Cooper University Health Care honored the recipients of the 2013 Nursing Excellence Awards during Nursing’s Annual Ceremony. This year, 19 direct-care nurses and Cooper employees were recognized by their peers for outstanding leadership, professionalism and delivery of safe and high-quality care.
“Every year, our nurses continue to go above and beyond their call of duty. Their leadership and loyalty toward this hospital can be seen in the relationships they have with their fellow co-workers, patients and families,” said Adrienne Kirby, PhD, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cooper University Health Care. “They leave a lasting impression on the hearts and minds of every patient they’ve treated. It is their unconditional compassion and devotion to this profession that continues to make Cooper a wonderful place to work.”
This year’s Nurse of the Year award was presented to Suzanne Butler, RN, BSN, CPN, CCRN, staff nurse in Cooper’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Butler, of West Deptford, has been a part of the Cooper family for more than 25 years, working in various departments including Cooper’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She received her bachelor of science in nursing from Radford University in Radford, Va. As a PICU nurse, Butler is responsible for managing critically ill and injured pediatric patients ranging from ages 1 to 19 years old.
“Receiving Cooper’s Nurse of the Year award is a great, yet humbling, honor,” said Butler. “I am flattered to be selected and recognized by my peers and colleagues for something that I love to do—nursing.”
One particularly significant award presented this year was the Carol Tracy Compassion Award, awarded posthumously to Coreen Mitchell, who was a surgical technologist in Cooper’s Operating Room for six years before succumbing to ovarian cancer in 2012 after a long batle with the disease. Friends and co-workers remember Coreen as a compassionate, strong-willed individual who welcomed challenges and greeted everyone with whom she came in contact with a big, warm smile.
David H. Clements, MD, Director of Orthopaedic Spine Surgery at the Cooper Bone and Joint Institute, said, “Coreen left a lasting impression on her co-workers, patients and surgeons of an incredibly kind, concerned, hard-working caregiver who truly embodies those qualities we all wish to have.”
Each award, together with Nurse of the Year, has its own set of eligibility criteria, including four letters of recommendation from staff within each nominee’s clinical discipline. These prestigious, peer-nominated awards are created through unique grants sponsored by families, patients, community leaders and Cooper physicians who have experienced first-hand the amazing skill, dedication and hard work put forth by our Cooper nurses each and every day.
This year’s winners are:
- Margaret Salerno, RN, BA, Coronary Care Unit—The UC/CADV Award for Excellence in Cardiovascular Nursing Practice
- Jennifer Toomey, RN, Emergency Department—The Selma & Martin Hirsch Clinical Excellence Award
- Deborah Byrd, RN, Surgical Care Unit/Short Procedure Unit—Cooper Nursing Alumni Nurse Excellence Award for Excellence in Clinical Nursing in Memory of Emily Watkins Fischer (Class of 1955)
- Coreen Mitchell—The Carol Tracey Compassion Award
- Lisa Durso, RN, North/South 10—The Ruth Parry Award for Excellence in Geriatric Nursing Practice
- Dale Ann Beloff, RNC, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit—John Henry Kronenberger Memorial Award for Excellence in Neonatal Nursing
- Kathleen Yhlen, RN, MSN, NE-BC, Nursing Education—The Philip & Carole Norcross Award for Excellence in Nurse Leadership
- Lauran Fernandez, Health Care Access/Emergency Room—The Barbara & Jack Tarditi Family Award for Excellence in Patient Care (Non-Nurse)
- Susan Lieberum, RNC, IBCLC, Mother Infant Unit—Charlotte E. Tobiason Memorial Award for Excellence in Obstetrical Nursing Practice
- Lynette Jones, RN, BC, BSN, Pavilion 6—The Barbara & Jack Tarditi Family Award for Nurse Mentorship
- Dominic Parone, RN, BSN, CEN, CFRN, Air Medical Services—The Barbara & Jack Tarditi Family Excellence Award for Nurse Research
- Patricia Kerfoot, RN, Outpatient Chemotherapy Voorhees—The Sue Zamitis and Rose Smith Award for Excellence in Oncology Nursing Practice
- Leslie Ditullio, RN, Surgical Care Unit/Short Procedure Unit—The Women’s Board of the Cooper Foundation Award for Excellence in Outpatient Nursing Practice
- Amanda Glass, RN, BSN, CPN, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit—Ronald Bernardin Memorial Award for Pediatric Nursing Practice
- Teresa Wolf, RN, Post Anesthesia Care Unit—The Philip and Carole Norcross Award for Excellence in Perioperative Nursing Practice
- Donna Schultice, RN, CEN, Emergency Department—The Lynn Nelson Memorial Award of Excellence
- Doris Bell, RN-BC, North 7—Excellence in Trauma Nursing Practice
- Suzanne Butler, RN, BSN, CPN, CCRN, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit—Excellence in Critical Care Nursing
- Linda Sullivan, RN, BA, Post Anesthesia Care Unit—Shaina Horton Patient Centered Care Award
- Suzanne Butler, RN, BSN, CPN, CCRN, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit—Associated Auxiliary and Women’s Board of Cooper Nurse of the Year