UPHS Nursing Clinical Excellence 2018 Nominees

2018 Nursing Clinical Excellence Award Nominees   

Several Good Shepherd Penn Partners nurses have been nominated for the Annual UPHS Nursing Clinical Excellence Awards. Nurses were nominated for their contribution and impact on nursing practice in five key areas: 

  • The Lillian Brunner Award for Exemplary Practice
  • The Rosalyn J. Watts Award for Community/Patient/Family Relationship,
  • The Dianne Lanham Award for Leadership
  • The Helen McClelland Award for Research and Innovation
  • The Victoria L. Rich Award for Transformation Leadership. 

Congratulations to the following nurses who have been nominated:

  • Lillian Brunner Award- Exemplary Practice
    • Eric Bryant, Clinical Nurse III: The Specialty Hospital
    • Lorda Cajimat, Clinical Nurse III: Penn Rehab
    • Anita Huff, Clinical Nurse II: The Specialty Hospital
    • Jijomon Joseph, Clinical Nurse III: Penn Rehab

    • Tamika Rice, Clinical Nurse II: The Specialty Hospital
    • Deneen Stokes, Clinical Nurse III: The Specialty Hospital
    • Laura Wolf, Clinical Nurse III: Penn Rehab
    • Shakella Davis, Clinical Nurse II: Penn Rehab
  • Rosalyn J. Watts Award for Community/Patient/Family Relationship
    • Alice Aguadera, Clinical Nurse II: Penn Rehab
    • Natalie Gamble-Lamptey, Clinical Nurse I: The Specialty Hospital 
    • Felix Jones, Clinical Nurse II: Penn Rehab
    • Jijomon Joseph, Clinical Nurse III: Penn Rehab
    • Bernard McAndrew, Clinical Nurse III: Penn Rehab
    • Hanan Osman, Clinical Nurse II: Penn Rehab
    • Kimberly Tice, Clinical Nurse I: Penn Rehab
    • Laura Wolf, Clinical Nurse III: Penn Rehab
  • Dianne Lanham Award - Leadership
    • Carolyn Brant, Clinical Coordinator: The Specialty Hospital 
    • Geveneen Kluska, Clinical Nurse III: The Specialty Hospital
    • Jalpa Patel, Clinical Nurse III: Penn Rehab
    • Deneen Stokes, Clinical Nurse III: The Specialty Hospital
    • Andrea Tarquino, Clinical Nurse II: Penn Rehab
    • Karen Morring, Clinical Nurse II: Penn Rehab
    • Tamika Rice, Clinical Nurse II: The Specialty Hospital
  • Helen McClelland Award - Research and Innovation
    • Ellen Crockett, Clinical Nurse II: Penn Rehab
    • Deneen Stokes, Clinical Nurse III: The Specialty Hospital
    • Noreen Guido, Clinical Nurse III: Penn Rehab
  • Victoria L. Rich Award - Transformational Leadership
    • Natalie Blanden, Administrator, Penn Rehab
    • Kathleen Cassidy,Nurse Manager: Penn Rehab 
    • David Dolt, Assistant Nurse Manager: The Specialty Hospital 
    • Chelsea Flick, Nursing Professional Development Specialist: Penn Rehab
    • Sonya Wood-Johnson, Quality Assurance Manager

Award winners will be chosen by the entity Awards Selection Committee and announced next month.

Below are the nurses who have been nominated this year, and an expert of the nomination received on their behalf:

Alice Aguadera, Clinical Nurse II: Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Rosalyn J. Watts Award for Community/Patient/Family Relationship

“Alice provides excellent care to our patients.  Regularly, Alice actively listens to patient concerns and acts on them as best that she can do given the overnight hours that she works.

Alice’s palliative care is unmatched.  When a patient is in pain, she uses a multimodal approach to treat them.  She expresses compassion when hearing the complaint.  She uses therapeutic language to convey her concern and empathy for the patient.  She then repositions the patient while waiting for the medication to take effect.  She will then check on the patient frequently to ensure that the pain in resolved.  If the pain is not relieved, she advocates for additional help for the patient. Her kindness and compassion does not end with the patients.  Having worked beside her for more than eight years, I can attest to her positive disposition and generosity of spirit.  She has influenced and inspired me to share her holistic approach to caring for patients.” – Susan George


Andrea Tarquino, Clinical Nurse II: Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Dianne Lanham Award – Leadership

" Andrea demonstrated excellent interpersonal skills when interacting with her nursing peers and the interdisciplinary treatments team.  Andrea is often sought out by the physician team for collaboration on best patient care and problem solving.  Andrea interacts with the therapy treatment team daily, and always demonstrates the upmost professionalism when doing so.  Andrea demonstrates her team leader skills be serving as the charge nurse for the busy day shift.  Andrea is always looking to improve patient care through fiscally responsible avenues, while maximizing patient outcomes and experiences." – Joseph Muniak

