Ware, Culler named Hospital Nurses of the Year

May 14, 2007

HAGERSTOWN - Washington County Hospital recently named its 2007 Professional Nurse of the Year award winners.

The Clinical Nurse of the Year award was presented to Catherine Ware, vascular care specialist.

Winning the Administrative Nurse of the Year award was Elise Poulin Culler, director of Home Health Care of Washington County Hospital for more than 10 years.

Catherine Ware

Ware has more than 30 years of nursing experience, 29 of which have included various nursing positions at Washington County Hospital in critical care, surgical services, radiology and health management.

She has been the vascular care specialist in the health-management department for more than two years.

She received a diploma from the York Hospital of Nursing before receiving a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Excelsior College.


Ware chairs the vascular collaborative practice committee and is a member of the cardiac collaborative practice committee at Washington County Hospital. She is a member of the Society for Vascular Nursing and is a parish nurse at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, where she is an active member.

She is a clinical teaching associate at Blue Ridge Community College and an adjunct faculty member for the nurse refresher course at Hagerstown Community College.

One person who nominated Ware wrote, "The clinical expertise, dedication to Washington County Hospital and its patients, and the solid relationship with physicians that this nurse possesses exemplify the core values of Washington County Hospital. If this nurse is involved in your care, you can be assured you are getting the best."

Ware said she was "very surprised and honored to receive the award because I work with great people every day. It means a lot to be recognized, but without the wonderful team of people I work with, I wouldn't be able to do what I do."

She said she has always enjoyed helping people and became a nurse because it seemed like a great career through which she could do just that.

Elise Poulin Culler

Prior to joining Washington County Hospital, Culler was director of Home Health Care at Memorial Hospital and Medical Center of Cumberland.

She has also held several positions at Frederick (Md.) Memorial Hospital, including acting director of home health care, manager of home health care, head nurse of the post-anesthesia care unit, evening supervisor, critical-care instructor, charge nurse for the special-care unit, and staff nurse in intensive care and critical care. She was also an adjunct instructor for Frederick Community College.

She began her nursing career at Hanover (Pa.) General Hospital before becoming deputy coroner for the Office of the County Coroner in York, Pa. She received a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Pennsylvania State University and a master of arts degree as a nurse educator from Hood College.

Culler chairs the measurement subcommittee for the Model of Excellence Committee, chairs the footprints subcommittee for the Staff and Family Capital Campaign, chairs the Home Health Professional Advisory Committee, is a member of the Parish Nursing Professional Advisory Committee, is a member of the Total Rehab Care Professional Advisory Committee and is a member of the Ethics Committee at Washington County Hospital. She also served recently as acting director of the spiritual care and religious services department.

One person who nominated Culler wrote, "Her dedication to her patients, her staff and to Washington County Health System is unique and priceless. I, for one, plan to continue my career with this unique health-care system for many years to come due to the guidance and teaching this leader has shown me."

Culler said that receiving the award "is truly an honor and I'm really pleased to be able to represent both nursing and home health. The teams at Home Health and Washington County Hospital are the keys to my success."

Nurses are nominated and selected for the awards based on their contributions to their area of expertise, their professionalism and their education.

Other professional nurse of the year nominees included Melissa Wagoner, Marcie Knight, Sheila Frankenfield, Lisa Groves, Lynne Waldron, Dawn Sharer, Heather Sigel, Donna Gruber, Deborah Stevenson and Kathy Morrisey.

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