Orthopaedic Nurses Week 2020 - Honored Nurses

Orthopaedic Nurses Week

This year, we asked our NAON members to nominate a nurse that they wanted to honor or celebrate during Orthopaedic Nurses Week. Unsurprisingly, there were lots of submissions and we're excited to present this year's Orthopaedic Nurses Week Nurse Honorees.

Julie Anderson, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, Glendale, CA

Nominated by: Racquelle Thieling and Catherine Pradt 

Julie Anderson takes care of her patient like she would a family member.  She is very personable, empathetic and thorough with each patient interactions. She takes the time to get to know her patients; from their like to dislikes.  Due to the caring and thorough interaction with each patient, she has become an effective patient advocate as well as an honorary family member to her patients. 

Julie Anderson is a very special nurse - simply one of a kind.  She is dedicated to her specialty in orthopedics and devoted to her patients by providing personalized, compassionate care - helping them throughout their hospitalization and beyond the call the duty.  Patients love her because she is a friend to them and makes them feel like family.  She has a special way of connecting to her patients that leaves them feeling genuinely content, safe, and cared for.  Her generous heart has benefited many staff and patients. During our Covid crisis, Julie made over 1000 hair covers for the hospital staff, sewing many days and nights during her spare time voluntarily.  USC Verdugo Hills hospital is privileged to have such a nurse who is driven to make a difference in so many lives.     

Karen Amoah, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Raleigh, NC

Nominated by: Priscilla Martins

I celebrate my big sister because ever since childhood she has been taking care of me whenever i got sick or hurt. One time in boarding school I had some explosive bowel issues and she without showing any disgust comforted me and cleaned me up like I had not just soiled myself. Her compassion is also shown when she's with one of her patients. She always manages to put a smile on people's faces and has a way of making them forget their worries and problems.


Stacey Brassbridge, Orthopaedic Institute of Central Maine, Lewiston, ME

Nominated by: Jay Bachelder

Stacey is a joy to work with. She always has a positive attitude and willingness to lend a hand wherever needed. She provides exceptional care to all of her patients. You can often hear her laughing with her patients from the nurse’s station! She constantly inspires me to have a smile on my face and maintain a positive outlook regardless of the situation.


Imee Buno, AdventHealth, Winter Park, FL

Nominated by: Rachael Lehr

Imee is incredibly knowledgeable in Orthopedics and strong with clinical skills. She is the ultimate go-to resource. More importantly, she is an amazing team member, always willing to go the extra mile and lend a hand, no matter the ask. Her hard work and devotion to both patients and our team has never ceased to amaze me!


Meredith Carchedi, Cape Cod Hospital Hyannis, MA

Nominated by: Isabelle Fiske

As the Nurse Manager for the last 6 years of a very busy Orthopedic/Neurosurgical unit, Meredith has promoted education and inspired her staff to become "ortho certified."  She organized classes and study groups toward that goal using available NAON resources.  Most recently, in cooperation with other Hospital Departments, Meredith has developed and implemented a Geriatric Fracture Program at Cape Cod Hospital.  The multidisciplinary approach to geriatric hip fracture patient's care has had a very positive impact.


Christina Davis, CSM, UAMS, UAMS Hospital, Little Rock, AR

Nominated by: Susan Porter

Christina Davis has advocated for the nurses on her unit to ensure safe staffing ratios and a safe working environment since she became the Clinical Services Manager. She promotes membership in NAON, and she helps to sponsor International Orthopaedic Nurses Day by hosting a Resource Fair including poster presentations, themed foods, and door prizes which she purchases. She is a mentor, encourager, and role model for nurses.


Gloria Denston RN, BSN, AdventHealth, Deland, FL

Nominated by: Lisa Sutherland

Gloria has been a nurse for 40 years.   She has successfully maintained our Orthopedic Center of Excellence status for hip, knee and shoulder.  Gloria shows great love for what she does and is always caring and compassionate in her work.


