WVU Hospitals Nurses of the Year awarded

Friday, May 14, 2021

WVU Medicine-WVU Hospitals recognized its top nurses and personnel who support nursing efforts at the 2021 Nurse of the Year virtual ceremony held May 6.

The awards included employees in a variety of experience categories and were expanded to include employees in inpatient and ambulatory settings.

“The newly expanded categories give us an opportunity to recognize more of our outstanding nurses and inter-professional colleagues who serve in support roles,” Lya M. Cartwright-Stroupe DNP, APRN, CPNP, NEA-B, NPD-BC, WVU Medicine manager of nursing research and professional development, Magnet® program director, and transition to practice program director, said. “Any time we can celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of these deserving individuals is an honor and a reflection of the tremendous care at WVU Medicine.”

The Nursing Recruitment and Retention Council scored blinded nominations. Results were then tallied for each category and winners announced.

This year’s winners are:

Bronze Awards (less than one year of experience)

  • Inpatient Nurse of the Year: Heather Leonard, RN, WVU Medicine Children’s Maternal Infant Care Center

Silver Awards (2-9 years of experience)

  • Inpatient Nurse of the Year: Rachel Childers, BSN, RN, WVU Medicine Children’s
  • Ambulatory Nurse of the Year: Kendra Bryan, RN, WVU Medicine Urgent Care and WVU Student Health

Gold Awards (10-19 years of experience)

  • Inpatient Nurse of the Year: Shelley Otto, MSN, RN, WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, 10SE
  • Ambulatory Nurse of the Year: Eric Dunithan, MSN, RN, WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute Neurology and Neurosurgery

Platinum Awards (20+ years of experience)

  • Inpatient Nurse of the Year: Marcia Hughes, RNC-OB, WVU Medicine Children’s Maternal Infant Care Center
  • Ambulatory Nurse of the Year: Natalie Gilbert, BSN, RN, WVU Medicine Orthopaedics

Nurse Educator Awards

  • Ambulatory Nurse Educator: Leanne Efaw, BSN, RN, WVU Medicine Otolaryngology
  • Inpatient Nurse Educator: Tara Giles, BSN, RNC-NIC, WVU Medicine Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Inter-professional Colleague Awards

  • Ambulatory Inter-professional Colleague: Crystal Heise, PharmD, BCACP, BCOP, WVU Cancer Institute Oncology Pharmacy
  • Inpatient Inter-professional Colleague: Laura Lipscomb, CPST, WVU Medicine Children’s Injury Prevention and Safety Program

Speakers at the event included Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the West Virginia University Health System; Doug Mitchell, BSN, MBA, RN, WVU Medicine-WVU Hospitals vice president and chief nursing officer; Darin Rogers, WVU Medicine vice president of provider network services and chief ambulatory operations officer; and Cartwright-Stroupe.

Pictured above, front row, left to right, are: Eric Dunithan, Natalie Gilbert, Rachel Childers, Tara Giles, and Crystal Heise. Back row, left to right: Doug Mitchell, Leanne Efaw, Heather Leonard, Laura Lipscomb, and Darin Rogers. Not pictured are Kendra Bryan, Shelley Otto, and Marcia Hughes.