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Lifetime Achievement Award

Awardee: Janis Berend, CNP (Adult Clinic)

Janis is an expert in the diagnosis and management of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and COPD. She answers calls from around the world regarding the genetics of alpha-1, interpretation of diagnostic tests and therapy for the deficiency. Berend is the consummate patient advocate. She forms support groups in Colorado, advocates for therapy with insurance companies and helps uninsured patients get medications. Berend frequently lectures about her extensive experience and helped in the preparation of the Alpha-1 Foundation nurse education program. “I have seen Janis travel to meetings throughout the country, where she is often the center of other health care providers’ attention as they ask questions and share their experiences,” said Sandy Sandhaus, MD, director of the Alpha-1 Program at National Jewish Health. Janis also took over the smoking-cessation program at National Jewish Health and continues to run the successful educational endeavor.


Outstanding Nurse of the Year

Awardee: Lori Mahoney, RN (Oncology)

Lori is an excellent oncology infusion nurse who consistently demonstrates her patient care and management skills. She shares her knowledge of  chemotherapy side effects, nutrition and symptom management with patients, their families and her fellow nurses. Lori talks to patients about their depression and other social stressors that she notices during chemotherapy infusion, which can last several hours. She even calls those patients after their infusions to ensure they are well. Patients often compliment Lori on her important role in their treatment and tell her that they are grateful for her presence. To enhance her skill set, she attends oncology nursing events regularly, and she is a valuable contributor to team discussions about patient care.


Other nominees for Nurse of the Year:

Diane Payne
Jean Glock
Ann Mullen
Toni Kuper
Janet Schirenbeck
Beth Richey
Jennifer Fish

Amy Schouten
Mary Jo Johnson
Kaci Chacon
Beth Roscrow
Susan Walsh
Nancy Grier
Wendy Sherman

Seth Zunker
Kathy Pond
Sarah Brayshaw
Ann Hefel
Sharon Baker
Gail Noble
Becky McCarty
Cathy Chacon

Outstanding Patient Care Assistant of the Year

Awardee: Grace Salazar, CNA (Pediatric Clinic)

In the pediatric clinic, Grace's immediate response to patient concerns brought her praise from her coworkers, who noted that she finds the people or resources that can alleviate those concerns. Salazar is confident in her customer service skills and is always ready to problem solve and take responsibility, focusing on service recovery to make sure all patients leave satisfied. Grace loves to share her knowledge of skin testing and her role in general as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). After she assisted a new CNA with her training, that person expressed her gratitude for the patience and caring Salazar showed. Her skill level allows her to provide excellent care to National Jewish Health patients.


Other nominees for Patient Care of the Year Award:

Yorbalinda Caylor, MA
Dawn Wyatt, MA
Naomi Birdsong, MA
Steven Pierce, UC
Leslie Schauman, RT

Shelly Wallace, MA
Krista Keefe, MA
Jessica Thomasson, MA
Sarah Weddington, MA
Elizabeth Klopper, PA