Northwestern Medicine

Maternity Nurse Honored for 40 years of Continuing Service

Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital May 11, 2006

Bonus Nurse’s Week Highlight at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital

LAKE FOREST, IL – The day had all the makings of a retirement party: 40 years of dedicated service, family and coworkers gathered, accolades, reflections, and lots of food and cake. The only thing missing was a staff nurse ready to call it quits after 40 years.

Retirement is not an option anytime soon for Jean Ewing, of Waukegan, who received two prestigious awards from the hospital May 10 honoring a 40-year career that will keep on giving to patients and coworkers alike.

Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital’s first-ever Florence Nightingale Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Ewing at the annual National Nurses’ Week Luncheon. Later that day, she received the 2006 Nursing Leadership Award.

In presenting the lifetime achievement award, Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Karen Strathman said Ewing exemplifies it. “Jean is dedicated to nursing and gives of herself every day she is here ... a positive individual who promotes nursing in the greatest light. She is a life-long learner who’s kept up with unbelievable changes in nursing and is excited about all the new technology she and her colleagues have to work with today. I’ve admired her since I came here two years ago,” Strathman said.

Strathman’s sentiments were echoed by Executive Director of Women’s Services Kim Nagy, who presented the nursing leadership award to Ewing. “Jean is a true role model who’s made a special impact on all of us and all she comes in contact with. She understands that all leadership begins from within – that a warm smile and helping hands along with a big hug is sometimes all that a patient, the family or a coworker really wants. Jean creates and supports an environment in which professional and personal growth is an expectation,” Nagy said.

Ewing has worked second shift all her 40 years at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital – by choice. She says she enjoys it while avoiding the heavy traffic on Route 41 that first-shift workers have to deal with. Ewing remains a strong advocate of the profession she continues to practice after four decades on the job at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. “Nursing is a truly rewarding career that’s become more professional as the years go by. I think it’s a great place to be and I clap every time someone tells me they’re going into nursing,” she said.

Nurse of the Year Award
Honoring the Nurse of the Year is always a special part of Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital’s observance of National Nurses’ Week. This year’s recipient is Kris Ongkiko, RN, who currently works in Case Management. The Lindenhurst resident was selected from the hospital’s four Nurse of the Quarter award winners, based on nominations from coworkers, physicians and patients. Recipients are honored for their excellence, integrity, respect, teamwork and innovation on the job.

Ongkiko’s nominations, submitted during her prior service in Telemetry, compliment her care of families and patients. She’s been a nurse for 12 years and has worked at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital the past seven years. Ongkiko says her award is especially meaningful because it’s based on peer nominations. She adds, “Nursing is a very personally rewarding career offering those entering the profession a lot of different ways to practice it.”

Ongkiko was recognized at the May 10 Nurses’ Week Luncheon along with the other Nurse of the Quarter award recipients: Karen Mahnke, RN, Clinical Education; Insook Lee, RN, ICU; and Denise McMahon, RN, Acute Care.

Patient Care Tech of the Year Award
Also being honored is Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital’s Patient Care Tech of the Year. Danny Ramirez, PCT, who works in ICU, received multiple nominations defining him as the “reason the night shift goes so smoothly” because he goes the extra mile to assure the work is done and works collaboratively with ancillary staff to assure the best care for patients. “Team player” is used to describe Ramirez in all nominations. The other PCT of the Quarter award recipients were Nora Miclea, Deloris Houston and Mary Acosta.

The theme of this year’s National Nurses’ Week (May 6-12) observance was “Always There, Ready to Care.”

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