. Tapping into Cassidys specialized knowledge gained through his military background, the hospital has conducted mass casualty drills. He has assisted the hospitals safety officer and ED management with setting up, conducting and participating in drills. He also has assisted pre-hospital care providers with decontaminating victims and setting up decontamination equipment. Cassidy learned to speak Spanish so that on his missions he could communicate better with local citizens and learn the culture. He is a resource for coworkers in the ED with the Spanish-speaking population.