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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 04/28/98
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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Six Honored With Florence Nightingale Excellence In Nursing Awards

Cincinnati--Six area nurses who epitomize the best qualities in personal patient care were selected as the recipients of the sixth annual Florence Nightingale Excellence In Nursing Awards, given by the University of Cincinnatiís (UC) College of Nursing and Health and its Board of Advisors. The awards and $1,000 each were presented to the winners in front of a crowd of 600 people attending a dinner on April 28 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Cincinnati. The Master of Ceremonies Jim Knippenberg presented the awards. Knippenberg is a columnist for the Tempo section of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The six winners are: Deborah Mills, registered nurse with the UC Department of Neurology and Tristate Parkinsonís Disease Coordinator; Judy Maxson, home health nurse with Tender Care Home Health; Diane Ruark, registered nurse at the St. Elizabeth Medical Center Mother /Infant Unit; Chelsie Morgan, patient coordinator at The Christ Hospital Rehabilitation Unit; Connie Rainey, restorative nurse at the Drake Center, Inc.; and Brenda Hickman, registered nurse at the Middletown Regional Hospital. The awards were sponsored by Cincinnati Financial Corporation, The Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati, Omnicare, Hill-Rom, Mercy Regional Health System of Greater Cincinnati, Hoechst Marion Roussel, and the Hayfields Foundation.

There were 185 nurses nominated. With more than 300 nominations, many of the award winners were nominated multiple times. Andrea Lindell, DNSc, dean of the UC College of Nursing and Health, says "Through these awards, the Cincinnati community has shown how much they value the special care they received from a nurse who exemplifies the Nightingale spirit."

Ten other nominees were recognized as the 1998 Hayfields Award Foundation winners and each received $200 awards. Those finalists, their positions and employers are:
  • Sharon Balkenhol, RN--Clinical Specialist, Pulmonary, Jewish Hospital;
  • Mary Elizabeth Bean, RN--Staff Nurse, Alois Alzheimer Center;
  • Michelle Cobble, RN--Clinical Nurse II, Children's Hospital Medical Center;
  • Paula Cubbage, RN--Staff Nurse, Progressive Care, Clermont Mercy Hospital;
  • Bessie Helm, RN--Shift Supervisor, Drake Center, Inc.;
  • Carol Hughes, RN--OB/GYN Staff Nurse, The Christ Hospital;
  • Mary Lottman, RN--Staff Nurse, Surgicare, Good Samaritan Hospital;
  • Kathy Mosbaugh, RN--Staff Nurse, Emergency Department, Clermont Mercy Hospital;
  • Cindy Perry, RN--Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, City of Cincinnati Health Department;
  • Tammy Powell, RN--Staff Nurse, UC Medical Center Infectious Disease Center
Brief descriptions of the six 1998 grand winners of the Florence Nightingale Awards follow:

Deborah Mills--University of Cincinnati Department of Neurology

As a registered nurse with the University of Cincinnati Department of Neurology and as the Tristate Parkinsonís Disease Coordinator, Deborah Mills has had profound influence on the quality of care for patients with Parkinson's disease. Parkinsonís Disease patients and their families are in desperate need for information and Deborah has worked very hard to educate patients about the multiple facets of care for Parkinsonís Disease. To provide this needed assistance, she has organized 10 Tristate support groups. Deborah has started programs for patients employing techniques such as aqua therapy, voice therapy and an educational dietetic program. She also has played a key role in developing the Pallidotomy Program, which includes the publication of a brochure that explains the procedure. As a nominator stated, "She is always thinking about the Parkinsonís disease patient and exploring ways to make life a little easier for both the patient and the caregiver."

