2008 VA Secretary's Award Winners
Left to right: Shirley Cutler, Christine Lund, Joy Edvalson, Secretary Peake, Chief Nursing Officer Cathy Rick, Under Secretary for Health Dr. Michael Kussman, Michael Lawson, Lenora Sroggins and Natalie Russell at the Secretary’s nursing excellence award ceremony.
Shirley Cutler, NA - VA New Jersey Health Care System (East Orange, New Jersey)
As a Nursing Assistant assigned to the Acute Psychiatric Admission Unit, Ms. Cutler displays excellence in improving and delivering outstanding patient care to veterans. She works with the RN and healthcare team to improve patient care and job related skills through a personal development plan.
Ms. Cutler assisted her coworkers in utilizing communication, routing messages and serving as education coordinator of the patient education materials on the unit. She assisted in ordering teaching materials for the patients. Ms. Cutler maintains the National Safety goals to reduce the risk of harm to the patients from falls.
Ms. Cutler meets regularly with the unit’s interdisciplinary team to share her observations, taking an active role in the care of her patients. In addition to her regular duties she has conducted and documented weekend groups for the patients, focusing on orientation and current events.
Ms. Cutler has achieved recognition from her Director of Clinical Services, Nurse Manager, and her treatment team for her demonstrated competencies and collaboration.
Lenora Scroggins, LPN - VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System (Topeka, Kansas)
Ms. Scroggins serves as a patient advocate and role model at the Mental Health Clinic (MHC) and Day Treatment Center (DTC). She is self directed and compassionate, communicating with patients and helping them express their needs.
Ms. Scroggins is highly respected, organized, and knowledgeable. She handles a large workload, always looking for ways to improve care. She assists her patients in the DTC to contact Primary Care for appointments and see the Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner weekly. The clinic she established is assessable to all her clients on a daily basis. As Education Coordinator Ms. Scoggins established an education center in the MHC mailroom and maintains folders that staff can use for continuing education.
Ms. Scroggins is without question the model of customer service, displaying professionalism, respect, commitment and kindness to everyone who encounters her.
Natalie Russell, RN - Harry S. Truman Veterans Hospital (Columbia, Missouri)
Ms. Russell’s previous orthopedic experience was a great asset in developing a much needed nursing protocol. With the chief orthopedic resident, she developed total joint replacement protocols for the nursing staff. Her expertise in the CPM (Continuous Passive Motion) machines allowed her to write instructions for patient home use making it more assessable to veterans. She saw the needs for protocols, procedure, processes, and equipment to implement new strategies and met with numerous people and services to determine how best to provide CPM therapy.
She works with social work, dietary, and other staff to meet the needs of her patients. She also volunteered to become a certified PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) provider.
Ms. Russell demonstrates excellent leadership qualities and exemplifies exceptional customer service as well as critical thinking. She demonstrates exceptional proficiency ensuring patients have appropriate resources available upon discharge.
Ms. Russell is known throughout the facility for her compassion, competence, expertise, and resourcefulness.
Joy Edvalson, RN, MSN, FSP, CWOCN - VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
Ms. Edvalson joined the staff at the Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System in 2004 as the Wound Care Program Coordinator and had the foresight to establish a wound care practice that was evidence based. She brought with her more than 30 years of nursing experience and has lectured extensively at Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nursing Society and Symposium of Advanced Would Care national conferences to both physicians and nurses.
She has been effective in the establishment of the Wound Care Team’s consultative services throughout the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. She has actively provided feedback to the VA Central Office regarding the Pressure Ulcer Prevention Guideline and the VA Nursing Outcome Data Skin Risk and Risk Assessment Template. She has focused on assessment, evaluation, and implementation of strategies related to wound care.
Her vision and drive for a wound care plan is evident in her teaching style and interactions with all of the members of the healthcare team. She contributes to wound care forums both inside and outside VA. Ms. Edvalson is an integral part of the staff not only at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, but VHA as well.
Christine (Tina) Lund, MSN, NEA-BC - Minneapolis VA Medical Center
Ms. Lund has been effective in integrating nursing related activities into the development of organizational goals. She is active in the Minneapolis VAMC Executive Leadership Board and has been instrumental in using the All Employee Survey, the Nursing Satisfaction Survey, and the Nursing Task Survey to improve nursing satisfaction. She is a leader in developing nursing strategies to achieve patient care quality and has been very involved in implementing interventions recommended by the 5,000,000 Lives Campaign.
Ms. Lund places a high value on patient safety and the safe patient handling by promoting and supporting the Safe Movement Advisory Resource Team (SMART). She has provided expert leadership as a member of the Minneapolis Recruitment and Retention Program. Ms. Lund promotes and participates in education partnerships and in the utilization of VHA resources. She promotes career development through mentoring and coaching and is aggressively committed to academic collaborative initiatives and partnerships in the clinical, educational, and research arenas.
Through her compassionate and principled influence, she is a role model to all medical center employees, especially nursing.
Michael M. Lawson - Director, VA Boston Healthcare System
As director of the one of the largest VA healthcare system, Mr. Lawson oversees the 3 integrated facilities of West Roxbury, Brockton, and Jamaica Plains. An enthusiastic and innovative leader, he exhibits those attributes, values, and attitudes that have enabled this challenged healthcare system to not only survive, but to thrive. His progressive leadership and support for the advancement of nursing has manifested itself in a variety of ways.
Mr. Lawson has supported the reorganization of Medical Center Education, established a system-wide Safety Committee and Patient Safety Rounds, and participated in the Institute for Health Care Improvement standardizing approaches to quality care in an intensive care unit. He has facilitated implementation of a variety of effective nursing recruitment and retention strategies as well as maintaining a Magnet Status environment. Mr. Lawson demonstrates thorough managerial and supervisory efforts an unwavering committee to support the full professional role of nurses at the Boston Healthcare System, including his continuing support of the decision making process of the Nurse Professional Standards Board.
Mr. Lawson supports a new partnership with the 66th U.S. Air force Medical Group to institute training to meet the requirements of a wartime readiness policy. He routinely makes rounds of the hospitals to enhance his perception of the challenges facing nursing and quality health care for our veterans.