Showing all Releases for May 2014

  • 2014 Excellence in Nursing Awards

    Tuesday May 20, 2014

    Stormont Vail HealthCare held its 7th Annual Excellence in Nursing Awards on May 8, in the Pozez Education Center Auditorium. This year there are 18 patient care staff members that were nominated and selected to receive an Excellence in Nursing Award. “These individuals represent different clinical specialties, but have in common careers that combine professional knowledge with human caring,” said Carol Perry, BSN, MSM, FACHE, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer. “They exemplify the image of nursing by acting as role models, acquiring and incorporating new learning in their practice environment, demonstrating strong leadership and interpersonal skills, inspiring others through their service as mentors and preceptors, and promoting diversity in the workplace.

    Award honorees were nominated by physicians, nurses, colleagues, mentors and friends who took the opportunity to recognize those who continually strive for and contribute to the professionalism of patient care.

    The honorees include:

    • Gina Geis, RN, Excellence in Nursing Practice
    • Sharon Reed, RN, Excellence in Nursing Practice
    • Alison Wilson, RN, Excellence in Nursing Leadership
    • Ursula Beuchat, RN, Excellence in Nursing Mentorship
    • Tisha Schmidt, RN, Excellence in Nursing Mentorship
    • Karen Burns-Reynolds, RN, Excellence in Nursing Preceptorship
    • LaDonna Andritsch, RN, Excellence in Nursing Research
    • Dana Jones, RN, Excellence in Nursing Research
    • Rebecca Rocha, LPN, Excellence in Licensed Practical Nursing
    • Staci Thompson, LPN, Excellence in Licensed Practical Nursing
    • Nicole Brandenburgh, PCT, Excellence in Patient Care
    • Curtis Johnson, Surgical Tech, Excellence in Patient Care
    • Jerry Martens, LMHT, Excellence in Patient Care
    • Kaytee Winsor, PCT, Excellence in Patient Care
    • Brooke Shumaker, RN, Distinguished Community Service Award
    • Ashley Berroth, RN, Rising Star
    • Tony Zoucha, RN, Rising Star


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  • Dean Harr to Retire After 17 Years as Dean of the Baker School of Nursing

    Monday May 19, 2014

    A retirement reception to honor Dean Kathleen Harr will be held from 4 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 20, in the Stormont Vail HealthCare’s Pozez Education Center.

    For 17 years as Dean of the Baker School of Nursing, Kathy Harr has overseen remarkable growth in the program that has doubled in enrollment since 1998 when Baker had 86 students at the Stormont Vail HealthCare facility. Baker set a program record for total enrollment with 175 students for the fall 2013 semester.

    “It has been a joy to be a part of growing the program beyond what we thought was possible,” said Harr. She lauded the efforts of the administration teams past and present from Baker University and Stormont Vail HealthCare.

    “All have been role models and mentors,” said Harr. “Their wise counsel has been appreciated over the years and their support of the school a key to our success.”

    Harr’s first day at Baker was Sept. 29, 1997. She has announced her retirement, which will be Sept. 30, 2014 – almost 17 years to the date of when she stared her career.

    Harr shared some reflections on her years at the Baker School of Nursing. Here is what she said she is most proud of:

    • Overseeing the pinning and graduation of 1,126 (80% of all BUSN grads) students, knowing that they were well prepared to be excellent nurses and contributors to society. 
    • Hearing from and talking with graduates about their career successes. What a joy to see those who struggled now excelling as nurse leaders here at Stormont Vail HealthCare and elsewhere.
    • Watching faculty members and students work together to support our local community and the Streams of Hope Clinic in Kenya. Through their efforts, the School of Nursing has a presence at Doorstep, Topeka Rescue Mission, the Lawrence Community Shelter, Marion Clinic, Breakthrough House, Mission Towers and others. Baker outreach has included working with nurse, Ruth Sarna, to assist with physicals for the football team and working the Baldwin Community Health Fair.
    • It has been “awesome” (as Stormont Vail HealthCare’s Chief Nursing Officer Carol Perry would say) to see the professionalization of nursing and the growth and development of nurses at Stormont Vail HealthCare. It has been a huge joy to see this transformation and to be a part of the Magnet Certification and recertification process.  I am extremely proud of Dr. Ruth Ohm for her role in developing the concept of evidence-based practice for the nursing staff at Stormont Vail.
    • Seeing the growth of a true “academic-practice” partnership between the Baker School of Nursing and Stormont Vail.

    “I have been very blessed to have wonderful support from hospital and university administration, my School of Nursing colleagues Assistant Dean, Kay Osinski, and Loanne Martin, all the faculty and staff members who have worked as a team to provide a high-quality learning environment and program,” said Dean Harr. “It truly has been “best of both worlds” and a joy to be a part of two long standing Kansas organizations. I’ve loved knowing that my stewardship was part of a long standing history and tradition."

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  • Annual Cancer Survivors' Day Picnic "Puttin' on the Ritz" for 25th Anniversary Celebration

    Tuesday May 13, 2014

    Today, Americans are leading longer, more productive lives despite having cancer. National Cancer Survivors' Day, celebrated in June, is a way to focus on issues facing cancer survivors and show support for them, their families and the dedicated health professionals involved in their care.

    In an effort to congratulate those who are winning the battle, the American Cancer Society, Stormont Vail HealthCare, St. Francis Health Center and Envista Credit Union will sponsor the annual Cancer Survivors' Day Picnic on Sunday, June 1, at the Agricultural Hall at the Kansas Expocentre. Topeka area cancer survivors and their families are invited to the free celebration. Door open at 5:15 p.m.

    In the early years, the annual event was held in Gage Park, but moved to the Agricultural Hall at the Kansas Expocentre in 2003. For some survivors, it an annual chance to mark their personal milestone at surviving a cancer experience. The event usually draws more than 500 people. 

    At this year's event survivors will get a chance to enjoy the evening with family and friends. Local businesses have donated items to be given away as door prizes the night of the event. Admission is free. Registration begins at 5:15 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6:20 p.m. A survivor is anyone who is a current or past patient with a diagnosis with cancer. You are a survivor regardless of your current status.

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  • Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center Launches Initiative to Increase Cancer Clinical Trial Enrollment

    Tuesday May 6, 2014

    The Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center is launching a project to positively impact enrollment into clinical research trials and to ensure all patients have equal access to investigational research treatments. The project, “Evaluating the Impact on Accrual through implementation of an EPIC Electronic Health Record Clinical Trials Alert (CTA),” is designed to utilize electronic health records systems to empower patients to have access to important cancer research. This project is being done in partnership with the University of Kansas NCI-Designated Cancer Center’s Midwest Cancer Alliance.

    While cancer patients are in consultation with their physician, the CTA will match the Stormont Vail cancer research trials to the individual patient’s cancer type and medical history, and alert the provider about the trials for which the patient may be eligible. This electronic system will facilitate a discussion about research options during critical times when providers and patients are making joint decisions about their care.

    The CTA project will launch Wednesday, May 7, 2014. A kick-off to celebrate the launch of the project is being held:

    2 p.m., May 7, 2014
    Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center
    1414 S.W. 8th Ave., Topeka

    Research staff, EPIC staff, KU MCA staff, and co-investigators David Einspahr, M.D., and Mehmood Hashmi, M.D., will attend. Media is invited to attend. Please contact Nancy Burkhardt to arrange for security clearance.

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