Three Philadelphia-area nurses were surprised at work last week with news they were winners of the inaugural Celebrate Caring contest created by Independence Blue Cross to recognize exceptional nursing care.
The winners were:
• Kathy Einthoven, a school nurse at Pocopson Elementary School in Chester County
• Tyler Greenfield, a nurse in the Heart Failure Unit at Christiana Hospital in Delaware
• Anne DeLuca, a nurse with Penn Medicine Hospice at Rittenhouse in Philadelphia
In recognition of National Nurses Week from May 6-11, Independence invited people in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey to submit stories about nurses who go above and beyond to deliver exceptional care to patients and families. Nearly 700 submissions from more than 180 health care settings were received.
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Einthoven, known as “Nurse Kathy” to students, parents and teachers at the West Chester school, was presented the award at a surprise school assembly. She was described by students in one word: caring.
“Nurse Kathy has helped create a culture of caring at Pocopson. She organizes walkathons and health screenings for staff. She handles everyday tummy aches and cuts – but she also teaches students how to be independent in managing their chronic conditions,” said Koleen Cavanaugh, vice president of marketing at Independence.
Greenfield, who works for Christiana Care Health System Next, was on his way to the nurses' station when he was met by a small crowd to be presented with the award. Greenfield recently cared for a woman with severe multiple sclerosis. For more than a decade, her husband has struggled to provide the round-the-clock care she needs. Recognizing the physical and emotional toll it was taking on the family, Greenfield intervened, connecting the family with Christiana Care’s social workers to help get the family approved for financial aid and regular at-home visits from a nurse.
“Tyler, you listened to this family and advocated for them beyond the hospital stay," said Diana Lehman, director of case and condition management at Independence — and a nurse for more than 30 years — in presenting the award. "Your decision to act and connect them with the right resources changed their lives for the better.”
DeLuca, of Narberth, was about to start a night shift as a bedside hospice nurse at Penn Medicine Hospice at Rittenhouse when she was surprised by the presentation. Her nominator noted that DeLuca takes care of people and their families at one of the most difficult times in their lives. She was recognized for providing her patients and their families "dignity, security, and comfort at end-of-life."
“What stood out about Anne’s nomination was a story about how she helped create a beautiful memory for a dying father and his young child," said Cavanaugh. "It was an experience he took with him, and the child will carry on. It’s something the mother must have greatly appreciated as well.
Independence will make donations on behalf of each winner in the amount of $1,500. Winners also received tickets to a Philadelphia Union game, tickets to Radio 104.5’s 12th Birthday Celebration featuring The Lumineers, passes for roller-skating and mini golf at Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest and gift cards for Hand and Stone Massage and Spa, and Starr Restaurants.
Celebrate Caring was the first multimedia campaign of its kind at Independence, focusing on storytelling to highlight different types of nurses, the variety of settings they work in, and the growing diversity of the nursing workforce.
During the contest submission period (March 11 through April 5) Independence released a series of blogs and videos featuring nurses employed by the company — more than 220 nurses work in a variety of roles. The second wave of Celebrate Caring content will shift to focus on three winners and seven finalists. All original content produced by Independence is housed at ibx.com/nurses.
Independence will highlight seven finalists in the coming weeks at ibx.com/nurses and on social media. They are Micah Maxon, emergency department nurse at Roxborough Memorial Hospital, Philadelphia; Kate Gleason-Bachman, nurse with Pathways to Housing PA, Philadelphia; Cecilia Bermudez, oncology nurse at Reading Hospital, Reading, Pa.; Catherine Hamilton, pediatric nurse at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Evelyn Cannon-Dingle, same-day surgery nurse at Inspira Medical Center, Vineland, N.J.; Megan Vennalil, post-liver transplant nurse at Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia; and Kathryn McCaney, medical surgery nurse at Abington – Lansdale Hospital, Lansdale.