Hospital CEOs, CNOs write thank-you notes to nurses

In honor of National Nurses Week, hospital CEOs, CNOs and other healthcare leaders, wrote thank-you notes to these caregivers:

Maureen Scanlan MSN, RN, vice president of nursing and patient care services at Montefiore Health System (Bronx, N.Y.):

Nurses week, a national celebration of nurses across this country, is a great time to recognize and honor the invaluable contribution nurses bring to healthcare every day, all year long. Caring is at the core of nursing and is central to the nurse-patient relationship.  In honor of this celebration week, we want nurses to know we say thank you … and we care about you!  Your fierce dedication and commitment to providing the best quality healthcare available is invaluable. As part of multidisciplinary care teams, research teams, shared governance councils, education and day-to-day care, we truly couldn't do it without you! As a nurse myself, I'm especially proud — and on behalf of Montefiore, thank you!

Susan Green-Lorenzen, RN, system senior vice president of operations at Montefiore Health System:

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a nurse is to know that you can make a difference in someone's life. Patients and their families trust that their nurse will deliver competent and compassionate care. 

I am so proud of the more than 5,000 nurses across Montefiore Health System who ensure that every patient and family, in every encounter, with every associate, every time — feels heard, understood, valued and cared for.

I extend my gratitude and admiration to our extraordinary nurses during nurses week and throughout the year to come.

David P. McQuaid, RPh, COO of Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and CEO of Ohio State Health System (Columbus):

Every day that I step on this campus, I cross paths with a nurse. Be it in one of our concourses, on a patient care unit or in a meeting, I come in contact with one of our more than 5,000 nursing staff on a daily basis. And each time, I am in awe of their wisdom, their patience, their compassion and their skill.

Not everyone can be a nurse. In fact, I would say most people would not make the cut. A nurse is someone who is selfless, calm, resilient, supportive, reassuring, dedicated and collaborative. They care for people who are often at their sickest. They care for families who are scared. They work with just about every other clinical person on their unit or department, bridging skill sets, job duties and personalities.

Becoming a nurse is one of the most selfless acts a person can undertake. Today's world has evolved to a singular focus on self and doing what is best for me. Nurses buck that trend and heed the call to put others first in the name of caregiving. They inspire their patients — and all of us— to be better every day. Their priority always is to think and act on what is in the best interest of the patients they care for. 

Our Buckeye nurses are passionate about what they do — and whether it is caring for patients, working in the community, educating future healthcare providers or leading research teams in discovering ways to improve care, we are all grateful for the dedication and commitment they bring to their work.

Throughout the world, nurses' selfless dedication brings humanity to healing and helps to make a healthcare system that can be confusing and frightening a little more manageable for those they care for.

I can confidently speak for Ohio State when I say nurses are the face of healthcare for our patients. Nurses are closest to our patients, delivering the newest therapies, treatments and health protocols with compassion and grace. And, while National Nurses Week is celebrated just once a year, we know that nurses are making a difference to their patients and our community each day, and for that, we're grateful.

Nancy Gaden, DNP, RN, senior vice president and CNO of Boston Medical Center:

To my nursing colleagues at Boston Medical Center:

It is with immense pride that I write to honor all of you during nurses week.  While I very much enjoy all of our nurses week celebrations and tributes during this special week, I want to acknowledge that every single day I appreciate the work that you do on behalf of our patients. Your commitment and compassion are what drives our collective ability to provide exceptional care without exception to Boston’s most vulnerable patients.

I want to thank each one of you for helping create a nursing department that inspires the very best nurses to want to come here to work — and continues to retain those who can't imagine going anywhere else to practice nursing.

Thank you for all of your work with our patients — and for the energy and light that you bring to Boston Medical Center each day.

Kate FitzPatrick, DNP, RN, CNO of University of Vermont Medical Center (Burlington):

What is it to be a nurse?  How do you really begin to describe the depth of impact that nurses have on other's lives and their communities? What value is placed on the work and contributions of nurses? During our national week of reflection on the profession of nursing, these are the things that occupy my thoughts. Here’s where my reflection has led me. Nurses are expert clinicians who process multitudes of data in milliseconds and then effortlessly react in a technically proficient way, all the while preserving the humanity of the person in their care. 

Nurses practice in settings that are wide-ranging: from rural clinics, schools, academic medical centers and people's homes, to military hospitals in the midst of conflict. No matter the setting, nurses have a singular united purpose: the betterment of health and high quality patient care. Nurses bear witness to the most extreme of life’s moments with perfect strangers and do so while making those receiving their care feel held. They instill a sense of security and hope when there is fear of the unknown. They bring the great gift of their presence and keen vigilance to the most chaotic of circumstances. They do all this from a foundation of science, heart and supreme competence.