Judy Maxson--Tender Care Home Health

As a home health nurse employed with Tender Care Home Health, Judy Maxson demonstrates compassion and concern for her patients. Many of her patients are elderly, homebound, and are in need of more than just medical care. Judy is sensitive to problem situations and spends extended time with a patient or the caregiver giving them much comfort. An example of her exceptional caring is the time she organized a shopping trip for a homebound caregiver so the caregiver could get a needed pair of Christmas boots. Another example is the time one of her patients celebrated her 101st birthday and Judy took her to the City of Hamilton Courthouse to be recognized by the City. She was also instrumental in transporting a patient and the caregiver to a wound clinic; without this intervention, the patient would not have received his needed therapy. All this is accomplished on her own time. Although Judyís days are long, she brings hope and sunshine to the many patients who await her visit.

Diane Ruark--St. Elizabeth Medical Center

Diane Ruark provides nursing care to many of the patients at the St. Elizabeth Medical Center Mother/ Infant Unit. She not only responds to medical needs but also to social, psychological and frequently religious needs of both the patient and the family. For Diane, diplomacy is a must. She has been observed "leaving one room where the family is celebrating the birth of their perfect child only to enter another room where the family is not as fortunate." Her expertise, compassion and warmth envelop the patients making their fears disappear. In Dianeís 30-plus years of nursing, her love of nursing is best described by this patientís comment; "I will never forget Dianeís kindness through our difficult ordeal. I needed expertise and with her calm manner, I felt assured. I will always be grateful."

Chelsie Morgan--The Christ Hospital Patient Care Coordinator Rehabilitation Unit

As nursing and medicine have evolved into fields involving ever more complex practices and procedures, the demands placed on nurses have burgeoned. Chelsie Morgan, a patient coordinator at The Christ Hospital Rehabilitation Unit, has demonstrated her clinical skills and nursing rehabilitation knowledge coordinating programs for each of her patients. "Sam," as the staff and patients call Chelsie, encourages patients to participate in physically and emotionally draining therapy. Her strength lies in her ability to comfort the patient, who is distressed, agitated or depressed. The course of therapy required of these patients can be very frustrating and overwhelming. Chelsie is the advocate of the stroke patient and the elderly patient who have no family or support system. She coordinates their associated therapies so patients can concentrate on their daily therapy and achieve their treatment goals. As an elderly stroke patient said, "Sam would encourage me when I wanted to quit and sensitive when I had enough. And with her support I finally made it. May God bless her."

Connie Rainey--Drake Center, Inc.

"Her dedication and compassion have touched the lives of those around her," wrote a nominator about Connie Rainey, a restorative nurse at Drake Center. Day after day she encourages and uplifts patients as they work hard at their restorative therapy. Connie cares for the patient whose injuries are severe and recovery is long term. One young man, a patient for 18 years, knew very few words. With the help and encouragement of Connie, he learned to say "Hi, Mom" much to the delight of his mother. One man observed, as he worked alongside Connie in his wifeís therapy, that she developed an emotional bond with his wife even though his wife was unable to speak. This man felt Connie had tremendous patience in working with his wife and applauded her small steps forward. He stated that this care is the basis of his wife's progress. These are just two of many examples of Connieís resourcefulness in encouraging her patients to become successful. Connie will search for every possible treatment intervention and resource available to achieve recovery for her patients.

Brenda Hickman--Middletown Regional Hospital

No one can ever be prepared for the diagnosis of cancer. Brenda Hickman of Middletown Regional Hospital administers to cancer patients as well as to their families. Each patient is treated with respect and dignity. She gives them the strength and sustenance to fight their disease and pain while supporting the family. A patient's daughter observed, "that she is the kind of nurse who nurtures her patients with the quiet strength of a mother who awakens to comfort her child in the dark night. She would bandage his arm so carefully and tenderly while sharing kind words with him. A stranger to us, she came into our lives like a true angel of mercy when we needed her the most."

