In recognition of nurses and of the impact they make in the hospital and throughout the healthcare field, Beebe Medical Center in 2012 established three special nursing awards - The Eleanor P. Cordrey Award for Nursing Excellence, The Bonnie Austin Award for Nursing Leadership and The Connie Bushey Award for Nursing Scholarship. These awards were named after longtime Beebe nurses who exemplify the qualities to which all nurses aspire.
This year’s award winners are Allison Clobes, RN, OCN, The Eleanor P. Cordrey Award for Nursing Excellence; Donna Anderson, RN, CIC, The Bonnie Austin Award for Nursing Leadership; and Teresa Hitchens, RN, BSN, CPHQ, CNOR, CRNFA (E), The Connie Bushey Award for Nursing Scholarship.
Allison Clobes started working at Beebe Medical Center as a nurse tech in 1997, even before she graduated from Beebe School of Nursing. Once she graduated in 1999, she immediately moved into a full-time nursing role.
By 2001, she transferred to Tunnell Cancer Center, where she has been making her mark. Starting as the youngest nurse at Tunnell Cancer Center, she has served wherever she has been needed most. She has assisted with radiation patients, worked with medical oncologists and administered chemotherapy. She also earned her Oncology Nursing Certification, signifying her advanced education in cancers and cancer treatments. Clobes wanted to do more to influence the quality of patient care.
In 2011, she advanced to a process improvement nurse position, focusing on initiatives to continually improve patient care. She has led several process improvement efforts and serves on the Hand Hygiene team, the Patient Satisfaction team and the Council of Quality and Safety. When she is not working at Tunnell Cancer Center, she works with Beebe Medical Center’s Population Health Department, going into the community to perform free health screenings.
“She consistently exhibits behavior that demonstrates excellent clinical and critical thinking skills,” Tunnell Cancer Center Nurse Manager Brandi Carr, BSN, RN, OCN, wrote when she nominated Clobes. “It is evident through her work that her clinical knowledge is at the forefront of the latest technologies and that she utilizes this knowledge for the best patient outcomes.”
Donna Anderson is a pioneer in infection prevention and among the first infection control nurses in the United States to achieve board certification in 1983 in hospital infection control and prevention. Anderson graduated Beebe School of Nursing in 1969 and immediately joined the hospital as a nurse. In 1979, she developed and implemented the hospital’s Infection Control Program and has been responsible for it ever since. She has worked closely with the staff throughout the hospital, as well as with the state Public Health System and the local Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology organization. She most recently served on committees that developed the state’s manual Guidelines for the Management of Multidrug Resistant and Other Epidemiologically Important Organisms Along the Continuum of Care for long-term care facilities in Delaware. She also served as chair for the committee in 2011 that prepared the Norovirus Policy.
“Her dedication to our patients and the care we provide has been her primary goal for over 30 years,” wrote Ann Smith, BS, RN, CPHQ, director of quality, and Barb Moulinier, MA, HACP, quality analyst/accreditation specialist. “She serves as a mentor - educating others so they may benefit from her years of experience…She has an unfailing commitment to instill best practices among health professionals so patients receive the best care possible.”
Teresa Hitchens, a 1987 graduate of Beebe School of Nursing, has worked at Beebe Medical Center for 25 years, continually focusing on improving processes that lead to quality patient outcomes. Her philosophy is to treat everyone as she would want to be treated and she will do the right thing. Hitchens holds several certifications that reflect her nursing expertise in surgery and healthcare quality. She has worked closely with surgical teams on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Surgical Care Improvement Project, making sure Beebe is meeting best practice standards that translate into quality clinical outcomes for patients.
She makes sure team members are apprised of the latest clinical information with regular education sessions. Her participation in Beebe’s Nursing Urinary Catheter Discontinuation Protocol resulted in a decrease in infections. She has educated new employees about the National Hospital Quality Measures and is a member of the Surgical Site Infection Prevention team. She also has assisted with many Joint Commission surveys.
“She uses current, evidence-based research to create tools that assist our staff in providing the best clinical outcomes for our patients,” wrote quality team member Margaretta Dorey, RN, BSN, who nominated Hitchens for the award. “Her passion for learning and excellence makes her the perfect candidate for this award.”
A committee of Beebe Medical Center nurses chose the honorees. The process was a lengthy one, with committee members making sure they captured the essence of what it is to be a nurse, especially a Beebe Medical Center nurse.
“These awards represent nurses recognizing nurses,” said Paul Minnick, vice president of Patient Care Services. “They also represent the few moments we set aside to recognize what our nurses do and that they make a difference in the lives of our patients and their families and caregivers. This is a profession that does not talk about itself, yet has a tremendous impact on the lives of others.”