Anita Huff, Clinical Nurse II: The Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse

  • Lillian Brunner Award- Exemplary Practice

 "Anita maintains healthy work relationships with her peers on the multidisciplinary team; she is often seen sharing ideas and best practices on the unit. Anita has quickly jumped in and served as preceptor to student nurses, new-to-practice nurses, and newly hired experienced nurses. Anita has received the GSPP Good Catch Award more than once because she is diligent in reporting near misses encountered in practice. Anita recently became a member of the Nursing Quality and Safety Core Council and LTACH Unit Council"– David Dolt

Bernard Mc Andrew, Clinical Nurse III: Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Rosalyn J. Watts Award for Community/Patient/Family Relationship

“I have had the ultimate pleasure of witnessing Bill practice nursing with his patients. When Bill interacts with his patients he exudes a calming loving energy, when a duty requires Bill to go hands on with his patient, his intentional healing touch can be felt by all in his presence. He provides the utmost compassionate care that I have ever witnessed, as a medical professional, or as a patient receiving care.  The healing environment that Bill creates in remarkable, and certainly would make Rosalyn J Watts proud.” – Angela Lowell  

Carolyn Brant, Clinical Coordinator: The Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse

  • Dianne Lanham Award – Leadership

 "Carolyn is the nurse you want working beside you when you need help.  When called, she comes immediately and ALWAYS knows the best course of action. On weekend nights, Carolyn not only brings her wealth of knowledge, she brings enthusiastic help.  She assists with a wide variety of patient issues, and a wide variety of staff issues, all with compassion, knowledge and insight. There is no job too big or small for her to tackle.  Carolyn will not pass a call bell unanswered or pass on a messy job to other bedside staff.  She personifies the quintessential leader.  Therefore, I recommend her for the Dianne Lanham Leadership award.” – Anissa

Chelsea Flick, MSN, RN, Nursing Professional Development Specialist: Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Victoria L. Rich Award - Transformational Leadership

“Chelsea is present at unit huddles and ensures that messages are delivered with professionalism and are concise.  She develops education programs that suit the needs of her staff and with input from leadership which ensures education also meets accreditation needs.   Chelsea uses multimodal forms of education to assure that staff members with differing learning styles are able to learn in tandem in a way that is adjusted to their needs.  Her communication is well crafted and purposed.  Due to her initiative in her daily practice, she inspires me and her peers to continue progress towards completion of education goals.  Even when barriers are vast, she tackles problems with a positive outlook and looks at alternative perspectives to decrease resistance to change.   When we needed to educate front line staff nurses of changes to PennChart and pressure injury reporting, she made sure that she was present to do group and one on one in-service.  Chelsea is a dynamic educator and it is a pleasure having her on our team.” – Anonymous

David Dolt, MSN, RN, CCRN, Assistant Nurse Manager: The Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse

  • Victoria L. Rich Award - Transformational Leadership

“Dave exemplifies a transformational leader.  He stepped into the role as interim nurse manager on the LTACH seamlessly with the unit not feeling any disruption or disengagement.  With his engaging demeanor, he runs successful and interactive daily huddle, leading the interdisciplinary team to successfully provide utmost/highest quality patient care.  Dave is who they would call a leader who “walks the talk” every day with a smile on his face.  Dave not only motivates his team daily but also other team members to go above and beyond”.  Anonymous

“David does a great job providing on the floor leadership for the LTACH staff.  Dave is an exceptional communicator, who conveys his message clearly and through multiple venues.  He is a great interdisciplinary collaborator, and often seeks out coworkers to establish best practice and to solicit feedback.  Dave conducts himself with upmost professionalism and shows respect to his superiors, coworkers, and direct reports.  Dave is known by the floor staff as the type of manager that will jump in and assist with all floor duties, from cleaning a room, to transporting a patient, to providing a thoughtful ear.  Dave is highly respected by all of his peers and staff, as well as the physician staff.  Dave was asked to step into an interim nurse manager role this past year, and did a fantastic job making tough decisions to ensure the floor operations remained top-notch.”  Anonymous

Deneen Stokes, Clinical Nurse III: The Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse


  • Lillian Brunner Award - Exemplary Practice

“Refrigerator that is connected to Omnicell. Frequently beeps an alert that the door is open. The handle for the door is currently loose. Staff has to frequently push the handle toward the door. The door will beep alerts even if no one is using the Omnicell. Outcome:  Upon investigation by Plan Facilities door handle completely bent and latch missing.  Door not keeping a proper seal.  Temperature initially stable then exceeded targeted range.  Medications had to be removed from refrigerator temporarily and placed in another Omnicell refrigerator. Parts ordered to fix the door."– David Dolt

