Outstanding Nurse of the Year: Clinical Practice
Awardee: Heather Howison, RN
Heather Howison has been a nurse at National Jewish Health for 29 years. She began work in the pediatric area. She worked as a nurse in the Pediatric Care Unit and taught patient education classes. Families commented on the warm, welcoming way she taught classes.
Heather now works in the adult pulmonary clinic at National Jewish Health.
Colleagues who nominated her stated, “Patients always rave about how wonderful Heather is. She has a breadth of knowledge and ability to articulate information that is easy for patients to understand and retain. Patients have absolute confidence in Heather and trust her.”
Heather is seen as a leader in the pulmonary group for her expertise and knowledge. In addition, she remembers birthdays and life events.
Colleagues also stated, “Heather challenges herself. She has a thirst for knowledge and actively seeks out new knowledge. She has a drive to be the best nurse she can be.”
Heather presented at the National Jewish Health Allied Health Conference in 2015 and 2016. She has also presented for several professional education activities. She is activity involved in the COPD Education Phenotype Committee.
A colleague summed up, “Heather demonstrates a dedication to patients' well-being, emotionally and physically, a dedication to her work and coworkers with a tireless work ethic and a dedication to her family. We are very fortunate to have her as a member of the National Jewish Health team. She is a gem.”
Other nominees for Clinical Practice Nurse:
Robin Lingg LaGrone
Outstanding Nurse of the Year: Administrator, Educator, Researcher or Non-Traditional Practice Nurse
Awardee: Amy Schouten, BSN, RN, AE-C
Amy has been a school nurse at the Morgridge Academy since 2005. Since 2012, she has been the coordinator of Health and Medical Services.
Colleagues who nominated her stated, “Morgridge Academy could not function without Amy’s superior level of school nursing expertise. Amy excels at her job! She knows the scope of a school nurse's practice and is knowledgeable of the needs of children with chronic illnesses. She is able to blend the two to provide excellent care and guide her nurse to do so.”
Colleagues stated, “In addition to all her regular nursing duties, Amy runs our nutrition and health program, including our free breakfast and lunch program. The program was the first winner of the USDA Gold Award in the state of Colorado.”
Amy is constantly innovating. She is taking our new problem-based learning school model and applying it to her health education. Amy runs parents' nights every year to help parents learn more about their student’s illnesses and general health issues.
Amy communicates clearly and with passion about the school’s mission to new employees and nursing students. She participated in a number of grant-writing teams related to improving health of students at Morgridge Academy.
Amy has presented at the National Jewish Health Allied Health Conference for several years. She is certified as an asthma educator and uses these skills nearly every day. She is a member of the National Association of Asthma Educators.
A colleague summed up, "Amy knows our students and their illnesses inside and out and always keeps the student and their family at the center of everything she does. Our students are significantly healthier in so many ways because of Amy’s work."
Other nominees for Administrator, Educator, Researcher or Non-Traditional Practice Nurse:
Elizabeth Ann Esterl
Toni Ann Kuper
MA/CNA Patient Care Assistant of the Year
Awardee: Ashley Mares, MA
Ashley Mares works in the occupational medicine clinic as a Medical Assistant at National Jewish Health.
Colleagues who nominated her stated, “Ashley has grown to an outstanding MA3 with excellent leadership and creative problem-solving skills. She is a vital member of the clinic staff. She has mastered the many different requirements of our multi-faceted occupational medicine clinical program.”
Ashley is involved in the daily occupational medicine huddle to improve formal communication for the day ahead. Ashley participated in a video demonstrating huddle communication.
Ashley is always eager to expand her skill set. She participated in the Miners clinic in Montrose, CO and will begin removing and documenting patch testing for metals.
A colleague summed up, “Ashley provides quality patient care and customer service in her role in the occupational medicine clinic.”
Other Nominees for MA/CNA Patient Care Associate of the Year:
Licensed Patient Care Assistant of the Year
Awardee: Elizabeth Langhoff, LCSW
Elizabeth Langhoff works across the clinical enterprise as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at National Jewish Health. She has developed the LCSW role over the years she has worked here.
Colleagues who nominated her stated, “Elizabeth has become an essential part of both the oncology and palliative care teams. She is skilled at helping patients with their community support needs. She is friendly and approachable, which are good qualities when patients and family members and even staff can be worried about their situations.”
Elizabeth facilitates three different support groups — COPD, lung cancer and general cancer. She teaches the Living with Chronic Disease and On-the-Go with Oxygen classes. She is well-versed in many facets of how to live with degrees of illness and wellness.
Elizabeth is actively involved in the development and implementation of the Diversity & Inclusion staff training at National Jewish Health. She presented at the National Jewish Health Allied Health Conference in 2016.
A colleague summed up, “Elizabeth is fabulous. She is one of the best resources for patients, family members and staff.
Other Nominees for Licensed Patient Care Associate of the Year: