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May 21, 2019

SVSU honors outstanding nurses from the Great Lakes Bay Region

Carleen Moore Nursing Excellence award recipients at SVSU 2019Saginaw Valley State University recognized the excellence, dedicated care and leadership delivered by six registered nurses in the Great Lakes Bay Region during the ninth annual Carleen K. Moore R.N. Nursing Excellence awards ceremony Thursday, May 16.

Recognized as one of the top nursing programs in the Midwest, SVSU's Department of Nursing annually honors exceptional 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 awards were established through generous support provided by Terry Moore and his wife Carleen K. Moore

The 2019 recipients include:

  • Renee Dittmar is a house supervisor at Ascension St. Mary's Hospital. She is the 2019 recipient of the Nurse Educator Award. Her nomination letter read, "Renee is known for coaching, mentoring, and listening. She has taken a lead role in implementing bedside report and modeling behaviors."
  • Kelly Jo Foster, works at the medical intensive care unit (MICU) department at MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland. She is one of the two recipients of the Nursing in the Acute Care award. Her nomination letter read, "She is a very special, heartfelt nurse. We say in the MICU that there is no one who has a bigger heart than KJ. I believe we would all want this type of nurse if we had a loved one in the ICU."
  • Sue Gatza, who is a registered nurse at Ascension St. Mary's Hospital, is the recipient of the Nursing in the Community Award. Her nomination letter read, "She loves to learn and transform her practice to meet the challenges of today's healthcare environment while firmly holding her patients at the center of her practice."
  • Lisa Kukla works as a labor and delivery nurse at McLaren Bay Region. Her nomination letter read, "Lisa has established a nursing career that she can be proud of. She has been described in patient 'Thank You' notes as 'nice, friendly, great, very informative, concerned, knowledgeable, wonderful, and excellent.'
  • Cathy Lelo, works at Ascension St. Mary's Hospital and is receiving the award for nursing excellence as a staff nurse. Her nomination letter read, "Cathy exemplifies what 'nursing' is. She takes time to listen and explain things with patients and their families in a very patient and empathetic manner."
  • Nicholas Seliskar, who works in Covenant HealthCare and is one of the two recipients of the Nursing in the Acute Care award. His nomination letter read, "Nicholas is an extraordinary nurse. He is an asset to his unit and an asset to the entire Covenant HealthCare organization and his community."

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