1998 Nominees for the Florence Nightingale Awards for Nursing

Barbara Ament
Trish Ammerman
Terry Anderson
Tangi Angel
Pam Anspach
Ginger Arrowood
Chris Auer
Sharon Balkenhol
Mamie Barnes
Wanda Barrett
Mary Elizabeth Bean
Kathy Beck
LeeAnne Beiser
Sally Beitenhaus
Julie Berkowitz
Jennifer Bittner
Carolyn Bloomfield
AnnaMarie Borich
Joyce Bowser
Audricia Brooks
Julie Brown
Debbie Bryant
Barbara Buckert
Linda Buckmaster
Elisabeth Burg
Kristen Buschle
Margaret Candy
Leah Cardone
Diane Castleman
Michelle Cobble
Karen Coomer
Sandy Cooney
Paula Cubbage
Dorothy Dailey
Diane Davis
Janet Delaney
Rose Donk
Mary Doyle
Kathleen Dye
Mary Ellen Eardley
Mary Lou Edgington
Jennifer Ehrler
Cordelia Farrish
Rhonda Fecher
Kathryn Flood
Frances Franke
Melanie Gabbard
Sue Geise
Patricia Georg-Hartley
Gerald Gerth
Karen Gillespie
Tonya Glendening
Teri Griffith
Deborah Haggerty
Peggy Hainley
Mary Harris
Rita Hart
Rebecca Harwood
Dottie Heisler
Bessie Helm
Susan Heltman
Carol Henry
Max Herrle
Cheryl Herrle
Brenda Hickman
Debra High Lucas
Deborah Highhouse
Karen Hills
Yvonne Hissong
Sandra Hostler
Linda Hudson
Carol Hughes
Kerri Hughes
Vicki Hutton
Kathy Ingle
Virginia Ingle
Helen Jaspers
Carlene Jones
Mary Rita Jordan
Jennifer Kemper
Debbie Knorr
Sandra Kordis
Joanne Kroger
Jennifer Krpata Zelensky
Diane Kuhlman
Sherry Langefield
Bonnie Lampe
Elizabeth Lilley
Sheila Lohman
Mary Lottman
Shannon Lukez
Eloise Lynn
Christine Marsh
Judy Maxson
Shauna Mayhaus
Camilla McCartt
Dave McClure
Patti McConn
Jennifer McCord
Nancy McGuire
Mary Kay McLendon
Kim Meadors
Georgiann Meale
Suzanne Meither
Marcia Mericle
Nancy Merkle
Becky Miars
Joan Miller
Sharon Miller
Deborah Mills
Cita Moll
Vicki Monce
Margie Moore
Chelsie Morgan
Kathy Mosbaugh
Cynthia Mueller
Ann Munson
Gina Murray
Sue Nickoson
Cheryl O'Dell
Genny Orjuela
Deena Parsons
Linda Perez
Cindy Perry
Tammy Powell
Jeannie Prohn
Nancy Prosser
Patricia Proud
Connie Rainey
Mary Helen Reckers
Jane Renaker
Sue Rice
Jenny Richter
Mary Ritchie
Laraine Roessler
Diane Rosita
Diane Ruark
Charlotte Ruffin
Carolyn Russo
Gayle Lynn Ryan
Ann Salzano
Sharon Schaeffner
Jane Schappacher
Lisia Scheidt
Judy Schmucker
Marilyn Schock-Andrew
Patricia Sears
Diane Seiwert
Beth Ann Shannon
Mary E. Skahan
Vernita Smith
Tina Smith
Gina Smith
Emily Specht
Lisa Sprague
Alice Staggs
Tina Marie Steele
Beverly Jean Stewart
Jill Strong
Elaine Strong
Roxanne Strunk
Marcie Swillinger
Lee Ann Taylor
Jane Telles
Jan Terry
Marcia Jo Thelen
Lois Thompson
Sandy Tippenhauer
Nan Tobias
Priscilla Traxler
Christy Unger
Barbara Valerius
Patti Vetter
Carole Ward
Judy Weinel
Elizabeth West
Roberta Wilburn
Barbara Wiley-Kroner
George Wilkerson
Trudy Woeste
Ann Marie Wolfer
Mary Jane Yockey
Lisa Zaffiro
Gina Zimmerman

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