Missouri’s Top Nurses
St. Louis well represented in statewide March of Dimes event
St. Louis nurses were well represented with honors at the second annual March of Dimes Missouri chapter Nurse of the Year event, held recently at the Chase Park Plaza in downtown St. Louis. Twenty nurses were selected from more than 300 nominees statewide for their extraordinary level of patient care, compassion, professionalism, integrity and leadership.
Fourteen nurses have a link to St. Louis, especially Sister Mary Jeremy Buckman, RSM, PhD, RN, a volunteer at Mercy Health System in St. Louis, who received a special Legend in Nursing Award for decades of service to the profession. Beloved and witty, Buckman responded when asked about recent sweeping healthcare changes, “While I know that God writes in crooked lines, I hope we have the grace to be open to the unchartered journey.” Regarding how nurses can achieve success in their profession, she plainly spoke: “It depends on the nurse and how you use the gifts that you’ve been given.”
Other St. Louis nurses recognized as Nurses of the Year:
Margaret Bultas of Saint Louis University received the Education Award for her research on improving the delivery of care to children and families, focusing on autism, heart disease, and child injury prevention. As a nurse educator, she’s developed courses in pediatrics, disability nursing care, and nutrition.
Verna Ferguson of Saint Louis University received the Hospice, Home Health & Palliative Care Award for authoring more than 30 publications over the last five years related to end-of-life care.
Susan Flake of St. Louis Children’s Hospital received the Charge Nurse Award for her role as a mentor and facilitator of change.
Cathy Hogan of SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center received the Public Health & Ambulatory Care Award for her role developing a statewide school nurse survey about injury concerns and program awareness. A leader in successful efforts to increase the mandatory car seat age from four to eight years in Missouri, she was instrumental in car seat distribution to underfunded families in a 6-county service area, accounting for more than 1,000 car seats annually.
Dana Houle of Nurse Response received the Quality & Risk Management Award for developing and overseeing the organization’s quality and compliance programs.
Susan Kendig of the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Nursing received the Women’s Health & Obstetrics Award for her role as coordinator of the University of Missouri-St. Louis Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program, and for developing and implementing patient-focused programs and health services for vulnerable populations.
Michelle Nadler of St. Louis Children’s Hospital received the Advanced Practice Award for her work as principal investigator for a “Discharge Planning and Transition to Home” study for all pediatric solid organ groups at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Debra Parran of St. Louis Children’s Hospital received the Pediatrics Award for her participation in various hospital and unit-based committees to ensure a safe, effective and efficient experience for patients and families.
Catherine Patterson of Mercy Hospital Saint Louis received the Behavioral Health Award for authoring “I Believe in Believing,” a book designed to help people cope during tragedy. Also, the executive team at Mercy Hospital awarded her the “Catherine’s Compassion” Award.
Helen Sandkulh of Saint Louis University Hospital received the Emergency, General Medical & Surgical Award for the development of a program to monitor advances in care in the emergency department and pre-hospital setting. She assisted with the planning and development of the Mid-American Stroke Network, and led a fundraising initiative for $50,000 to purchase 12 EKG machines for the St. Louis Fire Department.
Laurie Sparks of Missouri Baptist Medical Center tied for the Nursing Administration Award for co-creating and leading a program of research and evidence-based practice (EBP). She co-leads an EBP fellowship program, and is the principle investigator of a research study designed to measure medication adherence in patients taking oral chemotherapy.
Amber Tarasyuk of Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes Jewish College received the Student Nurse Award for her academic and leadership skills in clinical situations and the classroom. Her “no one gets left behind” culture involves highlighting classmates’ strengths to encourage their further development. Dean Michael Bleich, PhD, RN, said “Amber’s sense of self and purpose for becoming a nurse, along with her openness to serving others as an instrument of healing, makes her a strong candidate … (she’ll) be an outstanding nurse.”
Laurie Weaver of Urgent Care for Kids tied for the Nursing Administration Award for co-founding the only four pediatric urgent care facilities in Missouri, based in St. Louis. She works routinely with St. Louis Public School nurses, and makes onsite visits to St. Charles and Wentzville crisis nurseries to provide medical care for children dropped off in crisis.
Jeanne Zack of Missouri Baptist Medical Center received the Infection Control & Occupational Health Award for her work with physicians and nursing staff at BJC HealthCare to implement interventions to reduce central line infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia in high risk populations. Her work improving patient outcomes and reducing costs has been replicated internationally.
Also at the event, Freeman Hospital System in Joplin was honored with the Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait Award for its reduction to 0 percent of Early Elective Deliveries (EED).
SAVE-THE-DATE: April 26
The St. Louis annual March for Babies event is slated for April 26 at Forest Park. The March of Dimes signature event and biggest fundraiser attracts nearly 10,000 participants and is one of the nation’s top 10 events of its kind. A dozen walks are scheduled throughout the state, primarily slated for April and May. For more information, visit MarchofDimes.com/Missouri or call (314) 513-9990.