Sun, Sept. 22

Nurses Association presents 9 awards
VVMC receives Employer Excellence

Arizona Nurses Association (AzNA) recognized one employer, four outstanding nurses, and one nursing student at a luncheon awards ceremony during AzNA's biennial state convention in September. The list of award winners exemplifies the outstanding contribution nurses play in the health of our community.

The Employer Excellence award, recognizing healthcare organizations that promote the professional image of nursing and create a professional nursing practice environment, went to Verde Valley Medical Center (VVMC). VVMC has been a vital regional health care resource to the rural communities of Camp Verde, Clarkdale, Cornville, Cottonwood, Lake Montezuma, Oak Creek Valley and Canyon, Page Springs, Rimrock, Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek.

VVMC recognizes nursing education excellence by supporting the pursuit of advanced degrees and specialty certifications of its nurses. VVMC also supports professional collaboration and collegiality with its Shared Governance and Nurse-Physician Summits.

A bimonthly Bioethics Committee, multidisciplinary Policy and Procedure Committee, Nursing Practice and Quality Council and Patient Safety and Risk Management committees are examples of collaborative efforts of the VVMC professionals.

The Verde Valley has implemented innovative approaches to patient care delivery such as the almost complete reduction of contract labor, the implementation of New Graduate training programs, the use of Nurse Practitioners in clinics, and the use of Clinical Nurse Specialists to provide advanced clinical support to nursing staff and patients. VVMC promotes nursing research by supporting a Nursing Research and Ethics Council, patient safety and quality improvement initiatives and by participating in the National Database of Nurse Quality Indicators.

The Philippine Nurses Association (PNAAZ) is an organization dedicated to providing assistance with the transition from Philippine to American Nursing Practice and was honored with the Mentoring Excellence Award. This organization partners with AzNA, the Transcultural Nursing Society of Arizona, the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and the Global Caring Nurses Foundation to sponsor educational events which support the transition of Filipino nurses into a new culture and environment.

Cheryl Roat, RN, MSN, EdDc, was honored with the Outstanding Member Award.

Cheryl has been an outstanding member of the nursing community in Arizona for many years and has dedicated herself to the promotion of nursing through many professional commitments. Cheryl is a parish nurse and a member of Sigma Theta Tau and has served as a representative of the Arizona Nursing Network since 1992. She has represented nursing on the Nursing Partnership, Education and Practice committees with the Arizona State Board of Nursing. Cheryl is currently an Associate Dean at Grand Canyon University.

Michael Berlowe, the Nursing Student Award recipient, has shown a consistent pattern of involvement and leadership in the Yavapai College Student Nursing Community.

He is active in the student nurse organization at Yavapai College and has represented his class on the Yavapai College Nursing Curriculum Committee. Berlowe received an AzNA Scholarship Award last Spring, has been recognized with the Yavapai College-wide Leadership Award, and was runner up for the College President's Award. He currently works at Cedars Cardiovascular Center.

Jodie Williams, RN, MS, CPHQ, was awarded the Outstanding Chapter President Award at the Biennial convention because of her consistency to serve in that position in AzNA's Prescott chapter. She is currently the Clinical Educator for Northern Arizona VA Health Care System and is also the president of Dress-A-Child, an organization that each year provides hundreds of children school clothes and coats for the winter. In addition, Jodie facilitated the Chapter's involvement in Childhood Obesity interventions.

Arizona Nurses Association is a membership organization committed to advance, promote and protect the value, contributions and development of Arizona's nurses.

AzNA, Arizona's leading professional nursing organization, is headquartered in Tempe and has 10 chapters across the state. Membership information is available by calling (480) 831-0404 or visiting the Web site at

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