Cameos of Caring

Saturday, September 14, 2013
6 to 10 p.m.
Schuster Performing Arts Center

For driving directions, visit the Schuster Performing Arts Center website

This is the 13th year that Wright State University's College of Nursing and Health has recognized outstanding bedside Registered Nurses in the Miami Valley for their contributions to health care delivery. When we began the awards gala tradition in 2001, 12 health care agencies participated in this special program; we had our highest participation in 2007 with 19 agencies joining us. We are proud to host an event that spotlights Registered Nurses who have made a difference in our community. We are also proud to announce that since we began our awards gala in 2001, we have raised approximately $345,000 in scholarship funds for Wright State University nursing students.

Please join us to congratulate, celebrate, and recognize these very special individuals who exemplify wisdom, advocacy, and caring in professional nursing.

Sue Hammons—Atrium Medical Center

Sue-Hammons-7-13.jpgSue Hammons has worked as a Registered Nurse for the past 15 years, but her service to Atrium Medical Center and its predecessor (Middletown Regional Hospital) began in 1970. Sue has become an essential member of the team in the operating room, capable of performing all the OR nursing roles, including scrub, circulator, and first assistant. Team members say Sue has an amazing way of making everyone around her feel good. She puts patients at ease, both before and after surgeries. Sue always manages easily and naturally to establish trust. She can often be heard wheeling a patient down the hallway, showing care and concern while creating a personal connection. When patients are asleep in surgery, Sue is their advocate. She has the biggest heart and is a positive force on the team. Her knowledge and experience are extensive, and she is always willing to share her knowledge with a smile. She is an active preceptor and takes on challenging cases to maintain her skills. Sue is the model surgical nurse. She is always willing to help, and is respected by everyone. Sue earned her L.P.N. at the Dayton School of Practical Nursing and her A.S.N. from Sinclair Community College.

Cynthia Dixon—Dayton Children’s Hospital

Cindy-Dixon-7-13.jpgCindy Dixon has spent 16 of her 28 years as a Registered Nurse at Dayton Children’s Hospital, where she is assigned to the Almost Home Unit. Cindy is considered a stabilizing force for her peers and an innovator in the profession of nursing. She is driven by the desire to provide excellence in everything she does and has been a role model for clinical practice. Her colleagues say she is the first to step up, lend a hand, and advocate for both patients and staff. She is knowledgeable, professional, and organized. The champion of several practice changes that have made valuable contributions to patient care, Cindy is respected and admired by patients and their families, her peers, staff, and physicians. As the unit educator for the busy Almost Home Unit, Cindy keeps up with constant change. She researches issues until answers become clear. She is a very positive person who welcomes new employees to the unit with a warm smile. Her schedule is busy, both with patient care and with listening to and encouraging staff members. Peers say she is upbeat with everyone she sees and is an amazing nurse and educator. Cindy earned her B.S.N. and M.S.N. at Indiana University.

Maryam Carley—Dayton VA Medical Center

Maryam-Carley-7-13.jpgMaryam Carley has worked at the Dayton VA Medical Center for eight years and since 2011 as a Registered Nurse. She is assigned to the VAMC’s Hospice Unit, a duty she sees as a special calling. As a U.S. Air Force veteran, Maryam has much in common with her veteran patients. She is a fierce advocate for them and their families, and often goes above and beyond what is expected. Recently, as she was nursing a dying Marine Corps veteran, Maryam learned that his fervent wish was to be buried in Marine Corps Dress Blues. The problem was that he didn’t have the uniform and couldn’t afford to buy it. Maryam saw that the worry was robbing him of peace of mind during the last days of his life. She searched until she found the uniform he wanted. The veteran, seeing the uniform, was overcome by gratitude and joy. He found the peace of mind that had eluded him and died not long afterward. Through this act of selflessness and others, Maryam has become a great role model for other hospice nurses. In everything she does, Maryam exemplifies what a VA hospice nurse should be. Maryam served as a medic in the Air Force and earned degrees from Fortis College that allowed her to become an L.P.N. and a Registered Nurse.

