Nursing Excellence Awards 2016

JeanetteTrotmanCongratulations to all of this year’s Excellence Award winners. Meet the honorees and learn why they were selected.

Jeanette A. Trotman, RN, BSN, Urgent Care Nurse, Coordinator Emergency Medicine

Women’s Board of Cooper University Health Care Award for Excellence in Ambulatory Nursing and Cooper’s 2016 Nurse of the Year.

Jeanette (Nettie) Trotman exemplifies the Cooper mission of service, healing and education.

She provides the highest level of nursing care at Cooper’s Urgent Care Center in Audubon, but that is just the beginning.

Nettie is the go-to person for every issue, circumstance and question during a shift. She is a steadfast source of wisdom and advice for newer staff members and she anticipates what providers need, even before they realize it themselves.

She has guided dozens of process improvement projects, from supply inventory and ordering, to improved staffing models, to cost savings in hazardous waste removal.

Nettie joined Cooper in 2013, with more than 25 years in nursing, and has been instrumental in the success of Cooper’s Urgent Care Center in Audubon.

Many of the patients know Nettie by name and seek her advice and solace in times of need. She genuinely cares for each and every patient, and her unshakeable personality and consistent exemplary performance day in and day out makes her a tremendous asset to Cooper’s Urgent Care initiative.

“Cooper’s Urgent Care projects have been overwhelmingly successful in no small part due to Nettie’s unceasing dedication and unassuming leadership.” – David Nocchi, MD; Michael A. Kirchhoff, MD and Michael E. Chansky, MD – Nominators

Devyn Berry, RN-BC, Staff Nurse, Pavilion 6DevynBerry

Selma and Martin Hirsch Award for Excellence in Medical Surgical Nursing

Like mother, like daughter.

With a mother who works as a nurse, Devyn Berry was inspired to pursue a career in nursing.

Devyn joined Cooper in 2004, and her dedication to the organization was evident from the start.

She is a true professional, demonstrating compassion and integrity in everything she does. She is instrumental in implementing the plan to achieve patient satisfaction goals on her unit.

A strong patient advocate, Devyn cares for her patients clinically and emotionally, and believes nursing is not just a profession, it is also a gift.

Devyn is completing an RN-MSN program at Wilmington University and is hoping to become a nursing instructor within the next year.

“Devyn’s opinion is sought after and well respected by everyone –physicians, leaders, peers, patients and families.” – Timothy P. Galvin, MSN, RN, CCRN – Nominator

JacquelineBockarieJacqueline Bockarie, RN, BSN, Staff Nurse, Special Tests Unit

Barbara and Jack Tarditi Award for Excellence in Nursing Mentorship

Jacqueline Bockarie often says: “Education is the gift that should be given to everyone.”

She lives by this motto, devoting countless hours to ensure her colleagues are up to date with the most current practices in patient care, patient outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Jacqueline has worked at Cooper for over 20 years, and is credited with developing the unit’s annual skills fair and coordinating educational events for her peers.

As a young girl, born and raised in Guyana, South America, Jacqueline often took care of her grandmother who suffered from transient ischemic attacks.

At first, Jacqueline was scared and didn’t know what to do. However, a friend’s sister worked as a nurse and showed Jacqueline how to give medication and how to respond when her grandmother passed out.

Jacqueline promised herself then that she too would become a nurse. It is a promise she kept.

“Jacqueline is an extremely modest, selfless person who embodies the spirit of teaching and education.” – Sandra Crosson, RN, BSN and Likia Nobles, RN, BSN – Nominators

lisabutlerLisa B. Butler, BSN, MSN, APN, Lead Advanced Practice Nurse, Emergency Department/ Urgent Care Centers

Moorestown Auxiliary Award for Excellence in Advanced Practice Nursing

Since joining Cooper in 2003, Lisa Butler has worked tirelessly to improve processes and enhance patient care.

She recently directed the redesign of the Emergency Department Fast Track area, leading a multidisciplinary team to build consensus around best practices to improve efficiency and patient satisfaction.

She was instrumental in establishing Cooper’s Urgent Care Centers, and played a critical role in the establishment of Cooper’s Emergency Medicine practice at Memorial Hospital of Salem County.

At the same time, Lisa has continued to deliver compassionate, lifesaving care to her patients.

She has a near endless supply of empathy for all patients, and families routinely comment on her unwavering desire to help and assist them in their times of greatest need.

It is the thankful hugs and grateful smiles of her patients that inspire her and keep her coming back every day.

