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Awards show appreciation for nurses

May 09, 2006|by MARIE GILBERT

HAGERSTOWN

Amy Farmer was 6 years old when she met a woman who forever changed her life.

"She was a missionary midwife," Farmer said. "And when she spoke at my church, the stories she told left such an impression on me. I knew I wanted to be a nurse."

For the past 15 years, Farmer has been living her dream - first as a registered nurse, and now as a registered nurse and staffing manager at Washington County Hospital.

"It's all I've ever wanted to do," she said. "It's the perfect career for me."

Her years of dedication were recognized Monday morning when she was named Washington County Hospital's Administrative Nurse of the Year.

Also honored was Susan Lyons, who was named Clinical Nurse of the Year. Lyons serves as coordinator for end-of-life care.

The awards ceremony at the hospital coincides with National Nurses Week, which began May 6 and continues through Friday, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, a nursing pioneer.

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The awards are given annually to a clinical nurse and administrative nurse who best exemplify the outstanding qualities of professional nursing, said Bonnie Forsh, director of emergency and outpatient services, and a member of the Retention and Recognition Committee that sponsored the ceremony.

According to Forsh, nurses in the Washington County Health System are nominated and selected for the awards based on their contributions to their area of expertise, their professionalism and their education.

Towe touted Farmer for her dedication to the organization and to her staff, and said she is a role model for other nurse managers.

Towe said Lyons "took the vision that a small group of people had several years ago - that we provide a better type of care for dying patients and their families - and organized and built a palliative care program."

"We now have a stellar program for better care of the dying that is a model throughout the state," Towe said.

Both women said they were surprised and humbled by the honors.

"It was certainly unexpected," said Lyons, of Frederick, Md. "But what the award shows is that I work with good people. You're only as good as the team you work with."

Farmer, of Hagerstown, said she was honored by the recognition, but also thankful.

"It gives you a reason to continue staying focused and doing the work you do because you feel appreciated," she said.

Other nominees for the nursing awards included Angela Bloom, Angela Mundey, Susan Stoner, Cathy Ware, Karen Keener, Tyla Swope, Sheryl Bittinger, Cara Burker, Michelle Eyler, Stacie Beaver and Heather Sigel.

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