Nurse of the Year Awards Given to Sixteen Caregivers

Portland, OR | Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Media Contacts

save print

Sixteen caregivers were honored for their extraordinary level of patient care, compassion, integrity, professionalism, and leadership in the nursing profession at the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Awards. Approximately 650 guests attended the breakfast on June 1 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

A selection committee comprised of health care professionals reviewed and scored the confidential nomination forms. Victoria King, Senior Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer, PeaceHealth is serving as revenue chair of the event. Members of the committee include Debbie Buchwach, Director of Professional Practice, Ambulatory Nursing & Optimization; Megan Boyle, Regional Director for Clinical Operations, Providence Health & Services;  Shari Davis, Critical Care Director, RCH Nursing Services; Deborah Eldredge, Director, Quality/Research/Magnet Recognition Program at OHSU; Ben Farber, Chief Nursing Officer at PeaceHealth; Cindy Hill, Nursing Chief Executive Office at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel; Trece Gurrad, Vice President of Patient Care Services at Columbia Memorial Hospital; Lisa Ketchum, Director, Women & Children Service Line at Salem Health;  Melisa Linnman, Senior Clinical Manger- Pacific NW at Hill-Rom; Ashlee O’Meara, Nursing Professional Development Consultant, Ambulatory Nursing & Optimization; Regina Rose, Chief Nursing Officer at Bay Area Hospital, Donald Wenzler, Chief Nursing Officer at Mid Columbia Medical Center, and Florence Wallace, Professional Development Consultant, Ambulatory Nursing & Optimization at Kaiser Permanente.

Whether serving as health care provider, educator, researcher, volunteer and/or advisor – nurses play a critical role in advancing the mission of March of Dimes. The Nurse of the Year initiative supports this mission while recognizing exceptional nurses throughout the state, celebrating the profession, and creating awareness of the strides made in this growing field. According to Jacqueline Forsythe, Executive Director for the Oregon March of Dimes, “We are so pleased to recognize the outstanding contributions and commitment nurses provide to healthcare across the state of Oregon and Southwest Washington. March of Dimes has recognized and appreciated the contribution of nurses for 80 years. Nurse of the Year is an opportunity for us, and the community, to say thank you to these wonderful caregivers who make such a difference in our lives.”  

The 2018 Nurse of the Year is sponsored by Providence Health & Services, Cambia Health Solutions, PeaceHealth, Legacy Health, Kaiser Permanente, OHSU, and Life Flight Network.


Allison Young

Adult Acute Care

Legacy Good Samaritan

Mary Spiering

Advance Practice

Kaiser Westside Medical Center

Stacey Wright

Ambulatory Care/Clinic Care

Kaiser Westside Medical Center

Margaret Santee

Case Management, Occupational Health &  Ut.

Columbia Memorial Hospital

Kathy Stafford

Charge Nurse

Kaiser Permanente Northwest

Julia Lodge

Community & Public Health

 St. Charles Health System

Sierra Schneider

Critical Care

Salem Health

Jennifer Clowers


Oregon Health & Science University

Teshama Brock

Hospice, HH, LTC, Rehab and Palliative Care

Kaiser Permanente Northwest

Elizabeth Lowell

Mental and Behavioral Health

Unity Center for Behavioral Health

Darla Maier

Nurse Education & Research

Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center

Debbie Luttman

Nurse Leader

PeaceHealth St John's Medical Center

Stephanie Vernon

Pediatric Care

Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel

Kathy Fockler

Rising Star

Legacy Meridian Park Hospital

Audra Ortiz

Surgical Services

Oregon Health & Science University

Elizabeth Lien

Women's Health

 Providence Milwaukie Hospital

Lisa Krening

Nurse of the Year

Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

Visit or for more information. Visit for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.