Northwestern Medicine

Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Presents Trish Alex with Top Nursing Award for 2011

Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital May 12, 2011

LAKE FOREST, IL – Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital awarded this year’s Jean Ewing Nursing Excellence Award to Patricia “Trish” Alex, RN, of Gurnee, who works in the hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab. The award was given during Nurse’s Week this May to the nurse who exemplifies the highest standards of professional and nursing excellence. Judging criteria included ethics, innovation, collaboration and leadership, among other qualities.

“Trish is extremely deserving of this award, and we are truly fortunate to have her as a part of our team,” said her supervisor Damon Havill, Vice President of Administration. “She has gained the respect of her peers by consistently demonstrating qualities of professionalism and leadership, and she is often recognized by her patients for going above and beyond the call of duty.”

Alex has been in the nursing profession for 30 years and has worked at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital for almost 13 years. She worked in the hospital’s ICU for much of that time and moved to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab when it opened nearly three years ago. Alex’s new role includes several aspects of cardiology, including emergency care and recovery.

“The quality of nurses at this hospital is outstanding. I look to many of them as my role models,” Alex said. “They are all so great at what they do, and it is humbling that my peers chose me for this award.”

Alex and her husband live in Gurnee and have three daughters, who have all supported her throughout her career. When Alex is not spending time with her family or working at the hospital, she enjoys gardening outside.

The hospital honored 10 other nurses with the 2011 Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Nursing Excellence awards. The winners are as follows:

  • Quality of Practice:  Kathleen Halpern, RN, Arlington Heights, Ill. (Emergency Services)
  • Education:  Colleen Smyrniotis, RN, CNS, Chicago, Ill. (Nursing Administration)
  • Professional Practice Evaluation: Alesia Devine, RN, Lake Forest, Ill. (Grayslake Emergency Center)
  • Communication: Sally Mahan, RN, Wildwood, Ill. (Extended Care)
  • Collaboration: Lori Patsis, RN, Lake Bluff, Ill. (Emergency Services)
  • Ethics: Mary McKeever, RN, Lindenhurst, Ill. (Infection Control)
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Research: Alesia Devine, RN, Lake Forest, Ill. (Grayslake Emergency Center)
  • Resource Utilization: Tami Zwiefka, RN, Spring Grove, Ill. (Acute Care)
  • Leadership: Susan Johnson, RN, Northbrook, Ill. (PACU)
  • Environmental Health: Tami Zwiefka, RN, Spring Grove, Ill. (Acute Care)

The hospital also gave an award to the most outstanding member of the support staff, who is listed below:

  • Health Care Support Staff: Rocio Carson of Vernon Hills, Ill. (ER Technician, Emergency Services)

The award recipients were honored for their quality and compassion in caring for patients, families and nursing colleagues and for meeting the American Nurses Association’s Standards of Professional Performance.

Nurses from the hospital's Westmoreland Extended/Long-Term Care unit were also awarded the Speci-Cup (Special Presentation by Exceptional and Caring Individuals) for designing a display that illustrates the theme “Nurses Trusted to Care.” The hospital presented the unit with a trophy during the May 11 celebratory luncheon.

All of the hospital’s nurses received Magnet pins during the ceremony as a commemoration of the hospital’s Magnet Recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). According to the ANCC, the Magnet Recognition Program gives its honor to hospitals that demonstrate quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. This is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a hospital staff. Only six percent of hospitals across the country, and fewer than 400 hospitals worldwide, have achieved this distinction.

Also honored were 45 nurses who have given at least 25 years of service to Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital. They enjoyed a special breakfast with Vice President of Operations and Chief Nurse Executive Kim Nagy, RN, MSN, CNS, NEA-BC.

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