Nurses Week Award Recipients

Nurses Week Award Recipients

Each year during Nurses Week we recognize Spectrum Health Grand Rapids Nurses who have exemplified components of the Professional Practice Model. Their presence, professional behaviors, inquiry, shared leadership and ownership of outcomes have been identified by their peers and supported by their leadership. We congratulate the 2018 Nurses Week Award Recipients.

Jack Family Award for Nursing Excellence: Erin Willink, BSN, RN, ONC

Erin Willink“Erin has a calming and peaceful presence on the unit, both with her patients and with her teammates. I frequently witness Erin talking with anxious patients and family members and helping them to understand the plan of care, therefore decreasing their anxiety and promoting healing. I also see other staff members, both RNs and support staff, asking Erin clarifying questions about things that are going on with their patients. She is always approachable and a great resource. As a charge nurse, Erin does a great job of holding her teammates accountable to safety behaviors. She has a way about her that allows her to bring up a concern without the other person feeling targeted or upset. Erin has a good grasp on what her resources are and how to find answers to difficult questions. She is a stellar teammate both when she is in charge or in a patient assignment, always willing to jump in with both feet and help. She is a great example for our team on how we should treat each other and our patients.”

Kara Coker Excellence in Quality and Safety Award: William Russell, BSN, BS, RN

William Russell“Bill’s passion for safe patient care drives his daily work flow. Bill is always striving for perfection in the ORs starting with collaborative time-outs prior to a surgery starting. Bill rounds on these time-outs daily and provides in-the-moment feedback to encourage and reinforce safety. Bill encourages his staff to speak up and have a questioning attitude and rewards this safety behavior with public recognition at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital (HDVCH) Daily Check in (DCI). His leadership and presence within the committee facilitates creative thinking and he is willing to implement changes within HDVCH surgical services to improve patient care. He rounds every day in our operating room suites at HDVCH, checking and touching base with RN’s, surgical tech’s, residents, surgeons, anesthesia and our support staff.”

Martie McGrail Leadership Award: David Sterken, MN, RN, CPNP

David Sterken“David’s passion and commitment to children and their families is demonstrated on a daily basis. He gives extensively of himself and his time to carefully listen to his patients’ needs, listening not only with his head but also with his heart. David consistently develops positive, trusting relationships with patients and families who have specific blood management needs. He is a strong advocate for them, helping them get the best care even when this requires challenging established standards that do not meet the sociocultural needs of this special population. David individualizes care and education to be consistent with his patient’s educational level, cultural needs and faith-based requirements that are often varied and specific for many of his patients.”

Cheryl Hoogstrate Nursing Excellence Award: Lorraine Abbott, BSN, RN, CPN

Lorraine Abbott“Lorraine Abbott has been involved with the Adolescent team since 2015, assisting families and clients in navigating the unique challenges of the adolescent years. Her ability to speak openly and honestly with teens and parents is remarkable! Her own life experiences have allowed her to be compassionate, professional and sensitive to the special needs of this generation insuring access to care. Her dedication to safety has improved the process for follow up, process change, and patient satisfaction both in her past and present roles. Lorraine is one of the most caring, thorough nurses I have ever had the pleasure to work with and she makes a difference in the lives of our patients, families and community every day. She lives our mission by example.”

Steketee Family Award for Nursing Leadership: Erin Dejong, BSN, RN, CMSRN

Erin DeJong“Erin is highly visible on her unit for her staff and patients. Her presence on the unit is felt by staff in subtle but meaningful ways. Oftentimes it is running to a bed alarm and taking a restless patient for a walk, or helping her night staff with power hour when they run down a tech, that are the most impactful. She makes herself accessible to all of her staff, often showing up early to engage night staff and staying around a little late to connect with people working the evening shift. She always makes staff feel welcomed, whether it is greeting them as they come and go throughout the unit or leaving her door open so people can drop in for a chat. She is continuously looking for ways to improve the care of patients on her unit. Erin continuously strives to make positive changes within the organization. Her unit has consistently had the highest patient satisfaction scores. The ability to maintain this high level of satisfaction and care with her nurses and physicians is a reflection of her leadership and the cohesive partnership she has helped build among the health care team.”

Sandra Roelof Lifetime Achievement Award in Nursing: Barbara Rogers, MSN, RN, CNRN

Barbara Rogers“As an RN, Barb wears many ‘hats’. She is a hospital supervisor, clinical instructor, and educator. I have witnessed firsthand her ability to coach and mentor new RN team members and students by making situational awareness a priority, and also keeping the patient as the driving focus in the delivery of care. Barb invests her entire self into developing nursing students at Grand Rapids Community College and Ferris State University into strong bedside RNs and future leaders within the Spectrum Health organization. Barb is always willing to go the extra mile, and is many times the first volunteer to take on additional tasks or projects. She is trusted by nurses, advanced practice providers, and physicians throughout the Spectrum Health system, and is a ‘go-to’ when an unfamiliar situation or clinical question is unanswered. Many people recognize faces, most people recognize Barb by name. Barb is trusted throughout our system as a bedside nurse. She is a resource for nurses, leadership, physicians, and many others in the clinical spaces.”

