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Published on May 22, 2015

KishHealth System Employees Honored for Nursing Excellence and Spirit Awards

May 22, 2015

DEKALB, Ill. –  KishHealth System presented its Nursing Excellence Awards and Spirit Award at the 13th annual Employee Recognition Banquet, May 11, at the Duke Ellington Ballroom, Northern Illinois University. Becky Metcalf received the Nursing Excellence Award in Outpatient Nursing, Mark Mueller received the Nursing Excellence Award in Hospital Nursing, and Geni Collins received the Karen Sepaniak KishHealth System Spirit Award.

The Nursing Excellence Awards recognize a nurse working with hospitalized patients and a nurse working with outpatients. These nurses have been nominated because they are role models to their peers, adapt to demands, and work efficiently. They provide high quality care using critical thinking skills, seek new ideas and solutions; they creatively coordinate resources, promote teamwork, foster cooperation, and demonstrate ownership. They work effectively with others in a professional, considerate, and constructive manner and actively listen and respond respectfully. They also suggest alternatives to increase patient care effectiveness, efficiency, and safety, give feedback, and encourage others.

Becky Metcalf, RNBecky Metcalf, RN, the recipient of this year’s Outpatient Nurse of the Year Award, has been with Kishwaukee Hospital since 1995 and has worked in many areas including the Medical Floor, Cancer Center, and most notably the Emergency Department. She demonstrates excellence in nursing practice by her high level of critical thinking that is applied to the care that is delivered to our patients daily in the Emergency Department. She is a solid leader on the unit as she coordinates appropriate resources to deliver the high level of care that is expected in the Emergency Department. Her peers describe her as someone who demonstrates great leadership, shows kindness and compassion for everyone she encounters, and is someone who motivates her team to strive to be their best. She is looked upon by her peers as an expert in the area of Emergency Nursing. Metcalf is an exemplary nurse who acts as a role model and mentor for new staff, working with them to develop their skills in Emergency nursing. 

Mark Mueller, RNThis year’s Nursing Excellence Award in Hospital Nursing recipient is Mark Mueller, RN, from the Valley West Hospital Medical/Surgical Unit. He truly treats each individual patient and staff member with care and concern, an impassioned nurse who is helpful and dedicated. Mueller started with KishHealth System four years ago and is well respected by staff and patients and stands out for two reasons: love of learning and exceptional customer service skills. He has grown and learned as he moved from CNA to nurse. He has quickly transitioned from a new graduate to a comfortable, confident nurse who has earned the respect of peers, physicians, and patients for his competent approach to patient care.

The Karen Sepaniak KishHealth System Spirit Award was created to honor and celebrate a woman who knew how to do things only by going above and beyond. Karen worked at Valley West Hospital for nearly 40 years.  She passed away in July 2007, after a courageous battle with cancer. 

Geni Collins, CNAThe Karen Sepaniak KishHealth System Spirit Award was presented to Geni Collins, CNA, from Y2 at Kishwaukee Hospital. Collins is truly an all-around great employee, going over and above when assisting patients—whether it is finding them things to do when they are bored or helping victims of the recent tornado. When staffing is particularly stressed, she offers to work extra shifts, change shifts to accommodate the needs of the department, or switch shifts with fellow employees. She is the first to volunteer to be on committees, she routinely makes new employees feel comfortable and knowledgeable, and she is always in a good mood and is enthusiastic and cheerful at all times. Collins is always joyful with others and anticipates the needs of others and graciously offers care to patients and families. She stands for “Living our Values” in all the best ways and, as one nominator wrote, “she deserves recognition for providing this kind of care to all patients every day and is truly an unsung hero.”

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