Laura Reddix—Fort Hamilton Hospital

Laura-Reddix-7-13.jpgLaura Reddix is a veteran of more than 13 years as a Registered Nurse at Fort Hamilton Hospital. She is well known for her courteous and encouraging attitude toward everyone: patients, families, colleagues, and staff members. Even when urgent questions come flying at her from several directions at once, Laura manages to keep calm and provide answers. She finds a way to meet each need, while supporting and encouraging each questioner. This results in quiet, competent delivery of care for each patient. Laura’s presence and manner reinforce the message that each of her patients is valued and important. Patients also appreciate Laura’s caring and professional attitude. As questions and problems arise, Laura takes time to really listen to each patient and provides for their needs. She empowers them by educating them on a variety of subjects from her extensive experience with patient care. Perhaps most of all, patients and staff alike appreciate Laura’s compassion and her love of nursing. She cares about her patients and the care she provides—and it shows. Laura earned her associate degree in nursing at Raymond Walters College.

Vicky Armstrong—Good Samaritan Hospital

Vicky-Armstrong-7-13.jpgVicky Armstrong has been a Registered Nurse for 42 years, all of which she has spent at Good Samaritan Hospital, where she is currently assigned to the Family Birthing Center. An excellent nurse and team leader, Vicky has become an expert in women’s services. She displays a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field and is always willing to share her expertise with others in a caring and nonjudgmental way. Her colleagues say she is always available to answer questions or help others when needed. A great bedside nurse, Vicky assesses her patients thoroughly and anticipates potential problems. She is always looking out for her patients, advocating for them, and addressing their concerns. As a team leader, Vicky serves as a resource and role model for other staff members. She assists with precepting new employees and with management duties, including time sheets and payroll. Day after day, Vicky demonstrates her commitment to quality care while contributing to the success of the unit. Vicky completed her R.N. training at Good Samaritan Hospital and holds certification in Maternal Newborn Nursing.

Brent Mezger—Grandview Medical Center

Brent-Mezger-7-13.jpgBrent Mezger has served as a Registered Nurse at Grandview Medical Center for the past six years. He was instrumental in starting the Grandview Emergency Department’s Environmental Team, which is charged with the critical task of meeting national standards related to cleanliness and safety. Brent led a team to help with the day-to-day maintenance of the Emergency Department and collaborated with Environmental Services and Facilities to assess longer-term plans for floor and wall maintenance, along with larger projects. In addition to his major commitment to environmental matters, Brent serves as the lead preceptor for the Emergency Department. All new graduates are paired with Brent and soon learn that he is a top-notch instructor. His upbeat attitude, conscientious approach, and dedication to excellent nursing care help new nurses learn the profession’s best practices. Brent is an avid student as well and recently completed his B.S.N. through Ohio University. His colleagues describe Brent as a high performer who is positive in every way and who expects the best from himself and others. As both a nurse and teacher, Brent is a great resource for the Emergency Department, leading by example and challenging others to learn new skills.

Cristi Clark—Greene Memorial Hospital

Cristi-Clark-8-13.jpgCristi Clark joined Greene Memorial Hospital as a Registered Nurse in 2012, bringing a wealth of knowledge and clinical expertise, a helpful and caring manner, and a winning smile. In the surgery department, Cristi leads by example. She demonstrates her commitment to nursing excellence through her willingness to cross train and learn new skills. Over the past year, Cristi has worked in Endoscopy, Same Day Surgery, Post Anesthesia Care Unit, and Nursing Supervision. Recently, Cristi accepted the position of staff nurse specialist on Greene Memorial’s Med Surg/Telemetry unit. She is passionate about both nursing and education—and her interactions with patients and staff show it. She is recognized as a patient advocate and regularly takes extra time to explain procedures and answer questions. Her caring spirit and contagious smile put patients at ease and build confidence that they are in good hands. Cristi also serves as a helpful resource to colleagues, offering assistance, instruction, and mentorship. In every way, Cristi lives her commitment to consistent, quality care. Cristi earned a B.S.N. from Wright State University and a M.S.N. from Walden University.

