A nurse who works for the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System, Montrose, N.Y., has received a national award highlighting her service to veterans in the region.
Audrey Graham-O’gilvie, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNS-BC, is the recipient of the 2015 Secretary of Veterans Affairs Award for Excellence in Nursing and Advancement of Nursing Programs in the Registered Nurse, Expanded Role category. She is one of six honorees nationally.
The Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing and Advancement of Nursing Programs is given to individuals who have been nominated by their colleagues for outstanding service to veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to a news release. These award winners have displayed the best characteristics and the highest level of dedication to their profession. Chosen from individual medical centers, the nominees go through a rigorous review before the final selection is made.
“I could not be more proud of Audrey’s commitment and passion for our veterans,” Margaret B. Caplan, medical center director, said in the release. “This is a well-deserved honor that reflects well on Audrey, on her staff and the entire VA Hudson Valley team.”
Focusing on her collaboration with staff, continued education and other facets of her work, Graham-O’gilvie’s nomination for the award included examples of her service to veterans. That included integration of new equipment and tools for patients, reduction of patient advocate complaints and facilitation of communication throughout the staff.
Beverly Duncklee, PhD, interim associate director for patient care and nursing services, said Graham-O’gilvie’s example is one that sets a standard for her peers and benchmarks a nursing service standard VA-wide.
“Audrey brings a wide array of expertise, passion and enthusiasm for nursing. She has fostered nursing excellence in all of her actions and serves as a role model for others to follow,” Duncklee said in the release. “She is a true servant leader who embodies the 10 principals of servant leadership and has inspired the clinical staff to excel and practice the VA’s I CARE values of integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and excellence.”
Graham-O’gilvie has been a nurse for 34 years. A native of Jamaica, she started her nursing career in Montreal before earning U.S. citizenship in 1990 and continuing her career in New York. She has been with VA Hudson Valley for two years.
“I really believe that any veteran I care for personally is treated in the same manner that I would want my parents treated,” Graham-O’gilvie said in the release. “I live it and breathe it every day. I’m very committed to best practice. It’s always about the patients first and their families.”
Graham-O’gilvie will receive the award at a ceremony later this year.