Marlo Derla RN, St Francis Medical Center in Hartford, CT

Nominated by: Marcia Pedersen RN

Marlo is the Charge Nurse on the night shift and he is very supportive of his colleagues  during his shift  with patient care, staffing and the operations of the unit. He is an experienced Ortho Nurse and is ONC certified and active in NAON. He is a mentor to new and old staff by setting a high standard of practice at the bedside


Kara Eldridge, AdventHealth, Orlando, FL

Nominated by: Maryann Fields

Kara is an amazing proactive orthopedic nurse.  We changed Kara's role to be a Fracture care Nurse navigator.  There is over 3000 fractures a year at this facility.  She has started the Own the Bone program in the last year and has achieved top 50 facilities in the US.  Kara has started an intra disciplinary governance for fracture care and initiated a fracture algorithm to ensure knowledge of how to get fractures to the OR within 24houirs.  Kara has also initiated a quality review of fall outs with a process improvement program.  I am very proud of Kara and the quality that she has brought to our program.


Jessica Scott Fowler, BSN, RN, COTA/L, AdventHealth, Waterman, FL

Nominated by: Lisa Sutherland, Maryann Fields and Mark Tillman

Jessica has been an Orthopedic Navigator for the last 8 years.   She has maintained an Orthopedic Center of Excellence for Hip and Knee.   Jessica is dedicated to improving patient outcomes, and providing the best orthopedic care.  She is a true asset to our team.    

Jessica is a NAON nurse that brings boards every year to national.  Jessica is a wealth of knowledge as we developed an Orthopedic Institute and brought all orthopedic navigators under the one Institute umbrella within 17 hospitals.  This allowed all navigators to develop a uniform patient pre op education (Class and book).  Jessica assisted in the lead of these projects.  She also led a single set of education for a consistent 8 hours of education throughout our division.  I am so proud of her leadership.


Sandra Fox, MSN, RN, ONC, Medical University of South Carolina/Charleston, SC

Nominated by: Tasha Higgins, BSN, RN

Sandra Fox, MSN, RN, ONC is the nurse manager for 10 East Orthopaedics and Joint Replacement Unit at the Medical University of South Carolina. I would like to recognize this nurse because she goes above and beyond everyday with guidance and support of her team members to be successful in the accomplishment of positive patient outcomes for the Orthopaedic patient population.  I feel that she often takes a back seat when it comes to recognition and it is because of her that our unit is recognized for our many accomplishments! Sandra needs to be celebrated for her hard work and dedication to the 10 East staff, patients, and unit as a whole!


Danladi Gajere, Federal teaching hospital Gombe, Nigeria

Nominated by: Nrs bukar kadi mustapha

He is dedicated to his work. Also he is ready to upgrade the orthopaedic nurses by giving them lectures and encouraging the basic nurses to joined the orthopaedic program.


Angela Hill, AdventHealth Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach, FL

Nominated by: Larinda Marker

Angela is one the best orthopedic RNs I know! When I do my rounds on my total joints, they always sing her praises, saying how she always met their needs, was one step ahead of them, and did everything she could to keep their pain under control but yet, also let them sleep. Angela is an outstanding RN and deserves recognition!


Laura Hixon, Arlington, TX

Nominated by: Katy Faught

Laura is the epitome of what every nurse and educator should be.  She is knowledgeable, patient, and kind.  She is passionate about all that she does for her patients and students, alike.  This community is better because of people like Laura, and I am proud to call her a co-worker and friend.   


Janis F. Holsman, Overland Park

Nominated by: Janis F. Holsman

HI !   Thought it was ok to nominate myself on almost 40 years of med-surg and ortho nursing in Iowa ( most of my life) and past 2 1/2 years in Kansas...when I got remarried and had to move.  Love being a bedside nurse but had to stop in this pandemic to protect myself and especially my new husband.  Proud to be an ONC for almost 25 years !   Bless you all !!!   Jan


Leah Kirkland, Orthopedic and Sports Institute, Appleton, WI

Nominated by: Kim Jablonski

Leah rises to every challenge, including answering the call to serve her country. She is actively undergoing officer training in the Air Force Reserves to become a flight nurse. She works a 0.9 FTE for us, both as an Orthopedic Nurse Navigator and in Prep/PACU. She was instrumental in helping us become the first ASC in Wisconsin to obtain Total Joint Specialty Certification with AAAHC by taking over the education role and obtaining her ONC with NAON.  She is a wife and mother of 3 and enjoys long distance running and promotes a charity called Bigger than the Trail, an organization that uses trail running as a platform to advocate for mental health. Leah inspires all who know her!


