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March of Dimes - Rhode Island Chapter

220 West Exchange St. #003

Providence, RI  02903

(401) 454-1911

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    2013 Nurse of the Year Awards

    Danielle Prenevost, March of Dimes, (612) 326-9444, dprenevost@marchofdimes.com

    Nurses in Minnesota honored for their achievements.

    Edina, MN, October 26, 2013 —

    Recognized for her 40-plus years of experience, March of Dimes honors Karen Drake as the 2013 Distinguished Nurse of the Year at the annual Nurse of the Year awards Saturday, October 26. Drake, a professor at Bethel University, was recognized for her development of a high-tech simulation at Bethel and her work abroad teaching future nursing leaders in Uganda. Nurse of the Year is a statewide event in Minnesota recognizing excellence in nursing.


    “Karen mentors, encourages and nurtures Ugandan students through a difficult program, in a difficult environment,” shared former graduate student Jill Bauer. “Thanks to Karen’s work, a number of these students now have master’s degrees in nursing and are making incredible impacts in their profession and in their country.”


    Drake traveled to Uganda through collaboration with Bethel University and Uganda Christian University. She recognized there were not enough nurses with master’s degrees to sustain the program so she started a master’s program with a focus on nursing education. Today, graduates are functioning as faculty, in leadership roles and even at the Ministry of Health.


    March of Dimes celebrated Nurse of the Year winners in 15 categories at a dinner and awards program Saturday, October 26, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Minneapolis.  Nurse of the Year winners all display great leadership skills and have made significant contributions to their community and to the profession of nursing.  


    Additional winners include:

    Advanced Practice – Samantha Sommerness, Fairview Southdale Hospital

    Care Management –Wendy Sharpe, UnitedHealth Group

    Education & Research – Raney Linck, Globe University/Minnesota School of Business

    Leadership – Lynn Choromanski, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare

    Mental Health – Wendy Waddell, Regions Hospital

    Neonatal – Natalie Wilson, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

    Pediatric – Karen Johnson, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

    Perioperative – Darin Prescott, Mayo Clinic Health System Mankato

    Public Health/School Nurse – Theresa Pines, South Washington County Schools

    Rising Star – Elizabeth Cantrell, St. Francis Regional Medical Center

    Rural Health – Katherine Galliger, Riverwood Healthcare Center

    Staff Nurse - Critical Care – MaryEllen Swanson, Hennepin County Medical Center

    Staff Nurse - General Care – Sher Stiles, St. Francis Regional Medical Center

    Women's Health – Nanette Mastain, Methodist Hospital

    Distinguished Nurse of the Year – Karen Drake, Bethel University


    More than 400 nurses from across the state were nominated by patients, colleagues, friends and family.  Nurse of the Year benefits the March of Dimes mission to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.  This fourth annual event raised more than $150,000 for the March of Dimes.

    UnitedHealth Group served as the presenting sponsor for the 2013 Nurse of the Year Awards. Additional sponsors included HealthEast, Medica, Allina Health, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, Regions Hospitals/Health Partners, St. Cloud Hospital, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, UCare, North Memorial, Fairview Health Services, Essentia Health, Hennepin County Medical Center and Maple Grove Hospital.

    In order to be considered for the award, nominees filled out an application. Applications were blinded and scored based on credentials, certifications and nursing education, their proudest outcomes, leadership, professional associations and achievements. Blinded applications were scored and reviewed by the volunteer Nurse of the Year Committee. Winners were kept confidential until they were announced at the awards program October 26.

    The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies®, March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.  Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


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