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Norton Healthcare announces Nurse of the Year recipients

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 18, 2012) – Norton Healthcare held a celebratory dinner May 17 to honor 10 outstanding members of the health care community. Each year, Norton Healthcare facilities ask their nursing staff to nominate deserving co-workers who exhibit excellence in patient care, clinical knowledge and compassion. Committees at each facility take a detailed look at the work of each nominee to determine the 10 most qualified individuals. Norton Healthcare is pleased to announce the following employees have received the honor of Nurse of the Year at their facilities.

Denise Conway, R.N., works in the emergency department at Kosair Children’s Medical Center – Brownsboro. She makes every patient feel like a superstar, so it’s no wonder patients come in and ask for her by name. Conway relates to patients no matter their age or ability, and uses her positive attitude to make everyone feel at ease. She uses child life therapy to provide holistic care and offers her phone number to patients’ families should they have any concerns. She is always there to lend a helping hand.

Gracita Torio Dizon, R.N., is a staff nurse at Norton Suburban Hospital who received multiple nominations for this award. With an impeccable attendance record after five years of service, Dizon has been awarded several Better Care awards in the past year. Her peers say she is focused on National Patient Safety Goals and one of the most diligent staff members when it comes to ensuring patient safety and regulations.

Mary Ruth French, R.N., is a health team leader with the Norton Healthcare Office of Church and Health Ministries. French works with Immaculate Heart of Mary Church to provide health education and wellness programs to church members who are ill or injured. She is a truly selfless person and an advocate for those in need.

Seema Kulkarni, R.N., is a nurse at Norton Hospital. A member of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, she is very involved in her community and always willing to help others. Kulkarni provides positive learning experiences as she precepts new employees to Norton Hospital units. She is a team player with exquisite attention to detail that keeps her informed of the most current clinical knowledge.

Cheryl Leathers, R.N., is a nurse at Norton Cancer Institute. Leathers has extreme patience, excellent critical thinking skills and is often mentioned in patient satisfaction surveys thanks to her compassionate and caring manner. She takes the time to precept incoming staff members and complete chemotherapy certification checks for inpatient nurses. Leathers has made it her personal mission to care for non-English-speaking patients and seek opportunities for them.

Whitney Moisa, R.N., is a staff nurse in the emergency department at Norton Brownsboro Hospital. Moisa is a compassionate nurse who takes extra time to explain procedures and test results to patients. As an effective communicator, she performs her job with the highest level of integrity. She uses all available resources to help her patients and is always willing to share her experience, strength and hope with others.

Jay Shreve, R.N., is a Norton Clinical Agency (NCA) nurse. He takes the time to help others even when he is busy caring for patients of his own. Shreve is a kind soul who is always looking for ways to improve NCA. He is passionate about his career and always goes above and beyond for his patients and their families.

Mary Jo Veirs, R.N., is a nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit at Kosair Children’s Hospital. Along with having exceptional clinical knowledge, Veirs is a relentless patient and family advocate dedicated to each life she has touched. Veirs started the annual Addison Jo Blair Foundation 5K walk/run and is involved in other efforts to honor the lives of children in her community. Her caring spirit goes far beyond the work environment, including a trip to Romania to facilitate a vacation Bible school for children.

Sheila Walter, R.N., works in the transitional care unit at Norton Audubon Hospital. With her incredible expertise, she makes everyone more knowledgeable and able to do their job in a professional and efficient manner. Walter always has a positive outlook, even while assisting families in making difficult end-of-life decisions. With her 28 years of experience, she is constantly bringing forth new ideas and ways to improve.

Pamela Wood, R.N., is a nursing specialist with Norton Cardiovascular Associates. She facilitates patient care and follows through with requests from patients and their families until she feels she has done all she can to make their experience better. Wood often provides assistance with difficult patient situations and embraces change as an opportunity for growth.

“Norton Healthcare is delighted to honor these 10 individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities in all Norton Healthcare facilities. These nurses carry on our mission to provide quality health care to each and every individual we serve. It is with great pleasure that we award each of them with the honor of Nurse of the Year for 2012,” said Tracy Williams, DNP, R.N., chief nursing officer for Norton Healthcare.

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About Norton Healthcare
For more than 125 years, Norton Healthcare’s faith heritage has guided its mission to provide quality health care to all those it serves. Today, Norton Healthcare is the Louisville, Ky., area’s leading hospital and health care system and third largest private employer, providing care at nearly 140 locations throughout Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana. The Louisville-based not-for-profit system includes five Louisville hospitals with more than 1,800 licensed beds; five outpatient centers; 12 Norton Immediate Care Centers; 11,800 employees; more than 570 employed medical providers; and in excess of 2,000 total physicians on its medical staff. Norton Healthcare was the 2011 recipient of the prestigious National Quality Forum National Quality Healthcare Award, along with the 2011 Kentucky Hospital Association Quality Award. The organization has consistently been recognized as one of the best places to work in Metro Louisville, the state of Kentucky and nationally. Norton Healthcare and Humana are one of only four national pilot sites, and the only one in Kentucky, to study the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model through the prestigious Brookings – Dartmouth ACO Pilot Project. More information about Norton Healthcare is available at

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