In recognition of her achievement as a 2014 national GEM Awards winner in the Home, Community and Ambulatory Care category, Tufts Medical Center nurse Debbie A. Mitchell-Dozier, BSN, RN, was honored Nov. 18 at a reception at the Boston facility.
Nurse.com Chief Nurse Executive Eileen Williamson, MSN, RN, along with colleagues Michael Maisel, sales manager for CE Direct, and Alison Reichert, executive director for CE events, hosted the event, one of six such receptions around the country that recognized the outstanding work of the GEM (Giving Excellence Meaning) winners.
Mitchell-Dozier shared the story of her excitement at hearing the news.
I was in Richmond, Va., having lunch with the recipient of my live kidney donation when I learned that I had been selected a national GEM winner, she said. I danced around the entire first floor of their home when [Williamson] called to tell me that I was the winner. That day will always be held in highest esteem in my heart. [It was] simply an amazing experience.
Williamson read highlights from Mitchell-Dozier’s nomination, written by Tufts colleague Heidi Waitkus, BSN, MBA, RN, executive director of patient care services.
A nephrology nurse for 22 years, Mitchell-Dozier became a living kidney donor in 2013, wanting to help a stranger in need and create awareness. She was able to do just that by providing a viable kidney to a nephrology patient in Virginia.Nurse.com’s Eileen Williamson, RN, (left) presents the national GEM Award obelisk in the Home, Community and Ambulatory Care category to Debbie A. Mitchell-Dozier, RN, at Bostons Tufts Medical Center.
Along with Nurse.com staff, Tufts President and CEO Michael Wagner, CNO Terry Hudson-Links, MSN, RN, Waitkis and members of Mitchell-Doziers family were in attendance to honor her. As a surprise treat, the recipient of her kidney attended the reception in recognition of Mitchell-Doziers commitment to her profession and in gratitude to her generosity.
He made a surprise appearance after assuring me that he would send flowers to help celebrate my special day, she said. That act truly blessed my heart.
Before presenting the national award to Mitchell-Dozier, Williamson discussed the GEM program, explaining how each of the national winners are selected.
After six winners in each region are selected at our GEM events, a second judging process on blinded nominations is carried out for the national phase of the program from among 54 regional winners, she said. One nurse in each of the six categories Advancing and Leading the Profession; Clinical Nursing, Inpatient; Education and Mentorship; Home, Community and Ambulatory Care; Patient and Staff Management; and Volunteerism and Service is chosen to be a national winner. Mitchell-Dozier is one of those six nurses, so what she has achieved is amazing.
Mitchell-Dozier said she was extremely humbled by the award and believes her strong faith and years as an Army nurse have contributed to her success.
When I actually learned of being selected the New England regional GEM winner, I cried as I read the write-up, she said. I said aloud to myself, All this time, I’ve tried to keep my faith, my military service, and my primary careers in separate pouches in my life. It seems no one took notice of the depth of my commitment to nursing until they all spilled over into each other.
Williamson presented Mitchell-Dozier with an obelisk bearing her achievement and a Nurse.com framed cover photo featuring Mitchell-Dozier. She also presented Mitchell-Dozier with a signed copy of The American Nurse coffee table book and a plaque to Hudson-Links that signifies Tufts as the home of a national GEM winner.
Tracey Boyd is a regional reporter.