NEW YORK NURSE: March 2009
Sharon Robinson received the 2009 Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy Advocacy Award from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). The award recognizes AORN members who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in public policy advocacy contributing to the advancement of perioperative patient care and safety. Robinson retired from Glens Falls Hospital after 38 years on staff – 25 of which were spent as a member of the operating room team. A member of Sigma Theta Tau and a former adjunct faculty member at Maria College in Albany, Robinson currently serves as co-chair of AORN’s National Legislative Committee. Robinson was instrumental in pursuing legislation to require an RN circulator in every New York state operating room – a measure signed into law by Gov. David Paterson in July 2008. The award was presented at AORN’s national convention in Chicago.
Barbara Zittel, executive secretary of the New York State Board for Nursing, recently traveled to Seoul, South Korea to speak at the International Seminar for Increasing Accountability on Nursing Education and National Examination for Public Protection. The two-day seminar was hosted by Korean Nurses Association in collaboration with the Korean Accreditation Board of Nursing, the Association of 4- and 3-year Colleges of Nursing, and the National Health Personnel Licensing Examination Board. Speakers included nursing and healthcare leaders from each represented group. As the only presenter from the U.S., Zittel gave six presentations that focused on the regulation of nursing by the New York State Education Department, with a particular emphasis on licensing, scope of practice determination, and discipline, as well as discussion of the national accreditation process and the national licensing exam.
The Long Island College Hospital (LICH) of Brooklyn recently honored four nurses with the Thomas and Elizabeth Butson Award for Clinical Excellence and Compassionate Nursing Practice. Awardees included surgical nurse Sonia Taylor, mother/baby nurse Myra Villanueva, emergency care nurse Elaina Gatto, and Lucia Mancuso, an oncology nurse. Patient care assistant Verona Henry also received an award; her daughter Charmaine Henry was an award recipient last year. Elizabeth Butson grants the awards annually in memory of her husband Thomas, who received medical care at LICH. “The ceremony recognizes and celebrates nursing in general, and validates for all of us our choice of this profession,” said Catherine Gallogly-Simon, vice president of nursing.
Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) recently named Janice Welch, a utilization review nurse, its 2008 Employee of the Year. Welch was described as exemplifying the role of patient care advocate. Throughout 2008, Welch worked extensively with Alternate Level of Care patients, preparing them for discharge, researching their varying needs for a safe discharge, and making connections with supporting agencies. Welch received praise for going above and beyond her duties, assisting patients and families with insurance and billing issues and for promoting the profession and supporting new nurses.
Behavioral health nurse Steve Turowski received an honorable mention from ECMC for demonstrating consistent leadership, delivering quality care, and taking pride in advocating for his patients. Turowski’s experience and knowledge was described as being “critical to the care of a high-risk population and in resolving crises in the community. His kindness and compassion are much appreciated by both patients and their families.”