This month, we honor Chester Medical Center award winners. In future issues, we will honor the award-winning nurses from other CKHS hospitals.
Dora Diamond, RN
If you ask Dora Diamond’s co-workers to describe her, they will tell you that she always goes above and beyond to help her patients and her fellow nurses on the Oncology Unit. She is an excellent nurse, preceptor and role model who serves on our unit council and regularly contributes to the professional development of our staff. Many nurses consider Diamond a mentor without her even realizing it.
What really sets Diamond apart is the extraordinary dedication and loving care she brings to her oncology patients. She advocates for them and develops close relationships with them, bringing them comfort and joy at this most difficult time in life. She enables dying patients to talk and express their feelings, and she helps them transition through the end of life issues they must face. She offers special “saint bracelets” to all of her patients, especially those who need spiritual comfort. If her patients are transferred to other units, she goes to visit them when she knows their status has changed and the end may be near. She will even come in on her weekend off to visit a dying patient.
Dora is mentioned with praise in Press Ganey reports virtually every single month. She also receives many personal, loving messages of thanks from patients and their families. This note from one of her patients reflects the depth of their appreciation and the impact she has on their lives:
- “Warmest, heartfelt thanks for your unique, caring touches of goodness and grace during my recent hospitalization. Your gifted, skilled approach to nursing was inspirational, soothing and nurturing. Your warm, considerate care was comforting and healing to me. You lifted my sad heart, let me find encouragement and laughter in the midst of my loss and let me find hope and relief in the midst of my pain and sorrow.
- “The fullness of your kindness and specialness expanded even further when I received your beautiful, inspirational card, note and bracelet. I love the bracelet. I wear it every day – it sustains my spirits and hope. It was deeply touching to me that you personally delivered the card and gift to my office.
- “Dora, you make the world a better place. As I faced one of the darkest, most painful parts of this challenging journey, you were a light bearer for me. Thank you from the bottom of my grateful heart.”
Debbie Kitson, RN, ACM
“Debbie Kitson is an energetic, thoughtful person who exemplifies the qualities that brought us into nursing. Her enthusiasm and selflessness is contagious.” These are the words of Debbie’s colleague in Case Management, Sue Rowlyk, who nominated her for this award. Sue added this: “I can’t think of another person in this building who has challenged me more each day to continue to strive for excellence and to believe, even in these times of change, that we will continue to make a difference.”
Kitson is positively exuberant about going the extra mile for patients and staff, and she has been the standard-bearer for professional development in Case Management. Last year, she rallied her colleagues to pursue certification from the American Case Management Association. She obtained the necessary educational materials and organized rigorous learning sessions that led to certification for five case managers, including Debbie.
Kitson has also organized lunchtime self-teaching CEUs for her colleagues in preparation for Pennsylvania license renewals, and she regularly attends educational conferences. She has been a dedicated participant in the mentoring program for new nursing staff, and she follows up to help these new nurses transition into the workforce.
Kitson’s commitment to a job well done is demonstrated in her participation on the Nursing Practice Council and unit council. She often receives praise from physicians for the great work she does as a case manager for patients in the Emergency Department, 1 West and the hospitalist group.
Kitson is a 33-year veteran of Crozer-Chester Medical Center who has also worked as a staff nurse in the Emergency Department and Home Care. In Home Care, she became involved in community outreach projects such as meal preparation for Aid for Friends, an organization that serves the elderly home bound. She personally continues this mission to this day, often hosting gatherings at her home to prepare meals. She also reaches out to the global community by knitting hats for infants around the world through the Save the Children organization.
Debbie is considered a wonderful example of nursing excellence and a great asset to her unit.