  • Helen McClelland Award - Research and Innovation

 "Deneen spearheaded researching alternative non-pharmacological means to reduce anxiety for patients who are on ventilators. Deneen identified this opportunity to utilize non-pharmaceutical interventions to decrease anxiety for patients on being weaned from ventilators on the LTACH and took the lead in assembling an interdisciplinary team consisting of an LTACH hospitalist, pulmonologist, Speech and Respiratory therapy, and nursing team to discuss the opportunity. On behalf of the interdisciplinary LTACH team, Deneen submitted the following proposal to The Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation in July 2017 asserting that “we can transform the care we give our vented patients in providing non-pharmacological interventions before resorting to medications for anxiety. The use of music therapy has been reported to provide some benefit to patients undergoing ventilation weaning, but there is not enough research to provide conclusive evidence of benefit. This proposal is to provide music therapy when initiating weaning from the vent at any stage. Whether is it from Assist Control (AC) mode to Pressure Support (PS) mode or PS mode to tracheal collar. The patient will be educated on the use of music therapy as a means to reduce anxiety. “I would like to add an additional modality of distraction to further increase the opportunity for success. Deneen was recently informed that her submission to the was chosen as a recipient to receive research funding. However, Deneen stayed very positive and this did not discourage her belief and desire to continue researching this important topic to find ways to improve patient’s outcomes on our unit.” – David Dolt

  • Dianne Lanham Award – Leadership

 "Deneen is a clinical nurse III on the LTACH and is preparing for advancement to a Clinical Nurse IV. Deneen is certified in Progressive Care Nursing (PCCN) and is often observed encouraging her peers to get their certification. Deneen also supports our patients and colleagues working as a Charge Nurse on the unit and has received several kudos throughout the year from her patients and colleagues. Most recently, she received an E-Thank You from a co-worker stating “Deneen is an excellent Charge Nurse! She knows what is going on with each patient, checks on her staff to make sure everyone is maintaining a safe and healthy work environment, answers call bells when the primary nurse/CNA is busy and engages patients as if she is their primary nurse. She is always on the floor and available to her staff. I know I can always count on her for support during my shift. Deneen is also the Clinical Nurse Co chair for the Nursing Professional Development Core Council. One of her projects as Clinical Co-Chair of this Council was to take the lead to encourage her colleagues to pursue certification as a CCRN or PCCN. She setup a display table for Certified Nurses Day with literature of various nursing certifications that are applicable to the LTACH Registered Nurse. In addition, she took the lead to organize and schedule CCRN/PCCN review courses for her colleagues on the unit.  Deneen's leadership efforts contribute to sustaining a healthy work environment resulting in improved Patient and Employee experience” – David Dolt

Ellen Crockett, Clinical Nurse II: Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Helen McClelland Award - Research and Innovation

"It is my immense pleasure to nominate Ellen Crockett, BSN, RN, CRRN, CBIS for the Helen McClelland award for Research and Innovation. I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Ellen on the BIRU at GSPP. Ellen is always focusing on problem solving, seeking solutions and positive patient outcomes for the rehabilitation brain injured population. Ellen portrays professionalism by her calm, reassuring demeanor. Ellen is always the first to volunteer to percept and mentor new nurses and employees. Ellen models and facilitates collaboration by working closely with the interprofessional rehabilitation team. She strives to communicate daily that her patients’ best interests are served. She often brainstorms with her coworkers to improve the nursing care delivery processes and actively participates in research studies with her colleagues. Recently Ellen had a patient that was to be discharged home on hospice service. Ellen gather the team to make sure that the discharge process was seamless and organized. By doing so Ellen gave the patient a sense of comfort and reassurance; knowing that the continuum of his care would be extended once home. It is a privilege and honor to nominate Ellen for this deserving award."- Noreen Guido

Eric Bryant, Clinical Nurse III: The Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse

  • Lillian Brunner Award - Exemplary Practice

“I am nominating Eric Bryant for the Lillian Brunner award because he demonstrates a breadth of knowledge in his clinical practice, he identifies issues with his patient early and communicates with the team to ensure the patient receive timely treatment. Eric demonstrates the ability to see the big picture, he has identified several gaps in practice that could effect patient safety and cause harm. Eric on several occasions has identified risk and has worked with with his peers, and management to improve process, which has reduced or eliminated risk, and he constantly striving to help create a culture of safety on the unit. Eric also serves on the Patient Experience Taskforce, and has been instrumental in developing action plans to improve patient satisfaction, which has been one of our main nursing initiatives this year. Eric has been an advocate in implementing Patient Centered Report, Quiet Time to reduce notice on the unit, and the No Pass Zone encouraging everyone to answer call bells.  Eric is always smiling and laughing, encouraging positivity amongst the staff, boosting morale, teamwork, and a healthy safe work environment for staff and the patients. He encourages critical thinking, problem solving, and helps enhance the quality of care for patients on the unit.

