Nurse Marcia Cook nominated for prestigious Norman S. Holt Award; three others honored for patient care

By Kristy Bleizeffer Jul 28, 2014

Four nurses were nominated by their peers to represent Wyoming Medical Center for the Norman S. Holt Award for Nursing Excellence, given annually to one Wyoming nurse. Three of our nominees posed during a staff celebration recently. They are, from left, Sarah Siems, Stacy Henley and hospital winner Marcia Cook. Not pictured is Rebecca Johnson.

Four nurses were nominated by their peers to represent Wyoming Medical Center for the Norman S. Holt Award for Nursing Excellence, given annually to one Wyoming nurse. Three of our nominees posed during a staff celebration recently. They are, from left, Sarah Siems, Stacy Henley and hospital winner Marcia Cook. Not pictured is Rebecca Johnson.

Wyoming Medical Center is lucky to have the nurses we do, each one devoted to the patients for which they care. More than anyone else, nurses are the faces of the hospital, making deep connections with patients and families alike.

Here, we present four of our nurses nominated by their peers to represent Wyoming Medical Center for the prestigious Norman S. Holt Award for Nursing Excellence. The Wyoming Hospital Association awards the honor to one Wyoming nurse each year at its annual convention. This year’s winner will be announced in September.

Each hospital was allowed to pick just one nomination to send to the statewide contest, and we had a hard time narrowing it down. Marcia Cook, a registered nurse on the Medical Unit, will be a great representation of our outstanding nurses. We wish her the best of luck at the convention, Sept. 24-25 in Cheyenne.

In the meantime, please join us in congratulating each of these WMC nurses nominated for this award.

Marcia Cook, Medical Unit

Marcia CookMarcia Cook came to Wyoming Medical Center seven years ago. Her peers selected her as the Wyoming Medical Center nominee for the statewide competition, the winner of which will be announced in September.

“Marcia is highly recognized throughout the hospital, not only by her peers but by other managers and leaders. She is the go-to nurse for support and has been called ‘Mother Bear’ by other nurses,” reads her nomination letter.

She recently organized a project to provide comfort care baskets for patients and families who come to the Medical Unit for end-of-life care. She raised money for the baskets by organizing a successful bake sale with other nurses, all of whom donated their own time to the project. Patients and families often recognize her on the floor and find her humor and care therapeutic. For example, she recently bonded with a patient who was hit by a car while motorcycling. Marcia, a motorcyclist herself, went to the gift shop and bought him bike memorabilia to cheer him up.

“She has a heart of gold and demonstrates great compassion when caring for the ill … She takes great pride in providing the highest quality of care through leading by example. She frequently says that her reason for staying in nursing has always been for the patient.”

Stacy Henley, Progressive Care Unit

Stacy HenleyStacy Henley has worked on the Progressive Care and Intensive Care Units at WMC for five years.  This past year, she developed an education track for newer nurses on the critical care of cardiac surgery patients.

“There are certain things that the nurses need to call cardiologists on and certain things that the surgeons should be notified of. Stacy was able to develop education to help staff members understand the importance of caring for this population correctly,” reads her nomination letter. “She is an advocate for all nurses as well as patients and families.”

Patient outcomes have improved since the class’ implementation, and nurses on the unit are confident in caring for cardiac surgery patients. Relationships with doctors and nurses have also improved.

“Stacy puts in a lot of time and effort to make sure that every staff member knows the best practices and are engaged.”

Rebecca Johnson, Neuroscience Unit

Rebecca JohnsonRebecca Johnson has worked at Wyoming Medical Center for nine years. Nominators say she is among the most active members of neurology’s Unit Council and Shared Governance, a nursing model designed to integrate WMC’s core values while focusing on quality of care. She is also a dedicated preceptor, mentoring our graduate nurses on the clinical floors.

“When thinking about outstanding nurses, the first person who comes to mind is Rebecca Johnson,” wrote Jessica Watson, Neuroscience Unit manager, in her nomination letter.

“When it comes to patient care, she goes above and beyond every day. She remembers patients from years ago because she is able to make such a connection with them. She is the type of person you see and know that your day will be a good one because she will be here buzzing in and out of rooms helping everyone.”

Sarah Siems, Surgical Unit

Sarah SiemsSarah Siems has worked at Wyoming Medical Center for three years. In May, the Casper Star-Tribune named her one of Wyoming’s three outstanding nurses, chosen by peers from around the state.

“What stands out about Sarah is the way she interacts with patients,” says her nomination letter.

“She focuses on the little things that make a difference, such as sitting and talking with patients about something that matters to them. This takes their minds off why they are in the hospital.”

Sarah has come in many times on her off time to check on patients, or will make a trip to bring them their favorite food or drink. Patients often request that she be their nurse.

“Her co-workers see her as someone they admire. Sarah is caring, compassionate and hardworking … She is a leader, a friend to everyone, makes us laugh and is incredible with every patient … We are so lucky to have her here at Wyoming Medical Center.”

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