Janet Shinkle—Hospice of Dayton

Janet-Shinkle-7-13.jpgJanet Shinkle has worked 21 of her 34 years as a Registered Nurse at Hospice of Dayton. In her two decades of service to Hospice, Janet has earned high praise from co-workers and from her patients’ families. She has a special way of communicating with those in her care, listening to concerns and demonstrating compassion for patients and their grieving family members. She always makes herself available for the extra requests from patients and families. Janet’s strong commitment to quality end-of-life care shows in everything she does. She serves on the Camp Pathways program offered by Hospice of Dayton each year for children who have lost loved ones. The event can be a tough weekend of tears, laughter, and special moments that defy words. It’s a weekend of hot weather, camp food, and dorm rooms. For Janet, it’s also a great weekend to see energetic kids who have suffered losses have fun and laugh again. It may not be an easy weekend, but Janet is always up for it. She also serves on the Patient Care Council, where she is dedicated to improving Hospice services. Janet earned her diploma from Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital. She is a certified hospice and palliative nurse.

Cheryl PeckKettering Medical Center

Cheryl-Peck-7-13.jpgCheryl Peck has worked 27 of her 37 years as a Registered Nurse for the Kettering Medical Center, where she is currently assigned to the Kettering post-anesthesia care unit. Cheryl is a dynamic and outgoing nurse who leads by example. She also serves as the main nurse in the inpatient holding area, where patients are taken to confirm all required test and consent information before entering the operating room. As part of this duty, Cheryl has developed a special checklist to review all necessary information. She also reviews and organizes all necessary supplies for pre-op patients. She sets an excellent example and is compassionate and caring in all that she does, whether she is dealing with patients, their families, staff, co-workers, or physicians. She is compassionate and thorough in explaining procedures to patients and families, and has earned the respect of everyone for her knowledge, skill, and flexibility. She is highly professional and maintains her calm demeanor in critical situations. A valued member of the post-anesthesia care unit team, she always puts the needs of her patients first. Cheryl is also a natural teacher who willingly shares her knowledge of her profession with her co-workers. Cheryl earned her A.S.N. at Sinclair Community College and her B.S.N. at Columbia Union College.

Ben Clement—Kindred Hospital

Benjamin-Clement-7-13.jpgBen Clement has earned a strong reputation less than two years after graduating from nursing school. Ben, employed as a Registered Nurse at Kindred Hospital since April 2012, immediately impressed his colleagues with his quiet competence and compassion. He quickly earned the respect of colleagues, physicians, patients, and their families. He is calm and professional, actively involved in problem solving and creating an evidence-based practice environment for the Kindred nursing team. Ben became a nurse after working as a personal care assistant for more than five years at MedCentral Hospital in Mansfield, Ohio, where he encountered a variety of settings, including renal, orthopedics, and medical-surgical. After moving to Dayton to attend Kettering College of Medical Arts, he worked as a state-tested nurse assistant at two area nursing homes before graduating and beginning his nursing career. Ben says he gets great satisfaction from both helping people who cannot help themselves and the challenges of providing care to patients in medically complicated situations. Colleagues describe Ben as an “awesome nurse” who brightens everyone’s day with his smile. He earned an A.S.N. at the Kettering College of Medical Arts. He also holds an advanced cardiac life support certification.

