2011 Nursing Recognition Awards presented by the medical staff

These nursing awards are presented annually by the medical staff to nursing colleagues. The awards serve as a tangible recognition of the vital contributions nurses make in support of patient care, teaching, research and public service missions of UNC.

The awards were established in 1990 to recognize outstanding achievement by our nursing colleagues. This years’s recipients were selected from a large group of nominees and all truly embody the Commitment to Caring with their compassion and dedication to high quality patient care. The awards, which include a $1,000 stipend which may be used over a three-year period to cover expenses associated with professional development and or attendance at scientific meetings.  The winners were divided into four categories: inpatient services, outpatient services, advance practice/specialty services, and nurse manager.

Dr. Tony Lindsey, Chief-of-Staff and Executive Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, presented the awards at the 2011 Fall Faculty Meeting on Nov. 15.

Nalatha Edwards, RN, BA, Transplant
Nalatha serves as a role model of excellence in healthcare by engaging in quality initiative programs and helping recruit and retain outstanding individuals to the team. She leads by example by serving as co-chair of the hospital’s Committee for Nursing Performance Improvement. As the shared governance representative for the Surgery Service Professional Practice Committee, Nalatha advocates for practice changes to benefit patients and staff. Nalatha leads and represents the transplantation service by practicing with the highest level of integrity and sharing expert knowledge with her colleagues.

Vickie Brown, RN, MPH, CIC, Epidemiology
As a professional nursing leader for 26 years, Vickie has demonstrated her dedicated to building relationships across disciplines and collaborating to achieve optimal quality of care for patients. In addition, Vickie has been invited to speak at numerous infection control conferences internationally. She has made significant contributions to nursing and has consistently demonstrated her commitment to improving the quality of care by reducing infections in the hospitals and educating all members of the healthcare team. She has been instrumental in our substantial progress in pubically reported infection control measures which we will discuss later in this meeting.

Delma Armstrong, BSN, RN, OCN, Hematology/Oncology
Delma’s excellence in nursing care, compassion, knowledge and sense of humor are unparalleled. Patients in the UNC Breast Center benefit greatly from Delma’s teaching, symptom management and facilitation of care. Delma is described by many as a key partner in the oncology practice and an invaluable resource and role model to other nurses, patients, fellows and faculty. A leader in her professional associations, she has held numerous offices at the state and national level and spoke at the 2010 Oncology Nursing Society national convention. Delma brings to work a unique combination of professionalism, extensive knowledge base and unparalleled compassion for her patients.

Betty Hinshaw, BSN, OCN, CHTC, Bone Marrow Transplant Program
Betty works tirelessly as the primary coordinator for the large number of patients in her program. Her compassionate efforts with patients far exceed expectations: from taking meals to families when they’re too tired to cook, to delivering medications to patients that can’t get to their pharmacy, Betty selflessly does much of this on her own time. She is genuinely modest despite her great accomplishments, including spearheading the extensive approval process for her program to become a National Marrow Donor Program Apheresis Center.  Betty also leads important initiatives within her team, including employee orientations and numerous fund raising and service efforts. Betty is a respected and invaluable member of the Bone Marrow Transplant program.

Amanda Kircher, BSN, RN, General Surgery- GI
Amanda  has been with UNC Health Care for 25 years. She serves as the sole coordinator for the two busiest general surgeons at UNC Hospitals and handles her extensive responsibilities with outstanding care and professionalism. She is an excellent liaison to nursing and other hospital departments and serves as a knowledgeable resource to staff, patients, families, and physicians. Simply put, her patients love her. She not only displays the requisite knowledge and clinical skill, but also true compassion and warmth with her patients. Her hard work, experience, and dedication to patient care have truly made her the face of GI Surgery.

Heather Schultz, NP, Urology

Heather has been instrumental to the success of the Multidisciplinary Urologic Oncology Program. Her outstanding efforts have greatly improved patient care—she has achieved near-celebrity status among many patients and families for her exceptionally effective and compassionate care. Her role as task force leader and instructor in courses with the Society for Urologic Nurses has brought her national recognition. She is a leader in this area for advanced care nursing and will likely have a substantial impact on access to health services for the ever-growing population of patients with urological conditions. Heather is an innovator and leader in the education of students and nurses, a compassionate caregiver and a rising star in her field.

Beth Coulombe, NE-BC, RNC-OB, BSN, JD, Labor & Delivery
Beth has made an enormous impact on improving the physician and nursing morale on Labor and Delivery, and more importantly, she has been responsible for dramatic improvement in the quality of patient care in recent years. Her positive attitude and commitment to fostering relationships between nurses and physicians has greatly impacted the experience providers have on the unit. She advocates for patients with a professional and genuine style, and displays a tireless work ethic. Though her job is often stressful and difficult, Beth is widely recognized and respected by attendings, residents, and fellows for her knowledge, dedication, and excellent clinical care.


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