Nursing Excellence Awards 2014

May 15, 2014 8:39 pm

To recognize nurses for their outstanding practice at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, each year we honor 12 nurses for their exceptional leadership in supporting and demonstrating how we live our nursing values in our daily professional practice.  They use their clinical leadership and skills or contribute to the broader community in an outstanding manner and serve as evidence of nurses who bring life to Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Nursing Professional Practice Model in their daily lives.

edited nursing photo

From left to right: Linda Spoelma, Carrie Mull, Beth Triezenberg, Sheila Troup, Sue Neureuther, Sandy Alcumbrack, Morgan Smagala, Sarah Wenger, Lynette Orvis and Stephanie Clapham. (Not pictured: Dave VanderArk and Kylie Schaberg.)

This year, 65 nominations were received, all of which were reviewed by the Clinical Advancement System Committee.  Two finalists were selected for exemplifying the behaviors associated with each of our five nursing values:

  • spirituality,
  • advocacy,
  • knowledge,
  • compassionate care, and
  • collaboration.Additionally, our Vision Award nurses were chosen for demonstration of unwavering support and evidence of outstanding contributions across all our values.We congratulate our award recipients and all who were nominated for this significant recognition. Read the excerpts from their nomination forms below. On May 14, these nurses were celebrated with a ceremony on 5 Lacks as the anchor event for National Health Care Week. This popular event was attended by more than 180 colleagues, doctors and administration members. Click for the entire Nursing Excellence Awards book:  Award Book 2014 – final copySarah Wenger, RN, 4 Lacks – Vision Award
    Along with the care that Sarah provides to all of her patients, she has an active role in nursing decision making here at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.  She is the chair of the 4 Lacks UBC, chair of the Nursing Coordinating Council and plays a very active role in the Informatics Team.  Sarah is very knowledgeable and shares this knowledge as a preceptor to new RNs along with our nurse interns.  Her caring and compassionate demeanor provides a welcoming environment to all around her.Lynette Orvis, RN, CNS, Hauenstein 2, Leader Award for Vision:
    Lynette is an exceptional resource.  No job is too small or too large.  She is quiet, but is the backbone in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).  Her role, feelings of responsibility and relationships extend far beyond our floor. For collaboration, I would refer to Lynette as “the bridge.”  She communicates between neurosurgery and critical care to make sure everyone is on the same page.  She makes sure everyone is heard and understood.


And Our Nursing Excellence Award Winners for 2014!  

Sandy Alcumbrack, 3 Lacks – Knowledge
Sandy exemplifies the nursing value of Knowledge. She is a charge nurse on our unit and is looked at as a role model by all of our staff. If Sandy does not know the answer, she will find it. She is a wonderful resource to our new staff, and her patience and calm manner make her easily approachable.

Stephanie Clapham, 8 Main – Compassionate Care
Stephanie exemplifies what it means to be a nurse at Saint Mary’s. Her daily actions are consistent with the mission and vision of Saint Mary’s and her patients continually praise her excellent care.

Carrie Mull, Psych-Med Unit – Spirituality
Carrie advocates for patients with psychiatric needs outside of the Psych Med Unit (PMU).  When there are difficult patients, Carrie is consulted to help develop a plan.  Carrie does this in a way that protects the dignity and voice of the patient.

Sue Neureuther, Palliative Care – Compassionate Care
Sue is such a resource and gentle spirit to those in distress.  Her demeanor, compassion and knowledge are such an asset in high stress situations that are common in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Kylie Schaberg, 3 Lacks – Collaboration
Kylie had a vision. She used evidence based practice and was ready to take on the mission. Due to her energy and perseverance this program will be successful. What I admire most is Kylie did not have to be told to do this, but used all the proper channels to implement it.

Morgan Smagala, 4 Lacks – SpiritualityIt is more than chemotherapy.  It is more than antibiotics.  It is more than welcome kits and hand sanitizer.  It is hope.  Morgan brings hope to a very difficult battle.

Linda Spoelma, Clinical Staffing – Advocacy

  • I do not know how many people Linda has coached — perhaps she has stopped counting — but I know that she demonstrates the precious skill of teaching those who are filled with fear. Thank you, Linda, from all of us who have benefited from your selfless acts.Beth Triezenberg, 7 South – Collaboration
    She employs collaboration as one of her primary functions on a daily basis. I love her mantra of disallowing “a one specific person dependent process.”Shelia Troup, Hauenstein 2 – Advocacy
    After Sheila tracked down the estranged daughter of a patient, the daughter wrote her a note: “I just wanted to say thanks for finding me and allowing me to make peace with my mom before she passed. Words cannot describe how much I appreciate you. You are a remarkable person.” Dave Vander Ark, Professional Development – Knowledge
    Dave’s passion to care for the mentally ill and his expertise in psychiatric nursing and teaching methods are invaluable assets to Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.



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