Jan Nicol—Mercy Memorial Hospital

Jan-Nicol-7-13.jpgJan Nicol has worked as a Registered Nurse for 18 years, and has spent the last 16 years at Mercy Memorial Hospital, where she is currently assigned to the Inpatient Unit. Jan is known for taking the care of her patients very seriously. She fills multiple roles at the Inpatient Unit: educator, team player, and patient advocate. Jan has a strong interest in palliative care and is an advocate for the rights of do-not-resuscitate/comfort-care patients, an interest close to her heart that sprang from personal experience with her own family. Always in tune with those in her care, Jan truly “feels the pain” of her patients. Thorough in her approach to care, she is especially careful in assessing patients’ clinical conditions and very alert to any changes that warrant immediate attention. In addition to her practice skills, Jan also is an excellent communicator in her interaction with patients, families, physicians, and staff. She has a special way of helping everyone understand their plan of care. A colleague described Jan’s talent for caring for patients and their families, especially in difficult situations, as a special gift. Jan’s bedside manner is comfortable, compassionate, and realistic. She earned her A.S.N. at Clark State Community College.

Jon Reichman—Miami Valley Hospital

Jon-Reichman-7-13.jpgJon Reichman has worked as a Registered Nurse at Miami Valley Hospital for 23 years, and is currently assigned to the hospital’s Emergency Trauma Center. During his two decades of service, Jon has touched the lives of countless patients, families, and staff. The mere mention of Jon’s name brings a smile to his colleagues’ faces. His peers see him as kind-hearted and endearing, with a winning way that makes even the worst situations seem bearable. He is competent, caring, and friendly. Recently, he cared for a patient who was struggling with financial hardship and loss of independence following a diagnosis of debilitating arthritis. The patient could barely walk, but refused help. Jon was persistent, helping the patient find a safe place to call home. Jon serves as a clinical expert on specialized topics, including disaster preparedness and dealing with hazardous materials. He is a problem solver who has become an invaluable part of the unit’s team. Jon earned his B.S.N. from Wright State University.

Nikki Rodriguez-Borasz—Soin Medical Center

Nikki-Rodriguez-Borasz-7-13.jpgNikki Rodriguez-Borasz has been employed as a Registered Nurse for the past two years at Soin Medical Center, where she is now assigned to the Surgical Unit. Prior to joining the unit, the U.S. Navy veteran served six years as a surgical technician at Greene Memorial Hospital. When Soin Medical Center’s Surgical Unit was preparing to open in February 2012, Nikki assumed responsibility for materials management, a duty that had become familiar during her time at Greene Memorial. In collaboration with the unit manager, Nikki organized the core area in the perioperative unit and helped organize the sterile processing department. She now serves as a resource to physicians and staff orienting them to the procedural service areas. She promotes efficiency, working with network standards to provide the latest and highest performing equipment available. Her commitment to education and teaching is also evident in her interaction with patients. She takes time to thoroughly explain procedures. Her calm and friendly manner puts both patients and families at ease. Nikki earned her A.S.N. at Clark State Community College and her B.S.N. from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Tonya Camden—Southview Medical Center

Tonya-Camden-7-13.jpgTonya Camden exemplifies leadership through her positive attitude and determination to care for her patients in the best possible way. Nothing is ever too big to tackle and no barrier stops her. Her colleagues say her bright outlook helps set the mood of the unit each day. She is invariably pleasant, happy, and smiling. Her positive attitude makes her a great champion of new unit practices, and she always demonstrates the right way to do things. Tonya’s leadership extends to patient advocacy. She goes well out of her way to ensure her patients receive the care they need. She often stops procedures to ask important questions, making sure the procedures are right for the patient. Tonya also has great ideas for in-services and the best ways to introduce new equipment and procedures. Following two decades as a nurse on a medical-surgical unit, her service as an OR nurse is like a second career. She never hesitates to take on new and different cases. She inspires confidence in patients, families, physicians, and staff who know they are in good hands when Tonya is their nurse. Tonya earned her B.S.N. at Wright State University. She is certified in the use of peripherally inserted central catheters.

