By Jaclyn Seebsitt
National Nurses Week kicks off on Friday, May 6, and runs through May 12, and what a great time to announce that one of our KPMAS nurses, Sherri Wilson, Director of Maternal, Child, and Genetics Services Lines, DCSM, has won the 2016 Washingtonian Excellence in Nursing Award for Community Nursing, Non-Hospital. Please join us in congratulating Sherri on this great achievement! Sherri was one of four KPMAS finalists for the awards with Lawan Dines,Sara Dakins, and Carole Kelly.
The biennial Washingtonian Excellence in Nursing Awards recognize and celebrate nurses in the community who go above and beyond the call of duty. Our region’s finalists were honored at the 2016 awards reception on May 4, 2016, when the final 11 winners were announced. Kaiser Permanente sponsored a table at the event and also had an ad featured in the event program. Sherri will be featured in the May issue of Washingtonian along with the other winners.
Congratulations to Lawan, Sherri, Sara, and Carole! Read more about each of them below, and if you see them, take a moment to celebrate this great achievement and thank them for all they do. For a complete list of finalists, see the attached document. Please check out some of the event photos below our finalists’ quotes.
Lawan Dines, Outpatient Procedure Suite, Capitol Hill Medical Center
Finalist for Nursing Leadership
“I am pleased, honored, and humbled to be a finalist for the Washingtonian Excellence in Nursing award,” she said.
We asked each finalist to tell us what inspired them to become a nurse. “My grandmother, Alice C. Young was a caregiver,” Lawan said. “She was a very compassionate woman who dedicated her life to serving her family and vulnerable communities. She displayed kindness, integrity, and patience in her work and was a great influence on me. She had a passion for life and even as she battled cancer, her outlook remained positive and she continued to show unconditional love to her family and friends until her death. She taught me that life experiences and hardships build character.”
When asked about the most rewarding part of her job, she said, “The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I made a difference in the lives of patients and their families. Nursing is my passion, I feel this field offers limitless opportunities for professional growth.”
Sherri Wilson, Director of Maternal, Child, and Genetics Services Lines, DC and Suburban Maryland
Finalist for Community Nursing, Non-Hospital
“I am deeply humbled to have been nominated by my professional colleagues,” Sherri said. “It is my hope the recognition this award brings will shine a light on the need to reduce health disparities and infant mortality within our region. I work with a team of talented individuals that have assisted me in developing several programs to address these issues. I am excited about the Regional Perinatal Service Center which we will launch this quarter. It is a telephonic nurse management program serving mothers with high-risk pregnancies to reduce the number of premature births, fetal and infant deaths, and costs related to extended NICU days. With the help of our KP Northern California partners, we believe we will make significant impact in the lives of this most vulnerable population. I see this nomination as a reflection of the hard work of our team, from our Executive sponsors to the member, has put forward.”
Sherri was also inspired by her grandmother to become a nurse: “As a child, I would travel to spend time with my grandparents every year. My grandmother would share stories of her experiences as a nurse in the 1950’s as she helped to raise 4 children. I was so inspired by my grandmother. I always thought she was a superwoman and wanted to be like her when I grew up. I recently came across a copy of her nursing license issued in 1954 by the Board of Examiners of Practical Nurses by the State of Georgia. I keep a copy of this close to me at all times to keep me grounded, reminding me of the shoulders I stand on and the tremendous responsibility I have to continue to advance the nursing profession.”
She also mentioned that the most rewarding part of her job is “the ability to witness the health outcomes of the care delivered to the population you serve over a period of time. At Kaiser Permanente, we form long-term relationships with our patients and with the communities we serve. As a member of the health care team, I get to witness positive health outcomes in our patients as a result of the exceptional care we deliver on a daily basis.”
Sara Dakins, Perinatology, Kensington Medical Center
Finalist for General Nursing
“I feel truly humbled and honored to be nominated for such a distinguished award,” she said.
Sara has always found great reward in caring for other people, starting with her grandmother. “The idea of sitting with her, caring for her, and the way she looked up at you with such gratitude still fills my heart to this day,” she said.
The most rewarding part of being a nurse for Sara is having a positive impact on patients’ lives. “To know that I have touched somebody’s life gives me great reward. Seeing the smile on their face when they leave the clinic with the feeling that all their needs were met gives great satisfaction, and it gives me the impression they have received the best possible care here at KP. To be able to impart wisdom on the younger nurses, to give encouragement that you’re great and touching somebody’s life in ways you may never know. I feel like I’ve already won to know that someone cares enough to nominate me.”
Carole Kelly, Urgent Care/Clinical Decision Unit, Gaithersburg Medical Center
Finalist for Community Nursing, Non-Hospital
About being named a finalist for the award, Carole said it was an unexpected and real honor. She was inspired to become a nurse by her grandmother. “My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer when I was a young girl. I remember accompanying my grandmother to her chemotherapy treatments. Witnessing the nurses interact and care for my grandmother inspired me. I knew very early on in my life that I wanted to be a nurse.”
When asked about the most rewarding part of her job, she said it’s being able to mentor the nurses she oversees. “I feel mentoring is a very important part of nursing in ensuring that the quality of care is consistent. Equally rewarding is that on any given day, at any given time, anything can come into the UC/CDU and we get to help the patients in their time of need.”
For more information about the Washingtonian Excellence in Nursing awards, visit washingtonian.com/nurses