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Published on June 09, 2008

Nurse of the Year Named at Valley West; Diagnostic Team Recognized

June 09, 2008

Cheryl Fisher, RN, Director of Nursing, Kathy Wagner, RN, Pam Lewis Nurse of the Year recipient, and Pam Duffy, RN, VP Patient Care Services

(left to right) Cheryl Fisher, RN, Director of Nursing, Kathy Wagner,
RN, Pam Lewis Nurse of the Year recipient, and Pam Duffy, RN, VP
Patient Care Services

Kathy Wagner , RN, a member of the Valley West Community Hospital day surgery team, has received the Pamela Lewis Nurse of the Year award.  

The award was presented May 15 at KishHealth System’s annual Employee Recognition Dinner at Northern Illinois University’s Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center.

The Valley West Diagnostic Imaging Department received one of the health system’s Awards of Excellence. 

The Lewis Nurse of the Year award was created after the loss of Pamela Lewis, RN, former manager of the Valley West Medical/Surgical and Intensive Care Units. After her death in 2006, Lewis’ family created the Pamela Lewis Nursing Fund which provides the recipient of the Valley West Nurse of the Year monetary support for continuing education.

Wagner exemplifies nursing excellence in every aspect, said Cheryl Fisher, Director of Nursing for VWCH and Kishwaukee Community Hospital, who presented the award at the May 15, Employee Recognition Dinner. “Her professional knowledge and clinical judgment are expert.  She is a mentor and preceptor to new employees.  Whether with co-workers, physicians, patients or visitors, she role models service excellence.  Her patients are treated with kindness, compassion and empathy, but she can also be firm and insistent. “She demonstrates pride and leadership in the nursing profession.  She identifies solutions where we have opportunities to improve.  She is known as the ‘calm’ in the midst of days that could easily become chaotic,” Fisher said Kathy joined Sandwich Community Hospital in 1976, as a nurse’s aide.  She completed her nursing degree and has been an RN in Med/Surg, ICU, ED, education, supervision and the OR.  For the last seven years, she has been a key member of the recovery room and day surgery nursing team.  She is certified in both advanced and pediatric life support. 

Diagnostic Services Manager Janey Ciontea, Mary Jo Briel, Kay Nelson, Mike Kokott, AVP Marketing & Planning, Mary Jane Hotopp, Kim Larson, and Roxanne Miller.

(left to right) Diagnostic Services Manager Janey Ciontea, Mary Jo
Briel, Kay Nelson, Mike Kokott, AVP Marketing & Planning, Mary Jane
Hotopp, Kim Larson, and Roxanne Miller. 

The Awards of Excellence recognize employees, teams and departments that have demonstrated significant achievement toward the health system’s organizational goals in the areas of Service, People, Quality, Finance and Growth. 

The Valley West Diagnostic Imaging Department was awarded the Growth Pillar Award for its demonstrated improvement in all areas. The staff met increased demand for  services, adapted to new technology, and worked to exceed patient, co-worker and physician expectations. The department saw volume increases in seven service areas.  “Success lies in their teamwork, attitude, commitment and adaptability,” said Mike Muzzillo, assistant hospital administrator.

The Karen Sepaniak KishHealth System Spirit Award was also awarded. The award was created to honor and celebrate Sepaniak who worked at Valley West for more than thirty years. She passed away last July after a courageous battle with cancer. She lived the health system’s Standards of Behavior and brought a spirit of caring, compassion and loyalty to all that she did.. The Karen Sepaniak Spirit Award was given to Noah Nordbrock, KHS Marketing & Public Relations Senior Designer, for his professionalism, positive attitude, communication skills and service to others. 

Valley West Community Hospital is part of the KishHealth System, and can be found online at www.vwch.org.

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