This year’s Philadelphia Tri-State Nurse.com GEM Awards finalists are among the best of the best in the profession. Thirty finalists are honored from 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.
Here are the 2015 Philadelphia Tri-State GEM Award finalists:
Advancing and Leading the Profession
Maureen DePrince, BA, RN, CCRN, SCRN, director, Jefferson Neuroscience Network, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia. As director, DePrince is instrumental in developing and conducting educational programs for all collaborative partners.She has contributed to Jefferson’s becoming comprehensive stroke center and enables patients to remain in thecommunity through the Jefferson Expert Teleconsulting service and via high-tech robotic systems to treat time-sensitive neurovascular diseases.
Rosemary Dunn, DrNP, MBA, RN, CNO, Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia. Dunn spearheaded hospital-wide implementation of an all-RN care delivery model with notable quality patient and nurse satisfaction outcomes. Dunn, who oversees a $175-million annual budget, successfully guided the organization to its first Magnet redesignation during a time of leadership change.
Sara Holland, DNP, RN, director of nursing education and research, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Philadelphia. Using her trauma/critical care background, Holland was instrumental in devising education plans for all units in anticipation of a new trauma patient population, and collaborated to plan and facilitate interdisciplinary simulations in preparation for these patients. Holland also united three essential councils to improve their function and effectiveness.
Teresa Murphy, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, manager of nursing resources and operations, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Murphy manages more than 90 clinical nurses and CNAs in the virtual unit that serves the entire health system. She co-manages the new special treatment unit to care for potential Ebola victims. Her leadership skills have resulted in her acceptance into the AONE Nurse Manager Fellowship program.
Eileen Phillips, MSN, RN, NE-BC, director of acute care services, Riddle Hospital—Main Line Health, Media, Pa. Phillips’ leadership has led to Innovations such as the Narrate Your Care program to educate nurses about patient-centered care and Bright Ideas that promotes staff involvement in decision-making. She helped develop a drug diversion identification program and led the ICU successfully to a Gold Beacon Award.
Clinical Nursing, Inpatient
Brittany Chalfant, MSN, RN, NP-C, RN-BC, clinical nurse, Kennedy Health System, Stratford, N.J. Chalfant champions care for geriatric patients, assuring colleagues know elder care principles. Her involvement with an acute care for elders unit project increased ambulation and helped patients return home sooner. Chalfant encourages colleagues to pursue advanced education and certification, and in 2014, NICHE accepted her abstract for a poster presentation.
David Dacanay Jr., BSN, RN, RN-C, staff nurse, 4A Acute Pulmonary Care, chairman, shared governance council, Virtua Voorhees (N.J.) Hospital. Dacanay, a pioneer in introducing shared governance to his 24-bed acute pulmonary care unit, fosters nurse empowerment and acts as a resource to other units beginning shared governance. His leadership has resulted in the implementation of efforts to reduce falls, improve teamwork and alleviate nighttime unit noise.
Ashley Garton, BSN, RN, CMSRN, medical surgical staff nurse, Inspira Medical Center Elmer (N.J.) Garton precepts new nurses, served as liaison for Magnet redesignation, and participates on the councils for quality and unit-based practice. Her commitment to improving patient care moved her to design and implement a comprehensive joint replacement seminar for patients and caregivers.
Colleen Price, MSN, RN, nurse manager,trauma/medical ICU, Capital Health, Trenton, N.J. Clinical excellence and outstanding performance in patient and staff education are trademarks of Price’s investment on her trauma/intensive care unit and the greater organization. The recipient of multiple awards, she serves on several councils and works to improve responses to code blue events, coordinating simulations on every inpatient unit.
Kelly Tarnoviski, RN, staff nurse, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Tarnoviski cares for all ages in a specialized pre- and post-catheterization, operative, and same-day procedural care unit. She seeks solutions to safety concerns and teaches hospital-wide as a safekeeping instructor. She precepts new nurses, new charge nurses and nursing students.
Education and Mentorship
Janice Boc, MSN, RNC-NIC, NNP-BC, PCNS-BC, clinical nurse specialist, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Del. Boc translates research into practice, ensuring that neonates and families receive optimal care. Her efforts ensure that NICU policies and procedures are based on best evidence from the literature and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses standards. She helped implement the Safe to Sleep program, and provides instruction on the safe transport of infants between facilities.
Katharine Donaldson, MSN, ANP, BC, WhNP-BC, CPLC, C-EPM, perinatal clinical nurse specialist, Capital Health Medical Center-Hopewell, Pennington, N.J. Donaldson chairs councils on education and on nursing practice, and implemented research projects to increase safety and awareness for perinatal patients. A mentor for nurses in high-risk obstetrics and perinatal bereavement, she redesigned an educational program for pregnant women with diabetes. She also facilitates a postpartum depression support group.
Susan Fulginiti, MSN, RN-BC, clinical informatics educator, Kennedy Health, Stratford, N.J. Fulginiti helps staff make sense of the computer systems in a way that upholds patient safety and quality, by researching questions, resolving issues and offering expertise. She initiated the nursing informatics committee that launched the intranet nursing portal.
Maureen McCloskey, BSN, RN, CPN, clinical nurse expert, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Described as a visionary, McCloskey assessed and revised the clinical ladder system by instituting a structured mentoring program for her level IV peers. She serves as orientation coordinator, was selected as a safety coach, and is role model for colleagues embarking on degree completion.
Emily Turnure, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, administrative director of education and accreditation, Inspira Health Network, Vineland, N.J. Under Turnure’s leadership, the organization’s clinical ladder program saw an increase of more than 200% in the number of nurses achieving advanced levels. She directly supervises nursing educators across clinical settings, offering inservice education related to new initiatives, practices and products.