 Eric identified two tablets, in one package, of both Cardizem and Lopressor while in the process of administering medication. Eric was diligent in notifying pharmacy, alerting the charge nurse, and the Administrator of his findings and potential harm to the patient. A safety event was placed regarding this event. No harm "hit" the patient. Because Eric reported the incident, pharmacy was able to identify a glitch in the robot that dispense medications, a part was broken, pharmacy was able to put a temporary process for checking medications in place to ensure patient safety, the part was ordered, replaced with now harm to any patient.” – Sonya Wood- Johnson

Felix Jones, Clinical Nurse II: Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Rosalyn J. Watts Award for Community/Patient/Family Relationship

 Felix is a very caring RN.  It is obvious he enjoys caring for patients.  He often states that he loves to be with the more challenging patient populations on our floor.  In one incidence that stands, we had a depressed patient that would prefer to sit in the dark.  Felix worked with him every day encouraging him to do different activities.  The patient stated that Felix stood out the most in helping motivate him to get better.  In another incidence, Felix took his time to help a family learn how to care for their mother when going home.  The family raved of his patience and hard work. They reported their mother began to relax whenever she knew Felix was going to be her nurse. Felix has also been nominated for many Daisy awards over the past year by different patients and their families.  Felix does an excellent job advocating for patient and staff safety in our daily unit huddles.  He never hesitates to ask questions and clarify education points so that everyone is on the same page.” – Chelsea Flick

Geveneen Kluska, Clinical Nurse III: The Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse

  • Dianne Lanham Award – Leadership

"Geveneen is expert in identifying a change in patient condition acts quick in assessing if a patient needs a higher level of care. Geveneen effectively delegates tasks to the nursing and multidisciplinary team when she serves in any of her positions on the unit. Geveneen is respected by her peers and is often sought for assistance in clinical issues. Geveneen continues served as Unit Council Chair (UCC) for the LTACH, where she is managing monthly meetings with her council members. Geveneen is very enthusiastic about being one of the change-agents on the unit.  She took lead in creating a monthly newsletter for the unit that included all departments and disciplines. Geveneen is always willing to lend a helping hand to her peers as well as the leadership team."–David Dolt

Hanan Osman, Clinical Nurse II: Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Rosalyn J. Watts Award for Community/Patient/Family Relationship

“Hanan is an exceptional clinical nurse who also demonstrates an understanding and appreciation for cultural, religious, gender, and age diversity.  Hanan will often seek out her interdisciplinary team to express the specific needs of the patient, keeping patient diversity consideration as the top priority. Hanan participates in multiple interdisciplinary groups that address daily operational and global cultural challenges of the facility. Having served as a member on these groups with Hanan, I can say she is always insightful and very well respected by her peers and managers”. –Joseph Muniak

Jalpa Patel, Clinical Nurse III: Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Dianne Lanham Award – Leadership

“Great teamwork very professional and I like how she interacts with her patients also with her coworkers. Jalpa is very respectful will help you with anything you need. she goes way beyond her duties every day is a good day if you are working with Jalpa.” – Stephanie Velez

Jalpa goes above to help her fellow coworkers, she makes your day awesome, she is good with her patients and also their family members. I believe that all that she does should be recognize. She is a wonderful role model for the nursing staff.” Tanisha Allen

Jijomon Joseph, Clinical Nurse III: Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Lillian Brunner Award - Exemplary Practice

“This nurse has key skills-Tolerance, team player, kindness and compassion. Proven loyalty and maintained a record of reliability and responsibility. regular interaction with the patients in order to find out their psychological and physical needs.  This nurse always resolvingpatients’ problems and fulfilling their needs by applying various team approach.” – Nisha George

  • Rosalyn J. Watts Award - Community/Patient/Family Relationship

“Jijomon is a fantastic nurse who usually works nights.  He serves as a coordinator of services for his patients, and fellow nurses.  I am often in work early, and speak with Jijomon about numerous patient care issues, specifically logistics related to scheduling patients’ therapy for the day.  Patients often request changes over-night to their upcoming day’s therapy schedule as it relates to religious or personal issues for the patient, and Jijomon is sure to communicate these requests to management.  Jijomon shows a respect for patients of all backgrounds, and is a constant patient advocate.” – Joseph Muniak