Nurses Choice Award for Outstanding Physician: Dr. Alicia DeMarco

Alicia DeMarco“Alicia demonstrates patient advocacy each morning when we round on our patients. The physician, residents, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, dietician, and nurse all discuss every patient and the plan of care. Alicia is always making suggestions, recommendations, and changes that are in the best interest for the patient. She never indicates that an issue is not worth discussing, no matter how small it may be.

When it comes to collaborating with the whole team, Alicia is one of the best physicians whom I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. One specific example happened while a patient was coding. It was becoming obvious that despite all of our efforts, the patient was not going to survive. Rather than making the decision to stop the code herself (which would have been totally appropriate), Alicia asked every person in the room if we had any other ideas or suggestions for what we could do for this patient. She asked each nurse if we had ideas that she had not thought of. She repeatedly referred to all of us as “team” throughout the code. I have never had my knowledge feel so validated by a physician as I did during that time. She went above and beyond to ensure that the entire team, including nursing, was collaborating on this issue together.”

Nursing Rookie Awards


Rookie of the Year Awards

Sponsored by the Medical staff of Spectrum Health, the Rookie of the Year award is awarded to five Spectrum Health Grand Rapids nurses with less than one year overall experience as a nurse, who have exemplified components of the Nursing Professional Practice Model.

Dominique Phelps, ADN, RN

Dominique Phelps“Dominique is fully invested in the care of her patients. She connects with her patients on a personal level and is invested in their outcomes not only during this hospital stay, but long term by educating them and advocating for them. She develops trusting and caring relationships with her patients making them a partner. She involves the family in the care and honors their importance in the patient’s healing. Dominique holds staff accountable to standards and will find a way to help them provide care that is safe and best practice. She does not guess if she does not know the answer, but will work tirelessly to find the answer. She promotes a culture of safety where mistakes can be admitted and the team can work together to provide excellent care.”

BaiLee’ Pastol, ADN, RN

BaiLee Pastol“BaiLee’ is an excellent nurse who exemplifies presence in her nursing practice. She develops meaningful relationships with her patients, families, and coworkers. She serves as a valuable member of our team on 4H and we are very fortunate to work with her! She recognizes her patient’s needs and is a wonderful advocate for them. Although BaiLee’ is a novice nurse, she has demonstrated the competence of a more practiced nurse and is respected, valued, and looked up to by her peers. BaiLee’ is a champion of change; she understands the complexities of healthcare and the need for such purposeful change. She also displays a questioning attitude while expanding her nursing knowledge through the inquiry and implementation of evidence-based practice and nursing research.”

David Wikstrom, BSN, RN

David Wikstrom“David does a phenomenal job of connecting with his patients. He takes the time to develop caring relationships and build trust. He has been nominated for 5 DAISY awards in his 5 months of being a registered nurse. There is not one specific situation to highlight from his nominations but an overarching theme of how compassionate, positive and caring he is as a nurse. He takes the time to sit down with patients and gets to know their story and background. He is always able to find a way to connect with them. Often new nurses are tied up with tasks, medication passes, and documentation but David not only does these but also has an uncanny way of being able to connect with his patients and prioritizes this as part of their care.”

Chad Houseman, BSN, RN

Chad Houseman“Chad has been a nurse in the PICU for just under a year and has shown a tremendous amount of knowledge and talent as a Pediatric Critical Care Nurse. He is always helping other nurses on the unit and given his experience as a nursing technician in the PICU, he has no issues delegating appropriate tasks to the techs on our floor. As a member of our unit’s Shared Leadership Council, Chad has helped develop debrief sessions that help our staff with self care. Chad is a proponent for these sessions and is encouraging others to participate in order to help others care for themselves. Chad is also an amazing advocate for his patients and families. Chad always has a great attitude and his upbeat personality is great for the morale on our unit.”

Michelle Marek, ADN, RN

Michelle Marek“Michelle takes the time when assessing her patients to answer all questions, developing a trusting relationship with the parents before taking their child back to the operating room. Michelle always takes the time to ensure that her co-workers are doing okay with their workload and emotionally supports them during stressful situations. Michelle is very competent for her career stage at questioning surgeons in a tactful manner when she needs to advocate for her patients about a safety concern. Michelle has a way of running an OR room and still allowing everyone to feel they are part of the team sharing in the decision making process. Michelle is always responsible for managing her resources appropriately and being fiscally responsible for the supplies she opens. Michelle always provides a safe, caring environment for her patients, co-workers, and herself.”