Date: 5/24/2011

Celebrating Outstanding Nurses: Recipients of the 2011 Pillar Awards

St. Mary Medical Center 2011 Nursing Pillar Awards were presented during National Nurses Week. Pictured front row from left to right are: Lauren Haller, R.N., People award; Alicia Ventura, R.N., Quality award; Jennifer Mulvihill, R.N., Super Star award; Tammie Jones, R.N., Vice-President Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer; Josh Pool, R.N., Growth award; Linda Geer, R.N., Finance award and Ashley Hershman, R.N., Service award. Nurse Managers pictured (back row, left to right) Betty Lane, R.N., Beth Navarro, R.N., Paula Rousis, R.N. and Shannon Blaney, RN.

During National Nurses Week May 6 through 12, St. Mary Medical Center administration and staff recognized the top performances of caregivers in five categories, and a Super Star in all categories. The 2011 Nursing Pillar Awards highlight nurses who go above and beyond every day for their patients in the areas of Service, Quality, Finance, Growth and People.

“The nominations are submitted by peers who recognize the outstanding attributes of their co-workers,” says Tammie Jones, R.N., vice president, patient care services and chief nursing officer at St. Mary Medical Center. “All five nurses depict strength in key areas at St. Mary Medical Center and are just a few examples of the healthcare professionals who practice the compassionate art of healing here on a daily basis. We’re proud to have them all as a part of our team.”

St. Mary Medical Center 2011 Nursing Pillar Award winners include:

Nursing Pillar Award for Service — Ashley Hershman, R.N., Crown Point
Hershman was selected by her peers for this award because of her flexibility on the job and maintaining excellence in communication. She shows compassion and care not only for patients, but their family members as well. She is reliable and consistent in providing high quality service to others.

Nursing Pillar Award for Quality — Alicia Ventura, R.N., Hobart
When nurses and certified nursing assistants have a question, Ventura is seen as the “go to” clinical resource on the unit. She understands and follows evidence-based care guidelines which set a higher standard of care. She is a model example that others emulate and follow.

Nursing Pillar Award for People — Lauren Haller, R.N., Hobart
Other nurses and staff members like to work with Haller. She is known as dependable, reliable, and a team player. She is courteous, professional and goes out of her way to help others. She is a true “people person” and a pleasure to work with. Patients remember her excellent care and compliment her often.

Nursing Pillar Award for Growth — Josh Pool, R.N., Chesterton
Pool is the recipient of the Nursing Pillar award for Growth. The award title is appropriate as he is very supportive of new programs and initiatives, and goes the extra mile to obtain the additional education/training to support those new programs. He is also known for helping to expedite the patient discharge process through his superior organizational skills and effective communication with all team members.

Nursing Pillar Award for Finance — Linda Geer, R.N., Portage
Working in the fast-paced environment of the Emergency Department of St. Mary Medical Center can be a challenge, but Geer has embraced the challenge and excelled at it for more than 5 years. Geer was selected for the Finance pillar award because she is “efficient, completes her work within a set timeframe and keeps safety in mind at all times.” She is a patient advocate in that she understands healthcare costs and strives for completeness and accuracy in billing charges.

Super Star Award winner — Jennifer Mulvihill, R.N., Portage
This is the first year for the Super Star award at St. Mary Medical Center. The award was established to pay tribute to the nurse who excels in all areas — Service, Quality, People, Growth and Finance in the care she provides on a daily basis. Recipient Jennifer Mulvihill is a charge nurse who has worked on 5 West/Oncology of St. Mary Medical Center for the past two years. When asked why she became a nurse, she explained that when she was 16, she and her sister were hit by a drunk driver and transported to St. Mary Medical Center’s ICU. Her treatment included reconstructive surgery on her face from when she bit her lip off in the accident, seven rods in her ankle from a crushed patella, and various other broken bones.

She said that Betty Lane, nurse manager of 5 West, was one of the nurses who cared for her during her recovery. “This hospital saved my life,” she said, “I want to give back.”

Mulvihill is described as a team player who is very aware of the needs of others, and helps everyone. She is compassionate to patients and takes being a nurse very seriously.

“I can’t say thank you enough,” Mulvihill said. “I always told [Betty Lane] that I would pay this hospital back for saving my life, and I feel like I’ve begun to do that.”