NACHC is fortunate to work with outstanding nurses across our 1,400 Community Health enters who offer incredible insight, skills, commitment, and care to patients and their co-workers every single day. With the celebration of Nurses Week (May 6-12), we are eager to recognize and honor nurses who have impressed and inspired their co-workers throughout this past year. We invited health center employees to submit the name of a health center nurse they’d like us to recognize.
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Below are the submissions we received from health centers recognizing nurses for this year’s Nurses Week (in alphabetical order):
Dawn Baum – HealthFirst
I wanted to share the bright light that is HealthFirst’s Dawn Baum. Dawn joined us mid-pandemic, and she has been a radiant and welcome addition. It can be easy to let the gravity of our current realities bring us down, but Dawn shines through that in everything she does. She brings joy to our patients, and it is evident that her warmth is appreciated based on the patient feedback we receive.
As an HR professional, I appreciate Dawn’s contribution to our culture. Her energy is contagious, and she is constantly lifting spirits with her (masked) smiles, laughter, and perpetually positive attitude. Dawn is everything that you think of when you think of a warm, compassionate, caring nurse. She is a true asset to HealthFirst and the nursing profession!
Zeina El Jenaynati – Lowell Community Health Center
Lowell Community Health Center in Lowell, MA, would like to nominate Zeina El Jenaynati, Nurse Manager, for recognition during National Nurses Week. She has tireless provided vaccines throughout the COVID pandemic, and we are grateful for her hard work and commitment.
Sally Loprinzi – Neighborhood Health Center, Tanasboune Medical and Dental Clinic
Sally Loprinzi, a nurse at Neighborhood Health Center in Oregon’s largest clinic, has been with NHC since the nonprofit opened 10 years ago. At a time when so many are leaving the profession, Sally still speaks with joy and enthusiasm about the career she entered more than fifty years ago. When asked what she loves best about nursing, she responds with a smile: “I love it all.”
Sally got her start in pediatrics and discovered her love for public health along the way.
Sally — “Miss Sally” as she’s known to patients — finds working with her youngest patients especially rewarding. She says, “Pediatrics was my focus for many years, and I enjoy being around the kids. I enjoy giving immunizations, as difficult as that can be [because they’re so valuable]…. and it makes me happy when I see patients return and they are happy to see me. The kids would give me a big hug after a poke.”
Her storied career has taken her from caring for patients in Montana, to tribal communities in Alaska, to providing care for marginalized and underserved populations in Portland, Oregon.
Sally takes comfort in knowing that whatever the next chapter in this unprecedented time brings, her patients and colleagues can count on her: “They know I will follow through.” And of course, she looks forward to a time when she can receive hugs from her patients again.
Jessica McKee – Neighborhood Health
Neighborhood Health in Virginia nominates Jessica McKee, DNP, our amazing Director of Nursing who per our Medical Director, Dr. Martha Welman, “always goes above and beyond especially with COVID vaccine and with growing our nursing team.”
Jessica McKee, DNP is a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She joined Neighborhood Health as a Nurse Manager in October 2020 and is now serving as Director of Nursing. In this role, Dr. McKee oversees all nursing functions at Neighborhood Health, including patient care, Covid-19 vaccination efforts, employee health, clinical quality, referrals, and case management. She comes to Neighborhood Health with over eight years of nursing experience working in cardiac surgery, flu clinics, urgent care, and public health.
Dr. McKee’s professional interests include population health, serving vulnerable populations, and reducing barriers to care related to social inequities.
Manuela Milliman – Finger Lakes Community Health
Manuella Milliman from Finger Lakes Community Health Center works far beyond her standard duties. She fills in when we are short staffed, she is flexible, highly organized and she creates a team approach. She helps the agriculture community along with her providers, and does not complain during stressful times. Manuella is a true example of what being RN means to the community and our organization.
