May 24, 2016

SVSU honors outstanding nurses at annual awards

Saginaw Valley State University celebrated the valuable contributions of eight registered nurses in the Great Lakes Bay Region during the sixth annual Carleen K. Moore R.N. Nursing Excellence awards Tuesday, May 10 during National Nurses Week.

Established by SVSU's Department of Nursing, the honor recognizes the continual dedication, quality service and front-line leadership exhibited by nurses in clinical practice, education, leadership, and community service. Awards were presented in the categories of acute care, nurse educator, long-term care/rehabilitation, and nursing in the community.

•    Tracy Bruff of Saint Mary's of Michigan, received an Acute Care Nursing award; she was nominated by her Director, Jill Loftus. Bruff is described as the Saint Mary's “stroke clinical outcome queen!”  She works quietly and independently to continuously improve the work environment for patients, their families and staff.

•    Tiffini Jarstfer of MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland was one of three recipients of the Acute Care Nursing award; she was nominated by her nurse manager, Amy Barnhart. Jarstfer is cited as a role model for other nurses in how she treats her patients and coworkers. She also has been key in helping students to transform from shy and scared to confident take-charge professionals.

•    Eric Maher, the stoke coordinator at Saint Mary's of Michigan, also was a recipient of the Acute Care Nursing award; he too was nominated by his nurse manager, Loftus. Maher gets a “first touch” with patients when they first become aware of their stroke symptoms. Many departments have gained a strong respect for him due to his ability to coordinate the testing necessary for timely stroke intervention.

•    Cindy Baker of Marlette Regional Hospital, received one of two Community Nursing awards, she was nominated by her director, Vicki Meiburg. Baker successfully initiated and implemented the Patient Centered Medical Home Model of care delivery for six practices. A colleague said, “Cindy is a gifted Nursing Leader. She always puts the patient first in everything she does.”

•    Kathy Janer of the Bay County Health Department, was a recipient of the Community Nursing award; she was nominated by Molly Stapish and Joel Strasz, public health director for Bay County. Janer was part of the pilot school nurse program in Bay City Public Schools. One of her significant accomplishments was instituting best practices for medication administration in the school setting.

•    Colleen Markel of who was a recipient of the Nursing Education award, was nominated by Greg Ghilardi, vice president of human resources for MidMichigan Medical Center. Markel served as a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit for 20 years before accepting her current position as manager of workforce development. She is described as exceedingly student-focused in her role, where she and her team coordinate nursing clinical placements for more 400 students per semester from seven different colleges and universities.

•    Karen Rezmer of Covenant HealthCare, received one of two of the Long-Term Care/Rehabilitation Nursing awards; she was nominated by her director, Christine Clayton. Rezmer meets and greets her residents each day, reviews their charts, and discusses their care and progress with them, their physician and their family. She is known and appreciated by the residents and their families in addressing daily care needs.

•    Patti Krenz, who was a recipient of a Long-Term Care/Rehabilitation Nursing award, is currently a staff nurse at McLaren Bay Special Care. She developed the “Precious Reflections” support group more than 25 years ago, and continues to serve as a facilitator to provide support for those who have experienced the death of a full-term baby or miscarriage.

The awards were presented by SVSU alumna Ellen Talbott, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer for McLaren Bay Region. The ceremony featured Judy Ruland, dean of SVSU’s College of Health and Human Services, as a guest speaker.