Christina Kurkowski, Marshfield Clinic Wausau WI

Nominated by: Kimberly Ball

She is an amazing ortho nurse because she always puts her patients first. She goes above and beyond with each individual. She is always willing to teach and pass along her knowledge as well. She makes each person she works with, whether a patient or a fellow co-worker, feel important and validated.


Jordan Landreth, Stanford Health Care, Palo Alto, CA

Nominated by: Tamara Masinter

Jordan came into Orthopaedics as a new graduate in 2016. Since then she has found such a passion for orthopaedics and ensuring the integrity of post-operative precautions. She even calls other units to ensure they are using the proper equipment for transport and ambulation. She goes above and beyond to ensure patient safety daily.


Barbara Larsen, Leheigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, PA

Nominated by: Susan Barnett

Barb has demonstrated excellent leadership over the years in her role as an orthopedic bedside nurse, achieving then maintaining her ONC for many years. She has also served NAON and the NAON Foundation, as well as ONCB in various and tireless ways. Barb's focus on evidence-based care is a true blessing to those in her professional path, and her focus on serving others is a true blessing to those in her personal venues. I salute you Barb!!


Rachel Laubacher, Ohio

Nominated by: Jessica Keefer

Rachel works extremely hard to make sure the patients she cares for gets nothing but the best care possible. She usually work late hours to make sure her patients have all their essential appointments for their surgery. She’s an amazing nurse!!


Barbara Maher, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Nominated by: Kelly Hynes

Barb is an unbelievable patient advocate and communicator. She has completely revolutionized our patient education in the orthopedic department. In addition, she is a true nurse leader who her colleagues as well as the physicians in our department reach out to regularly for advice. I cannot even count how many times I have been told 'you are so lucky that Barb is your nurse'!!


Emily Mangin BSN RN-BC ONC, Sanford Health, Fargo, ND

Nominated by: Kari Erickson BAN RN ONC

Emily is our Director of Nursing for the entire Orthopedic & Sports Medicine, Hand Surgery, Foot & Ankle Service Line.  Emily leads with a purpose, always open to ideas, includes our interdisciplinary team (PT, case management, etc...) and makes sure voices are heard as we move towards consistently improving care to the orthopedic patients we serve. Starting as a bedside nurse, charge nurse, clinical care leader, manager and now director... Emily is an inspiration to all!


Larinda Marker, BSN, RN, CMSRN, AdventHealth Daytona Beach, FL

Nominated by: Lisa Sutherland

Larinda goes above and beyond to ensure the delivery of high quality, exceptional care to both patients and family members.   She is truly dedicated to excellence.  Her compassion, optimism and kindness shines through every day.    


Lynde Muraki, RN, AdventHealth Heart of Florida Davenport, FL

Nominated by: Marianne Lehman RN, BSN

Lynde Muraki is an excellent nurse and asset to our Joint Replacement Unit. As a night nurse Lynde often balances patient care and charge duties while exceeding patient care expectations. Not only are our patients well cared for, our surgeons have grown to depend on Lynde for detailed patient updates each morning as they round. Lynde is always well prepared with individual patient data at her fingertips. 


Paolo Nacpil, RN, AdventHealth Heart of Florida Davenport, FL

Nominated by: Marianne Lehman RN, BSN

Paolo Nacpil is an outstanding nurse; he is always eager to advance his knowledge for the benefit of his patients on the Joint Replacement Unit. Paolo’s patient care is quality driven, and patients continually comment on their excellent experience when in his care. As he often is the discharge nurse, his patients are guaranteed to be well prepared for their recovery at home.