“Lisa’s warmth and compassion likely contribute more to healing than our standard labs and testing can measure.” – David Nocchi, MD; Michael A. Kirchhoff, MD and Michael E. Chansky, MD – Nominators

KatchapmanKathrina M. Chapman, RN, CCRN, MICN, Staff Nurse, Trauma Surgical Intensive Care Unit

Award for Excellence in Trauma Nursing

Kathrina Chapman has worked at the Trauma Center at Cooper for more than 23 years.

On most evenings, well after her shift has ended, she can still be found in the family waiting area comforting the loved ones of her patients.

No matter what challenges a day may hold, Kathrina is a constant advocate for her patients and routinely encourages her colleagues to see things from the patient’s point of view.

She recently helped develop an information poster for the family waiting area that serves as a guide to help family and loved ones prepare for what they might see as they pass through the Trauma Center.

Kathrina has served in many positions at the Trauma Center, including assistant clinical director for five years. She is a trained EMT and is currently pursuing her BSN and MSN.

Kathrina was born and raised in County Wexford, Ireland, where her grandmother was the local midwife, and her dream of becoming a nurse first took hold.

“Kathrina is positive and approachable and a strong facilitator for family-centered care.” – Keith Kline, RN, BSN – Nominator

shannonclapperShannon M. Clapper, RN, Staff Nurse, Pavilion 9

Cooper Heart Institute & The Heart House Award for Excellence in Cardiovascular Nursing

Shannon Clapper is always helping.

Answering call bells. Answering questions. Assisting at critical moments.

His unique abilities allow him to serve as a conduit for crucial communication between doctors and patients.

Shannon recognizes that patients are the most important stakeholders and he works tirelessly to ensure their voices are being heard and that they are equipped with the information necessary to make important health decisions.

He is an expert in engaging and educating patients’ families with a keen understanding of the essential role family members play in a patient’s health and the burden they carry when a loved one is sick.

Shannon’s years of experience in many cardiovascular care environments have equipped him with the ability to adapt and overcome in the face of problems. This spirit of problem solving fosters innovation and outside-the-box thinking that directly improves patient outcomes.

Shannon joined Cooper in 2014.

“Shannon lives the highest nursing values every day. His example, along with his assistance, drives others to do better every day, for every patient.” – Sean Deiter, RN, BSN – Nominator

WendyColindrezWendy Colindrez, EMT, Technician, Emergency Department

Barbara and Jack Tarditi Award for Excellence in Service (Non-Nursing)

Wendy Colindrez has always had a strong interest in medicine.

She has worked at Cooper for eight years, first as a critical care technician and now, as an emergency department technician.

Wendy is constructive, dependable and knowledgeable about all aspects of her job, and easily adapts to new challenges. She has volunteered to help in the Express Admit Unit and has provided technician support for Urgent Care.

Wendy has served as a preceptor in the Clinical Decision Unit and the Emergency Department and is a role model and resource for new technicians.

Her calm manner and quiet endurance sets a comforting tone for patients, family members and colleagues in the Emergency Department. Her students appreciate her constant attention.

Wendy recently received a scholarship from Rutgers University to pursue her BSN. Her goal is to become a Cooper nurse and possibly a flight nurse.

“Wendy is an outstanding patient advocate. She especially excels at caring for critical patients and always strives to include patients’ loved ones in their care.” – Malikah Taylor, RN, BSN – Nominator

SeanDeiterSean A. Deiter, RN, BSN, Staff Nurse, Pavilion 9

Shaina Horton Memorial Award for Excellence in Service

Since Sean joined Cooper in 2014, rarely a day has gone by that a patient has not acknowledged his compassion, thoughtfulness, knowledge and excellent care.

He has bought flowers so a patient could celebrate his wedding anniversary despite being hospitalized and has sat with patients while they discussed their fears, concerns and hopes after a poor prognosis.

Sean goes above and beyond any and all expectations. He is never too busy to care and comfort.

He makes his patients feel less like patients and more like people.

Sean is constantly striving to be better, to know his patients better than anyone and to be equally adept at assisting in a code as he is at comforting someone who just found out they have cancer.

“It is with great pride and admiration that I nominate Sean Deiter for this award, as his hard work, compassion and dedication to exceptional patient care are exactly what this award represents.” – Rachel Ritman, ACD – Nominator

tashaherbertTasha Herbert, RN, BSN, Staff Nurse, Labor and Delivery

Charlotte Tobiason Memorial Award for Excellence in Obstetrical Nursing

Tasha Herbert began her career at Cooper 10 years ago as a file clerk when she was just 19.

She has since obtained her nursing degree and is currently pursuing her MSN at Rowan University.