Karen Morring, Clinical Nurse II: Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Dianne Lanham Award – Leadership

“Karen has worked in many leadership positions for the rehab unit including charge nurse, preceptor, and even interim manager for a period of time.  She is always willing to step up and help where needed.  She is calm and knowledgeable in any emergency situation, and always willing to help her coworkers.  She goes out of her way to find teaching opportunities for newer nurses.  She always steps up to work with orientees when their main preceptors are out, helping support the progress of many orientees at the same time.   Karen is an active member of the Nursing Professional Development Committee, and a member of the unit council.  She exhibits excellent interprofessional communication skills with the therapy team, case management, and the doctors.  Karen helped create a Master Care Plan list to help improve the quality of nursing team conference notes on our units.” – Chelsea Flick

“It is my pleasure to nominate Karen Morring, MSHA, RN for the Dianne Lanham Leadership award. I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Karen on the BIRU at GSPP for over 7 years. Karen has a great analytical business mind and the uncanny ability to see the bigger picture. She leads by example daily by her charismatic enthusiastic attitude. Her favorite saying is “sure thing”, meaning anything that is asked of Karen she is always willing to do for others. Karen is actively involved in many nursing councils and committees at GSPP. She was extremely helpful to her colleagues when the health system introduced Penn Chart/EMR on the nursing floors. Karen willingly shared her knowledge and expertise in informatics with everyone. Karen strives to deliver evidence-based, value-based rehabilitation care to all her patients at GSPP. Recently Karen had a patient who experienced bleeding from a surgical craniotomy incision site. Through Karen’ expedite nursing interventions she prevented the patient from being transferred to a higher level of care for treatment. Her passion for the profession is truly evident by the compassionate care she delivers daily to the GSPP population.” - Noreen Guido

Kathleen Cassidy, BSN, RN, Nurse Manager: Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Victoria L. Rich Award - Transformational Leadership

“"It is with immense pleasure that I would like to nominate Kathleen Cassidy, BSN, RN, CCRN for the Victoria L. Rich Transformational Leadership award.  Kathy has brought to the IRF her many years of managerial and critical care nursing experience. As a leader and our manager Kathy leads by example daily. To increase and improve the morale on the unit Kathy organized our first “spring fling”, “fall festival”, and “holiday celebration” gatherings. By doing so Kathy has created an atmosphere where the staff can relax and enjoy each other company and culinary talents.

To raise the staff confidence and competencies Kathy has recently organized and executed continuing education classes and mock drills for clinical emergency skills. Kathy is extremely driven to promote evidence-based outcomes for the rehabilitation population we serve.

Kathy has created a positive work environment and a culture of retention. Kathy is often the first person to share her time, expertise, and knowledge with her staff. Kathy is our “biggest cheerleader” on the IRF. Her positive energy, enthusiasm, kind words and support make GSPP a beautiful place to work. Kathy is truly deserving of this award.” – Anonymous

Kimberly Tice, Clinical Nurse I: Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Rosalyn J. Watts Award - Community/Patient/Family Relationship

“Though being a RN for less than a year, Kim has received multiple Daisy nominations from her patients and their family members stating she goes above and beyond to make them feel she cares.  Patients have stated “I could see the love, compassion, and dedication in her eyes”, “you hired a gem”, “if she was working another floor, she would still stop in to see how I was doing before going home”.  One patient wrote “Kim was my day nurse only once the last 3 weeks, but she was amazing.  Caring, considerate, and very kind.  Even later seeing me and saying hello, and engaging in conversations about how I was doing and how I was feeling. She really cares about helping people. Kim, and her residency partner, have been working on a project that correlates FIM (rehab) expression scores to fall risk.  The unit experienced a reduced fall rate in the two months the expression scores were posted.” –Chelsea Flick

Laura Wolf, Clinical Nurse III: Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Rosalyn J. Watts Award - Community/Patient/Family Relationship

 "It is with pleasure that I would like to nominate Laura Wolf, BSN, RN, CRRN for the Rosalyn L. Watts Community/Patient/Family Relationship award. Laura is one of the best patient advocate at GSPP!  Laura displays great critical listening skills, compassion, patience, and great attention to detail. Laura is extremely competent and professional by ensuring that the GSPP patients and families are well informed and included in the daily plan of care at GSPP. Often Laura is seen helping navigate confusing unclear orders. Laura, as a leader is always striving to improve evidence-based rehabilitation care for all her patients. Daily she is an advocate for the nursing profession and the rehabilitation interprofessional health care team. Her motto is “it’s all about the patient! It is an honor and a privilege to nominate Laura for this award.” – Noreen Guido