Angel McCullough, RN, BSN, MSN, MBA, NEA-BC
Angel McCullough is the epitome of grace under pressure. She manages three demanding units - Crozer’s Medical Intensive Care and Cardiovascular Intensive Care Units and the Telemetry unit for cardiovascular patients. She also serves as chair of Crozer’s Resuscitation Committee and has responsibility for the hospital’s Rapid Response Team. In addition, she is a member of Crozer’ Stroke Committee and Magnet Steering Committee. Despite these challenging responsibilities, Angel is known as someone who is always there when you need her. Her co-workers say that she always “takes time to listen and respond quickly to staff, patients and patient family concerns.”
McCullough brings a great sense of humor to her work and she has a gift for engaging the nursing staff and co-workers from other departments. She has combined these two assets to bring some very creative patient satisfaction initiatives to her units. For example, when a goal was set to reduce the noise level on the Telemetry unit, Angel had a traffic light installed. When the decibel level gets too high, the light turns red, signaling the nurses and other hospital co-workers on the unit to be quieter. With this innovative initiative and others, Angel has helped her units meet their patient satisfaction goals.
In a similar way, she developed humorous reminders to help the nursing staff comply with the every-two-hour oral hygiene component of the ventilator-associated pneumonia protocol – and it’s been very successful. Her two critical care units have met their goal of zero VAPs for the past year.
McCullough’s engaging manner also extends to the stage: She recently auditioned for “American Idol.” Although she didn’t win a spot on the show, she is definitely a winner at Crozer!
Mark McGuire, RN, BSN
When new nurses join the staff of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, Mark McGuire is one of the first people they meet. A member of the department since 1998, McGuire has taken on the role of lead educator, educating new nurses as well as contributing to continuing professional development for our entire staff.
McGuire is passionate about education and, because of his efforts, his department has an exceptionally well-trained nursing staff. He has developed training modules and other educational materials for in services and training events. In addition, he has extended the department’s educational outreach to the public by developing a PowerPoint presentation geared to patients that explains the cardiac catheterization procedure from beginning to end.
As the primary nurse handling post-op recovery of patients, Mark consistently demonstrates how much he cares about providing the best possible care. Physicians in the Cardiac Cath Lab – including Ancil Jones, M.D., and Mike Adesman, M.D. -- frequently comment about Mark’s dedication and level of expertise, and they regard him as a key player in the overall success of the Cath Lab.
During the department’s recent merger with Interventional Radiology, the nursing staff and physicians looked to McGuire to set a positive tone for the department, helping everyone adapt to changes and move forward. He is considered a role model for leadership, dedication to patients and commitment to professional development.
Rosie Stowbridge is an exceptional patient care technician who gives 110 percent effort to her work every single day. With 40 years of experience working in various departments at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Stowbridge brings a wealth of knowledge to her work as a patient care technician in the endoscopy suite, and willingly shares her expertise with her fellow nurses. On any given day when Stowbridge’s work is completed, she always takes the initiative to help others finish their tasks. She is a peacemaker among her colleagues and a pleasure to have on the unit. She is wonderful with patients and frequently receives praise on Press Ganey surveys.
Stowbridge also shows extraordinary dedication to the local community through her volunteer work. For the past 10 years, she has volunteered for Delaware County Women Against Rape, serving as a trained rape counselor. She accompanies victims of sexual assault to the hospital ER for care and goes with them to the court hearing if and when the attacker is caught and brought to trial. She is available to victims for counseling, and helps raise money for the organization through fundraisers.
Stowbridge is also a member of St. Luke’s Christian Community Church, where she serves on the St. Luke’s Nurses Unit, providing help when members of the congregation need special assistance or become ill during the worship service. She also belongs to St. Luke’s Sister to Sister Cancer Survivor Board, and participates in the church’s efforts to feed and clothe the less fortunate in Chester through donations to the City Team Shelter.
Stowbridge’s enthusiasm is never dampened by the personal challenges she currently faces as a caregiver for her 31-year-old daughter, who is fighting breast cancer. She also cares for her two-year-old granddaughter. Despite this adversity, she continues to go above and beyond every day.
Stowbridge is greatly admired for her courage and dedication, and for her outstanding commitment to our patients and to the community.