KishHealth System, now part of Northwestern Medicine, presented its Nursing Excellence Awards and Spirit Award at the 14th annual Employee Recognition Banquet, held on May 10, in the Duke Ellington Ballroom, in the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University. Teresa Farris received the Nursing Excellence Award in Outpatient Nursing, Cheri Hanson received the Nursing Excellence Award in Hospital Nursing, and Brittany Gerard and Joni Schnabel received the Karen Sepaniak KishHealth System Spirit Award. Can-Do Attitude Top Sender and Top Receiver awards were also given.
The Nursing Excellence Awards recognize a nurse working with hospitalized patients and a nurse working with outpatients. These nurses have been nominated because they are role models to their peers, adapt to demands, and work efficiently. They provide high quality care using critical thinking skills, seek new ideas and solutions; they creatively coordinate resources, promote teamwork, foster cooperation, and demonstrate ownership. They work effectively with others in a professional, considerate, and constructive manner and actively listen and respond respectfully. They also suggest alternatives to increase patient care effectiveness, efficiency, and safety, give feedback, and encourage others.
Nurse Practitioner Teresa Farris, from Multispecialty and Wound Care at KishHealth System Physician Group, DeKalb, is the recipient of this year’s Outpatient Nurse of the Year Award. One nominator said, “Teresa Farris embodies all of the characteristics of being our Nurse of the Year. In the healthcare field, you have to be understanding, caring, and kind, but she takes these attributes to a higher level. Not only does she open up her schedule to accommodate patients, she goes above and beyond in being kind and thoughtful during the care process. She also always maintains a professional, but approachable attitude when she’s at work.”
Cheri Hanson, RN, from Valley West Hospital Maternity Suites, is the recipient of Nursing Excellence Award in Hospital Nursing recipient. Her nominators stated, “She is a vital part of our team, a leader and educator, a mentor and role model; she is well respected by her peers and our physicians. She continually searches for ways to do her job better, to teach better, to learn better and find ways to make our unit better.”
The Karen Sepaniak KishHealth System Spirit Award was created to honor and celebrate a woman who knew how to do things only by going above and beyond. Karen worked at Valley West Hospital for nearly 40 years. She passed away in July 2007, after a courageous battle with cancer. This year’s Karen Sepaniak KishHealth System Spirit Award was presented to two employees, Brittany Gerard and Joni Schnabel.
Nominators of Brittany Gerard, Clinical Resources & Volunteer Services, Kishwaukee Hospital, stated: “She has a true passion for the roles she has undertaken. . . She is professional and personable and people feel comfortable talking with her. . . She sets a high bar for compassion and selflessness.”
Nominators of Joni Schnabel, Information Systems, KishHealth System, stated: “We had a big challenge this year in implementing ICD-10. She helped us to test the system and she understood the impact on billing the new system would have. . . She was my go-to-gal and a great trouble shooter. She has done an excellent job this year. . . She took over additional roles and she implemented changes quickly. . . She has been great to work with and is a great resource for our facility.”
Can-Do Attitude cards are the health system’s way to acknowledge peers and to recognize coworkers for going above and beyond in all they do. During this fiscal year, the Rewards and Recognition Team received 2,434 Can-Do Attitude nominations from employees, patients, and physicians. The Top Sender was Sue Aamodt, RN, Hospital Supervisor at Kishwaukee Hospital. And the Top Receiver was Cindy Kahl, RN, Medical/Surgical at Kishwaukee Hospital.
For more information about KishHealth System, visit www.kishhealth.org.
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