The impact of nurses reaches well beyond the bedside. Nurses are serving in roles that bolster our healthcare systems. They are academicians, quality and safety experts, clinical and operational leaders, case managers and informaticists. They are shaping and enhancing policy and advocating for the health and well-being of their communities and beyond.  They are on the front lines of some of the most difficult issues facing our society, such as mental healthcare and the opioid crisis. On the occasion of National Nurses Week 2019, I am reminded of my deep gratitude and pride in the profession I have served in for 33 years.  Thank you to nurses wherever you practice, and most especially to the nurses who are part of the University of Vermont Medical Center family. Your daily acts of grace, caring, empathy and intense commitment are remarkable and a gift to our community.  

Sarah Krevans, president and CEO of Sutter Health (Northern California):

This month, as our nation observes National Nurses Week (May 6-12) and National Hospital Week (May 12-18), Sutter celebrates the extraordinary professionals across our network dedicated to compassionately caring for our patients and their families.

Let's pause and say thank you to the Sutter nurses serving patients across every care setting and to all teammates working at our 24 hospitals to serve the sick and injured. They are making a life-changing difference for countless individuals and entire communities.

You and your co-workers are among the best and brightest in healthcare. You continue to put our patients first so we can deliver care that is safe, personal, affordable and accessible.

I'm very proud of the diverse, talented and dedicated people within our not-for profit, integrated organization. Thank you again for all you do to serve, advise, care for and encourage our patients and their loved ones. We appreciate and honor you.

Betsy Nabel, MD, president of Brigham Health (Boston):

Not a day passes without me hearing about the special way in which a nurse has touched the life of a patient or family. Nurses at Brigham Health are utterly devoted to getting to know their patients and forming caring relationships that facilitate hope and healing. That may mean helping a patient celebrate a child's birthday, arranging for a wedding in the hospital, or simply being by a patient's side when it's most needed.

In addition to practicing compassionate, relationship-based care — the heart of their profession — Brigham Health nurses are also dedicated to advancing the science of nursing. Their contributions to research, innovation, education and quality and safety initiatives are helping to improve the care and health of patients today and for years to come.

I want to thank nurses everywhere, especially my colleagues at Brigham Health, whose knowledge, skill, experience and loving care are delivered to our patients and their families day in and day out. As a physician and a leader, I stand in awe of you.

Deana Sievert, RN, MSN, senior vice president of patient care and system CNO at ProMedica (Toledo, Ohio):

Our ProMedica nurses are the glue that holds us all together! When you see how busy, hectic and ever- changing the healthcare environment is, it is essential to have someone there keeping the patient at the center of all we do — while constantly adapting to relentless change.

Our ProMedica nurses do this every single day, every single encounter. I am certainly proud of the amazing care they provide that helps us achieve our outstanding quality metrics, but I am most proud of how they connect with our patients and visitors. I receive so many compliments from our patients about how caring our nurses are, how friendly they are and how their simple presence made a difficult situation better.

Our ProMedica nurses drive our mission —to improve your health and well-being. I can see their hard work paying off in all areas of our system. They are changing lives and changing our community through their work to promote wellness, to address social determinants of health and achieve the best outcomes when illness does strike.

Our nurses make us a better organization and a better community.

During this nurses week, I want to personally thank each one of our ProMedica nurses for giving so much of themselves to care for our patients and their families. I am proud to be your colleague, and you will forever have my gratitude and admiration.

Thank you for all you do, and for choosing to share a part of yourself every day.

Dale Maxwell, president and CEO of Presbyterian Healthcare Services (Albuquerque, N.M.):

Since our founding in 1908, the heart and soul of Presbyterian have been our nurses.

Today, I want to thank nurses for all that they do, every day, on behalf of our patients and members. As the CEO of an integrated system, I have the honor of seeing the positive impact nurses make in our clinics, hospitals and health plan.

Nurses provide solace when members call the advice line in the middle of the night.

Nurses help patients before, during and after surgery to ensure the best possible recovery.

They run our hospitals. They coordinate care. They help deliver babies. They administer flu shots in our clinics and chemotherapy treatments in our infusion centers.

Wherever you find healing, you will find a nurse.

I receive many letters from our patients and members thanking nurses by name for their compassion and expertise. One 87-year-old woman, who had just had surgery, told me about two nurses who went out of their way to make her comfortable and reassured her that she would be able to adapt after surgery.

"They encouraged me in every way," she wrote.  

A man who received radiation treatment for prostate cancer told me about a nurse who was "consistently kind, compassionate, patient, professional and thorough. Her ability to communicate clearly and educate me was excellent."

As CEO, I am beyond fortunate to count on these and many more amazing nurses. Without them, we couldn't begin to do what we do for patients and members.

Michael Apkon, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children (Boston):

National Nurses Week is a time for me to reflect on how I have been inspired every day by the nurses that care, innovate, educate and lead at Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children, as well as at the other hospitals I've been privileged to be a part of. As a bedside caregiver, patient, patient family member and healthcare executive, I so deeply appreciate your compassion, excellence, collaboration and leadership. Thank you for everything you do — always thinking ahead and always putting the people we are honored to care for first.

