Who are the top nurses in Georgia? Here are the 10 winners of the ajcjobs Nursing Excellence Awards

From saving the lives of some of our “forgotten veterans” to making the calls that have preserved limbs and reversed grim prognoses, Georgia’s best nurses are truly the lifeline for thousands of patients each day.

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Today, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and ajcjobs honored Georgia’s top nurses in its 13th annual ajcjobs Nursing Excellence Awards. The Celebrating Nurses luncheon was held at the Cobb Galleria Centre Tuesday in honor of National Nurses Week and honors 10 nursing professionals chosen from over 800 nominations for going above and beyond the call of duty.


AJC Editor Kevin Riley and Channel 2 Action News WSB-TV Anchor Jovita Moore will presented the awards. Jill Case-Wirth, MHA, BSN, RN, a senior vice president and chief nurse executive at WellStar Health System, delivered the keynote address at Tuesday’s luncheon.

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“Nothing is worth more to patients than knowing that dedicated nurses are watching out for them and making a significant impact in their care,” Riley said. “We believe the very best of the best are worth honoring and giving them the recognition they deserve. It will be a moment of significant pride for the honoree, their family and hospital.” 


The honorees were chosen by an independent panel of three health care leaders who each represent nursing education programs. Nominations were received from patients, family members, colleagues, supervisors and related organizations. 


The 2018 class of Celebrating Nurses were selected from nominations that called out examples of exceptional care from identifying a veteran with wound care complications to saving a new mother by delivering lifesaving compressions for 25 minutes. 



The honorees are: 


Lisa Jo Anderson – WellStar North Fulton Hospital

Kate Castner – Piedmont Athens Hospital

Lynn Dixon – DeKalb Medical

Susie Drew – Northside Hospital

Robyn Gaffney – WellStar Kennestone Hospital

Andy Gish – Northside Hospital

Kim Lee – WellStar Kennestone Hospital

Christopher Ponton – WellStar Enterprise Support Team

Gina Solomon – Gwinnett Medical Center

Julie Vitoria – Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta



 Executive Nursing Leadership Excellence Award

 Dr. Stuart Downs, WellStar Atlanta Medical Center

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