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May 21, 2018

SVSU honors outstanding patient care at Nursing Excellence awards ceremony

Saginaw Valley State University celebrated the excellence, dedicated care and leadership delivered by six registered nurses in the Great Lakes Bay Region during the eighth annual Carleen K. Moore R.N. Nursing Excellence awards ceremony Wednesday, May 16.

Established by SVSU's Department of Nursing through generous support provided by Terry Moore and his wife Carleen K. Moore, the awards recognize outstanding nurses in multiple career paths, including clinical bedside nurses, nurse educators, nurses in the community and nurses in long-term care and rehabilitation facilities.

The 2018 recipients include:

  • Edwin Vazquez, who works in the mental health unit at MidMichigan Medical Center-Gratiot. He is one of the three recipients of the Nursing in the Acute Care Environment award. His nomination letter read, “Edwin has stepped up as a leader. He motivates others by appealing to higher ideals and moral values. Every nurse on the unit shares that they love working with him and appreciate his integrity and learning orientation. Edwin Vazquez is an excellent role model to nurses at all experience levels.”

  • Brenda Harris, who works in the McLaren-Bay Region electrophysiology lab. She is one of the three recipients of the Nursing in the Acute Care Environment award. Her nomination letter read, “Brenda always has her patients' safety, concerns and fears in mind as she provides care. Often seen holding a patient's hand, using touch to reassure and speaking in a quiet soothing voice, she sets an example for how all nurses should care for patients.

  • Amy Slough who works in the Towne Center Surgery Center at Saint Mary's of Michigan. She is one of three recipients of the Nursing in the Acute Care Environment award. Her nomination letter read, “Amy is a quick learner who leads by example. She is not afraid to speak up when she has a concern or an idea of how to do something better. She will come in early and stay late. She has a strong work ethic and friendly personality.”
  • Jessica Fodrocy, who works as a breast cancer nurse navigator at MidMichigan Health. She is the recipient of the Nursing in the Community award. Her nomination letter read, “Jessica easily connects with patients and quickly builds trust and respect that is critical to guide them through their desired cancer treatment. Jessica educates women on how to prevent breast cancer, promote early detection, and she guides them through to survivorship.”

  • Jennifer Whyte, who works as a behavioral health program manager at McLaren-Bay Region. She is the recipient of the Nursing Education award. Her nomination letter read, “For those who have the privilege to work closely with Jennifer, they have had the opportunity to see a nursing professional who is dedicated to nursing excellence, passionate about preventing illness in the community and compassionate about the daily struggles that patients and families endure as they navigate the health care system.”

  • Jill Hegenauer, who works for Covenant HealthCare. She is the recipient of the Long-Term Care/Rehabilitation award. Her nomination letter read, “Jill demonstrates the 'We Care' values of Covenant with every shift that she works, from start to finish. She exhibits a caring attitude and always treats residents with dignity and as unique individuals.”

Carleen K. Moore worked as a licensed practical nurse for almost 15 years before returning to nursing school to become a registered nurse. She then worked in the critical care units at MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland for the next 11 years before retiring from full time nursing in 2001. Moore and her husband, Terry, believe in the importance of recognizing and encouraging nurses who demonstrate excellence in their field.

For more information on SVSU's nursing program, please visit