Sylvain Trepanier, DNP, RN, chief clinical executive of Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California Region:

Nurses are at the heart of healthcare. They can be found practicing in many settings such as hospitals, emergency departments and express care centers, surgical centers, research centers, home health, hospice, schools, advanced practice, public health, informatics and education. Fittingly, nursing has been ranked for 17 straight years as the most trusted profession, as measured by Gallup's annual ethics and honesty poll. I am very proud to be part of this incredible profession.

National Nurses Week began Monday and ends May 12, Florence Nightingale's birthday. During this week of celebration, I wish all my fellow nurses a wonderful week of celebration. Celebrate the difference you have made in the lives of so many people in their times of need. Nurses share a unique ability to blend the science of nursing care, innovation to improve that care and a heartfelt compassion for patients and their loved ones. I am especially proud of the nurses who practice at Providence St. Joseph Health. Every minute of the day, our nurses are staging the best possible experience for those who chose to be served by us.

I wish to thank you all for accepting the call to serve others. If you know a nurse, remember to thank them for his or her contribution to improving health for a better world!

Peter D. Banko, president and CEO of Centura Health (Centennial, Colo.):

Today, I am reminded of the love, compassion, professionalism and spirit of our Adventist and Catholic founders who brought nursing to Colorado and western Kansas.  I am also reminded of Isabella Baumfree — known as Sojourner Truth — whose strong faith in God propelled her to advocate for freedom, quality and nursing just before our ministry was getting started.

I am humbled, awed and extremely proud to work with the best and brightest 6,500 nurses caring for the sick, ministering to the poor and vulnerable, providing whole person care and building thriving communities across Centura Health.

Our nurses play an indispensable role within our ministry in achieving our bold aspirations of system of choice and high-performing whole person care. My personal mission is to help each and every caregiver at Centura Health reach their full potential, and I need to more actively hear our nurses’ voices openly and directly. This week, we launched a nursing advisory council to serve as a resource and guidepost for input and action in nursing engagement, recruitment, retention, development, processes, systems, quality, safety and experience. This council will meet with me quarterly to hold me and leadership accountable for nurturing and supporting world-class nursing throughout our healing ministry.

This is an exciting time to be a nurse at Centura Health, and I am so thankful that you are here, living out your personal mission.  I want each of you to be successful and feel appreciated, while inspiring me and our co-workers to truly take Centura Health to the next level together.

Thank you for being a Centura Health nurse!  Your selfless contributions and passion to serve our communities and continue our ministry’s legacy are very valued and much appreciated.

Mary Beth Kingston, MSN, RN, CNO of Advocate Aurora Health (Milwaukee and Downers Grove, Ill.):

This nurses week we celebrate you — our 22,000 Advocate Aurora Health nurses across Illinois and Wisconsin who strive without pause to help our patients, families and communities to live well.

Every day each of you demonstrates with unwavering commitment our core values of excellence, compassion and respect. You provide exceptional care and service for our patients at the best and worst times in their lives and everywhere in between. You support each other as you advance professionally, and are leaders in your communities, dedicated to giving back because you care about the places you live and work.

Recently more than 200 of our Advocate Aurora nurses participated in advocacy days at Illinois and Wisconsin state capitals, lending their strong voices to support legislation that empowers our nurses to provide the best patient-centered care using evidence-based nursing practice.

And just this past week, we recognized and honored 33 registered nurses from throughout Illinois and Wisconsin who were nominated by their peers and selected as Advocate Aurora Health Nurse of the Year Award winners. Their stories of confident, top of license practice exemplify and embody our shared commitment to deliver high quality, compassionate and patient-centered care.

On behalf of our leadership team, my heartfelt thanks to all of you for your care to those we are so privileged to serve. We couldn’t do any of this without you, and we are so proud that you have chosen Advocate Aurora Health as the place to pursue your passion. Happy nurses week!

Mandy Richards, MSN, RN, CNO of Allina Health (Minneapolis):

As someone who has been fortunate to work side by side with nurses for my entire career, I cannot count the number of times nurses made a difference for the patients we served, be it with crucial insights, profound experience or a tender touch.

Over the years, I have seen a lot of change in the nursing profession. We are doing things to improve health and alleviate suffering that were unheard of when I began practicing. In addition, we’ve learned new and improved ways of organizing our work and building patient-centered care teams that allow us to put more expertise to work for our most complex patients. We are learning how to better partner with our patients to ensure we honor what’s most important to them, regardless of where they may be on their health journey. 

However, one thing has not changed. Nursing is about people. Powerful human interactions from people who work together to relieve suffering and improve lives will always be at the heart of everything we do. That is why we all emphasize the importance of relationships in fulfilling "Our Promise." We form relationships with our patients that help us provide true "Whole Person Care." Nurses week celebrates the relationships our nurses have with their patients, each other, broader care teams and our entire organization.

Take time this week to pause and reflect on the lives you have changed, the lives you have saved and the families you have supported. Thank you to all our nurses that make Allina Health a special organization. You make a difference.  



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