Even though Tasha has only been a labor and delivery nurse for a few short years, she has quickly become a resource for her peers. She is a valued preceptor who demonstrates patience and provides unending encouragement to her orientees.

Tasha has acted as a hand hygiene auditor on the unit, understanding the impact that something as simple as hand hygiene has on the fight against hospital acquired infections.

Tasha always takes time to develop a rapport with her patients, helping them feel less anxious and more relaxed by explaining the plan of care and educating them every step of the way.

“Tasha is consistently acknowledged by patients and families for her warm and bubbly personality and her unique way of making people feel comfortable and at ease.” – Regina Chavous-Gibson, RN and Erin McCafferty, RN – Nominators

AdrianHernandezAdrian Hernandez, RN, BSN, RNC-NIC, Staff Nurse, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

John Henry Kronenberger Memorial Award for Excellence in Neonatal Nursing

When taking care of a critically ill newborn, the simplest actions mean so much – how to touch, how to take a temperature, how to change a diaper.

As a skilled Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse, Adrian Hernandez teaches parents how to nurture and care for their babies in what can be a distressing environment for families.

Adrian joined Cooper six years ago, and quickly became a valuable member of the NICU team.

She is currently Chair of the Unit Based Council and serves as a preceptor for new staff members. She also organizes an annual Mother’s Day brunch as a way to bring some joy to mothers whose babies cannot be home with them.

Adrian decided to become a nurse when her own mother was diagnosed with metastatic cancer. Adrian was only 9 years old, but she realized then how just one person can affect some of life’s worst days.

Since then, she always knew she wanted to be a nurse so she could help make someone’s day a little brighter.

“Adrian has an acute awareness of who needs help and when, always magically appearing without being asked. Whether it’s a brand new admission or critical situation, she is the one who is always there.” – Valerie Gibson, BSN, RNC-NIC – Nominator

kaseymassaKasey L. Massa, MSW, LSW, Social Worker, Pediatrics/ Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Women’s Board of Cooper Hospital Allied Health Professional Excellence Award

When patients are admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Kasey Massa is there.

She is an active member of the care team, getting to know the more human side of patients and their families, and helping staff connect in a more intimate manner.

Kasey is a dedicated and determined patient advocate. She works diligently to secure services in a timely manner and never gives up until she has done everything possible to meet the needs of each family.

She is recognized for her communication skills, always making sure the nursing staff and physicians know what is happening with a family.

You would never know if Kasey is having a challenging day. She takes it all in stride and keeps on going, considering each new day as an opportunity to make a difference.

Kasey has worked at Cooper since 2008.

“Kasey always comes in with a smile and is ready to jump in with whatever she has to deal with. She is always very sweet, kind and the type of person everyone enjoys being around.” – Amanda Blizard, RN, BSN; Gina Brouster, RN, BSN; Stephanie Delfico; Jaclyn Hayden, RN, BSN; Deb Hood, RN; Rob Lawston, RN; Michael-Lin Pizzuto, BSN, RN, CPN; Lynn Pyle, RN; Janine Rousseau, BSN, RN, CPN; Sherry Schlagle; Bridget Slavin, RN; Brittany Spaeth and Jackie Tedeschi, RN, CPN – Nominators

JenniferNazarethianJennifer Nazarethian, RN, BSN, Staff Nurse, Pavilion 7

Ruth Parry/Moorestown Auxiliary Award for Excellence in Geriatric Nursing

Jennifer Nazarethian knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher or a nurse.

As a nurse, she found she could be both.

Due to her wealth of knowledge, Jennifer often serves as a primary preceptor on the unit for both new and experienced nurses alike. With Jennifer’s guidance, each is fully prepared to handle the needs of a geriatric patient on the demanding and challenging medical surgical floor.

Jennifer serves on the Unit Based Council and was instrumental in developing new geriatric hip replacement precautions for orthopedic patients. She is highly respected by the physician team.
Jennifer takes pride in her nursing craft, which is evident in patient outcomes. Her work since joining Cooper in 2011 has contributed to the rise and stabilization of patient satisfaction scores on Pavilion 7.

Jennifer is a compassionate caregiver for geriatric patients and their families, taking time to get to know their medical histories as well as their life stories.

“Jennifer’s patients and their families continually praise her gentle nature, compassion, sympathy and expertise in her field.” – Lynette J. Jones, MSN, RN-BC – Nominator

CharlotteNussbaumCharlotte Nussbaum, MD, Attending Physician, Hospitalist

Excellence in Nursing-Physician Partnership Award

Dr. Charlotte Nussbaum joined Cooper in 2013, and quickly won the hearts of her colleagues in nursing.