  • Lillian Brunner Award - Exemplary Practice

"Laura currently acts as the (founding) Co-Chair of the IRF Unit Council.  Laura also attends IRF Nursing Practice Core Council meetings as an invited guest. Laura has many strengths and achievements.   She is extremely hardworking and can be counted on to support her nursing colleagues through difficult patient care situations. This past year I was pulled to IRF 3S and was assigned to a young, male who had been shot numerous times in the abdomen.  His wound care was challenging and one ileostomy bag would leak frequently.  Laura was always there to lend her expertise to the ostomy and wound care changes.  This helped to decrease the patient’s anxiety and also his time spent away from therapy and his visitors.   Laura is knowledgeable and always has a creative solution to IRF Unit issues that arise.   As Co-Chair of the IRF Unit Council she has re-done the IRF material supply closets, a tremendous undertaking, which has made the carts simultaneously much more user friendly and cost effective.  She has also created Numbers for Nurses, a phone directory for all IRF staff that she continues to maintain and update.  Numbers for Nurses allows staff to find needed contact information quickly and is visually easy to navigate.    Laura has shown true Nursing Leadership.   She has undertaken two significant projects and seen them through to success:  re-doing the IRF Supply Closets and Numbers for Nurses." "Laura is passionate about continued quality improvements.  Laura was a member of HUP’s Informatics Committee and an advocate for meaningful IRF nursing electronic documentation as HUP was building the system.   Laura was a Pennchart Superuser during the go-live in March of 2017 and was an effective and knowledgeable Champion to her nursing peers.   Laura supports new initiatives that are rolled out from IRF Nursing Leadership. Laura was an early adopter of Patient Centered Report.” -Ann Morace

"As Co-Chair of the IRF Unit Council, Laura re-organized the IRF material closets. This initiative, a daunting task in itself, has helped to streamline the work flow on the rehab floors.  Rehab nurses now can get the right supplies at the right location. Additionally, Laura created, and periodically updates, the GSPP internal phone directory for the nursing staff (Numbers for Nurses). This resource allows nurses to quickly find the telephone numbers for essential staff and departments. It was a creative solution to the problem of out dated telephone numbers and time wasted hunting for current telephone numbers. This resource has proven helpful when nurses need to locate the critical telephone numbers for patients and their families.

Laura is an expert in the care of the full-spectrum of IRF patients-- from brain injury, to orthopedic, to medically complex patients.  She has cared for all of these patients and has done so with highest clinical practice. As an expert clinician, she is a role model for nursing students, new to practice nurses and her nursing colleagues. She is highly regarded among her peers; she is a true role model for exemplary nursing practice. Laura is being nominated in recognition of her numerous and on-going efforts to advocate for, participate in and initiate quality improvement initiatives at GSPP that have a direct impact on clinical staff and in-patients.   Over the past year, Laura was active in the UPHS Informatics Committee which was tasked with streamlining and updating our new EMR system.  Meetings were frequent, rigorous and Laura was a true advocate for bedside nurses.  Due to her extensive knowledge of the Penn EMR system she was recently able to show the Skin Integrity Committee members how to add documentation regarding the use of off-loading boots for patients. This added documentation may help in quantifying the preventive measures in place to decrease the incidence of heel/foot pressure ulcers at GSPP.” -Cheryl Sickles

Lorda Cajimat, Clinical Nurse III: Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Lillian Brunner Award - Exemplary Practice

“Lorda has an extraordinary ability to connect with patients, families and her peers.  Recently, I was doing PCR shift report during the 1900 handoff.  Lorda entered every room with energy and enthusiasm; she knew her patients well and was proactive in discussing the next 12 hours with them.  Every patient and family member brightened when they saw her and greeted her warmly. Lorada is extremely hardworking.  On more than one occasion I have seen her spend extra time with a brain injury patient that needed extra nursing time to relax and settle down for the night. Lorada will also stay at the end of her night shift to help on busy mornings.  Lorda is an extremely skilled technical nurse. She is a hard-working team member and the go-to-person for difficult IV and phlebotomy sticks.” Lorda has been a night shift Champion for all HUP/GSPP initiatives in the last ten years.  She was a Superuser for KBC and also for Pennchart.  She takes on the roles of Preceptor, Charge Nurse and Free Charge Nurse.” –Ann Morace

