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Nursing Awards Presented

May 11, 2010
Julie DeVries, BSN, RN, of Stockton, program coordinator of Somerset Medical Center’s Stroke Program, has received the medical center’s top nursing honor, the 2010 Jean Dougherty Award. The award is the nursing department’s highest honor for practice, quality of nursing care and advocacy for patients and nurse colleagues and is named in honor of a late nurse supervisor who worked at the medical center for more than 30 years. It was recently presented to DeVries during National Nurses’ Week in recognition of her nursing leadership, focus on professional development, dedication to nursing, adherence to nursing values and significant impact on the medical center’s quality of care and performance improvement.

DeVries joined Somerset Medical Center in 1992 as a nurse on the medical center’s 4-East general surgical patient unit. As coordinator for the stroke program, she coordinated two successful accreditation site visits from the Joint Comission, designating the medical center as a Primary Stroke Center. DeVries also oversees the medical center’s interdisciplinary committee focused on preventing patient falls. In addition, she is a member of the steering committee spearheading the medical center’s Magnet Award application. 

“Julie has served in many leadership roles during her tenure at Somerset Medical Center, frequently being asked to begin a new service, new unit or new program,” said Kathleen Cummins, MS, RN, APN -C, ACNS-BC, vice president of nursing. “She is known for bringing joy to her work and her love of nursing is evident in everything that she does. She sets high standards in nursing care, always putting patients first with quality care as her focus.”

During a special ceremony as part of National Nurses’ Week, Ken Bateman, president and chief executive officer, James Rick, Jr., chairman of the Board of Trustees, John Carroll, MD, chief medical officer, Sudhir Mehta, MD, president of the medical/dental staff, and Maureen Schneider, RN, MSN, MBA, Ph.D.(c), CNAA, B.C., CPHQ, FACHE, senior vice president of clinical program development and chief nursing officer, thanked the medical center’s nurses for their efforts to provide the highest quality care to patients and their families.

The following Nurse of the Year Awards were also presented:
·Practice Award – Mike Rispoli, RN, of Manalapan, a nurse on the 4-West patient care unit.
·Performance Improvement Award – Valerie Moore, RN, of Annandale, assistant nurse manager for GI, Same Day and Pre-Admission Testing Departments and a member of the peri-operative education council.
·Professional Development Award – Martha Vogt, RNC-LRN, of Phillipsburg, senior nurse in the Level II nursery.
·Patient/Family Education Award – Patsy Kerwin, BSN, RN-BC, of Somerville, a senior nurse in the Same Day Center and member of the medical center’s patient family and education council. 
·Research Award – Jannie Johnson, RN, CPAN, of Flagtown, a nurse in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit who is co-chair of the medical center’s research council.
·Patient Satisfaction Award – Jennifer Casoni, BSN, RN, of Flemington, a nurse on the Maternity Unit and Level II nursery.
·Patient Care Technician of the Year – Ana Salazar, of Piscataway, who works in critical care, 4-East, 5-East and 2-East patient care units.

Internist Betty Catanese, MD, of Tewksbury, vice chairperson of Somerset Medical Center’s medical/dental staff, was also honored with the “Friend of Nursing” award, given to an individual who has a positive, collaborative relationship with nurses and impacted their practice during the year. Dr. Catanese was recognized for her focus on quality improvement and collaborative advocacy which has had a direct influence on nursing practice at the medical center.

Somerset Medical Center is a nationally accredited, regional medical center providing comprehensive emergency, medical/surgical and rehabilitative services and a broad range of community programs to Central New Jersey residents. The medical center is an affiliate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a clinical research affiliate of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

For more information about Somerset Medical Center, visit