She values the contributions of nurses and recognizes the critical role they play in a patient’s recovery, spending extra time with the nursing staff to discuss care plans and provide education and guidance on complex cases.

Dr. Nussbaum serves as a mentor and educational resource for the nursing staff and excels at fostering camaraderie with the patient care team, drawing on the strengths of each team member.
She is dedicated to continuous improvement and has a laser-like focus on providing quality care. She quickly volunteers for performance improvement initiatives, always looking for new strategies to measure and improve the quality of care at Cooper.

Dr. Nussbaum is committed to getting to know her patients and their families, and helping them to understand their illness and how to take care of themselves and their loved ones.
“Dr. Nussbaum has mastered the skill of collaborating with nurses to create positive outcomes for her patients.” – Patricia Shucoski, AVP, Patient Care Services – Nominator

AliceOBrien,Alice C. O’Brien, RN, OCN, HP (ASCP), Nurse Navigator, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper

Rose Smith & Sue Zamitis Memorial Award for Excellence in Oncology Nursing

Alice O’Brien has dedicated her career to oncology care.

She has administered chemotherapy to patients in the Navy Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, done plasmapheresis in hundreds of patients with hematological disorders, and cared for oncology patients, including bone marrow transplant patients, at Cooper, where she has worked for 24 years.

In her current position as a nurse navigator, Alice equips patients and their families with the information they need to understand and follow complex care modules. She has developed tools to teach patients and families about malignancies and the unique aspects of oncology therapy.

Despite her impressive skills, Alice has a humble and unassuming manner. She always has a positive attitude and good sense of humor.

If there is a solution, Alice will find it. When situations are difficult or seem impossible to resolve, it is common to hear someone say: “Ask Alice.”

“Regardless of the complexity of the situation or the number of road blocks, Alice has only one thing in mind – heal the patient.” – Andres Ferber, MD and Tulin Budak, MD – Nominator

JonelleOSheaJonelle O’Shea, RN, MSN, Research Coordinator, Vascular Surgery Research

Barbara and Jack Tarditi Award for Excellence in Nursing Research

Jonelle (Jodi) O’Shea loves finding answers to questions through research.

A nurse at Cooper for 10 years, Jodi first became interested in research after completing a study with her fellow nurses on the 9th floor.

She earned her MSN in Clinical Trials Research Nursing in 2010 and enjoys managing clinical trials, recognizing their power to help countless people.

Over the past two years, Jodi has led the Nursing Research Council in an IRB-approved study examining the extent to which Cooper direct care nurses were aware of research protocols for studies in which their patients were enrolled.

The project examined whether nurses felt prepared to care for research study participants and how they were informed about the research protocol, and identified gaps in the process.

Jodi presented two posters describing the study at the Society of Clinical Research Associates’ national conference in 2015 and is exploring opportunities to implement the findings throughout Cooper.

“We applaud Jodi’s dedication to improving the professionalism of our practice, her ongoing engagement with the research process and her determination to infuse nursing research throughout Cooper.” – Jane Greene Ryan, RN, PhD, CNM – Nominator

PatriciaPassarelliPatricia K. Passarelli, RN, Staff Nurse, Digestive Health Institute

Carol G. Tracey Compassion Award

Patricia (Patti) Passarelli has worked as an RN for 19 years, almost all at Cooper.

She is Chair of the Education Committee for the Cooper Digestive Health Institute and was instrumental in the Institute’s recognition by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy for promoting quality in endoscopy. The Institute is the first in South Jersey, and one of only 500 nationally, to achieve this recognition.

Patti is also credited with creating an information booklet for patients newly diagnosed with GI cancer.

Patti leads by example. She is the first to offer help and ask how someone is doing, even though she is facing her own hardships, as her husband is battling cancer.

Patti is pursuing her BSN as part of the Cooper-sponsored Rowan University RN-BSN program and is actively pursuing a future in nursing management.

“Patti always shows genuine concern for her patients and their families as well as her coworkers. She is a pleasure to work with.” – Jean Zoll, MSN, MA, RN, CCRN, CGRN and Catherine Hassinger, BSN, RN, CGRN – Nominators


Giacinta Roupas, CRNA, MSN, Chief Nurse Anesthetist, Anesthesia

Philip and Carole Norcross Award for Nurse Leadership

Giacinta Roupas is a natural problem solver.

In her role as Chief Nurse Anesthetist, Giacinta excels at improving employee engagement and job satisfaction, which in turn improves patient satisfaction.

She is an effective communicator and a liaison between various interdisciplinary members of the Anesthesiology Department, and is committed to patient safety and quality care.

Giacinta has worked to relieve staffing pressures, while ensuring excellent patient care in all areas served by the Department.