Home, Community and Ambulatory Care
Deborah Mantegna, MSN, RN, manager, community health services, Riddle Hospital—Main Line Health, Media, Pa. Mantegna effectively develops and implements community health programs. She thinks outside the box, for example, once bringing an oversized inflatable tunnel that replicates a colon to a health fair to educate at-risk people about colon cancer. Her role modeling and leadership motivate at-risk high school students to stay in school.
Barbara McCormick, MSN, RN, specialty care transport nurse, STAT Medical Transport/Kennedy Health System, Voorhees, N.J. McCormick supports lifelong learning and collaboration in specialty care transport. She spearheaded education and coordinated with multiple agencies in preparation for Ebola patients. An active participant on statewide committees, she provides input to leaders to establish best practices in the industry.
Roger Meece, BSN, RN, CPN, direct care nurse, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Del. Meece initiates and participates in numerous projects to improve nursing practice. He’s a Magnet leader for the organization and the first chair of shared governance. For the past two years, Meece has led the unit-based skills fair, and the unit achieved 100% participation from staff last year.
Elizabeth Ann Sunderland, BSN, RN-BC, OCN, medical oncology nurse navigator, Paoli (Pa.) Hospital. The cancer center’s flow has improved through Sunderland’s work with the process improvement team, and she was instrumental in creating a successful oral chemotherapy pathway. In 2014, she presented a poster on patient education at the National Coalition of Oncology Nurse Navigators Conference.
David Tercha, BSN, RN, PHRN, CFRN, critical care transport RN/flight nurse, JeffSTAT, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia. Tercha exemplifies the attributes of adaptability and teamwork. As chairman of the preceptor committee, he gives input on process with timelines for future re-evaluation and revision. An active member of the observer program, Tercha has had many observers shadow him during a shift.
Patient and Staff Management
Mary deSimone, BSN, MHA, RN, CEN, NE-BC, nurse manager, emergency department, Bryn Mawr (Pa.) Hospital—Main Line Health. DeSimone was instrumental in creating a rapid evaluation unit in the ED. She worked with the nursing quality council to improve response time to patient call lights. She inspires staff to achieve specialty certification in emergency nursing, with 63% now certified.
Marybeth Lahey, MSN, RN, NE-BC, nurse manager, mother baby unit, Penn Medicine—Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia. Lahey created a fall prevention bundle designed specifically for infants on the mother baby unit resulting in an 85% falls reduction. She partnered with other leaders to implement the first obstetrical rapid response team and created a monthly breast-feeding champion award to recognize staff who have gone above and beyond in supporting nursing moms.
Carol McClinton, MSN, RN, CEN, charge nurse night shift, Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital, West Chester, Pa. McClinton has served as a role model and supported teamwork among staff to provide exceptional ED care. She has been involved in the rapid treatment area development and implementation team, dramatically changing the patient care delivery pathway. McClinton has been instrumental in the growth, development and orientation of numerous new staff members.
Patricia Paulley, BSN, RN, CEN, director, nursing quality/professional practice/Magnet, Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital, West Chester, Pa. A true innovator, Paulley invited 12 direct care nurses to assist her with the Magnet designation document writing. Her organizational, interpersonal, communication and leadership skills, and a true passion for nursing and Magnet, resulted in the achievement of Magnet designation.
Sharon Sandt, BSN, RN, director, surgery special care 19NT and central telemetry monitoring, Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia. Sandt manages her team with enthusiasm and passion, and her commitment to clear and open communication has yielded positive results. One of Sandt’s many successful initiatives, Back to Basics, challenged staff to offer each patient a backrub during their shift, resulting in increased patient satisfaction.
Volunteerism and Service
Kathleen Ashton, PhD, RN, ACNSBC, professor, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson School of Nursing, Philadelphia. An educator and leader whose giving is diversified, Ashton volunteers and serves in many venues and settings at home and abroad. Using nursing as her platform to bring hope and healing to others, she gives generously to high schools, colleges, hospital committees and foreign clinics, both as educator and clinician.
Meghann Horst, BSN, RN, RN-BC, OCN, staff nurse, Paoli (Pa.) Cancer Center. An oncology nurse, role model and mentor, Horst gives generously at home and abroad. She has employed art therapy in patients’ pain management and volunteered in Africa, teaching women and children first aid and hygiene. With faith and love as her inspiration, she is present for her patients wherever her journey takes her.
Joanne Schleider, MSN, RN, PCCN, patient navigator RN, Kennedy Health System Stratford Division Emergency Room, Stratford, N.J. Schleider helps the homeless and impoverished and never quits. She works with community organizations on behalf of her ED patients. At work or on her own time, Schleider navigates it all, handling discharge calls, providing insurance and financial help, volunteering at street fairs and working on reducing prescription street drugs.
Farzana Shah, BSN, RN, CPN, clinical nurse, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. With passion and skills not confined to her role at work, Shah gives of herself in volunteer efforts that include rhythm interpretation, recycling and more, and take her from Philadelphia to Peru. Considered a gift by her colleagues, her love for children and cardiac care has formed her life’s mission.
Laurie Watson, MSN, RN, director of patient experience and volunteer services, Lankenau Medical Center—Main Line Health, Wynnewood, Pa. Watson gives of herself in many ways, such as teaching employment skills to mentally challenged students, sewing Heart Hugs pillows, teaching teens about healthcare careers in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Houston, and serving on a domestic violence task force. She is an avid volunteer.