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VCU honors nursing award winners

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (VCU Health CMH) celebrated its 2021 Nursing Award recipients recently.

Hospital employees and family members gathered on the chilly afternoon in the Healing Garden amidst a light rain and honored the legacy of VCU Health CMH nursing professionals by whose namesake the awards were created. Recipients received a certificate, a bouquet of flowers and an engraved award. Attendees celebrated the winners with cupcakes.

Yolanda Sallie, of South Hill, won the Dee McMillan Nurse Partner Award. Yolanda is a Care Partner in Acute Care.

In her nomination, a co-worker wrote, “Yolanda is always willing to help no matter what is asked of her. She is flexible and transitions easily. She treats everyone equally, makes sure that care is ethical and that each patient is treated by her with a non-judgmental, dignified and caring attitude. She is careful to respect everyone while communicating the needs and promoting the well-being of the patient. Yolanda is committed to every patient being cared for and all tasks being completed and goes as far as to help other care partners with their duties to ensure they are completed on shift. She always has a smile and an amazing attitude, which helps establish a positive atmosphere.”

Amy Lacks, LPN, of Kenbridge, earned the Carol Love Practical Nursing Award. Lacks is a nurse for CMH Home Health and Hospice.

Her nomination said, “Amy values her relationships with providers, patients, patients’ family members and her fellow team members. As a result, her customer service is always top notch and frequently includes her going above and beyond the duties of her job. She has been witnessed advocating for patients on numerous occasions. Team members and patients feel comfortable and trust her. Many team members have been observed stating that Amy cannot have a day off because ‘they don’t know what they are going to do without her.’ Amy is promoting professional growth by pursing her LPN to RN-BSN. She is the very first LPN at VCU Health CMH to pursue her LPN to RN in this manner and has paved the way for others like her to include institution of a clinical model here at CMH that supports her program requirements.”

Alfreda Brown, RN, BSN, of Boydton, received the Alice Tudor Professional Nursing Award. Brown is the Hospice Clinical Coordinator.

Her supervisor said, “Alfreda is a respected leader among her peers and her commitment to excellence can easily be recognized in her day-to-day work. She has fostered relationships with her team members and developed a trust among them that enables her the unique ability to influentially teach and educate. Team members have come to rely on her as a support and have verbalized a sense of security from her commitment to them. I have observed her quickly jump in to see patients when staffing was short, work after hours to support new team members during an emergency admission and juggle the ever-changing world of COVID with a continued smile on her face. During recent ice storms, she tirelessly worked to contact patients and families and ensure that their medical needs were able to be met. She approaches the hard-to-answer questions surrounding terminal illness with an openness and honesty that is appreciated and valued by patients and their loved ones.”

A recording of the awards ceremony can be viewed on YouTube at youtu.be/xRCOjrJUM6g.