Katie Royce, Ortho Nebraska Omaha, NE

Nominated by: Mallory Anderson

She is such a good asset to our organization and team.  She is always willing to help no matter whose patient it is because she truly cares for the orthopedic patient as a whole.  I know when I go to Katie that even if she can't help me, she will get someone who can. 


Alison Stewart, Leonardtown, MD

Nominated by: Shonna Wagaman

Alison is so caring and does an awesome job motivating post-operative joint replacement patients to participate in early mobilization. She is dedicated to making sure patients understand their post-operative recovery plan through the preoperative education session she provides to each prospective joint replacement patients. She is a stellar nurse and deserves to be recognized for her dedication to the orthopedic population at MedStar Saint Mary’s Hospital.


Amanda Stremlow, MSN, RN, PCCN-K, NE-BC , Roper St. Francis Healthcare

Nominated by: Fharen Grant

Amanda is an amazing nurse and Joint Replacement Nurse Manger. She leads with passion and humility. Under her leadership the JRU has seen consecutive years of no HAIs. She is a strong advocate for patients and nursing staff and definitely deserves to be acknowledged for the inspiration she provides.


Mark Tillman, MSS, BSN, RN, ONC, AdventHealth Palm Coast, FL

Nominated by: Lisa Sutherland

Mark is dedicated to guiding patients through their journey to orthopedic health.   He has maintained an Orthopedic Center of Excellence for Hip, Knee and Shoulder. 
Mark is very compassionate, providing expert care to ensure our patients receive the best care. 


Terri To, Elmhurst Hospital - 4 West, Elmhurst, IL

Nominated by: Debra Rodgers

Terri is such a voice of calm during our high volume of patients on our orthopedic floor. She has the ability to put you at ease when you're handing over the unit to the next shift.


Cherry Viernes, Henry Ford Hospital

Nominated by: Jennifer Michalski

Ms. Cherry Viernes is one of the most enthusiastic Orthopaedic nurses on our ortho team!  She is an excellent nurse, thorough preceptor and continues to encourage our Orthopaedic nurses to become involved in NAON.  She became certified in the last year and is now one of our biggest cheerleaders to encourage other nurses to become certified.  Cherry had also helped to coordinate our staff to attend the National Orthopeadic Nurses Conference in 2018 and is already working on getting us to the 2020 conference! 


Kellie Weikle, Abbott Northwestern, Minneapolis, MN

Nominated by: Samara Lenort

Kellie taught me everything about being a confident, competent, thoughtful, and empathetic orthopedic surgical nurse. She has an incredible amount of knowledge and is ALWAYS going the extra mile for both patients and surgeons. She is always advocating for the best care and is ready for any scenario thrown her way.


Sandra Wilkins, RN, BSN, ONC, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Charleston, SC

Nominated by: Fharen Grant

Sandra has been a nurse for 34 years and has spent 23 of those years as an orthopedic nurse.  She currently serves as the Program & Patient Care Coordinator for Joint Replacements at Roper St. Francis Healthcare. Her commitment to ensuring positive patient outcomes and her uplifting personality make her an extraordinary person/nurse.  Sandra's pride, passion and advocacy for orthopedic nursing permeates through the entire organization.


Anne Wirth, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Charleston, SC

Nominated by: Fharen Grant

Anne has been an orthopedic nurse for 12 years. She is an outstanding nurse with a true passion and commitment to providing extraordinary patient care. Understanding the vital role, we as nurses play in care giving and patient outcomes, Anne has been influential in building momentum around quality initiatives for her organization. Anne puts forth a tireless effort to empower both the patient and her peers and we are excited to celebrate this awesome orthopedic nurse.


Jennifer Wirtz, Mayo Clinic - Jacksonville, FL

Nominated by: Jessica Pelkowski

Jennifer is an outstanding nurse and constantly elevates herself to learn as much as she can about orthopedics. She is compassionate, kind, and empathetic with patients. She always puts patients first. 

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