Notable Nurses: Greater Chicago RNs celebrate achievements, awards


Nurse manager, Resurrection Medical Center, Chicago

Ramirez, who manages a stroke rehabilitation unit and an oncology unit, was the recipient of the Sister Gregory Excellence in Leadership award. The award is named for Sister Gregory Krzak, the first administrator of Resurrection Medical Center. It is given annually to a nurse whose demonstrated leadership reflects the core values and the mission of Resurrection Health Care.

According to a news release, Ramirez’ team recorded one of the highest patient satisfaction scores in the Resurrection Health Care system, which includes six hospitals. She also was recognized for opening clear lines of communication with the physicians who admit to her units and following up with every concern brought to her attention. She has a reputation for having a firm belief in uninterrupted time for patients, for holding staff accountable and for being available for counseling and coaching.

“I love my job,” Ramirez said in the release, “I have two great teams of people. Resurrection Medical Center is like a family. We are all here for the common purpose of assuring excellent, patient-centered care. It makes my job, and my life, worthwhile.”

Brenda Rocha, RN

Indiana University Health La Porte Hospital: Brenda Rocha, RN, DNP, FNP, joined the leadership team as the vice president of nursing clinical effectiveness. She will provide leadership for the integration of quality, safety and service into clinical practice and processes. She most recently was the director of nursing services at Advocate Condell Medical Center, Libertyville, Ill.

Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, Lake Forest, Ill.: The hospital honored 10 RNs with 2011 Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Nursing Excellence awards. The winners were: quality of practice, Dawn Clarke; education, Jocelyn Evangelista; professional practice evaluation, Julianne Brennan; communication, Christine Tilker; collaboration, Stephanie Gray; ethics, Fred Bacaling; evidence-based practice and research, Darnell Keesling; resource utilization, Peggy Funk; leadership, Sharon Scopel; and environmental health, Sharon Dufault. Nurses from the hospital’s extended/long-term care unit were awarded the Speci-Cup, which stands for Special Presentation by Exceptional and Caring Individuals, for their innovative work, illustrated in their poster “Nurses Trusted to Care.”

The Joint Commission, Oak Brook Terrace, Ill.: Ann Scott Blouin, RN, PhD, FACHE, was named the executive vice president of customer relations. Blouin, who previously held the title of executive vice president of accreditation and certification operations, will focus on building and strengthening external customer and stakeholder relationships, according to a news release.

Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, Chicago: Receiving their Level 2 certificates during a Nurses’ Week luncheon in May were Young Lee, RN, BSN, CCRN, CNRN; Norma Nodzenski, RN, BSN, CCRN; Gloria Gagni, RN, BSN, CCRN; April Aspa, RN-BC, BSN; Tiffany Gibbs, RN, BSN, CEN; Rosemarie Thielen, RNC-NIC, BHS; Elzbieta Pieta Niemczyk, RN-BC, CRRN; Evangelina Salazar, RN, BSN, CCRN; Eun H. Song, RN, BSN, CCRN, CMS, CSC, CCRC; and Kiersten Solis, RN, BSN, CEN.

Northern Illinois Hospice and Grief Center, Rockford: Pam Shearrow, RN, has joined the team as an admission nurse. Lisa Daugherty, RN, BSN, CHPN, passed her exam to become a certified wound care nurse.

Sigma Theta Tau International Leadership Academy: Four Chicago-area nurses are participating in the 2012-13 Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy mentoring program through Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing.

Dina Lipowich, RN, MSN, director of medical nursing and inpatient geriatrics at Northwest Community Healthcare in Arlington Heights, Ill., will be working with her mentor, Gloria Reidinger, RNC, director of research at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Ill.

Therese Murphy, RN, BSN, CCRN, patient care manager at Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Ill., will work with mentor Jacqueline Medland, RN, PhD, vice president of patient care services at Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center.

Twelve individuals from nine states selected 12 mentors from 10 states for the 18-month GNLA, which runs from June 2012 to November 2013. According to a news release, the mentors will guide fellows through a blended curriculum that provides a multitude of methodologies for developing leadership knowledge and competence, with a focus on individual leadership, advanced nursing practice through team leadership and organizational scope of influence.

Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital, Hines, Ill.: Anna Stachyra, APRN-BC, PhD, was elected to serve on the Advisory Committee of Hektoen Institute of Medicine: Nurses and the Humanities. Debbie Holzer, RN, BSN, member of the Clinical Nurse Leader Association, is now serving on the CNL Chapter Development Committee. Eileen Collins, RN, PhD, FAAN, was acknowledged for her work as an individual member of the Nursing Research Advisory Group of the National Nurse Executive Council. Latha Panicker, RN, graduated in May 2012 from the adult nurse practitioner program at North Park University in Chicago.

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