Nurses as­so­ci­a­tion shows ap­pre­ci­a­tion for all out­stand­ing nurses in South­ern Mary­land

Maryland Independent - - News - By TIFFANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­ Twit­ter: Tif­fIndyNews

In light of Nurses Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Week, May 6-12, the Mary­land Nurses As­so­ci­a­tion Dis­trict 9 hosted an awards din­ner to cel­e­brate and honor the care, kind­ness and pa­tience shown by nurses in South­ern Mary­land.

Nurses and guests at­tended the awards din­ner and heard a pre­sen­ta­tion, “Silent Killers: GYN Can­cers,” by Dr. Ngozi Wexler, at Mid­dle­ton Hall in Wal­dorf.

Michele Gleits­mann, pres­i­dent of the Mary­land Nurses As­so­ci­a­tion Dis­trict 9 board, said the as­so­ci­a­tion sup­ports the nurs­ing stu­dents and nurses in the as­so­ci­a­tion’s three coun­ties, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s, with a com­bi­na­tion of awards.

“It’s im­por­tant for the nurses that we rec­og­nize each other and make sure the com­mu­nity learns of our good work. Peo­ple have seen the good work we do, what we ac­com­plish, and the pride and re­spect we feel for one an­other,” Gleits­mann said.

Gleits­mann said that in or­der to de­cide which nurses to nom­i­nate, they take into con­sid­er­a­tion each nurse and nurs­ing stu­dent’s work cri­te­ria, their ed­u­ca­tion, their pro­fes­sional or­ga­ni­za­tions and their peers’ opin­ion of them. The as­so­ci­a­tion then meets to choose a win­ner.

South­ern Mary­land nurses were rec­og­nized through awards such as the Grace E. Brown Scholarship Award for Ad­vanced Prac­tice, won by Kel­ley Cooper and An­drea Doc­tor; the JoAnne Zwick Car­ing Award, won by Gail Less­ner, the Stu­dent of the Year Award, won by Chris­tine Hurry; the Nurse of the Year Award, won by Nona Alexan­der; and the Grace E. Brown Ed­u­ca­tor Award won by Mary Han­nah, man­ager of pop­u­la­tion health man­age­ment at the Univer­sity of Mary­land Charles Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter.

“I’m re­ally honored to be here rep­re­sent­ing my hospi­tal. I’ve done a lot of ed­u­ca­tion for pa­tients, nurses and for peo­ple in com­mu­nity health,” Han­nah said. “This award shows me that what I’ve done has been rec­og­nized, es­pe­cially to be nom­i­nated by one of my hospi­tal’s com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions that we work with, that speaks a lot to pop­u­la­tion health. I grad­u­ated nurs­ing school back in 2001 so 15 years into it now, although I do feel like nurs­ing is its own re­ward, to re­ceive an award like this, reignites my fire for what I do.”

Wexler, a board cer­ti­fied min­i­mally in­va­sive gy­ne­col­o­gist and med­i­cal direc­tor of the OB/GYN Hospi­tal­ist Pro­gram at MedS­tar South­ern Mary­land Hospi­tal Cen­ter, told the room of about 100 nurses how to iden­tify com­mon gy­ne­co­log­i­cal can­cers, each cancer’s risk fac­tors, most com­mon symp­toms, as well as the best prac­tice man­age­ment op­tions for nurses, dur­ing her pre­sen­ta­tion at the dis­trict’s awards din­ner.

“Con­grat­u­la­tions to the nurses who have won awards,” Wexler said. “Nurses are around pa­tients con­stantly so I’m hop­ing that the nurses who were present can now di­ag­nose or rec­og­nize the most com­mon symp­toms of cancer of the gy­ne­co­logic or­gans so that they can bet­ter help their pa­tients and also to pre­vent these can­cers from be­com­ing as preva­lent as they cur­rently are.”

Rose Es­sex, a cer­ti­fied di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tor and vice pres­i­dent of the Dis­trict 9 board, said nurs­ing isn’t just at the bed­side, be­cause a nurse is first and fore­most a teacher and peo­ple lose track of that.

“I hope peo­ple gain a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of what nurses do and not just in a hospi­tal be­cause we also work in the com­mu­nity and we’re mem­bers of the com­mu­nity so we en­cour­age ed­u­ca­tion among our younger peo­ple and we honor the ones who are work­ing in the trenches ev­ery­day,” Es­sex said.

Gleits­mann and Es­sex said by the year 2020 a bach­e­lor’s de­gree is go­ing to be the min­i­mal re­quired ed­u­ca­tion level to be­come a nurse and many in­sti­tu­tions are work­ing to­ward get­ting all of the nurses who have al­ready ob­tained an as­so­ciate’s de­gree or high school diploma to move for­ward with ob­tain­ing their bach­e­lor’s de­gree.

“It was a pro­fes­sional de­ci­sion made by nurses about nurs­ing ed­u­ca­tion and that’s where the fu­ture of nurs­ing is headed,” Gleits­mann said.

Award win­ners of the evening in­clude, from left, gen­tle­man ac­cept­ing the award for Eden Bautista; Haidee Azul; Mary Han­nah, win­ner of the Grace E. Brown award; Nona Alexan­der, Nurse of the Year Award win­ner; and Mary­land Nurses As­so­ci­a­tion Dis­trict 9 Pres­i­dent Michele Gleits­mann.


St. Mary’s Com­mis­sioner John E. O’Con­nor read the Nurses Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Week procla­ma­tion for Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s coun­ties on May 9 at the Mary­land Nurses As­so­ci­a­tion Dis­trict 9 awards din­ner.

The Mary­land Nurses As­so­ci­a­tion Dis­trict 9 Awards Din­ner at Mid­dle­ton Hall in Wal­dorf on May 9 had ap­prox­i­mately 100 nurses and med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als in at­ten­dance.

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