"It is my pleasure to nominate Lorda Cajimat, BSN, RN, CRRN for the Lillian Brunner Exemplary award. Lorda goes beyond the call of duty for all her patients and colleagues. Her “can” do attitude is contagious! Recently a patient misunderstood a wound care treatment order but Lorda was the first person to come to the patient’ rescue. Lorda quickly intervened and answered the patient questions and concerns. Lorda completed the complicated wound care treatment while mentoring a nursing student through the procedure. The patient was extremely impressed with Lorda’ display of professionalism, kindness, and helpfulness. This is just one example of the compassionate care that Lorda delivers to all her patients at GSPP. It is a privilege and honor to nominate Lorda for this award.” – Noreen Guido

"Deneen exhibits leadership in all her responsibilities including patient care and interacting with her fellow nurses.  She also has exceptional critical thinking skills.”- Amira Clemens

Natalie Blanden, BSN, RN, Administrator, Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Victoria L. Rich Award - Transformational Leadership

“"The current administrator of the inpatient rehabilitation center where I am employed has inspired me to become a caring leader. This woman is sincere, empowering, and leads by example. Her compassion is something that is experienced by all who encounter her. Her ability to navigate difficult discussions by putting others at ease, is one of her greatest traits as a leader. She has a gift for portraying authentic empathy while still holding to the accountabilities of her position. Under her leadership the management team has been able to meet goals, improve employee engagement and increase our patient satisfaction metrics. The road has not been an easy one, but under her caring leadership style we are all on the road together making it possible for others to grow as well. This person makes me want to do my best every day and model her behavior in my own leadership style as a manager. Natalie Blanden truly embodies the qualities of a leader deserving of the Victoria L. Rich Award. 

She strongly gets the message across through effective communication.  When there is work to get done, she effectively delegates, explains, and frequently checks in on the progress.  She offers her full support big or small in any way that she can.  She holds leadership huddles three times a week to update her staff, makes sure everyone is on the same page, and listen to ideas of her staff.  She frequently attends unit huddles with nursing and CNA’s to explain any changes on the unit, and promote positive change in any way she can.

She inspires and motivates others to move the organization to a higher level of performance.  It is truly a blessing and an honor to be part of her team.  She makes all of her staff feel important and respected.  Her door is always open and she encourages new ideas and projects to improve our unit. She will never say no or brush off any reasonable idea, instead she will take her own time to help her staff develop their ideas into reality. She acts with honor and character.  Natalie is one of the kindest, fairest, people I have ever worked with.  She wears her heart on her sleeve and truly cares about each patient, family, and staff member. She is an advocate for both patients and staff, and works hard to make sure everyone is treated with kindness and respect. She always sees the good in people but it does not stop her from her holding people accountable and expecting everyone’s best each day.

She solves complex problems and makes tough decisions. Natalie is the best at seeing the big picture, knowing available resources, and making the most logical decisions and plans. Every decision she makes is with the patient’s and staff’s wellbeing as top priority. Natalie has guided the IRF during some very challenging times, allowing the opportunity for staff, patients and families to be treated with fairness and kindness. Natalie acts as a role model for everyone on the IRF.  She is supportive, shares information and provides mentorship for those who need it.

Natalie is not afraid to make the “tough decisions” especially when it affects patient and staff safety." –Anonymous

“Natalie Blanden is a compassionate leader who has provided stability and direction to the IP rehab department at Rittenhouse.  Natalie is dedicated to the professional growth of her units, herself, and the organization as a whole.  Natalie is an excellent communicator who strives to foster an environment of communication among all disciplines, with an emphasis on best patient care.  Natalie inspires those who report directly to her as well as her coworkers.  She is extremely empathetic and will constantly go above and beyond for her staff.  It is an honor to work alongside Natalie.”Anonymous

Natalie Gamble-Lamptey, Clinical Nurse I: The Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse

  • Rosalyn J. Watts Award - Community/Patient/Family Relationship

“"I am nominating Natalie because I observed her caring and compassionate behavior with a patient that made a difference for that patient’s day and later appreciated by the family. Natalie received an anxious patient that had periods of confusion and clarity.  On this occasion, the patient decided that he was going to go home and began to walk toward the elevators.  The patient appeared upset and expressed wanting to die. (Note the patient has history of depression and has make statements about not wanting to be in a hospital and wanting to die.)  Natalie began talking to the patient, not just about staying in the room or not being ready to be discharged.  She calmly spoke to the patient about his concerns and asked him about his feeling.  She did not stand over him, but sat on the bed beside him.  She displayed “true” bedside manner.  She created a healing environment for the patient by helping him talk through his anxiety and understand that his hospital stay is to help him get stronger to be prepared for home.  She also reminded the family (nephew) that he needed to make sure to take care of himself so that he could be more supportive for his uncle". –Deneen Stokes

Noreen Guido, Clinical Nurse III: Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Dianne Lanham Award – Leadership

