Nurses at the VA Maryland Health Care System Awarded for Excellence

During its annual May observance of National Nurses Week, the Veterans Affairs (VA) Maryland Health Care System awarded four nurses with local and network VA Secretary Awards for Excellence in Nursing. Also during the event, one nurse among the 100 nominees, received the prestigious 2012 DAISY Award, and Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, delivered the keynote address on the future of nursing.

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“VA nurses are integral and equal members of our health care team who are dedicated to providing cost-effective, safe and quality health care services to Maryland’s Veterans,” said Dennis H. Smith, director of the VA Maryland Health Care System.

Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) May 25, 2012

During its annual May observance of National Nurses Week, the Veterans Affairs (VA) Maryland Health Care System awarded four nurses with local and network VA Secretary Awards for Excellence in Nursing. Also during the event, one nurse among the 100 nominees, received the prestigious 2012 DAISY Award, and Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, delivered the keynote address on the future of nursing.

The four nurses honored with local level VA Secretary’s Award for Nursing Excellence include: Sandra Wieland, CRNP; Roslyn Kelly, RN; Mi Aung, LPN; and Christina Davis, NA. Wieland was selected as the recipient of the network level award, representing the VA Capitol Health Care Network. The national awardee—selected from among the network winners—has not yet been named. The VA Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing consists of three major categories: Excellence in Nursing, Advancement of Nursing Programs by a Medical Center or Health Care System Director, and Advancement of Nursing Programs by a Medical Center or Health Care System Nurse Executive. Kea Ellis, a nurse in the Emergency Department at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, was selected as the recipient of the 2012 DAISY Award. Established by the DAISY Foundation, a non-profit organization designed to eliminate diseases attacking the immune system – in memory of J. Patrick Barnes – the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses recognizes the very special work nurses do every day.

“VA nurses are integral and equal members of our health care team who are dedicated to providing cost-effective, safe and quality health care services to Maryland’s Veterans,” said Dennis H. Smith, director of the VA Maryland Health Care System. “Our patients rely on them for their compassion, and the VA relies on them for setting the highest clinical care standards.
That reliance is well placed. I am deeply proud and grateful to be associated with the awardees and their 900 colleagues, stellar nurses who serve Veterans throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System.”

Wieland, the local and network awardee, is a nurse practitioner at the Cambridge and Pocomoke VA Outpatient Clinics on the Eastern Shore where she routinely collaborates with primary care staff to conduct education groups with diabetic Veterans who are also receiving psychiatric medications that affect glucose metabolism. Uniquely qualified to meet all of her clients needs with a dual certification as a family and a psychiatric nurse practitioner, Wieland has demonstrated tireless devotion to providing excellent care and service with a genuine sense of caring and compassion that inspires all who work with her. Her most significant contribution has been the introduction and implementation of the use of service dogs for Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Wieland is an Easton, Md. resident.

Davis, who serves resident Veterans as a nursing assistant at the Perry Point VA Medical Center, demonstrates untiring efforts to educate patients and their families about contact isolation, hand hygiene and measures taken to avoid pressure ulcers. Due to her involvement with residents and her keen communication skills with the wound care nurses and registered nurses, resident Veterans have avoided new pressure ulcers and hospital-acquired infections. A Veteran herself, Davis’ essay “What I Have Learned Caring For Residents,” was published nationally and recognized by the VA Nursing Assistant Cultural Transformation Olympics. She is a resident of Galena, Md.

Min Aung, who works at the Loch Raven VA Community Living & Rehabilitation Center and who loves being a nurse, has shown a total commitment to providing the highest quality and most compassionate care to Veterans. Always ready to meet the needs of the unit by staying extra hours and promoting team work, Aung’s positive outcomes speaks to his success, including a 100 percent medicine administration without errors; 100 percent timely administration of pain medicine; 100 percent documentation of cases; and 100 percent resident satisfaction when needs are met in a timely manner.

Aung performs well during emergency situations, always collaborates with registered nurses and members of the intra-professional team. He has also developed a new report that is under review to improve the effectiveness of the shift Hand-Off report. Aung is Perry Hall resident.

Kelly, who is based at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, is a certified diabetes educator. She has demonstrated leadership by developing comprehensive diabetic education and management classes. She developed a diabetes education curriculum according to the VA Clinical Guidelines, American Diabetes Association and American Association of Diabetes Educators guidelines. She trains and continues to mentor registered nurses to be diabetes champions. Kelly has also presented information to the University of Maryland School of Medicine Junior Medical Student Orientation on diabetes. Moreover, she has provided leadership in identifying and addressing ethical issues that impact clients and staff. Kelly is an Odenton resident.

Ellis, the 2012 DAISY Award recipient has proven to be an invaluable asset to the Emergency Department at the Baltimore VA Medical Center due to her excellent leadership and managerial skills and her compassionate bedside manner and nursing skills. She recently received recognition from a patient who praised her for her compassion and bedside manner and from the Emergency Department health technicians, praising her for her team work, fair leadership style and high productivity. As part of the departments’ customer service initiative, Ellis designed a 34-question patient survey on which patients grade the Emergency Department staff on courtesy, skill, appearance, professionalism, patient education, and the comfort of the waiting room. She also created a pamphlet for Emergency Department patients who are about to be admitted to the medical center that provides contact information for their hospital rooms and the phone number to the medical center’s Emergency Department if they have additional questions. Ellis is a Pikesville, Md. resident.

The VA Maryland Health Care System (VAMHCS) provides a broad spectrum of medical, surgical, rehabilitative, mental health and outpatient care to veterans at two medical centers, one community living & rehabilitation center and five outpatient clinics located throughout the state. More than 52,000 veterans from various generations receive care from the VAMHCS annually. Nationally recognized for its state-of-the-art technology and quality patient care, the VAMHCS is proud of its reputation as a leader in veterans’ health care, research and education. It costs nothing for Veterans to enroll for health care with the VA


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