Delaware County Memorial Hospital Nurses Bid Fond Farewell Jerri LaRocco, RN, MSN, NEA-BC
Jerri LaRocco’s accomplishments over the past 30 years have been many. She was an early champion of Crozer-Keystone’s journey toward Magnet Recognition, and helped lead DCMH to win the J.D. Powers Award for Patient Satisfaction for two consecutive years. She implemented a highly successful Rapid Response Team which has dramatically reduced the number of codes outside the critical care units. She directed the oversight of a major construction project that included a new Emergency Department, CICU and PCU. She has proudly represented Crozer-Keystone nurses in professional endeavors such as serving on the HPPAC Nursing Grant Board in conjunction with the Johnson & Johnson Nursing Project.
At DCMH, she has maintained an excellent nursing vacancy rate, with an annual rate of less than 4 percent and a turnover rate of 3.7 percent, which reflects the exceptional relationships she has built with her staff. Jerri LaRocco is a kind and compassionate leader who sets the tone for the entire nursing staff, and she has earned their respect, admiration and love.
Following are reflections from some of Jerri's nursing colleagues on what makes her so special and beloved by her entire staff.
- “Jerri leads with heart, which is something we cherish in nursing,” says Pauline Videtto, RN, BSHA, nurse manager of the CICU. “She has a heart not just for the patients, but also her staff. If anyone has a crisis, she will do anything she can to help. If we were short for supervisory coverage and no one could fill in, Jerri would jump in and do it, which was especially admirable with her workload. And she always takes the opportunity to thank the staff for a job well done, even if it means coming in on off shifts. She always puts other people first.”
- “Jerri has been like the Mom for the nursing staff,” says Kathy Manuel, RN, MSN, OCN, nurse manager, 5 Oncology at DCMH. “We all look to her for guidance, and she always has time to help you, even in the busiest part of her day.”
- “Jerri has been the backbone of nursing at DCMH for many years,” says Mary Brennan, RN, OR nurse manager. “She’s groomed and grown a lot of nurses along the way. We all seek her out for advice and direction.”
- “I have always been impressed by Jerri’s openness,” says Kathy Layton, RN, MSN, BC, BA, DCMH nurse educator. “She always listened to what we had to say. We really appreciated the fact that our voices as nurses were valued. Jerri is also fantastic at achieving a meeting of the minds when people disagree,” adds Layton. “She has an uncanny ability to get everyone on the same page.”
- “Jerri has championed nursing to everyone,” says Janice Perry, RN, MBA, Assistant Vice President of Clinical Services at Taylor Hospital. “We’ve all had our challenges in healthcare, and Jerri has always been upbeat and ready to meet the challenge. She always presented the nursing perspective and tried to get the best for her nursing staff. As a senior nurse leader, she has served as a great role model for me.”
- “As Jerri’s career has evolved over the years, she has managed to stay connected with her nursing staff,” says Nancy Bucher, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for CKHS. “When making rounds with her, I have been amazed that she knows every nurse on every unit – and there are nearly 500 nurses at DCMH!"
- “She always goes above and beyond for the nurses and for the hospital,” continues Bucher. “I still remember the fashion shows she spearheaded to raise money for DCMH. This was a huge endeavor for someone with her level of clinical and administrative responsibilities, but she took on the added responsibility with great enthusiasm. She has been a key member of our nursing leadership team and we are all really going to miss her.”
- “Jerri represents what every nurse wants to be,” says Jo-Zetta Shawl, RN, BSN, MHA, NEA-BC, who will soon step into LaRocco’s “very big shoes.” “If I envision what the ideal nurse leader would be like, how that individual would speak, how prepared he or she would be, how that leader would relate to people, what decisions he or she would make, it would be Jerri."
- “Recently when she came to the hospital unexpectedly after a medical leave, she received a standing ovation from the nurses,” relates Shawl. “That speaks volumes about the way she is truly loved and respected. She will be greatly missed by everyone.”