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Employees May 06, 2010

14 YNHH nurses receive Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing

The Yale-New Haven nurses who were honored May 5 as Nightingales are a special group of nurses. They were chosen for recognition because they exhibit the traits of nursing excellence expressed by Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern day nursing. This year’s event occurs during the hospital’s celebration of Nurse Week, a special time of recognition for the more than 2,200 nurses who work at YNHH.

The Nightingale Award honors nurses from greater New Haven area hospitals and healthcare institutions. YNHH, the Visiting Nurse Association of South Central Connecticut, the Hospital of St. Raphael and the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven are the sponsors of the annual award program that has grown significantly since it was introduced 10 years ago.

"Patients who come to Yale-New Haven Hospital are cared for by an exceptional team of nurses," said Sue Fitzsimons, RN, PhD, senior vice president, Patient Services. "The Nightingale Awards give us an important opportunity to showcase within our community some of the dedicated nurses who deliver the world-class care for which we are known."

This year, 14 nurses -- nominated by YNHH — were honored at the May 5 Nightingale dinner. The 2010 YNHH Nightingales are: Erin Albright, RN, Adult Emergency Department; Donita Anderson-Osga, RN, Surgical Intensive Care Unit; Suzann Blanchard, RN, Labor & Birth; Helen Conde, RN, Surgery Unit (6-4); Jeff Curran, RN, Transplant Unit; Helena Erskine, RN, Resource Support Unit — Intensive Care Unit; Toni Frizini, RN, Heart and Vascular Center Cardiac Unit; Christine Galla, RN, Community Health; Ivette Medina-Stephenson, RN, Maternal Special Care; Kathryn Munroe, RN, Community Health; Deborah Pantera, RN, Pediatric Oncology Treatment Center; Margaret Pinto, RN, Gamma Knife Center; Kim Whelan Riccitelli, RN, Adult Inpatient — YNHPH; and Lisa Waterbury, RN, Heart and Vascular Center Nursing Procedures.

Deborah Pantera, who has worked in pediatrics since she joined YNHH in 1979, was clearly not expecting to be nominated for her work with children who have cancer and their families.

"I am so humbled by being named a Nightingale," says Pantera, who has worked for 21 years in pediatric oncology and hematology. "It is a privilege for me to work with these kids — they are so resilient and so inspiring. My practice is rewarding — that is the award."

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