Marybeth Hannon—Springfield Regional Medical Center

Marybeth-Hannon-7-13.jpgMarybeth Hannon has worked as a Registered Nurse at Springfield Regional Medical Center for six years and is assigned to the Emergency Department. She is part of the triage team and is one of the first people patients meet when they arrive. She greets them with a caring attitude and a smile. In her effort to help improve the delivery of patient care, Marybeth has continually reached out to learn and grow. She studied EPIC Electronic Health Records software and became a credentialed trainer for both nurses and physicians. Due in part to her efforts, the new electronic medical record system was able to go online the same day patients were moved to the Medical Center’s new facility. Marybeth demonstrates the institution’s core values every day, showing compassion and kindness to each of her patients. She goes above and beyond as a patient advocate and has recently completed training to become a sexual assault nurse examiner, allowing her to continue her growth as a strong patient advocate. Marybeth’s dedication to quality patient care and a willingness to grow her abilities through additional education have made her a valued resource and role model. Marybeth earned her A.S.N. at Clark State Community College.

Mary Parrish—Sycamore Medical Center

Mary-Parrish-7-13.jpgMary Parrish has served as a Registered Nurse at Sycamore Medical Center for the past 27 years. She exemplifies all that a caring, compassionate, and competent nurse can be. Mary’s professionalism shows in her role as Sycamore Medical Center’s regular weekend dayshift charge nurse. She handles even the most stressful, difficult situations with an unruffled, calming presence. Patients, family members, and co-workers easily recognize Mary’s unrelenting commitment to the well-being of those in her care. As a charge nurse, Mary is in frequent contact with physicians concerning patient matters, including clinical issues, test results, and transfer arrangements. Her rapport with doctors serves her patients well. She is a true advocate for her patients and her peers. Mary completes her many duties with a smile. As a single mother, Mary has a busy and demanding life, but finds time for things she believes are important. She joins some of her colleagues each week to care for the disabled children of another nurse who works on the unit. In so many ways, Mary provides a great example of leadership in nursing. Mary earned her A.S.N. at Kettering College of Medical Arts and is now pursuing a B.S.N. through Ohio University.

Melissa Humphreys—Upper Valley Medical Center

Mellisa-Humphreys-7-13.jpgMelissa Humphreys, a Registered Nurse at Upper Valley Medical Center for the past eight years, serves as a direct patient care nurse leader. Her knowledge and commitment to excellence are evident to her peers. Calm in stressful situations, Melissa is passionate about care for patients and their families. She is an excellent relationship builder who has developed trust with co-workers, physicians, and staff members. She works to bring positive change both at the unit and system levels. She was a member of the Bedside Reporting Work group, which developed standards for bedside reporting at Upper Valley Medical Center. She also served on the Venous Thrombo Embolism Task Force and the Fall Prevention group. Melissa has given presentations during nurse education days and continues to provide both formal and informal education for colleagues. Melissa brings creative ideas forward, engaging others to find ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of patient care. She continues to lead the team in improving patient satisfaction and core measures compliance. Her efforts have drawn notice: she has been recognized with the UVMC Nursing Excellence Award and as Precepter of the Year, among other awards. Melissa earned her A.S.N. at Edison State Community College and is enrolled in Ohio University’s B.S.N. program. She is certified in advanced cardiac life support.

Cindy Wedding—VITAS Innovative Hospice Care

Cindy-Wedding-7-13.jpgCindy Wedding, who has served as a Registered Nurse for 21 years, has worked with VITAS Innovative Hospice Care for the past two years. A wonderful patient advocate, Cindy routinely goes the extra mile to ensure that her patients have everything they need. She is thorough in her nursing assessment skills and proactive in anticipating the needs of her patients. She understands that clinical documentation is important and is unsurpassed in her reporting. Cindy brings a solid background of experience to her role as a Hospice R.N., including years of L.P.N. experience in the Upper Valley Health system. Cindy gained experience in family practice, a renal practice clinic, and a cardiology practice. In addition, she has served as an assistant director of nursing and skilled unit manager at an area nursing home. At VITAS Innovative Hospice, she has brought patients both the benefit of her nursing expertise and her passion to the delivery of quality care. Her co-workers and supervisors give Cindy high praise. One of them put it this way: “If I were ever in need of a clinician at my bedside, I would choose Cindy.” Cindy earned her L.P.N. from the Dayton School of Practical Nursing and her A.S.N. from Edison State Community College.