Nurses' Week 2009 Award and Recognition Recipients

On Monday, May 11, 2009 Vanderbilt Medical Centered celebrated Nurses' Week with our annual Nursing Awards & Recognition Event.  Here are the recipients and their thoughts on what it meant to be recognized amongst an exceptional list of nominees.   

Rosamond Gabrielson's Staff Nurse of the Year Award for Vanderbilt University Hospital
Tonya Beattie 

"I was very excited about the nomination and completely surprised to be a recipient.  I was working the day of the award ceremony where I was orienting a nurse in the CVICU.
I told her that I would need to attend the award ceremony and would have another licensed nurse stay with her for the hour that I would be gone.  Little did I know that the entire unit had pulled up the live web-cam to watch the ceremony." 

When I arrived back to my unit with the award I was greeted with applause and congratulations from all my staff members.  As I have said before, I couldn't have done it without the incredible support from my CVICU team members that I get the pleasure of working with everyday.

  Rosamond Gabrielson's Staff Nurse of the Year Award for Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Betsy Beazley 
Peds ED

"Being honored as The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt staff nurse of the year has special meaning to me because it shows that someone entering middle age can excel in an environment of technology,  academia,  and
working with a large work force of young people. The Pediatric Emergency Department has produced the staff nurse of the year for two years in a row which shows that the environment in the PED allows staff nurses to expand their knowledge and talents beyond the bedside to excel."

  Rosamond Gabrielson's Staff Nurse of the Year Award for Vanderbilt Medical Group
Rebecca MacMichael 
General Surgery Clinic

"I was thrilled and elated when I heard my name called.  I was appreciative and emotional since my  82 year-old mom (retired from Vanderbilt after a 47 year career in nursing) was in the audience as I accepted the award.
I have the pleasure of working with amazing surgeons, dedicated nurses and nurse practitioners, terrific AA's, PCT's, and PSR's.  I hope each of them knows this award also honors their hard work and excellent care.  My most heartfelt thanks!"

  Rosamond Gabrielson's Staff Nurse of the Year Award for Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital
Jim Mottillo 
Adult I Psychiatric Health

"For me, nursing is the art of devoting yourself to the assistance of those less fortunate than myself.  This includes physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of health. 
I want to convey my sincere thanks to all my peers, colleagues and my extended Vanderbilt family for honoring me in this way."

  Rebecca Clark Culpepper Education & Mentorship Award
Vicki Stalmasek-Perencevic
Case Management

This award was given posthumously so Vicki's colleague Karen Robinson contributed words on Vick's behalf.

"Vicki was an amazing Nurse Case Manager and leader.
One could never say what someone else would have felt, but, if I had to say how Vicki might have felt, had she been present to receive this award, I think she would have been just speechless!  I can almost see the smile and look of incredulity on her face when her name was read out loud as the winner.  Inside, I think she would have felt a great sense of accomplishment and pride as well as a sense of validation for the years of hard work she gave to improve care of the stroke patients in particular and neurological patients in general.  Then, quickly I think her thoughts would have turned to the large cash prize :) and for whom would she spend it.  Anyone who knew Vicki would know she would have used it for the most important person in the world to her....her son, Josh.  Thus, since this was a posthumous award, it is fitting the money for this award went to Josh.   And, this I know for sure, having Josh receive this cash award, would have made Vicki extremely happy!!!"

Friend of Nursing
Sherri Stringfellow
Nursing Education and Professional Development

"I pursued a position at Vanderbilt because as a patient, I was given excellent care by the nursing staff when I had emergency surgery.  Since part of my job involves marketing, everyday I am thankful that I get to promote a "product" in which I truly believe -- our nurses and what makes them so unique.  I was truly shocked to have won the Friend of Nursing award.  I remember being transfixed at my name on the power point slide and really feeling it was just an honor to be nominated.  When Marilyn called my name, it just didn't make sense.  The only thing that would have made my experience perfect is if my boss, Debianne Peterman could have been there.  All of the other recipients had their bosses there for support and I missed that she wasn't able to share this experience with me.  (Debianne was busy taking care of her husband who had been in a car accident the weekend before and luckily, was able to walk away).  She has given me so many opportunities and has never doubted my abilities even when I have.  I know what makes my boss so great is her boss and the domino effect.  Our department is comprised of an amazing group of individuals and I'm lucky that they put up with me."

  APN of the Year Award
Jerita Payne 
Transplant Center

"This was so much more than about winning.  It was more about all my mentors and the relationships I have formed over the years.  For me, this award was for those who have provided guidance, counsel and friendship – I just happened to be the one receiving it."

LPN of the Year Award
Betty Slusher, LPN
Peds Perioperative Services

"My charge nurse made a point of telling me I should attend the Awards and Recognition Event.  I had come expecting to see others in my group.  Never in a million years did I imagine that I was the recipient of this award!  It had been so secretive.  I am grateful and appreciative.  Thank you so much."  

  Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Faculty of the Year Award
Nancy Wells, DNSc, FAAN, RN
Nursing Research

"I was shocked and self-conscious when they called my name and I had to go up to the podium.  In reflecting back, however, it is a great honor to be recognized by your peers."

Staff/Unit/Department Educator of the Year Award
Martha White 
9S & 9N

"I was shock!  My daughter came with me because she did not have anything for her 7th period in school.  On the way to Vanderbilt she asked if I would win and I said no. 
She asked why was I going and I told her that it was an honor that I even got nominated for the award.  There were several educators on that list that I have work with that deserve the honor.  Needless to say I was shocked when I heard and saw my name up on the screen.  This was truly an honor and surprise."

  Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice Award
Karen Adkins
Neurology Clinic

"Vanderbilt has been a great training ground for my growth in the research field.  Kids have always been my passion, so to be nominated for doing something that I truly enjoy was a real WOW moment.
I was immediately curious as to who had nominated me for this recognition.  When I learned that it was Beth Malow, MD, my immediate comment to her was that it meant more to know who nominated me than to actually win the award, and I meant that with all sincerity.  Beth has been a wonderful mentor on my research journey at Vanderbilt.  We have learned a great deal from each other over the 5+ years that we have been working together. In a very short time we have been awarded amazing opportunities to walk for a short time in the lives of parents and children with autism.  One of the sometimes frustrating things with research is you work for years on a study and then additional years pass by before the intervention is available for use by the intended target population.  Our primary work is in the area of autism and sleep where we work with parents and their child who is on the autism spectrum.  We have been very blessed in our work to see and hear parents say ‘I now know what it’s like to have my child sleep all night, AND I know what it feels like to sleep all night’. Sometimes these parents’s just want someone to listen to their story. I have had some similar experiences as a parent with trying to get services for my own child and just wanting teachers and society as a whole to see the wonderful amazing treasure that every child holds, just waiting to be discovered.  I think my own experiences allow me to listen with a ‘third ear’ which means offering your time to just sit, give your undivided attention and just listen.

When my name was called I was very humbled to be recognized as one member of an incredible team.  It takes the whole team, including our amazing research families who allow us to make footprints on their life journey, working together with the same goal in mind, for success to occur.  I believe in our research and it’s an extraordinary experience to begin to see that the obstacles and joys of life have all been about preparation for your current journey.  I BELIEVE"

  Transformational Nursing Leadership Award
Brent Lemonds 
Adult ED

"I was surprised and humbled to hear my name called.  The accomplishments that I have made have always been made because I surround myself with teams of great people that are focused on our patients.  I love working in an institution that supports teamwork."


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