Thad Regenold – Community Health Systems, Inc
I would like to recognize our Diabetic Health Educator/Employee Health RN, Thad Regenold, for Community Health Systems, Inc. in Beloit, WI. He is known by all staff, patients and community organizations as going above and beyond for everyone.
Thad’s selfless service has done nothing but shine every day he’s in the clinic and out in the community.
Jennifer Singleton – Central Florida Health Care
Central Florida Health Care praises its nursing team! They are compassionate individuals driven to serve our patient population in need of health care services in Polk, Highlands, and Hardee Counties.
In 2021, Central Florida Health Care provided care to 64,197 patients with support from our incredible nursing team. Jennifer Singleton, our Director of Nursing, leads by example. She oversees all facets of the nursing department and guides over 95 clinical staff. CFHC would like to recognize Jennifer for her incredible work ethic and dedication to patients and the organization.
Jennifer is an exceptional leader who values her team and demonstrates tenacity when dealing with unexpected situations, like the pandemic. She exemplifies passion and dedication ensuring quality care is provided to our patient population.
In addition, Central Florida Health Care is honored to have Jennifer as our Director of Nursing. We are proud to nominate her for this well-deserved National Nurses Day Recognition.
I would like to nominate Ashtyn Smith, Charge Nurse, for recognition as an Outstanding Community Health Nurse. Ashtyn is multifaceted in her approach to patient care, care for her staff, and maintaining her own self-care to avoid burnout.
Our patients at New Horizon Family Health Services, Inc. in Travelers Rest, South Carolina ask for Ashtyn by name. They know they will receive same-day return phone calls, even if it is after 5 PM. Ashtyn does her best to listen and hear every patient. She places emphasis on patient communication and positive interaction. Her care and compassion is noticed by the patients, as well as her peers and our staff.
Ashtyn leads by example. In addition to direct patient care, she has supervisory duties and works with the Practice Manager to maintain an environment of teamwork within the office. Being ever mindful of the schedule and of staff needs, Ashtyn still finds time to spend with her family. Additionally, she assists other managers in planning events for the staff.
Ashtyn is a shining example of a true Community Health Nurse. She is involved in providing patient care to the community and actively participates as a team member inside our community of peers that we call New Horizon Family Health Services, Inc.
Teresa “Reese” Smith, LPN – Little River Medical Center
Reese Smith joined LRMC in 2005 as a nurse and has held several positions during her tenure. She initially assisted our clinical teams in providing direct patient care. She was soon promoted to a supervisory position due to her positive attitude, compassion for our patients and natural ability to teach others.
When LRMC received grant funding to develop a teen wellness program, Reese accepted the lead role for that program. She became a very popular speaker on teen health at local high schools, the community college and local university due to her passion for the subject matter, high energy, and joyful spirit. She was well known in the community and among our community partners for the outstanding health fairs she planned that were all targeting subject matter important to today’s youth: reproductive health, positive self-awareness, physical health and the proper use of social media.
After leading the teen wellness program for several years, Reese was promoted to her current role as our Coordinator for Reproductive Health Programs. Under her leadership, LRMC has provided more than 18,000 low-income women with low-cost or no-cost contraceptives and received over $1.8 million in funding from the New Morning Foundation for reproductive health education, care and contraception. LRMC has received several awards and recognition as a center for excellence for reproductive health. Most recently, the SC Primary Health Care Association selected LRMC as a Contraceptive Champion Center of Excellence. Reese Smith, LPN, was recognized by the New Morning Foundation for her exemplary work at improving access to contraceptive services in SC.
In addition to her effective leadership, Reese is well known throughout LRMC for her dedication to our patients, her love for the work she does and her genuine love for her co-workers. She is a joy to all and blesses us with her infectious laugh, positive outlook, and unwavering ability to inspire us all to do better!
We know there are many more nurses throughout our national who are worthy of recognition. Please take time to let an important nurse in your life know they are valued and appreciated – not only during Nurses Week – but every week.