Date: 5/14/2013

Veteran Nurse receives Excellence Award

St. Catherine Hospital Nursing Excellence Award Recipient for 2013 is Alanna Hunter-Parks (center). Hospital CEO JoAnn Birdzell (left) and Chief Nursing Officer Paula Swenson (right) congratulate Hunter-Parks at a tea on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 to honor nursing staff.

In describing St. Catherine Hospital’s choice for the 2013 Nursing Excellence Award, co-workers agree; Alanna Hunter-Parks is the picture of nursing excellence. The special award was presented at a Nursing Excellence Tea on Wednesday, May 8 during National Nurses’ Week.

Peers nominated Hunter-Parks for this prestigious award based upon key characteristics of nursing excellence - Leadership, Dignity, Compassionate Care, Community, Quality and Stewardship — all attributes that coincide with the hospital’s mission and values.

According to her nomination, Hunter-Parks “goes above and beyond to see that patients receive the most compassionate care and makes sure family members are comfortable and have every need met while their loved ones are in her care.”

Nurse Manager of 6 West Diane Barrett, RN explains that Hunter-Parks has extraordinary leadership skills, serves as a role model to other nurses and consistently goes above and beyond to meet patient expectations.

“Alanna is a catalyst for compassionate care throughout the unit,” Barrett said. “She touches the hearts of all who come in contact with her especially the patients and their families. She gives every patient at sense of importance always making them feel so loved and cared for. Her care comes from the heart,” she said.

Hunter-Parks has been a part of the St. Catherine Hospital family for the past 25 years. Currently she works on 6 West taking care of Hospice/Palliative Care patients and their families. She is also a CPR Instructor and member of the Standards Committee.

She recently established an educational program where new nurses spend a few hours with clinicians on 6 West every month to go over policies and procedures. She also monitors the educational needs of the entire staff which includes more than 60 individuals.

She is a mentor to other nurses and shares her insight and expertise with staff and works hard to maintain a professional and evidence-based approach to the care of the patients.

According to her nomination, it is Alanna’s character that makes her stand out among the best. “Her office door is always open and she helps employees celebrate special events, making the unit a stronger family.” “A nurse having a particularly difficult time with a patient can always count on Alanna to lend a hand, start an IV, admit a patient or be attentive to whatever the situation demands.”

“St. Catherine Hospital has been a blessed institution with Alanna as a part of our extended family here,” said Paula Swenson, chief nursing officer/patient care services for the hospital. “She is an exceptional person with a huge heart and an excellent nurse.”