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KishHealth recognizes excellent nurses

Published: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 8:13 a.m. CDT

KishHealth System presented its Nursing Excellence Awards and Spirit Award at the 12th annual Employee Recognition Banquet on May 12. Rebekah Earle received the Nursing Excellence Award in Outpatient Nursing, Ken O'Brien received the Nursing Excellence Award in Hospital Nursing, and Jennifer Lavoie received the Karen Sepaniak KishHealth System Spirit Award. 

Earle works as a nurse at the KishHealth System Cancer Center in Sandwich.

“She has a can-do attitude and is always willing to do what it takes,” one nominator said. Another said Earle "is an asset to the department and to the organization, representing the health system’s values well.”

Recently, Earle was instrumental in standardizing treatment protocols between the two KishHealth System Cancer Center locations, enhancing patient safety and quality of care. Because of Earle’s extensive oncology knowledge and organizational skills, she provides support to her peers and assures quality care is provided. 

O'Brien works in the Kishwaukee Hospital Med/Surg Unit in DeKalb.

“He truly treats each individual patient and staff member with care and concern,” his nominators said.

O’Brien is one of a handful of chemotherapy-certified inpatient RNs. He willingly comes in to assist patients on different shifts, days, and times, routinely accommodating any patients to meet their needs. He is compassionate and understanding with both patients and families, especially to those newly diagnosed or at the end of life. O’Brien controls and guides staff through urgent and emergent situations calmly and with great leadership.

The Karen Sepaniak KishHealth System Spirit Award was created to honor and celebrate a woman who knew how to do things only by going above and beyond. Karen worked at Valley West Hospital for nearly 40 years.  She passed away in July 2007, after a battle with cancer.  

Lavoie is RN auditor for KishHealth System Health Information Management. In a short time, Lavoie has had a dramatic and positive impact on not only the HIM Department, but on the hospital as a whole. She has a long list of achievements from this past year that demonstrate how successful and influential she has been.

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