“Noreen is always discussing best patient care with EBP backing with the physician and therapy team.  Noreen has brought in articles to share with coworkers, and has sought to understand best practice approaches from an EBP perspective with myself during my doctorate journey.  Currently, Noreen is investigating acuity based staffing options and temporal thermometer use with the BI population.  Noreen has demonstrated a dedication to continued learning through her NP studies.  Noreen is also a member of the informatics committee.”–Joseph Muniak

Shakella Davis, Clinical Nurse II: Penn Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine

  • Dianne Lanham Award – Leadership

“Shakella exemplifies interdisciplinary collaboration both daily, and through her participation in special projects. Shakella is part of the Patient Safety Committee, participated in an intersiciplinary training video on patient safety equipment, and identified that Miralax did not mix well with thickener, and needed to be considered for change.  Shakella serves as a role model for quality care and patient safety with her peers and beyond.  Shakella always puts patient care first and foremost in her day, and is often a vocal patient advocate.” –Joseph Muniak

"Shakella has identified several patient safety issues and brought them to the attention of the organization, preventing possible harm to patients. Recently Shakella identified that when Mirilax is mixed with our thickener for patients with swallowing deficits, it actually becomes a thin liquid and puts the patient at risk for aspiration. This issue was elevated and an alternative thickener is being investigated. "Shakella developed education for staff reference for the rollout of patient-centered report. Shakella also participated in the making of a PCR video for staff and a video regarding our falls campaign titled “Click it or Ticket” that reminded staff to double check all wheelchair alarms.” – Kathleen Cassidy 

Sonya Wood-Johnson MS, RN, RRT, PCCN , Quality Assurance Manager: Good Shepherd Penn Partners

  • Victoria Rich Transformational Leadership Award

“Since taking her current role she has enthusiastically thrown herself into several projects such as falls committee, heading the patient centered report initiative, reducing acute outs, implementing lean management just to name a few things. She also served as covering DON on the LTACH for a month. Not only does she push the organization as a whole but she also encourages growth at an individual. She is always available for feedback and encouragement. I will always trust Sonya for honest feedback.” – Anonymous

"Sonya is deserving of the Victoria Rich Transformational Leadership Award for numerous reasons, but mostly because she inspires success.  Sonya demonstrates authentic leadership in her daily practice.  Although her primary position is the Nursing Quality Assurance Manager, she is often observed working hands-on with the clinical nursing and ancillary staff providing education on evidence based and best practices.  Sonya often performs rounds on the units, knows clinical staff by name, and answers call lights to address patient/family needs.  It is not uncommon to see Sonya providing assistance to a clinical nurse.  I have observed her showing a newer nurse how to administer a blood transfusion, administer medications for a clinical nurse who was overwhelmed during their shift, and assist with repositioning a patient.

Sonya attends huddles on the units and provides updates directly to clinical staff and the leadership team at these times.  Sonya has come in on the off shift to ensure that night shift has been informed and educated on any practice changes that affects patient safety.  Additionally, Sonya has worked directly with the leadership team, providing mentoring, for the implementation of huddles using the Lean Management strategy.  Sonya has partnered with Nursing Education, Respiratory Therapy, PT/OT/SLP, the provider groups, and Security to develop and implement initiatives to improve patient safety.  She gives selflessly to the entire Good Shepherd Penn Partners (GSPP) team to meet the mission and goals of the organization. 

Sonya is the epitome of professionalism.  She wears so many hats with patience and grace and always maintains control even in the most chaotic situations.  She is compassionate and kind and is always willing to lend a hand, and these unique characteristics are and have been inspiring to all she has encountered. 

Sonya was instrumental in implementing Shared Governance at GSPP; she campaigned in support of Shared Governance to the clinical nursing staff on both shifts for months.  She was available for questions and answers, provided assistance with application completion, and encouraged our current clinical nurse leaders to apply for the position.  Additionally, Sonya presented on Shared Governance, to her peers, at a leadership retreat hosted by the CNO.

We, at GSPP, can all attest to Sonya’s work performance, demonstrated through her multidisciplinary partnerships, having influenced greatness among the leadership team, as well as the clinical staff.” – Anonymous

Tamika Rice, Clinical Nurse II: The Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse

  • Lillian Brunner Award - Exemplary Practice

“Tamika goes above and beyond for all her patients.  She is an advocate for her patient's needs and communicates their needs well to the interdisciplinary team.  She is an exemplary nurse with excellent clinical skills.  It is often observed her collaborating with the interdisciplinary team on how we can best care for our patients whether it be coordinating and assisting with out of bed times, goals for the day, and educating patients and families.” –Tarah McCloskey

Nominated by; Natalie C Gamble-Lamptey