11th Annual Nurses Recognition Ceremony

posted 6/1/2017 in News



The 11th annual Iowa Wheaton Outstanding Nurses Ceremony was held at the Waterloo Center for the Arts on the evening of Wednesday, May 31st.  Nine nurses were nominated and selected as this year’s IWON honorees, and two recipients of the Nancy Weber Scholarship were also recognized.

Sharyn Fleming, RN is passionate about developmental care for the babies she takes care of in the NICU at Covenant Medical Center. She is an excellent educator to NICU families, is a strong advocate for skin-to-skin time and works to get her families involved in the care of their baby. Sharyn is an active member of the neonatal transport team. She volunteers to help in teaching opportunities with the transport team and for monthly NICU education. Sharyn will often stay past her shift to help her coworkers when there is a need. She provides a smile and kind words to patients, families, and coworkers and is a positive influence for the NICU.

Karla Hala, RN, BSN is one of those nurses that every manager or director dreams of having on their staff. Covenant Home Health is better able to accomplish outcomes and goals because Karla who is a vital force and true nursing leader inspires all of us to continuously improve the quality of our care and service. Countless phone calls and extra hours are often what it takes and Karla makes sure every opportunity is explored. Not only is Karla a remarkable detailed registered nurse, she has the attributes of caring, compassion, with lots of common sense sprinkled in as well.

Deb Irvine, RN goes above and beyond with every single one of her patients at Mercy Hospital’s Med-Surg unit. She can always be found sitting next to a patient in bed telling stories and making conversation as if the patient or families were her own family members. The compassion she shows reflects in her work. Deb brings the best out of patients and coworkers. She is accepting and nonjudgmental toward all patients regardless of their background or status, and makes every one of them feel like they are the most important patient to her.

Holly Keller, RN is a definite role model and Special Care Rehabilitation is so fortunate to have her as part of the Covenant Medical Center family. Holly sees the acute rehab unit as a specialty unit. She handles situations with patients that are flight risks very calmly and provides a safe environment. Holly calmly managed a very anxious patient and a very restless family and provides comfort and reassurance to all.

Shary Meyer, RN is dedicated to her profession in the Operating Room at Sartori Memorial Hospital. You can tell by her interaction with patients and families that her whole heart and soul are there at the cart-side. She is hyper-aware of safety issues and is an advocate for the patient at a very vulnerable time in their life. There are numerous times over the years when Shary came in for emergency surgeries even if she was not on call. Shary has been on the Clinical Ladder for several years and always has at least twice the points needed to be accepted onto the Ladder.

Amanda Passet, RN, BSN is a rising star on Covenant Medical Center 3 General. Her patient care, work ethic and cheerful attitude are nothing short of amazing. Amanda likes to be engaged and active in her patient’s care. She spends significant amounts of time in her patient’s rooms and takes the time to listen. Her patients report that they love her care. She introduces herself, she is clinically excellent, and genuinely cares for each person as an individual. Her manager notes that Amanda can be counted on 100% to get the job done.

Mindy Rhode, RN can be found at Covenant Clinic Oelwein, but she often willingly offers to work in other locations when needs occur… sometimes even on the same day that unscheduled absences happen. She offers suggestions for recognition of her co-workers, celebrates events in their lives, looks for ways to welcome new associates and build morale. She is extraordinarily diplomatic, positive and sees the best in everyone. She always goes above and beyond to make patients and their families comfortable.

Brenda Schellhorn, RN, OCN goes out of her way to make patients and families feel welcome while being treated at Covenant Cancer Treatment Center. She will spend whatever amount of time is needed with the patient and their family. She feels it is very important for the patient to understand what is about to happen to them and what type of symptoms should be reported to their healthcare team. Brenda is always looking to learn about the latest advancements in cancer care. She works with new oncology staff as a preceptor and teaches them about chemotherapy and cancer treatment.

Beth Zingg, RN treats all behavioral health patients with compassion, dignity and respect. Her therapeutic approach and unconditional acceptance and understanding of mental health issues have gained the trust of her patients at Sartori Memorial Hospital. Beth is a true advocate for her patients. She truly is focused on our behavioral health patients, their treatment, experience and quipping them with the proper support systems to succeed when discharged.

Karen Schmitz, RN is a recipient of the Nancy Weber Scholarship. You can find her in Covenant Medical Center’s Emergency Department. Karen places a high amount of value in education, having already earned a Business Management diploma, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and an Associate Degree in Nursing. She believes advancing education in the field of nursing will help her become a better, more rounded nurse. After obtaining her BSN, Karen’s medical career goal is to become a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

Nicole Towsley, RN is also being awarded the Nancy Weber Scholarship this year. Nicole is a charge nurse and preceptor on 3 General at Covenant Medical Center, and is working to earn her BSN. She says her children inspire her to work to become something they can be proud of, and she hopes she is showing them by example, that education is very important in becoming successful. Through obtaining her BSN Nicole hopes to further advance her skills and further her possibilities for nursing leadership roles within the hospital. She wants to become a valuable asset within the nursing community as well as within Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.