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Excellence in nursing awards handed out

FORT MEADE, S.D. – Each year, VA Black Hills Health Care System honors select individuals for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs’ Awards For Excellence In Nursing. Ceremonies were held at Fort Meade and Hot Springs to celebrate the achievements of five outstanding nursing professionals.

Nursing Excellence Awards were presented to:

·         Kelly Paulsen, Nursing Assistant on I East Acute Medical and Community Living Center, Hot Springs

·         Darrell Janis, Nurse Manager for Dialysis and Specialty Clinic, Hot Springs

·         Vanessa Crisman, Infection Prevention Program Manager, VA BHHCS

·         David Hauff, Health Technician, Transitional Residence House. Pine Ridge

·         Kim Morrell, Registered Nurse on I East Acute Medical and Community Living Center, Hot Springs

“This award is special because the individuals are nominated by their peers for their outstanding service to Veterans.  Each winner demonstrates excellence in their work and the highest level of dedication to their profession”, said, Madonna Schnider, Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive.  “I congratulate each of our winners for receiving this honor and I’d like to thank them for the excellent care they provide to Veterans”.

Winners at the local level will be forwarded for consideration of a national honor.

Background:  The VA Secretary’s Awards in Nursing Excellence program, established in 1984, annually honors one Medical Center Director, Nurse Executive (NE), Registered Nurse (RN) in a staff nurse role and one in a non-staff nurse role, i.e. advanced practice nurse, nurse manager, instructor, etc., a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), and a Nursing Assistant (NA) actively engaged in the care of patients at a VA Medical Center (VAMC). The recipients’ contributions to the care of patients in any VA health care setting are patient-driven and demonstrate such excellence as to merit recognition from peers. This award is given only once to an individual.

VA nurses have been widely recognized for their instrumental work in initiating, developing, implementing, and monitoring the practices and policies that has made VA one of the world’s foremost authorities in patient safety and quality outcomes, evidenced by performance measures – an exceptional achievement by any assessment.

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