Bronson Methodist Hospital Recognizes Excellence in Nursing Award Winners

Bronson Methodist Hospital Recognizes Excellence in Nursing Award Winners

On October 6, Bronson Methodist Hospital held a small, socially distanced celebration to honor the most recent Excellence in Nursing Award winners. Normally celebrated during Nurses’ Week in May, the recipients of these awards are recognized as representatives of the key areas of the Nursing Professional Model of Care: leadership, compassion, respect, pride, expertise and impact. Honorees include:

  • Elizabeth (Liz) Friedel, BSN, RN, a trauma care nurse in our Level 1 Trauma Center, is the recipient of the Rising Star Award. “It was clear from the start that there was something special about Liz. On several occasions during her year as an extern, I personally had providers whisper to me ‘Is she ours?’ ‘She’s sharp!’ and ‘We need to keep her!’ Now as a full time nurse, Liz exudes the most humble confidence and professionalism. She’s a fierce advocate for her patients. She communicates clearly with providers, patients and families, and her peers. She’s organized and on top of things, able to handle whatever the night may bring. She never complains. She is always willing to jump right in, whatever the situation is. We are fortunate to have her leading by example, and I’m certain that as a result, we will have many more rising stars in the years to come.” Read Liz’s full nomination.
  • Kelly Korf, BSN, RN, a nurse on the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), is the recipient of the Hazel Latondress Leadership Award. “Her title may be night shift unit coordinator, but Kelly is definitely more than that to all of us in Pediatrics. She is a co-worker, mediator, problem-solver, listener, cheerleader, coach, mentor and friend. For three months, she single-handedly held the pediatric units together while the manager and day-shift unit coordinator were both out on leave. This was at the same time as The Joint Commission was here for a week-long hospital survey. She ensured that staff was well-prepared and the unit was immaculate. On a regular basis, she always carries herself with great poise. She is such a great role model and positive influence for all the staff!” Read Kelly’s full nomination.
  • JoAnn (Jo) Lay, BSN, RN, a nurse on the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), is the recipient of the Hazel Latondress Impact Award. Her nomination from a coworker recounts how Jo’s attention to detail saved a patients leg (and possibly life) after a routine surgery. “The patient’s recovery was progressing as expected, but late in that recovery Jo picked up on the apparent lack of a pulse in the patient’s foot. This relatively isolated finding, not directly related to the surgery, could have been explained in a number of benign ways - like positioning or ‘cold feet’. Jo, however, drawing on experience and thoroughness, initiated further follow-up with Dr. Kasten. The patient was found to have a massive clot. It required immediate complex vascular surgery. It was the opinion of both Drs. Kasten and Vaddineni that without Jo’s early detection, the patient would have certainly lost their leg, or even their life from complications arising from such a large clot.” Read Jo’s full nomination.
  • Donna Sanderson, BSN, RN, a nurse on the Preadmissions Unit, is the recipient of the Hazel Latondress Pride Award. “Donna has worked at Bronson for many years, and takes great pride in our department and in Bronson. She is very engaged and committed to always doing what is best for patients and families. Donna consistently talks about how much she loves her job and the people she works with. She reminds us that we are making a difference in a patient's life - keeping them safe. She brings humor into the workplace and is the one to bring up new ideas for improvement. She always addresses concerns in a non-threatening manner, so that you can discuss the situation with her and learn from it.” Read Donna’s full nomination.
  • Amy Smith, RN, a nurse on the Neuro Critical Care Unit (NCCU), is the recipient of the Hazel Latondress Compassion Award. “On any given shift, Amy can be found in one of her patients’ rooms taking the extra time to really get to know them as people… not just a patient, a room number or a diagnosis. A perfect example of Amy’s compassion came after the family of a very ill patient had left for the evening. I found Amy at the patient's bedside, holding their hand, singing as the patient laid there comfortably and peacefully. No matter how busy our unit gets, Amy always takes the time to make sure that her patient's needs are met, even if it's just being present in the room.” Read Amy’s full nomination.
  • Brian Underwood, RN, a radiology nurse, is the recipient of the Hazel Latondress Respect Award. “Brian is deserving of this award, because he exudes respect for all. Recently, an elderly couple came in to our office. The wife was the primary caregiver for her husband, who had several medical issues. Only this day, she needed to have a procedure that required an overnight stay. At some point during her time with Brian, she mentioned her concerns for her husband. They have no family in town, her husband cannot drive, and he had an important medical appointment the next morning. Brian set out on a mission to ease his patient’s anxiety and ensure her husband would be taken care of. Several steps and phone calls later, the outcome was that the patient’s husband would stay the night with his wife and transportation to his appointment had been arranged. Brian even followed up the next morning to make sure everything went as planned and walked the husband down to the hospital entrance to meet his transportation.” Read Brian’s full nomination.
  • Teresa (Terri) Williams, BSN, RN, CGRN, an endoscopy nurse, is the recipient of the Hazel Latondress Expertise Award. “Terri has been an endoscopy team member for almost 18 years. She has a wealth of knowledge and is always seeking opportunities to share her gastroenterology nursing knowledge with those around her. This wealth of knowledge combined with her infectious enthusiasm for teaching others inspired so many on our unit to pursue the endoscopy nursing certification. To help team members prepare for the exam, Terri spearheaded study groups, as well as Journal Club meetings to review important endoscopy topics. All of this makes Terri the best kind of expert…one who uses her talents to help build up her team, which in turn helps to provide the best patient care experience possible. Read Terri’s full nomination.

All of these winners represent the high caliber of nursing care at Bronson and further validate the hospital’s Magnet® recognition. Magnet® recognizes healthcare organizations that demonstrate excellence in nursing and is considered the gold standard. It is the highest honor an organization can receive for professional nursing practice. To date, only seven percent of U.S. hospitals have earned Magnet recognition.

Do you know a nurse who provides exceptional care? Honor them online at If you have a story to share about a positive experience you have had at Bronson, share it online at

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  • Photo of the Nursing Excellence Award winners from Bronson Methodist Hospital