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Outstanding Nurse of the Year: Clinical Practice

Awardee: Nancy Grier, RN

Nancy Grier currently works in a Lead Nurse position in the Pediatric Clinic at National Jewish Health. Overall she is seen as a resource by her colleagues. Colleagues who nominated her stated, “Nancy is a team leader in the pediatric clinic with a positive attitude every day. She has a can-do attitude”. This is refreshing in a year when there have been multiple changes in pediatrics. In addition colleagues stated, “She will volunteer to take on new projects or help others overcome a challenge”.

Nancy Grier plays an invaluable and key role as a preceptor for new employees and nursing students. A number of nursing students have later become employees at National Jewish Health. She is involved in multiple pediatric clinics. She helped develop the Severe Asthma Clinic at National Jewish Health and is now the RN who works in the Severe Asthma Clinic. In addition she works in the Immune Deficiency Clinic and Atopic Dermatitis Clinic. Nancy is an active and enthusiastic nurse in the pediatric clinic at National Jewish Health and in the community.


Other nominees for Clinical Practice Nurse of the Year:

Kelly Buller
Shelley English
Janice Herrell
Bessie Kneiser
Audra Swies-Gladysh

Veronika Peltekova
Gail Noble
Laura Knott
Beth Richey
Shirley Valverde


Outstanding Nurse of the Year: Administrator, Educator, Researcher or Non-Traditional Practice Nurse

Awardee: Bronwyn Long, DNP, RN

Bronwyn Long is a palliative care and oncology clinical nurse specialist and cancer center program coordinator at National Jewish Health. As the program coordinator, she has recently helped facilitate the addition of 2 outpatient cancer practices to National Jewish Health, including working with staff at the 2 practices.  

Bronwyn Long was awarded a research grant from the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation through the American Nurses Foundation for her study, “Improving Quality of Life in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) by Integrating Palliative Approaches to Dyspnea, Anxiety, and Depression.” The research was published December 2014 in the Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing.

Bronwyn is a calm and innovative nurse in multiple roles at National Jewish Health and in the community.


Other nominees for Administrator, Educator, Researcher or Non-Traditional Practice Nurse of the Year:

Sharon Baker
Kaci Chacon
Beth Esterl

Marie Fornof
Ann Hefel


Outstanding Patient Care Associate of the Year

Awardee: Karen George, MAII

Karen George is critical for managing the oncology clinic in a number of ways. She is responsible for medication reconciliation and clinical summary reports. Through her work, at our last review we achieved over 93% compliance. She keeps patients well informed in the clinic. Karen has great communication skills. Colleagues who nominated her stated, “She keeps us in the loop on items/events that we as physicians/caregivers need to know, but there are a large number of things that she handles on her own. Patients cannot say enough good things about their interactions with Karen and the support she provides. They frequently tell us how caring and efficient she is. Patients truly love working with her and compliment her to her team members. On a recent visit the wife of a patient wanted assurances that Karen was still part of our team because she has been so helpful to the patient and his wife.”


Awardee: Leah Herndon, MAII

Leah has emerged as an outstanding MAII with excellent leadership and creative problem-solving skills. She is a vital team member who plays an important role in nearly all aspects of the occupational clinic functions. Leah has a keen eye for inefficiencies in clinic and proactively looks for solutions.  She is observant, smart and a quick learner. Colleagues who nominated her stated, “Patients greatly appreciate her quiet competence and willingness to help. Our patients repeatedly comment on how professional, patient, and helpful she is. Though she makes few mistakes, she is always willing to learn from them, and understands them as opportunities to become even better at her job. This attitude allows us to give her new responsibilities and challenges, which she welcomes.”


Other nominees for Patient Care Associate of the Year:

Jody Griffith
Sonia Guzman
Jerry Jennings
Jeanann Jones
Elizabeth Langhoff
Shelly Lucero

Vanessa Martinez
Kati Smith
Jessica Thomasson
Shelly Wallace
Juanita Willoughby