They have held the hands of dying patients who could not be with their loved ones because of the no-visitor policies that have been in place. Many have switched gears from treating relatively routine illnesses to dealing with the sickest of the sick — all while taking unprecedented safety precautions. All have practically lived in face masks, rubber gloves, and other personal protective equipment.
In honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, 2020 was declared the National Year of the Nurse. This year, nurses continue to inspire and earn our gratitude.
An independent panel of judges selected the nurse award winners: Angie Millan, member of the board of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses; Thea Ducrow, executive director of the Louisiana State Nurses Association and Louisiana Nurses Foundation; and Lindsey Harris, member of the board of the Birmingham Black Nurses Association and president of the Alabama State Nurses Association.
The judges who selected the nurse leadership winner were: Omolara Fyle-Thorpe, clinical assistant professor at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, Mercer University; Tammy Barbe, associate professor and associate dean for graduate programs at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, Mercer University; and Linda Morrow, staff nurse director, Georgia Nurses Association.
This year’s Celebrating Nurses award winners are:
Danielle “Dani” Giaritelli with Emory University Hospital, nominated by her father, Chris Giaritelli, and sister, Kristina Perea
Jody Leonard with Southern Regional Medical Center, nominated by her former manager, Brian Cesar
Rochanda Crawford with Grady Memorial Hospital, nominated by co-worker Pamela Vaughn
Laura Toops with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, nominated by Colleen Znoj, mother of a former patient
Laurie Pazda with Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, nominated by co-worker Cherie Baxter
Laura Moss with Wellstar Spalding Regional Hospital, nominated by her manager, Terry Hosch
Kathleen LePain with Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital, nominated by Lindsey McCloskey, her manager
Clayton Fowler with Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, nominated by the hospital’s nursing director, Marsha Kadner
Beth Dziczkowski with Northside Hospital Cherokee, nominated by co-worker Coley King
Tasneem Malik with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nominated by Gulshan Harjee, her colleague and supervisor at Clarkston Community Health Center
In addition, Vicky Hogue, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient services at Wellstar Paulding Hospital, was chosen from 47 nominees to receive the Nurse Leadership Award. The award is sponsored by Mercer University.