She is a mentor and role model, supporting and encouraging staff members who are pursuing doctorate degrees and research projects.

Giacinta joined Cooper in 2009 and has served as Assistant Chief Nurse Anesthetist and Student Nurse Anesthetist Coordinator.

“Giacinta’s positive attitude and vibrant personality are infectious. She inspires us all to continue improving our department in any way possible.” – Rhea Temmermand, CRNA – Nominator

JanineRousseau Janine M. Rousseau, RN, BSN, CPN, Staff Nurse, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Dr. Ronald Bernardin Memorial Award for Excellence in Pediatric Nursing

Janine Rousseau is the rock of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

She is always there to lend a hand, offer advice and provide support.

A nurse in the PICU since 2005, Janine is a trusted resource for her fellow nurses as well as physicians, residents and medical students.

She serves as the primary preceptor and mentor for new staff members, and collaborates with the unit educator in composing orientation manuals and guidelines with additional training resources.

Janine goes above and beyond for her patients and her coworkers, even driving through a snowstorm on her off day to help out on the unit.

Her warm personality shines throughout the PICU, and her compassion is evident in how she cares for and treats her patients and their families.

Janine is committed to ensuring that the best methodology, supported by evidenced-based practice is used to deliver quality patient care.

“When Janine is scheduled to work with you, you know it’s going to be a good day.” – Amanda Blizard, RN, BSN; Gina Brouster, RN, BSN; Marina Dvorstyn, RN, MSN; Jillian Getzoff, RN, BSN; Jacyln Hayden, RN, BSN and Pamela Iannello, CCT – Nominators

MichelleShannon,Michelle L. Shannon, RN, BSN, CCRN-CMC, Staff Nurse, Coronary Care Unit

William and Eileen Archer Award for Excellence in Critical Care Nursing

There is never a dull moment on the Coronary Care Unit, and for Michelle Shannon that is one of the many reasons she enjoys working there.

While Michelle thrives under pressure, she derives the most satisfaction from helping critically ill patients get better.

Michelle is Co-Chair of the Unit Based Council and is a respected preceptor for new staff members, providing constant support and demonstrating teamwork and flexibility.

She is involved in numerous endeavors to enhance patient outcomes.

Michelle has worked at Cooper for four years and is continuing to pursue her nursing education.

“Michelle is a pleasure to work with and an example of what I consider Cooper’s finest.” – Jan McFetridge, MSN, RN – Nominator

MaryAliceSmithMary Alice Smith, RN, CNOR, Staff Nurse, Operating Room

Philip and Carole Norcross Award for Excellence in Perioperative Nursing

A graduate of Cooper Hospital School of Nursing, Mary Alice Smith has worked at Cooper since 1972.

Mary Alice has worked with the Plastic Surgery Team at Cooper for more than two decades. She is highly skilled and knowledgeable, and is committed to sharing her knowledge with her colleagues.

Mary Alice volunteers with the Cleft Palate Program. She herself has a facial difference due to a congenital condition. She recognizes that children in the Cleft Palate Program are curious and gives them permission to ask questions. She explains to them, “This is the way God made me.”

In doing this, she models to the child and parent one way to handle interactions with others when there is a facial difference. This is extraordinarily valuable to the families.

For several years, Mary Alice also was part of Cooper’s Operation Smile Team that went to Vietnam. She is also an active member of the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses.

“Mary Alice is truly a nurse of the ‘old school.’ She remembers, she pays attention and she works as a team toward a common goal of patient safety and satisfaction.” – Martha Matthews, MD – Nominator

MeganStaerkMegan M. Staerk, RN-BC, BSN, Staff Nurse, Emergency Department

Lynn Nelson Award for Excellence in Emergency Nursing

When Megan Staerk began her career in nursing in 2007, she never thought she would work in the Emergency Department.

Today, she says transferring to the Department in 2013 was one of the best decisions she ever made.

Megan is one of the most clinically advanced nurses in the Department, and her expertise has raised the bar for other Emergency Department nurses.

She is an admired preceptor, and her peers often turn to her as a resource in difficult clinical situations.

Megan serves on the Department’s Split Flow Redesign Committee and is currently active in a pilot initiative to use treatment rooms more efficiently and to increase Split Flow throughout.

She also serves on the Employee Satisfaction Committee and is a member of the Emergency Nurses Association.

Megan is loved by her patients and appreciated for her soft-spoken kindness and a ready smile for all.

“Megan is a superstar in the Emergency Department. She’s a nurse’s nurse, who is an asset to the Department.” – Donna Schultice, RN, CEN – Nominator


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